, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 509–516 | Cite as

Effects of addition of external nitric oxide on the allocation of photosynthetic electron flux in Rumex K-1 leaves under osmotic shock

  • H. D. Li
  • W. B. Wang
  • P. M. Li
  • K. Xu
  • H. Y. GaoEmail author
  • J. Xiao
Original Papers


Photosynthetic electron flux allocation, stomatal conductance, and the activities of key enzymes involved in photosynthesis were investigated in Rumex K-1 leaves to better understand the role of nitric oxide (NO) in photoprotection under osmotic stress caused by polyethylene glycol. Gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence were measured simultaneously with a portable photosynthesis system integrated with a pulse modulated fluorometer to calculate allocation of photosynthetic electron fluxes. Osmotic stress decreased stomatal conductance, photosynthetic carbon assimilation, and nitrate assimilation, increased Mehler reaction, and resulted in photoinhibition. Addition of external NO enhanced the stomatal conductance, photosynthetic rate, activities of glutamine synthetase and nitrate reductase, and reduced Mehler reaction and photoinhibition. These results demonstrated that osmotic stress reduced CO2 assimilation, decreasing the use of excited energy via CO2 assimilation which caused significant photoinhibition. Improving stomatal conductance by the addition of external NO enhanced the use of excited energy via CO2 assimilation. As a result, less excited energy was allocated to Mehler reaction, which reduced production of reactive oxygen species via this pathway. We suppose that Mehler reaction is not promoted unless photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism are prominently inhibited.

Additional key words

osmotic stress photoenergy allocation 



ascorbate peroxidase


atmospheric CO2 concentration


intercellular CO2 concentration


maximal fluorescence yield of the dark-adapted state


maximal fluorescence in the light-adapted state


minimal fluorescence of the dark-adapted state


minimal fluorescence of the light-adapted state


steady-state fluorescence


maximal quantum yield of PSII photochemistry


stomatal conductance


glutamine synthetase



\(Ja_{O_{2 - dep} } \)

electron flux used for Mehler reaction

\(Ja_{O_{2 - indep} } \)

O2-independent alternative electron flux


electron flux used in photorespiratory carbon oxidation


electron flux used in photosynthetic carbon reduction


total electron flux in PSII


nitric oxide


nitrate reductase


polyethylene glycol


net photosynthetic rate


photosynthetic photon flux density


photosystem II


photochemical quenching coefficient


measure of closed PSII reaction centers


reactive oxygen species


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


relative water content


superoxide dismutase


rate of Rubisco carboxylation


rate of Rubisco oxidation


effective quantum yield of PSII photochemistry


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. D. Li
    • 1
    • 3
  • W. B. Wang
    • 1
  • P. M. Li
    • 2
  • K. Xu
    • 3
  • H. Y. Gao
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Xiao
    • 4
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop BiologyShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’an, ShandongP.R. China
  2. 2.College of HorticultureNorthwest A&F UniversityYangling, ShanxiPR China
  3. 3.College of Horticulture Science and EngineeringShandong Agricultural UniversityTai’an, ShandongP.R. China
  4. 4.Agrotechnical StationAgricultural Bureau of Daiyue DistrictTai’an, ShandongP.R. China

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