SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Glycolate oxidase (GLO) is a key enzyme for photorespiration in plants. Previous studies have demonstrated that suppression of GLO causes photosynthetic inhibition, and the accumulated glycolate with the deactivated Rubisco is likely involved in the regulation. Using isolated Rubisco and chloroplasts, it has been found that only glyoxylate can effectively inactivate Rubisco and meanwhile inhibit photosynthesis, but little in vivo evidence has been acquired and reported. In this study, we have generated the transgenic rice (Oryza sativa) plants with GLO being constitutively silenced, and conducted the physiological and biochemical analyses on these plants to explore the regulatory mechanism. When GLO was downregulated, the net photosynthetic rate (Pn) was reduced and the plant growth was correspondingly stunted. Surprisingly, glyoxylate, as a product of the GLO catalysis, was accumulated in response to the GLO suppression, like its substrate glycolate. Furthermore, the glyoxylate content was found to be inversely proportional to the Pn while the Pn is directly proportional to the Rubisco activation state in the GLO-suppressed plants. A mathematical fitting equation using least square method also demonstrated that the Rubisco activation state was inversely proportional to the glyoxylate content. Despite that the further analyses we have conducted failed to reveal how glyoxylate was accumulated in response to the GLO suppression, the current results do strongly suggest that there may exist an unidentified, alternative pathway to produce glyoxylate, and that the accumulated glyoxylate inhibits photosynthesis by deactivating Rubisco, and causes the photorespiratory phenotype in the GLO-suppressed rice plants.