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Planta. 2004 Sep;219(5):894-905. Epub 2004 Jun 4.

Regulation of vacuolar invertase by abscisic acid or glucose in leaves and roots from maize plantlets.

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  • 1Laboratoire Structure et Métabolisme des Plantes, Institut de Biotechnologie des Plantes (UMR-CNRS 8618), Bâtiment 630, Université Paris-Sud, 91405, Orsay Cedex, France.


Recent studies have demonstrated in leaves of maize (Zea mays L.) plants submitted to a moderate water stress an early enhancement of vacuolar invertase activity that paralleled the expression of the vacuolar invertase Ivr2 gene and the accumulation of hexoses. In this paper, the direct role of abscisic acid (ABA) was checked by providing this hormone to the root medium of hydroponically grown maize plantlets. ABA supplied to 10-day-old seedlings appeared to enhance the vacuolar invertase activity within 1 h in roots and 2 h in leaves, the maximum being reached at 4 and 8 h, respectively. The Ivr2 gene expression varied accordingly, except that the maximum values were earlier. During the first 8 h of activity enhancement, hexose and sucrose concentrations were not significantly affected by ABA. The changes in activity were correlated to leaf and root ABA concentrations and they were concentration dependent in roots and leaves. In contrast, the addition of 1% glucose or polyethylene glycol, at the same osmotic potential, was ineffective on invertase activity, but glucose supply enhanced Ivr2 transcript levels, after 18 h, in a concentration-dependent manner in the leaf, whereas they were repressed at higher concentrations in intact roots. The latter result appeared specific to intact roots since similar treatments performed using excised leaf or root pieces confirmed a previous report on the enhancement of Ivr2 and Ivr1 transcript levels by glucose in roots [J. Xu et al. (1996) Plant Cell 8:1209-1220]. Therefore, ABA appears to be a strong inducer of Ivr2-invertase expression in roots and leaves.

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