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Starch Turnover and Metabolism during Flower and Early Embryo Development

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Hedhly Afif, Vogler Hannes, Schmid Marc W., Pazmino Diana, Gagliardini Valeria, Santelia Diana, Grossniklaus Ueli,
Project The Genetic and Molecular Basis of Gametogenesis and Maternal Effects in Arabidopsis
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Plant Physiology
Volume (Issue) 172(4)
Page(s) 2388 - 2402
Title of proceedings Plant Physiology
DOI 10.1104/pp.16.00916


The accumulation of starch within photosynthetic tissues and within dedicated storage organs has been characterized extensively in many species, and a function in buffering carbon availability or in fueling later growth phases, respectively, has been proposed. However, developmentally regulated starch turnover within heterotrophic tissues other than dedicated storage organs is poorly characterized, and its function is not well understood. Here, we report on the characterization of starch turnover during flower, early embryo, and silique development in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) using a combined clearing-staining technique on whole-mount tissue. Besides the two previously documented waves of transient starch accumulation in the stamen envelope, occurring during meiosis and pollen mitosis I, we identified a novel, third wave of starch amylogenesis/amylolysis during the last stages of stamen development. To gain insights into the underlying molecular mechanisms, we analyzed publicly available microarray data, which revealed a developmentally coordinated expression of carbohydrate transport and metabolism genes during these waves of transient starch accumulation. Based on this analysis, we characterized starch dynamics in mutants affecting hexose phosphate metabolism and translocation, and identified the Glc-6-phosphate/phosphate antiporter GPT1 as the putative translocator of Glc-6-phosphate for starch biosynthesis in reproductive tissues. Based on these results, we propose a model of starch synthesis within the pollen grain and discuss the nutrient transport route feeding the embryo within the developing seed.