The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle in Plant Mitochondria: Its Operation and Regulation

  • J. T. Wiskich
  • I. B. Dry
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 18)


A major role of plant mitochondria is to generate usable energy required for cellular processes. This is achieved by oxidizing organic acids in the Krebs or tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle (Fig. 1) and transferring the reducing equivalents, via the electron transfer chain, to molecular oxygen. During the latter process ADP is phosphorylated to ATP. However, plant mitochondrial function is not as simple as that. First, other substrates can be oxidized [e.g., external (cytoplasmic) NADH, fatty acids and amino acids, glutamate, and glycine.] Second, plant mitochondria possess nonphosphorylating pathways such as the cyanide-insensitive, alternative oxidase and the rotenone-insensitive by-pass for oxidation of intramitochondrial NADH (see Chap. 8 and Hanson and Day 1980). The combination of these two pathways does not lead to the formation of any ATP. Third, other enzymes can play an important part in mitochondrial function, e.g., NAD-malic enzyme and aspartate aminotransferase.


Malate Dehydrogenase Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Plant Mitochondrion Glycine Decarboxylase Malate Oxidation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



adenosine 5′-monophosphate


adenosine 5’-diphosphate


adenosine 5′-triphosphate


α-cyano-4hydroxycinnamic acid


cras-sulacean acid metabolism


coenzyme A


nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide


nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (reduced form)




inorganic phosphate


tricarboxylic acid


N-Tris(hydroxymethyl)methyl-2-aminoethanesulphonic acid.


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  • J. T. Wiskich
  • I. B. Dry

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