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Oxygen-dependent electron transport and protection from photoinhibition in leaves of tropical tree species


, : Oxygen-dependent electron transport and protection from photoinhibition in leaves of tropical tree species. Planta 98(4): 580-587

The roles of photorespiration and the Mehler-peroxidase pathway in sustaining electron transport and protection from photoinhibition were studied in outer canopy leaves of two species of tropical trees: the drought-deciduous Pseudobombax septenatum (Jacq.) Dug. and the evergreen Ficus insipida Willd. Ficus had a higher photosynthetic capacity than Pseudobombax and also a greater capacity for light-dependent electron transport under photorespiratory conditions (in the absence of CO2). As a consequence, in the absence of CO2, Ficus was able to maintain a largely oxidized electron-transport chain at higher photon flux densities than Pseudobombax. Under the same light conditions, photoinhibition (reduction in Fv/Fm) was always greater in Pseudobombax than Ficus, was increased when leaves were exposed to 2% O2 in nitrogen compared to 21% O2 in CO2-free air, but was not increased by the absence of CO2. Rates of electron transport due to the Mehler-peroxidase pathway (assessed in 2% O2 in nitrogen) ranged between 16-40 micromoles. m-2.s-1 in both species. As the dry season approached and Pseudobombax neared leaf senescence there was a decline in the capacity for photorespiratory flux to maintain electron transport in Pseudobombax, but not in Ficus. Ratios of light-dependent electron transport to net CO2 fixation for Pseudobombax, Ficus and two other species in the field, Luehea seemannii Tr. & Planch. and Didymopanax morototoni (Aubl.) Dec. & Planch., ranged from 6.2 (Ficus) to 16.7 (Pseudobombax). High in-situ rates of photorespiration combined with the decreased capacity of Pseudobombax for photorespiratory flux as the dry season approached indicates a decreased capacity to protect against photooxidative damage. This may contribute to the promotion of leaf senescence in Pseudobombax during the transition from wet to dry season.

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Accession: 002914208

DOI: 10.1007/bf00262645

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