Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 293–304 | Cite as

Elevated carbon dioxide significantly improves ascorbic acid content, antioxidative properties and restricted biomass production in cruciferous vegetable seedlings

  • Muthusamy Muthusamy
  • Jung Eun Hwang
  • Suk Hee Kim
  • Jin A. Kim
  • Mi-Jeong Jeong
  • Hyeong Cheol Park
  • Soo In LeeEmail author
Original Article


The rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations has profound impact on nutritional, metabolic and physiological activities of crop plants. In this study, the impact of elevated CO2 ranging from 350 to 4000 ppm on l-ascorbic acid (AsA) content, antioxidative properties and growth characteristics of four cruciferous vegetable seedlings (Chinese cabbage, bok choy, radish and red young radish) was analyzed. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that elevated CO2 markedly induced AsA biosynthetic and AsA regeneration pathway genes thus accumulating AsA at least 0.53–1.62-folds among seedlings. Subsequent analysis showed that elevated CO2 accumulated relatively more AsA in root vegetables than leafy vegetables. AsA improves the antioxidative properties either directly or indirectly via improving the radical scavenging activities of Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD) in a concentration dependent manner. Additionally, CO2 enrichment activated Ascorbate peroxidase-6 (BrAPX6) to control the accumulation of H2O2. Moreover, CO2 at 700 ppm considerably improved biomass production of Chinese cabbage (1.9%), bok choy (1.84%) and red young radish (3%) seedlings. However, further enrichment of CO2 (1000–4000 ppm) gradually decreased the growth and biomass production (4.91–17.5%) in vegetable seedlings, although it improved AsA content significantly. It is thus apparent that the positive impact of elevated CO2 is restricted to 700 ppm. This study reveals that elevated CO2 can enhance the AsA content significantly, improves antioxidant properties and biomass productions in cruciferous vegetable seedlings in a dose-dependent manner.


Ascorbic acid synthesis Antioxidants Super oxide dismutase Biomass Vegetable seedlings HPLC analysis 



This work was supported by the Rural Program for Agricultural Science and Technology Development (Project no.: PJ01247202), Rural Development Administration and the National Institute of Ecology (NIE-C-2019-15), Republic of Korea.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11816_2019_542_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muthusamy Muthusamy
    • 1
  • Jung Eun Hwang
    • 2
  • Suk Hee Kim
    • 1
  • Jin A. Kim
    • 1
  • Mi-Jeong Jeong
    • 1
  • Hyeong Cheol Park
    • 2
  • Soo In Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural BiotechnologyNational Institute of Agricultural Sciences (NAS), RDAJeonjuKorea
  2. 2.Division of Ecological Conservation ResearchNational Institute of EcologySeocheonKorea

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