Carbon and nitrogen deposition in expanding tissue elements of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) leaves during non-steady growth after defoliation

R. Schäufele, H. Schnyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The effect of defoliation on the deposition of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) and the contribution of reserves and current assimilates to the use of C and N in expanding leaf tissue of severely defoliated perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was assessed with a new material element approach. This included 13C/12C-and 15N/14N-steady-state labelling of all post-defoliation assimilated C and N, analysis of tissue expansion and displacement in the growth zone, and investigation of the spatial and temporal changes in substrate and label incorporation in the expanding elements prior to and after defoliation. The relationship between elemental expansion and C deposition was not altered by defoliation, but total C deposition in the growth zone was decreased due to decreased expansion of tissue at advanced developmental stages and a shortening of the growth zone. The N deposition per unit expansion was increased following defoliation, suggesting that N supply did not limit expansion. Transition from reserve- to current assimilation-derived growth was rapid (<1 d for carbohydrates and approximately 2 d for N), more rapid than suggested by label incorporation in growth zone biomass. The N deposition was highest near the leaf base, where cell division rates are greatest, whereas carbohydrate deposition was highest near the location of most active cell expansion. The contribution of reserve-derived relative to current assimilation-derived carbohydrates (or N) to deposition was very similar for elements at different stages of expansion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-417
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Keywords

  • (leaf) growth zone
  • C
  • N
  • Reserves
  • Sink
  • Steady-state labelling

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