, Volume 106, Issue 2, pp 131–140

The chemical composition of Ricinus phloem exudate


  • Shelagh M. Hall
    • School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Sussex
    • Department of BotanyUniversity of Glasgow
  • D. A. Baker
    • School of Biological SciencesUniversity of Sussex

DOI: 10.1007/BF00383992

Cite this article as:
Hall, S.M. & Baker, D.A. Planta (1972) 106: 131. doi:10.1007/BF00383992


The chemical composition of exudate obtained from incisions made in the bark of the stem of actively growing Ricinus plants has been determined. The exudate had a high dry matter content (100–125 mg/ml), a high sugar content (80–106 mg/ml) which was solely sucrose, reducing sugars being absent. The amino acid composition was mainly glutamic and aspartic acids and threonine with a total amino acid concentration of 35.2 mM. The exudate had a pH of 8.0–8.2. Potassium was the major cation (60–112 mM) with sodium present at a lower concentration (2–12 mM). Of the divalent cations, calcium was at a low concentration (0.5–2.3 mM) and magnesium relatively higher (4.5–5.4 mM). Chloride was the major inorganic anion (10–19 mM). Phosphate concentration was relatively high (3.7–5.7 mM) and low concentrations of sulphate (0.3–0.5 mM) and bicarbonate (1.7 mM) were also present. Nitrate was absent. The ionic balance was maintained by the presence of relatively large quantities (30–47 meq/l) of organic anions, mainly malate. Bioassays revealed auxin, gibberellin and cytokinin activities in chromatographed exudate. Adenosine triphosphate was found in the exudate (0.40–0.60 mM). The analysis is dicussed with respect to the composition of phloem sap reported for other plant species.

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© Springer-Verlag 1972