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Non-structural carbohydrates in woody plants compared among laboratories

Audrey G. Quentin 1, 2, * Elizabeth A. Pinkard 1 Michael G. Ryan 3, 4 David T. Tissue 2 L. Scott Baggett 4 Henry D. Adams 5 Pascale Maillard 6 Marc Marchand 6 Simon M. Landhäusser 7 André Lacointe 8 Yves Gibon 9, 10 William R.L. Anderegg 11 Shinichi Asao 3 Owen K. Atkin 12 Marc Bonhomme 8 Caroline Claye 13 Pak S. Chow 7 Anne Clément-Vidal 14 Noel W. Davies 13 L. Turin Dickman 5 Rita Dumbur 15 David S. Ellsworth 2 Kristen Falk 16 Lucía Galiano 17, 18 José M. Grünzweig 15 Henrik Hartmann 19 Günter Hoch 20 Sharon Hood 21 Joanna E. Jones 13 Takayoshi Koike 22 Iris Kuhlmann 19 Francisco Lloret 23 Melchor Maestro 24 Shawn D. Mansfield 25 Jordi Martínez-Vilalta 23 Mickael Maucourt 9, 10 Nathan G. Mcdowell 5 Annick Moing 9 Bertrand Muller 26 Sergio G. Nebauer 27 Sara Palacio 24 Frida Piper 28 Eran Raveh Andreas Richter 29 Gaëlle Rolland 26 Teresa Rosas 23 Brigitte Saint Joanis 8 Anna Sala 21 Renee A. Smith Frank Sterck 30 Joseph R. Stinziano 31 Mari Tobias 32 Faride Unda 25 Makoto Watanabe 33 Danielle A. Way 34, 31 Lasantha K. Weerasinghe 35, 12 Birgit Wild 36, 29 Erin Wiley 7 David R. Woodruff 37
* Corresponding author
Abstract : Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in plant tissue are frequently quantified to make inferences about plant responses to environmental conditions. Laboratories publishing estimates of NSC of woody plants use many different methods to evaluate NSC. We asked whether NSC estimates in the recent literature could be quantitatively compared among studies. We also asked whether any differences among laboratories were related to the extraction and quantification methods used to determine starch and sugar concentrations. These questions were addressed by sending sub-samples collected from five woody plant tissues, which varied in NSC content and chemical composition, to 29 laboratories. Each laboratory analyzed the samples with their laboratory-specific protocols, based on recent publications, to determine concentrations of soluble sugars, starch and their sum, total NSC. Laboratory estimates differed substantially for all samples. For example, estimates for Eucalyptus globulus leaves (EGL) varied from 23 to 116 (mean = 56) mg g(-1) for soluble sugars, 6-533 (mean = 94) mg g-1 for starch and 53-649 (mean = 153) mg g-1 for total NSC. Mixed model analysis of variance showed that much of the variability among laboratories was unrelated to the categories we used for extraction and quantification methods (method category R-2 = 0.05-0.12 for soluble sugars, 0.10-0.33 for starch and 0.01-0.09 for total NSC). For EGL, the difference between the highest and lowest least squares means for categories in the mixed model analysis was 33 mg g-1 for total NSC, compared with the range of laboratory estimates of 596 mg g-1. Laboratories were reasonably consistent in their ranks of estimates among tissues for starch (r = 0.41-0.91), but less so for total NSC (r = 0.45-0.84) and soluble sugars (r = 0.11-0.83). Our results show that NSC estimates for woody plant tissues cannot be compared among laboratories. The relative changes in NSC between treatments measured within a laboratory may be comparable within and between laboratories, especially for starch. To obtain comparable NSC estimates, we suggest that users can either adopt the reference method given in this publication, or report estimates for a portion of samples using the reference method, and report estimates for a standard reference material. Researchers interested in NSC estimates should work to identify and adopt standard methods.
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Audrey G. Quentin, Elizabeth A. Pinkard, Michael G. Ryan, David T. Tissue, L. Scott Baggett, et al.. Non-structural carbohydrates in woody plants compared among laboratories. Tree Physiology, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy B - Oxford Open Option B, 2015, 35 (11), pp.1146-1165. ⟨10.1093/treephys/tpv073⟩. ⟨hal-01557364⟩



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