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Protocols in ecological and environmental plant physiology


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 13(5)

Relationship Between Steady-State Gas Exchange, in vivo Ribulose Bisphosphate Carboxylase Activity and Some Carbon Reduction Cycle Intermediates in Raphanus sativus

SV Caemmerer and DL Edmondson

Australian Journal of Plant Physiology 13(5) 669 - 688
Published: 1986


The relationships between CO2 assimilation rate, RuP2 carboxylase activity and sizes of the pools of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuP2) and 3-phosphoglyceric acid (PGA) were examined using a freeze clamp device to rapidly freeze sections of attached leaves of R. sativus which previously had gas-exchange measurements made on them.

At high irradiance and ambient partial pressures of CO2 and O2, RuP2 carboxylase was fully active in vivo. Activity was less at very low CO2 pressures and at high CO2 pressures, particularly when combined with low O2 pressures. In vivo RuP2 carboxylase activity and both RuP2 and PGA pool sizes increased with increasing irradiance. RuP2 pool sizes were high at low CO2 pressures and decreased at high CO2 pressures. PGA pool sizes, on the other hand, were low at low CO2 and high at high CO2 pressures.

A model of RuP2 carboxylase-oxygenase (Rubisco) kinetics is used to examine the quantitative relationship between in vivo RuP2 carboxylase activity, CO2 assimilation rate and RuP2 and PGA pools. The model predictions fit in vivo data, except at high CO2 pressures, if it is assumed that RuP2 does not bind tightly to the inactive enzyme form in vivo. It is shown that a large fraction of the RuP2 and PGA pools may be chelated by magnesium in the stroma and that the high RuP2 pools (e.g. at low irradiance) may represent an optimal concentration rather than be truly saturating. We conclude that RuP2 pool sizes above Rubisco site concentration do not necessarily indicate a Rubisco limitation of photosynthetic rate.

Full text doi:10.1071/PP9860669

© CSIRO 1986

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