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Short-term effects of defoliation intensity on sugar remobilization and N fluxes in ryegrass

Abstract : In grassland plant communities, the ability of individual plants to regrow after defoliation is of crucial importance since it allows the restoration of active photosynthesis and plant growth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of increasing defoliation intensity (0, 25, 65, 84, and 100% of removed leaf area) on sugar remobilization and N uptake, remobilization, and allocation in roots, adult leaves, and growing leaves of ryegrass over 2 days, using a N-15 tracer technique. Increasing defoliation intensity decreased plant N uptake in a correlative way and increased plant N remobilization, but independently. The relative contribution of N stored before defoliation to leaf growth increased when defoliation intensity was severe. In most conditions, root N reserves also contributed to leaf regrowth, but much less than adult leaves and irrespective of defoliation intensity. A threshold of defoliation intensity (65% leaf area removal) was identified below which C (glucose, fructose, sucrose, fructans), and N (amino acids, soluble proteins) storage compounds were not recruited for regrowth. By contrast, nitrate content increased in elongating leaf bases above this threshold. Wounding associated with defoliation is thus not the predominant signal that triggers storage remobilization and controls the priority of resource allocation to leaf meristems. A framework integrating the sequential events leading to the refoliation of grasses is proposed on the basis of current knowledge and on the findings of the present work.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 7:47:17 AM
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Frédéric Meuriot, Annette Morvan-Bertrand, Nathalie Noiraud-Romy, Marie-Laure M.-L. Decau, Abraham Escobar Gutierrez Escobar-Gutiérrez, et al.. Short-term effects of defoliation intensity on sugar remobilization and N fluxes in ryegrass. Journal of Experimental Botany, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2018, 69 (16), pp.3975-3986. ⟨10.1093/jxb/ery211⟩. ⟨hal-02184352⟩



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