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A reassessment of the role of sucrose synthase in the hypoxic sucrose‐ethanol transition in Arabidopsis
- SANTANIELLO, ANTONIETTA, LORETI, ELENA, GONZALI, SILVIA, NOVI, GIACOMO, PERATA, PIERDOMENICO
- Plant, cell and environment 2014 v.37 no.10 pp. 2294-2302
- Arabidopsis, adenosine triphosphate, beta-fructofuranosidase, carbon, ethanol production, glycolysis, hypoxia, mitochondria, mutants, oxygen, phenotype, sucrose, sucrose synthase
- Plants under low‐oxygen availability adapt their metabolism to compensate for the lower ATP production that arises from the limited respiratory activity in mitochondria. Anaerobic glycolysis requires continuous fuelling of carbon units, also provided from sucrose. The anaerobic catabolism of sucrose is thought to require the activity of sucrose synthase, being this enzymatic reaction more energetically favourable than that of invertase. The role of sucrose synthases (SUS) for aerobic sucrose catabolism in Arabidopsis has been recently questioned since SUS mutants fail to show altered phenotype or metabolic profile. In the present paper, we analysed the role of SUS1 and SUS4, both induced by low oxygen, in plant survival and ethanol production. The results showed that mutants lacking both SUS were as tolerant to low oxygen as the wild type in most of the experimental conditions tested. Only under conditions of limiting sugar availability the requirement of SUS1 and SUS4 for ethanol production was evident, although partly compensated by invertase activities, as revealed by the use of a double mutant lacking the two major cytosolic invertases. We conclude that, contrary to general belief, the sucrose synthase pathway is not the preferential route for sucrose metabolism under hypoxia.