Kaur, J., Percival, D., Hainstock, L. J. and Privé, J.-P. 2012. Seasonal growth dynamics and carbon allocation of the wild blueberry plant (Vaccinium angustifoliumAit.). Can. J. Plant Sci. 92: 1145-1154. Field studies were conducted at the Wild Blueberry Research Station, Debert, NS, to examine the carbon allocation dynamics within the wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.). This was achieved with biweekly measurements of dry weight, soluble sugar and starch levels of the rhizomes, roots, stems/leaves and berries of plants in the vegetative (i.e., sprout phase) and cropping phases of production. Non-structural carbohydrate levels were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Growth parameters included phenology, stem height, dry weights of the above-ground vegetation (stems and leaves), berries, rhizomes and roots. Interestingly, root growth was observed prior to upright shoot emergence and dry weight for rhizome remained higher compared with stems and leaves. The rhizomes acted as a carbohydrate source during stem and root growth. The developing berry crop appeared to be a strong sink for photo-assimilates, as berries were found to import sucrose and convert it to fructose and glucose during maturation, and HPLC studies further confirmed the increasing levels of fructose and glucose. Given the phenology of the wild blueberry, the results exemplify the importance of the rhizomes as a strong carbohydrate source, especially in the early stages of a growing season when the carbohydrate production is limited.
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