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Genetics. 2000 Feb;154(2):847-56.

Identification of ascorbic acid-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana mutants.

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Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853, USA.


Vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) is a potent antioxidant and cellular reductant present at millimolar concentrations in plants. This small molecule has roles in the reduction of prosthetic metal ions, cell wall expansion, cell division, and in the detoxification of reactive oxygen generated by photosynthesis and adverse environmental conditions. However, unlike in animals, the biosynthesis of ascorbic acid (AsA) in plants is only beginning to be unraveled. The previously described AsA-deficient Arabidopsis mutant vtc1 (vitamin c-1) was recently shown to have a defect in GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase, providing strong evidence for the recently proposed role of GDP-mannose in AsA biosynthesis. To genetically define other AsA biosynthetic loci, we have used a novel AsA assay to isolate four vtc mutants that define three additional VTC loci. We have also isolated a second mutant allele of VTC1. The four loci represented by the vtc mutant collection have been genetically characterized and mapped onto the Arabidopsis genome. The vtc mutants have differing ozone sensitivities. In addition, two of the mutants, vtc2-1 and vtc2-2, have unusually low levels of AsA in the leaf tissue of mature plants.

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