Carbon Assimilation and Leaf Water Status in Sugar Beet Leaves during a Simulated Natural Light Regimen

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Plant Physiology


Carbon assimilation and leaf water status were studied in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L., Klein E-type multigerm) leaves during a light period in which illumination either increased rapidly to full irradiance or changed gradually in a sinusoidal manner as generally occurs during a natural day. A light regimen that simulated the light of a natural day was produced by adjusting irradiance with a neutral-density filter under the control of a computer. Under this light regimen, photosynthesis, transpiration, and stomatal conductance followed the irradiance pattern very closely and ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase was nearly fully activated. When illumination was increased rapidly at the beginning of a light period, transpiration also increased quickly, causing leaves to wilt to some extent. The activation state of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase increased to only 52%, but ribulose bisphosphate level was nearly twice as high as during the simulated natural day. In spite of the differences in activation state and ribulose bisphosphate levels, photosynthesis rates were very similar under both regimens. Nevertheless, differences in parameters between leaves under the two irradiance regimens can affect how a plant responds to internal or external factors, and therefore, the rate at which irradiance increases at the beginning of a light period is an important consideration when interpreting data.

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American Society of Plant Biologists



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