After being the standard plant propagation protocol for decades, cultures of Arabidopsis thaliana sealed with Parafilm remain common today out of practicality, habit, or necessity (as in co-cultures with microorganisms). Regardless of concerns over the aeration of these cultures, no investigation has explored the CO 2 transport inside these cultures and its effect on the plants. Thereby, it was impossible to assess whether Parafilm-seals used today or in thousands of older papers in the literature constitute a treatment, and whether this treatment could potentially affect the study of other treatments.For the first time we report the CO 2 concentrations in Parafilm-sealed cultures of A. thaliana with a 1 minute temporal resolution, and the transcriptome comparison with aerated cultures. The data show significant CO 2 deprivation to the plants, a drastic suppression of photosynthesis, respiration, starch accumulation, chlorophyll biosynthesis, and an increased accumulation of reactive oxygen species. Most importantly, CO 2 deprivation occurs as soon as the cotyledons emerge. Gene expression analysis indicates a significant alteration of 35% of the pathways when compared to aerated cultures, especially in stress response and secondary metabolism processes. On the other hand, the observed increase in the production of glucosinolates and flavonoids suggests intriguing possibilities for CO 2 deprivation as an organic biofortification treatment in high-value crops.
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