Impaired sucrose-induction mutants reveal the modulation of sugar-induced starch biosynthetic gene expression by abscisic acid signalling

Plant J. 2001 May;26(4):421-33. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2001.2641043.x.


Plants both produce and utilize carbohydrates and have developed mechanisms to regulate their sugar status and co-ordinate carbohydrate partitioning. High sugar levels result in a feedback inhibition of photosynthesis and an induction of storage processes. We used a genetic approach to isolate components of the signalling pathway regulating the induction of starch biosynthesis. The regulatory sequences of the sugar inducible ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase subunit ApL3 were fused to a negative selection marker. Of the four impaired sucrose induction (isi) mutants described here, two (isi1 and isi2) were specific to this screen. The other two mutants (isi3 and isi4) showed additional phenotypes associated with sugar-sensing screens that select for seedling establishment on high-sugar media. The isi3 and isi4 mutants were found to be involved in the abscisic acid signalling pathway. isi3 is allelic to abscisic acid insensitive4 (abi4), a gene encoding an Apetala2-type transcription factor; isi4 was found to be allelic to glucose insensitive1 (gin1) previously reported to reveal cross-talk between ethylene and glucose signalling. Here we present an alternative interpretation of gin1 as an allele of the ABA-deficient mutant aba2. Expression analysis showed that ABA is unable to induce ApL3 gene expression by itself, but greatly enhances ApL3 induction by sugar. Our data suggest a major role for ABA in relation to sugar-signalling pathways, in that it enhances the ability of tissues to respond to subsequent sugar signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism*
  • Alleles
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Glucose-1-Phosphate Adenylyltransferase
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Nucleotidyltransferases / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Starch / biosynthesis*
  • Sucrose / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Sucrose
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Starch
  • Nucleotidyltransferases
  • ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, Arabidopsis
  • Glucose-1-Phosphate Adenylyltransferase