PARTITIONING OF 14C-SUCROSE INTO SORBITOL UNDER WATER STRESS

in HortScience
Authors:
Zhongchun WangDepartment of Horticulture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

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Gary W. StutteDepartment of Horticulture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

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Previous results showed that active sorbitol accumulation occurs under water stress. We tested the hypotheses that sorbitol accumulation is due to reduced sorbitol export from leaves or from increased synthesis of glucose to sorbitol. To test the hypotheses, 230 μl 14C-sucrose was introduced through the stems to detached `Jonathan' apple shoots which had either water stress or no stress. Following uptake of 14C-sucrose, 0% or 10% PEG was applied to shoots for 24 hours. The results showed that 73% of 14C-sucrose in non-stressed leaves was broken down within 1 hour and 44% was recovered in sorbitol. PEG initially stimulated the breakdown of 14C-sucrose to glucose and fructose, but further conversion to sorbitol was reduced. However, the percentage of 14C-sorbitol in mature leaves increased gradually in 10% PEG until it exceeded that of control at 24 hours. In contrast to mature leaves, young leaves and stems showed significantly less sorbitol under 10% PEG 24 hours after treatment. These results supported the hypothesis that sorbitol accumulation under water stress was due to the reduced sorbitol transport.

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