Sekhon, Harleen , Dunsford, Teale , Cheng, Joy , Mehroke, Jarnail , Singh, Santokh .
Development of a new Research Project on Environmental Plant Physiology and Sustainability for Biology Undergraduate Students.
We have developed a new research project on environmental plant physiology and sustainability for undergraduate students. It is based on examining the relative carbon sequestration rates in leaves of both evergreen and deciduous trees over one year. Photosynthesis and transpiration are two major physiological processes in plants which, in addition to regulating plant growth and development, influence the atmospheric carbon dioxide and water vapour levels. In this study, the photosynthesis and transpiration rates of two evergreen species: Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), Lawson Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana); and two deciduous species: Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Red Oak (Quercus rubra) were analyzed using Licor Portable Photosynthesis System. Environmental factors such as light intensity, temperature and precipitation were also recorded. The leaf samples of these species were also subjected to gel electrophoresis for profiling of photosynthesis proteins. In the spring and early summer, the average photosynthesis rate was highest in Red Oak and typically lowest in the evergreen species. The evergreen species expressed moderate photosynthesis rates throughout the year, while the deciduous species showed the highest photosynthesis rate only during the active leaf growth period followed by a drastic reduction in photosynthesis rate during leaf senescence in the fall. The average transpiration rates are relatively consistently higher throughout the year for the evergreen species than the deciduous species. The leaf samples of both evergreen and deciduous tree species showed significant levels of the protein, rubisco (ribulose-1,5 bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) and moderate levels of the light-harvesting complex proteins. The relationship between the environmental factors, photosynthesis rates and the levels of photosynthesis proteins in these species will be discussed.
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1 - University of British Columbia, Botany, #3529-6270 University Boulevard, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada
Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Location: Battelle South/Convention Center
Date: Monday, July 9th, 2012
Time: 5:30 PM