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Plant Physiol. 1984 Sep;76(1):165-9.

Diurnal carbohydrate metabolism of barley primary leaves.

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  • 1USDA/Agricultural Research Service, Light and Plant Growth Laboratory, Plant Physiology Institute, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.


The carbohydrate content of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) leaves was measured over a 24-hour cycle. Nonstructural carbohydrate accumulation was linear after the 1st hour of light, whereas utilization in the dark was fast initially and slowed as stored reserves were depleted. Sucrose was the most abundant storage form of carbohydrate in the primary leaf. Lesser amounts of starch, fructans, and hexoses were also present. Leaf reserves were almost completely remobilized by the end of the dark period. There was a lag in starch degradation following a light to dark transition. Lower rates of starch accumulation were observed at the beginning and at the end of the day. Fructan synthesis occurred primarily towards the end of the light period as rates of sucrose and starch synthesis decreased. The above results suggested that carbohydrate metabolism in primary barley leaves was controlled by light and by endogenous factors such as foliar sucrose levels. Measurements of specific [(14)C]sucrose activity in steady state labeled 7-day-old barley primary leaves suggested the presence of at least two kinetically separate pools. Sucrose levels were higher and apparent turnover rates were lower in barley leaves in comparison to previous studies with other species.

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