Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 81–91 | Cite as

The effect of water stress on the activities of key regulatory enzymes of the sucrose to starch pathway in wheat

  • A. Ahmadi
  • D.A. Baker


Developmental changes in the starch and sucrose content of grains andthe activities of enzymes of starch synthesis in wheat were studied under waterstress conditions. Water stress caused a marked reduction in the sucrose andstarch content of the grains. Sucrose synthase (SS) and UDP-glucosepyrophosphorylase (UDP-Gppase), showed higher catalytic activity and moreresistance to water stress compared with amyloplastic enzymes. ADP-glucosepyrophosphorylase (ADP-Gppase) activity was reduced to a low level under bothin situ and osmotic stress conditions in which grainsfailed to accumulate dry matter in vivo. Granule-boundstarch synthase (GBSS) also responded rapidly to in situwater stress treatments as did ADP-Gppase. Reduction in GBSS activity at thetime of growth cessation in situ was less than that ofADP-Gppase and the enzyme did not respond to severe osmotic stress. Solublestarch synthase (SSS) was the enzyme most sensitive to water stress in that itresponded earlier, and to a greater extent, than the other enzymes. However,under severe dehydration conditions, leading to cessation of growth, thedeclinein SSS activity was less than that for ADP-Gppase. SSS showed the lowestin vitro activity followed by GBSS. These results suggestthat SSS is the site of response to water stress by which the rate of graingrowth can be affected, whereas growth cessation is due mainly to theinactivation of ADP-Gppase.

Enzyme Grain filling Starch Sucrose Water stress Wheat 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ahmadi
    • 1
  • D.A. Baker
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biological Sciences, Wye College, WyeUniversity of LondonAshfordUK

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