Operating at the very low end of the crassulacean acid metabolism spectrum: Sesuvium portulacastrum (Aizoaceae)

Winter, Klaus, Garcia, Milton, Virgo, Aurelio, and Holtum, Joseph A.M. (2019) Operating at the very low end of the crassulacean acid metabolism spectrum: Sesuvium portulacastrum (Aizoaceae). Journal of Experimental Botany, 70 (22). pp. 6561-6570.

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Abstract

Demonstration of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) in species with low usage of this system relative to C₃-photosynthetic CO₂ assimilation can be challenging experimentally but provides crucial information on the early steps of CAM evolution. Here, weakly expressed CAM was detected in the well-known pantropical coastal, leaf-succulent herb Sesuvium portulacastrum, demonstrating that CAM is present in the Sesuvioideae, the only sub-family of the Aizoaceae in which it had not yet been shown conclusively. In outdoor plots in Panama, leaves and stems of S. portulacastrum consistently exhibited a small degree of nocturnal acidification which, in leaves, increased during the dry season. In potted plants, nocturnal acidification was mainly facultative, as levels of acidification increased in a reversible manner following the imposition of short-term water-stress. In drought-stressed plants, nocturnal net CO₂ exchange approached the CO₂-compensation point, consistent with low rates of CO₂ dark fixation sufficient to eliminate respiratory carbon loss. Detection of low-level CAM in S. portulacastrum adds to the growing number of species that cannot be considered C₃ plants sensu stricto, although they obtain CO₂ principally via the C₃ pathway. Knowledge about the presence/absence of low-level CAM is critical when assessing trajectories of CAM evolution in lineages. The genus Sesuvium is of particular interest because it also contains C₄ species.

Item ID: 61673
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-2431
Keywords: C₄ photosynthesis, CO₂ assimilation, Crassulacean acid metabolism, facultative CAM, salt tolerance, Sesuvium portulacastrum, succulence
Copyright Information: © 2018 The Author(s) 2018.
Funders: Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Australian Research Council Discovery Project (ARC-DP)
Projects and Grants: ARC-DP DP160100098
Date Deposited: 06 May 2020 22:03
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0699 Other Biological Sciences > 069902 Global Change Biology @ 100%
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