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  • 1 Department of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721

In order to more fully understand flower growth and development, we are interested in carbohydrate partitioning and metabolism in floricultural crops. In recent work with Chrysanthemum, we noted the occurrence of several early-eluting carbohydrate peaks (as detected by HPLC with a resin-based column in the calcium form). These peaks were present in flowers and stems, and in lesser amounts in leaves. Acid hydrolysis of the unknowns liberated large amounts of fructose and much smaller amounts of glucose, indicating that these peaks are fructans, or medium chain-length fructose polymers. Fructans represented 10% and 25% of the carbohydrate in a 12:5:3 methanol: chloroform: water extract of leaves and stems, respectively. Flower petals were extracted with 95%. ethanol, then with water. Fructans accounted for more than 40'% of the water soluble carbohydrate in flower bud tissue. It is likely that fructans serve as a major reserve carbohydrate in Chrysanthemum. Additional studies are underway to better characterize flower petal fructans, and to understand their role in flower development.

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