We investigated the carbon isotope ratios and the diurnal pattern of malate accumulation in leaves and aerial roots of eight species of Phalaenopsis grown in greenhouses. The leaves of all the species showed carbon isotope ratios and the diurnal patterns of malate content typical of CAM plants. However, the aerial roots exhibited a large variation in the diurnal pattern of malate content among species and even among plants within the same species, although carbon isotope ratios were always CAM-like values. Some aerial roots showed the typical diurnal pattern of CAM, but others maintained high or low malate contents during a day without fluctuation. In order to characterize more strictly the nature of the malate variation in the aerial roots, we further investigated a possible variation of the diurnal pattern of malate among different aerial roots within an individual for Phalaenopsis amabilis and P. cornu-cervi. The diurnal pattern of malate content was varied even among different aerial roots within the same plant. Thus the photosynthetic carbon metabolism in aerial roots of orchids is fairly complex.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science