Internal recycling of respiratory CO2 in pods of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.): the role of pod wall, seed coat, and embryo

R.T. Furbank, R. White, J.A. Palta, Neil Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    It has previously been proposed that respiratory CO2 released from the embryo in grain legume pods is refixed by a layer of cells on the inner pod wall. In chickpea this refixation process is thought to be of significance to the seed carbon budget, particularly under drought. In this study it is reported that the excised embryo, seed coat, and pod wall in chickpea are all photosynthetically competent, but the pod wall alone is capable of net O-2 evolution over and above respiration. The predominant role of the pod wall in refixation is supported by measurements of fixation of isotopically labelled CO2, which show that more than 80% Of CO2 is fixed by this tissue when provided to the pod interior. Chlorophyll concentrations are of the same order for embryo, seed coat, and pod wall tissues in younger pods on both an area and a fresh weight basis, but decline differentially with development from 12-30 d after podding. Imaging of chlorophyll distribution in the pod wall suggests that less than 15% of chloroplasts are located in the inner layer of cells thought to refix CO2 in legumes; this would be sufficient to refix less than 40% of respired CO2. It is concluded that while all tissues of the pod are capable of refixing respiratory carbon, the entire pod wall is responsible for the majority of this process, rather than a specialized layer of cells on the inner epidermis. The role of this fixed carbon in the pod for reallocation to the seed is discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1687-1696
    JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
    Volume55
    Issue number403
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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