RuBisCo is an enzyme that acts both as a carboxylase and oxygenase. Why do you think RuBisCo carries out more carboxylation in C4 plants?
The enzyme RuBisCo is absent from the mesophyll cells of C4 plants. It is present in the bundle-sheath cells surrounding the vascular bundles. In C4 plants, the Calvin cycle occurs in the bundle-sheath cells. The primary CO2 acceptor in the mesophyll cells is phosphoenol pyruvate – a three-carbon compound. It is converted into the four-carbon compound oxaloacetic acid (OAA). OAA is further converted into malic acid. Malic acid is transported to the bundle-sheath cells, where it undergoes decarboxylation and CO2fixation occurs by the Calvin cycle. This prevents the enzyme RuBisCo from acting as an oxygenase.
RuBisCO is an enzyme which acts both as carboxylase (carboxylation during photosynthesis) and oxygenase (during photorespiration). But RuBisCO carries out more carboxylation in C4 plants. In C4 plants, initial fixation of carbon dioxide occurs in mesophyll cells. The primary acceptor of C02 is phosphoenol pyruvate or PER It combines with carbon dioxide in the presence of PEP carboxylase or PEPcase to form oxaloacetic acid or oxaloacetate. Malic acid or aspartic acid is translocated to bundle sheath cells through plasmodesmata. Inside the bundle sheath cells they are decarboxylated (and deaminated in case of aspartic acid) to form pyruvate and CO2 . CO2 is again fixed inside the bundle sheath Cells through Calvin cycle. RuBP of Calvin cycle is called secondary or final acceptor of CO2 in C4 plants. Pyruvate is sent back to mesophyll cells
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