Journal Article

Starch storage in the stems of wheat plants: localization and temporal changes

Graham N. Scofield, Sari A. Ruuska, Naohiro Aoki, David C. Lewis, Linda M. Tabe and Colin L. D. Jenkins

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 103, issue 6, pages 859-868
Published in print April 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online February 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp010
Starch storage in the stems of wheat plants: localization and temporal changes

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

Carbohydrate temporarily accumulates in wheat stems during the early reproductive growth phase, predominantly as water soluble carbohydrate (WSC), and is subsequently remobilized during grain filling. Starch has also been reported as a minor storage carbohydrate component in wheat stems, but the details are lacking.

Methods

The accumulation and localization of starch in wheat stem and leaf sheath tissue over a developmental period from 6 d before anthesis to 35 d after anthesis was investigated.

Key Results

The region of the peduncle enclosed by the flag-leaf sheath, and the penultimate internode were the main tissues identified as containing starch, in which the starch grains localized to the storage parenchyma cells. In contrast, the exposed peduncle lacked starch grains. Starch grains were also found in the flag-leaf and second-leaf sheath. Plants grown in low-nitrogen conditions exhibited increased storage of both starch and WSC compared with plants grown in high-nitrogen supply.

Conclusions

The major accumulation and decrease of starch occurred temporally independently to that for WSC, suggesting a different functional role for starch in wheat stems. Starch reutilization concomitant with peduncle growth, and the early development of the reproductive structures, suggested a role in provision of energy and/or carbon scaffolds for these growth processes.

Keywords: Carbohydrate partitioning; peduncle; starch; wheat stem; storage parenchyma; Triticum aestivum

Journal Article.  6602 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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