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Type: Journal article
Title: The biochemical basis for thermoregulation in heat-producing flowers
Author: Umekawa, Y.
Seymour, R.
Ito, K.
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2016; 6(1):24830-1-24830-7
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2045-2322
Statement of
Yui Umekawa, Roger S. Seymour, Kikukatsu Ito
Abstract: Thermoregulation (homeothermy) in animals involves a complex mechanism involving thermal receptors throughout the body and integration in the hypothalamus that controls shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis. The flowers of some ancient families of seed plants show a similar degree of physiological thermoregulation, but by a different mechanism. Here, we show that respiratory control in homeothermic spadices of skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus renifolius) is achieved by rate-determining biochemical reactions in which the overall thermodynamic activation energy exhibits a negative value. Moreover, NADPH production, catalyzed by mitochondrial isocitrate dehydrogenase in a chemically endothermic reaction, plays a role in the pre-equilibrium reaction. We propose that a law of chemical equilibrium known as Le Châtelier's principle governs the homeothermic control in skunk cabbage.
Keywords: Mitochondria; Flowers; Cell Respiration; Body Temperature Regulation; Algorithms; Models, Biological; Hot Temperature; Plant Physiological Phenomena
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
RMID: 0030049926
DOI: 10.1038/srep24830
Grant ID:
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications

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