In order to investigate the relationship between the amino acid concentration in the phloem sap of leaves and the protein content in seeds, two Brassica napus genotypes and one B. carinata genotype with low, medium and high seed protein contents were analyzed. Phloem sap was collected from the B. napus winter rapeseed breeding line DSV15 with 19% protein of dry weight in the seeds, the spring cultivar ‘Duplo’ with 25% protein in the seeds and from the B. carinata line BRA1151/90 with 39% protein in the seeds by using the aphid-stylet technique. The total amino acid contents measured in the phloem varied considerably among the three genotypes analysed, and correlated positively with their respective seed protein contents. The total amino acid-to-sucrose ratio was lowest in B. napus line DSV15 which had the lowest seed protein content and highest in the B. carinata line BRA1151/90 which had the highest seed protein content. The amino-N translocation in the phloem during the light period was about 2-fold higher in the B. carinata line BRA1151/90 than in the B. napus lines Dulpo and DSV15. Predominant amino acids in the phloem were glutamine and glutamate, followed by serine, aspartate, and threonine. The amino acid patterns in the leaves resembled those in the phloem, although their absolute concentrations were higher in the phloem than in the cytosol of mesophyll tissue. Furthermore, the concentration gradient of amino acids between the cytosol of mesophyll cells and the phloem was higher in the B. carinata line BRA1151/90 than in the B. napus lines Duplo and DSV15. These results lead to the conclusion that the phloem translocation of amino-N and the phloem loading process of amino acids are decisive factors for the protein content in the seeds of Brassica species.
Planta – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 17, 2000
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