Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 123, Issue 3, pp 371–379 | Cite as

Effect of nitrogen nutrition on the carbohydrate repression of photosynthesis in leaves of Phaseolus vulgaris L.

  • Takao ArayaEmail author
  • Ko Noguchi
  • Ichiro Terashima
Regular Paper


When carbohydrates accumulate in leaves, photosynthesis is repressed. Limited nitrogen nutrition is thought to enhance this repressing effect. However, the interaction between carbohydrate and nitrogen limitation in leaf photosynthesis has not been examined intensively. In this study, we grew Phaseolus vulgaris L. plants at three different nitrogen levels, and examined the effects of sucrose feeding to the roots on the nitrogen content, carbohydrate content and photosynthetic properties of the primary leaves. Nitrogen content and photosynthetic rate were lower and the carbohydrate content was greater in plants grown with limited nitrogen than in well-fertilized plants. Sucrose feeding to the plants increased carbohydrate content and decreased photosynthetic rate and nitrogen content. The increase in carbohydrate content and the decreases in nitrogen content and photosynthetic rate occurred at the same time, and the negative relationship between the carbohydrate content and photosynthetic rate did not differ among nitrogen nutrition levels. These results show that carbohydrate accumulation in the leaves leads to a decrease in photosynthetic rate. At low nitrogen nutrition levels, carbohydrates accumulated markedly, which accelerated this effect. It appears that the nitrogen nutrition level influences leaf photosynthesis through changing the carbohydrate level rather than through modifying sensitivity of the leaf to the carbohydrate level.


ACi curve Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Carbohydrate Carbohydrate repression of photosynthesis Nitrogen Photosynthesis 



Photosynthetic rate at PPFD of 1,000 μmol m−2 s−1 and CO2 concentration of 360 μL L−1


Photosynthetic rate at PPFD of 1,000 μmol m−2 s−1 and CO2 concentration of 1,500 μL L−1


CO2 concentration in the intercellular space


Photosynthetic photon flux density


Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase




Total nonstructural carbohydrates



This work was supported by the Sasagawa Scientific Research Grant from The Japan Science Society (No. 18-220) and by the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (No. 40211388). We thank Dr. D. Tholen, Ms. C. Boom and Dr. K. Ono for their helpful and invaluable advice.

Supplementary material

10265_2009_279_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (12 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 (PDF 12 kb)
10265_2009_279_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (12 kb)
Supplementary Table S2 (PDF 12 kb)
10265_2009_279_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (12 kb)
Supplementary Table S3 (PDF 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of ScienceOsaka UniversityToyonakaJapan
  3. 3.Metabolic Function Research Group, Plant Nutrition and Basal Metabolism Research TeamRiken PSCYokohamaJapan

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