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Plant Cell Physiol. 2014 Feb;55(2):341-57. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pct185. Epub 2013 Dec 5.

Effects of elevated CO2 on levels of primary metabolites and transcripts of genes encoding respiratory enzymes and their diurnal patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana: possible relationships with respiratory rates.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, 113-0033 Japan.


Elevated CO2 affects plant growth and photosynthesis, which results in changes in plant respiration. However, the mechanisms underlying the responses of plant respiration to elevated CO2 are poorly understood. In this study, we measured diurnal changes in the transcript levels of genes encoding respiratory enzymes, the maximal activities of the enzymes and primary metabolite levels in shoots of Arabidopsis thaliana grown under moderate or elevated CO2 conditions (390 or 780 parts per million by volume CO2, respectively). We examined the relationships between these changes and respiratory rates. Under elevated CO2, the transcript levels of several genes encoding respiratory enzymes increased at the end of the light period, but these increases did not result in changes in the maximal activities of the corresponding enzymes. The levels of some primary metabolites such as starch and sugar phosphates increased under elevated CO2, particularly at the end of the light period. The O2 uptake rate at the end of the dark period was higher under elevated CO2 than under moderate CO2, but higher under moderate CO2 than under elevated CO2 at the end of the light period. These results indicate that the changes in O2 uptake rates are not directly related to changes in maximal enzyme activities and primary metabolite levels. Instead, elevated CO2 may affect anabolic processes that consume respiratory ATP, thereby affecting O2 uptake rates.


Arabidopsis thaliana; Elevated CO2; Primary metabolites; Respiration; Transcription

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