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Plant Physiol. 2010 Apr;152(4):1863-73. doi: 10.1104/pp.110.153098. Epub 2010 Feb 12.

Metabolome and photochemical analysis of rice plants overexpressing Arabidopsis NAD kinase gene.

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Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, University of Tokyo, Yayoi 1-1-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0032, Japan.


The chloroplastic NAD kinase (NADK2) is reported to stimulate carbon and nitrogen assimilation in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), which is vulnerable to high light. Since rice (Oryza sativa) is a monocotyledonous plant that can adapt to high light, we studied the effects of NADK2 expression in rice by developing transgenic rice plants that constitutively expressed the Arabidopsis chloroplastic NADK gene (NK2 lines). NK2 lines showed enhanced activity of NADK and accumulation of the NADP(H) pool, while intermediates of NAD derivatives were unchanged. Comprehensive analysis of the primary metabolites in leaves using capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry revealed elevated levels of amino acids and several sugar phosphates including ribose-1,5-bisphosphate, but no significant change in the levels of the other metabolites. Studies of chlorophyll fluorescence and gas change analyses demonstrated greater electron transport and CO2 assimilation rates in NK2 lines, compared to those in the control. Analysis of oxidative stress response indicated enhanced tolerance to oxidative stress in these transformants. The results suggest that NADP content plays a critical role in determining the photosynthetic electron transport rate in rice and that its enhancement leads to stimulation of photosynthesis metabolism and tolerance of oxidative damages.

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