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J Plant Res. 2006 Mar;119(2):115-23. Epub 2006 Feb 7.

Identification of sugar-modulated genes and evidence for in vivo sugar sensing in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Department of Crop Plant Biology, University of Pisa, Via Mariscoglio 34, 56124 Pisa, Italy.


Sugar status regulates mechanisms controlling growth and development of plants. We studied the effects of sucrose at a genome-wide level in dark-grown 4-day-old Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, identifying 797 genes strongly responsive to sucrose. Starting from the microarray analysis data, four up-regulated (At5g41670, At1g20950, At1g61800, and At2g28900) and four down-regulated (DIN6, At4g37220, At1g28330, and At1g74670) genes were chosen for further characterisation and as sugar sensing markers for in vivo analysis. The sugar modulation pattern of all eight genes was confirmed by real time RT-PCR analysis, revealing different concentration thresholds for sugar modulation. Finally, sugar-regulation of gene expression was demonstrated in vivo by using the starchless pgm mutant, which is unable to produce transitory starch. Sucrose-inducible genes are upregulated in pgm leaves at the end of a light treatment, when soluble sugars levels are higher than in the wild type. Conversely, sucrose-repressible genes show a higher expression at the end of the dark period in the mutant, when the levels of sugars in the leaf are lower. The results obtained indicate that the transcriptional response to exogenous sucrose allows the identification of genes displaying a pattern of expression in leaves compatible with their sugar-modulation in vivo.

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