Carbon isotope discrimination during C-4 photosynthesis: Insights from transgenic plants

S vonCaemmerer, M Ludwig, A Millgate, GD Farquhar, GD Price, M Badger, RT Furbank

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We have measured the discrimination against C-13 during CO2 assimilation in Flaveria bidentis wild type plants and in transgenic Flaveria bidentis plants transformed (1) with an antisense RNA construct targeted to the nuclear encoded gene for the small subunit of Rubisco-these plants had reduced amounts of Rubisco, decreased CO2 assimilation rates and increased carbon isotope discrimination, which was also evident in the carbon isotope discrimination of leaf dry matter; and (2) transformed with the mature coding region of carbonic anhydrase, CA, from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) in the sense direction under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter-these plants had slightly increased CA activity in the mesophyll as well as a 2-4-fold increase in CA activity in the bundle-sheath cells,The introduction of tobacco CA manifested itself by a reduction in CO2 assimilation rate and an increase in carbon isotope discrimination. We suggest that the increased carbon isotope discrimination is a result of increased bicarbonate leakage out of the bundle sheath.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal Plant Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes
EventRobertson Symposium on C(4) Photosynthesis - CANBERRA, Australia
Duration: 27 Sep 199629 Sep 1996

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