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Effects of fosmidomycin on plant photosynthesis as measured by gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Photosynthesis Research
Issue number1
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)49-59
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In higher plants, many isoprenoids are synthesised via the chloroplastic 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate/2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway. Attempts to elucidate the function of individual isoprenoids have used the antibiotic/herbicidal compound fosmidomycin (3-[N-formyl-N-hydroxy amino] propyl phosphonic acid) to inhibit this pathway. Examination of the effect of fosmidomycin on the major components of photosynthesis in leaves of white poplar (Populus alba) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) was made. Fosmidomycin reduced net photosynthesis in both species within 1 h of application, but only when photosynthesis was light-saturated. In P. alba, these reductions were confounded by high light and fosmidomycin inducing stomatal patchiness. In tobacco, this was caused by significant reductions in PSII chlorophyll fluorescence and reductions in V (cmax) and J (max). Our data indicate that the diminution of photosynthesis is likely a complex effect resulting from the inhibition of multiple MEP pathway products, resulting in photoinhibition and photo-damage. These effects should be accounted for in experimental design and analysis when using fosmidomycin to avoid misinterpretation of results as measured by gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence.