The presence of a number of pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzymes in developing barley endosperm is reported. The relative importance of the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway (EMPP) and the PPP throughout endosperm development was assessed by following the changes in activity of five EMPP and four PPP enzymes. The patterns of activity of the EMPP enzymes were very similar with pronounced peaks of activity at 35 days after anthesis thereafter falling to low or zero levels at the onset of maturity. The PPP enzymes, on the other hand, rose to maximum levels around 30–35 days falling only slightly thereafter.
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