Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 429519
Title Submergence-induced morphological, anatomical and biochemical responses in a terrestrial species affect gas diffusion resistance and photosynthetic performance
Author(s) Mommer, L.; Pons, T.L.; Wolters-Arts, M.; Venema, J.H.; Visser, E.J.W.
Source Plant Physiology 139 (2005)1. - ISSN 0032-0889 - p. 497 - 508.
Department(s) Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2005
Keyword(s) cuticular water permeability - chlorophyll fluorescence - electron-transport - rumex-palustris - aquatic angiosperms - transgenic tobacco - net photosynthesis - light acclimation - amphibious plants - mehler reaction
Abstract Gas exchange between the plant and the environment is severely hampered when plants are submerged, leading to oxygen and energy deficits. A straightforward way to reduce these shortages of oxygen and carbohydrates would be continued photosynthesis under water, but this possibility has received only little attention. Here, we combine several techniques to investigate the consequences of anatomical and biochemical responses of the terrestrial species Rumex palustris to submergence for different aspects of photosynthesis under water. The orientation of the chloroplasts in submergence-acclimated leaves was toward the epidermis instead of the intercellular spaces, indicating that underwater CO2 diffuses through the cuticle and epidermis. Interestingly, both the cuticle thickness and the epidermal cell wall thickness were significantly reduced upon submergence, suggesting a considerable decrease in diffusion resistance. This decrease in diffusion resistance greatly facilitated underwater photosynthesis, as indicated by higher underwater photosynthesis rates in submergence-acclimated leaves at all CO2 concentrations investigated. The increased availability of internal CO2 in these “aquatic” leaves reduced photorespiration, and furthermore reduced excitation pressure of the electron transport system and, thus, the risk of photodamage. Acclimation to submergence also altered photosynthesis biochemistry as reduced Rubisco contents were observed in aquatic leaves, indicating a lower carboxylation capacity. Electron transport capacity was also reduced in these leaves but not as strongly as the reduction in Rubisco, indicating a substantial increase of the ratio between electron transport and carboxylation capacity upon submergence. This novel finding suggests that this ratio may be less conservative than previously thought.
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