J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2004, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (10): 1178-1185.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Comparative Mechanisms of Photosynthetic Carbon Acquisition in Hizikia fusiforme Under Submersed and Emersed Conditions

ZOU Ding-Hui, GAO Kun-Shan   


The economic seaweed Hizikia fusiforme (Harv.) Okamura (Sargassaceae, Phaeophyta) usually experiences periodical exposures to air at low tide. Photosynthetic carbon acquisition mechanisms were comparatively studied under submersed and emersed conditions in order to establish a general understanding of its photosynthetic characteristics associated with tidal cycles. When submersed in seawater, H. fusiforme was capable of acquiring HCO3- as a source of inorganic carbon (Ci) to drive photosynthesis, while emersed and exposed to air, it used atmospheric CO2 for photosynthesis. The pH changes surrounding the H. fusiforme fronds had less influence on the photosynthetic rates under emersed condition than under submersed condition. When the pH was as high as 10.0, emersed H. fusiforme could photosynthesize efficiently, but the submersed alga exhibited very poor photosynthesis. Extracellular carbonic anhydrase (CA) played an important role in the photosynthetic acquisitions of exogenous Ci in water as well as in air. Both the concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon in general seawater and CO2 in air were demonstrated to limit the photosynthesis of H. fusiforme, which was sensitive to O2. It appeared that the exogenous carbon acquisition system, being dependent of external CA activity, operates in a way not enough to raise intracellular CO2 level to prevent photorespiration. The inability of H. fusiforme to achieve its maximum photosynthetic rate at the current ambient Ci levels under both submersed and emersed conditions suggested that the yield of aquaculture for this economic species would respond profitably to future increases in CO2 concentration in the sea and air.

Key words: Hizikia fusiforme , photosynthesis, inorganic carbon, carbonic anhydrase, submersion, emersion, tide cycle

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