On four dates during the 1991 growing season, gas exchange rates were measured on the same middle leaflets every 3 h from 7am-10pm from deflowered (DF) and fruiting (F) red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L. cv. “Meeker”) canes. Concurrently, the adjacent side leaflets were sampled for anatomical starch determination. The dates corresponded to the late anthesis/early green fruit, early red fruit, late red fruit, and post fruit maturity stages of the growing season. For all dates, CO2 assimilation (A) was highest from 7-10am, lowest at 4pm, and increased at 7pm. Overall A peaked during fruit development. Leaves of F canes had greater A than leaves of DF canes during fruit development, but rates were similar after fruit maturity.
Starch accumulation in leaf cross-sections generally followed the diurnal pattern observed for A. Starch appeared heaviest from 7am-lpm and often showed an increase from 7-10pm. Leaves from DF canes generally had a greater accumulation of starch. Seasonally, leaf starch from F canes appeared greatest at late anthesis, decreased during fruit development and was very low post fruit maturity. Leaf starch in DF canes appeared greatest at the late anthesis and late red fruit stages.
DF leaves had greater dry weight accumulation than F leaves during the red fruit stages. A Western blot showed that Rubisco levels as a percentage of total soluble protein were higher during fruit development and decreased after fruit maturity.
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