Canadian Forest Service Publications

Tree size affects accumulation of carbon and nitrogen metabolites in white spruce seedlings during short day-induced bud formation. 2012. Dhont, C.; Bertrand, A.; Castonguay, Y.; Cooke, J.E.K.; Isabel, N. Botany 90:941-953.

Year: 2013

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 34278

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/B2012-059

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The present study documents the changes in carbon and nitrogen metabolites occurring in apical buds and previous year stems of white spruce seedlings (Picea glauca [Moench] Voss) with contrasting growth phenotypes (tall vs. small) after transfer to short day (SD; 8 h) photoperiod to induce bud formation. Concentrations of total nonstructural carbohydrates markedly increased in the developing buds within the days after transfer to SD, mainly as a result of increased concentrations of monosaccharides such as glucose, fructose, and pinitol. At the same time, starch levels declined, with the resulting carbohydrates presumably used to meet early carbon requirements of the SD-induced apical bud. Concentrations of glutamine, glutamic acid and proline also decreased immediately after transfer to SD in both organs. Later stages of SDinduced bud formation were characterized by an increase in starch, sucrose, and glutamine concentrations in previous year stems, concomitant with an increase in the steady-state levels of UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and glutamine synthetase protein. In contrast, arginine levels increased after 2 weeks of SD exposure, indicating a transition in arginine metabolism at the time of initiation of shoot stem primordia and bud elongation. Higher accumulation of total nonstructural carbohydrates and total amino acids in previous year stems of small trees could indicate lower sink strength of apical bud during its development, which could in turn impact subsequent tree growth.