Interactions Between Photosynthesis and Respiration in Higher Plants

  • D. Graham
  • E. A. Chapman
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 6)


Interaction between photosynthesis and respiration is an enigma. Ever since photosynthetic gas exchange was first measured the question has been posed whether dark respiration continues in the light, and, if so, at what rate (Rabinowitch, 1945; Heath, 1969). The question has some importance for estimation of the growth of plants and of photosynthesis since apparent photosynthetic CO2 fixation (including both photosynthetic CO2 and light-enhanced dark CO2 fixation (see Chap. II.5, this vol.) must be corrected for loss of CO2 by respiratory activity. It is now known that such respiratory activity comprises at least two components, photorespiration which is a light-dependent process, and dark respiration which may continue during illumination. Photorespiration (see Chap. 5.II. 25–28, this vol.) is a light-induced evolution of CO2, and concomitant O2 uptake, involving oxidation of C2-substrates via a complex series of reactions in the chloroplast, peroxisome, and mitochondrion. Dark respiration, on the other hand, involves oxidation of sugars via glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and the oxidative pentose phosphate (OPP) pathway. The main subject of this chapter is the interaction between photosynthesis and dark respiration during illumination, although the interactions between dark respiration and photorespiration cannot be ignored.


Mung Bean Dark Respiration Shikimic Acid Respiratory Metabolism Oxidative Pentose Phosphate Pathway 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin·Heidelberg 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Graham
  • E. A. Chapman

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