Variability in C3-plant cell-wall biosynthesis in a high-CO 2 atmosphere by solid-state NMR spectroscopy

Tsyr Yan Yu, Manmilan Singh, Shigeru Matsuoka, Gary J. Patti, Gregory S. Potter, Jacob Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We have used a frequency-selective rotational-echo double-resonance (REDOR) solid-state NMR experiment to measure the concentrations of glycine-glycine pairs in proteins (and protein precursors) of intact leaves of plants exposed to both high- and low-CO2 atomospheres. The results are interpreted in terms of differences in cell-wall biosynthesis between plant species. We illustrate this variability by comparing the assimilation of label in cheatgrass and soybean leaves labeled using 15N-fertilizer and 13CO2 atmospheres. Cheatgrass and soybean are both C 3 plants but differ in their response to a high-CO2 environment. Based on REDOR results, we determined that cheatgrass (a plant that seems likely to flourish in future low-water, high-CO2 environments) routes 2% of the assimilated carbon label that remains in the leaf after 1 h in a 600-ppm 13CO2 atmosphere to glycine-rich protein (or its precursors), a structural component of cell walls cross-linked to lignins. In contrast, soybean under the same conditions routes none of its assimilated carbon to glycine-rich protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6335-6341
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 12 2010


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