Nighttime sugar starvation orchestrates gibberellin biosynthesis and plant growth in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2013 Oct;25(10):3760-9. doi: 10.1105/tpc.113.115519. Epub 2013 Oct 4.


A plant's eventual size depends on the integration of its genetic program with environmental cues, which vary on a daily basis. Both efficient carbon metabolism and the plant hormone gibberellin are required to guarantee optimal plant growth. Yet, little is known about the interplay between carbon metabolism and gibberellins that modulates plant growth. Here, we show that sugar starvation in Arabidopsis thaliana arising from inefficient starch metabolism at night strongly reduces the expression of ent-kaurene synthase, a key regulatory enzyme for gibberellin synthesis, the following day. Our results demonstrate that plants integrate the efficiency of photosynthesis over a period of days, which is transduced into a daily rate of gibberellin biosynthesis. This enables a plant to grow to a size that is compatible with its environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism*
  • Darkness
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Gibberellins / biosynthesis*
  • Photoperiod
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant Growth Regulators / biosynthesis
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / growth & development
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Starch / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Gibberellins
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Starch
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • ent-kaurene synthetase B