Journal Article

Bud development in corydalis (<i>Corydalis bracteata</i>) requires low temperature: a study of developmental and carbohydrate changes

Nadejda V. Khodorova, Evgeniy A. Miroslavov, Alexey L. Shavarda, Jean-Claude Laberche and Michèle Boitel-Conti

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 105, issue 6, pages 891-903
Published in print June 2010 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI:
Bud development in corydalis (Corydalis bracteata) requires low temperature: a study of developmental and carbohydrate changes

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


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Background and Aims

Spring geophytes require a period of low temperature for proper flower development but the mechanism that underlies the relationship between cold treatment and flowering remains unknown. The present study aims to compare the developmental anatomy and carbohydrate content of the tuberous geophyte Corydalis bracteata growing under natural winter conditions from 10 to −10 °C (field-grown) and under a mild temperature regime of 18 °C (indoor-grown plants).


Samples were studied under light and electron microscopy. A histochemical test (periodic acid – Schiff's) was employed to identify starch in sectioned material. Sugars were analysed by capillary gas chromatography. Apoplastic wash fluid was prepared.

Key Results

Under natural conditions, shoots were elongated, and buds gained in dry mass and developed normally. For indoor-grown plants, these parameters were lower in value and, from December, a progressive necrosis of flower buds was observed. The tuber consisted of the new developing one, which was connected to the bud, and the old tuber with its starch reserve. Due to the absence of plasmodesmata between new and old tuber cells, sugar transport cannot be through the symplast. Thus, a potential apoplastic route is proposed from old tuber phloem parenchyma cells to the adjacent new tuber cells. Sugar content in buds during the autumn months (September–November) was lower for indoor-grown plants than control plants, whereas the sugar content in tubers during the same period was similar for plants from both temperature treatments. However, the amount of apoplastic sugars in tubers of field-grown plants was almost 15-fold higher than in indoor-grown tubers.


The results suggest that low temperature activates the apoplastic route of sugar transport in C. bracteata tubers and a consequent carbohydrate delivery to the bud. In the absence of cold treatment, the carbohydrate reserve is locked in old tuber cells so the nutrient supply to the buds is suppressed, possibly leading to bud abortion.

Keywords: Corydalis bracteata; geophytes; temperature treatment; bud abortion; anther; apoplast; TEM

Journal Article.  7082 words.  Illustrated.

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

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