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Increase in Sink Demand in Response to Perturbed Source–Sink Communication by Partial Shading in Sugarcane

Roopendra, K., Chandra, A., Saxena, S.
Sugar tech 2019 v.21 no.4 pp. 672-677
culms, enzymes, leaves, photosynthates, photosynthesis, reducing sugars, shade, sucrose, sugarcane
The sugarcane culm serves as ‘sink’ to store photosynthates and the photosynthesizing leaves, as its ‘source.’ In the present pursuit, partial shading of the source leaf was employed to improve the sink’s strength. An increase in reducing sugar%, over time, and a consequent decline in sucrose% and brix% were noted, in the internodal samples of shaded cane, in contrast to those of control cane. On the other hand, reducing sugar level in the non-shaded leaf decreased over the period of shading. The sugar dynamics observed between source and sink perhaps validates growing sink demand and innate capacity of leaves for adapting to it. Molecular level analyses w.r.t. sucrose metabolizing enzymes also showed congruent results. Constant removal of sugars from the site of synthesis, in response to elevated sink demand, perhaps prevents suppression of photosynthesis, by sugar. Thus, exploring the disturbance of source–sink communication caused by partial shading and the consequential changes therein, will aid in enhanced understanding of the source and sink dynamics.