Carbohydrate metabolism in Dioscorea esculenta (Lour.) Burk. tubers and Curcuma longa L. rhizomes during two phases of dormancy

R. Panneerselvam, C. Abdul Jaleel, R. Somasundaram, R. Sridharan, M. Gomathinayagam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


We have examined the changes in carbohydrate metabolism in food yam (Dioscorea esculenta (Lour.) Burk.) tubers and in an economically important spice cum medicinal plant turmeric (Curcuma longa L.) rhizomes under storage. Both specimens showed varied levels of dormancy and sprouting appeared at the end of dormant period. Harvested, fully matured tubers of yam and rhizomes of turmeric were stored in wooden boxes under the conditions of 28 ± 2 °C temperature and 65-75% relative humidity (RH) in dark. The starch, sugars, enzymes of starch degradation, respiration, glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) were studied during 1-70 days after harvest (DAH). This investigation revealed that, the starch degradation and the enzymes involved, viz. α-amylases and starch phosphorylase showed a lower level of activity during early period of dormancy, while sugar content and enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism increased rapidly during sprouting. The isoenzymic profiles of α-amylases showed marked variations in these two phases. The key enzymes of glycolysis, TCA cycle and PPP, viz. aldolase, succinic dehydrogenase, malic dehydrogenase, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase were increased even before the visible appearance of sprouting and their activities were at their maximum during sprouting. Based of the observations the dormancy period may be distinctly divided into peak period of rest and presprouting period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-66
Number of pages8
JournalColloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbohydrate
  • Curcuma longa
  • Dioscorea esculenta
  • Dormancy
  • Isoenzyme
  • Storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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