Intracellular And Intercellular Transport Of Nitrogen And Carbon

  • Gertrud Lohaus
  • Karsten Fischer
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 12)


Partitioning of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) assimilates and export of photoassimilates play an essential role in efficient growth and reproductive success of the plant as well as in crop yield. Sink (net importing) organs need to be supplied with energy and fixed C from the source (net exporting) organs of the plant, e.g. green leaves. During the day, the triose phosphate/phosphate translocator located in the inner membrane of chloroplast envelopes catalyzes the export of triose phosphates, the main product of photosynthesis, to the cytosol of the plant cell where they are used in sucrose synthesis. Some sucrose is stored in source tissues, but the bulk is exported. Sucrose is the major form of exported C from leaves. When the rates of sucrose synthesis and export fall behind that of CO2 fixation, fixed C is retained in the chloroplasts and directed into the synthesis of transitory starch. At night, starch is degraded to glucose that is exported from chloroplasts via a glucose transporter. Triose phosphates also provide skeletons for amino acid synthesis. From the source organs organic C and N metabolites are transported via the phloem to sink organs. The most abundant sugar in the phloem sap of several plant species is sucrose, with concentrations being about 1 M. Total amino acid concentrations are between 50 and 500 mM. Two principal routes for the delivery of metabolites into the sieve-element-companion cell complex (SE-CCC) have been proposed. These are (i) transporter-mediated export from mesophyll cells, diffusion through the apoplast, and subsequent transporter-mediated uptake into the SE-CCC, and (ii) direct symplastic cell-to-cell diffusion via plasmodesmata. Several sucrose and amino acid transporters have been cloned which mediate the uptake of the photoassimilates from the apoplast into the symplast. This chapter gives an overview of the current state of knowledge on the functions of intracellular and intercellular metabolite transport in leaves.


2-PGA — 2-phosphoglycerate 3-PGA — 3-phosphoglycerate ADP-Glc — ADP glucose AGPase — ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase; C3 — three carbon C4 — four carbon CCCP — carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone D-Glc — D-glucose DIT1 — oxoglutarate/malate translocator D-Man — D-mannose E4P — erythrose 4-P FBPase — fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase Fru2, 6bP — fructose 2,6-bisphosphate Glc lP — glucose 1-phosphate Glc6P — glucose 6-phosphate GPT — Glc6P/phosphate translocator OAA — oxaloacetate OPPP — oxidative pentose phosphate pathway PCMBS — p-chloromercuribenzenesulfonic acid PEP — phosphoenolpyruvate PGI — phosphoglucoisomerase pGlcT — plastidic glucose translocator PGM — phosphoglucomutase P1 — Inorganic phosphate PPT — PEP/phosphate translocator R5P — ribose 5-P RPP — reductive pentose phosphate (RPP pathway = Calvin cycle) SE-CCC — sieve-element-companion cell complex SEL — size exclusion limit TP — triose phosphate TPT — trioscphosphate/phosphate translocator 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gertrud Lohaus
    • 1
  • Karsten Fischer
    • 2
  1. 1.Biochemie der PflanzeAlbrecht-von-Haller Institut für PflanzenwissenschaftenGöttingenGermany
  2. 2.Botanisches Institut der Universität zuKölnKölnGermany

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