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Plant Physiol. 2011 Feb;155(2):1037-46. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.167551. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

Effect of temperature on postillumination isoprene emission in oak and poplar.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA.


Isoprene emission from broadleaf trees is highly temperature dependent, accounts for much of the hydrocarbon emission from plants, and has a profound effect on atmospheric chemistry. We studied the temperature response of postillumination isoprene emission in oak (Quercus robur) and poplar (Populus deltoides) leaves in order to understand the regulation of isoprene emission. Upon darkening a leaf, isoprene emission fell nearly to zero but then increased for several minutes before falling back to nearly zero. Time of appearance of this burst of isoprene was highly temperature dependent, occurring sooner at higher temperatures. We hypothesize that this burst represents an intermediate pool of metabolites, probably early metabolites in the methylerythritol 4-phosphate pathway, accumulated upstream of dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMADP). The amount of this early metabolite(s) averaged 2.9 times the amount of plastidic DMADP. DMADP increased with temperature up to 35°C before starting to decrease; in contrast, the isoprene synthase rate constant increased up to 40°C, the highest temperature at which it could be assessed. During a rapid temperature switch from 30°C to 40°C, isoprene emission increased transiently. It was found that an increase in isoprene synthase activity is primarily responsible for this transient increase in emission levels, while DMADP level stayed constant during the switch. One hour after switching to 40°C, the amount of DMADP fell but the rate constant for isoprene synthase remained constant, indicating that the high temperature falloff in isoprene emission results from a reduction in the supply of DMADP rather than from changes in isoprene synthase activity.

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