, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 420–430 | Cite as

Photosynthesis and fluorescence responses of C4 plant Andropogon gerardii acclimated to temperature and carbon dioxide

  • V. G. Kakani
  • G. K. Surabhi
  • K. R. ReddyEmail author
Original Papers


Increase in both atmospheric CO2 concentration [CO2] and associated warming are likely to alter Earths’ carbon balance and photosynthetic carbon fixation of dominant plant species in a given biome. An experiment was conducted in sunlit, controlled environment chambers to determine effects of atmospheric [CO2] and temperature on net photosynthetic rate (P N) and fluorescence (F) in response to internal CO2 concentration (C i) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) of the C4 species, big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman). Ten treatments were comprised of two [CO2] of 360 (ambient, AC) and 720 (elevated, EC) µmol mol−1 and five day/night temperature of 20/12, 25/17, 30/22, 35/27 and 40/32 °C. Treatments were imposed from 15 d after sowing (DAS) through 130 DAS. Both F-P N/C i and F-P N/PAR response curves were measured on top most fully expanded leaves between 55 and 75 DAS. Plants grown in EC exhibited significantly higher CO2-saturated net photosynthesis (P sat), phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) efficiency, and electron transport rate (ETR). At a given [CO2], increase in temperature increased P sat, PEPC efficiency, and ETR. Plants grown at EC did not differ for dark respiration rate (R D), but had significantly higher maximum photosynthesis (P max) than plants grown in AC. Increase in temperature increased Pmax, R D, and ETR, irrespective of the [CO2]. The ability of PEPC, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, and photosystem components, derived from response curves to tolerate higher temperatures (>35 °C), particularly under EC, indicates the ability of C4 species to sustain photosynthetic capacity in future climates.

Additional key words

chlorophyll fluorescence electron transport chain net photosynthetic rate phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase photosynthetically active radiation photosystem respiration rate 



ambient [CO2]


internal [CO2]


CO2 concentration


days after sowing


elevated [CO2]


electron transport rate

ETRsat and ETRmax

maximal electron transport rate when ETR saturates to C i and PAR, respectively




steady state Chl fluorescence detected in “actinic light”


the maximal Chl fluorescence detected in “actinic light”


leaf chamber fluorometer


maximum photosynthesis at PAR where P N saturates


net photosynthetic rate


maximum photosynthesis at [CO2] where P N saturates


photosynthetically active radiation


phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase


dark respiration rate


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


leaf temperature


quantum yield of CO2 assimilation


maximum quantum efficiency of photosystem 2 photochemistry


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant and Soil SciencesMississippi State University, Mississippi StateMississippiUSA

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