Photoperiodism and enzyme rhythms: Kinetic characteristics of the photoperiodic induction of Crassulacean acid metabolism
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- Brulfert, J., Guerrier, D. & Queiroz, O. Planta (1975) 125: 33. doi:10.1007/BF00388871
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The effect of photoperiod on Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Kalanchoe blossfeldiana Poellniz, cv. Tom Thumb, has characteristics similar to its effect on flowering in this plant (although these two phenomena are not causally related). The photoperiodic control of CAM is based on (a) dependance on phytochrome, (b) an endogenous circadian rhythm of sensitivity to photoperiodic signals, (c) a balance between specific positive (increase in enzyme capacity) and negative (inhibitory substances) effects of the photoperiod. Variations in malate content, capacity of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxylase, and capacity of CAM inhibitors in young leaves were measured under photoperiodic conditions noninductive for CAM and after transfer into photoperiodic conditions inductive for CAM. Essential characteristics of the photoperiodic induction of CAM are: 1) lag time for malate accumulation; 2) after-effect of the inductive photoperiod on the malate accumulation, on the increase in PEP carboxylase capacity, and on the decrease in the level of long-day produced inhibitors; final levels of malate, enzyme capacity and inhibitor are proportional to the number of inductive day-night cycles; 3) cireadian rhythm in PEP carboxylase capacity with a fixed phase under noninductive photoperiods and a continuously shifting phase under inductive photoperiods, after complex advancing and delaying transients. Kinetic similarities indicate that photoperiodic control of different physiological functions, namely, CAM and flowering, may be achieved through similar mechanisms. Preliminary results with species of Bryophyllum and Sedum support this hypothesis. Phase relationships suggest different degrees of coupling between endogenous enzymic rhythm and photoperiod, depending on whether the plants are under long days or short days.