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Oxygen Consumption: Photorespiration and Chlororespiration

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Photosynthesis in Algae

Part of the book series: Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration ((AIPH,volume 14))

Summary

This chapter discusses two of the processes, namely photorespiration and chlororespiration, in algae that run counter to the oxygen-yielding reactions of photosynthesis and which involve the oxidation of carbohydrate and/or the consumption of oxygen. Photorespiration is associated with the oxygenase activity of Rubisco and the mechanisms by which cells recoup carbon and energy that would otherwise be lost from the system. The degree to which algal cells will carry out photorespiration depends on the specificity of the enzyme Rubisco for the two competing substrates O2 and CO2, whether or not the cells possess an active CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM), and a number of environmental factors such as temperature and photon flux. Photorespiration, where it occurs, is believed to fulfill, together with a CCM, a role in avoiding the inefficiencies of carbon acquisition via Rubisco and in recovering some of the carbon and energy that could potentially be lost to the cell as excreted glycolate. In some circumstances photorespiration could also act as a mechanism of energy dissipation under conditions of high light and/or low CO2 when assimilatory processes are insufficient to dissipate absorbed light energy.

Chlororespiration, in contrast to photorespiration, is only operative in the dark and at very low light, when the photosynthetic machinery is inoperative. Chlororespiration involves the oxidation of eat rbon reserves, with O2 as terminal electron acceptor using NAD(P)H delnydrogenase, plastoquinone, the cytochrome b6 fcomplex and a terminal oxidase. Electron transport is potentially coupled to active H+ transport into the lumen and ADP phosphorylation. A number of roles have been proposed for chlororespiration, including maintenance of the ATP synth- in an active state in the dark and acting as a sink for photosyntnetically-generated reducing equivalents (NAD(P)H) thereby attenuating the generation of damaging superoxide and hydroxyl radicals. These roles, and indeed the process of chlororespiration, are still hotly debated.

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Beardall, J., Quigg, A., Raven, J.A. (2003). Oxygen Consumption: Photorespiration and Chlororespiration. In: Larkum, A.W.D., Douglas, S.E., Raven, J.A. (eds) Photosynthesis in Algae. Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration, vol 14. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1038-2_8

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