Latex and laticifer starch content of developing leaves of Euphorbia pulcherrima
Spilatro, S.R.; Mahlberg, P.G.
American Journal of Botany 73(9): 1312-1318
Laticifer starch accumulation was compared to laticifer growth for developing leaves of Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. (poinsettia). Measurements of the laticifer-specific triterpenol, cycloartenol, in latex and in whole leaf extracts were used to calculate the total latex volume in leaves of different developmental stages. Latex volume and starch concentration in the latex were used to determine total laticifer starch and to compare laticifer growth and starch synthesis. Young leaves contained the highest latex and laticifer starch contents on dry wt and leaf area bases. In older expanding leaves, laticifer growth produced an increase in total latex volume accompanied by an increase in total laticifer starch. Laticifer growth and starch accumulation stopped upon cessation of leaf expansion. Starch concentration was similar in latex from all leaves, but differed between plant organs. Thus, laticifer starch accumulation correlated with laticifer growth, but mobilization of the starch out of the laticifer was not observed in old or senescent leaves. This is evidence that laticifer starch grains function within the laticifer independently of degradation or export to other cell types.