Sucrose X

storage parenchyma and transport through membranes are closely interacting to achieve the final "goal", namely high sucrose concentrations. The review here focussed only on sucrose metabolism and transport, it fully neglected the influence of other nutrient and environmental factors on sucrose yield. However, as long as there is no clearcut picture of what happens to sucrose itself, no mechanistic model of influence by other factors can be reasonably developed. Therefore, focus on sucrose may be justified. Definitely, the future will lie in bringing together physiological mechanisms and agronomic factors to compose a whole plant model and to reveal quantitatively the network of metabolism, transport, growth and nutrition.

Sugarcane is an interesting plant for plant physiologists in general, it hopefully may again give rise to new basic knowledge on plant function, as it happened when C-4 photosynthesis had been detected first in sugarcane. But research on the physiology of sucrose storage also has practical applications: Since gene technical manipulation of sugarcane is possible (in fact, it has started already some years ago), sound physiological data on limiting or co-limiting factors are an indispensable requirement for sensible gene technological breeding approaches. The intention of this short review, therefore, also was to advertise physiological and molecular research on sugarcane as an interesting and rewarding subject in plant biology and agriculture. It appeals on sugar industry and on agricultural funding organizations to maintain existing and to revive closed-down sugarcane research institutes.

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