University Of Tasmania

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Acclimation of mesophyll conductance and anatomy to light during leaf aging in Arabidopsis thaliana

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 10:59 authored by Marc Carriqui AlcoverMarc Carriqui Alcover, Nadal, M, Flexas, J
Mesophyll conductance (g(m)), a key limitation to photosynthesis, is strongly driven by leaf anatomy, which is in turn influenced by environmental growth conditions and ontogeny. However, studies examining the combined environment x age effect on both leaf anatomy and photosynthesis are scarce, and none have been carried out in short-lived plants. Here, we studied the variation of photosynthesis and leaf anatomy in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana (Col-0) grown under three different light intensities at two different leaf ages. We found that light x age interaction was significant for photosynthesis but not for anatomical characteristics. Increasing growth light intensities resulted in increases in leaf mass per area, thickness, number of palisade cell layers, and chloroplast area lining to intercellular airspace. Low and moderate-but not high-light intensity had a significant effect on all photosynthetic characteristics. Leaf aging was associated with increases in cell wall thickness (T-cw) in all light treatments and in increases in leaf thickness in plants grown under low and moderate light intensities. However, g(m) did not vary with leaf aging, and photosynthesis only decreased with leaf age under moderate and high light, suggesting a compensatory effect between increased T-cw and decreased chloroplast thickness on the total CO2 diffusion resistance.


Publication title

Physiologia Plantarum










School of Natural Sciences


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Place of publication

United States

Rights statement

© 2021 Scandinavian Plant Physiology Society.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Climate adaptive plants; Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences