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The effect of infection with beet yellows and beet mosaic viruses on the carbohydrate content of sugar beet leaves, and on translocation



The effect of infection with beet yellows and beet mosaic viruses on the carbohydrate content of sugar beet leaves, and on translocation



Ann Appl Biol 38(1): 276-288



Loss of total carbohydrate (sugars and starch) % of residual dry matter, during a dark period, from leaves of sugar beet plants infected with yellows virus was as great as that from leaves of healthy plants. The conclusion of previous workers that starch accumulates in infected leaves because translocation is prevented by phloem gum-mosis is therefore incorrect. Leaves infected with yellows virus had a higher sugar content and, usually, starch content, both at the beginning and end of the dark period, than healthy leaves. The greatest increase was in reducing sugars. In older leaves of infected plants, reducing sugars amounted to 20% or more of total dry matter. Reducing sugars in both healthy and infected leaves consisted of approx. equal amts. of glucose and fructose. Infection with beet mosaic virus had little effect on carbohydrate content. Yellows-infected leaves had a lower water content % of total dry matter than healthy leaves. This was accounted for by the high carbohydrate content, for water % of residual dry matter was little affected by infection with yellows. This implies that hydration was independent of carbohydrate content.

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