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Plant and Soil

, Volume 434, Issue 1–2, pp 397–411 | Cite as

The role of nitrogen in photosynthetic acclimation to elevated [CO2] in tomatoes

  • Moshe HalpernEmail author
  • Asher Bar-Tal
  • Nitsan Lugassi
  • Aiman Egbaria
  • David Granot
  • Uri YermiyahuEmail author
Regular Article
  • 108 Downloads

Abstract

Background

Although elevated [CO2] causes an increase of photosynthesis in the short-term, this increase is often attenuated over time due to decreased photosynthetic capacity of the leaf in a process called photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2 (PAC). PAC is often accompanied by N deficiency and sink:source imbalance. The aim of this study is to investigate mechanisms that lead to PAC, N deficiency and sink:source imbalance in tomato plants grown in elevated [CO2] and how they are affected by different levels of N treatments.

Methods

Two long-term experiment and two short-term experiments were conducted in which tomato plants were grown in chambers with ambient [CO2] and elevated [CO2] combined with different levels of N nutrition. The following parameters were measured: 1) Biomass 2)Leaf N, P and K concentrations, 3) leaf NO3 concentration, 4) Gas exchange 5) Rubisco expression and 6) Leaf starch concentration.

Results

Plants grown at e[CO2] had increased biomass and starch, and decreased gas exchange, stomatal conductivity, Rubisco expression, Vcmax, NPK and leaf NO3 . Increasing N fertilization counteracted many of the effects of elevated [CO2].

Conclusions

PAC was caused by decreased N uptake or transport coupled with increased growth which leads to N deficiency and a sink:source imbalance. Increased N fertilization counteracted the effect of e[CO2] on photosynthesis, N status, and sink:source imbalance. Furthermore, elevated [CO2] caused stomata to partially close, which accounted for some of the PAC observed.

Keywords

Carbon dioxide Nitrogen assimilation Nitrogen uptake Photosynthesis Sink:Source Stomata 

Abbreviations

e[CO2]

Elevated CO2 concentration

Ci

Partial pressure of CO2 in intercellular spaces

Co

Partial pressure of CO2 outside the leaf

LeEF-1

Elongation factor gene expression

Ls

Stomatal limitation

PAC

Photosynthetic acclimation to elevated CO2

Vcmax

Maximum rate of carboxylation

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Inna Faingold, Hila Hecht-Ganan, Lital Zelnik and Dan Hamus Cohen for their help with the lab analyses. We would also like to thank Mohamed Alhosa for dealing with plant pathogens that arose during the experiments.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gilat Research Center, Agricultural Research OrganizationRishon LeTsiyonIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture, Environment and Food SciencesThe Hebrew University of JerusalemRehovotIsrael
  3. 3.Department of Soil Chemistry, Plant Nutrition and Microbiology, Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Research OrganizationRishon LeZionIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Vegetable Research, Institute of Plant Sciences, Volcani Center, Agricultural Research OrganizationRishon LeZionIsrael

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