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Title: Enhancement of photoassimilate utilization by manipulation of starch regulatory enzymes

ADPglucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) and the plastidial starch phosphorylase1 (Pho1) are two regulatory enzymes whose catalytic activities are essential for starch granule synthesis. Conversion of the pre-starch granule to the mature form is dependent on AGPase, which produces ADPglucose, the substrate used by starch synthases. The catalytic activity of AGPase is controlled by small effector molecules and a prime goal of this project was to decipher the role of the two subunit types that comprise the heterotetrameric enzyme structure. Extensive genetic and biochemical studies showed that catalysis was contributed mainly by the small subunit although the large subunit was required for maximum activity. Both subunits were needed for allosteric regulatory properties. We had also demonstrated that the AGPase catalyzed reaction limits the amount of starch accumulation in developing rice seeds and that carbon flux into rice seed starch can be increased by expression of a cytoplasmic-localized, up-regulated bacterial AGPase enzyme form. Results of subsequent physiological and metabolite studies showed that the AGPase reaction is no longer limiting in the AGPase transgenic rice lines and that one or more downstream processes prevent further increases in starch biosynthesis. Further studies showed that over-production of ADPglucose dramatically alters the gene program during rice seedmore » development. Although the expression of nearly all of the genes are down-regulated, levels of a starch binding domain containing protein (SBDCP) are elevated. This SBDCP was found to bind to and inhibit the catalytic activity of starch synthase III and, thereby preventing maximum starch synthesis from occurring. Surprisingly, repression of SBDCP elevated expression of starch synthase III resulting in increasing rice grain weight. A second phase of this project examined the structure-function of Pho1, the enzyme required during the initial phase of pre-starch granule formation and its maturation to a starch granule. Although Pho1 catalyzes a reversible reaction, our DoE supported studies clearly demonstrated that the kinetic properties of this enzyme strongly favor synthesis of starch and that these catalytic properties are independent of the L80 peptide, a structural domain that is absent in phosphorylases from other organisms. Interesting expression of a Pho1 lacking the L80 peptide enhanced plant growth and seed yields, suggesting that Pho1 has a second function in controlling growth. Overall, results from these biochemical and physiological studies have increased our fundamental understanding on how these important starch regulatory enzymes operate at the molecular level and in planta, which will collectively aid in efforts to increase the utilization of higher plants as a renewable source of energy.« less
  1. Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES ADPglucose pyrophosphorylase; starch phosphorylase; starch regulation; starch synthesis; plant growth