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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1978 Nov 15;544(1):200-14.

Pathway of starch breakdown in photosynthetic tissues of Pisum sativum.


1. The aim of this work was to discover the pathway of starch breakdown in the photosynthetic tissues of Pisum sativum. 2. Measurements of the starch in the leaves of plants grown in photoperiods of 12 or 18 h showed that starch, synthesized in the light, was rapidly metabolized in the dark at rates of 0.04--0.06 mumol glucose/min per g fresh weight. 3. The maximum catalytic activities of alpha-amylase, beta-amylase, hexokinase, alpha-glucan phosphorylase and phosphoglucomutase in extracts of leaves showed no diurnal variation in either photoperiod, and exceeded estimates of the rate of net starch breakdown in the dark. 4. Studies with intact chloroplasts, isolated from young shoots and from leaves, indicated that pea chloroplasts do not contain significant activities of alpha-amylase, beta-amylase and hexokinase, although some of the latter may be attached to the outside of the chloroplast envelope. These studies also showed that pea chloroplasts contained sufficient alpha-glucan phosphorylase and phosphoglucomutase to mediate the observed rates of starch breakdown. 5. It is proposed that starch breakdown in pea chloroplasts is phosphorolytic.

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