Effect of Leaf and Plant Age, and Day/Night Temperature on Net CO2 Uptake in Phalaenopsis amabilis var. formosa

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticulture, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, Taiwan 106

In this study, effects of leaf age (20 to 240 days), plant age (4, 8, and 14 months after deflasking), and various day/night temperature regimes (16 to 33 °C) on photosynthesis of Phalaenopsis amabilis L. Blume var. formosa Shimadzu (Phal. TS97) leaves were investigated. The diurnal net CO2 uptake in Phal. TS97 leaves was measured and integrated to obtain total net CO2 uptake, which represents photosynthetic efficiency in plants performing crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM). Under all conditions, Phal. TS97 leaves performed typical CAM photosynthesis and reached their highest net CO2 uptake rate, ≈6 μmol·m-2·s-1, after 3 to 4 hours in the dark under a 12-hour photoperiod. When grown under 30 °C day/25 °C night temperature, the total net CO2 uptake of leaf increased with maturation and was highest at 80 days old, 20 days after full expansion. The CAM photosynthetic capacity of mature leaves remained high after maturation and began to decline at a leaf age of 240 days. The trend was consistent with malate fixation but the highest nocturnal malate concentration was observed in 100-day-old leaves. Young leaves or leaves from small juvenile plants had higher daytime CO2 fixation compared to mature leaves or large plants, suggesting that Phal. TS97 leaves progressed from C3-CAM to CAM during the course of maturation. The second newly matured leaf from the top had the highest net CO2 fixation when the newest leaf was 8 cm in length. Although plant age did not influence total CO2 uptake in the leaf, photosynthetic efficiency of leaves in small younger plants was more sensitive to high light intensity, 340 μmol·m-2·s-1 photosynthetic photon flux. The day/night temperature of 32/28 and 29/25 °C resulted in the highest total net CAM CO2 fixation in vegetative Phal. TS97 plants than higher (33/29 °C) and lower temperatures (21/16 °C).

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