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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-957
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2018-957
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Nov 2018

Research article | 14 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

A mechanism for biogenic production and emission of MEK from MVK decoupled from isoprene biosynthesis

Luca Cappellin1,2, Francesco Loreto3, Franco Biasioli1, Paolo Pastore2, and Karena McKinney4 Luca Cappellin et al.
  • 1Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, S. Michele a/A 38010, Italy
  • 2Dipartimento di Scienze Chimiche, Università degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy
  • 3National Research Council, Department of Biology, Agriculture and Food Science (DISBA), Rome 7-00185, Italy
  • 4Colby College, Waterville, Maine, USA

Abstract. Methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) is an important compound in atmospheric chemistry. While attention has been paid mostly to anthropogenic sources of MEK, recently it has been shown that biogenic sources are globally as important as anthropogenic ones. However, the origin of biogenic MEK has yet to be completely elucidated. We present the full mechanism by which within-plant transformation of MVK and, to a minor extent, of 2-butanol and 3-buten-2-ol, is a source of biogenic MEK. Such transformation is observed in red oak for both exogenous MVK, taken up from the atmosphere, and endogenous MVK generated within plant upon stress (e.g. heat stress). Endogenous MVK emitted by plants is typically explained by within-plant oxidation of isoprene caused by oxidative stress. In this study we show that MVK and MEK emission caused by heat stress is not related to isoprene in isoprene-emitting plants, implying that the massive carbon investment that plants commit to isoprene production is not explained by a direct antioxidant role. The presented mechanism can be important for inclusion in plant emission and in plant-atmosphere interaction models.

Luca Cappellin et al.
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Luca Cappellin et al.
Luca Cappellin et al.
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Short summary
MEK is an important VOC in atmospheric chemistry and recently it has been shown that biogenic sources are globally as important as anthropogenic ones. We unveiled the full mechanism by which within-plant transformation of MVK is a source of biogenic MEK. Such transformation is observed in red oak for both exogenous MVK, taken up from the atmosphere, and endogenous MVK generated within plant upon stress (e.g. heat stress). The new mechanism is important for inclusion in models.
MEK is an important VOC in atmospheric chemistry and recently it has been shown that biogenic...
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