A Method for Calculating Sucrose Synthesis Rates throughout a Light Period in Sugar Beet Leaves

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Plant Physiology


Sucrose synthesis rate in an exporting sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) leaf was calculated from simultaneous measurements of export and changes in leaf sucrose level. The amount of recently fixed carbon exported was determined from net carbon assimilated minus the tracer carbon accumulated in the leaf. The relative amount of 14C accumulated in the leaf supplied with 14CO2 throughout an entire light period was recorded continuously with a Geiger-Mueller detector. To produce a continuous time course for tracer carbon accumulated in the leaf during the light period, the latter curve was superimposed on values for tracer carbon accumulated in leaves sampled at hourly intervals. Validity of the method requires that nearly all of the carbon that is exported be sucrose and that nearly all of the sucrose that is synthesized be either exported or accumulated as sucrose in the exporting leaves. These conditions appeared to be fulfilled in the situations where the method was applied. The method was used to study the effect of increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration on the rate of sucrose synthesis. Further, the method can be used in conjunction with the gathering of other data such as gas exchange, metabolite levels, and enzyme activities in a set of leaves of a similar age on the same plant. This assemblage of data was found to be useful for understanding how rates of photosynthesis, sucrose synthesis, and translocation are regulated in relation to each other in an intact plant.

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American Society of Plant Biologists



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