Phenotypic plasticity in photosynthetic temperature acclimation among crop species with different cold tolerances

Wataru Yamori, Ko Noguchi, Kouki Hikosaka, Ichiro Terashima

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142 Citations (Scopus)


While interspecific variation in the temperature response of photosynthesis is well documented, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain unknown. Moreover, mechanisms related to species-dependent differences in photosynthetic temperature acclimation are unclear. We compared photosynthetic temperature acclimation in 11 crop species differing in their cold tolerance, which were grown at 15°C or 30°C. Cold-tolerant species exhibited a large decrease in optimum temperature for the photosynthetic rate at 360 μL L-1 CO2 concentration [Opt (A360)] when growth temperature decreased from 30°C to 15°C, whereas cold-sensitive species were less plastic in Opt (A360). Analysis using the C3 photosynthesis model shows that the limiting step of A360 at the optimum temperature differed between cold-tolerant and cold-sensitive species; ribulose 1,5- bisphosphate carboxylation rate was limiting in cold-tolerant species, while ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration rate was limiting in cold-sensitive species. Alterations in parameters related to photosynthetic temperature acclimation, including the limiting step of A360, leaf nitrogen, and Rubisco contents, were more plastic to growth temperature in cold-tolerant species than in cold-sensitive species. These plastic alterations contributed to the noted growth temperature-dependent changes in Opt (A360) in cold-tolerant species. Consequently, cold-tolerant species were able to maintain high A360 at 15°C or 30°C, whereas cold-sensitive species were not. We conclude that differences in the plasticity of photosynthetic parameters with respect to growth temperature were responsible for the noted interspecific differences in photosynthetic temperature acclimation between cold-tolerant and cold-sensitive species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)388-399
Number of pages12
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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