Main content area

Plants at high altitude exhibit higher component of alternative respiration

Kumar, N., Vyas, D., Kumar, S.
Journal of plant physiology 2007 v.164 no.1 pp. 31-38
Hordeum vulgare, barley, Triticum aestivum, wheat, Rumex, Trifolium repens, cell respiration, cytochromes, photosynthesis, photosystem II, altitude, plant biochemistry
Total respiration, capacities of cytochrome (CytR) and alternative respiration (AR) were studied in two varieties of barley (Horedum vulgare) and wheat (Triticum aestivum) each and one variety of pea (Pisum sativum) at low (Palampur; 1300 m) and high altitudes (Kibber; 4200 m). Similar studies were carried out in naturally growing Rumex nepalensis and Trifoilum repenses at Palampur, Palchan (2250 m) and Marhi (3250 m). All the plants species exhibited lower CytR but significantly higher AR capacity at high altitude (HA) (72-1117% higher) as compared to those at low altitude (LA). Glycolytic product, pyruvate and tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediate, citrate increased with increase in altitude. While the role of these metabolites in relation to HA biology is discussed, significantly higher AR at HA is proposed to be an adaptive mechanism against the metabolic perturbations wherein it might act to lower reactive oxygen species and also provides metabolic homeostasis to plants under the environment of HA.