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Functioning of potassium and magnesium in photosynthesis, photosynthate translocation and photoprotection

Tränkner, Merle, Tavakol, Ershad, Jákli, Bálint
Physiologia plantarum 2018 v.163 no.3 pp. 414-431
carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide fixation, chloroplasts, magnesium, nutrients, phloem loading, photooxidation, photostability, photosynthesis, potassium, tissues, ultrastructure
Potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) are mineral nutrients that are required in large quantities by plants. Both elements critically contribute to the process of photosynthesis and the subsequent long‐distance transport of photoassimilates. If K or Mg is not present in sufficient quantities in photosynthetic tissues, complex interactions of anatomical, physiological and biochemical responses result in a reduction of photosynthetic carbon assimilation. As a consequence, excessive production of reactive oxygen species causes photo‐oxidation of the photosynthetic apparatus and causes an up‐regulation of photoprotective mechanisms. In this article, we review the functioning of K and Mg in processes directly or indirectly associated with photosynthesis. Focus is given to chloroplast ultrastructure, light‐dependent and ‐independent reactions of photosynthesis and the diffusion of CO₂ – a major substrate for photosynthesis – into chloroplasts. We further emphasize their contribution to phloem‐loading and long‐distance transport of photoassimilates and to the photoprotection of the photosynthetic apparatus.