Cellular pyrophosphate (PPi) homeostasis is vital for normal plant growth and development. Plant proton-pumping pyrophosphatases (H+ -PPases) are enzymes with different tissue-specific functions related to the regulation of PPi homeostasis. Enhanced expression of plant H+ -PPases increases biomass and yield in different crop species. Here, we emphasise emerging studies utilising heterologous expression in yeast and plant vacuole electrophysiology approaches, as well as phylogenetic relationships and structural analysis, to showcase that the H+ -PPases possess a PPi synthesis function. We postulate this synthase activity contributes to modulating and promoting plant growth both in H+ -PPase-engineered crops and in wild-type plants. We propose a model where the PPi synthase activity of H+ -PPases maintains the PPi pool when cells adopt PPi-dependent glycolysis during high energy demands and/or low oxygen environments. We conclude by proposing experiments to further investigate the H+ -PPase-mediated PPi synthase role in plant growth.
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; Arabidopsis Vacuolar proton-pumping Pyrophosphatase type I; H+-pyrophosphatase; pyrophosphate; pyrophosphate synthase.
© 2019 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.