Author(s): Ma Y, Slewinski TL, Baker RF, Braun DM
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Abstract Carbon is partitioned between export from the leaf and retention within the leaf, and this process is essential for all aspects of plant growth and development. In most plants, sucrose is loaded into the phloem of carbon-exporting leaves (sources), transported through the veins, and unloaded into carbon-importing tissues (sinks). We have taken a genetic approach to identify genes regulating carbon partitioning in maize (Zea mays). We identified a collection of mutants, called the tie-dyed (tdy) loci, that hyperaccumulate carbohydrates in regions of their leaves. To understand the molecular function of Tdy1, we cloned the gene. Tdy1 encodes a novel transmembrane protein present only in grasses, although two protein domains are conserved across angiosperms. We found that Tdy1 is expressed exclusively in phloem cells of both source and sink tissues, suggesting that Tdy1 may play a role in phloem loading and unloading processes. In addition, Tdy1 RNA accumulates in protophloem cells upon differentiation, suggesting that Tdy1 may function as soon as phloem cells become competent to transport assimilates. Monitoring the movement of a fluorescent, soluble dye showed that tdy1 leaves have retarded phloem loading. However, once the dye entered into the phloem, solute transport appeared equal in wild-type and tdy1 mutant plants, suggesting that tdy1 plants are not defective in phloem unloading. Therefore, even though Tdy1 RNA accumulates in source and sink tissues, we propose that TDY1 functions in carbon partitioning by promoting phloem loading. Possible roles for TDY1 are discussed.
This article was published in Plant Physiol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals