Effect of Acyl Activating Enzyme (AAE) 3 on the growth and development of Medicago truncatula

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018 Oct 20;505(1):255-260. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.09.104. Epub 2018 Sep 20.


The Acyl-Activating Enzyme (AAE) 3 gene encodes an oxalyl-CoA synthetase that catalyzes the conversion of oxalate to oxalyl-CoA in a CoA and ATP-dependent manner. Although the biochemical activity of AAE3 has been established, its biological role in plant growth and development remains unclear. To advance our understanding of the role of AAE3 in plant growth and development, we report here the characterization of two Medicago truncatula AAE3 (Mtaae3) mutants. Characterization of a Mtaae3 RNAi mutant revealed an accumulation of calcium oxalate crystals and increased seed permeability. These phenotypes were also exhibited in the Arabidopsis aae3 (Ataae3) mutants. Unlike the Ataae3 mutants, the Mtaae3 RNAi mutant did not show a reduction in vegetative growth, decreased seed germination, or increased seed calcium concentration. In an effort to clarify these phenotypic differences, a Mtaae3 Tnt1 mutant was identified and characterized. This Mtaae3 Tnt1 mutant displayed reduced vegetative growth, decreased seed germination, and increased seed calcium concentration as well as an accumulation of calcium oxalate crystals and increased seed permeability as found in Ataae3. Overall, the results presented here show the importance of AAE3 in the growth and development of plants. In addition, this study highlights the ability to separate specific growth and development phenotypes based on the level of AAE3 gene expression.

Keywords: Acyl-Activation Enzyme; Germination; Medicago; Oxalate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetate-CoA Ligase / genetics*
  • Acetate-CoA Ligase / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Calcium Oxalate / chemistry
  • Calcium Oxalate / metabolism
  • Crystallization
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Medicago truncatula / enzymology
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics*
  • Medicago truncatula / growth & development
  • Mutation
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism


  • Plant Proteins
  • Calcium Oxalate
  • Acetate-CoA Ligase