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The anatomy of the pathway of sucrose unloading within the sugarcane stalk
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Kerry WalshKerry Walsh, R Sky, S Brown
The physical path of sucrose unloading in the sugarcane stalk is described. About 50% of the vascular bundles in the internodes were located within 3 mm of the outside of the stalk. These bundles were inactive in long distance sucrose transport, as assessed by dye tracers of phloem flow. A sheath of fibres isolates the phloem apoplast from that of the storage parenchyma. In bundles associated with long distance transport (i.e. in the central region), the fibre sheath is narrowest to either side of the phloem fibre cap, and consists of living cells with plasmodesmata within pits in the secondary wall. Plasmodesmata were also arranged into pit fields between cells of the storage parenchyma. Since the vascular apoplast is isolated from the apoplast of the storage parenchyma, sucrose must move through the symplast of the fibre sheath. The calculated flux of sucrose through plasmodesmata of this cell layer was at the low end of reported values in the literature. Sucrose unloading within the storage parenchyma may also follow a symplastic route, with unloading into the apoplast of the storage parenchyma occurring as part of a turgor mechanism to increase sink strength.