Author(s): Hummel I, Pantin F, Sulpice R, Piques M, Rolland G, , Hummel I, Pantin F, Sulpice R, Piques M, Rolland G,
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Abstract Growth and carbon (C) fluxes are severely altered in plants exposed to soil water deficit. Correspondingly, it has been suggested that plants under water deficit suffer from C shortage. In this study, we test this hypothesis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) by providing an overview of the responses of growth, C balance, metabolites, enzymes of the central metabolism, and a set of sugar-responsive genes to a sustained soil water deficit. The results show that under drought, rosette relative expansion rate is decreased more than photosynthesis, leading to a more positive C balance, while root growth is promoted. Several soluble metabolites accumulate in response to soil water deficit, with K(+) and organic acids as the main contributors to osmotic adjustment. Osmotic adjustment costs only a small percentage of the daily photosynthetic C fixation. All C metabolites measured (not only starch and sugars but also organic acids and amino acids) show a diurnal turnover that often increased under water deficit, suggesting that these metabolites are readily available for being metabolized in situ or exported to roots. On the basis of 30 enzyme activities, no in-depth reprogramming of C metabolism was observed. Water deficit induces a shift of the expression level of a set of sugar-responsive genes that is indicative of increased, rather than decreased, C availability. These results converge to show that the differential impact of soil water deficit on photosynthesis and rosette expansion results in an increased availability of C for the roots, an increased turnover of C metabolites, and a low-cost C-based osmotic adjustment, and these responses are performed without major reformatting of the primary metabolism machinery.
This article was published in Plant Physiol
and referenced in Transcriptomics: Open Access