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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 CO2 fixation occurs by the Calvin cycle. This prevents the enzyme RuBisCo from acting as an oxygenase.

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