Photosynthesis and assimilate partitioning during rhythmic growth of green tea (Camellia sinensis var sinensis)
Botwright, TL and Menary, RC and Brown, PH, Photosynthesis and assimilate partitioning during rhythmic growth of green tea (Camellia sinensis var sinensis), Journal of Horticultural Science & Biotechnology, 73, (6) pp. 806-811. ISSN 0022-1589 (1998) [Refereed Article]
Shoot morphogenesis in green tea was used to define key events in development which occur during rhythmic growth. These stages are: stage I, no shoot extension or leaf expansion with a maximum number of leaf primordia in the apical bud; stage II, maximum shoot extension and leaf expansion; stage III, cessation of shoot extension and leaf initiation; and stage IV, cessation of leaf expansion while leaf initiation in the apical bud recommences. The apical bud appears dormant during both stages III and IV. Leaf primordia initiated during stage IV expand to form the new shoot during stages I to III. The newly expanded leaves are harvested, forming the green tea crop. Photosynthetic capacity and the pattern of carbohydrate partitioning vary during shoot growth, as defined by the stages of development. Net photosynthesis of mature, fully expanded leaves was highest (18.0 μmol CO 2 m -1 s -1 ) during stage I, at the beginning shoot growth and lowest (13.2 μmol CO 2 m -2 s -1 ) during stage III, at the cessation of shoot extension. Maximum starch reserves in leaves and internodes of 12.5% (dw) and 22% respectively were reached at the cessation of shoot extension, during stage III, and declined significantly to 0% and 9% respectively at the start of shoot growth during stage I. At the start of shoot growth, the major part of 14 C label was partitioned to the bud, with the developing leaf primordia assumed to be the major sink organs as leaf initiation had ceased. Changes in sink activity with ontogeny are linked to changes in both photosynthesis and partitioning of assimilates during shoot growth and culminate in rhythmic growth of tea.