Frontiers in Plant Science
Through microscopic analysis of veins and assessment of light- and CO2-saturated rates of photosynthetic oxygen evolution, we investigated the relationship between minor loading vein anatomy and photosynthesis of mature leaves in three ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana grown under four different combinations of temperature and photon flux density (PFD). All three ecotypes exhibited greater numbers and cross-sectional area of phloem cells as well as higher photosynthesis rates in response to higher PFD and especially lower temperature. The Swedish ecotype exhibited the strongest response to these conditions, the Italian ecotype the weakest response, and the Col-0 ecotype exhibited an intermediate response. Among all three ecotypes, strong linear relationships were found between light- and CO2-saturated rates of photosynthetic oxygen evolution and the number and area of either sieve elements or of companion and phloem parenchyma cells in foliar minor loading veins, with the Swedish ecotype showing the highest number of cells in minor loading veins (and largest minor veins) coupled with unprecedented high rates of photosynthesis. Linear, albeit less significant, relationships were also observed between number and cross-sectional area of tracheids per minor loading vein versus light- and CO2-saturated rates of photosynthetic oxygen evolution. We suggest that sugar distribution infrastructure in the phloem is co-regulated with other features that set the upper limit for photosynthesis. The apparent genetic differences among Arabidopsis ecotypes should allow for future identification of the gene(s) involved in augmenting sugar-loading and -transporting phloem cells and maximal rates of photosynthesis.
Cohu, Christopher M; Muller, Onno; Stewart, Jared J; Demmig-Adams, Barbara; and Adams, William W, "Association between minor loading vein architecture and light- and CO2-saturated rates of photosynthetic oxygen evolution among Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes from different latitudes." (2013). Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Faculty Contributions. 3.