Scrutinizing the influence of temperature on Rubisco catalysis

Improving our appreciation of how Rubisco catalysis is affected by higher temperatures is paramount towards understanding how ecosystem producitivty will be affected by climate change.

Our appreciation of how temperature affects Rubisco catalysis remains rudimentary. While there is considerable variability in nature of Rubisco catalytic prowess, we have only a limited appreciation of how the catalysis by different Rubiscos is influenced by temperature. Indeed most modelling predictions use the temperature dependencies determined for only a handful of Rubiscos, which clearly show a wide variation in temperature dependency (see Sage, R., 2002, J Exp Bot. 53, 609-20; Bernacchi, C.,, 2003, Plant Cell & Environ. 26, 1419-30). This brings into question the accuracy of current predictions of photosynthesis at varying temperatures. Such information is pivotal to improve the accuracy for predicting changes in plant growth in response to varying temperature. The goal of this research is to determine how temperature influences the catalytic features of Rubisco from numerous photosynthetic organisms such as plants, marine algae and bacteria.

Suggested reading

  • Sage, R. (2002) Variation in the kcat of Rubisco in C3 and C4 plants and some implications for photosynthetic performance at high and low temperature. J Exp Bot. 53, 609-620
  • Bernacchi, C., Pimentel, C. and Long, S. (2003) In vivo temperature response functions of parameters required to model RuBP-limited photosynthesis. Plant Cell and Environ. 26, 1419-1430