Plant and Soil

, Volume 316, Issue 1–2, pp 217–226 | Cite as

Manganese requirement for optimum photosynthesis and growth in NAD-malic enzyme C-4 species

  • Maru Kipleting Kering
  • Krystyna Lukaszewska
  • Dale G. Blevins
Regular Article


Despite the evidence for a critical role of Mn in malate decarboxylation and CO2 release for carbon fixation reactions in C-4 plants, there is a lack of information on their Mn requirement. The objective of this study was to establish Mn levels needed for optimum growth and photosynthesis of four agriculturally important C-4 species, NAD-ME C-4 pearl millet and purple amaranth, and NADP-ME C-4 corn and sorghum, as compared to two C-3 species, wheat and squash. Plants were grown hydroponically in a complete nutrient solution with Mn concentrations ranging from 0 to 100 μM. We report that under these conditions, C-3 and NADP-ME C-4 plants reached their maximum biomass production with 2–5 μM Mn, the concentration commonly used in plant nutrient media. In contrast, Mn concentrations supporting maximum performance of NAD-ME C-4 plants were up to 20-fold higher and ranged between 50 and 100 μM. Although leaf tissue Mn concentrations increased in parallel with Mn nutrition in all plants, the higher leaf Mn had no effect on NADP-ME C-4 or C-3 plants, but it caused a large, up to 100%, increase in net photosynthetic rate in NAD-ME C-4 species. The highest photosynthetic rates across the spectrum of photon flux density were recorded for C-3 and NADP-ME C-4 plants receiving 2–5 μM Mn, and for NAD-ME C-4 species millet and amaranth supplied with 50 or 100 μM Mn, respectively. Squash (C-3) plants were the most sensitive to Mn and their photosynthetic rate was severely depressed with more than 10 μM Mn. The increase in photosynthetic rates of NAD-ME C-4 species occurred without an increase in stomatal conductance, eliminating CO2 uptake as the main cause. We propose that the higher photosynthetic rates in NAD-ME C-4 species supplied with higher Mn were a result of increased activation of the Mn-dependent NAD-ME in bundle sheath cells, producing greater CO2 supply for Calvin cycle reactions. This is, to our knowledge, the first report on a significantly higher Mn requirement for optimum photosynthesis and biomass production of NAD-ME C-4 species.


C-4 plants NAD-malic enzyme Manganese Photosynthesis Nutrition 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maru Kipleting Kering
    • 1
  • Krystyna Lukaszewska
    • 2
  • Dale G. Blevins
    • 2
  1. 1.Samuel Roberts Noble FoundationArdmoreUSA
  2. 2.Division of Plant SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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