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Seasonal Changes in Callose Levels and Fluorescein Translocation in the Phloem of Vitis Vinifera L.

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The secondary phloem of Vitis vinifera L. is characterised by a radial gradient of sieve tube diameters. Sieve tubes maturing early in the growing season have the largest diameters; those maturing late in the season have the smallest. In early spring, masses of winter dormancy callose are gradually digested in a polar radial pattern, proceeding outwards from the cambium. The fluorescent dye, fluorescein, was used to detect translocation in sieve tubes. During spring, dye translocation was first observed in the wider sieve tubes produced near the end of the previous year and wh ich had reduced amounts of callose. But translocation was not observed in the very narrow sieve tubes formed at the end of the year although they were the first to be callose free. The reactivated sieve tubes functioned for about one month. New sieve tubes differentiated three weeks after dormancy callose breakdown and started to function about one week later, so that the transition of translocation activity from the sieve tubes of the previous year to those of the current year is relatively rapid. The sieve tubes formed toward the end of the growing season (but not the narrowest ones formed at the very end of the season) function during parts of two successive seasons, while the sieve tubes forrned early in the season usually function during the first year only. Callose amounts increase gradually during summer in both the old and new sieve tubes and become relatively heavy in the old ones. At this developmental stage, translocation occurs through young sieve plates with relatively high callose deposits.


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