Wheat Grain Development Is Characterized by Remarkable Trehalose 6-Phosphate Accumulation Pregrain Filling: Tissue Distribution and Relationship to SNF1-Related Protein Kinase1 Activity

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Trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) is a sugar signal that regulates metabolism, growth, and development and inhibits the central regulatory SNF1-related protein kinase1 (SnRK1; AKIN10/AKIN11). To better understand the mechanism in wheat (Triticum aestivum) grain, we analyze T6P content and SnRK1 activities. T6P levels changed 178-fold 1 to 45 d after anthesis (DAA), correlating with sucrose content. T6P ranged from 78 nmol g(-1) fresh weight (FW) pregrain filling, around 100-fold higher than previously reported in plants, to 0.4 nmol g(-1) FW during the desiccation stage. In contrast, maximum SnRK1 activity changed only 3-fold but was inhibited strongly by T6P in vitro. To assess SnRK1 activity in vivo, homologs of SnRK1 marker genes in the wheat transcriptome were identified using Wheat Estimated Transcript Server. SnRK1-induced and -repressed marker genes were expressed differently pregrain filling compared to grain filling consistent with changes in T6P. To investigate this further maternal and filial tissues were compared pre-(7 DAA) and during grain filling (17 DAA). Strikingly, in vitro SnRK1 activity was similar in all tissues in contrast to large changes in tissue distribution of T6P. At 7 DAAT6P was 49 to 119 nmol g(-1) FW in filial and maternal tissues sufficient to inhibit SnRK1; at 17 DAAT6P accumulation was almost exclusively endospermal (43 nmol g(-1) FW) with 0.6 to 0.8 nmol T6P g(-1) FW in embryo and pericarp. The data show a correlation between T6P and sucrose overall that belies a marked effect of tissue type and developmental stage on T6P content, consistent with tissue-specific regulation of SnRK1 by T6P in wheat grain.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)373-381
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011

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