Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Studies on carbon flow in Crassulacean acid metabolism during the initial light period

  • 34 Accesses

  • 20 Citations


In the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants Kalanchoë tubiflora and Sedum morganianum a shift in the pathways occurs by which external CO2 enters the metabolism during the initial light period (phase II of the diurnal CAM cycle). At the beginning of phase II, CO2 is fixed mainly by the C4 pathway; during late phase II, however, it is fixed mainly via the C3 pathway. The C3 pathway contributes to the phosphoenolpyruvate-carboxylase-mediated CO2 fixation by the provision of three-carbon skeletons. Since the shift in the carbon-flow pathway is delayed after a CO2-free night when malic-acid accumulation in the vacuoles is prevented, it is very likely that the amount of malic acid in the vacuole is integrated in the mechanism which controls CAM during the initial light period. A light-on signal at the beginning of phase II is not required to bring about the shifts in the carbon-flow pathways, as is shown by the reaction of plants to a prolonged dark period. A model of carbon flow during phase II is proposed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.



Crassulacean acid metabolism


phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase


  1. Avadhani, P.N., Osmond, C.B., Tan, K.K. (1971) Crassulacean acid metabolism and the C4 pathway of photosynthesis in succulent plants. In: Photosynthesis and photorespiration, pp. 288–293, Hatch, M.D., Osmond, C.B., Slatyer, R.O., eds. Wiley-Interscience, New York

  2. Böcher, M., Kluge, M. (1977) The C4-pathway of C-fixation in Spinacea oleracea I. 14C-labelling patterns of suspended leaf slices as influenced by the external medium. Z. Pflanzenphysiol. 83, 347–361

  3. Dittrich, P. (1976) Equilibrium of label in malate during dark fixation of CO2 in Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi. Plant Physiol. 58, 288–291

  4. Kluge, M. (1968) Untersuchungen über den Gaswechsel von Bryophyllum während der Lichtperiode. II. Beziehungen zwischen dem Malatgehalt des Blattgewebes und der CO2-Aufnahme. Planta 80, 359–377

  5. Kluge, M. (1971a) Studies on CO2 fixation by succulent plants in the light. In: Photosynthesis and photorespiration, pp. 283–287, Hatch, M.D., Osmond, C.B., Slatyer, R.O., eds. Wiley-Interscience, New York

  6. Kluge, M. (1971b) Veränderliche Markierungsmuster bei 14CO2-Fütterung von Bryophyllum tubiflorum zu verschiedenen Zeitpunkten der Hell-Dunkelperiode. II. Beziehungen zwischen dem Malatgehalt des Gewebes und dem Markierungsmuster nach 14CO2-Lichtfixierung. Planta 98, 20–30

  7. Kluge, M. (1976) Models of CAM regulation. In: CO2 metabolism and plant productivity, pp. 205–216, Burris, R.H., Black, CC., eds. University Park Press, Baltimore London Tokyo

  8. Kluge, M. (1979) The flow of carbon in crassulacean acid metabolism. In: Encyclopedia of plant physiology, N.S., vol. 6: Photosynthesis II, pp. 113–125. Gibbs, M., Latzko, E., eds. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  9. Kluge, M., Böhlke, Ch., Queiroz, O. (1981) Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Kalanchoë: changes in intercellular CO2 concentration during a normal CAM cycle and during cycles in continous light or darkness. Planta 152, 87–92

  10. Kluge, M., Fischer, K. (1967) Über Zusammenhänge zwischen dem CO2-Austausch und der Abgabe von Wasserdampf durch Bryophyllum daigremontianum Berg. Planta 77, 212–223

  11. Kluge, M., Fischer, A., Buchanan-Bollig, I.C. (1982) Metabolic control of CAM. In: Crassulacean acid metabolism, pp. 31–50, Ting, I.P., Gibbs, M., eds. Am. Soc. Plant Physiol., Rockville

  12. Kluge, M., Kriebitzsch, v. Willert, D.J. (1974) Dark fixation of CO2 in Crassulacean acid metabolism: are two carboxylation steps involved? Z. Pflanzenphysiol. 72, 460–465

  13. Kluge, M., Ting, I.P. (1978) Crassulacean acid metabolism: analysis of an ecological adaptation Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York (Ecological studies, vol. 30)

  14. Lüttge, U., Kluge, M., Ball, E. (1975) Effects of osmotic gradients on vacuolar malic acid storage. A basic principle in oscillatory behaviour of CAM. Plant Physiol. 56, 613–616

  15. Meyer, C.Ph. (1979) The regulation of gas exchange in Kalanchoë daigremontiana Hamet et Perrier. Ph.D. thesis, University of Melbourne, Australia

  16. Möllering, H. (1974) C-malate. In: Methoden der enzymatischen Analyse, vol. 2, pp. 1636–2639, Bergmeyer, H.M., ed. Verlag Chemie, Weinheim

  17. Müller, D., Kluge, M., Gröschel-Stewart, U. (1982) Comparative studies on immunological and molecular properties of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in species of Sedum and Kalanchoë performing crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). Plant Cell Environ. 5, 223–230

  18. Osmond, C.B. (1978) Crassulacean acid metabolism: a curiosity in context. Annu. Rev. Plant Physiol. 29, 379–414

  19. Osmond, C.B., Allaway, W.G. (1974) Pathways of CO2 fixation in the CAM plant Kalanchoë daigremontiana, I. Patterns of 14CO2 fixation in the light. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 1, 503–511

  20. Osmond, C.B., Holtum, J.A.M. (1981) Crassulacean acid metabolism. In: Plant biochemistry, a comprehensive treatise, vol. 8, pp. 283–328, Hatch, M.D., Boardmann, N.K., eds. Academic Press, New York

  21. Smith, F.A., Raven, J.A. (1976) H+ transport and regulation of cell pH. In: Encyclopedia of plant physiology, vol. 2: Transport in plants II, pt. A, pp. 317–346, Lüttge, U., Pitman, M.G., eds. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York

  22. Sutton, B.G., Osmond, C.B. (1972) Dark fixation of CO2 by Crassulacean plants. Evidence for a single carboxylation step. Plant Physiol. 50, 360–365

  23. Winter, K. (1981) Change in properties of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase from the CAM plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum after isolation. Aust. J. Plant Physiol. 8, 115–119

  24. Winter, K. (1982) Properties of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in rapidly prepared, desalted leaf extracts of the crassulacean acid metabolism plant Mesembryanthemum crystallinum. Planta 154, 298–308

  25. Winter, K., Tenhunen, J.D. (1982) Light stimulance burst of carbon dioxide uptake following nocturnal acidification in the crassulacean acid metabolism plant Klanchoë daigremontiana. Plant Physiol. 70, 1718–1722

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to M. Kluge.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Fischer, A., Kluge, M. Studies on carbon flow in Crassulacean acid metabolism during the initial light period. Planta 160, 121–128 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00392860

Download citation

Key words

  • Carbon flow
  • Crassulacean acid metabolism
  • Kalanchoë
  • Light and CAM
  • Sedum