Autotrophic and heterotrophic carbon assimilation of in vitro grown potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) plants

S. Wolf*, N. Kalman-Rotem, D. Yakir, M. Ziv

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The effects of sugar concentration in the medium on the autotrophic/heterotrophic carbon metabolism were studied in tissue cultured potato plants. The weight of plants grown in the light on media containing 3 % sucrose was significantly higher than that of plants grown on 8 % sucrose media. Similarly, the weight increased when plants were transferred from 8 % to 3 % sucrose and decreased in the reverse case. In contrast, under dark conditions, a higher weight was observed in plants grown on higher sucrose concentration. The uptake of 14C-sucrose from the medium was higher when the sugar's concentration was 8 % as compared to 3 %, indicating a higher proportion of heterotrophic carbon in the former. These results were further supported by the natural abundance of 13C/12C ratios in the plant tissue. Analyses of the 13C/12C in the plants, sugars and the air CO2, indicated that 90 % of the tissue carbon was of heterotrophic origin in light-grown plants on 8 % sucrose. Only 50 % of the tissue carbon was of heterotrophic origin when the plants were grown on 2 % glucose medium. These results provide evidence that a high sugar concentration in the medium significantly reduced the contribution of autotrophic CO2 assimilation to the accumulation of dry weight. The possible mechanisms inhibiting CO2 assimilation in potato plants grown in vitro, under conditions of high sugar concentrations (or low osmotic potential) are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)574-580
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper is a contribution from the Uri Kinamon Laboratory. N.K-R. was supported by a scholarship from the Kinamon Foundation.


  • Osmotic potential
  • Photosynthesis
  • Solanum tuberosum
  • Tissue culture


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