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Plant Physiol. 1985 Aug;78(4):753-7.

Diurnal changes in allocation of newly fixed carbon in exporting sugar beet leaves.

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Department of Biology, Seton Hill College, Greensburg, Pennsylvania 15601.


Storage of newly fixed carbon as starch and sucrose follows a regular daily pattern in exporting sugar beet leaves under constant day length and level of illumination. Up to the final two hours of the light period, when starch storage declines, a nearly constant proportion of newly fixed carbon was allocated to carbohydrate storage, principally starch. Sucrose is stored only early in the light period, when there is little accumulation of starch. Pulse labeling with (14)CO(2) revealed that considerable starch synthesis was taking place at this time. Starch made the previous day was not mobilized during this period but breakdown of newly synthesized starch may occur when carbon flow into sucrose synthesis increases early in the day. At the end of the day, starch storage declined from the constant level observed during most of the day, but no diversion of label into export of specific alternative compounds could be detected. Lowered storage of starch persisted when the 14-hour light period was lengthened. Changed allocation of recently fixed carbon to sucrose and starch at the beginning and end of the light period was not the result of outright inactivation of pathways but of regulation of carbon flow.

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