Leaves of the Arabidopsis maltose exporter1 Mutant Exhibit a Metabolic Profile with Features of Cold Acclimation in the Warm

Sarah J. Purdy, John D. Bussell, Christopher P. Nunn, Steven M. Smith

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Abstract

Background

Arabidopsis plants accumulate maltose from starch breakdown during cold acclimation. The Arabidopsis mutant, maltose excess1-1, accumulates large amounts of maltose in the plastid even in the warm, due to a deficient plastid envelope maltose transporter. We therefore investigated whether the elevated maltose level in mex1-1 in the warm could result in changes in metabolism and physiology typical of WT plants grown in the cold.
Principal Findings

Grown at 21 °C, mex1-1 plants were much smaller, with fewer leaves, and elevated carbohydrates and amino acids compared to WT. However, after transfer to 4 °C the total soluble sugar pool and amino acid concentration was in equal abundance in both genotypes, although the most abundant sugar in mex1-1 was still maltose whereas sucrose was in greatest abundance in WT. The chlorophyll a/b ratio in WT was much lower in the cold than in the warm, but in mex1-1 it was low in both warm and cold. After prolonged growth at 4 °C, the shoot biomass, rosette diameter and number of leaves at bolting were similar in mex1-1 and WT.
Conclusions

The mex1-1 mutation in warm-grown plants confers aspects of cold acclimation, including elevated levels of sugars and amino acids and low chlorophyll a/b ratio. This may in turn compromise growth of mex1-1 in the warm relative to WT. We suggest that elevated maltose in the plastid could be responsible for key aspects of cold acclimation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e79412
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 05 Nov 2013

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