, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 161–170 | Cite as

Analyzing the significance of defoliation in growth, photosynthetic compensation and source-sink relations

  • N. Iqbal
  • A. Masood
  • N. A. Khan


Leaf canopy plays a determining role influencing source-sink relations as any change in source activity (photosynthesis) affects sink metabolism. Defoliation (removal of leaves) influences growth and photosynthetic capacity of plants, remobilizes carbon and nitrogen reserves and accelerates sink metabolism, leading to improved source-sink relations.

The response of plants to defoliation could be used to manipulate source-sink relations by removing lower and senescing leaves to obtain greatest photosynthetic capacity and efficient carbon and nitrogen metabolism under optimal and stressful environments. The present work enhances our current understanding on the physiological responses of plants to defoliation and elaborates how defoliation influences growth, photosynthetic capacity and source-sink relations under optimal and changing environmental conditions.

Additional key words

carbon defoliation nitrogen photosynthetic potential sink source 



abscisic acid




carbonic anhydrase




days after sowing


stomatal conductance


harvest index


indole-3-acetic acid


leaf area


leaf dry mass


leaf fresh mass




nitrate reductase




net photosynthetic rate




ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase


specific leaf area


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BotanyAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia

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