Summary The biochemical and molecular basis of the wrinkled‐seeded phenotype of rug4 mutants of pea ( Pisum sativum L.) has been investigated. Mutant embryos have reduced starch contents and only 5% of the sucrose synthase activity of wild‐type embryos during development. Activities of other enzymes involved in the conversion of sucrose to starch are unaffected. A gene encoding an isoform of sucrose synthase expressed in the embryo co‐segregates with the rug4 locus, and one of the three mutant alleles has been show to carry a point mutation in this gene that converts a highly conserved arginine residue to a lysine residue. It is highly likely that the reduced starch content of the mutant embryo is a direct consequence of the loss of sucrose synthase activity. The mutations reduce the activity of sucrose synthase in the testa and the leaf by 50% or less, but activity in Rhizobium ‐infected root nodules is reduced by 85%. Although the nodules of mutant plants contain metabolically active bacteroids, the N content and δ15N values of these plants in the field indicate that, unlike wild‐type plants, they derive little of their N from N2 fixation via Rhizobium . Sucrose synthase thus appears to be essential for the supply of carbon for bacteroid metabolism and/or ammonia assimilation during nitrogen assimilation.
The Plant Journal – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 1999
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