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Plant Physiol. 1987 Jan;83(1):131-6.

Assimilate Unloading from Maize (Zea mays L.) Pedicel Tissues : I. Evidence for Regulation of Unloading by Cell Turgor.

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  • 1Department of Agronomy, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802.


Sugar and (14)C-assimilate release from the pedicel tissue of attached maize (Zea mays L.) kernels was studied following treatment with solute concentrations of up to 800 millimolal. Exposure and collection times ranged from 3 to 6 hours. Sugar and (14)C-assimilate unloading and collection in agar traps was reduced by 25 and 43%, respectively, following exposure to 800 millimolal mannitol. Inhibition of unloading was not specific to mannitol, since similar concentrations of glucose, fructose, or equimolar glucose plus fructose resulted in comparable inhibition. Ethylene glycol, a rapidly permeating solute which should not greatly influence cell turgor, did not inhibit (14)C-assimilate unloading. Based on these results, we suggest that inhibition of unloading by high concentrations of sugar or mannitol was due to reduced pedicel cell turgor. Changes in pedicel cell turgor may play a role in the regulation of assimilate transfer within the maize kernel.

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