Acclimation of Swedish and Italian ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana to light intensity
This study addressed whether ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana from Sweden and Italy exhibited differences in foliar acclimation to high versus low growth light intensity, and compared CO2 uptake under growth conditions with light- and CO2-saturated intrinsic photosynthetic capacity and leaf morphological and vascular features. Differential responses between ecotypes occurred mainly at the scale of leaf architecture, with thicker leaves with higher intrinsic photosynthetic capacities and chlorophyll contents per leaf area, but no difference in photosynthetic capacity on a chlorophyll basis, in high light-grown leaves of the Swedish versus the Italian ecotype. Greater intrinsic photosynthetic capacity per leaf area in the Swedish ecotype was accompanied by a greater capacity of vascular infrastructure for sugar and water transport, but this was not associated with greater CO2 uptake rates under growth conditions. The Swedish ecotype with its thick leaves is thus constructed for high intrinsic photosynthetic and vascular flux capacity even under growth chamber conditions that may not permit full utilization of this potential. Conversely, the Swedish ecotype was less tolerant of low growth light intensity than the Italian ecotype, with smaller rosette areas and lesser aboveground biomass accumulation in low light-grown plants. Foliar vein density and stomatal density were both enhanced by high growth light intensity with no significant difference between ecotypes, and the ratio of water to sugar conduits was also similar between the two ecotypes during light acclimation. These findings add to the understanding of the foliar vasculature’s role in plant photosynthetic acclimation and adaptation.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11120-017-0436-1
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