Starch Accumulation Associated with Growth Reduction at Low Temperatures in a Tropical Plant

Science  24 Apr 1970:
Vol. 168, Issue 3930, pp. 494-496
DOI: 10.1126/science.168.3930.494


Growth of Digitaria decumbens is severely reduced by night temperatures of 10°C or below. Ultra-structure of leaves and chemical analyses show a high starch content in chloroplasts of plants illuminated and kept at a temperature of 30°C. This starch disappears after a period in the dark at 30°C, but it remains if the temperature during the dark period is 10°C. The inhibition or slowing of starch translocation out of chloroplasts appears to account for reduced photo-synthesis and growth at low night temperatures.