Translocation and utilization of carbon in wheat (Triticum aestivum)

Hans Lambers, Richard J. Simpson, Vyrna C. Beilharz, Michael J. Dalling

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22 Citations (Web of Science)


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. SUN 9E) was grown in a growth chamber under conditions of low soil nitrogen. Translocation of carbon to the roots and the subsequent utilization of these carbohydrates was determined. In vegetative plants (22 days old), 21.5 mg C day−1 were translocated to the roots. 29% of this was incorporated into dry matter, 32% was respired (28% via the cytochrome and 4% via a SHAM‐sensitive, presumably the alternative nonphosphorylating, pathway) and 39% was translocated back to the shoots, mainly in the form of amino acids. – The rote of root maintenance respiration during the vegetative phase was estimated to be 0.7 mg O2 h−1 (g dry weight of roots)−1 and the root growth respiration to be 0.41 g O2 (g dry weight of roots)−1. Total carbohydrate utilization due to root respiration via the alternative, nonphosphorylating pathway during the major part of the growth period was calculated to be only ca 6% of carbohydrate utilization for grain growth. The rate of specific mass transfer (SMT) of sugars in the sieve tubes was estimated from the data on C‐translocation and data on the total area occupied by sieve tubes in a cross section of the root system. SMT was calculated to be 0.8 mg sucrose s−1 cm−2, which is very similar to the published value on SMT for other organs, except roots.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-22
Number of pages5
JournalPhysiologia Plantarum
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes


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