Photosynthetic acclimation to high temperatures associated with heat tolerance in creeping bentgrass

Xiaozhong Liu, Bingru Huang
Journal of Plant Physiology 2008, 165 (18): 1947-53
Photosynthetic responses to increasing temperatures play important roles in regulating heat tolerance. The objectives of this study were to determine photosynthetic acclimation to increasing temperatures for creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) and to examine changes in major photosynthetic components (photosynthetic pigments, photochemical efficiency, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (rubisco) activity, and activation state of rubisco) involved in heat responses of photosynthesis. 'Penncross' was exposed to 20, 25, 30, and 35 degrees C for 7d at each temperature (acclimated) before being exposed to 40 degrees C for 28d or directly exposed to 40 degrees C for 28d from 20 degrees C (non-acclimated) in growth chambers. Leaf net photosynthetic rate (Pn), photochemical efficiency, rubisco activity, rubisco activation state, chlorophyll content, and carotenoid content decreased when grasses were subjected to severe heat stress at 40 degrees C for 28d. The declines in rubisco activity and activation state were most dramatic among different photosynthetic components examined in this study. Heat-acclimated plants were able to maintain significantly higher Pn, the content of chlorophyll and carotenoid, and the level of rubisco activity and activation state during subsequent exposure to severe heat stress, compared to non-acclimated plants. These results suggested that photosynthetic acclimation to increasing temperatures contributed to creeping bentgrass tolerance to severe heat stress, which was associated with the maintenance of both higher light-harvesting capacity and carbon fixation activity during heat stress.

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