Physiological responses to water stress in hybrid poplar (INRA 7171-B4, Populus tremula L. x P. alba L.) lines transformed to overexpress a pine cytosolic glutamine synthetase (GS1) gene were compared with those of non-transgenic plants. Before, during and after a drought treatment, net photosynthetic rates (Anet) were higher in transgenic than in non-transgenic plants. Stomatal conductance (gs) was higher in transgenic than in non-transgenic plants before, but not after exposure to drought. Before drought treatment, a sudden reduction in photosynthetic photon flux caused a greater burst of CO2 efflux in transgenic than non-transgenic plants, indicating greater photorespiratory activity. Drought caused greater reductions in photochemical quenching, photosystem II (PSII) antennae transfer efficiency (Fv′/Fm′) and light-adapted PSII yield (φPSII) in non-transgenic than in transgenic plants, especially at low irradiances. Antennae-based thermal dissipation was higher in transgenic plants than in non-transgenic plants both during the imposition of drought and 1 or 3 days after the relief of drought. Under severe water stress and subsequently, transgenic plants maintained a higher expression of glutamine synthetase, glutamate synthase and Rubisco and higher concentrations of chlorophyll and glycine than non-transgenic plants. These findings indicate that overexpression of pine cytosolic GS1 enhanced sustained photosynthetic electron transport capacity during severe stomatal limitation. The data also suggest that ectopic expression of cytosolic GS increases photorespiratory activity, and that this serves as a protective sink for electrons from photosynthetic reaction centers.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Jul 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science