To understand the role that the leaves play in the translocation of soluble carbohydrates in cut rose flowers, we first evaluated the effect of leaf removal on flower quality and the sugar content in petals. Cut rose flowers with leaves had higher soluble sugar content in petals compared with cut flower without leaves. Next, we treated cut flowers with radioactive glucose to clarify translocation routes of exogenously applied sugar. There was no significant difference between the specific radioactivity of sucrose and glucose in leaves, but specific radioactivity of sucrose in petals was much higher than that of glucose. These results suggested that most of the exogenously applied glucose first moved to the leaves, where it was converted into sucrose and then the synthesised sucrose was translocated to the petals. Our results showed that the leaves of cut rose flowers play an important role in the metabolism and transportation of exogenously applied soluble carbohydrates toward the petals, thus contributing to sustaining the post-harvest quality.
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