, Volume 145, Issue 3, pp 219–223 | Cite as

Effect of carbon dioxide and temperature on photosynthetic CO2 uptake and photorespiratory CO2 evolution in sunflower leaves

  • H. Fock
  • K. Klug
  • D. T. Canvin


Using an open gas-exchange system, apparent photosynthesis, true photosynthesis (TPS), photorespiration (PR) and dark respiration of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) leaves were determined at three temperatures and between 50 and 400 μl/l external CO2. The ratio of PR/TPS and the solubility ratio of O2/CO2 in the intercellular spaces both decreased with increasing CO2. The rate of PR was not affected by the CO2 concentration in the leaves and was independent of the solubility ratio of oxygen and CO2 in the leaf cell. At photosynthesis-limiting concentrations of CO2, the ratio of PR/TPS significantly increased from 18 to 30°C and the rate of PR increased from 4.3 mg CO2 dm-2 h-1 at 18°C to 8.6 mg CO2 dm-2 h-1 at 30°C. The specific activity of photorespired CO2 was CO2-dependent but temperature-independent, and the carbon traversing the glycolate pathway appeared to be derived both from recently fixed assimilate and from older reserve materials. It is concluded that PR as a percentage of TPS is affected by the concentrations of O2 and CO2 around the photosynthesizing cells, but the rate of PR may also be controlled by other factors.

Key words

C3-plants CO2 and photorespiration Helianthus Photorespiration Photosynthesis Temperature and photorespiration 



apparent photosynthesis (net CO2 uptake)


photorespiration (CO2 evolution in light)




true photosynthesis (true CO2 uptake)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Fock
    • 1
  • K. Klug
    • 1
  • D. T. Canvin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of KaiserslauternKaiserslauternFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Department of BiologyQueen's UniversityKingstonCanada

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