, Volume 153, Issue 2, pp 181–192

The mechanism of sugar uptake by sugarcane suspension cells

  • E. Komor
  • M. Thom
  • A. Maretzki

DOI: 10.1007/BF00384100

Cite this article as:
Komor, E., Thom, M. & Maretzki, A. Planta (1981) 153: 181. doi:10.1007/BF00384100


Sugarcane cell suspensions took up sugar from the medium at rates comparable to or greater than sugarcane tissue slices or plants in the field. This system offers an opportunity for the study of kinetic and energetic mechanisms of sugar transport in storage parenchyma-like cells in the absence of heterogeneity introduced by tissues. The following results were obtained: (a) The sugar uptake system was specific for hexoses; as previously proposed, sucrose was hydrolyzed by an extracellular invertase before the sugar moieties were taken up; no evidence for multiple sugar uptake systems was obtained. — (b) Uptake of the glucose-analog 3-O-methylglucose (3-OMG) reached a plateau value with an intracellular concentration higher than in the medium (approximately 15-fold). — (c) There was a balance of influx and efflux during steady state; the rate of exchange influx was lower than the rate of net influx; the Km value was higher (70 μM) than for net influx (24 μM); the exchange efflux is proposed to be mediated by the same transport system with a Km value of approximately 2.6 mM for internal 3-OMG; the rate of net efflux of hexoses was less than a third of the rate of exchange efflux. — (d) The uptake of hexoses proceeded as proton-symport with a stoichiometry of 0.87 H+ per sugar; during the onset of hexose transport there was a K+ exit of 0.94 K+ per sugar for charge compensation. (It was assumed that the “real” stoichiometries are 1 H+ and 1 K+ per sugar.) The Km values for sugar transport and sugar-induced proton uptake were identical. Sucrose induced proton uptake only in the presence of cell wall invertase. — (e) There was no net proton uptake with 3-OMG by cells which were preloaded with glucose though there was significant sugar uptake. It is assumed, therefore, that the exit of hexose occurs together with protons. — (f) The protonmotive potential of sugarcane cells corresponded to about 120 mV: pH-gradient 1.1 units, membrane potential of-60 mV (these values increased if vacuolar pH and membrane potential were also considered). It was abolished by uncouplers, and the magnitude of the components depended on the external pH value. We present evidence for the operation of a proton-coupled sugar transport system in cell suspensions that were derived from, and have characteristics of, storage parenchyma. The quantitative rates of sugar transport suggest that the role of this transport system is not limiting for sugar storage.

Key words

Cell suspension cultureProton symportSaccharineSugar uptake



3-O methylglucose


5,5-dimethyl-2, 4-oxazolidinedione


tetraphenylphosphonium chloride


carbonyl cyanide, m-chlorophenylhydrozane

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Komor
    • 1
  • M. Thom
    • 1
  • A. Maretzki
    • 1
  1. 1.Experiment StationHawaiian Sugar Planters' AssociationAieaUSA
  2. 2.Institut für BotanikUniversität BayreuthBayreuthFederal Republic of Germany