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Current methods for estimating the rate of photorespiration in leaves


  • Editor A. Weber


F. Busch, Plant Science Division, Research School of Biology, College of Medicine, Biology and the Environment, Linnaeus Building (Bldg 134), Linnaeus Way, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia.



Photorespiration is a process that competes with photosynthesis, in which Rubisco oxygenates, instead of carboxylates, its substrate ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate. The photorespiratory metabolism associated with the recovery of 3-phosphoglycerate is energetically costly and results in the release of previously fixed CO2. The ability to quantify photorespiration is gaining importance as a tool to help improve plant productivity in order to meet the increasing global food demand. In recent years, substantial progress has been made in the methods used to measure photorespiration. Current techniques are able to measure multiple aspects of photorespiration at different points along the photorespiratory C2 cycle. Six different methods used to estimate photorespiration are reviewed, and their advantages and disadvantages discussed.