Plectranthus parviflorus, common Swedish ivy does not lose leaves when it is deprived of nitrogen. Instead this plant retains its yellow leaves and upon reintroduction of nitrogen will re-green and start to grow. In two experiments, rooted cuttings of common Swedish ivy were grown with (150 ppm N) and without nitrogen for 3 weeks. After some plants were sampled the others were either switched or kept at 0 or 150 ppm N and allowed to grow for another 3 weeks. After another sampling, plants were again switched or kept at 0 or 150 ppm N for a final 3 weeks. At each harvest, leaves were tested for starch, sampled for microscopy and then dried and weighed for soluble carbohydrate extraction. Data collected indicates that yellow leaves store and breakdown starch into soluble carbohydrates (specifically reducing sugars) in order to keep leaves from senescing. When nitrogen is re-supplied to these plants, leaves re-green and the plant continues to grow. We propose that common Swedish ivy’s ability to store and breakdown starch aids in the process of leaf re-greening.
Korus, Kevin A.; Conley, M. Elizabeth; Blankenship, Erin E.; and Paparozzi, Ellen T.
"Storage and breakdown of starch aid P. parviflorus in leaf re-greening after nitrogen deficiency,"
RURALS: Review of Undergraduate Research in Agricultural and Life Sciences:
1, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/rurals/vol5/iss1/1