Expression profiles of genes related to carbohydrate metabolism provide new insights into carbohydrate accumulation in seeds and seedlings of Ricinus communis in response to temperature.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB / Societe francaise de physiologie vegetale

PubMedID: 26254183

Ribeiro PR, Ligterink W, Hilhorst HW. Expression profiles of genes related to carbohydrate metabolism provide new insights into carbohydrate accumulation in seeds and seedlings of Ricinus communis in response to temperature. Plant Physiol Biochem. 2015;95103-112.
Ricinus communis possesses a specific metabolic signature to adjust growth and developmental processes in response to temperature: carbohydrates are accumulated at low temperatures, whereas amino acids are accumulated at elevated temperatures. Our objective was to assess tissue-specific changes in transcript levels of genes related with carbohydrate biosynthesis and catabolism in response to temperature. For that, we measured transcript levels of genes encoding enzymes involved in starch biosynthesis, starch catabolism, and gluconeogenesis in R. communis leaves, roots, and seeds grown at 20 °C and 35 °C. Transcript levels of genes involved in starch catabolism were higher in leaves grown at 20 °C than at 35 °C, but up-regulation of genes involved in starch biosynthesis seems to compensate for this and, therefore, are the likely explanation for higher levels of starch in leaves grown at 20 °C. Higher levels of soluble carbohydrates in leaves grown at 20 °C may be caused by a coordinated increase in transcript level of genes associated with starch catabolism and gluconeogenesis pathways. In roots, transcript levels of genes associated with starch catabolism and gluconeogenesis seem to be enhanced at elevated temperatures. Higher levels of starch in seeds germinated at low temperatures is associated with higher transcript levels of genes involved in starch biosynthesis. Similarly, higher transcript levels of RcPEPCK and RcFBPase are most likely causal for fructose and glucose accumulation in seeds germinated at 20 °C. This study provides important insights in the understanding of the plasticity of R. communis in response to temperature that may apply to other species as well.