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Plant Physiol. Apr 1988; 86(4): 1070–1076.
PMCID: PMC1054629

Diurnal Growth of Tall Fescue Leaf Blades 1

I. Spatial Distribution of Growth, Deposition of Water, and Assimilate Import in the Elongation Zone

Abstract

Tall fescue leaf blades elongate at near constant rates during most of the light and dark periods of the diurnal cycle, with the dark rate being higher by 60 to 65%. Our objective was to determine relationships among diurnal rates of leaf elongation, deposition of water and deposition of dry matter (DM) into the elongation zone. Two separate experiments were conducted, both with a 15-hour photoperiod and constant 21°C at the growth zone. Increased rates of leaf elongation in darkness were due to proportionally increased rates of elongation of 4-millimeter segments of the elongation zone. Length of the total elongation zone was 30 millimeters in both light and darkness. The spatial distribution of water contents in the elongation zone varied little during the diurnal cycle. Thus, dark stimulation of leaf elongation rate (+65%) and of water deposition (+77%) into elongation zones were similar. Water content per unit leaf length increased by 50% between the basal and distal limits of the elongation zone, indicating that tissue also grew in the lateral and vertical dimensions. Longitudinal growth of tissue, however, allowed 5 to 7 times more water deposition into the elongation zone than growth in cross-sectional area. This relationship was similar in light and darkness. In both light and darkness net rates of DM deposition (microgram per millimeter leaf length per hour) increased from the zone of cell division towards the region of most active elongation, 10 to 15 millimeters from the ligule, then decreased towards the distal end of the elongation zone. Net DM deposition rates (microgram per hour) integrated over the 30-millimeter elongation zone were similar during light and darkness. Thus, DM in the elongation zone was diluted during darkness as a result of increased water deposition. Net DM deposition rates at and above the distal end of the elongation zone were clearly positive during the light, but were close to zero or negative in darkness. Thus, DM deposition into the elongation zone and the adjacent recently expanded tissue was differentially affected in the diurnal cycle, DM deposition occurred in both tissues in light, but was restricted to the elongation zone in darkness.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Schnyder H, Nelson CJ. Growth Rates and Carbohydrate Fluxes within the Elongation Zone of Tall Fescue Leaf Blades. Plant Physiol. 1987 Oct;85(2):548–553. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schnyder H, Nelson CJ, Coutts JH. Assessment of spatial distribution of growth in the elongation zone of grass leaf blades. Plant Physiol. 1987 Sep;85(1):290–293. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schnyder H, Nelson CJ, Spollen WG. Diurnal Growth of Tall Fescue Leaf Blades : II. Dry Matter Partitioning and Carbohydrate Metabolism in the Elongation Zone and Adjacent Expanded Tissue. Plant Physiol. 1988 Apr;86(4):1077–1083. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Silk WK, Erickson RO. Local biosynthesis rates of cytoplasmic constituents in growing tissue. J Theor Biol. 1980 Apr 21;83(4):701–703. [PubMed]
  • Silk WK, Walker RC, Labavitch J. Uronide Deposition Rates in the Primary Root of Zea mays. Plant Physiol. 1984 Mar;74(3):721–726. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Volenec JJ, Nelson CJ. Carbohydrate metabolism in leaf meristems of tall fescue : I. Relationship to genetically altered leaf elongation rates. Plant Physiol. 1984 Mar;74(3):590–594. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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