Regulation of photosynthesis by sugars in sugarcane leaves

Alistair James McCormick*, Michael D. Cramer, Derek A. Watt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In sugarcane, increased sink demand has previously been shown to result in increased photosynthetic rates that are correlated with a reduction in Leaf hexose concentrations. To establish whether sink Limitation of photosynthesis is a result of sugar accumulation in the leaf, excision and cold-girdling techniques were used to modify leaf sugar concentrations in pot-grown sugarcane. In excised leaves that were preincubated in darkness for 3 h, sucrose accumulation was reduced but accumulated again upon transfer to the light, while hexose concentrations remained lower than in controls (7.7 mu mol mg(-1) FW versus 18.6 mu mol mg-1 FW hexose in controls). These results were associated with a 66% and 59% increase in photosynthetic assimilation (A) and electron transport rate (ETR), respectively, compared to controls maintained in the light. Similar increases in photosynthesis were observed when dark-treated leaves were supplied with 5 mM sorbitol, but not when supplied with 5 mM sucrose. Further analyses of (14)C-Labeled sugars indicated rapid turnover between sucrose and hexose. Cold-girdling (5 degrees C) increased sucrose and hexose levels and resulted in a decline of photosynthetic rates over 5d (48% and 35% decline in assimilation rate and ETR, respectively). These sugar-induced changes in photosynthesis were independent of changes in stomatal conductance. This study demonstrates that the down-regulation of photosynthesis in response to culm sugar accumulation reported previously could be due to the knock-on effect of accumulation of sugar in leaf tissue, and supports the contention that hexose, rather than sucrose, is responsible for the modulation of photosynthetic activity. (C) 2008 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1817-1829
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Volume165
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Hexose
  • Leaf
  • Photosynthesis
  • Sucrose
  • Sugarcane
  • SUCROSE-PHOSPHATE SYNTHASE
  • GENE-EXPRESSION
  • C-4 PLANTS
  • CHLOROPHYLL FLUORESCENCE
  • STOMATAL CONDUCTANCE
  • LEAF PHOTOSYNTHESIS
  • SINK-REGULATION
  • WATER-STRESS
  • CARBOHYDRATE CONTENT
  • TRANSGENIC TOBACCO

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