Journal Article

Sucrose importation into laticifers of <i>Hevea brasiliensis</i>, in relation to ethylene stimulation of latex production

Anaïs Dusotoit-Coucaud, Nicole Brunel, Panida Kongsawadworakul, Unchera Viboonjun, André Lacointe, Jean-Louis Julien, Hervé Chrestin and Soulaïman Sakr

in Annals of Botany

Published on behalf of The Annals of Botany Company

Volume 104, issue 4, pages 635-647
Published in print September 2009 | ISSN: 0305-7364
Published online June 2009 | e-ISSN: 1095-8290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcp150
Sucrose importation into laticifers of Hevea brasiliensis, in relation to ethylene stimulation of latex production

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  • Ecology and Conservation
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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Background and Aims

The major economic product of Hevea brasiliensis is a rubber-containing cytoplasm (latex), which flows out of laticifers (latex cells) when the bark is tapped. The latex yield is stimulated by ethylene. Sucrose, the unique precursor of rubber synthesis, must cross the plasma membrane through specific sucrose transporters before being metabolized in the laticifers. The relative importance of sucrose transporters in determining latex yield is unknown. Here, the effects of ethylene (by application of Ethrel®) on sucrose transporter gene expression in the inner bark tissues and latex cells of H. brasiliensis are described.

Methods

Experiments, including cloning sucrose transporters, real time RT-PCR and in situ hybridization, were carried out on virgin (untapped) trees, treated or untreated with the latex yield stimulant Ethrel.

Key Results

Seven putative full-length cDNAs of sucrose transporters were cloned from a latex-specific cDNA library. These transporters belong to all SUT (sucrose transporter) groups and differ by their basal gene expression in latex and inner soft bark, with a predominance of HbSUT1A and HbSUT1B. Of these sucrose transporters, only HbSUT1A and HbSUT2A were distinctly increased by ethylene. Moreover, this increase was shown to be specific to laticifers and to ethylene application.

Conclusion

The data and all previous information on sucrose transport show that HbSUT1A and HbSUT2A are related to the increase in sucrose import into laticifers, required for the stimulation of latex yield by ethylene in virgin trees.

Keywords: Hevea brasiliensis; laticifers; latex production; ethylene; sucrose transporters

Journal Article.  8672 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ecology and Conservation ; Evolutionary Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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