• The Arabidopsis basic region-leucine zipper transcription factor 11 (bZIP11) is known to be repressed by sucrose through a translational inhibition mechanism that requires the conserved sucrose control peptide encoded by the mRNA leader. The function of bZIP11 has been investigated in over-expression studies, and bZIP11 has been found to inhibit plant growth. The addition of sugar does not rescue the growth inhibition phenotype. Here, the function of the bZIP11 transcription factor was investigated. • The mechanism by which bZIP11 regulates growth was studied using large-scale and dedicated metabolic analysis, biochemical assays and molecular studies. • bZIP11 induction results in a reprogramming of metabolism and activation of genes involved in the metabolism of trehalose and other minor carbohydrates such as myo-inositol and raffinose. bZIP11 induction leads to reduced contents of the prominent growth regulatory molecule trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P). • The metabolic changes detected mimic in part those observed in carbon-starved plants. It is proposed that bZIP11 is a powerful regulator of carbohydrate metabolism that functions in a growth regulatory network that includes T6P and the sucrose non-fermenting-1 related protein kinase 1 (SnRK1).
© 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.