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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Oct;163:30-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2016.08.008. Epub 2016 Aug 8.

Diffusion limitations and metabolic factors associated with inhibition and recovery of photosynthesis following cold stress in Elymus nutans Griseb.

Author information

1
Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China.
2
Natural Resource Management Department, South Dakota State University, West River Agricultural Center, Rapid City, SD 57702, USA.
3
Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China. Electronic address: xuyuefei1980@163.com.
4
Department of Grassland Science, College of Animal Science and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China. Electronic address: hutianming@126.com.

Abstract

We studied the effects of cold stress (5°C) and re-warming (25°C) on gas exchange, photosystem II, key photosynthetic enzyme activities, gene expression, and carbohydrate metabolite concentrations in two Elymus nutans genotypes differing in cold resistance (DX, cold-tolerant and ZD, cold-sensitive). Cold stress led to irreversible reductions in photosynthetic rate. This reduction was accompanied by declining stomatal and mesophyll conductance (gs and gm), transpiration rate (Tr) and photochemical efficiency in both genotypes, however there were smaller decreases in DX than in ZD. Cold-tolerant DX maintained higher photosynthetic enzyme activities and transcript levels, as well as higher reducing sugar concentrations and sucrose accumulation. The relationship between Pn and internal leaf CO2 concentration (Pn/Ci curve) during cold and re-warming was analyzed to estimate the relative influence of stomatal and non-stomatal components on photosynthesis. Stomatal limitation, non-stomatal limitation, and CO2 compensation point (CP) increased in both genotypes under cold stress, but to a lesser extent in DX. Maximum CO2 assimilation rate (Pmax), and carboxylation efficiency (CE) declined, but DX had significantly higher levels of Pmax and CE than ZD. Following cold-stress recovery, the maximum quantum yield of PSII (Fv/Fm), apparent electron transport rate (ETR), Rubisco activity, Rubisco activation state and CE in DX resumed to the control levels. In contrast, Pn, Pmax, gs, gm, and Tr recovered only partially for DX, suggesting that incomplete recovery of photosynthesis in DX may be mainly related to diffusion limitations. Higher Rubisco large subunit (RbcL) and Rubisco activase (RCA) transcript levels, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) activity, and carbohydrate accumulation contributed to higher photosynthetic recovery in DX. These results indicate that the maintenance of higher Pn and Pmax under cold stress and recovery in cold-tolerant DX could be attributed to reduced diffusion limitations and rapid recuperation of metabolic factors.

KEYWORDS:

Carbohydrate metabolite; Cold stress; Photosynthesis; Photosynthetic enzymes; Recovery

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