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A mitochondrial alkaline/neutral invertase isoform (A/N-InvC) functions in developmental energy-demanding processes in Arabidopsis


Recent findings demonstrate that alkaline/neutral invertases (A/N-Invs), enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of sucrose into glucose and fructose, are essential proteins in plant life. The fact that different isoforms are present in multiple locations makes them candidates for the coordination of metabolic processes. In the present study, we functionally characterized the encoding gene of a novel A/N-Inv (named A/N-InvC) from Arabidopsis, which localizes in mitochondria. A/N-InvC is expressed in roots, in aerial parts (shoots and leaves) and flowers. A detailed phenotypic analysis of knockout mutant plants (invc) reveals an impaired growth phenotype. Shoot growth was severely reduced, but root development was not affected as reported for A/N-InvA mutant (inva) plants. Remarkably, germination and flowering, two energy demanding processes, were the most affected stages. The effect of exogenous growth regulators led us to suggest that A/N-InvC may be modulating hormone balance in relation to the radicle emergence. We also show that oxygen consumption is reduced in inva and invc in comparison with wild-type plants, indicating that both organelle isoenzymes may play a fundamental role in mitochondrion functionality. Taken together, our results emphasize the involvement of mitochondrial A/N-Invs in developmental processes and uncover the possibility of playing different roles for the two isoforms located in the organelle.

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Abscisic acid


Alkaline/neutral invertase

A/N-InvA or A/N-InvC:

At-A/N-InvA or At-A/N-InvC: Arabidopsis alkaline/neutral invertase A, or C


Gibberellic acid 3



inva or invc :

Arabidopsis mutant lacking alkaline/neutral invertase A or C




Arabidopsis wild-type plants, ecotype Columbia 0


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We are very thankful to C. Fernández and M. Vidal for technical assistance. This research was funded by grants from CONICET (PIP 134 and PIP 102), Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (EXA 553/11), and FIBA.

Author information

Correspondence to Graciela L. Salerno.

Electronic supplementary material

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Supplemental Fig. 1 Comparison of Arabidopsis A/N-InvA and A/N-InvC gene expression. Analysis was performed from the Arabidopsis GENEVESTIGATOR browser ( (JPEG 210 kb)


Supplemental Fig. 2 A/N-InvC-knockout Arabidopsis plants (invc). a Structure of A/N-InvC gene (locus At3g06500) composed of six exons and five introns. The coding and untranslated regions are gray and black depicted, respectively. The 5´and 3´untranslated regions are represented as white boxes. The T-DNA insertion site is indicated as a triangle (SALK_080181 mutant line). b Genotypic characterization of invc by PCR. The primers used (CLP, LBP and CRP), according to, are indicated by arrows in (a). Wild-type (wt) corresponds to Col-0 plants. Amplification products were analyzed on 1 % agarose gels and visualized after ethidium bromide staining. (JPEG 52 kb)

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Martín, M.L., Lechner, L., Zabaleta, E.J. et al. A mitochondrial alkaline/neutral invertase isoform (A/N-InvC) functions in developmental energy-demanding processes in Arabidopsis. Planta 237, 813–822 (2013).

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  • Alkaline/neutral invertases
  • Mitochondrial isoforms
  • Respiration
  • Germination
  • Flowering