IDPAN Ecophys CHA Lab – Carbohydrate Analysis Laboratory

Practicalities TA feedback

The TNA holder has indicated that this infrastructure would remain accessible also after the Trees4Future end-of-project, however the applicant would have to bear costs.

Potential users are invited to enquire directly with the site manager for agreement on accessibility and related costs.

IDPAN carbohydrate analysis laboratorySpectrophotometer for carbohydrate analysis. Photo: IDPAN.

Type of facility: Laboratory

Keywords: non-structural carbohydrates, starch, phenology, climate change, modelling, monitoring, tree breeding, selection, plant physiology, ecophysiology, population genetics

Who would find this useful? forest-based research community, plant science

"We successfully performed two experiments. And secondly I had an experience of a short stay in a foreign laboratory where I learned new techniques and had the opportunity to discuss with other researchers our common experiments and research lines."

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About the facility: Laboratory equipped for analyses of carbohydrate concentrations in plant tissues.

The carbohydrate analysis laboratory has extensive expertise in analyses of carbohydrate concentrations in plant tissues. These techniques are used typically to provide information on metabolic activity during the growing season and during dormancy, and may provide new insights into tree phenology.

The analysis of carbohydrate dynamics in plant tissues can provide significant improvement to other methods of phenological studies, and is essential in modelling CO2 exchange. These techniques can provide valuable information on tree growth, and phenology,  especially in the context of among-population variation. The analysis of tissue carbohydrate content can also be used to study:

  • Links between plant growth and physiology
  • The source-sink relationships in response to various factors, including climate, age, environmental stresses
  • Plant carbon balance

The carbohydrates are extracted from plant tissues and determined colorimetrically with the PharmaSpec UV-1700 UV Visible Spectrophotometer.  The method is described in Oleksyn et al. (2000).

What does the TA programme offer?
Remote access is offered to the facility - i.e. users send samples to the facility where all analyses will be performed by the qualified staff who will be responsible for sample preparation, data acquisition and quality control. The length of access will strictly depend on the number of samples to analyze; a unit of access (1 week) is based on 200 samples per week.

The result of the analysis is the content of total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC) - starch and soluble sugars - in plant tissues. In addition to the analyses performed, the scientific staff at the IDPAN can advise potential users on proper sampling schedule and techniques for best results.

Examples of use:

CHA has been used to study variation in needle, stem and root nonstructural carbohydrate dynamics in populations of Scots pine.

  • Oleksyn, J., R. Żytkowiak, P. Karolewski, P.B. Reich and M.G. Tjoelker. 2000. Genetic and environmental control of seasonal carbohydrate dynamics in trees of diverse Pinus sylvestris populations. Tree Physiology. 20:837-847, doi:10.1093/treephys/20.12.837

CHA has been used to study factors responsible for premature shedding of needles in diverse populations of Scots pine.

CHA has been used to study variation in leaf nonstructural carbohydrate concentration and its relationship with leaf N and acclimatory respiration responses to temperature in diverse populations of jack pine.

  • Tjoelker, M.G., J. Oleksyn, P.B. Reich and R. Zytkowiak. 2008. Coupling of respiration, nitrogen, and sugars underlies convergent temperature acclimation in Pinus banksiana across wide-ranging sites and populations. Global Change Biology. 14:782-797. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01548.x

More information

Location: Kórnik, Poland

Contact details/practical information

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