Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Enhancement in leaf photosynthesis and upregulation of Rubisco in the C4 sorghum plant at elevated growth carbon dioxide and temperature occur at early stages of leaf ontogeny

P. V. Vara Prasad A D , Joseph C. V. Vu B , Kenneth J. Boote C and L. Hartwell Allen Jr B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Agronomy Department, 2004 Throckmorton Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA.

B United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Chemistry Research Unit, Gainesville, FL 32608, USA.

C Agronomy Department, 304 Newell Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.

D Corresponding author. Email: vara@ksu.edu

Functional Plant Biology 36(9) 761-769 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP09043
Submitted: 21 February 2009  Accepted: 21 July 2009   Published: 3 September 2009

Abstract

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration and temperature will influence photosynthesis, growth and yield of agronomic crops. To investigate effects of elevated CO2 and high temperature on leaf gas exchanges, activities of Rubisco and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) and growth of grain sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench), plants were grown in controlled environments at day-time maximum/night-time minimum temperatures of 30/20°C or 36/26°C at ambient (350 µmol mol–1) or elevated (700 µmol mol–1) CO2. Gas-exchange rates, activities of Rubisco and PEPC and growth parameters (leaf, stem and total dry weights) were determined at different stages of leaf development. Between 6 and 25 days after leaf tip emergence, leaf carbon exchange rate (CER) of elevated CO2 plants was greater at 30/20°C and 36/26°C than that of ambient CO2 plants at the same temperatures. The positive response of CER to elevated CO2 was greater in young leaves than in old leaves. In young leaves, elevated CO2 enhanced Rubisco activity at 30/20°C and 36/26°C, whereas PEPC activity was not affected by elevated CO2 at 30/20°C but was marginally enhanced at 36/26°C. At 30/20°C, growth parameters were not affected by elevated CO2 until 50 days after sowing (DAS); at 36/26°C, they were progressively enhanced by elevated CO2 to as high as 49 to 62% by 50 DAS. Leaf CER and Rubisco activity were enhanced by elevated CO2 at early stages of leaf ontogeny for the C4 grain sorghum. Such enhancement should have a significant role in dry matter production under elevated CO2.

Additional keywords: climate change, dry matter production, heat stress, leaf development, leaf growth, Sorghum bicolor.


Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station of the University of Florida and the US Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station. Our sincere thanks to Joan Anderson for her excellent help throughout the experiment and in conducting the enzyme assays. We thank Larry Pitts, Wayne Wynn and Maritza Romero for engineering support; Drs Prem Chourey, Mukesh Jain and Jean Thomas for their scientific support, and Dr Richard Vanderlip for supplying the sorghum seeds. This is contribution No. 09–247-J from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station.


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