Temporal responses of transcripts, enzyme activities and metabolites after adding sucrose to carbon-deprived Arabidopsis seedlings


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Arabidopsis seedlings were subjected to 2 days of carbon starvation, and then resupplied with 15 mm sucrose. The transcriptional and metabolic response was analyzed using ATH1 arrays, real-time quantitative (q)RT-PCR analysis of >2000 transcription regulators, robotized assays of enzymes from central metabolism and metabolite profiling. Sucrose led within 30 min to greater than threefold changes of the transcript levels for >100 genes, including 20 transcription regulators, 15 ubiquitin-targeting proteins, four trehalose phosphate synthases, autophagy protein 8e, several glutaredoxins and many genes of unknown function. Most of these genes respond to changes of endogenous sugars in Arabidopsis rosettes, making them excellent candidates for upstream components of sugar signaling pathways. Some respond during diurnal cycles, consistent with them acting in signaling pathways that balance the supply and utilization of carbon in normal growth conditions. By 3 h, transcript levels change for >1700 genes. This includes a coordinated induction of genes involved in carbohydrate synthesis, glycolysis, respiration, amino acid and nucleotide synthesis, DNA, RNA and protein synthesis and protein folding, and repression of genes involved in amino acid and lipid catabolism, photosynthesis and chloroplast protein synthesis and folding. The changes of transcripts are followed by a delayed activation of central metabolic pathways and growth processes, which use intermediates from these pathways. Sucrose and reducing sugars accumulate during the first 3–8 h, and starch for 24 h, showing that there is a delay until carbon utilization for growth recommences. Gradual changes of enzyme activities and metabolites are found for many metabolic pathways, including glycolysis, nitrate assimilation, the shikimate pathway and myoinositol, proline and fatty acid metabolism. After 3–8 h, there is a decrease of amino acids, followed by a gradual increase of protein.