• Oryza sativa;
  • Glycine max;
  • global climate change;
  • Rubisco regulation


Rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. IR-72) and soybean (Glycine max L. Merr. cv. Bragg), which have been reported to differ in acclimation to elevated CO2, were grown for a season in sunlight at ambient and twice-ambient [CO2], and under daytime temperature regimes ranging from 28 to 40°C. The objectives of the study were to test whether CO2 enrichment could compensate for adverse effects of high growth temperatures on photosynthesis, and whether these two C3 species differed in this regard. Leaf photosynthetic assimilation rates (A) of both species, when measured at the growth [CO2], were increased by CO2 enrichment, but decreased by supraoptimal temperatures. However, CO2 enrichment more than compensated for the temperature-induced decline in A. For soybean, this CO2 enhancement of A increased in a linear manner by 32–95% with increasing growth temperatures from 28 to 40°C, whereas with rice the degree of enhancement was relatively constant at about 60%, from 32 to 38°C. Both elevated CO2 and temperature exerted coarse control on the Rubisco protein content, but the two species differed in the degree of responsiveness. CO2 enrichment and high growth temperatures reduced the Rubisco content of rice by 22 and 23%, respectively, but only by 8 and 17% for soybean. The maximum degree of Rubisco down-regulation appeared to be limited, as in rice the substantial individual effects of these two variables, when combined, were less than additive. Fine control of Rubisco activation was also influenced by both elevated [CO2] and temperature. In rice, total activity and activation were reduced, but in soybean only activation was lowered. The apparent catalytic turnover rate (Kcat) of rice Rubisco was unaffected by these variables, but in soybean elevated [CO2] and temperature increased the apparent Kcat by 8 and 22%, respectively. Post-sunset declines in Rubisco activities were accelerated by elevated [CO2] in rice, but by high temperature in soybean, suggesting that [CO2] and growth temperature influenced the metabolism of 2-carboxyarabinitol-1-phosphate, and that the effects might be species-specific. The greater capacity of soybean for CO2 enhancement of A at supraoptimal temperatures was probably not due to changes in stomatal conductance, but may be partially attributed to less down-regulation of Rubisco by elevated [CO2] in soybean than in rice. However, unidentified species differences in the temperature optimum for photosynthesis also appeared to be important. The responses of photosynthesis and Rubisco in rice and soybean suggest that among C3 plants species-specific differences will be encountered as a result of future increases in global [CO2] and air temperatures.