Cytosolic invertases contribute to cellulose biosynthesis and influence carbon partitioning in seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana

William J. Barnes, Charles T. Anderson

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42 Scopus citations


In plants, UDP-glucose is the direct precursor for cellulose biosynthesis, and can be converted into other NDP-sugars required for the biosynthesis of wall matrix polysaccharides. UDP-glucose is generated from sucrose by two distinct metabolic pathways. The first pathway is the direct conversion of sucrose to UDP-glucose and fructose by sucrose synthase. The second pathway involves sucrose hydrolysis by cytosolic invertase (CINV), conversion of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate and glucose-1-phosphate, and UDP-glucose generation by UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (UGP). Previously, Barratt et al. (Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 2009 and 13124) have found that an Arabidopsis double mutant lacking CINV1 and CINV2 displayed drastically reduced growth. Whether this reduced growth is due to deficient cell wall production caused by limited UDP-glucose supply, pleiotropic effects, or both, remained unresolved. Here, we present results indicating that the CINV/UGP pathway contributes to anisotropic growth and cellulose biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Biochemical and imaging data demonstrate that cinv1 cinv2 seedlings are deficient in UDP-glucose production, exhibit abnormal cellulose biosynthesis and microtubule properties, and have altered cellulose organization without substantial changes to matrix polysaccharide composition, suggesting that the CINV/UGP pathway is a key metabolic route to UDP-glucose synthesis in Arabidopsis. Furthermore, differential responses of cinv1 cinv2 seedlings to exogenous sugar supplementation support a function of CINVs in influencing carbon partitioning in Arabidopsis. From these data and those of previous studies, we conclude that CINVs serve central roles in cellulose biosynthesis and carbon allocation in Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-974
Number of pages19
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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