Photosynthetic characteristics, carbon allocation and partitioning of newly-fixed14C among the various carbohydrate fractions were studied in leaves of potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Désirée) of different ages. The higher photosynthetic rate of young leaves was associated with higher levels of starch and reducing sugars. After 24 hours, in young leaves the fixed14C had been partitioned mainly to the residue and starch fractions, while in older leaves there was an increase in partitioning to sucrose and reducing sugars. The activities of the various sink organs were found to be dependent upon their distance from the source leaf. Tuber activity, however, was affected similarly by all fully expanded leaves. Although young fully expanded leaves are thought to be the major source of assimilates for tuber growth, it seems that a vast potential for contributing to plant productivity and tuber yield lies also in the older leaves, which translocate most of their photoassimilates to the tubers.
- Solanum tuberosum cv. Désirée