Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
Plant Cell. 2008 Dec;20(12):3448-66. doi: 10.1105/tpc.108.063487. Epub 2008 Dec 12.

Starch granule biosynthesis in Arabidopsis is abolished by removal of all debranching enzymes but restored by the subsequent removal of an endoamylase.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Plant Sciences, ETH Zurich, CH-8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


Several studies have suggested that debranching enzymes (DBEs) are involved in the biosynthesis of amylopectin, the major constituent of starch granules. Our systematic analysis of all DBE mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana demonstrates that when any DBE activity remains, starch granules are still synthesized, albeit with altered amylopectin structure. Quadruple mutants lacking all four DBE proteins (Isoamylase1 [ISA1], ISA2, and ISA3, and Limit-Dextrinase) are devoid of starch granules and instead accumulate highly branched glucans, distinct from amylopectin and from previously described phytoglycogen. A fraction of these glucans are present as discrete, insoluble, nanometer-scale particles, but the structure and properties of this material are radically altered compared with wild-type amylopectin. Superficially, these data support the hypothesis that debranching is required for amylopectin synthesis. However, our analyses show that soluble glucans in the quadruple DBE mutant are degraded by alpha- and beta-amylases during periods of net accumulation, giving rise to maltose and branched malto-oligosaccharides. The additional loss of the chloroplastic alpha-amylase AMY3 partially reverts the phenotype of the quadruple DBE mutant, restoring starch granule biosynthesis. We propose that DBEs function in normal amylopectin synthesis by promoting amylopectin crystallization but conclude that they are not mandatory for starch granule synthesis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (11)Free text

Figure 1.
Figure 2.
Figure 3.
Figure 4.
Figure 5.
Figure 6.
Figure 7.
Figure 8.
Figure 9.
Figure 10.
Figure 11.
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk