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The possible evolution, and future, of CO2-concentrating mechanisms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Mar 2017
DatePublished (current) - 13 May 2017

Abstract

CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCMs), based either on active transport of inorganic carbon (biophysical CCMs) or on biochemistry involving supplementary carbon fixation into C4 acids (C4 and CAM), play a major role in global primary productivity. However, the ubiquitous CO2-fixing enzyme in autotrophs, Rubisco, evolved at a time when atmospheric CO2 levels were very much higher than today and O2 was very low and, as CO2 and O2 approached (by no means monotonically), today's levels, at some time subsequently many organisms evolved a CCM that increased the supply of CO2 and decreased Rubisco oxygenase activity. Given that CO2 levels and other environmental factors have altered considerably between when autotrophs evolved and the present day, and are predicted to continue to change into the future, we here examine the drivers for, and possible timing of, evolution of CCMs. CCMs probably evolved when CO2 fell to 2-16 times the present atmospheric level, depending on Rubisco kinetics. We also assess the effects of other key environmental factors such as temperature and nutrient levels on CCM activity and examine the evidence for evolutionary changes in CCM activity and related cellular processes as well as limitations on continuity of CCMs through environmental variations.

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via OUP at https://academic.oup.com/jxb/article/68/14/3701/3823751. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 982 KB, PDF document

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