The relationship between CO2 assimilation and electron transport in leaves

Jeremy Harbinson*, Bernard Genty, Neil R. Baker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


The inter-relationships between the quantum efficiencies of photosystems I (φI) and II (φII) and the quantum yield of CO2 fixation {Mathematical expression} were investigated in pea (Pisum sativum (L)) leaves with differing rates of photosynthesis using both photorespiratory and non-photorespiratory conditions, and in a leaf of Hedera helix (L) under photorespiratory conditions. The results indicate that under photorespiratory conditions the relationship between {Mathematical expression} and both φI and φII is non-linear and variable. The relationship between φI and φII under these circumstances remains predominantly linear. Under non-photorespiratory conditions, leaves with a low rate of photosynthesis due to sink limitation exhibit a non-linear relationship between φI and φII, though the relationship between φI and φII remains linear suggesting a close relationship between linear electron flow and CO2 fixation. Leaves irradiated at the CO2 compensation point also exhibit a non-linear relationship between φI and φII. These results suggest that for leaves in air linear electron flow is the predominant source of energy for metabolism. The role of cyclic electron transport is considered when the requirement for the products of linear electron transport is depressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-224
JournalPhotosynthesis Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Hedera helix
  • photorespiration
  • photosystem I
  • photosystem II
  • Pisum sativum
  • quantum efficiency


Dive into the research topics of 'The relationship between CO<sub>2</sub> assimilation and electron transport in leaves'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this