J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 1993, Vol. 35 ›› Issue (12): -.

• Research Articles •    

Structure and Photosynthetic Characteristics of Awns of Wheat and Barley

Wang Zhong,Gu Yun-jie and Gao Yu-zhu   

Abstract: The surface and the cross section of awns of wheat and barley were examined by scanning electron microscopy,ultrastructure of cells were observed under a transmisson electron microscope and the photosynthetic rates were measured with an oxygen, electrode and infra-red CO2 analyser. The main results were as follows :The cross section of wheat awn appeared to be acutely trianglular whereas that of barley awn was obtusely triangular. There were rows of stomota on either side of epidermis in both wheat and barley awns. Under the stomatic band there were green tissues. The green cells in the awn were differentiated from the parenchyma cells . The mature green cells possessed papillae which were rich in chloroplasts and mitochondria. The tamella system in chloroplasts was well developed and contained many starch grains. There were three vascular bundles in each awn. The sheath cells near the green tissues contained chloroplasts. The photosynthate in the green cells might pass through the sheath cells and companion cells to sieve elements. The highest photosynthetic rate of the awn was seen at the flowering stage ,reaching about 20 μmol CO2·m-2·s-1. The light compensation point was 70—80 μE·m-2· s-1. The light saturation point was about 1500 μE·m-2·s-1. The CO2 compensation point was 50—60 ppm and the CO2 saturation point was about 900ppm . The photosynthetic rate and stomatal conductance were easily effected by CO2 concentration, light intensity and the duration of illumination . There was a positive correlation between the photosynthetic rate and the chloro-phyll content in the awns. The CO2-releasing rate in photorespiration of awn was about 4–5 μmol CO2·m-2·s-1.

Key words: Wheat, Barley, Awn, Photosynthesis, Photorespiration, Chloroplast

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