Diurnal and seasonal changes of abiotic environmental factors shape plant performance and distribution. Changes of growth temperature and light intensity may vary significantly on a diurnal, but also on a weekly or seasonal scale. Hence, acclimation to a changing temperature and light regime is essential for plant survival and propagation. In the present study, we analyzed photosynthetic CO2
assimilation and metabolic regulation of the central carbohydrate metabolism in two natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana
that originate from north western Russia and south Italy during exposure to heat and a combination of heat and high light. Our findings indicate that it is hardly possible to predict photosynthetic capacities under combined stress from single stress experiments. Further, capacities of hexose phosphorylation were found to be significantly lower in the Italian than in the Russian accession, which could explain an inverted sucrose-to-hexose ratio. Together with the finding of significantly stronger accumulation of anthocyanins under heat/high light, these observations indicate a central role of hexokinase activity in the stabilization of photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism during environmental changes.
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