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Release of resource constraints allows greater carbon allocation to secondary metabolites and storage in winter wheat

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Huang,  Jianbei
Tree Mortality Mechanisms, Dr. H. Hartmann, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Forkelova,  Lenka
IMPRS International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;
Tree Mortality Mechanisms, Dr. H. Hartmann, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Hartmann,  Henrik
Tree Mortality Mechanisms, Dr. H. Hartmann, Department Biogeochemical Processes, Prof. S. E. Trumbore, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Huang, J., Hammerbacher, A., Forkelova, L., & Hartmann, H. (2017). Release of resource constraints allows greater carbon allocation to secondary metabolites and storage in winter wheat. Plant, Cell and Environment, 40(5), 672-685. doi:10.1111/pce.12885.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-2FBF-F
Abstract
The atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) is rapidly increasing and this may have substantial impact on how plants allocate metabolic resources. A thorough understanding of allocation priorities can be achieved by modifying [CO2] over a large gradient, including low [CO2], thereby altering plant carbon (C) availability. Such information is of critical importance for understanding plant responses to global environmental change. We quantified the percentage of daytime whole-plant net assimilation (A) allocated to night-time respiration (R), structural growth (SG), nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) and secondary metabolites (SMs) during 8 weeks of vegetative growth in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) growing at low, ambient, and elevated [CO2] (170, 390 and 680 ppm). R/A remained relatively constant over a large gradient of [CO2]. However, with increasing C availability, the fraction of assimilation allocated to biomass (SG + NSC + SMs), in particular NSC and SMs increased. At low [CO2] biomass and NSC increased in leaves but decreased in stems and roots, which may help plants achieve a functional equilibrium, i.e. overcome the most severe resource limitation. These results reveal that increasing C availability from rising [CO2] releases allocation constraints, thereby allowing greater investment into long-term survival in the form of NSC and SMs.