Alterations in δ13C values of seedling cellulose associated with respiration during germination

Yao Hua Luo, Leonel Sternberg, Lobo Sternberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


δ13C values of heterotrophically synthesized cellulose of roots from germinating seeds treated with a respiratory uncoupler were compared with those produced by untreated seed. Seeds or grains having starch as their principal storage substrate synthesized cellulose enriched in 13C relative to their substrate. Those having lipids as their principal storage substrate synthesized cellulose depleted in 13C relative to their substrate. The respiratory uncoupler decreased respiration and caused lower 13C abundance in synthesized cellulose relative to the controls for starch-storing seeds. Decreased respiration, however, caused an increase in 13C of synthesized cellulose from lipid-storing seeds. The observed isotopic enrichment of cellulose with increase in respiration in the starch-storing seeds is consistent with the hypothesis that stems and roots of plants are isotopically enriched relative to leaves because of respiration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)877-880
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994



  • cellulose
  • Cucurbita moschata
  • Cucurbitaceae
  • Gramineae
  • lipid
  • respiration
  • starch
  • Triticum aestivum
  • uncoupler.
  • Zea mays
  • δC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery

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