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Plant Physiol. 1992 Mar;98(3):1175-80.

Relationships among Isoprene Emission Rate, Photosynthesis, and Isoprene Synthase Activity as Influenced by Temperature.

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Department of Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0334.


Isoprene emissions from the leaves of velvet bean (Mucuna pruriens L. var utilis) plants exhibited temperature response patterns that were dependent on the plant's growth temperature. Plants grown in a warm regimen (34/28 degrees C, day/night) exhibited a temperature optimum for emissions of 45 degrees C, whereas those grown in a cooler regimen (26/20 degrees C, day/night) exhibited an optimum of 40 degrees C. Several previous studies have provided evidence of a linkage between isoprene emissions and photosynthesis, and more recent studies have demonstrated that isoprene emissions are linked to the activity of isoprene synthase in plant leaves. To further explore this linkage within the context of the temperature dependence of isoprene emissions, we determined the relative temperature dependencies of photosynthetic electron transport, CO(2) assimilation, and isoprene synthase activity. When measured over a broad range of temperatures, the temperature dependence of isoprene emission rate was not closely correlated with either the electron transport rate or the CO(2) assimilation rate. The temperature optima for electron transport rate and CO(2) assimilation rate were 5 to 10 degrees C lower than that for the isoprene emission rate. The dependence of isoprene emissions on photon flux density was also affected by measurement temperature in a pattern independent of those exhibited for electron transport rate and CO(2) assimilation rate. Thus, despite no change in the electron transport rate or CO(2) assimilation rate at 26 and 34 degrees C, the isoprene emission rate changed markedly. The quantum yield of isoprene emissions was stimulated by a temperature increase from 26 to 34 degrees C, whereas the quantum yield for CO(2) assimilation was inhibited. In greenhouse-grown aspen leaves (Populus tremuloides Michaux.), the high temperature threshold for inhibition of isoprene emissions was closely correlated with the high temperature-induced decrease in the in vitro activity of isoprene synthase. When taken together, the results indicate that although there may be a linkage between isoprene emission rate and photosynthesis, the temperature dependence of isoprene emission is not determined solely by the rates of CO(2) assimilation or electron transport. Rather, we propose that regulation is accomplished primarily through the enzyme isoprene synthase.

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