To unravel the roles of sucrose synthase in carrot, we reduced its activity in transgenic carrot plants by an antisense approach. For this purpose, the cDNA for the main form of carrot sucrose synthase was expressed in antisense orientation behind the 35S promoter of cauliflower mosaic virus. In independent antisense plant lines grown in soil, sucrose synthase activity was reduced in tap roots but not in leaves. In the sink organs, sucrose utilization was markedly decreased and higher levels of sucrose but lower levels of UDP-glucose, glucose, fructose, starch and cellulose were found. The phenotype of the antisense plants clearly differed from that of control plants. Both leaves and roots were markedly smaller, and the antisense line with the lowest sucrose synthase activity also developed the smallest plants. In most of the plant lines, the leaf-to-root dry weight ratios were not changed, suggesting that sucrose synthase in carrot is a major determinant of plant growth rather than of sucrose partitioning. In contrast to the acid invertases, which are critical for partitioning of assimilated carbon between source leaves and tap roots (Tang et al., Plant Cell 11: 177–189 (1999)), sucrose synthase appears to be the main sucrose-cleaving activity, feeding sucrose into metabolism.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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