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Photosynthesis Research





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A burst of net CO2 uptake was observed during the first 3–4 min after the onset of illumination in both wild-type Chlamydomonas reinhardii in which carbonic anhydrase was chemically inhibited with ethoxyzolamide and in a mutant of C. reinhardii (ca-1-12-1C) deficient in carbonic anhydrase activity. The burst was followed by a rapid decrease in the CO2 uptake rate so that net evolution often occurred. After a 2–3 min period of CO2 evolution, net CO2 uptake again increased and ultimately reached a steady-state, positive rate. From [14CO2]-tracer studies it was determined that CO2 fixation proceeded at a nearly linear rate throughout the period of illumination. Thus, prior to reaching a steady state, there was a rapid accumulation of inorganic carbon inside the cells which apparently reached a supercritical concentration and the excess was excreted, causing a subsequent efflux of CO2. A post illumination burst of net CO2 efflux was also observed in ethoxyzolamide-inhibited wild type and ca-1 mutant cells, but not in the unihibited wild type. [14CO2]-tracer experiments revealed that this burst was the result of a collapse of a large internal inorganic carbon pool at the onset of darkness rather than a photorespiratory post-illumination burst. These results indicate that upon illumination, chemical or genetic inhibition of carbonic anhydrase initially causes an accumulation of excess inroganic carbon in C. reinhardii cells, and that unknown regulatory mechanisms correct for this imbalance by first excreting the excess inorganic carbon and then, after several dampened oscillations, achieving an equilibrium between bicarbonate uptake, bicarbonate dehydration, and CO2 fixation.


This article is published as Spalding, Martin H., and William L. Ogren. "CO 2 exchange characteristics during dark-light transitions in wild-type and mutant Chlamydomonas reinhardii cells." Photosynthesis research 6, no. 4 (1985): 363-369. Posted with permission.


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