Net photosynthetic CO2 assimilation: more than just CO2 and O2 reduction cycles

Guillaume Tcherkez*, Anis M. Limami

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

    36 Citations (Scopus)


    Net photosynthetic assimilation in C3 plants is mostly viewed as a simple balance between CO2 fixation by Rubisco-catalyzed carboxylation and CO2 production by photorespiration (and to a lower extent, by day respiration) that can be easily manipulated during gas exchange experiments using the CO2 : O2 ratio of the environment. However, it now becomes clear that it is not so simple, because the photosynthetic response to gaseous conditions involves ‘ancillary’ metabolisms, even in the short-term. That is, carbon and nitrogen utilization by pathways other than the Calvin cycle and the photorespiratory cycle, as well as rapid signaling events, can influence the observed rate of net photosynthesis. The potential impact of such ancillary metabolisms is assessed as well as how it must be taken into account to avoid misinterpretation of photosynthetic CO2 response curves or low O2 effects in C3 leaves.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)520-529
    Number of pages10
    JournalNew Phytologist
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


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