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Forests 2018, 9(9), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9090561

Photosynthetic Capacity, Stomatal Behavior and Chloroplast Ultrastructure in Leaves of the Endangered Plant Carpinus putoensis W.C.Cheng during Gaseous NO2 Exposure and after Recovery

1
College of Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
2
College of Art & Design, College of Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2018 / Revised: 2 September 2018 / Accepted: 6 September 2018 / Published: 12 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecophysiology and Biology)
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Abstract

Foliar uptake of gaseous NO2 mainly occurs through the stomata and disrupts normal plant growth, but no detailed reports about the physiological responses of plants exposed to NO2 are available. In this study, to study leaf physicochemical responses, stomatal characteristics and chloroplast structure, we observed the leaves of Carpinus putoensis W.C.Cheng after exposure to NO2 (6 μL/L) for five time periods (0, 1, 6, 24, and 72 h) and after 30 days of recovery following NO2 exposure. Our results showed that short-duration exposure to a high concentration of NO2 had significant negative impacts (p < 0.05) on the chlorophyll content, photosynthesis and chloroplast-related physicochemical processes of C. putoensis leaves; with the exception of one hour of NO2 exposure, which was helpful for plant physiological responses. Moreover, NO2 exposure significantly increased the thickness of the palisade/spongy tissue and caused swelling of the thylakoids within the chloroplasts; this thylakoid swelling could be reversed by removing the pollutant from the air flow. Restoration of unpolluted air alleviated the toxic effects of NO2, as indicated by an increased chlorophyll content, net photosynthesis, and PSII maximum quantum yield. These results could support the development of a treatment for roadside trees that are exposed to NO2 as a major road pollutant. View Full-Text
Keywords: nitrogen dioxide (NO2); photosynthetic responses; stomatal behavior; chloroplast ultrastructure; endangered plant Carpinus putoensis nitrogen dioxide (NO2); photosynthetic responses; stomatal behavior; chloroplast ultrastructure; endangered plant Carpinus putoensis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sheng, Q.; Zhu, Z. Photosynthetic Capacity, Stomatal Behavior and Chloroplast Ultrastructure in Leaves of the Endangered Plant Carpinus putoensis W.C.Cheng during Gaseous NO2 Exposure and after Recovery. Forests 2018, 9, 561.

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