## Abstract

The root system of wheat seedlings (Triticum aestivum L. SUN 9E) was pruned to two seminal roots. One of the roots was supplied with different levels of NO_{3}, the other was deprived of N. Root respiration and the increment of C and N in roots and shoots were measured to determine the C/N ratio of the phloem sap feeding the N‐deprived roots. Thus it was possible to determine translocation of N from the shoots to the roots. It was calculated that the C/N ratio of phloem sap feeding roots of plants growing at optimal and suboptimal N supply was ca 54. A supra‐optimal N supply reduced, whilst shading increased, the C/N ratio of phloem sap. At optimal N supply 11% of all N transported to the shoots was retranslocated to the roots. Both a supra‐optimal and a limiting N supply increased translocation of N back to the roots to 18% of the N translocated to the shoot, whilst shading of the plants decreased the proportion cycled to 7%. At the optimal N supply, 40% more N was translocated to the roots from the shoot than was incorporated by them. At a lower supply of N, 80% more N was imported from the shoots than was incorporated by these roots. It is suggested that the distribution of N between roots and shoots predominantly occurs in the shoots. The specific mass transfer rate in seminal roots was determined. The highest value was found for roots grown with an optimal N supply: 1.1 mg carbohydrate s^{−1} cm^{−2} (sieve tube) which is well within the range observed for other plant organs. Roots supplied with NO_{3} produced more and longer laterals than N‐deprived roots. It is suggested that this is due to the effect of NO_{3} on import of carbon and other components transported in the mass flow with carbon.

Original language | English |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 421-429 |

Number of pages | 9 |

Journal | Physiologia Plantarum |

Volume | 56 |

Issue number | 4 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 1 Jan 1982 |

Externally published | Yes |