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J Exp Bot. 1996 Aug;47 Spec No:1179-85. doi: 10.1093/jxb/47.Special_Issue.1179.

Sugar and metabolic regulation of genes for sucrose metabolism: potential influence of maize sucrose synthase and soluble invertase responses on carbon partitioning and sugar sensing.

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  • 1Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Program, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA.


Sugar responsiveness of genes for both paths of sucrose metabolism could provide a mechanism not only for transcriptional regulation of the first step in the use of imported carbon, but also for altering signals to the sugar-sensing system. This hypothesis was examined by comparison of (1) sugar regulation among maize genes for sucrose synthase and invertase, (2) their contrasting patterns of tissue expression, and (3) their influence on production of effectors for other sugar-responsive genes. Cloning and characterization of the Ivr1 and Ivr2 invertase genes of maize indicated that these genes belong to distinct subfamilies of the maize soluble invertase gene family. In addition, maize invertases can be grouped with the sucrose synthases (Sh1 and Sus1) on the basis of shared patterns of differential sugar-responsiveness and tissue-specific expression. Extension of this comparison to include genes for sucrose metabolism from other species revealed a more widespread association between starvation-tolerant expression and restricted patterns of tissue distribution. Consideration of current models for plant sugar-sensing systems and transport pathways suggested that the site and mechanism of sucrose cleavage in the cell could affect the magnitude and type of signal generated.

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