New insight into photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2: The role of leaf nitrogen and ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase content in rice leaves

Saman Seneweera, Amane Makino, Naoki Hirotsu, Robert Norton, Yuji Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


We tested the hypothesis that photosynthetic (A) acclimation to elevated CO2 partial pressure (p[CO2]) is associated with the inhibition of protein synthesis, inhibition of nitrogen (N) partitioning into the leaf blade and/or accelerated leaf senescence in rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Notohikari). Plants were grown for 70 days hydroponically in artificially illuminated growth chambers at a p[CO2] of either 39 or 100Pa at N 2mM. Leaf A, Vc.max, Jmax, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco, E.C., mRNA for associated genes rbcS and rbcL, total N and carbohydrate concentrations in leaves at different positions in the canopy were measured. Spatial allocation of N and Rubisco synthesis of expanding leaf blade was also measured from the leaf ligule to tip of the leaf blade. Growth at elevated p[CO2] suppressed light saturated A, Vc.max and Jmax in leaf blades at all positions in the canopy. The suppression of A was 15% for the upper leaf blades compared to 37% in the lower leaf blades. Similar reductions in the amount of Rubisco, Chlorophyll, and total N were observed in the leaves of the plants grown in 100 p[CO2] compared to the 39 p[CO2]. Sucrose and starch concentration concentrations increased at elevated p[CO2] but we found no relationship between A, Rubisco or the amount of transcript abundance of rbcS and rbcL. Elevated p[CO2] substantially reduced N allocation into expanding leaf blades and this was well correlated with Rubisco synthesis. These results suggest that A acclimation to elevated p[CO2] occurs during all phases of the leaf development, is initiated during the cell maturation process and linked with spatial N allocation into the leaf blade. In addition, elevated p[CO2] accelerated lower leaf blade senescence which compounded the effect on A acclimation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental and Experimental Botany
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun


  • Carbohydrates
  • Elevated p[CO]
  • Nitrogen
  • Photosynthesis
  • Photosynthetic acclimation
  • Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase
  • Rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Notohikari)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science

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