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Plant Physiol. 2003 Apr;131(4):1834-42.

The gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase in Arabidopsis is essential for seedling establishment.

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Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, Department of Biology (Area 7), University of York, P.O. Box 373, United Kingdom.


Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) catalyzes the conversion of oxaloacetate to phosphoenolpyruvate in the gluconeogenic production of sugars from storage oil in germinating oilseeds. Here, we present the results of analysis on PEPCK antisense Arabidopsis plants with a range of enzyme activities from 20% to 80% of wild-type levels. There is a direct correlation between enzyme activity and seedling establishment during early post-germinative growth, thus demonstrating the absolute requirement of PEPCK and gluconeogenesis in this process. Soluble sugar levels in the 35S-PCK1 antisense seedlings are reduced and seedling establishment can be rescued with an exogenous supply of sucrose. We observed an increase in the respiration of acetyl coenzyme A units released from fatty acid beta-oxidation and a corresponding decrease in the production of sugars with decreasing enzyme activity in 2-d-old antisense seedlings. The 35S-PCK1 antisense lines have a more extreme phenotype when compared with Arabidopsis mutants disrupted in the glyoxylate cycle. We conclude that the 35S-PCK1 antisense seedlings are compromised in the ability to use both storage lipid and storage protein through gluconeogenesis to produce soluble sugars.

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