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Regulation of leaf photosynthetic rate correlating with leaf carbohydrate status and activation state of Rubisco under a variety of photosynthetic source/sink balances

Authors

  • Minobu Kasai

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Biofunctional Science, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki 036-8561, Japan
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e-mail: minobu@cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp

Abstract

There is evidence suggesting that in plants changes in the photosynthetic source/sink balance are an important factor that regulates leaf photosynthetic rate through affects on the leaf carbohydrate status. However, to resolve the regulatory mechanism of leaf photosynthetic rate associated with photosynthetic source/sink balance, information, particularly on mutual relationships of experimental data that are linked with a variety of photosynthetic source/sink balances, seems to be still limited. Thus, a variety of manipulations altering the plant source/sink ratio were carried out with soybean plants, and the mutual relationships of various characteristics such as leaf photosynthetic rate, carbohydrate content and the source/sink ratio were analyzed in manipulated and non-manipulated control plants. The manipulations were removal of one-half or all pods, removal of one-third or two-third leaves, and shading of one-third or one-half leaves with soybean plants grown for 8 weeks under 10 h light (24°C) and 14 h darkness (17°C). It was shown that there were significant negative correlations between source/sink ratio (dry weight ratio of attached leaves to other all organs) and leaf photosynthetic rate; source/sink ratio and activation ratio (percentage of initial activity to total activity) of Rubisco in leaf extract; leaf carbohydrate (sucrose or starch) content and photosynthetic rate; carbohydrate (sucrose or starch) content and activation ratio of Rubisco; amount of protein-bound ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) in leaf extract and leaf photosynthetic rate; and the amount of protein-bound RuBP and activation ratio of Rubisco. In addition, there were significant positive correlations between source/sink ratio and leaf carbohydrate (sucrose or starch) content; source/sink ratio and the amount of protein-bound RuBP; carbohydrate (sucrose or starch) content and amount of protein-bound RuBP and the activation ratio of Rubisco and leaf photosynthetic rate. The plant water content, leaf chlorophyll and Rubisco contents were not affected significantly by the manipulations. There is a previous report in Arabidopsis thaliana that the amount of protein-bound RuBP in leaf extract correlates negatively with the activation ratio of Rubisco in the leaf extract. Therefore, the results obtained from the manipulation experiments indicate that there is a regulatory mechanism for the leaf photosynthetic rate that correlates negatively with leaf carbohydrate (sucrose and starch) status and positively with the activation state of Rubisco under a variety of photosynthetic source/sink balances.

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