During active photosynthesis in bright light, a plant leaf produces more carbohydrate (as triose phosphates) than it needs for generating energy or synthesizing precursors. The excess is converted to sucrose and transported to other parts of the plant, to be used as fuel or stored. In most plants, starch is the main storage form, but in a few plants, such as sugar beet and sugarcane, sucrose is the primary storage form. The synthesis of sucrose and starch occurs in different cellular compartments (cytosol and plastids, respectively), and these processes are coordinated by a variety of regulatory mechanisms that respond to changes in light level and photosynthetic rate.
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