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Plant Physiol. 1979 Nov;64(5):749-53.

Photosynthate Partitioning into Starch in Soybean Leaves: I. Effects of Photoperiod versus Photosynthetic Period Duration.

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  • 1Light and Plant Growth Laboratory, Plant Physiology Institute, United States Department of Agriculture, Science and Education Administration, Agricultural Research, Beltsville, Maryland 20705.


Photosynthesis, photosynthate partitioning into foliar starch, and translocation were investigated in soybean plants (Glycine max (L.) Merr. cv. Amsoy 71), grown under different photoperiods and photosynthetic periods to determine the controls of leaf starch accumulation. Starch accumulation rates in soybean leaves were inversely related to the length of the daily photosynthetic period under which the plants were grown. Photosynthetic period and not photoperiod per se appears to be the important factor. Plants grown in a 14-hour photosynthetic period partitioned approximately 60% of the daily foliar accumulation into starch whereas 7-hour plants partitioned about 90% of their daily foliar accumulation into starch. The difference in starch accumulation resulted from a change in photosynthate partitioning between starch and leaf residual dry weight. Residual dry weight is defined as leaf dry weight minus the weight of total nonstructural carbohydrates. Differences in photosynthate partitioning into starch were also associated with changes in photosynthetic and translocation rates, as well as with leaf and whole plant morphology. It is concluded that leaf starch accumulation is a programmed process and not simply the result of a limitation in translocation.

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