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Significance of C4 Leaf Structure at the Tissue and Cellular Levels

  • Mitsutaka TaniguchiEmail author
  • Asaph B. CousinsEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 44)

Summary

The CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM) in C4 plants requires a complex coordination of both leaf anatomical and biochemical traits. While there are key traits common across the 60 plus C4 lineages, there is also significant structural and biochemical variation. Traditionally, C4 plants are described as one of three biochemical subtypes based on the primary enzyme used for C4 acid decarboxylation: NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME), NAD-malic enzyme (NAD-ME), and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK). However, there may be biochemical flexibility and overlap between these subtypes. C4 plants typically rely on Kranz-type anatomy that partitions the C4 cycle into the mesophyll (M) cells and the majority of C3 cycle into the bundle-sheath (BS) cells. However, within the succulent Chenopods some NAD-ME type C4 plants use one of two single-cell arrangements to partition and compartmentalize the C4 and C3 cycles. Here we discuss key leaf anatomical traits at the tissue, cellular, and sub-cellular level that influence the efficiency and effectiveness of C4 photosynthesis. Specifically, we discuss preconditioning of leaf traits that increase the evolvability of C4 photosynthesis, the evolutionary transition of organelles from C3 to a C4 leaf, gas and metabolite movement within the leaf, the positioning and maintenance of organelles in M and BS cells, and the movement of M chloroplasts.

Abbreviations

ABA

abscisic acid

Anet

net rate of CO2 assimilation

BS

bundle-sheath

C2

plants using a photorespiratory glycine shuttle to concentrate CO2

C3

plants without a CO2 concentrating mechanism

C4

plants using a 4-carbon CO2 concentrating mechanism

CA

carbonic anhydrase

Ca

CO2 partial in the atmosphere

CAM

crassulacean acid metabolism

CCM

CO2 concentrating mechanism

Ci

CO2 partial pressure in the intercellular air space

CO2

carbon dioxide

δ13C

the carbon isotope composition

Δ13C

carbon isotope discrimination

E

transpiration

gb

boundary layer conductance

gbs

conductance of CO2 between the BS and M cells or the corresponding cellular compartments in the single-cell C4 system

GDC

glycine decarboxylase complex

gm

internal conductance of CO2 from the inter-cellular airspace to the initial site of carboxylation

gs

stomatal conductance to either CO2 or H2O

HCO3-

bicarbonate

IVD

inter-veinal distances

Kleaf

total leaf water conductance

Kp

Michaelis-Menten constant of PEPC for HCO3-

M

mesophyll

m

mitochondrion

Myr

million years

NADP-ME

NADP-malic enzyme

NAD-ME

NAD-malic enzyme

NH4+

ammonium

p

peroxisome

PCK

phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase

PD

plasmodesmata

PEP

phosphoenolpyruvate

PEPC

phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase

ϕ

leakiness

Sbs

the BS surface area per unit leaf area

Sm

M surface area exposed to the inter-cellular air space

V

vascular bundle

Vpmax

in vitro maximum PEPC activity

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research of ABC was supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the DOE Office of Science (DE-SC0008769) and MT was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP26292011 and JP16K14835.

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Bioagricultural SciencesNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesWashington State University PullmanPullmanUSA

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