, Volume 225, Issue 4, pp 965-976
Date: 21 Sep 2006

Expression of a modified ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase large subunit in wheat seeds stimulates photosynthesis and carbon metabolism

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ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGP) is the rate-limiting step in seed starch biosynthesis. Expression of an altered maize AGP large subunit (Sh2r6hs) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) results in increased AGP activity in developing seed endosperm and seed yield. The yield phenotype involves increases in both seed number and total plant biomass. Here we describe stimulation of photosynthesis by the seed-specific Sh2r6hs transgene. Photosynthetic rates were increased in Sh2r6hs-expressing plants under high light but not low light growth conditions, peaking at roughly 7 days after flowering (DAF). In addition, there were significant increases in levels of fructose, glucose, and sucrose in flag leaves at both 7 and 14 DAF. In seeds, levels of carbon metabolites at 7 and 14 DAF were relatively unchanged but increases in glucose, ADP-glucose, and UDP-glucose were observed in seeds from Sh2r6hs positive plants at maturity. Increased photosynthetic rates relatively early in seed development appear to be key to the Sh2r6hs enhanced yield phenotype as no yield increase or photosynthetic rate changes were found when plants were grown in a suboptimal light environment. These findings demonstrate that stimulation of biochemical events in both source and sink tissues is associated with Sh2r6hs expression.