Biosynthesis of Sucrose and Mannitol as a Function of Leaf Age in Celery (Apium graveolens L.) 1


In celery (Apium graveolens L.), the two major translocated carbohydrates are sucrose and the acyclic polyol mannitol. Their metabolism, however, is different and their specific functions are uncertain. To compare their roles in carbon partitioning and sink-source transitions, developmental changes in 14CO2 labeling, pool sizes, and key enzyme activities in leaf tissues were examined. The proportion of label in mannitol increased dramatically with leaf maturation whereas that in sucrose remained fairly constant. Mannitol content, however, was high in all leaves and sucrose content increased as leaves developed. Activities of mannose-6-P reductase, cytoplasmic and chloroplastic fructose-1,6-bisphosphatases, sucrose phosphate synthase, and sucrose synthase increased with leaf maturation and decreased as leaves senesced. Ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase and nonreversible glyceraldehyde-3-P dehydrogenase activities rose as leaves developed but did not decrease. Thus, sucrose is produced in all photosynthetically active leaves whereas mannitol is synthesized primarily in mature leaves and stored in all leaves. Onset of sucrose export in celery may result from sucrose accumulation in expanding leaves, but mannitol export is clearly unrelated to mannitol concentration. Mannitol export, however, appears to coincide with increased mannitol biosynthesis. Although mannitol and sucrose arise from a common precursor in celery, subsequent metabolism and transport must be regulated separately.

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