Was low CO2 a driving force of C4 evolution:Arabidopsisresponses to long-term low CO2 stress

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Abstract

The responses of long-term growth of plants under elevated CO2 have been studied extensively. Comparatively, the responses of plants to subambient CO2 concentrations have not been well studied. This study aims to investigate the responses of the model C3 plant,Arabidopsis thaliana, to low CO2 at the molecular level. Results showed that low CO2 dramatically decreased biomass productivity, together with delayed flowering and increased stomatal density. Furthermore, alteration of thylakoid stacking in both bundle sheath and mesophyll cells, upregulation of PEPC and PEPC-K together with altered expression of a number of regulators known involved in photosynthesis development were observed. These responses to low CO2 are discussed with regard to the fitness of C3 plants under low CO2. This work also briefly discusses the relevance of the data to C4 photosynthesis evolution.

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