Experimental data available in literature on changes in the carbon isotopic composition of biochemical fractions and metabolites isolated from plant biomass (Clusia minor) and photosynthesizing algae (Chlorella stigmatophora) under the action of environmental stress factors are reviewed and analyzed. Within the framework of previously suggested mechanism of carbon isotope fractionation in photosynthesis, all studied fractions and metabolites obtained from plants and photosynthesizing algae can be divided into two groups according to their carbon isotope composition. The first group includes the fractions and metabolite pools that contain carbon stored by cell during the carboxylase phase of Rubisco functioning. The second group consists of those formed primarily by the photorespiratory carbon flow, generated during the oxygenase phase of Rubisco functioning. The first group represents the “assimilatory” branch of photosynthesis and is enriched in 12C relative to carbon of biomass, whereas the second group represents the “photorespiratory” branch and is enriched in 13C. Under the action of environmental stress factors, such as incident light intensity, moisture availability, and salinity; the isotope composition of metabolites and fractions changes, which reflects variable contributions of the “assimilatory” and “photorespiratory” flows to the metabolite synthesis. These isotope shifts were used to study biochemical adaptation of plants to stress conditions and to elucidate the role of photorespiration in this adaptation.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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