Triose phosphate translocator
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The introduction of an antisense DNA into transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) plants decreased the expression of the chloroplast triose-phosphate translocator and lowered its activity by 20–30%. With plants propagated from tubers, the effect of the transformation on photosynthetic metabolism was analysed by measuring photosynthesis, the formation of leaf starch, and the total and subcellular metabolite contents in leaves. Although the transformants, in contrast to those propagated from cell cultures, did not differ from the wild-type plants in respect to rates of photosynthesis, plant appearance, growth and tuber production, their photosynthetic metabolism was found to be severely affected. The results show that the decrease in activity of the triose-phosphate translocator in the transformants caused a fourfold increase in the level of 3-phosphoglycerate and a corresponding decrease in inorganic phosphate in the stromal compartment, resulting in a large increase in the synthesis of starch. Whereas during a 12-h day period wild-type plants deposited 43% of their CO2 assimilate into starch, this value rose to 61–89% in the transformants. In contrast to the wild-type plants, where the rate of assimilate export from the leaves during the night period was about 75% of that during the day, the export rate from leaves of transformants appeared to be much higher during the night than during the day. As the mobilisation of starch occurs in part hydrolytically, resulting in the formation of glucose, the triose-phosphate translocator loses its exclusive function in the export of carbohydrates from the chloroplasts when the photoassimilates are temporarily deposited as starch. It appears that by directing the CO2 assimilates mainly into starch, the transformants compensate for the deficiency in triose-phosphate translocator activity in such a way that the productivity of the plants is not affected by the transformation.
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