Role of the plastidic glucose translocator in the export of starch degradation products from the chloroplasts in Arabidopsis thaliana
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- •In higher plants, the plastidic glucose translocator (pGlcT) is assumed to play a role in the export of starch degradation products, but this has not yet been studied in detail.
- •To elucidate the role of pGlcT in the leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana, we generated single and double mutants lacking three plastidic sugar transporters, pGlcT, the triose-phosphate/phosphate translocator (TPT), and the maltose transporter (MEX1), and analyzed their growth phenotypes, photosynthetic properties and metabolite contents.
- •In contrast to the pglct-1 and pglct-2 single mutants lacking a visible growth phenotype, the double mutants pglct-1/mex1 and tpt-2/mex1 displayed markedly inhibited plant growth. Notably, pglct-1/mex1 exhibited more severe growth retardation than that seen for the other mutants. In parallel, the most severe reductions in sucrose content and starch turnover were observed in the pglct-1/mex1 mutant. The concurrent loss of pGlcT and MEX1 also resulted in severely reduced photosynthetic activities and extreme chloroplast abnormalities.
- •These findings suggest that pGlcT, together with MEX1, contributes significantly to the export of starch degradation products from chloroplasts in A. thaliana leaves, and that this starch-mediated pathway for photoassimilate export via pGlcT and MEX1 is essential for the growth and development of A. thaliana.