, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 291-298

Inhibition by light of CO2 evolution from dark respiration: Comparison of two gas exchange methods

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Abstract

Two approaches to determine the fraction (μ) of mitochondrial respiration sustained during illumination by measuring CO2 gas exchange are compared. In single leaves, the respiration rate in the light (`day respiration' rate Rd) is determined as the ordinate of the intersection point of A–ci curves at various photon flux densities and compared with the CO2 evolution rate in darkness (`night respiration' rate Rn). Alternatively, using leaves with varying values of CO2 compensation concentration (Γ), intracellular resistance (ri) and Rn, an average number for μ can be derived from the linear regression between Γ and the product riċRn. Both methods also result in a number c* for that intercellular CO2 concentration at which net CO2 uptake rate is equal to –Rd. c* is an approximate value of the photocompensation point Γ* (Γ in the absence of mitochondrial respiration), which is related to the CO2/O2 specificity factor of Rubisco Sc/o. The presuppositions and limitations for application of both approaches are discussed. In leaves of Nicotiana tabacum, at 22 °C, single leaf measurements resulted in mean values of μ = 0.71 and c* = 34 μmol mol−1. At the photosynthetically active photon flux density of 960 μmol quanta m−2 s−1, nearly the same numbers were derived from the linear relationship between Γ and riċRn. c* and Rd determined by single leaf measurements varied between 31 and 41 μmol mol−1 and between 0.37 and 1.22 μmol m−2 s−1, respectively. A highly significant negative correlation between c* and Rd was found. From the regression equation we obtained estimates for Γ* (39 μmol mol−1), Sc/o (96.5 mol mol−1) and the mesophyll CO2 transfer resistance (7.0 mol−1 m2 s).

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