Facultative CAM plants: powerful tools for unravelling the functional elements of CAM photosynthesis

Winter, Klaus, and Holtum, Joseph (2014) Facultative CAM plants: powerful tools for unravelling the functional elements of CAM photosynthesis. Journal of Experimental Botany, 65 (13). pp. 3425-3441.

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Abstract

Facultative crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) describes the optional use of CAM photosynthesis, typically under conditions of drought stress, in plants that otherwise employ C3 or C4 photosynthesis. In its cleanest form, the upregulation of CAM is fully reversible upon removal of stress. Reversibility distinguishes facultative CAM from ontogenetically programmed unidirectional C3-to-CAM shifts inherent in constitutive CAM plants. Using mainly measurements of 24h CO2 exchange, defining features of facultative CAM are highlighted in five terrestrial species, Clusia pratensis, Calandrinia polyandra, Mesembryanthemum crystallinum, Portulaca oleracea and Talinum triangulare. For these, we provide detailed chronologies of the shifts between photosynthetic modes and comment on their usefulness as experimental systems. Photosynthetic flexibility is also reviewed in an aquatic CAM plant, Isoetes howellii. Through comparisons of C3 and CAM states in facultative CAM species, many fundamental biochemical principles of the CAM pathway have been uncovered. Facultative CAM species will be of even greater relevance now that new sequencing technologies facilitate the mapping of genomes and tracking of the expression patterns of multiple genes. These technologies and facultative CAM systems, when joined, are expected to contribute in a major way towards our goal of understanding the essence of CAM.

Item ID: 34002
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2431
Keywords: C4/CAM, Calandrinia, Clusia, constitutive CAM, crassulacean acid metabolism, inducible CAM, Isoetes, Mesembryanthemum, Portulaca, Talinum
Funders: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, James Cook University (JCU)
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2014 07:02
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0607 Plant Biology > 060705 Plant Physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
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