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Seasonal changes of Rubisco content and activity in Fagus sylvatica and Picea abies affected by elevated CO2 concentration

Miroslav Hrstka, Otmar Urban, and Libor Babák

Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, Purkyňova 118, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic



Abstract: We studied Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) content and activity in juvenile tree species — broadleaved Fagus sylvatica L. and coniferous Picea abies (L.) Karsten exposed for three growing seasons to ambient (A = 385 μmol mol−1) and elevated (E = 700 μmol mol−1) CO2 concentrations. Rubisco content was determined by the SDS-PAGE method, Rubisco activity was assayed spectrophotometrically. The highest content of Rubisco enzyme in F. sylvatica was measured immediately after full leaf development followed by a gradual decrease throughout the growing season. By contrast, Rubisco content in P. abies increased markedly during the growing season. In both tree species, down-regulation of Rubisco content in trees cultivated under elevated CO2 concentration was observed. Rubisco activity was stimulated in F. sylvatica by E treatment but not in P. abies. Because no significant differences were found in Rubisco activation state between A and E, we assume that stimulation of Rubisco activity in E is not a consequence of higher carbamylation but could be caused by the release of inhibitors from active sites of Rubisco under elevated CO2.

Keywords: Rubisco content – Rubisco activity – seasonal changes – elevated CO2 concentrations – Fagus sylvatica – Picea abies

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.2478/s11696-012-0188-5


Chemical Papers 66 (9) 836–841 (2012)

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