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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Davis, California » Crops Pathology and Genetics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370480

Research Project: Sustainable Vineyard Production Systems

Location: Crops Pathology and Genetics Research

Title: Maximum CO2 diffusion inside leaves is limited by the scaling of cell size and genome size

Author
item THÉROUX-RANCOURT, GUILLAUME - University Of Natural Resources & Applied Life Sciences - Austria
item RODDY, ADAM - Yale University
item EARLES , J - University Of California, Davis
item GILBERT , MATTHEW - University Of California, Davis
item ZWIENIECKI, MACIEJ - University Of California, Davis
item BOYCE , KEVIN - Stanford University
item THOLEN , DANNY - University Of Natural Resources & Applied Life Sciences - Austria
item McElrone, Andrew
item SIMONEN, KEVIN - San Francisco State University
item BRODERSEN, CRAIG - Yale University

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Royal Society B
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/27/2021
Publication Date: 2/24/2021
Citation: Théroux-Rancourt, G., Roddy, A., Earles , J.M., Gilbert , M., Zwieniecki, M., Boyce, K., Tholen, D., McElrone, A.J., Simonen, K., Brodersen, C.R. 2021. Maximum CO2 diffusion inside leaves is limited by the scaling of cell size and genome size. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 288. Article 20203145. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.3145.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2020.3145

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Leaves are the primary source of CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystems. Maintaining high rates of photosynthesis requires efficient transport of CO2 from the atmosphere and into leaf mesophyll tissue, where it is converted into sugar in the chloroplasts. The fundamental constraints on internal mesophyll tissue organization that ultimately lead to the upper limits of CO2 conductance within leaves is unknown. Here we show that variation in the three-dimensional structure of the leaf mesophyll tissue among vascular plants is driven primarily by the allometry between genome size and cell size. We found that genome size is a strong predictor of the sizes and packing densities of cells in all leaf tissues. Because smaller cells have a higher surface area to volume ratio, reducing cell size increases the liquid phase conductance to CO2, which is a greater limitation to total CO2 conductance than the conductance of intercellular airspace. Our results demonstrate that the genome downsizing among early Cretaceous angiosperms resulted in the restructuring of the entire leaf to optimize CO2 diffusion despite declining atmospheric CO2 declines.