Special Issue "Regulation of Central Carbon and Amino Acid Metabolism in Plants"

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Physiology and Metabolism".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Stefan Timm
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Plant Physiology Department, Albert-Einstein-Str.3, 18059 Rostock, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)381 498 6115
Interests: photorespiration; photosynthesis; Calvin–Benson cycle; metabolic regulation; metabolite signaling; environmental acclimation
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Stéphanie Arrivault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Wissenschaftspark Golm, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Potsdam-Golm, Germany
Tel. +49 (0)331 567 8114
Interests: photosynthesis; Calvin–Benson cycle; primary metabolism; metabolomics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past few decades, considerable effort has been made to understand plant primary metabolism. While the biochemistry and the underlying genetics of central carbon and nitrogen metabolism have been thoroughly studied, there is still a lack of knowledge on how these metabolic branches are regulated and regulate and interact with each other. Improving our current understanding of such regulatory loops is of particular interest given that all oxygenic phototrophs are frequently exposed to environmental changes, including periods of unfavorable conditions that distinctly lower plant growth and yield. To understand how adjustments of metabolism towards a fluctuating environment are achieved on the short- and long-term timescale will also facilitate genetic engineering approaches. One major goal of such attempts is to produce more robust plant varieties that are able to sustain high photosynthetic efficiencies and yields during persistent phases of abiotic stresses.   

This Special Issue of Plants aims to highlight the metabolic acclimation and signaling mechanisms of plant central carbon and nitrogen metabolism towards environmental changes, particularly involving alterations in CO2 and O2 concentration, light availability and intensity, as well as fluctuations in temperature and water supply during different stages of plant development. Thus, the major focus will be on the acclimation and the regulatory interplay that, among others, involve the operation and interaction of photosynthesis, photorespiration and respiration.

Dr. Stefan Timm
Dr. Stéphanie Arrivault
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Plants is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • photosynthesis
  • Calvin–Benson cycle
  • photorespiration
  • TCA cycle
  • metabolite signaling/acclimation
  • redox-regulation
  • environmental adaptation
  • photoperiodic changes
  • CO2/O2 acclimation
  • temperature stress
  • water stress

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Faster Removal of 2-Phosphoglycolate through Photorespiration Improves Abiotic Stress Tolerance of Arabidopsis
Plants 2019, 8(12), 563; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120563 - 02 Dec 2019
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) [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regulation of Central Carbon and Amino Acid Metabolism in Plants)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Integrating photosynthetic energy balancing networks using quantitative frameworks
Authors: Berkley J. Walker, David M. Kramer, Nicholas Fisher and Xinyu Fu
Affiliation: Michigan State University
Abstract: Given their ability to harness chemical energy from the sun and generate the organic compounds necessary for life, photosynthetic organisms have the unique capacity to act simultaneously as their own power and manufacturing plant. This dual capacity presents many unique challenges, chiefly that energy supply must be perfectly balanced with energy demand to prevent photodamage and allow for optimal growth. In this perspective we discuss the energy balancing network using recent studies and a quantitative framework for calculating metabolic ATP and NAD(P)H demand using measured leaf gas exchange and assumptions of additional metabolic demand. We focus on examining how the structure of the energy balancing network is poised to allow safe and flexible energy supply. We discuss when the energy balancing network appears to operate optimally and when it favors high capacity instead. We also present the hypothesis that the energy balancing network itself can adapt over longer timescales to a given metabolic demand and how metabolism itself may participate in this energy balancing.

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