Photosynthetic induction and its diffusional, carboxylation and electron transport processes as affected by CO2 partial pressure, temperature, air humidity and blue irradiance

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Abstract

Background and Aims Plants depend on photosynthesis for growth. In nature, factors such as temperature, humidity, CO2 partial pressure, and spectrum and intensity of irradiance often fluctuate. Whereas irradiance intensity is most influential and has been studied in detail, understanding of interactions with other factors is lacking.
Methods We tested how photosynthetic induction after dark–light transitions was affected by CO2 partial pressure (20, 40, 80 Pa), leaf temperatures (15·5, 22·8, 30·5 °C), leaf-to-air vapour pressure deficits (VPDleaf-air; 0·5, 0·8, 1·6, 2·3 kPa) and blue irradiance (0–20 %) in tomato leaves (Solanum lycopersicum).
Key Results Rates of photosynthetic induction strongly increased with CO2 partial pressure, due to increased apparent Rubisco activation rates and reduced diffusional limitations. High leaf temperature produced slightly higher induction rates, and increased intrinsic water use efficiency and diffusional limitation. High VPDleaf-air slowed down induction rates and apparent Rubisco activation and (at 2·3 kPa) induced damped stomatal oscillations. Blue irradiance had no effect. Slower apparent Rubisco activation in elevated VPDleaf-air may be explained by low leaf internal CO2 partial pressure at the beginning of induction.
Conclusions The environmental factors CO2 partial pressure, temperature and VPDleaf-air had significant impacts on rates of photosynthetic induction, as well as on underlying diffusional, carboxylation and electron transport processes. Furthermore, maximizing Rubisco activation rates would increase photosynthesis by at most 6–8 % in ambient CO2 partial pressure (across temperatures and humidities), while maximizing rates of stomatal opening would increase photosynthesis by at most 1–3 %.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-205
JournalAnnals of Botany
Volume119
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Dynamic photosynthesis, CO2 concentration, temperature, humidity, stomatal conductance, diffusional

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