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The relationship between the post-illumination CO2 burst and glycine metabolism in leaves of C3 and C3-C4 intermediate species of Moricandia

Rawsthorne, S., Hylton, C.M.
Planta 1991 v.186 no.1 pp. 122-126
Moricandia, Moricandia arvensis, photorespiration, carbon dioxide, serine, light intensity, glutamine, alanine, threonine, amino acid metabolism, glycine (amino acid), C3 plants, valine
The free-pool sizes of amino acids involved in photorespiratory metabolism have been determined in leaves of Moricandia species during the post-illumination CO2 burst. The kinetics of the burst and the time to attainment of steady-state rates of dark respiration were much slower in the C3-C4 intermediate species Moricandia arvensis (L.) DC than in the C3 species Moricandia moricandioides (Boiss.) Heywood. When plants were equilibrated at a high photon flux density (PFD; 1200 micromole . m . S-1 PAR) the glycine and serine pool sizes in leaves of M. arvensis were 1.9 and 1.4 micromole . mg-1 phaeophytin, respectively, values which were twice those in leaves of M. moricandioides. Amounts of glycine and serine were smaller at a lower PFD (150 micromole . m-2 . s-1) but were still twice as large in M. arvensis. Amounts of other amino acids involved in photorespiration or background cell metabolism (glutamate/glutamine, alanine, valine and threonine) were comparable in both species and did not respond to irradiance or change markedly during the dark burst. In contrast, during the first minute of the post-illumination burst the glycine pool in the leaves of both species had declined by at least 60%. It continued to decline, reaching 67% of the level in the light by the time steady-state rates of dark respiration had been established. The rate of disappearance of glycine was comparable in both species and therefore depletion to steady-state dark levels took longer in M. arvensis than in M. moricandioides (8.4 and 4.6 min, respectively). These data indicate that almost all of the glycine pool in the leaves of C3 and C3-C4 Moricandia species is a consequence of photorespiratory metabolism. The significance of a large but readily metabolised pool of glycine in the leaves of M. arvensis is discussed.