Changes in Soluble Carbohydrates in Floral Organs of Lilium longiflorum during Flower Development

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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Clemson Univ., Clemson, SC 29634.

Easter lily flower buds at five stages of development (stage 1, 3–4 cm in length; stage 2, 6–7 cm; stage 3, 9–10 cm; stage 4, unopened buds, 13–14 cm; and stage 5, open flower one day after anthesis) were harvested, and flower organs were dissected for carbohydrate analysis. Extracting soluble sugars in distilled water at 70°C gave the optimum yield of soluble sugars among the several extraction methods tested including 80% ethanol, and distilled water at various temperatures. Separation of the extracted soluble sugars by alkaline high performance anion exchange chromatography revealed the presence of glucose, fructose, sucrose, and two other sugars of unknown identity. Glucose and fructose concentrations increased remarkably during the flower development in sepal (about 15-fold), style (about 10-fold), and filament (about 5-fold), while sucrose levels remained constant at low concentrations. In stigma, sucrose levels increased parallel to the increase of hexose sugars during development. Ovary had high sucrose levels relative to hexoses that remained constant while hexoses increased gradually. In anther, hexose concentrations increased at the stage 2 and then dropped at stage 3 and 4. Sucrose levels were higher than hexoses in anther, and it increased from stage 1 to stage 2, then dropped at stage 3, and increased thereafter. In addition to these sugars, anthers at stages 2 and 3 had a series of late eluting oligosaccharides. These oligosaccharides could be hydrolyzed to glucose with hot 1 m H2SO4 or with amyloglucosidase.

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