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Assimilate Translocation &
Partitioning
Define what is assimilate, translocation and
partitioning
175050 Nurul Atiqah Hussain Sani
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Transport in Plants
Explain what does a plant transport.
1750565 Siti Maryam Mohd
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Plant Transportation Tissue
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What are the tissues responsible for plant
transportation?
(28) 175060 Khairuddin Akmal
Mohamad Kamal
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Phloem transport
A highly specialized process for
redistributing:
Photosynthesis products
Other organic compounds
(metabolites, hormones)
some mineral nutrients
Redistributed from
SOURCE SINK
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Phloem transport: Sources and
sinks
Source:
Any exporting region that produces
photosynthateabove and beyond that of
its own needs
Sink:
any non-photosynthetic organ or an
organ that does not produce enough
photosynthateto meets its own needs
The transport of assimilate
The journey of how organic molecules are
transported fromsource (sites of
production) to sink (site of need)
Typical direction of transport is downward
from primary source (leaves) to major sink
(roots)
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Phloem tissue
What made up phloem tissue?
What is(are) the function and structure of
each component in phloem tissue?
170200 Ahmad Nursyahmi
Mohamad Yusoff
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What does phloem tissue transport (What are
the composition in phloem during transport)?
(29) 175061 Khairil Amer bin
Kairudin
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CHO transported in
phloemare all
nonreducing sugars.
This is because they are
less reactive
Reducing sugars, such as
Glucose, Mannoseand
Fructose contain an
exposed aldehyde or
ketone group
Too chemically reactive to
be transported in the
phloem
Sugars that are not generally in
phloem
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Sugars that are in phloem (polymers)
The most common transported
sugar is sucrose (non
reducing sugar).
Made up from glucose &
Fructose
The ketone or aldehyde group
is combined with a similar
group on another sugar
Or the ketone or aldehyde
group is reduced to an alcohol
D-Mannitol
Most of the other mobile
sugars transported contain
sucrose bound to varying
numbers of galactose units
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Assimilate Partitioning
What is partitioning?
Differential distribution of photosynthates
within the plant for growth, development,
storage or maintenance
Efficiency of partitioning from vegetative
sinks into storage organs determine the
productivity of many crops
cont .
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Inter-organ translocation in the plant is
primarily through the vascular system
Movement in the xylemis essentially a 1-
way acropetal (upward) movement up
through the roots via transpiration stream
Substances in phloemhave a bidirectional
movement and may be acropetal (upward)
or basipetal (downward)
cont
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Assimilate produced in leaves move to
assimilate sinks while substance absorbed
by roots move upward (eg. PGR)
Upper leaves provide photosynthates to
shoot apex and lower leaves provide for
the root
cont ..
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In both xylem and phloem exist
plasmodesmatawhich allow some lateral
movement.
The bulk of translocated substances, other
then water is result of PS or remobilization
of assimilates in storage
90% of total solids in phloem consist of
CHO
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Regulation and allocation of
partitioning
The allocation for partitioning is regulated by
triose phosphate and inorganic P (Pi) in
cytosol.
Low Pi promotes starch synthesis, high Pi
promote sucrose synthesis
triose phosphate =Glyceraldehyde 3-
phosphate =3-phosphoglyceraldehyde and
abbreviated as G3P, GADP, GAP, TP, GALP or
PGAL (intermediate in metabolic pathways)
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The mechanism of
phloem transport
The Pressure-Flow Model
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Explain what is (i) water potential gradient,
(ii) phloem turgor pressure and (iii) pressure
gradient
(31) 175064 SUDAMMA SOH
CHIEN HSIEN
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Translocation is thought to
move at 1 m/h
Diffusion too slow for this
speed
The flow is driven by an
osmotically generated
pressure gradient between
the source and the sink.
Source
Sugars (red dots) is actively
loaded into the sieve element-
companion cell complex
Called phloem loading
Sink
Sugars are unloaded
Called phloem unloading 21
Insource tissue, E driven phloem
loading leads to a buildup of sugars
Makes low (-ve) solute potential
Causes a steep drop in water
potential
Inresponse to this new water
potential gradient, water enters sieve
elements fromxylem
Thus phloem turgor pressure
increases
Insink tissue, phloem unloading leads
to lower sugar conc.
Makes a higher (+ve) solute
potential
Water potential increases
Water leaves phloem and enters sink
sieve elements and xylem
Thus phloem turgor pressure
decreases
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Water
enters
SE &
raises
turgor
pressure
Sucrose
entersSE
& lowers
water
potential
Sucrose
leaves SE
& raises
water
potential
Water
leaves
SE &
lowers
turgor
pressure
So, the translocation pathway
has cross walls
Allow water to move fromxylem to
phloem and back again
If absent- pressure difference
from source to sink would quickly
equilibrate
Water is moving in the phloemby
Bulk Flow
No membranes are crossed from
one sieve tube to another
Solutes are moving at the same rate
as the water
Water movement is driven by
pressure gradient and NOT
water potential gradient
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In phloem loading, where do the solutes come
from?
(30) 175062 Mohammad Akmal
Ahza Sarlan
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In a process called sieve
element loading, sugars
are transported into the
sieve elements and
companion cells
Sugars become more
concentrated in sieve
elements and companion
cells than in mesophyll cells
Once in the sieve element
/companion cell complex
sugars are transported
away fromthe source tissue
called export
Translocation to the sink
tissue is called long
distance transport
Cont ..
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Movement is via either
apoplast or symplast
Via apoplastic pathway
requires ATP
Active transport
against its chemical
potential gradient
Involves a sucrose-
H+ symporter
The E dissipated by
protons moving back
into the cell is
coupled to the uptake
of sucrose
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More rapid
less resistance to
water flow
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Apoplastic
loading
Symplastic
loading
Transport sugar Sucrose Oligosaccharides
in addition to
sucrose
Type of companion
cell in the minor
veins
Ordinary
companion cells or
transfer cells
Intermediary cells
Number of
plasmodesmata
connectingthe SE
and CC to
surrounding cells
Few Abundant
Patterns in apoplastic and symplastic loading
Apoplastic Pathway
Sucrose is discharged from the mesophyll
cells into apoplast (the cell walls), carriers
may involve
Sucrose uptake into SE-CC complex is
mediated by sucrose-proton symporters in
the plasma membrane
Greater rate in C
4
plants may be due to
higher ATP
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Symplastic Pathway
The photosynthate moves to phloem
through plasmodesmata
Sucrose in companion cells is converted to
oligosaccharide (eg raffinose, stacyose)
than translocated to sieve tube cell.
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Summary for Phloem
Loading
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2 alternative pathways of howphotosynthates
(sugars) can be transported (symplastic vs.
apoplastic) fromcell to cell and then loaded into
bundle-sheath cells, companioncells and finally into
sieve-tube elements. While bothsymplastic (black
arrows) and apoplastic (blue arrows) movements
occur, the apoplastic movement requires energyof
ATP to be expended in pumping the sucrose to a
higher concentration inside of the cell cytoplasm.
Carefully trace the alternate pathways.
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Phloem Loading
Phloem Loading
The movement from a source to the sieve
elements
Processes:
triose phospate formed during PS (in
mesophyll cell) are transported to cytosol to
form sucrose
Sucrose move to vicinity of sieve elements
Sucrose now ready for loading
cont ..
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Photosynthate moves from mesophyll cells to
SE-CC complex via apoplastic and/or
symplastic pathways
During phloem loading the mesophyll cells are
typically at a lower osmotic potential (higher
water potential) than the sieve tube elements
Energy (ATP) is required to move sugars
against a concentration gradient
Sucroseis transported primarily through an
apoplastic pathway
cont . 35
Phloem Unloading
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Phloem Unloading
Movement from SE to sinks
The transport pathway can either
apoplastic or/and symplastic
The pathway of the unloading (apo/sym)
depends on plant organ and physiological
conditions (eg developmental stage of
sink)
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Phloem unloading
Three steps
(1) Sieve element unloading:
Transported sugars leave the sieve elements of
sink tissue
(2) Short distance transport:
After sieve element unloading, sugars
transported to cells in the sink by means of a
short distance pathway
(3) storage and metabolism:
Sugars are stored or metabolized in sink cells
Factors influencing Sink-Source
and Partitioning
The steady build-up of sugars in the system may
cause a feedback inhibition resulting in a reduced
PS rate.
Factors that control sink strength and partitioning:
1. Plant hormones
2. Environment
Hormonal influences on initiation, development &
abortion of flowers can have a significant effect on
source-sink relationships.
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Assimilate partitioning during
vegetative and reproductive
phases
If translocation is slow, assimilates can be
converted into a form for storage
Remainder is translocated for growth,
maintenance, and storage functions
During vegetative growth, roots, stems
and leaves are competitive sinks for
assimilate
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Summary
Pathway of translocation:
Sugars and other organic materials are conducted
throughout the plant in the phloem by means of
sieve elements
Sieve elements display a variety of structural
adaptations that make it well suited for transport
Patterns of translocation:
Materials are translocated in the phloem from
sources (usually mature leaves) to sinks (roots,
immature leaves)
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Summary
Materials translocated in phloem:
Translocated solutes are mainly carbohydrates
Sucrose is the most common translocated sugar
Phloem also contains:
Amino acids, proteins, inorganic ions, and plant
hormones
Rate of translocation:
Movement in the phloem is rapid
Average velocity is 1 meter per hour
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1. Solutes (sugar) moves into
SE by active transport which
decreases its  water potential
(see next lecture notes).
Sugar source àcompanion
cell àsieve tube
2. H2O moves in as water
potential drops in which results
in increasing turgor pressure.
This pressure causes bulk flow
towards the sink.
3. H2O moves in from
neighboring cells reinforcing
the pressure. As the sink,
sugar is unloaded. This
decreases the water potential
of the sink cells so water
continues to flowto it.