Changes in carbohydrate composition of the different bulb components of Nerine bowdenii W. Watson (Amaryllidaceae)

Theron K.I. ; Jacobs G. (1996)


Flowering-size Nerine bowdenii bulbs were sampled from a commercial planting at 2-week intervals from 13 Aug. 1991 to 14 June 1992. They were dissected, the dry weight of foliage and leaf bases was recorded, and carbohydrate analysis was performed on the foliage leaves, leaf bases, and roots. Starch was the dominant storage carbohydrate, and leaf bases were the principal bulb structures where it was stored. Changes in starch content closely followed dry weight changes in the bulb. When exposed to low temperatures, starch was converted to sugars. Except for these high levels in the leaf bases, sugars, expressed both as concentration and total content, were low in bulb components, indicating continued export and conversion to starch. Low sugar levels during the period that florets in the current season's inflorescence develop to stage Late G (gynoecium elongated, carpels fused) is implicated in the abortion of the inflorescence.

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