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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Faster Removal of 2-Phosphoglycolate through Photorespiration Improves Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Arabidopsis

1
Plant Physiology Department, University of Rostock, Albert-Einstein-Straße 3, D-18051 Rostock, Germany
2
Division of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Center of Internal Medicine II, University Medical Center Rostock, Ernst-Heydemann-Str.6, D-18057 Rostock, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2019, 8(12), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120563
Received: 19 November 2019 / Revised: 27 November 2019 / Accepted: 29 November 2019 / Published: 2 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Central Carbon and Amino Acid Metabolism in Plants)
Photorespiration metabolizes 2-phosphoglyolate (2-PG) to avoid inhibition of carbon assimilation and allocation. In addition to 2-PG removal, photorespiration has been shown to play a role in stress protection. Here, we studied the impact of faster 2-PG degradation through overexpression of 2-PG phosphatase (PGLP) on the abiotic stress-response of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). Two transgenic lines and the wild type were subjected to short-time high light and elevated temperature stress during gas exchange measurements. Furthermore, the same lines were exposed to long-term water shortage and elevated temperature stresses. Faster 2-PG degradation allowed maintenance of photosynthesis at combined light and temperatures stress and under water-limiting conditions. The PGLP-overexpressing lines also showed higher photosynthesis compared to the wild type if grown in high temperatures, which also led to increased starch accumulation and shifts in soluble sugar contents. However, only minor effects were detected on amino and organic acid levels. The wild type responded to elevated temperatures with elevated mRNA and protein levels of photorespiratory enzymes, while the transgenic lines displayed only minor changes. Collectively, these results strengthen our previous hypothesis that a faster photorespiratory metabolism improves tolerance against unfavorable environmental conditions, such as high light intensity and temperature as well as drought. In case of PGLP, the likely mechanism is alleviation of inhibitory feedback of 2-PG onto the Calvin–Benson cycle, facilitating carbon assimilation and accumulation of transitory starch. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arabidopsis; abiotic stress response; photosynthesis; phosphoglycolate phosphatase; photorespiration; 2-phosphoglycolate Arabidopsis; abiotic stress response; photosynthesis; phosphoglycolate phosphatase; photorespiration; 2-phosphoglycolate
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Timm, S.; Woitschach, F.; Heise, C.; Hagemann, M.; Bauwe, H. Faster Removal of 2-Phosphoglycolate through Photorespiration Improves Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Arabidopsis. Plants 2019, 8, 563.

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