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Bulletin of Botanical Research ›› 2023, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (1): 90-99.doi: 10.7525/j.issn.1673-5102.2023.01.010

• Physiology and Ecology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Photosynthetic Capacity Differentiation and Gene Transcription in Different Geographical Populations of Arabidopsis thaliana under Common Garden conditions

Mengshuo LI, Yingze LIU, Huan LU, Sheng QIANG()   

  1. College of Life Sciences,Nanjing Agricultural University,Nanjing 210095
  • Received:2022-06-02 Online:2023-01-20 Published:2022-12-23
  • Contact: Sheng QIANG E-mail:wrl@njau.edu.cn
  • About author:LI Mengshuo(1995—),female,master degree student,engaged in the research of photosynthetic physiology of weeds
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(32102238)


Photosynthesis is a basic metabolism process for plants and provides the material basis for plant growth and development. Different environmental conditions determine the polymorphism of plant photosynthetic capacity, but the mechanisms regulating the divergence of photosynthetic capacity among different populations under the same environmental conditions remain still unknown. This study aims to reveal the divergence of photosynthetic capacity in different geographical populations of Arabidopsis thaliana in Europe under common garden conditions and the mechanisms of their gene transcriptional regulation. A comparative study of photosynthetic characteristics of 23 geographic A. thaliana(Arabidopsis) populations from different regions was conducted under common garden conditions by determining the gas exchange parameters, chlorophyll fluorescence parameters and SPAD values. In addition, the photosynthetic-related gene expressions of the typical populations with differences in photosynthetic capacity was examined using real-time quantitative PCR(RT-qPCR). The comparative result revealed that gas exchange parameters differed significantly among geographical populations of Arabidopsis from different climatic zones in Europe. The variation range of net photosynthetic rate was 2-11 μmol·m-2·s-1.while chlorophyll fluorescence parameters varied to a lesser extent, the variation range was almost no more than 10%. Cluster analysis showed that the 23 Arabidopsis populations were divided into two groups, strong and weak photosynthetic ability respectively. The populations with strong photosynthetic capacity were mainly distributed in central and western Europe, and the average net photosynthetic rate was 7.37 μmol·m-2·s-1. The populations with weak photosynthetic capacity were mainly distributed in eastern and southern Europe with an average net photosynthetic rate of 4.46 μmol·m-2·s-1. Correlation analysis revealed a significant correlation between net photosynthetic rate, water use efficiency and SPAD. The results of redundancy analysis(RDA) suggested that the divergence of photosynthetic capacity in Arabidopsis might be related to environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall during the growing season in the region. RT-qPCR results showed that the expression of PSⅡ- and Rubisco-related genes were significantly higher in En-D and Stw-0, typical populations with strong photosynthetic capacity, than in Wa-1 and Per-1, typical populations with weak photosynthetic capacity, suggesting that transcriptional differences in PSⅡ and Rubisco genes could be involved in the regulation of photosynthetic capacity differentiation in populations. The results clarified that there were differences in photosynthetic capacity between geographic populations of Arabidopsis under common gardens, and such differences might be related to the environment of origin and have been inherited to future generations during long-term evolution. In contrast, the transcriptional regulation of PSⅡ and Rubisco-related genes might be involved in the differentiation of photosynthetic capacity in Arabidopsis.

Key words: Photosynthesis, common garden conditions, PSⅡ-related gene, rubisco gene, gene expression

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