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Photorespiration Protects C3 Plants From Photooxidation

A. Kozaki, G. Takeba
Published 1996 · Biology

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PLANTS absorb light for photosynthesis but as light can itself be dangerous to plants, they need to protect themselves against its damaging effects. Here we show that photorespiration can act as such a defence mechanism. We constructed transgenic tobacco plants enriched or reduced in plastidic glutamine synthetase (GS2), a key enzyme in photorespiration. Those transgenic plants having twice the normal amount of GS2 had an improved capacity for photorespiration and an increased tolerance to high-intensity light, whereas those with a reduced amount of GS2 had a diminished capacity for photorespiration and were photoinhib-ited more severely by high-intensity light compared with control plants. We conclude that photorespiration protects C3 plants from photoinhibition.
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