Document Detail

High temperature acclimation of C4 photosynthesis is linked to changes in photosynthetic biochemistry.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17177876     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
With average global temperatures predicted to increase over the next century, it is important to understand the extent and mechanisms of C4 photosynthetic acclimation to modest increases in growth temperature. To this end, we compared the photosynthetic responses of two C4 grasses (Panicum coloratum and Cenchrus ciliaris) and one C4 dicot (Flaveria bidentis) to growth at moderate (25/20 degrees C, day/night) or high (35/30 degrees C, day/night) temperatures. In all three C4 species, CO2 assimilation rates (A) underwent significant thermal acclimation, such that when compared at growth temperatures, A increased less than what would be expected given the strong response of A to short-term changes in leaf temperature. Thermal photosynthetic acclimation was further manifested by an increase in the temperature optima of A, and a decrease in leaf nitrogen content and leaf mass per area in the high- relative to the moderate-temperature-grown plants. Reduced photosynthetic capacity at the higher growth temperature was underpinned by selective changes in photosynthetic components. Plants grown at the higher temperature had lower amounts of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase and cytochrome f and activity of carbonic anhydrase. The activities of photosystem II (PSII) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase were not affected by growth temperature. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements of F. bidentis showed a corresponding decrease in the quantum yield of PSII (phi(PSII)) and an increase in non-photochemical quenching (phi(NPQ)). It is concluded that through these biochemical changes, C4 plants maintain the balance between the various photosynthetic components at each growth temperature, despite the differing temperature dependence of each process. As such, at higher temperatures photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency increases more than A. Our results suggest C4 plants will show only modest changes in photosynthetic rates in response to changes in growth temperature, such as those expected within or between seasons, or the warming anticipated as a result of global climate change.
Simon A Dwyer; Oula Ghannoum; Adrienne Nicotra; Susanne von Caemmerer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Plant, cell & environment     Volume:  30     ISSN:  0140-7791     ISO Abbreviation:  Plant Cell Environ.     Publication Date:  2007 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-12-20     Completed Date:  2007-03-26     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9309004     Medline TA:  Plant Cell Environ     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  53-66     Citation Subset:  IM    
Molecular Plant Physiology Group, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, GPO Box 475, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
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MeSH Terms
Adaptation, Physiological*
Chlorophyll / metabolism
Hot Temperature*
Nitrogen / metabolism
Poaceae / metabolism,  physiology*
Spectrometry, Fluorescence
Reg. No./Substance:
1406-65-1/Chlorophyll; 479-61-8/chlorophyll a; 7727-37-9/Nitrogen

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