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Root and shoot performance of Arabidopsis thaliana exposed to elevated CO2: a physiologic, metabolic and transcriptomic response

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  • Iván Jauregui
  • Pedro Mª. Aparicio-tejo
  • Concepción Avila
  • Marina Rueda-lópez
  • Iker Aranjuelo
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>15/09/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Plant Physiology
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)65-76
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The responsiveness of C3 plants to raised atmospheric [CO2] levels has been frequently described as constrained by photosynthetic downregulation. The main goal of the current study was to characterize the shoot-root relationship and its implications in plant responsiveness under elevated [CO2] conditions. For this purpose, Arabidopsis thaliana plants were exposed to elevated [CO2] (800 ppm versus 400 ppm [CO2]) and fertilized with a mixed (NH4NO3) nitrogen source. Plant growth, physiology, metabolite and transcriptomic characterizations were carried out at the root and shoot levels. Plant growth under elevated [CO2] conditions was doubled due to increased photosynthetic rates and gas exchange measurements revealed that these plants maintain higher photosynthetic rates over extended periods of time. This positive response of photosynthetic rates to elevated [CO2] was caused by the maintenance of leaf protein and Rubisco concentrations at control levels alongside enhanced energy efficiency. The increased levels of leaf carbohydrates, organic acids and amino acids supported the augmented respiration rates of plants under elevated [CO2]. A transcriptomic analysis allowed the identification of photoassimilate allocation and remobilization as fundamental process used by the plants to maintain the outstanding photosynthetic performance. Moreover, based on the relationship between plant carbon status and hormone functioning, the transcriptomic analyses provided an explanation of why phenology accelerates under elevated [CO2] conditions.