Maintenance of Growth Rate at Low Temperature in Rice and Wheat Cultivars with a High Degree of Respiratory Homeostasis is Associated with a High Efficiency of Respiratory ATP Production
Some plants have the ability to maintain similar respiratory rates (measured at the growth temperature) when grown at different temperatures. This phenomenon is referred to as respiratory homeostasis. Using wheat and rice cultivars with different degrees of respiratory homeostasis (H), we previously demonstrated that high-H cultivars maintained shoot and root growth at low temperature [Kurimoto et al. (2004) Plant Cell Environ., 27: 853]. Here, we assess the relationship between respiratory homeostasis and the efficiency of respiratory ATP production, by measuring the levels of alternative oxidase (AOX) and uncoupling protein (UCP), which have the potential to decrease respiratory ATP production per unit of oxygen consumed. We also measured SHAM- and CN-resistant respiration of intact roots, and the capacity of the cytochrome pathway (CP) and AOX in isolated mitochondria. Irrespective of H, SHAM-resistant respiration of intact roots and CP capacity of isolated root mitochondria were larger when plants were grown at low temperature, and the maximal activity and relative amounts of cytochrome c oxidase showed a similar trend. In contrast, CN-resistant respiration of intact roots and relative amounts of AOX protein in mitochondria isolated from those roots, were lower in high-H plants grown at low temperature. In the roots of low-H cultivars, relative amounts of AOX protein were higher at low growth temperature. Relative amounts of UCP protein showed similar trends to AOX. We conclude that maintenance of growth rate in high-H plants grown at low temperature is associated with both respiratory homeostasis and a high efficiency of respiratory ATP production.