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Plant Physiol. 1991 Apr;95(4):1181-8.

Mutants of Arabidopsis with altered regulation of starch degradation.

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  • 1Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.


Mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. with altered regulation of starch degradation were identified by screening for plants that retained high levels of leaf starch after a period of extended darkness. The mutant phenotype was also expressed in seeds, flowers, and roots, indicating that the same pathway of starch degradation is used in these tissues. In many respects, the physiological consequences of the mutations were equivalent to the effects observed in previously characterized mutants of Arabidopsis that are unable to synthesize starch. One mutant line, which was characterized in detail, had normal levels of activity of the starch degradative enzymes alpha-amylase, beta-amylase, phosphorylase, D-enzyme, and debranching enzyme. Thus, it was not possible to establish a biochemical basis for the phenotype, which was due to a recessive mutation at a locus designated sex1 at position 12.2 on chromosome 1. This raises the possibility that hitherto unidentified factors, altered by the mutation, play a key role in regulating or catalyzing starch degradation.

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