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Intramolecular isotope analysis reveals plant ecophysiological signals covering multiple timescales / Thomas Wieloch.

Wieloch, Thomas, 1979- (författare)
Schleucher, Jürgen (preses)
Nilsson, Mats (preses)
Gleixner, Gerd (preses)
Wingate, Lisa (opponent)
Umeå universitet. Institutionen för medicinsk kemi och biofysik (utgivare)
Publicerad: Umeå : Umeå Universitet, 2019
Engelska 33 sidor
Serie: Umeå University medical dissertations, 0346-6612 ; N.S., 2004
Ingår i:
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  • E-bokAvhandling(Diss. (sammanfattning) Umeå : Umeå universitet, 2019)
Sammanfattning Ämnesord
  • Our societies' wellbeing relies on stable and healthy environments. However, our current lifestyles, growth-oriented economic policies and the population explosion are leading to potentially catastrophic degradation of ecosystems and progressive disruption of food chains. Hopefully, more clarity about what the future holds in store will trigger stronger efforts to find, and adopt, problem-focused coping strategies and encourage environmentally friendly lifestyles. Forecasting environmental change/destruction is complicated ( inter alia ) by lack of complete understanding of plant-environment interactions, particularly those involved in slow processes such as plant acclimatisation and adaptation. This stems from deficiencies in tools to analyse such slow processes. The present work aims at developing tools that can provide retrospective ecophysiological information covering timescales from days to millennia. Natural archives, such as tree-rings, preserve plant metabolites over long timescales. Analyses of intramolecular isotope abundances in plant metabolites have the potential to provide retrospective information about metabolic processes and underlying environmental controls. Thus, my colleagues and I (hereafter we) analysed intramolecular isotope patterns in tree rings to develop analytical tools that can convey information about clearly-defined plant metabolic processes over multiple timescales. Such tools might help ( inter alia ) to constrain plants' capacities to sequester excess amounts of anthropogenic CO 2 ; the so-called CO 2 fertilisation effect. This, in turn, might shed light on plants' sink strength for the greenhouse gas CO 2 , and future plant performance and growth under climate change. In the first of three studies, reported in appended papers, we analysed intramolecular 13 C/ 12 C ratios in tree-ring glucose. In six angiosperm and six gymnosperm species we found pronounced intramolecular 13 C/ 12 C differences, exceeding 10‰. These differences are transmitted into major global C pools, such as soil organic matter. Taking intramolecular 13 C/ 12 C differences into account might improve isotopic characterisation of soil metabolic processes and soil CO 2 effluxes. In addition, we analysed intramolecular 13 C/ 12 C ratios in a Pinus nigra tree-ring archive spanning the period 1961 to 1995. These data revealed new ecophysiological 13 C/ 12 C signals, which can facilitate climate reconstructions and assessments of plant-environment interactions at higher resolution; thus providing higher quality information. We proposed that 13 C/ 12 C signals at glucose C-1 to C-2 derive from carbon injection into the Calvin-Benson cycle via the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. We concluded that intramolecular 13 C/ 12 C measurements provide valuable new information about long-term metabolic dynamics for application in biogeochemistry, plant physiology, plant breeding, and paleoclimatology. In the second study, we developed a comprehensive theory on the metabolic and ecophysiological origins of 13 C/ 12 C signals at tree-ring glucose C-5 and C-6. According to this theory and theoretical implications of the first study on signals at C-1 to C-3, analysis of such intramolecular signals can provide information about several metabolic processes. At C-3, a well-known signal reflecting CO 2 uptake is preserved. The glucose-6-phosphate shunt around the Calvin-Benson cycle affects 13 C/ 12 C compositions at C-1 and C-2, while the 13 C/ 12 C signals at C-5 and C-6 reflect carbon fluxes into downstream metabolism. This theoretical framework enables further experimental studies to be conducted in a hypothesis-driven manner. In conclusion, the intramolecular approach provides information about carbon allocation in plant leaves. Thus, it gives access to long-term information on key ecophysiological processes, which could not be acquired by previous approaches. The abundance of the hydrogen isotope deuterium, δD, is important for linking the water cycle with plant ecophysiology. The main factors affecting δD in plant organic matter are commonly assumed to be the δD in source water and leaf-level evaporative enrichment. Current δD models incorporate biochemical D fractionations as constants. In the third study we showed that biochemical D fractionations respond strongly to low ambient CO 2 levels and low light intensity. Thus, models of δD values in plant organic matter should incorporate biochemical fractionations as variables. In addition, we found pronounced leaf-level δD differences between α-cellulose and wax n-alkanes. We explained this by metabolite-specific contributions of distinct hydrogen sources during biosynthesis. Overall, this work advances our understanding of isotope distributions and isotope fractionations in plants. It reveals the immense potential of intramolecular isotope analyses for retrospective assessment of plant metabolism and associated environmental controls. 


Alkanes  (MeSH)
Celllulose  (MeSH)
Carbon dioxide  (MeSH)
Carbon isotopes  (MeSH)
Plant physiological phenomena  (MeSH)
Ecological and environmental phenomena  (MeSH)
Climate change  (MeSH)
Fatty acids  -- biosynthesis (MeSH)
Ecology  -- trends (MeSH)
Ecology  -- methods (MeSH)


government publication  (marcgt)

Indexterm och SAB-rubrik

NMR spectroscopy
tree ring
isotope ratio
isotope effect
intramolecular 13C/12C signal
carbon allocation
plant performance
climate reconstruction
plant ecophysiology


577.276 (DDC)
Ue.05 (kssb/8 (machine generated))
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