A concept is suggested, which supposes that assimilates are transferred within the plant downward through phloem sieve tubes and, after entering the stem apoplast, are carried up with the ascending flow of transpiration water. After entering the apoplast of fully expanded leaves, these solutes are reexported through the phloem. Thus, a common pool of assimilates with uniform concentration is formed in the plant apoplast. According to this concept, the mechanism of assimilate demand represents a response of photosynthetic apparatus to changes in the apoplastic level of metabolites consumed by sink organs. The ratios of labeled photoassimilates differ between the apoplast and mesophyll cells. Most of the apoplastic labeled carbon is contained in sucrose, less in amino acids, and even less in hexoses. The 14C-labeling of amino acids increases and the sucrose/hexose labeling ratio decreased under conditions of enhanced nitrate supply. The well-known effect of relative inhibition of assimilate export from leaves under conditions of enhanced nitrogen supply is explained by an enhanced hydrolysis of apoplast-derived sucrose due to the increase in invertase activity, rather than by diversion of primary photosynthetic products from sucrose synthesis to other pathways required for activated growth processes in leaves. This notion is based on observations that the sucrose/hexose ratio is reduced to a greater extent in the apoplast than in the symplast. The last assumption was supported by data obtained after artificial changes in the apoplastic pH. In these experiments intact plants were placed in the atmosphere of NH3 or HCl vapors, which induced opposite changes in relative content of labeled assimilates in the apoplast and in the photosynthetic rate.
Russian Journal of Plant Physiology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 18, 2004
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