Developmental stage specificity of transcriptional, biochemical and CO2 efflux responses of leaf dark respiration to growth of Arabidopsis thaliana at elevated [CO2]

R. J.Cody Markelz, Lauren N. Vosseller, Andrew D.B. Leakey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant respiration responses to elevated growth [CO2] are key uncertainties in predicting future crop and ecosystem function. In particular, the effects of elevated growth [CO2] on respiration over leaf development are poorly understood. This study tested the prediction that, due to greater whole plant photoassimilate availability and growth, elevated [CO2] induces transcriptional reprogramming and a stimulation of nighttime respiration in leaf primordia, expanding leaves and mature leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. In primordia, elevated [CO2] altered transcript abundance, but not for genes encoding respiratory proteins. In expanding leaves, elevated [CO2] induced greater glucose content and transcript abundance for some respiratory genes, but did not alter respiratory CO2 efflux. In mature leaves, elevated [CO2] led to greater glucose, sucrose and starch content, plus greater transcript abundance for many components of the respiratory pathway, and greater respiratory CO2 efflux. Therefore, growth at elevated [CO2] stimulated dark respiration only after leaves transitioned from carbon sinks into carbon sources. This coincided with greater photoassimilate production by mature leaves under elevated [CO2] and peak respiratory transcriptional responses. It remains to be determined if biochemical and transcriptional responses to elevated [CO2] in primordial and expanding leaves are essential prerequisites for subsequent alterations of respiratory metabolism in mature leaves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2542-2552
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Climate change
  • Gene expression
  • Genomics
  • Leaf respiration
  • Metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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