Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 83, Issue 1, pp 63–74 | Cite as

Effects of elevated carbon dioxide on gas exchange and photochemical and nonphotochemical quenching at low temperature in tobacco plants varying in Rubisco activity

  • Jeffrey Melkonian
  • David W. Wolfe
  • Thomas G. Owens
Regukar paper


Elevated (700 μmol mol−1) and ambient (350 μmol mol−1) CO2 effects on total ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activity, photosynthesis (A), and photoinhibition during 6 d at low temperature were measured on wild type (WT), and rbcS antisense DNA mutants (T3) of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) with 60% of WT total Rubisco activity (Rodermel et al. (1988) Cell 55: 673–681). Prior to the low temperature treatment, A and quantum yield of PSII photochemistry in the light adapted state (φPSII) were significantly lower in T3 compared to WT at each CO2 level. At this time, total nonphotochemical quenching (NPQTotal) levels were near maximal (0.75–0.85) in T3 compared to WT (0.39–0.50). A was stimulated by 107% in T3 and 25% in WT at elevated compared to ambient CO2. Pre-treatment acclimation to elevated CO2 occurred in WT resulting in lower Rubisco activity per unit leaf area and reduced stimulation of A. At low temperature, A of WT was similar at elevated and ambient CO2 while stimulation of A by elevated CO2 in T3 was reduced. In addition, at low temperature we measured significantly lower photochemical quenching at elevated CO2 compared to ambient CO2 in both genotypes. NPQTotal was similar (0.80–0.85) among all treatments. However, a larger proportion of NPQTotal was composed of qI,d, the damage subcomponent of the more slowly relaxing NPQ component, qI, in both genotypes at elevated compared to ambient CO2. Greater qI,d, at elevated CO2 during and after the low temperature treatment was not related to pre-treatment differences in total Rubisco activity.


acclimation elevated carbon dioxide low temperature Nicotiana tabacum nonphotochemical quenching photoinhibition photosynthesis ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase Rubisco 


WT-350 and T3-350

ambient CO2(μ mol CO2 mol−1) treatment wild type (WT), and rbcS antisense DNA mutants (T3) of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) with 60% of WT total Rubisco activity, respectively

WT-700 and T3-700

elevated CO2(μ mol CO2 mol−1) treatment WT and T3, respectively


net rate of CO2 uptake per unit leaf area (μ mol m−2s−1)


stomatal conductance (m mol H2Om−2s−1)


intercellular CO2 concentration (μ molCO2mol−1)



Fo, Fm

minimum and maximum dark adapted fluorescence yield, respectively

Fm, Fs

maximum and steady-state light adapted fluorescence yield, respectively


quantum yield of PSII photochemistry in the dark adapted state


quantum yield of PSII photochemistry in the light adapted state


photochemical quenching of PS II excitation energy


nonphotochemical quenching of PS II excitation energy


a component of nonphotochemical quenching associated with the establishment of a transthylakoid proton gradient


a component of nonphotochemical quenching associated with photoinhibition of photosynthesis (qI,d) and processes protecting against photoinhibition (qI,p)


reactive oxygen species


ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase




triose phosphate utilization


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Melkonian
    • 1
  • David W. Wolfe
    • 2
  • Thomas G. Owens
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Crop and Soil SciencesCornell University IthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of HorticultureCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Plant BiologyCornell UniversityIthacaUSA

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