Passive CO2 concentration in higher plants

Sage, Rowan F. and Khoshravesh, Roxana (2016) Passive CO2 concentration in higher plants. Current Opinion in Plant Biology, 31. pp. 58-65. ISSN 1369-5266

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Photorespiratory limitations on C3 photosynthesis are substantial in warm, low CO2 conditions. To compensate, certain plants evolved mechanisms to actively concentrate CO2 around Rubisco using ATP-supported CO2 pumps such as C4 photosynthesis. Plants can also passively accumulate CO2 without additional ATP expenditure by localizing the release of photorespired and respired CO2 around Rubisco that is diffusively isolated from peripheral air spaces. Passive accumulation of photorespired CO2 occurs when glycine decarboxylase is localized to vascular sheath cells in what is termed C2 photosynthesis, and through forming sheaths of chloroplasts around the periphery of mesophyll cells. The peripheral sheaths require photorespired CO2 to re-enter chloroplasts where it can be refixed. Passive accumulation of respiratory CO2 is common in organs such as stems, fruits and flowers, due to abundant heterotrophic tissues and high diffusive resistance along the organ periphery. Chloroplasts within these organs are able to exploit this high CO2 to reduce photorespiration. CO2 concentration can also be enhanced passively by channeling respired CO2 from roots and rhizomes into photosynthetic cells of stems and leaves via lacunae, aerenchyma and the xylem stream. Through passive CO2 concentration, C3 species likely improved their carbon economy and maintained fitness during episodes of low atmospheric CO2.

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Journal Article
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Current Opinion in Plant Biology
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11 Jan 2022 15:25
Last Modified:
19 Sep 2023 02:44