Requirement For The Plastidial Oxidative Pentose Phosphate Pathway For Nitrate Assimilation In Arabidopsis
The Plant Journal 2013, Online before publication
Bussell John D, Keech O, Fenske R, Smith S M
Sugar metabolism and the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OPPP) are strongly implicated in N assimilation although the relationship between them and the roles of the plastidial and cytosolic OPPP have not been established genetically. We studied a knock-down mutant of the plastid-localized OPPP enzyme 6-phosphogluconolactonase 3 (PGL3). pgl3-1 plants exhibited relatively greater resource allocation to roots but were smaller than wild type. They had lower content of amino acids and free NO3- in leaves than the wild type, despite exhibiting comparable photosynthetic rates and efficiency, and normal levels of many other primary metabolites. When N-deprived plants were fed via the roots with 15NO3-, pgl3-1 exhibited normal induction of OPPP and nitrate assimilation genes in roots, and amino acids in roots and shoots were labeled with 15N at least as rapidly as in the wild type. However when N-replete plants were fed via the roots with sucrose, expression of specific OPPP and N assimilation genes in roots increased in the wild type but not in pgl3-1. Thus, sugar-dependent expression of N assimilation genes requires OPPP activity and the specificity of the effect of the pgl3-1 mutation on N assimilation genes establishes that it is not the result of general energy deficiency or to accumulation of toxic intermediates. We conclude that expression of specific nitrate assimilation genes in the nucleus of root cells is positively regulated by a signal emanating from OPPP activity in the plastid.
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