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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Degen, G.E., Orr, D.J. and Carmo‐Silva, E. (2020), Heat‐induced changes in the abundance of wheat Rubisco activase isoforms. New Phytol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/nph.16937 which has been published in final form at https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.16937 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Heat-induced changes in the abundance of wheat Rubisco activase isoforms

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>New Phytologist
Issue number3
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)1298-1311
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date21/10/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Triticum aestivum (wheat) genome encodes three isoforms of Rubisco activase (Rca) differing in thermostability, which could be exploited to improve the resilience of this crop to global warming. We hypothesized that elevated temperatures would cause an increase in the relative abundance of heat‐stable Rca1β.
Wheat plants were grown at 25° C : 18°C (day : night) and exposed to heat stress (38° C : 22°C) for up to 5 d at pre‐anthesis. Carbon (C) assimilation, Rubisco activity, CA1Pase activity, transcripts of Rca1β, Rca2β, and Rca2α, and the quantities of the corresponding protein products were measured during and after heat stress.
The transcript of Rca1β increased 40‐fold in 4 h at elevated temperatures and returned to the original level after 4 h upon return of plants to control temperatures. Rca1β comprised up to 2% of the total Rca protein in unstressed leaves but increased three‐fold in leaves exposed to elevated temperatures for 5 d and remained high at 4 h after heat stress.
These results show that elevated temperatures cause rapid changes in Rca gene expression and adaptive changes in Rca isoform abundance. The improved understanding of the regulation of C assimilation under heat stress will inform efforts to improve wheat productivity and climate resilience.