Genetic manipulation of key photosynthetic enzymes in the C4 plant Flaveria bidentis

Robert T. Furbank, Julie A. Chitty, Colin L.D. Jenkins, William C. Taylor, Stephen J. Trevanion, Susanne Von Caemmere, Anthony R. Ashton

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75 Citations (Scopus)


The NADP-malic enzyme type C4 dicot Flaveria bidentis (L.) Kuntze was transformed with antisense and cosense gene constructs that resulted in specific decreases in single photosynthetic enzymes. The enzymes targeted were ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase [EC] (Rubisco), pyruvate, Pi dikinase [EC] (PPDK) and NADP malate dehydrogenase [EC] (NADP-MDH). These enzymes were chosen as targets because they have low activity compared to photosynthetic rates (Rubisco), are subject to complex covalent regulation (NADP-MDH), or both (PPDK). T1 progeny of a number of lines of these transformants were examined for the effects of these gene constructs on enzyme levels and photosynthetic performance. Rubisco antisense transformants expressing between 15 and 100% of wild-type enzyme activity were obtained. Pyruvate, Pi dikinase antisense lines were obtained with 40-100% wild-type levels. NADP malate dehydrogenase sense constructs caused a co-suppression of enzyme activity with some lines containing less than 2% of wild-type activity. Under saturating illumination, the control coefficients for these enzymes were determined to be up to 0.7 for Rubisco, 0.2-0.3 for PPDK and effectively zero for NADP-MDH. The implications of these observations for the regulation of photosynthetic flux and metabolism in C4 plants and the role of regulation by covalent modification are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-485
Number of pages9
JournalAustralian Journal of Plant Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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