The role of plastidial glucose-6-phosphate/phosphate translocators in vegetative tissues of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants impaired in starch biosynthesis


  • Editor
    N. Sauer

R. E. Häusler, University of Cologne, Botanical Institute II, Biocenter, Zülpicherstr. 47B, D-50674 Cologne, Germany.


Arabidopsis thaliana mutants impaired in starch biosynthesis due to defects in either ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase (adg1-1), plastidic phosphoglucose mutase (pgm) or a new allele of plastidic phosphoglucose isomerase (pgi1-2) exhibit substantial activity of glucose-6-phosphate (Glc6P) transport in leaves that is mediated by a Glc6P/phosphate translocator (GPT) of the inner plastid envelope membrane. In contrast to the wild type, GPT2, one of two functional GPT genes of A. thaliana, is strongly induced in these mutants during the light period. The proposed function of the GPT in plastids of non-green tissues is the provision of Glc6P for starch biosynthesis and/or the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. The function of GPT in photosynthetic tissues, however, remains obscure. The adg1-1 and pgi1-2 mutants were crossed with the gpt2-1 mutant defective in GPT2. Whereas adg1-1/gpt2-1 was starch-free, residual starch could be detected in pgi1-2/gpt2-1 and was confined to stomatal guard cells, bundle sheath cells and root tips, which parallels the reported spatial expression profile of AtGPT1. Glucose content in the cytosolic heteroglycan increased substantially in adg1-1 but decreased in pgi1-2, suggesting that the plastidic Glc6P pool contributes to its biosynthesis. The abundance of GPT2 mRNA correlates with increased levels of soluble sugars, in particular of glucose in leaves, suggesting induction by the sugar-sensing pathway. The possible function of GPT2 in starch-free mutants is discussed in the background of carbon requirement in leaves during the light–dark cycle.