SEASONAL PATTERNS OF FRUCTAN METABOLISM IN FORAGE GRASSES

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Summary

Fructan levels and mean molecular weights were measured throughout the year in leaves and stems of four forage grasses. In contrast to other studies, the major period of fructan synthesis in all varieties was autumn and winter, with maximal values in December. Extensive hydrolysis, accompanied by a decline in mean molecular weight, occurred between January and April. Fructan accumulation was maximal in periods when growth was restricted and the properties of the synthetic system are discussed in relation to the patterns of growth of temperate forage grasses.

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