Biochemical Model of C3 Photosynthesis

  • Susanne von Caemmerer
  • Graham Farquhar
  • Joseph Berry
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 29)

A brief overview of the C3 photosynthesis model described by Graham Farquhar, Susanne von Caem-merer and Joseph Berry is provided. The model was designed to help interpret gas exchange measurements of CO2 assimilation of leaves and to represent C3 photosynthesis in other systems such as stomatal control and the CO2 concentrating function of C4 photosynthesis. It can predict steady state CO2 assimilation rates under different environmental conditions of light intensity, temperature, CO2 and O2 concentrations. The model is based on Rubisco's kinetic properties and the rate of CO2 assimilation is given as the minimum of either a Rubisco limited rate, where the substrate ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) is saturating, or a chloroplast electron transport (or RuBP regeneration) limited rate. The model can be used to estimate in vivo Rubisco activity and chloroplast electron transport capacity. This however requires information on the partial pressure of CO2 in the chloroplast which has been shown to be less than that in the intercellular airspaces. The temperature dependence of Rubisco kinetic constants is based on both in vitro and in vivo measurements of these parameters. The temperature dependence of the maximum chloroplast electron transport has also been parameterized from both in vivo and in vitro measurements; however the fact that thermal acclimation changes thylakoid properties and the temperature dependence of chloroplast electron transport prevents a unique parameterization. Further studies are required to investigate whether CO2 assimilation rate at temperature extremes is limited by Rubisco and its activation state or by electron transport capacity in order to improve the model's accuracy under these conditions.

Keywords

Biomass Entropy Starch Enthalpy Catalysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne von Caemmerer
    • 1
  • Graham Farquhar
    • 2
  • Joseph Berry
    • 3
  1. 1.Molecular Plant Physiology Group, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Environmental Biology Group, Research School of Biological SciencesAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Global EcologyCarnegie Institution of WashingtonStanfordUSA

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