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The 4 carbon pathway of carbon fixation in spinacia oleracea part 1 carbon 14 labeling patterns of suspended leaf slices as influenced by the external medium



The 4 carbon pathway of carbon fixation in spinacia oleracea part 1 carbon 14 labeling patterns of suspended leaf slices as influenced by the external medium



Zeitschrift fuer Pflanzenphysiologie 83(4): 347-362



Spinach leaf slices readily fix 14C supplied from a suspension medium. The pattern of label distribution after 14C-fixation in the light depends on the pH of the suspension medium. In the range of pH 3.5, leaf slices show labeling patterns of the C3 type as do intact leaves or leaf slices incubated with 14CO2 in a gas cuvette. When the tissue slices were suspended at pH 7.5 substantially more label appears in malate and other compounds of the C4-pathway. Under these conditions the malate content of the tissue increases. The addition of NaHCO3 at pH 3.5 increases the rate of C-fixation and nearly the whole fixed carbon is metabolized in the Calvin-cycle. The C-fixation is also increased if NaHCO3 is added at pH 7.5. Both the C3- and the C4-pathway contribute to an enhancement of this C-fixation. It is assumed that increasing amounts of bicarbonate (substrate of PEP [phosphoenolpyruvate] carboxylase) become available to the cells when the pH of the external medium is raised. This could increase the operation of the C4-pathway of C-fixation. In contrast to low pH, the C-fixation at high pH results in a dominant labeling of the C4-atoms of malate. If results obtained with suspended leaf slices are allowed to be applied to the photosynthetic C-fixation occurring in the intact plants, care must be used. Considering that the C4-pathway can easily be influenced in suspended leaf slices, this system promises to provide a useful tool in studying the C4-pathway as operating in C3-plants.

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