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Plant Physiol. 1987 Jul;84(3):658-64.

The Effect of Temperature on the Occurrence of O(2) and CO(2) Insensitive Photosynthesis in Field Grown Plants.

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Biological Sciences Center, Desert Research Institute, P. O. Box 60220, Reno, Nevada 89506.


The sensitivity of photosynthesis to O(2) and CO(2) was measured in leaves from field grown plants of six species (Phaseolus vulgaris, Capsicum annuum, Lycopersicon esculentum, Scrophularia desertorum, Cardaria draba, and Populus fremontii) from 5 degrees C to 35 degrees C using gas-exchange techniques. In all species but Phaseolus, photosynthesis was insensitive to O(2) in normal air below a species dependent temperature. CO(2) insensitivity occurred under the same conditions that resulted in O(2) insensitivity. A complete loss of O(2) sensitivity occurred up to 22 degrees C in Lycopersicon but only up to 6 degrees C in Scrophularia. In Lycopersicon and Populus, O(2) and CO(2) insensitivity occurred under conditions regularly encountered during the cooler portions of the day. Because O(2) insensitivity is an indicator of feedback limited photosynthesis, these results indicate that feedback limitations can play a role in determining the diurnal carbon gain in the field. At higher partial pressures of CO(2) the temperature at which O(2) insensitivity occurred was higher, indicating that feedback limitations in the field will become more important as the CO(2) concentration in the atmosphere increases.


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