C4 plant is a plant in which the CO2 is first fixed into a compound containing four carbon atoms before entering the Calvin cycle of photosynthesis. It is better adapted than a C3 plant in an environment with high daytime temperatures, intense sunlight, drought, or nitrogen or CO2 limitation.
Biomass energy has a priority among renewable energy alternatives nowadays, against the background of critical energy crisis C4 plants are preferred renewableenergyplants as they make lower emission than the fossils fuels between 40% – 80%, also because they have a relatively high photosynthesis capacity.
Therefore, how to improve the vitality and biological yield of C4 Bioenergy plants has become a hot topic for scientists around the world.
A recent research by Jianying Ma from the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences collaborated with Dr. Asaph Cousinfrom Washington State University found that the observed changes in leaf anatomy and biochemistry likely help maintain the CO2concentrating mechanism efficiency of C4 plants.
Most C4 plants have a special leaf anatomy in which the vascular bundles are surrounded by bundle sheath cells.
Many studies have described howgrowth conditions influence the efficiency of C4photosynthesis. However, it remains unclear how changes in thebiochemical capacity versus leaf anatomy drives thisacclimation.
MA and her teamtried to determine how growth light and nitrogen availabilityinfluence leaf anatomy, biochemistry and the efficiency ofthe CO2concentrating mechanism.
“The ability of C4photosynthesis to acclimate to lowlight and limited available nitrogen is important forassessing the use of C4grasses as feedstock for cellulosic biofuel programs”, said MA.
The study showed that theefficiency of the CO2concentrating mechanismin C4 plant samples is robust under low-light and limited nitrogen growth conditions. This may be explained by the observed changes in leaf anatomy and biochemistry.