Reduced nitrogen allocation to expanding leaf blades suppresses ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase synthesis and leads to photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2 in rice


Net photosynthetic rate (P N) measured at elevated CO2 concentration (C e), ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), and nitrogen (N) content in rice leaves decreased significantly after exposure to long term C e. The reduction in P N, Rubisco, and leaf N at C e was similar for the last fully expanded leaf blade (LFELB) and expanding leaf blade (ELB). Spatial leaf N content in the ELB was highest in the zone of cell division, sharply declined as cell expansion progressed and gradually increased with cell maturation. Maximum reduction in spatial leaf N and Rubisco content was found at C e only within cell expansion and maturation zones. The spatial leaf N content correlated well with the amount of Rubisco synthesized during leaf expansion, suggesting that N deposition into the expanding leaf blade may be the key for Rubisco synthesis and possibly photosynthetic acclimation to C e.

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C a :

ambient CO2 concentration

C e :

elevated CO2 concentration


days after planting


dry mass


expanding leaf blade


fresh mass


leaf blade elongation rates


last fully expanded leaf blade



P N :

net photosynthetic rate


photosynthetic photon flux density


ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


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This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

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Correspondence to S. Seneweera.

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Seneweera, S. Reduced nitrogen allocation to expanding leaf blades suppresses ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase synthesis and leads to photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2 in rice. Photosynthetica 49, 145–148 (2011).

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Additional key words

  • elevated CO2
  • photosynthesis
  • ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase
  • rice
  • spatial nitrogen deposition