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Planta

, Volume 250, Issue 5, pp 1743–1755 | Cite as

Distinct nodule and leaf functions of two different sucrose phosphate synthases in alfalfa

  • Shanta Padhi
  • Martha M. Grimes
  • Fabiola Muro-Villanueva
  • Jose Luis Ortega
  • Champa Sengupta-GopalanEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Main conclusion

In alfalfa, the B form of Sucrose phosphate synthase synthesizes sucrose in the leaves while the A form participates in regulatory cycles of synthesis/breakdown of sucrose/starch in the root nodules.

Abstract

Sucrose (Suc) is the major stable product of photosynthesis that is transported to all heterotrophic organs as a source of energy and carbon. The enzyme sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) catalyzes the synthesis of Suc. Besides the leaves, SPS is also found in heterotrophic organs. There are two isoforms of SPS in alfalfa (Medicago sativa): SPSA and SPSB. While SPSA is expressed in the vasculature of all the organs and in the N2-fixing zone in the nodules, SPSB is exclusively expressed in the photosynthetic cells. Two classes of alfalfa transformants were produced, one with a gene construct consisting of the alfalfa SPSA promoter and the other with the SPSB promoter—both driving the maize SPS coding region—referred to as SPSA-ZmSPS and SPSB-ZmSPS, respectively. Both classes of transformants showed increased growth compared to control plants. The SPSB-ZmSPS transformants showed increased SPS protein levels and activity along with a significant increase in the Suc levels in the leaves. The SPSA-ZmSPS transformants showed an increase in the SPS protein level and enzyme activity both in the leaves and the nodules with no increase in Suc content in the leaves but a substantial increase in the nodules. Both SPSA and SPSB have unique roles in the nodules (sink) and leaves (source). SPSB is responsible for the synthesis of Suc in the photosynthetic cells and SPSA participates in a regulatory cycle in which Suc is simultaneously degraded and re-synthesized; both these functions contribute to plant growth in rhizobia nodulated alfalfa plants.

Keywords

Antisense In situ GUS localization Alfalfa transformation SPS promoters Root nodules 

Abbreviations

MsSPSA

Alfalfa sucrose phosphate synthase A gene

MsSPSB

Alfalfa sucrose phosphate synthase B gene

SPSA-ZmSPS

SPSA promoter driving Zea mays SPS cDNA

SPSB-ZmSPS

SPSB promoter driving Zea mays SPS cDNA

SPSA-antiSPSA

SPSA promoter driving alfalfa SPSA coding region in antisense orientation

SPSA-GUS

SPSA promoter driving β-glucuronidase

Suc

Sucrose

Glc

Glucose

Fru-6P

Fructose 6-phosphate

UDP-Glc

Uridine diphosphate glucose

SucS

Sucrose synthase

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Agricultural Experiment Station at New Mexico State University and by the National Institutes of Health (Research Initiative for Scientific Research Enhancement program). The support from LIFTED, LED grow lights (Rio Rancho, NM) is greatly appreciated.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant and Environmental SciencesNew Mexico State UniversityLas CrucesUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biochemistry, College of AgriculturePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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