, Volume 190, Issue 4, pp 468–473

Coordination of the cell-specific distribution of the four subunits of glycine decarboxylase and of serine hydroxymethyltransferase in leaves of C3-C4 intermediate species from different genera

  • C. L. Morgan
  • S. R. Turner
  • S. Rawsthorne

DOI: 10.1007/BF00224785

Cite this article as:
Morgan, C.L., Turner, S.R. & Rawsthorne, S. Planta (1993) 190: 468. doi:10.1007/BF00224785


The cell-specific distribution of the four subunit proteins (P, L, T and H) of glycine decarboxylase (GDC) and of serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) has been studied in the leaves of C3-C4 intermediate and C4 species of three genera (Flaveria, Moricandia and Panicum) using immunogold localization. Antibodies raised against these proteins from pea leaf mitochondria were used to probe Western blots of total leaf proteins of F. linearis Lag., M. arvensis (L.) DC and P. milioides Nees ex Trin. (C3-C4), and F. trinervia (Spring.) Mohr and P. miliaceum (L.) (C4). For all species, each antibody recognised specifically a protein of similar molecular weight to that in pea leaves. In leaves of M. arvensis the P protein was present in the mitochondria of the bundle-sheath cells but was undetectable in those of the mesophyll, whereas the L, T and H proteins and SHMT were present in both cell types. The density of immunogold labelling of SHMT on the mitochondria of mesophyll cells was less than that on those of the bundle-sheath cells, which correlates with the relative activities of SHMT in these cell types. These data reveal that the lack of functional GDC in the mesophyll cells of M. arvensis, which is the principal biochemical reason for reduced photorespiration in this species, is due to the loss of a single subunit protein. This lack of coordinate expression of the subunit proteins of GDC within a photosynthetic cell represents a clear difference between M. arvensis and other C3 and C3-C4 species. None of the GDC proteins was detectable in the mesophyll cells of the C3-C4 and C4Flaveria and Panicum species but all were present in the bundle-sheath cells. The differences in the distribution of the GDC proteins in leaves of the C3-C4 species studied are discussed in relation to the evolution of photosynthetic mechanisms.

Key words

C3-C4 intermediate species (Flaveria, Moricandia, Panicum)C4 evolutionGlycine decarboxylase (localization)PhotorespirationSerine hydroxymethyltransferase (localization)



glycine decarboxylase


immuno-globulin G


serine hydroxymethyltransferase

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. L. Morgan
    • 1
  • S. R. Turner
    • 1
  • S. Rawsthorne
    • 1
  1. 1.Cambridge Laboratory, AFRC Institute of Plant Science Research, John Innes CentreNorwichUK
  2. 2.DOE Plant Research Laboratory, Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA