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Plant Physiol. May 1978; 61(5): 775–778.
PMCID: PMC1091975

Role of Carbohydrates in Proline Accumulation in Wilted Barley Leaves 1

Abstract

The effect of wilting on proline synthesis, proline oxidation, and protein synthesis—all of which contribute to proline accumulation—was determined in nonstarved barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) leaves. Nonstarved leaves were from plants previously in the light for 24 hours and starved leaves were from plants previously in the dark for 48 hours. Wilted leaves from nonstarved plants accumulated proline at the rate of about 1 μmole per hour per gram of fresh weight whereas wilted leaves from starved plants accumulated very little proline. Wilting caused a 40-fold stimulation of proline synthesis from glutamate in nonstarved leaves but had very little effect in starved leaves. Proline oxidation and protein synthesis, on the other hand, were inhibited by wilting in both nonstarved and starved leaves. Thus, the role of carbohydrates in proline accumulation is to supply precursors for the stimulated proline synthesis. These results further indicate that the main metabolic response causing proline to accumulate in wilted barley leaves is the stimulation of proline synthesis from glutamate. The difference between these results and those obtained with beans is discussed.

Wilting caused an increased conversion of glutamate to other products. In nonstarved leaves, conversion to organic acids as well as to proline was increased. In starved leaves, wilting caused an increase in the conversion of glutamate to glutamine, aspartate, asparagine, and organic acids.

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Selected References

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