Phosphatase under-producer mutants have altered phosphorus relations

Jennifer L. Tomscha, Melanie C. Trull, Jill Deikman, Jonathan P. Lynch, Mark J. Guiltinan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Phosphorus (P) acquisition and partitioning are essential for plant homeostasis. P is available for plant uptake when in its inorganic form (H 2PO4-, or Pi), but Pi is often limiting in soils. Plants secrete acid phosphatases (APases) into the apoplastic space, which may be important for obtaining Pi from organic P sources; however, the relative importance of these enzymes for plant P nutrition has yet to be determined. We demonstrate that the root-associated APase pool is increased in Arabidopsis when Pi is limiting and document five APase isoforms secreted from Arabidopsis roots. Previously, we presented the identification of the phosphatase under-producer (pup) mutants, which have decreased in vivo root APase staining when grown under low P conditions. Here, we present the characterization of one of these, pup3, and further studies with pup1. pup3 has 49%, 38%, and 37% less specific APase activity in exudates, roots, and shoots, respectively. Root-associated APase activity is decreased by 16% in pup1 and 25% in pup3, regardless of P treatment. Two APase activity isoforms are reduced in pup3 exudates, and root and shoot isoforms are also affected. One of the two exudate isoforms is recognized by a polyclonal antibody raised to an Arabidopsis purple APase recombinant protein (AtPAP12); however, AtPAP12 transcript levels are unaffected in the mutant. The pup3 mutation was mapped to 68.4 ± 6.0 centimorgans on chromosome 5. Although P concentrations were not altered in pup1 and pup3 tissues when grown in nutrient solution in which Pi was the sole source of P, the mutants had 10% (pup1) and 17% (pup3) lower shoot P concentrations when grown in a peat-vermiculite mix in which the majority of the total P was present as organic P. Therefore, the pup defects, which include secreted APases, are functionally important for plant P nutrition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-345
Number of pages12
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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