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Natural 13C distribution in oil palm (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) and consequences for allocation pattern

Lamade E., Tcherkez G., Hijri Darlan N., Lobato Rodrigues R., Fresneau C., Mauve C., Lamothe-Sibold M., Sketriené D., Ghashghaie J.. 2016. Plant, Cell and Environment, 39 (1) : p. 199-212.

DOI: 10.1111/pce.12606

Oil palm has now become one of the most important crops, palm oil representing nearly 25% of global plant oil consumption. Many studies have thus addressed oil palm ecophysiology and photosynthesis-based models of carbon allocation have been used. However, there is a lack of experimental data on carbon fixation and redistribution within palm trees, and important C-sinks have not been fully characterized yet. Here, we carried out extensive measurement of natural 13C-abundance (d13C) in oil palm tissues, including fruits at different maturation stages. We find a 13C-enrichment in heterotrophic organs compared to mature leaves, with roots being the most 13C-enriched. The d13C in fruits decreased during maturation, reflecting the accumulation in 13C-depleted lipids. We further used observed d13C values to compute plausible carbon fluxes using a steady-state model of 13C-distribution including metabolic isotope effects (12v/13v). The results suggest that fruits represent a major respiratory loss (¿39% of total tree respiration) and that sink organs such as fruits are fed by sucrose from leaves. That is, glucose appears to be a quantitatively important compound in palm tissues, but computations indicate that it is involved in dynamic starch metabolism rather that C-exchange between organs.

Mots-clés : elaeis guineensis; carbone; physiologie végétale; photosynthèse; huile de palme; isotope naturel; composition chimique; feuille; tissu végétal; respiration cellulaire; indonésie; sumatra

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