, Volume 216, Issue 1-2, pp 35-45

The effects of nitrogen fertilisation and elevated CO2 on the lipid biosynthesis and carbon isotopic discrimination in birch seedlings (Betula pendula)

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Abstract

The effects of nitrogen (N) fertilisation and elevated [CO2] on lipid biosynthesis and carbon isotope discrimination in birch (Betula pendula Roth.) transplants were evaluated using seedlings grown with and without N fertiliser, and under two concentrations of atmospheric CO2 (ambient and ambient+250 μmol mol-1) in solar dome systems. N fertilisation decreased n-fatty acid chain length (18:0/16:0) and the ratios of α-linolenate (18:2)/linoleate (18:1), whereas elevated [CO2] showed little effect on n-fatty acid chain length, but decreased the unsaturation (18:2+18:1)/18:0. Both N fertilisation and elevated [CO2] increased the quantity of leaf wax n-alkanes, whilst reducing that of n-alkanols by 20–50%, but had no simple response in fatty acid concentrations. 13C enrichment by 1–2.5‰ under N fertilisation was observed, and can be attributed to both reduced leaf conductance and increased photosynthetic consumption of CO2. Individual n-alkyl lipids of different chain length show consistent pattern of δ13C values within each homologue, but are in general 5–8‰ more depleted in 13C than the bulk tissues. Niether nitrogen fertilisation and elevated CO2 influenced the relationship between carbon isotope discrimination of the bulk tissue and the individual lipids.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.