, Volume 219, Issue 3, pp 489–499 | Cite as

Metabolic profiling of the Arabidopsis pkl mutant reveals selective derepression of embryonic traits

  • Stanley Dean RiderJr.
  • Matthew R. Hemm
  • Heather A. Hostetler
  • Hui-Chun Li
  • Clint Chapple
  • Joe Ogas
Original Article


Embryos express several unique differentiation characteristics, including the accumulation of a number of metabolites that are generally considered to be unique to seeds. PICKLE (PKL) codes for a CHD3-chromatin remodeling factor that is necessary for repression of embryonic traits in seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. In pkl mutants, primary roots are capable of expressing many embryonic traits after germination and are referred to as “pickle roots”. In an attempt to examine the breadth of PKL-dependent repression of embryo-specific differentiation pathways, we determined the extent to which a variety of embryo-specific compounds accumulate in pickle roots. We found that pickle roots accumulate triacylglycerol with a fatty acid composition that is similar to that found in seeds. The major seed storage proteins are also present in pickle roots. In addition to these two well-characterized seed storage compounds, we observed that pickle roots accumulate phytate, a form of stored phosphate that is preferentially accumulated in seeds. Seeds of members of the Brassicaceae also accumulate a variety of unique secondary metabolites, including sinapate esters and glucosinolates. Surprisingly, the levels of secondary metabolites in pickle roots were not suggestive of an embryonic differentiation state, but did reveal that a mutation in PKL results in substantial changes in root secondary metabolism. Taken together, these data suggest that PKL is responsible for regulating some but not all aspects of the embryonic program as it relates to the accumulation of embryo-specific metabolites.


Arabidopsis CHD3 Developmental transition Embryo Secondary metabolism Storage reserves 







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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley Dean RiderJr.
    • 1
  • Matthew R. Hemm
    • 1
  • Heather A. Hostetler
    • 2
  • Hui-Chun Li
    • 1
  • Clint Chapple
    • 1
  • Joe Ogas
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA
  2. 2.Department of Animal SciencePurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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