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Crop Science Abstract -

Starch Storage in C4 vs. C3 Grass Leaf Cells as Related to Nitrogen Defeciency1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 17 No. 1, p. 85-88
    Received: Feb 14, 1976

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  1. R. N. Gallaher2 and
  2. R. H. Brown3



Starch has been shown to accumulate in chloroplasts of plant cells and carbohydrates have been shown to accumulate in leaves of nitrogen (N) deficient plants. No information could be found on the localization of starch in various cell types in relation to N nutrition. Therefore, this study was conducted under greenhouse conditions to determine this relationship in a species having the C4 Pathway of CO2 fixation, bahiagrass (Paspalum nolatum L. Flugge cv. ‘Pensicola’), vs. a species having the C3 Pathway, tall fescue (Festuca mundinacea Schreb. cv. ‘Kentucky 31’). Leaf sections from N deficient and well fertilized plants were stained with iodine (I) to observe starch localization. Starch was concentrated in bundle sheath cells of bahiagrass but not in tall fescue. Bundle sheath cells of N deficient bahiagrass were almost completely stained with I, indicating large quantities of stored starch. Bundle sheath cells of N sufficient leaves of bahiagrass were either not stained with I or only slightly stained indicating much less starch storage. Starch stained with I occurred on chloroplasts in mesophyll tissue of tall fescue but no relationship with N was observed.

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