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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |         Contents Vol 6(4)

Crassulacean Acid Metabolism and Diurnal Variations of Internal CO2 and O2 Concentrations in Sedum praealtum DC

MH Spalding, DK Stumpf, MSB Ku, RH Burris and GE Edwards

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 6(4) 557 - 567
Published: 1979


Internal CO2 and O2 concentrations in Sedum praealtum DC. were determined by gas chromatography of 200-µl gas samples. Day-night monitoring showed that internal CO2 varied from a high of approximately 4000 µl/l during periods of daytime stomatal closure to a low of 270-280 µl/l during the dark period (stomata open). Internal O2 concentrations varied from a high of approximately 26 % at midday to a low of 20.8 % during the dark period. The calculated internal O2/CO2 ratio varied about 12-15-fold from 50-60 near midday to approximately 750 during the dark period (ratio in normal air is roughly 600). Day-night patterns of CO2 exchange and malic acid concentration were typical for a plant with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). Influx of CO2 during the late light period was inhibited by O2, but dark CO2 influx was O2-insensitive. Gas samples taken near midday from several CAM plants all showed elevated internal CO2 and O2 concentrations. Ratios of O2/CO2 in these plants ranged from 81 in Sedum praealtum to 285 in Hoya carnosa. The highest internal O2 concentration observed was 41.5% in Kalanchoe gastonis-bonnieri. The high CO2 concentration in leaves of CAM plants during daytime stomatal closure should provide a near- saturating level of this substrate for photosynthesis. In comparison to C3 plants, the relatively low O2/CO2 ratio in the CAM leaf during malic acid decarboxylation should be favourable for photosynthesis and unfavourable for O2 inhibition of photosynthesis.

Full text doi:10.1071/PP9790557

© CSIRO 1979

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