Serine and phosphoglyceric acid are the classical marker intermediates of photorespiration and reductive carbon assimilation in C(3) plants. The present paper introduces a new and fast method for the determination of (14)C distribution in these compounds by selective elimination of C-3 (NaIO(4)) or C-1 (ninhydrin/ceric sulfate). Reproducibility of the procedure was found to be better than +/-1% upon degradation of [U-(14)C]serine and [U-(14)C]glycerate standards.Determination of labeling patterns in (dephosphorylated) phosphoglycerate and serine, extracted from grape leaf discs (Vitis vinifera L.) after administration of (14)CO(2) for 1 minute showed that (14)C distribution in serine changes considerably with changing assimilatory conditions. Interpretations of data basing on unusual labeling patterns of serine must therefore be accepted with caution.
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