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Plant Physiol. 1998 May;117(1):207-15.

Estimating photosynthesis and concurrent export rates in C3 and C4 species at ambient and elevated CO21,2

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  • 1Department of Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


The ability of 21 C3 and C4 monocot and dicot species to rapidly export newly fixed C in the light at both ambient and enriched CO2 levels was compared. Photosynthesis and concurrent export rates were estimated during isotopic equilibrium of the transport sugars using a steady-state 14CO2-labeling procedure. At ambient CO2 photosynthesis and export rates for C3 species were 5 to 15 and 1 to 10 &mgr;mol C m-2 s-1, respectively, and 20 to 30 and 15 to 22 &mgr;mol C m-2 s-1, respectively, for C4 species. A linear regression plot of export on photosynthesis rate of all species had a correlation coefficient of 0.87. When concurrent export was expressed as a percentage of photosynthesis, several C3 dicots that produced transport sugars other than Suc had high efflux rates relative to photosynthesis, comparable to those of C4 species. At high CO2 photosynthetic and export rates were only slightly altered in C4 species, and photosynthesis increased but export rates did not in all C3 species. The C3 species that had high efflux rates relative to photosynthesis at ambient CO2 exported at rates comparable to those of C4 species on both an absolute basis and as a percentage of photosynthesis. At ambient CO2 there were strong linear relationships between photosynthesis, sugar synthesis, and concurrent export. However, at high CO2 the relationships between photosynthesis and export rate and between sugar synthesis and export rate were not as strong because sugars and starch were accumulated.

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