Original Articles

Influence of temperature and growth stage on the diurnal fluctuation in the non‐structural carbohydrate content of kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst)

DOI: 10.1080/02566702.1990.9648244
Author(s): J.P. Marais, Republic of South Africa, D.L. Figenschou, Republic of South Africa


The non‐structural carbohydrates of kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst) seem to consist mainly of sucrose. Total non‐structural carbohydrate content increased rapidly during the morning and reached maximum concentration in the afternoon. After sunset, the concentration decreased rapidly, reaching a minimum level by midnight. Low temperatures resulted in a significantly higher non‐structural carbohydrate content in all plant fractions than at warmer growth temperatures. Non‐structural carbohydrate concentrations were higher in stem tissue than in leaf material and the values were higher in 3‐week than in 6‐week regrowth.

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