In plants, transport processes are important for the reallocation of defence compounds to protect tissues of high value , as demonstrated in the plant model Arabidopsis , in which the major defence compounds, glucosinolates , are translocated to seeds on maturation . The molecular basis for long-distance transport of glucosinolates and other defence compounds, however, remains unknown. Here we identify and characterize two members of the nitrate/peptide transporter family, GTR1 and GTR2, as high-affinity, proton-dependent glucosinolate-specific transporters. The gtr1 gtr2 double mutant did not accumulate glucosinolates in seeds and had more than tenfold over-accumulation in source tissues such as leaves and silique walls, indicating that both plasma membrane-localized transporters are essential for long-distance transport of glucosinolates. We propose that GTR1 and GTR2 control the loading of glucosinolates from the apoplasm into the phloem. Identification of the glucosinolate transporters has agricultural potential as a means to control allocation of defence compounds in a tissue-specific manner. As sessile organisms, plants depend on their vast array of chemical weapons for defence against herbivores and pathogens. According to the optimal defence theory , these defence compounds are metabolically costly to produce and accumulate to highest levels in tissues that are most likely
Nature – Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Published: Aug 5, 2012
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