Carbon flux through photosynthesis and central carbon metabolism show distinct patterns between algae, C3 and C4 plants

Haim Treves, Anika Küken, Stéphanie Arrivault, Hirofumi Ishihara, Ines Hoppe, Alexander Erban, Melanie Höhne, Thiago Alexandre Moraes, Joachim Kopka, Jedrzej Szymanski, Zoran Nikoloski, Mark Stitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Photosynthesis-related pathways are regarded as a promising avenue for crop improvement. Whilst empirical studies have shown that photosynthetic efficiency is higher in microalgae than in C3 or C4 crops, the underlying reasons remain unclear. Using a tailor-made microfluidics labelling system to supply 13CO2 at steady state, we investigated in vivo labelling kinetics in intermediates of the Calvin Benson cycle and sugar, starch, organic acid and amino acid synthesis pathways, and in protein and lipids, in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Chlorella sorokiniana and Chlorella ohadii, which is the fastest growing green alga on record. We estimated flux patterns in these algae and compared them with published and new data from C3 and C4 plants. Our analyses identify distinct flux patterns supporting faster growth in photosynthetic cells, with some of the algae exhibiting faster ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration and increased fluxes through the lower glycolysis and anaplerotic pathways towards the tricarboxylic acid cycle, amino acid synthesis and lipid synthesis than in higher plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-91
Number of pages14
JournalNature Plants
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

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