Carbohydrate mobilization following shoot defoliation and decapitation in hybrid poplar

Tree Physiol. 1994 Feb;14(2):141-51. doi: 10.1093/treephys/14.2.141.


The effects of shoot defoliation, decapitation, and disbudding on carbon mobilization were investigated in rooted cuttings of Populus maximowiczii x nigra L. 'MN9'. Ten days after complete shoot defoliation or decapitation, the stem starch concentration of treated plants declined to one-half that of intact plants, and there were similar or greater reductions in the concentrations of glucose, fructose, sucrose, galactose, and shikimic acid. Partial shoot defoliation (50%) and complete disbudding had no effect on stem starch concentration, but stem sucrose concentration was reduced in all treatments. Sucrose depletion preceded and may have induced other changes in the carbon status of plants subjected to leaf or shoot removal. Four days after shoot decapitation, the sucrose concentration of roots of treated plants was reduced to 25% of that of intact plants. However, the concentrations of fructose and glucose increased in the roots of treated plants and was followed by the accumulation of shikimic acid, salicyl alcohol, unknown compound A and salicin. The possible role of increased concentrations of root organic solutes in the water relations and regrowth process of decapitated plants is discussed.