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Plant Physiol. 1987 Aug;84(4):1244-8.

Influence of leaf age on photosynthesis, enzyme activity, and metabolite levels in wheat.

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Botany Department, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-4230.


The rate of photosynthesis under high light (1000 micromole quanta per square meter per second) and at 25 degrees C was measured during development of the third leaf on wheat plants and compared with the activity of several photosynthetic enzymes and the level of metabolites. The rate of photosynthesis reached a maximum the 7th day after leaf emergence and declined thereafter. There was a high and significant correlation between the rate of photosynthesis per leaf area and the activities of the enzymes ribulose 5-phosphate kinase (r = 0.91), ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) carboxylase (r = 0.94), 3-phosphoglycerate (PGA) kinase (r = 0.82), and fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase (r = 0.80) per leaf area. There was not a significant correlation of photosynthesis rate with chlorophyll content. The rate of photosynthesis was strongly correlated with the level of PGA (r = 0.85) and inversely correlated with the level of triose phosphate (dihydroxyacetone phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate) (r = 0.92). RuBP levels did not change much during leaf development; therefore photosynthesis rate was not correlated with the level of RuBP. The rate of photosynthesis was at a maximum when the ratio of PGA/triose phosphate was high, and when the ratio of RuBP/PGA was low. Although several enzymes change in parallel with leaf development, the metabolite changes suggest the greatest degree of control may be through RuBP carboxylase. The sucrose content of the leaf was highest under high rates of photosynthesis. There was no evidence that later in leaf development, photosynthesis (measured under high light and at 25 degrees C) was limited by utilization of photosynthate.


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