Prechilling of Xanthium strumarium L. Reduces Net Photosynthesis and, Independently, Stomatal Conductance, While Sensitizing the Stomata to CO21


Greenhouse-grown plants of Xanthium strumarium L. were exposed in a growth cabinet to 10 C during days and 5 C during nights for periods of up to 120 hours. Subsequently, CO2 exchange, transpiration, and leaf temperature were measured on attached leaves and in leaf sections at 25 or 30 C, 19 C dew point of the air, 61 milliwatts per square centimeter irradiance, and CO2 concentrations between 0 and 1000 microliters per liter ambient air. Net photosynthesis and stomatal conductance decreased and dark respiration increased with increasing duration of prechilling. The reduction in net photosynthesis was not a consequence of decreased stomatal conductance because the intercellular CO2 concentration in prechilled leaves was equal to or greater than that in greenhouse-grown controls. The intercellular CO2 concentration at which one-half maximum net photosynthesis occurred remained the same in prechilled leaves and controls (175 to 190 microliters per liter). Stomata of the control plants responded to changes in the CO2 concentration of the air only slightly. Prechilling for 24 hours or more sensitized stomata to CO2; they responded to changes in CO2 concentration in the range from 100 to 1000 microliters per liter.

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