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Nitrogen in cell walls of sclerophyllous leaves accounts for little of the variation in photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency


Harrison, MT and Edwards, EJ and Farquhar, GD and Nicotra, AB and Evans, JR, Nitrogen in cell walls of sclerophyllous leaves accounts for little of the variation in photosynthetic nitrogen-use efficiency, Plant, Cell and Environment, 32, (3) pp. 259-270. ISSN 0140-7791 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1365-3040.2008.01918.x


Photosynthetic rate per unit nitrogen generally declines as leaf mass per unit area (LMA) increases. To determine how much of this decline was associated with allocating a greater proportion of leaf nitrogen into cell wall material, we compared two groups of plants. The first group consisted of two species from each of eight genera, all of which were perennial evergreens growing in the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG). The second group consisted of seven Eucalyptus species growing in a greenhouse. The percentage of leaf biomass in cell walls was independent of variation in LMA within any genus, but varied from 25 to 65% between genera. The nitrogen concentration of cell wall material was 0.4 times leaf nitrogen concentration for all species apart from Eucalyptus, which was 0.6 times leaf nitrogen concentration. Between 10 and 30% of leaf nitrogen was recovered in the cell wall fraction, but this was independent of LMA. No trade-off was observed between nitrogen associated with cell walls and the nitrogen allocated to ribulose 1.5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). Variation in photosynthetic rate per unit nitrogen could not be explained by variation in cell wall nitrogen. © 2009 The Authors.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Cell wall nitrogen; Leaf mass per unit area; Nitrogen allocation; Rubisco; Structural nitrogen; carbon; carbon dioxide; nitrogen; ribulosebisphosphate carboxylase; concentration (composition); dicotyledon; enzyme activity; evergreen tree; leaf area
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant biology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Plant Production and Plant Primary Products
Objective Group:Other plant production and plant primary products
Objective Field:Other plant production and plant primary products not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Harrison, MT (Associate Professor Matthew Harrison)
ID Code:84638
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:81
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2013-05-23
Last Modified:2013-06-03

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