Cold storage to overcome dormancy affects the carbohydrate status and photosynthetic capacity of Rhododendron simsii

Annelies Christiaens, Ellen De Keyser, Peter Lootens, Els Pauwels, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Jan De Riek, Bruno Gobin, Marie-Christine Van Labeke

    Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


    Global warming leads to increasing irregular and unexpected warm spells during
    autumn, and therefore natural chilling requirements to break dormancy are at risk. Controlled cold treatment can provide an answer to this problem. Nevertheless, artificial cold treatment will have consequences for carbon reserves and photosynthesis. In this paper, the effect of dark cold storage at 7 °C to break flower bud dormancy in the evergreen Rhododendron simsii was quantified. Carbohydrate and starch content in leaves and flower buds of an early (‘Nordlicht’), semi-early (‘M. Marie’) and late (‘Mw. G. Kint’) flowering cultivar showed that carbon loss due to respiration was lowest in ‘M. Marie’, while ‘Mw. G. Kint’ was completely depleted of starch reserves at the end
    of cold treatment. Gene isolation resulted in a candidate gene for sucrose synthase (SUS) RsSus, which appears to be homologous to AtSus3 and had a clear increase in expression in leaves during cold treatment. Photosynthesis measurements on ‘Nordlicht’ and the late-flowering cultivar ‘Thesla’ showed that during cold treatment, dark respiration decreased 58% and 63%, respectively. Immediately after cold treatment, dark respiration increased and stabilised after 3 days. The light compensation point followed the same trend as dark respiration. Quantum efficiency showed no significant changes during the first days after cold treatment, but was significantly higher than in plants with dormant flower buds at the start of cold treatment. In conclusion, photosynthesis stabilised 3 days after cold treatment and was improved compared to the level before cold treatment.
    Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
    TijdschriftPlant Biology
    Pagina's (van-tot)97-105
    PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 2015


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