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Planta. 2008 Feb;227(3):527-38. Epub 2007 Oct 9.

Tie-dyed1 and sucrose export defective1 act independently to promote carbohydrate export from maize leaves.

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Department of Biology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


tie-dyed1 (tdy1) and sucrose export defective1 (sxd1) are recessive maize (Zea mays) mutants with nonclonal chlorotic leaf sectors that hyperaccumulate starch and soluble sugars. In addition, both mutants display similar growth-related defects such as reduced plant height and inflorescence development due to the retention of carbohydrates in leaves. As tdy1 and sxd1 are the only variegated leaf mutants known to accumulate carbohydrates in any plant, we investigated whether Tdy1 and Sxd1 function in the same pathway. Using aniline blue staining for callose and transmission electron microscopy to inspect plasmodesmatal ultrastructure, we determined that tdy1 does not have any physical blockage or alteration along the symplastic transport pathway as found in sxd1 mutants. To test whether the two genes function in the same genetic pathway, we constructed F(2) families segregating both mutations. Double mutant plants showed an additive interaction for growth related phenotypes and soluble sugar accumulation, and expressed the leaf variegation pattern of both single mutants indicating that Tdy1 and Sxd1 act in separate genetic pathways. Although sxd1 mutants lack tocopherols, we determined that tdy1 mutants have wild-type tocopherol levels, indicating that Tdy1 does not function in the same biochemical pathway as Sxd1. From these and other data we conclude that Tdy1 and Sxd1 function independently to promote carbon export from leaves. Our genetic and cytological studies implicate Tdy1 functioning in veins, and a model discussing possible functions of TDY1 is presented.

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