Physiological Response of Maize Under Rising Atmospheric CO2 and Temperature

  • Anjali Anand
  • Sangeeta Khetarpal
  • Madan Pal Singh


The projections for future climate change may have a strong influence on agricultural productivity. Maize, being a C4 plant, has evolved to adapt to the atmospheric CO2 concentration with higher photosynthetic efficiency than C3 plants. It is believed that C3 plants would gain a competitive advantage under increasing CO2, but studies indicate that C4 plants sometimes perform better due to improved water use efficiency at the ecosystem level. C4 plant species have higher temperature optima for growth than C3 plants. Temperatures above this range can affect the photosynthetic machinery, thereby decreasing growth. Despite the indication about the improvement in growth of C4 plants under increasing CO2 levels, the contribution of other factors still remains unclear in maize. This compilation is an attempt to highlight the factors and processes affected by climate change in maize and the areas of research that need to be strengthened to understand the underlying mechanisms.


Leaf Temperature Starch Synthesis Rubisco Activase Bundle Sheath Cell Loaf Volume 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Ahmad S, Ahmad N, Ahmad R, Hamid M (1989) Effect of high temperature stress in wheat reproductive growth. J Agric Res Lahore 27:307–313Google Scholar
  2. Ball SG, Morell MK (2003) From bacterial glycogen to starch: understanding the biogenesis of the plant starch granule. Annu Rev Plant Biol 54:207–233PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bencze S, Veisz O, Bedo Z (2004) Effects of high atmospheric CO2 and heat stress on phytomass, yield and grain quality of winter wheat. Cereal Res Commun 32:75–82Google Scholar
  4. Bhullar SS, Jenner CF (1986) Effect of temperature on the conversion of sucrose to starch in the developing wheat endosperm. Aust J Plant Physiol 13:605–615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Blumenthal CS, Bekes F, Batey IW, Wrigley CW, Moss HJ, Mares DJ, Barlow EWR (1991) Interpretation of grain quality results from wheat variety trials with reference to high temperature stress. Aust J Agric Res 42:325–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Blumenthal C, Rawson HM, McKenzie E, Gras PW, Barlow EWR, Wrigley CW (1996) Changes in wheat grain quality due to doubling the level of atmospheric CO2. Cereal Chem 73:762–766Google Scholar
  7. Bowes G (1996) Photosynthetic responses to changing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. In: Baker N (ed) Photosynthesis and the environment. Kluwer, New York, pp 387–407Google Scholar
  8. Brooking IR (1993) Effect of temperature on kernel growth rate of maize grown in a temperate maritime environment. Field Crop Res 35:135–145CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chen DX, Hunt HW, Morgan JA (1996) Responses of a C3 and C4 perennial grass to CO2 enrichment and climate change: comparison between model predictions and experimental data. Ecol Model 87:11–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Crafts-Brandner SJ, Salvucci ME (2000) Rubisco activase constrains the photosynthetic potential of leaves at high temperature and CO2. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA 97:13430–13435PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Crafts-Brandner SJ, Salvucci ME (2002) Sensitivity of photosynthesis in a C4 plant, maize, to heat stress. Plant Physiol 129:1773–1780PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeRocher AE, Vierling E (1994) Developmental control of small heat shock protein expression during pea seed maturation. Plant J 5:93–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dian W, Jiang H, Wu P (2005) Evolution and expression analysis of starch synthase III and IV in rice. J Exp Bot 56:623–632PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dickinson DB, Preiss J (1969) Presence of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase in shrunken-2 and brittle-2 mutants of maize endosperm. Plant Physiol 44:1058–1062PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Drake BG, Gonzalez-Meler MA, Long SP (1997) More efficient plants: a consequence of rising atmospheric CO2? Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 48:609–639PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Edwards G, Walker D (1983) C3, C4: mechanisms and cellular and environmental regulation of photosynthesis. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  17. Ellis RJ (1990) The molecular chaperon concept. Semin Cell Biol 1:1–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Emes MJ, Tetlow IJ, Bowsher CG (2001) Transport of metabolites into amyloplasts during starch synthesis. In: Barshy TL, Donald AM, Frazier PJ (eds) Starch: advances in structure and function. Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, MA, pp 138–143Google Scholar
  19. Feller U, Crafts-Brandner SJ, Salvucci ME (1998) Moderately high temperatures inhibit ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activase-mediated activation of Rubisco. Plant Physiol 116:539–546PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Furbank RT, Chitty JA, Jenkins CLD, Taylor WC, Trevanion S, von Caemmerer S, Ashton AR (1997) Genetic manipulation of key photosynthetic enzymes in the C4 plant Flaveria bidentis. Aust J Plant Physiol 24:477–485CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ghannoum O, von Caemmerer S, Ziska LH, Conroy JP (2000) The growth response of C4 plants to rising atmospheric CO2 partial pressure: a reassessment. Plant Cell Environ 23:931–942CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghannoum O, von Caemmerer S, Barlow EWR, Conroy JP (1997) The effect of CO2 enrichment and irradiance on the growth, morphology and gas exchange of a C3 (Panicum laxum) and a C4 (Panicum antidotale) grass. Funct Plant Biol 24:227–237Google Scholar
  23. Gunasekera CP, Martin LD, Siddique KHM, Walton GH (2006) Genotype by environment interactions of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) and canola (Brassica napus L.) in Mediterranean type environments II. Oil and protein concentrations in seed. Europ J Agron 25:13–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. He GC, Kogure K, Suzuki H (1990) Development of endosperm and synthesis of starch in rice grain. III. Starch property affected by temperature during grain development. Jpn J Crop Sci 59:340–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heckathorn SA, Downs CA, Sharkey TD, Coleman JS (1998) The small, methionine-rich chloroplast heat-shock protein protects photosystem II electron transport during heat stress. Plant Physiol 116:439–444PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hogy P, Fangmeier A (2008) Effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on grain quality of wheat. J Cereal Sci 48:580–591CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hunt R, Hand D, Hannah M, Neal A (1991) Response to CO2 enrichment in 27 herbaceous species. Funct Ecol 5:410–421CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. IPCC (2007) Climate change: the physical science basis. Inter governmental panel on climate change. Summary report of the working group. IPCC, ParisGoogle Scholar
  29. Jordan DB, Ogren WL (1984) The CO2/O2 specificity of ribulose 1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase oxygenase dependence on ribulose bisphosphate concentration, pH and temperature. Planta 161:308–313PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kanai R, Edwards G (1999) Biochemistry of C4 photosynthesis. In: Sage RF, Monson RK (eds) The biology of C4 photosynthesis. Academic, New York, pp 49–87Google Scholar
  31. Keeling PL, Bacon PJ, Holt DC (1993) Elevated temperature reduces starch deposition in wheat endosperm by reducing the activity of soluble starch synthase. Planta 191:342–348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Keeling PL, Banisadr R, Barone L, Wasserman BP, Singletary GW (1994) Effect of temperature on enzymes in the pathway of starch biosynthesis in developing wheat and maize grain. Aust J Plant Physiol 21:807–827CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Law RD, Crafts-Brandner SJ (1999) Inhibition and acclimation of photosynthesis to heat stress is closely correlated with activation of ribulose-1, 5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. Plant Physiol 120:173–181PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lawlor DW, Mitchell RAC (2001) Crop ecosystems responses to climate change: Wheat. In: Reddy KR, Hodges HF (eds) Climate change and global crop productivity. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, pp 57–80Google Scholar
  35. Lu TJ, Jane JL, Keeling PL, Singletary GW (1993) Effect of temperature on the fine structure of maize starch. Cereal Foods 38:617Google Scholar
  36. MacLeod LC, Duffus CM (1988) Reduced starch content and sucrose synthase activity in developing endosperm of barley plants grown at elevated temperatures. Aust J Plant Physiol 15:367–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Maroco JP, Edwards GE, Ku MSB (1999) Photosynthetic acclimation of maize to growth under elevated levels of carbon dioxide. Planta 210:115–125PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mohabir G, John P (1988) Effect of temperature on starch synthesis in potato tuber tissue and in amyloplasts. Plant Physiol 88:1222–1228PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Morison J (1998) Stomatal response to increased CO2 concentration. J Exp Bot 49:443–452Google Scholar
  40. Muchow RC (1990) Effect of high temperature on grain-growth in field-grown maize. Field Crop Res 23:145–158CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Muller-Rober BT, Sonnewald U, Willmitzer L (1992) Inhibition of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase leads to sugar storing tubers and influences tuber formation and expression of tuber storage protein gene. EMBO J 11:1229–1238PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Nelson OE, Rines HW (1962) The enzymatic deficiency in the waxy mutant of maize. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 9:297–300PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Portis AR, Salvucci ME, Ogren WL (1986) Activation of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase at physiological CO2 and ribulose bisphosphate concentrations by rubisco activase. Plant Physiol 82:967–971PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Preiss J, Sivak MN (1996) Starch synthesis in sinks and sources. In: Zamski E, Schaffer AA (eds) Photoassimilate distribution in plants and crops. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 63–96Google Scholar
  45. Rennie BD, Tanner JW (1989) Fatty acid composition of oil from soybean seeds grown at extreme temperatures. J Am Oil Chem Soc 66:1622–1624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reynolds H (1996) Effects of elevated CO2 on plants grown in competition. In: Korner C, Bazzaz F (eds) Carbon dioxide, populations and communities. Academic, New York, pp 273–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rijven AHGC (1986) Heat inactivation of starch synthase in wheat endosperm tissue. Plant Physiol 81:448–453PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rogers D (1996) Changes in disease vectors. In: Hulme M (ed) Climate change and Southern Africa: An exploration of some potential impacts and implications in the SADC region. Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia/World Wildlife Fund International, Norwich/GlandGoogle Scholar
  49. Rogers HH, Dahlman RC (1993) Crop responses to CO2 enrichment. Vegetation 104(105):117–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rokka A, Zhang L, Aro EM (2001) Rubisco activase: an enzyme with a temperature dependent dual function? Plant J 25:463–471PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Salvucci ME, Crafts Brandner SJ (2004) Inhibition of photosynthesis by heat stress: the activation state of Rubisco as a limiting factor in photosynthesis. Plant Physiol 120:179–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Seiler GJ (1983) Effect of genotype, flowering date and environment on oil content and oil quality of wild sunflower seed. Crop Sci 23:1063–1068CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Seneweera SP, Ghannoum O, Conroy JP (1998) High vapour pressure deficit and low soil water availability enhanced shoot growth response of a C4 grass (Panicum coloratum cv. Bambatsi) to CO2 enrichment. Aust J Plant Physiol 25:287–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Shure M, Wessler S, Federoff N (1983) Molecular identification and isolation of the waxy locus in maize. Cell 35:225–233PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Singletary GW, Banisadr R, Keeling PL (1997) Influence of gene dosage on carbohydrate synthesis and enzymatic activities in endosperm of starch-deficient mutants of maize. Plant Physiol 113:293–304Google Scholar
  56. Spiertz JHJ (1977) The influence of temperature and light intensity on grain growth in relation to the carbohydrate and nitrogen economy of the wheat plant. Netherlands J Agric Sci 25:182–197Google Scholar
  57. Sun W, Montagu MV (2002) Small heat shock proteins and stress tolerance in plants. Biochem Biophys Acta 1577:1–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tashiro T, Wardlaw IF (1991) The effect of high temperature on the accumulation of dry matter, carbon and nitrogen in the kernel of rice. Aust J Plant Physiol 18:250–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tester RF, Morrison WR, Ellis RH, Pigott JR, Batts GR, Wheeler TR, Morison JIL, Hadley P, Ledward DA (1995) Effects of elevated growth temperature and CO2 levels on some physicochemical properties of wheat starch. J Cereal Sci 22:63–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Triboi-Blondel AM, Renard M (1999) Effects of temperature and water stress on fatty acid composition of rapeseed oil. Proceedings of the 10th International Rapeseed Congress, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  61. Tsai CV, Nelson OE (1966) Starch-deficient maize mutants lacking adenosine diphosphate glucose pyrophosphorylase activity. Science 151:341–343PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Vierling E (1991) The roles of heat shock proteins in plants. Annu Rev Plant Physiol Plant Mol Biol 42:579–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wardlaw IF, Sofield I, Cartwright PM (1980) Factors limiting the rate of dry matter accumulation in the grain of wheat grown at high temperature. Aust J Plant Physiol 7:387–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Zeeman SC, Kossmann J, Smith AM (2010) Starch: its metabolism, evolution and biotechnological modification in plants. Annu Rev Plant Biol 61:209–234PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Ziska LH, Bunce JA (1997) Influence of increasing carbon dioxide concentration on the photosynthetic and growth stimulation of selected C4 crops and weeds. Photosynth Res 54:199–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer India 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anjali Anand
    • 1
  • Sangeeta Khetarpal
    • 1
  • Madan Pal Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Plant PhysiologyIndian Agricultural Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations