Photosynthesis, Carbohydrate Metabolism, and Export in Beta vulgaris L. and Phaseolus vulgaris L. during Square and Sinusoidal Light Regimes

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Plant Physiology


Rates of photosynthesis, sucrose synthesis, starch accumulation and degradation were measured in sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) and bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) plants under a square-wave light regime and under a sinusoidal regime that simulated the natural daylight period. Photosynthesis rate increased in a measured manner in direct proportion to the increasing light level. In contrast to this close correspondence between photosynthesis and light, a lag in photosynthesis rate was seen during the initial hour under square-wave illumination. The leaf appeared to be responding to limits set by carbon metabolism rather than by gas exchange or light reactions. Under the sinusoidal regime starch degradation occurred during the first and last 2 hours of the photoperiod, likely in response to photosynthesis rate rather than directly to light level. Starch broke down when photosynthesis was below a threshold rate and accumulated above this rate. Under square-wave illumination, accumulation of starch did not begin until irradiance was at full level for an hour or more and photosynthesis was at or near its maximum. Under a sinusoidal light regime, sucrose synthesis rate comprised carbon that was newly fixed throughout the day plus that from starch degradation at the beginning and end of the day. Synthesis of sucrose from recently fixed carbon increased with increasing net carbon fixation rate while its formation from degradation of starch Dec.reased correspondingly. The complementary sources of carbon maintained a relatively steady rate of sucrose synthesis under the changing daytime irradiance.

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American Society of Plant Biologists



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