Cryptic crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Jatropha curcas L.

Winter, Klaus, and Holtum, Joseph A.M. (2015) Cryptic crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in Jatropha curcas L. Functional Plant Biology, 42 (8). pp. 711-717.

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Abstract

Abstract. Jatropha curcas L. is a drought-tolerant shrub or small tree that is a candidate bioenergy feedstock. It is a member of the family Euphorbiaceae in which both CAM and C4 photosynthesis have evolved. Here, we report that J. curcas exhibits features diagnostic of low-level CAM. Small increases in nocturnal acid content were consistently observed in photosynthetic stems and occasionally in leaves. Acidification was associated with transient contractions in CO2 loss at night rather than with net CO2 dark fixation. Although the CAM-type nocturnal CO2 uptake signal was masked by background respiration, estimates of dark CO2 fixation based upon the 2 : 1 stoichiometric relationship between H+ accumulated and CO2 fixed indicated substantial carbon retention in the stems via the CAM cycle. It is proposed that under conditions of drought, low-level CAM in J. curcas stems serves primarily to conserve carbon rather than water.

Item ID: 37622
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1445-4416
Keywords: biofuel, Euphorbiaceae, photosynthesis, stem respiration
Funders: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, James Cook University (JCU)
Projects and Grants: JCU School of Marine and Tropical Biology
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 03:16
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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