Anatomical and ultrastructural details of a translocating 10-cm leaf of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. var. Klein Wanzleben) were correlated with translocation rate data. The minor veins were found to be 13 times as extensive as the major veins and measure 70 cm/cm2 leaf lamina. Measurements disclosed that a 33-μ length of minor vein services 29 mesophyll cells with the result that translocate moves an average of 73 μ or 2.2 cell diameters during transport from mesophyll cells to a minor vein. High-resolution, freeze-dry autoradiography revealed that assimilates accumulate in organelle-rich cells of the minor vein phloem. Correlation of phloem volume and loading rate for minor veins yielded an uptake rate of 735 μmoles of sucrose per g fresh weight of phloem. The arrangement and structural features of minor veins appeared to be consistent with the concept that vein loading precedes translocation.
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