Photosynthesis Research

, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 187–193 | Cite as

Activation of Rubisco controls CO2 assimilation in light: a perspective on its discovery

  • Richard Jensen


CO2 fixation during photosynthesis is regulated by the activity of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase (Rubisco). This conclusion became more apparent to me after CO2-fixation experiments using isolated spinach chloroplasts and protoplasts, purified Rubisco enzyme, and intact leaves. Ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) pools and activation of Rubisco were measured and compared to 14CO2 fixation in light. The rates of 14CO 2 assimilation best followed the changes in Rubisco activation under moderate to high light intensities. RuBP pool sizes regulated 14 2 assimilation only in very high CO2 levels, low light and in darkness. Activation of Rubisco involves two separate processes: carbamylation of the protein and removal of inhibitors blocking carbamylation or blocking RuBP binding to carbamylated sites before reaction with CO2 or O2.

3-ketoarabinitol 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase-oxygenase CO 2 fixation David Walker Genhai Zhu James Bahr James Bassham John Perchorowicz ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate Richard Sicher Rubisco Rubisco activase spinach chloroplasts xylulose1,5-bisphosphate 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and Plant SciencesUniversity of ArizonaUSA

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