, Volume 210, Issue 5, pp 808-814

Drought induces fructan synthesis and 1-SST (sucrose: sucrose fructosyltransferase) in roots and leaves of chicory seedlings (Cichorium intybus L.)

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 Seeds of Cichorium intybus L. var. foliosum cv. Flash were sown in acid-washed vermiculite and grown in a controlled-environment growth chamber. After 1 month of growth, plantlets did not contain sucrose:sucrose 1-fructosyltransferase (1-SST), the key enzyme in fructan biosynthesis. No fructan could be observed. Some of the plants were submitted to drought for 2 weeks. Glucose, fructose and sucrose concentrations increased in roots and leaves of stressed plants and the fructan concentration in roots and leaves was ten times higher than in control plants. The onset of fructan synthesis coincided with the increase in 1-SST activity in roots. Expression of the 1-SST gene could be observed in roots and leaves of stressed plants.

Received: 12 July 1999 / Accepted: 16 October 1999