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Keywords:

  • ectomycorrhiza;
  • elevated CO2;
  • sucrose synthesis;
  • carbohydrate metabolism;
  • sink–source relations

The effects of mycorrhiza formation in combination with elevated CO2 concentrations on carbon metabolism of Norway spruce (Picea abies) seedlings and aspen (Populus tremula×Populus tremuloides) plantlets were analysed. Plants were inoculated for 6 wk with the ectomycorrhizal fungi Amanita muscaria and Paxillus involutus (aspen only) in an axenic Petri-dish culture at 350 and 700 μl l−1 CO2 partial pressure. After mycorrhiza formation, a stimulation of net assimilation rate was accompanied by decreased activities of sucrose synthase, an increased activation state of sucrose-phosphate synthase, decreased fructose-2,6-bisphosphate and starch, and slightly elevated glucose-6-phosphate contents in source leaves of both host species, independent of CO2 concentration. Exposure to elevated CO2 generally resulted in higher net assimilation rates, increased starch as well as decreased fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (aspen only) content in source leaves of both mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal plants. Our data indicate only slightly improved carbon utilization by mycorrhizal plants at elevated CO2. They demonstrate however, that both factors which modulate the sink-source properties of plants increase the capacity for sucrose synthesis in source leaves mainly by allosteric enzyme regulation.