Kazuma Sakoda*, Wataru Yamori*, Michael Groszmann and John R. Evans


The dynamics of leaf photosynthesis in fluctuating light affects carbon gain by plants. Mesophyll conductance (gm) limits CO2 assimilation rate (A) under the steady state, but the extent of this limitation under non-steady state conditions is unknown. In the present study, we aimed to characterize the dynamics of gm and the limitations to A imposed by gas diffusional and biochemical processes under fluctuating light. The induction responses of A, stomatal conductance (gs), g m, and the maximum rate of RuBP carboxylation (Vcmax) or electron transport (J) were investigated in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana (L.)) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.). We first characterized gm induction after a change from darkness to light. Each limitation to A imposed by g m, gs and Vcmax, or J was significant during induction, indicating that gas diffusional and biochemical processes limit photosynthesis. Initially, gs imposed the greatest limitation to A, showing the slowest response under high light after long and short periods of darkness, assuming RuBP-carboxylation limitation. However, if RuBP-regeneration limitation was assumed, then J imposed the greatest limitation. gm did not vary much following short interruptions to light. The limitation to A imposed by gm was the smallest of all the limitations for most of the induction phase. This suggests that altering induction kinetics of mesophyll conductance would have little impact on A following a change in light. To enhance the carbon gain by plants under naturally dynamic light environments, attention should therefore be focused on faster stomatal opening or activation of electron transport.

Paper Information

: Plant Physiology
: 10.1093/plphys/kiaa011