TITLE

Bundle-sheath leakiness in C4 photosynthesis: a careful balancing act between CO2 concentration and assimilation

AUTHOR(S)
Kromdijk, Johannes; Ubierna, Nerea; Cousins, Asaph B.; Griffiths, Howard
PUB. DATE
July 2014
SOURCE
Journal of Experimental Botany;Jul2014, Vol. 65 Issue 13, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
C4 bundle sheath leakiness is important in determining the balance between C4 and Calvin–Benson–Bassham cycles. Regulation and adaptation of leakiness allow for greater phenotypic plasticity than previously thought.Crop species with the C4 photosynthetic pathway are generally characterized by high productivity, especially in environmental conditions favouring photorespiration. In comparison with the ancestral C3 pathway, the biochemical and anatomical modifications of the C4 pathway allow spatial separation of primary carbon acquisition in mesophyll cells and subsequent assimilation in bundle-sheath cells. The CO2-concentrating C4 cycle has to operate in close coordination with CO2 reduction via the Calvin–Benson–Bassham (CBB) cycle in order to keep the C4 pathway energetically efficient. The gradient in CO2 concentration between bundle-sheath and mesophyll cells facilitates diffusive leakage of CO2. This rate of bundle-sheath CO2 leakage relative to the rate of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylation (termed leakiness) has been used to probe the balance between C4 carbon acquisition and subsequent reduction as a result of environmental perturbations. When doing so, the correct choice of equations to derive leakiness from stable carbon isotope discrimination (Δ13C) during gas exchange is critical to avoid biased results. Leakiness responses to photon flux density, either short-term (during measurements) or long-term (during growth and development), can have important implications for C4 performance in understorey light conditions. However, recent reports show leakiness to be subject to considerable acclimation. Additionally, the recent discovery of two decarboxylating C4 cycles operating in parallel in Zea mays suggests that flexibility in the transported C4 acid and associated decarboxylase could also aid in maintaining C4/CBB balance in a changing environment. In this paper, we review improvements in methodology to estimate leakiness, synthesize reports on bundle-sheath leakiness, discuss different interpretations, and highlight areas where future research is necessary.
ACCESSION #
97040062

 

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