Black, M.Z., Minchin, P.E.H., Gould, N., Patterson, K.J. & Cleareater, M.J. (2012). Measurement of Bremsstrahlung radiation for in vivo monitoring of ¹⁴C tracer distribution between fruit and roots of kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta) cuttings. Planta, 236(4), 1327-1337.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6441
In vivo measurements of ¹⁴C tracer distribution have usually involved monitoring the b- particles produced as ¹⁴C decays. These particles are only detectable over short distances, limiting the use of this technique to thin plant material. In the present experiments, X-ray detectors were used to monitor the Bremsstrahlung radiation emitted since b- particles were absorbed in plant tissues. Bremsstrahlung radiation is detectable through larger tissue depths. The aim of these experiments was to demonstrate the Bremsstrahlung method by monitoring in vivo tracer-labelled photosynthate partitioning in small kiwifruit (Actinidia arguta (Siebold & Zucc.) Planch. ex Miq.) plants in response to root pruning. A source shoot, consisting of four leaves, was pulse labelled with ¹⁴CO₂. Detectors monitored import into a fruit and the root system, and export from a source leaf. Repeat pulse labelling enabled the comparison of pre- and post-treatment observations within an individual plant. Diurnal trends were observed in the distribution of tracer, with leaf export reduced at night. Tracer accumulated in the roots declined after approximately 48 h, which may have resulted from export of ¹⁴C from the roots in carbon skeletons. Cutting off half the roots did not affect tracer distribution to the remaining half. Tracer distribution to the fruit was increased after root pruning, demonstrating the higher competitive strength of the fruit than the roots for carbohydrate supply. Increased partitioning to the fruit following root pruning has also been demonstrated in kiwifruit field trials.