Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 409–417 | Cite as

Photosynthetic acclimation and photosynthate partitioning in soybean leaves in response to carbon dioxide enrichment

  • Richard C. Sicher
  • Diane F. Kremer
  • James A. Bunce
Regular Paper


Photosynthetic rates and photosynthate partitioning were studied in three-week-old soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Williams] plants exposed to either ambient (35 Pa) or elevated (70 Pa) CO2 in controlled environment chambers. Ambient CO2-grown plants also were given a single 24 h treatment with 70 Pa CO2 1 d prior to sampling. Photosynthetic rates of ambient CO2-grown plants initially increased 36% when the measurement CO2 was doubled from 35 to 70 Pa. Photosynthetic rates of the third trifoliolate leaf, both after 1 and 21 d of elevated CO2 treatment, were 30 to 45% below those of ambient CO2-grown plants when measured at 35 Pa CO2. These reduced photosynthetic rates were not due to increased stomatal resistance and were observed for 2 to 8 h after plants given 1 d of CO2 enrichment were returned to ambient CO2. Initial and total ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activities, percent activation, Rubisco protein, soluble protein and leaf chlorophyll content were similar in all CO2 treatments. Quantum yields of photosynthesis, determined at limiting irradiances and at 35 Pa CO2, were 0.049±0.003 and 0.038±0.005 mol CO2 fixed per mol quanta for ambient and elevated CO2-grown plants, respectively (p<0.05). Leaf starch and sucrose levels were greater in plants grown at 70 than at 35 Pa CO2. Starch accumulation rates during the day were greater in ambient CO2-grown plants than in plants exposed to elevated CO2 for either 1 or 21 d. However, the percentage of C partitioned to starch relative to total C fixed was unaffected by 1 d of CO2 enrichment. The above results showed that both photosynthetic and starch accumulation rates of soybean leaflets measured at 35 Pa CO2 were temporarily reduced after 1 and 21 d of CO2 enrichment. The biochemical mechanism affecting these responses was not identified.

Key words

sink-limited photosynthesis starch carbohydrate metabolism Glycine max Rubisco 



specific leaf weight (g m−2)


ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


5bisP, ribulose 1,5 bisphosphate


days after planting


starch accumulation rate


intercellular CO2 concentration


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard C. Sicher
    • 1
  • Diane F. Kremer
    • 1
  • James A. Bunce
    • 1
  1. 1.Agricultural Research Service, Climate Stress Laboratory, Building 046-ABeltsville Agricultural Research CenterBeltsvilleUSA

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