Phosphate sequestration by glycerol and its effects on photosynthetic carbon assimilation by leaves

Richard C. Leegood, Carlos A. Labate, Steven C. Huber, H. Ekkehard Neuhaus, Mark Stitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Glycerol induced a limitation on photosynthetic carbon assimilation by phosphate when supplied to leaves of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). This limitation by phosphate was evidenced by (i) reversibility of the inhibition of photosynthesis by glycerol by feeding orthophosphate (ii) a decrease in light-saturated rates of photosynthesis and saturation at a lower irradiance, (iii) the promotion of oscillations in photosynthetic CO2 assimilation and in chlorophyll fluorescence, (iv) decreases in the pools of hexose monophosphates and triose phosphates and increases in the ratio of glycerate-3-phosphate to triose phosphate, (v) decreased photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence, and increased non-photochemical quenching, specifically of the component which relaxed rapidly, indicating that thylakoid energisation had increased. In barley there was a massive accumulation of glycerol-3-phosphate and an increase in the period of the oscillations, but in spinach the accumulation of glycerol-3-phosphate was comparatively slight. The mechanism(s) by which glycerol feeding affects photosynthetic carbon assimilation are discussed in the light of these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycerol
  • Glycerol-3-phosphate
  • Horderum (photosynthesis)
  • Photosynthetic carbon metabolism (phosphate status)
  • Spinacia (photosynthesis)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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