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Plant Physiol. 2004 Jun;135(2):879-90. Epub 2004 Jun 4.

Trehalose mediated growth inhibition of Arabidopsis seedlings is due to trehalose-6-phosphate accumulation.

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Molecular Plant Physiology, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, 3584CH Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) is required for carbon utilization during Arabidopsis development, and its absence is embryo lethal. Here we show that T6P accumulation inhibits seedling growth. Wild-type seedlings grown on 100 mm trehalose rapidly accumulate T6P and stop growing, but seedlings expressing Escherichia coli trehalose phosphate hydrolase develop normally on such medium. T6P accumulation likely results from much-reduced T6P dephosphorylation when trehalose levels are high. Metabolizable sugars added to trehalose medium rescue T6P inhibition of growth. In addition, Suc feeding leads to a progressive increase in T6P concentrations, suggesting that T6P control over carbon utilization is related to available carbon for growth. Expression analysis of genes from the Arabidopsis trehalose metabolism further supports this: Suc rapidly induces expression of trehalose phosphate synthase homolog AtTPS5 to high levels. In contrast, T6P accumulation after feeding trehalose in the absence of available carbon induces repression of genes encoding T6P synthases and expression of T6P phosphatases. To identify processes controlled by T6P, we clustered expression profile data from seedlings with altered T6P content. T6P levels correlate with expression of a specific set of genes, including the S6 ribosomal kinase ATPK19, independently of carbon status. Interestingly, Suc addition represses 15 of these genes, one of which is AtKIN11, encoding a Sucrose Non Fermenting 1 (SNF1)-related kinase known to play a role in Suc utilization.

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