The relationship between the activity of soluble acid invertase and metabolism of soluble carbohydrates was investigated in snapdragon flowers. Flowers were harvested at three different developmental stages, and at four different dates. Soluble carbohydrates were extracted and analyzed by HPLC; invertase activity was determined in crude enzyme extracts. Sucrose concentration slowly increased throughout flower development from a closed bud to a fully open flower. Fructose and glucose concentration were relatively lower at the bud stage, increased during petal elongation, then slightly decreased at flower maturity. Mannitol concentration showed little change during flower development. An unknown compound increased in concentration during petal elongation and decreased at maturity. For all harvest dates, the specific activity of acid invertase increased with flower development. These results show a positive correlation of invertase activity and hexose sugars accumulation. It is possible that at maturity sugars are metabolized at a faster rate than produced, causing a slight decline in hexose sugars.
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