, Volume 223, Issue 2, pp 248-257
Date: 14 Dec 2005

Expression profiling of starch metabolism-related plastidic translocator genes in rice

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Abstract

The genes encoding the major putative rice plastidic translocators involved in the carbon flow related to starch metabolism were identified by exhaustive database searches. The genes identified were two for the triose phosphate/phosphate translocator (TPT), five for the glucose 6-phosphate/phosphate translocator (GPT) including putatively non-functional ones, four for the phosphoenolpyruvate/phosphate translocator (PPT), three for the putative ADP-glucose translocator (or Brittle-1 protein, BT1), two for the plastidic nucleotide transport protein (NTT), and one each for the plastidic glucose translocator (pGlcT) and the maltose translocator (MT). The expression patterns of the genes in various photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic organs were examined by quantitative real-time PCR. OsBT1-1 was specifically expressed in the seed and its transcript level tremendously increased at the onset of vigorous starch production in the endosperm, suggesting that the ADP-glucose synthesized in the cytosol is a major precursor for starch biosynthesis in the endosperm amyloplast. In contrast, all of the genes for OsTPT, OsPPT, and OsNTT were mainly expressed in source tissues, suggesting that their proteins play essential roles in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism in chloroplasts. Substantial expression of the four OsGPT genes and the OspGlcT gene in both source and sink organs suggests that the transport of glucose phosphate and glucose is physiologically important in both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic tissues. The present study shows that comprehensive analysis of expression patterns of the plastidic translocator genes is a valuable tool for the elucidation of the functions of the translocators in the regulation of starch metabolism in rice.