Arabidopsis transcript and metabolite profiles: Ecotype-specific responses to open-air elevated [CO2]

Pinghua Li, Elizabeth A. Ainsworth, Andrew D.B. Leakey, Alexander Ulanov, Vera Lozovaya, Donald R. Ort, Hans J. Bohnert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A Free-Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiment compared the physiological parameters, transcript and metabolite profiles of Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia-0 (Col-0) and Cape Verde Island (Cvi-0) at ambient (∼0.375 mg g-1) and elevated (∼0.550 mg g-1) CO2 ([CO2]). Photoassimilate pool sizes were enhanced in high [CO 2] in an ecotype-specific manner. Short-term growth at elevated [CO2] stimulated carbon gain irrespective of down-regulation of plastid functions and altered expression of genes involved in nitrogen metabolism resembling patterns observed under N-deficiency. The study confirmed well-known characteristics, but the use of a time course, ecotypic genetic differences, metabolite analysis and the focus on clusters of functional categories provided new aspects about responses to elevated [CO2]. Longer-term Cvi-0 responded by down-regulating functions favouring carbon accumulation, and both ecotypes showed altered expression of genes for defence, redox control, transport, signalling, transcription and chromatin remodelling. Overall, carbon fixation with a smaller commitment of resources in elevated [CO2] appeared beneficial, with the extra C only partially utilized possibly due to disturbance of the C: N ratio. To different degrees, both ecotypes perceived elevated [CO2] as a metabolic perturbation that necessitated increased functions consuming or storing photoassimilate, with Cvi-0 emerging as more capable of acclimating. Elevated [CO2] in Arabidopsis favoured adjustments in reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis and signalling that defined genotypic markers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1687
Number of pages15
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Arabidopsis ecotypes
  • Elevated CO
  • FACE
  • Metabolite profiling
  • Transcript profiling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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