Photosynthesis and Carbon Metabolism in Higher Plants and Algae

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 3810

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Institute of Basic Biological Problems, Federal Research Center “Pushchino Scientific Center for Biological Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences”, Pushchino 142290, Russia
Interests: photosynthesis; thylakoids; photosystem II; photosystem I; carbonic anhydrase; carbon metabolism; photosynthetic electron transport chain; PCR; gene expression
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Guest Editor
Biological Faculty, Belarusian State University, 4 Independence Avenue, Minsk 220030, Belarus
Interests: photosynthesis; photosystem II; photosystem I; chloroplast electron flows; plastoquinone; ferredoxin; heat stress; drought

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Photosynthesis, the process via which autotrophs consume carbon dioxide in the green cells, is the most important phenomena on Earth since it provides molecular oxygen and facilitates growth in higher plants and algae by allowing them to utilize organic substances from inorganic carbon. Inorganic carbon is the substrate of the key reaction in the dark stage of photosynthesis, involving the carboxylation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate by the enzyme ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco), which is the most abundant plant cell protein. Inorganic carbon is involved not only in the “dark metabolism” reactions, but also interacts with the participants in the “light stage by the effect of HCO3ˉ (or CO2) on electron transfer both on the donor and on the acceptor side of Photosystem II, so-called “bicarbonate effect”.

The flows of carbon dioxide in the cell and the whole organism are rather intense. A delay in inorganic carbon intake can not only slow down the processes of photosynthesis, but also gravely alter the homeostasis of the cell and even cause its death. Hence, certain plants require the mechanisms for inorganic carbon concentration in cells close to Rubisco, when adapting to growth conditions during the evolution of photosynthesis. These metabolic pathways, which differ in different groups of organisms, are called the CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCM). Aquatic photoautotrophs (such as cyanobacteria and algae) that lack CCM would be deficient in CO2 for photosynthesis, because despite the fact that the concentration of CO2 in water is approximately the same as in air, the rate of its diffusion in water is 1000 times smaller. In terrestrial higher plants, CCM exists in the C4 form of photosynthesis with the primary carboxylation reactions and the Calvin cycle separated in space or in time, as in the case of Crassulacean acid (CAM) metabolism.

This Special Issue aims to collate research papers on all aspects of photosynthesis in higher plants and algae, carbon metabolism, inorganic carbon transport into plants cells and organoids, the physiological sensing of carbon dioxide and bicarbonate, the participation of higher plants and algae enzymes in these processes. We also welcome papers concerning the locations, functions, participation in metabolic processes, isolation, structure of dark metabolism enzymes, bicarbonate transporters from algae and higher plants with C3 and C4 types of CO2 fixation, new aspects of HCO3ˉ interaction with the components of Photosystem II, the effect of inorganic carbon on the functioning of electron-transport chain, the expression of bicarbonate-transporter-encoding genes, and the practical use of bicarbonate transporter mutants (i.e., their medical relevance, gene manipulation for developing improved agricultural crops, and their application for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels).

Dr. Natalia N. Rudenko
Dr. Natallia L. Pshybytko
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • algae
  • bicarbonate
  • bicarbonate effect
  • C3 photosynthesis
  • C4 photosynthesis
  • CAM metabolism
  • carbon fixation
  • chloroplasts
  • CO2 concentrating mechanism
  • higher plant
  • photosynthesis
  • rubisco

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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30 pages, 6746 KiB  
Article
Photosynthesis, Anatomy, and Metabolism as a Tool for Assessing Physiological Modulation in Five Native Species of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
by Luis Alfonso Rodríguez-Páez, Mahmoud F. Seleiman, Bushra A. Alhammad, Yirlis Yadeth Pineda-Rodríguez, Marcelo F. Pompelli, Auxiliadora Oliveira Martins, Jaqueline Dias-Pereira and Wagner L. Araújo
Plants 2024, 13(14), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13141906 - 10 Jul 2024
Viewed by 364
Abstract
The Brazilian Atlantic Forest, renowned for its exceptional species richness and high endemism, acts as a vital reservoir of terrestrial biodiversity, often referred to as a biodiversity hotspot. Consequently, there is an urgent need to restore this forest to safeguard certain species and [...] Read more.
The Brazilian Atlantic Forest, renowned for its exceptional species richness and high endemism, acts as a vital reservoir of terrestrial biodiversity, often referred to as a biodiversity hotspot. Consequently, there is an urgent need to restore this forest to safeguard certain species and to unravel the ecophysiological adaptations of others. This study aims to integrate some physiological parameters, including gas exchange and chlorophyll a fluorescence, with anatomical and metabolic techniques to elucidate how five different native species (Paubrasilia echinata, Chorisia glaziovii, Clusia nemorosa, Licania tomentosa, and Schinus terebinthifolius), each occupying distinct ecological niches, respond to seasonal variations in rainfall and their consequences. Our investigation has revealed that C. nemorosa and P. echinata exhibit robust mechanisms to mitigate the adverse effects of drought. In contrast, others demonstrate greater adaptability (e.g., S. terebinthifolia and C. glaziovii). In this context, exploring metabolic pathways has proven invaluable in comprehending the physiological strategies and their significance in species acclimatization. This study provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of water restrictions and their consequential effects on various species, defining the strategies each species uses to mitigate water privation during the dry season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis and Carbon Metabolism in Higher Plants and Algae)
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14 pages, 3145 KiB  
Article
Improving Tree Seedling Quality Using Humates Combined with Bacteria to Address Decarbonization Challenges through Forest Restoration
by Aleksey Nazarov, Sergey Chetverikov, Maxim Timergalin, Ruslan Ivanov, Nadezhda Ryazanova, Zinnur Shigapov, Iren Tuktarova, Ruslan Urazgildin and Guzel Kudoyarova
Plants 2024, 13(11), 1452; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13111452 - 23 May 2024
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Abstract
Improving the quality of tree planting material for carbon sequestration through reforestation can help solve environmental problems, including the need to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of using humic [...] Read more.
Improving the quality of tree planting material for carbon sequestration through reforestation can help solve environmental problems, including the need to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of using humic substances in combination with rhizosphere microorganisms Pseudomonas protegens DA1.2 and Pseudomonas sp. 4CH as a means to stimulate the growth of seedlings of pine, poplar, large-leaved linden, red oak, horse chestnut, and rowan. Humic substances stimulated the growth of shoots and roots of pine, large-leaved linden, and horse chestnut seedlings. The effects of bacteria depended on both plant and bacteria species: Pseudomonas protegens DA1.2 showed a higher stimulatory effect than Pseudomonas sp. 4CH on pine and linden, and Pseudomonas sp. 4CH was more effective in the case of chestnut. An additive effect of humates and Pseudomonas protegens DA1.2 on the growth rate of pine and linden saplings was discovered. Poplar, red oak, and rowan seedlings were unresponsive to the treatments. The growth-stimulating effects of the treatments are discussed in connection with the changes in carbon, chlorophyll, and nitrogen contents in plants. The results show the need for further research in bacterial species capable of stimulating the growth of plant species that were unresponsive in the present experiments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis and Carbon Metabolism in Higher Plants and Algae)
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Review

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16 pages, 751 KiB  
Review
Improving Crop Yield through Increasing Carbon Gain and Reducing Carbon Loss
by Palanivelu Vikram Karthick, Alagarswamy Senthil, Maduraimuthu Djanaguiraman, Kuppusamy Anitha, Ramalingam Kuttimani, Parasuraman Boominathan, Ramasamy Karthikeyan and Muthurajan Raveendran
Plants 2024, 13(10), 1317; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13101317 - 10 May 2024
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Abstract
Photosynthesis is a process where solar energy is utilized to convert atmospheric CO2 into carbohydrates, which forms the basis for plant productivity. The increasing demand for food has created a global urge to enhance yield. Earlier, the plant breeding program was targeting [...] Read more.
Photosynthesis is a process where solar energy is utilized to convert atmospheric CO2 into carbohydrates, which forms the basis for plant productivity. The increasing demand for food has created a global urge to enhance yield. Earlier, the plant breeding program was targeting the yield and yield-associated traits to enhance the crop yield. However, the yield cannot be further improved without improving the leaf photosynthetic rate. Hence, in this review, various strategies to enhance leaf photosynthesis were presented. The most promising strategies were the optimization of Rubisco carboxylation efficiency, the introduction of a CO2 concentrating mechanism in C3 plants, and the manipulation of photorespiratory bypasses in C3 plants, which are discussed in detail. Improving Rubisco’s carboxylation efficiency is possible by engineering targets such as Rubisco subunits, chaperones, and Rubisco activase enzyme activity. Carbon-concentrating mechanisms can be introduced in C3 plants by the adoption of pyrenoid and carboxysomes, which can increase the CO2 concentration around the Rubisco enzyme. Photorespiration is the process by which the fixed carbon is lost through an oxidative process. Different approaches to reduce carbon and nitrogen loss were discussed. Overall, the potential approaches to improve the photosynthetic process and the way forward were discussed in detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis and Carbon Metabolism in Higher Plants and Algae)
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14 pages, 2374 KiB  
Review
Assembly and Repair of Photosystem II in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
by Himanshu S. Mehra, Xiaozhuo Wang, Brandon P. Russell, Nidhi Kulkarni, Nicholas Ferrari, Brent Larson and David J. Vinyard
Plants 2024, 13(6), 811; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants13060811 - 12 Mar 2024
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Abstract
Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms use Photosystem II (PSII) to oxidize water and reduce plastoquinone. Here, we review the mechanisms by which PSII is assembled and turned over in the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This species has been used to make key discoveries [...] Read more.
Oxygenic photosynthetic organisms use Photosystem II (PSII) to oxidize water and reduce plastoquinone. Here, we review the mechanisms by which PSII is assembled and turned over in the model green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This species has been used to make key discoveries in PSII research due to its metabolic flexibility and amenability to genetic approaches. PSII subunits originate from both nuclear and chloroplastic gene products in Chlamydomonas. Nuclear-encoded PSII subunits are transported into the chloroplast and chloroplast-encoded PSII subunits are translated by a coordinated mechanism. Active PSII dimers are built from discrete reaction center complexes in a process facilitated by assembly factors. The phosphorylation of core subunits affects supercomplex formation and localization within the thylakoid network. Proteolysis primarily targets the D1 subunit, which when replaced, allows PSII to be reactivated and completes a repair cycle. While PSII has been extensively studied using Chlamydomonas as a model species, important questions remain about its assembly and repair which are presented here. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photosynthesis and Carbon Metabolism in Higher Plants and Algae)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: The freshwater cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 does not require an active external carbonic anhydrase
Authors: Elena V. Kupriyanova; Maria A. Sinetova; David A. Gabrielyan; Dmitry A. Los
Affiliation: К.А. Timiryazev Institute of Plant Physiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Botanicheskaya street 35, Moscow 127276, Russia
Abstract: Under standard laboratory circumstances, Synechococcus elongatus PCC 7942 lacks the periplasmic carbonic anhydrase (CA), EcaASyn. In this study, a S. elongatus transformant was developed that expressed the homologous EcaACya from Cyanothece sp. ATCC 51142. This additional extracellular CA had no detectable effect on the adaptive responses and physiology of cells under fluctuations mimicking those found in S. elongatus natural habitats: varying CO2 and HCO3– concentrations and ratios; oxidative or light stress; and severe CO2 levels. Under some conditions (Na+ depletion, a drop in CO2), the transformant exhibited a disadvantage over wild type cells. S. elongatus cells lacked their own EcaASyn under all experimental settings. A number of studies have found that S. elongatus has mechanisms that limit the emergence of EcaASyn in the periplasm. Supplementary, for the first time, we present data on the expression pattern of CCM-associated genes during S. elongatus adaptation to the replacement of CO2 with HCO3–, as well as cell transfer to high CO2 (up to 100%). An increase in CO2 concentration is accompanied with the suppression of the NDH-14 system, which was previously assumed to function constitutively.

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