In peach (Prunus persica [L.] Batsch.), sorbitol and sucrose are the two main forms of photosynthetic and translocated carbon and may have different functions depending on the organ of utilization and its developmental stage. The role and interaction of sorbitol and sucrose metabolism was studied in mature leaves (source) and shoot tips (sinks) of ‘Nemaguard’ peach under drought stress. Plants were irrigated daily at rates of 100, 67, and 33% of evapotranspiration (ET). The relative elongation rate (RER) of growing shoots was measured daily. In mature leaves, water potential (Pw), osmotic potential (Ps), sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (S6PDH, EC 126.96.36.199), and sucrose-phosphate synthase (SPS, EC 188.8.131.52) activities were measured weekly. Measurements of Ps, sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH, 184.108.40.206), sucrose synthase (SS, EC 220.127.116.11), acid invertase (AI, EC 18.104.22.168), and neutral invertase (NI, EC 22.214.171.124) activities were taken weekly in shoot tips. Drought stress reduced RER and Pw of plants in proportion to water supply. Osmotic adjustment was detected by the second week of treatment in mature leaves and by the third week in shoot tips. Both SDH and S6PDH activities were reduced by drought stress within 4 days of treatment and positively correlated with overall Pw levels. However, only SDH activity was correlated with Ps. Among the sucrose enzymes, only SS was affected by drought, being reduced after 3 weeks. Sorbitol accumulation in both mature leaves and shoot tips of stressed plants was observed starting from the second week of treatment and reached up to 80% of total solutes involved in osmotic adjustment. Sucrose content was up to 8-fold lower than sorbitol content and accumulated only occasionally. We conclude that a loss of SDH activity in sinks leads to osmotic adjustment via sorbitol accumulation in peach. We propose an adaptive role of sorbitol metabolism versus a maintenance role of sucrose metabolism in peach under drought stress.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science
- Cell Biology