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Concurrent measurements of oxygen- and carbon-dioxide exchange during lightflecks inAlocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G. Don


Oxygen and CO2 exchange were measured concurrently in leaves of shade-grownAlocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G. Don during lightflecks consisting of short periods of high photon flux density (PFD) superimposed on a low-PFD background illumination. Oxygen exchange was measured with a zirconium-oxide ceramic cell in an atmosphere containing 1 600 μbar O2 and 350 μbar CO2. Following an increase in PFD from 10 to 500 μmol photons·m-2·s-1, O2 evolution immediately increased to a maximum rate that was about twice as high as the highest CO2-exchange rates that were observed. Oxygen evolution then decreased over the next 5–10 s to rates equal to the much more slowly increasing rates of CO2 uptake. When the PFD was decreased at the end of a lightfleck, O2 evolution decreased nearly instantaneously to the low-PFD rate while CO2 fixation continued at an elevated rate for about 20 s. When PFD during the lightfleck was at a level that was limiting for steady-state CO2 exchange, then the O2-evolution rate was constant during the lightfleck. This observed pattern of O2 evolution during lightflecks indicated that the maximum rate of electron transport exceeded the maximum rate of CO2 fixation in these leaves. In noninduced leaves, rates of O2 evolution for the first fraction of a second were about as high as rates in fully induced leaves, indicating that O2 evolution and the electron-transport chain are not directly affected by the leaf's induction state. Severalfold differences between induced and noninduced leaves in O2 evolution during a lightfleck were seen for lightflecks longer than a few seconds where the rate of O2 evolution appeared to be limited by the utilization of reducing power in CO2 fixation.

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photon flux density (of photosynthetically active radiation)


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Correspondence to Robert W. Pearcy.

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Kirschbaum, M.U.F., Pearcy, R.W. Concurrent measurements of oxygen- and carbon-dioxide exchange during lightflecks inAlocasia macrorrhiza (L.) G. Don. Planta 174, 527–533 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00634483

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Key words

  • Alocasia
  • Carbon dioxide uptake
  • Lightfleck
  • Oxygen evolution
  • Photosynthetic-induction