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Colocalization of Sucrose Synthase Expression and Sucrose Storage in the Sugarbeet Taproot Indicates a Potential Role for Sucrose Catabolism in Sucrose Accumulation

Fugate, Karen K., Eide, John D., Martins, Daniel N., Grusak, Michael A., Deckard, Edward L., Finger, Fernando L.
Journal of plant physiology 2019 pp. 153016
adenosine triphosphate, biosynthesis, cambium, cell walls, cortex, phloem, plasma membrane, sucrose, sucrose synthase, sugar beet, tonoplast, vacuoles, xylem
Sucrose metabolism is believed to have a central role in promoting sink strength and sucrose storage in the sugarbeet taproot. How sucrose accumulation is increased by sucrose-degrading enzymes, however, is a paradox. To elucidate roles for sucrose-degrading activities in sucrose accumulation, relationships between the intercellular location of sucrose-catabolizing enzymes and sites of sucrose accumulation were determined in the sugarbeet taproot. Sucrose storage was evident in parenchyma cells of the outer cortex, rays, and rings of parenchyma tissue, but was absent in phloem, the vascular cambium, cells surrounding these tissues, or cells surrounding xylem. Sucrose synthase, which was primarily responsible for sucrose catabolism throughout the taproot, was expressed in similar cell and tissue types to those accumulating sucrose. Colocalization of sucrose synthase with sucrose accumulation, as well as sucrose synthase localization near the tonoplast, suggests a role for the enzyme in generating metabolic energy to fuel sucrose sequestration in the vacuole. Localization near the plasma membrane also suggests a role for sucrose synthase in supplying substrates for cell wall biosynthesis. By utilizing sucrose for ATP or cell wall biosynthesis, sucrose synthase likely maintains the source-to-sink sucrose gradient that drives sucrose transport into the root, thereby promoting sugarbeet root sink strength.