Even though a very few cells in a C4 plant carry out the biosynthetic


Even though a very few cells in a C4 plant carry out the biosynthetic – Calvin pathway, yet they are highly productive. Can you discuss why?


The productivity of a plant is measured by the rate at which it photosynthesises. The amount of carbon dioxide present in a plant is directly proportional to the rate of photosynthesis. C4 plants have a mechanism for increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide. In C4 plants, the Calvin cycle occurs in the bundle-sheath cells. The C4 compound (malic acid) from the mesophyll cells is broken down in the bundle-sheath cells. As a result, COis released. The increase in COensures that the enzyme RuBisCo does not act as an oxygenase, but as a carboxylase. This prevents photorespiration and increases the rate of photosynthesis. Thus, C4 plants are highly productive.

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