Journal Article

Galactose stimulation of carbon import into roots is confined to the Poaceae

M.R. Thorpe, E.A. MacRae, P.E.H. Minchin and C.M. Edwards

in Journal of Experimental Botany

Published on behalf of Society for Experimental Biology

Volume 50, issue 339, pages 1613-1618
Published in print October 1999 | ISSN: 0022-0957
Published online October 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2431 | DOI:
Galactose stimulation of carbon import into roots is confined to the Poaceae

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Galactose applied to barley roots causes a transient promotion of carbon import into the roots, followed by growth inhibition and a decline in carbon import. In this study the ubiquitous nature of the promotion of carbon import, and whether the response occurs primarily in the cell wall or in the cell, was investigated. 11C movement into roots was measured across a range of monocotyledons and dicotyledons in response to exposing the root environment to 20 mM galactose. Only members of the Poaceae showed a transient increase in carbon import similar to that previously reported in barley. All other species showed a decline, similar to that recorded for other sugars examined in barley. Addition of d-galactono-1,4-lactone (a galactose analogue) to barley roots showed no transient increase in carbon import. After removal of the lactone, the roots responded to galactose with an increase in carbon import. Unlike other plants, members of the Poaceae have cell wall polysaccharides containing very low amounts of galactose, and low levels of UDP-galactose (glucose) epimerase. During cell expansion the walls transiently contain a β1–3, 1–4 glucan which requires UDP-glucose as a precursor. It is proposed that the galactose challenge causes elongating Poaceae cells to be temporarily starved of UDP-glucose, and that phloem import is therefore stimulated.

Keywords: UDP-glucose; epimerase; root elongation; growth inhibition; β-galactosidase; 11C

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry

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