Foliar Raffinose and Sucrose in Four Conifer Species: Relationship to Seasonal Temperature

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Horticultural Science and Plant Physiology Program, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

Foliar raffinose and sucrose concentrations in eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.), eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana L.), Leyland cypress (×Cupressocyparis leylandii Dallim.), and Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana L.) were measured monthly over 2 years. During cold weather, foliage of white pine and redcedar contained higher concentrations of raffinose and sucrose than did Leyland cypress and Virginia pine. Rafflnose concentrations were highest during winter and were best correlated with the frequency of occurrence of daily minima ≤ 1.7C during the 30 days before sampling. Sucrose concentrations, which also reached maximum levels during the winter, were best correlated with the frequency of occurrence of daily minima ≤ 7.2C in the prior 30 days. Sucrose concentrations were relatively high during fall and spring. Raffinose and sucrose concentrations increased in response to recurring low temperature, with correlations highest for raffinose.

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