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Conference abstract, 2005

Effect of elevated atmospheric CO2 on lipid metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana

Ekman, Åsa


The extended use of fossil fuels since the industrial revolution has caused a change in the composition of the atmosphere. Today, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is approximately 370 ppm, but it is predicted to increase to at least the double in 100 years from now, even though different global environmental programs are putting efforts to minimise the greenhouse effect in the future. Interest in predicting how an environment with higher CO2 level will influence the growth of plants has lead to extensive research in different areas. The plant’s carboxylation competes with oxygenation better in higher CO2 levels; the first enzyme in the photosynthesis pathways, RuBisCO (Ribulose-1,6-biphosphate-carboxylase/oxygenase), is not saturated with CO2 at current levels. Plants therefore get a higher rate of photosynthesis (faster growth) in higher CO2 levels. Plants exposed to high CO2 levels during a longer time interval has been seen to not maintain this higher rate of photosynthesis. Studies on carbohydrate metabolism explain this as feedback inhibition of photosynthesis genes and questions how to engineer plants to benefit from the extra carbon in the atmosphere to get higher yields in agriculture has been brought up. Little attention has been given to the possible effects that CO2 enrichment may have on lipid metabolism. A few studies on wheat has shown that the lipid composition of plants is altered by elevated CO2 concentration. In my work I investigate if lipid metabolism is altered in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. I study the total lipid fatty acid profile and the fatty acid profile of different lipid classes in leaves during the diurnal cycle. I also study if the total oil content and the lipid composition in the seeds is changed due to the higher CO2 level during growth. The study of the pattern of the lipid composition in Arabidopsis thaliana will contribute to our understanding on how plants will respond biochemically to an environment with elevated CO2 in the future

Published in


2nd Swedish Plant Lipid Meeting

Authors' information

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Science

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science
Food Science

URI (permanent link to this page)