Starch 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: closed (31 October 2019) | Viewed by 11621

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Institute of Plant Biochemistry and Photosynthesis (IBVF) Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)-Universidad de Sevilla (US), 41092 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: starch metabolism; starch granule initiation; carbon metabolism in plants; photosynthesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Collegues,

Starch is the most abundant storage polyglucan in nature. Two types of starch can be found depending on the length of time of storage: transitory starch, found mainly in photosynthetic tissues, where it undergoes fluctuations of synthesis and degradation along the day/night cycle; and long-term storage starch, accumulated in heterotrophic tissues such as endosperms, roots or tubers. Both types share common features with respect to the structure of the polymer, their localization in plastids or the general enzymatic machinery involved in their synthesis and degradation. However, they display specific characteristics that differentiate both types of starch in the processes of initiation, elongation and degradation of the polymer. Long-term storage starch provides carbon skeletons and energy to some developmental events such as sprouting or seed germination. This is the most relevant starch for humankind as it is the raw material used for multiple applications, ranging from sweeteners or component of desserts, puddings or ice creams in the food industry, to be used in coatings, glues, and the production of cardboard or ethanol fuel. Transitory starch is not relevant for industrial uses. However, it is essential for the physiology of the plant, fuelling its growth during dark periods when photosynthesis is inactive.

Many advances in the knowledge of the starch metabolism have been achieved during the last years. These studies have shed light on different processes that remained unknown, such as the phylogenetic origin of starch, the role of the different classes of starch branching and starch synthase enzymes in the determination of the structure of the polymer or the identification of new players in the synthesis and degradation of starch. However, other questions remain to be addressed, such as the mechanism that regulates the control of the starch accumulation by the circadian clock, the identification of transcription factors that regulate the starch genes and their interplay with plant hormones or external stimuli, or a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of initiation of the starch granule (both the transitory and the long-term storage starch) and how the number of granules per chloroplast is controlled.

This Special Issue is devoted to providing an up-to-date vision of the progress in the study of the different aspects of starch metabolism. Therefore, original research papers, perspectives, hypotheses, opinions, reviews, modelling approaches and methods are most welcome.

Dr. Ángel Mérida Berlanga
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • carbon metabolism
  • starch synthesis
  • starch degradation
  • photosynthesis
  • starch metabolism regulation
  • starch granule initiation

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

18 pages, 3145 KiB  
Article
A Cytosolic Protein Kinase STY46 in Arabidopsis thaliana Is Involved in Plant Growth and Abiotic Stress Response
by Shaoyun Dong, Fenglan Zhang and Diane M. Beckles
Plants 2020, 9(1), 57; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants9010057 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3765
Abstract
Starch provides plants with carbon and energy during stressful periods; however, relatively few regulators of starch metabolism under stress-induced carbon starvation have been discovered. We studied a protein kinase Ser/Thr/Tyr (STY) 46, identified by gene co-expression network analysis as a potential regulator of [...] Read more.
Starch provides plants with carbon and energy during stressful periods; however, relatively few regulators of starch metabolism under stress-induced carbon starvation have been discovered. We studied a protein kinase Ser/Thr/Tyr (STY) 46, identified by gene co-expression network analysis as a potential regulator of the starch starvation response in Arabidopsis thaliana. We showed that STY46 was induced by (1) abscisic acid and prolonged darkness, (2) by abiotic stressors, including salinity and osmotic stress, and (3) by conditions associated with carbon starvation. Characterization of STY46 T-DNA knockout mutants indicated that there was functional redundancy among the STY gene family, as these genotypes did not show strong phenotypes. However, Arabidopsis with high levels of STY46 transcripts (OE-25) grew faster at the early seedling stage, had higher photosynthetic rates, and more carbon was stored as protein in the seeds under control conditions. Further, OE-25 source leaf accumulated more sugars under 100 mM NaCl stress, and salinity also accelerated root growth, which is consistent with an adaptive response. Salt-stressed OE-25 partitioned 14C towards sugars and amino acids, and away from starch and protein in source leaves. Together, these findings suggested that STY46 may be part of the salinity stress response pathway that utilizes starch during early plant growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Metabolism in Plants)
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20 pages, 4164 KiB  
Article
NTRC and Thioredoxin f Overexpression Differentially Induces Starch Accumulation in Tobacco Leaves
by María Ancín, Luis Larraya, Alicia Fernández-San Millán, Jon Veramendi, Tessa Burch-Smith and Inmaculada Farran
Plants 2019, 8(12), 543; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8120543 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3672
Abstract
Thioredoxin (Trx) f and NADPH-dependent Trx reductase C (NTRC) have both been proposed as major redox regulators of starch metabolism in chloroplasts. However, little is known regarding the specific role of each protein in this complex mechanism. To shed light on this point, [...] Read more.
Thioredoxin (Trx) f and NADPH-dependent Trx reductase C (NTRC) have both been proposed as major redox regulators of starch metabolism in chloroplasts. However, little is known regarding the specific role of each protein in this complex mechanism. To shed light on this point, tobacco plants that were genetically engineered to overexpress the NTRC protein from the chloroplast genome were obtained and compared to previously generated Trx f-overexpressing transplastomic plants. Likewise, we investigated the impact of NTRC and Trx f deficiency on starch metabolism by generating Nicotiana benthamiana plants that were silenced for each gene. Our results demonstrated that NTRC overexpression induced enhanced starch accumulation in tobacco leaves, as occurred with Trx f. However, only Trx f silencing leads to a significant decrease in the leaf starch content. Quantitative analysis of enzyme activities related to starch synthesis and degradation were determined in all of the genotypes. Zymographic analyses were additionally performed to compare the amylolytic enzyme profiles of both transplastomic tobacco plants. Our findings indicated that NTRC overexpression promotes the accumulation of transitory leaf starch as a consequence of a diminished starch turnover during the dark period, which seems to be related to a significant reductive activation of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase and/or a deactivation of a putative debranching enzyme. On the other hand, increased starch content in Trx f-overexpressing plants was connected to an increase in the capacity of soluble starch synthases during the light period. Taken together, these results suggest that NTRC and the ferredoxin/Trx system play distinct roles in starch turnover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Metabolism in Plants)
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18 pages, 1566 KiB  
Article
Intra-Sample Heterogeneity of Potato Starch Reveals Fluctuation of Starch-Binding Proteins According to Granule Morphology
by Stanislas Helle, Fabrice Bray, Jean-Luc Putaux, Jérémy Verbeke, Stéphanie Flament, Christian Rolando, Christophe D’Hulst and Nicolas Szydlowski
Plants 2019, 8(9), 324; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants8090324 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3648
Abstract
Starch granule morphology is highly variable depending on the botanical origin. Moreover, all investigated plant species display intra-tissular variability of granule size. In potato tubers, the size distribution of starch granules follows a unimodal pattern with diameters ranging from 5 to 100 µm. [...] Read more.
Starch granule morphology is highly variable depending on the botanical origin. Moreover, all investigated plant species display intra-tissular variability of granule size. In potato tubers, the size distribution of starch granules follows a unimodal pattern with diameters ranging from 5 to 100 µm. Several evidences indicate that granule morphology in plants is related to the complex starch metabolic pathway. However, the intra-sample variability of starch-binding metabolic proteins remains unknown. Here, we report on the molecular characterization of size-fractionated potato starch granules with average diameters of 14.2 ± 3.7 µm, 24.5 ± 6.5 µm, 47.7 ± 12.8 µm, and 61.8 ± 17.4 µm. In addition to changes in the phosphate contents as well as small differences in the amylopectin structure, we found that the starch-binding protein stoichiometry varies significantly according to granule size. Label-free quantitative proteomics of each granule fraction revealed that individual proteins can be grouped according to four distinct abundance patterns. This study corroborates that the starch proteome may influence starch granule growth and architecture and opens up new perspectives in understanding the dynamics of starch biosynthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Metabolism in Plants)
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