Components of apoplastic ascorbate use in Betula pendula leaves exposed to CO2 and O3 enrichment


Author for correspondence:Heino Moldau Tel: +372 7743444 Fax: +372 7366021 Email:


  • • Here, the aim was to estimate loads imposed on the apoplastic ascorbate (ASC) pool by enzymatic and nonenzymatic reactions in Betula pendula exposed to doubled CO2 and O3 concentrations in open-top chambers.
  • • Leaf apoplastic extracts were analysed for peroxidase and oxidase activities in vitro, using different substrates. Partial loads in vivo were deduced using measured kinetic constants and substituted-enzyme catalysis approaches. Ascorbate use in O3 scavenging was calculated using measured stomatal conductances and ASC concentrations.
  • • Under elevated O3, stomatal conductance and O3 uptake were higher. O3 fluxes to the plasmalemma were levelled off by higher apoplastic ASC concentrations. The effect of CO2 enrichment on ASC concentrations under elevated O3 was minor. Under ambient O3, the ascending hierarchy of ASC users was: peroxidases, O3 scavenging, oxidases, coniferyl alcohol re-reduction. Under elevated O3, ASC use in O3 scavenging was higher than by oxidases. The redox state of ASC was not depressed by O3; there was no leaf injury.
  • • The cell wall/plasmalemma/cytosol system in birch had sufficient capacity to maintain ASC redox status in the apoplast, without necessity to restrict O3 uptake by stomatal closure.