The distribution of C and N assimilates between vegetative and economically important grain (partitioning) is an important determinant of yield. Patterns of distribution established during vegetative development change in most crops following anthesis, such that the developing seeds become the overwhelming sink for assimilates (62, 68, 86). These changes appear to be associated with the intensity and efficiency of physiological processes associated with (a) the exit of solutes (and water) from the phloem terminus within developing seeds (phloem unloading), and (b) their subsequent uptake and utilization for seed growth and storage product formation (27, 29). Phloem unloading in seeds is spatially and temporally distinct from the subsequent processes involved in the utilization of assimilates, but until recently it has been impossible to evaluate 0066-4294/85/0601-0317 $02.00 THORNE their independent mechanisms and regulatory effects on partitioning. With the development of new techniques has come rapid advancement in our underÂ standing of these processes. Here I will deal exclusively with unloading in reproductive sinks, where the techniques have been applied, but will describe meristematic or storage sinks where appropriate for comparison. I review the cellular pathway of assimilate import and our present understanding of the mechanism of phloem unloading, but not
Annual Review of Plant Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Jun 1, 1985
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