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Jingwei Dai and Robert E. Paull

The inflorescence of Protea neriifolia B. Br. was two-thirds of the total cut floral stem fresh weight and significantly influenced blackening of the attached 20 to 30 leaves. Floral stems harvested at five developmental stages were characterized for inflorescence diameter, fresh and dry weights, respiration, and nectar production. Inflorescence diameter and fresh and dry weights increased from stage 1 (very tight bud) to stage 5 (bracts reflexed). Respiration rate was high in stages 1 and 3. Nectar production began at stage 4 (open, cylindrical flower) and increased from 2.7 to 9.8 ml per flower with 15% to 23.5% total soluble solids as the flower opened. Postharvest inflorescence diameter, respiration rate, and nectar production increased and leaf blackening decreased when floral stems were placed in 5% (w/v) sucrose solution. Application of 14C-sucrose to a leaf subtending the inflorescence lead to >50% of the radioactivity being found in the nectar within 24 hours. These data indicate that leaf blackening in protea is the result of depletion of carbohydrate by the inflorescence, and that this depletion is primarily due to the sugar demand for nectar production.

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G. Fernandez and M. Pritts

Seasonal changes in growth, photosynthetic rates, temperature, and light response curves of `Titan' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were obtained from potted plants grown under field conditions. Primocane dry weight accumulation underwent two phases of linear growth at the beginning and the end of the season, but growth slowed during fruiting. This slower rate of dry weight accumulation also coincided with an increase in root dry weight. Primocane NAR and SLA were highest early in the season. Light response curves differed depending on cane type and time of year. Floricane photosynthetic rates (A) were high during the fruiting period, while primocane A rates remained steady throughout the season. Both primocane and floricane leaflets displayed a midday drop in A rate, with a partial recovery in late afternoon. Photosynthetic rates of both primocane and floricane leaves were very sensitive to high temperatures. Temporal convergence of sink demand from fruit, primocanes, and roots occurs when plants experience high temperatures. This may account for low realized yields in raspberry and the high level of yield component compensation typical of source-limited plants.

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Justine E. Vanden Heuvel*

Fruiting and vegetative greenhouse-grown cranberry uprights (Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.) were subjected to four defoliation levels (0%, 25%, 50%, 75%) on one of three dates during the growing season. Seven days following defoliation, vines were destructively harvested and carbohydrate concentration was quantified using HPLC. Prior to new growth, defoliation did not affect the concentration of total non-structural carbohydrates (TNSC) in the uprights, or the partitioning of water-soluble (i.e., sucrose, glucose, fructose) to ethanol-insoluble (i.e., starch) carbohydrates, even though uprights with lower leaf areas had higher net CO2 assimilation rates (A). At 2 weeks post-bloom, TNSC concentration was reduced in defoliated vines, although A was not affected by defoliation. Prior to harvest, TNSC concentration was reduced in vines subjected to defoliation while A was unaffected, although the positive relationship between soluble carbohydrate concentration and leaf area per upright reached an asymptote, while the direct relationship between starch concentration and leaf area remained linear. Carbohydrate production and partitioning of an upright was unaffected by the presence of a single fruit throughout the experiment. These results suggest that carbohydrate production in cranberry uprights may be sink-limited prior to fruiting, and then becomes source-limited as the growing season progresses.

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Gina E. Fernandez and Marvin P. Pritts

Seasonal changes in growth, mean maximal photosynthetic rates, and the temperature and light response curves of `Titan' red raspberry (Rubus idaeus L.) were obtained from potted plants grown under field conditions. Primocane dry weight accumulation increased steadily at the beginning and the end of the season, but growth slowed midseason during fruiting. The slower midseason dry-weight accumulation rate coincided with an increase in root dry weight. Primocane net assimilation rate (NAR) was highest early in the season. Floricane photosynthetic rates (A) were highest during the fruiting period, while primocane A remained steady throughout the season. Primocane and floricane leaflets displayed a midday depression in A under field conditions, with a partial recovery in the late afternoon. Photosynthetic rates of primocane and floricane leaves were very sensitive to temperature, exhibiting a decline from 15 to 40C. Light-response curves differed depending on cane type and time of year. A temporal convergence of sink demand from fruit, primocanes, and roots occurs when plants experience high temperatures. These factors may account for low red raspberry yield.

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Sang Gyu Lee* and Chiwon W. Lee

The pattern of C14 carbohydrate translocation and distribution from source leaf to various plant parts in watermelon grown in the greenhouse and field was investigated. Seedling-grown plants were pruned to have two branches with only one of them carrying a fruit. When leaves at four different positions (on fruit-bearing node, on fifth node above and below it, and on fifth node from the base of the non-fruit-bearing stem) were exposed to 14CO, the distribution of C14 2 compounds to different parts (fruit, stem, leaf, root) of the plant varied. In all treatments, the fruit was the strongest sink, followed by stem, leaf and root tissues. The highest percentage of C14 photo-assimilates was transferred out of the source when the leaf borne on the fruit-bearing node was exposed to 14CO2 in both greenhouse and field grown plants. Translocation of C14 compounds from the leaves on the fifth node above and below the first fruit-carrying node was similar. Only 29% of C14 was transferred from the source leaf borne on the fifth node of the non-fruit bearing branch in the greenhouse, as compared to more than 46% of C14 from other source leaves. Accumulation of C14 in the root tissues was highest when source leaves were borne on the non-fruit bearing branch. In general, field-grown plants had higher percentages of C14 translocated as compared to greenhouse-grown plants.

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Yehoshua Saranga, Avishag Levi, Pavel Horcicka, and Shmuel Wolf

The cause for the differences in germination ability of large and small confection sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seeds was investigated over 3 years. The source-sink relationship was manipulated to better explore the differences between seeds of various sizes and to study the role of the embryo and the pericarp (hull) in controlling germination ability. Percent germination of large seeds was significantly lower than that of small seeds when tests were performed at 15 °C. Increasing the ratio of leaf area to number of developing seeds caused an increase in mean seed mass, but resulted in a lower percentage of germination. Seed vigor, as measured by mean time to germination or to emergence of hulled seeds or by rate of root elongation, was negatively correlated with embryo mass, indicating that the low vigor of large seeds is not due to the mechanical barrier imposed by the hull. Analysis of electrolyte leakage confirmed the hypothesis that the low quality of large seeds results from a disturbance during the process of seed development.

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Jieshan Cheng, Peige Fan, Zhenchang Liang, Yanqiu Wang, Ning Niu, Weidong Li, and Shaohua Li

Crop yield and fruit quality in fruit trees are highly dependent on efficient capture of solar energy and subsequent allocation of photoassimilate. Source-sink relationships are important factors influencing these allocation patterns. Fruit

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Madhumita Dash, Lisa Klima Johnson, and Anish Malladi

Carbohydrate availability is a key factor determining fruit growth in apple (Malus ×domestica) and other fruits. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating fleshy fruit growth in response to changes in carbohydrate availability are not well understood. In this study, carbohydrate availability was manipulated by reducing fruit load, and its effects on apple fruit growth, cell production and expansion, and the expression of genes associated with these processes was investigated. Reduction of fruit load during early fruit development led to a rapid increase in early fruit growth. The increase in fruit growth was associated with a transient increase in sorbitol and fructose concentrations and altered expression of sorbitol dehydrogenase and sucrose synthase genes. Increase in early fruit growth was mediated primarily by an increase in cell production. The aintegumenta gene, MdANT1, an AP2-domain transcription factor associated with the regulation of cell production and fruit growth, displayed an increase in expression by up to 5-fold during early fruit development in response to the reduction in fruit load. Additionally, multiple cell cycle genes positively associated with cell production such as the cyclins, MdCYCA2;1, MdCYCA2;3, MdCYCB1;1, and MdCYCB2;2, and the B-type cyclin-dependent kinases, MdCDKB1;1, MdCDKB1;2, and MdCDKB2;2, displayed higher expression by up to 5-fold under reduced fruit load conditions during early fruit growth. These data indicate that carbohydrate availability affects the expression of key transcription factors and cell proliferation genes, thereby regulating cell production during early fruit growth. Several genes associated with cell expansion such as the expansins, and cobra and cobra-like genes, also displayed altered expression in response to the reduction in fruit load. The expression of three expansin genes was higher under reduced fruit load conditions at maturity, a stage at which a minor increase in cell size was apparent. Together, data from this study indicate that fruit load reduction induces changes in carbohydrate availability and metabolism, which in turn affect cell production-related mechanisms, thereby enhancing early fruit growth.

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Arthur A. Schaffer, Marina Petreikov, Daphne Miron, Miriam Fogelman, Moshe Spiegelman, Zecharia Bnei-Moshe, Shmuel Shen, David Granot, Rivka Hadas, Nir Dai, Moshe Bar, Michael Friedman, Meir Pilowsky, Nehama Gilboa, and Leah Chen

The carbohydrate economy of developing tomato fruit is determined by wholeplant source–sink relationships. However, the fate of the imported photoassimilate partitioned to the fruit sink is controlled by the carbohydrate metabolism of the fruit tissue. Within the Lycopersicon spp. there exists a broad range of genetic variability for fruit carbohydrate metabolism, such as sucrose accumulation and modified ratios of fructose to glucose in the mature fruit and increased starch synthesis in the immature fruit. Metabolic pathways of carbohydrate metabolism in tomatoes, as well as natural genetic variation in the metabolic pathways, will be described. The impact of sink carbohydrate metabolism on fruit non-structural carbohydrate economy will be discussed.

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Jean-Pierre Privé, J.A. Sullivan, and J.T.A. Proctor

Leaf removal, cane girdling, and 14C translocation patterns were used to study source-sink relationships of primocane-fruiting (PF) red raspberries. Although the leaves in the reproductive zone were most important for vegetative and reproductive development, compensatory effects between the cane leaves were evident. When 14C translocation was studied in the reproductive portion of the cane, the lateral closest to the 14C-treated leaf was the major sink for carbohydrate from that leaf, independent of leaf position or reproductive development. Thereafter, partitioning to leaves and/or flowers or fruits above the 14C-treated leaf was related to leaf phyllotaxy 75% of the time.