Kirsten Bell

University of Cologne, Köln, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

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Publications (6)29.62 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) serves not only as a high energy carbon compound in glycolysis, but it acts also as precursor for plastidial anabolic sequences like the shikimate pathway, which produces aromatic amino acids (AAA) and subsequently secondary plant products. After conversion to pyruvate, PEP can also enter de novo fatty acid biosynthesis, the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids, and the non-mevalonate way of isoprenoid production. As PEP cannot be generated by glycolysis in chloroplasts and a variety of non-green plastids, it has to be imported from the cytosol by a phosphate translocator (PT) specific for PEP (PPT). A loss of function of PPT1 in Arabidopsis thaliana results in the chlorophyll a/b binding protein underexpressed1 (cue1) mutant, which is characterized by reticulate leaves and stunted roots. Here we dissect the shoot- and root phenotypes, and also address the question whether or not long distance signaling by metabolites is involved in the perturbed mesophyll development of cue1. Reverse grafting experiments showed that the shoot- and root phenotypes develop independently from each other, ruling out long distance metabolite signaling. The leaf phenotype could be transiently modified even in mature leaves, e.g. by an inducible PPT1RNAi approach or by feeding AAA, the cytokinin trans-zeatin (tZ), or the putative signaling molecule dehydrodiconiferyl alcohol glucoside (DCG). Hormones, such as auxins, abscisic acid, gibberellic acid, ethylene, methyl jasmonate, and salicylic acid did not rescue the cue1 leaf phenotype. The low cell density1 (lcd1) mutant shares the reticulate leaf-, but not the stunted root phenotype with cue1. It could neither be rescued by AAA nor by tZ. In contrast, tZ and AAA further inhibited root growth both in cue1 and wild-type plants. Based on our results, we propose a model that PPT1 acts as a net importer of PEP into chloroplast, but as an overflow valve and hence exporter in root plastids.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:126. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have studied the impact of carbohydrate-starvation on the acclimation response to high light using Arabidopsis thaliana double mutants strongly impaired in the day- and night path of photoassimilate export from the chloroplast. A complete knock-out mutant of the triose phosphate/phosphate translocator (TPT; tpt-2 mutant) was crossed to mutants defective in (i) starch biosynthesis (adg1-1, pgm1 and pgi1-1; knock-outs of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, plastidial phosphoglucomutase and phosphoglucose isomerase) or (ii) starch mobilization (sex1-3, knock-out of glucan water dikinase) as well as in (iii) maltose export from the chloroplast (mex1-2). All double mutants were viable and indistinguishable from the wild type when grown under low light conditions, but--except for sex1-3/tpt-2--developed a high chlorophyll fluorescence (HCF) phenotype and growth retardation when grown in high light. Immunoblots of thylakoid proteins, Blue-Native gel electrophoresis and chlorophyll fluorescence emission analyses at 77 Kelvin with the adg1-1/tpt-2 double mutant revealed that HCF was linked to a specific decrease in plastome-encoded core proteins of both photosystems (with the exception of the PSII component cytochrome b559), whereas nuclear-encoded antennae (LHCs) accumulated normally, but were predominantly not attached to their photosystems. Uncoupled antennae are the major cause for HCF of dark-adapted plants. Feeding of sucrose or glucose to high light-grown adg1-1/tpt-2 plants rescued the HCF- and growth phenotypes. Elevated sugar levels induce the expression of the glucose-6-phosphate/phosphate translocator2 (GPT2), which in principle could compensate for the deficiency in the TPT. A triple mutant with an additional defect in GPT2 (adg1-1/tpt-2/gpt2-1) exhibited an identical rescue of the HCF- and growth phenotype in response to sugar feeding as the adg1-1/tpt-2 double mutant, indicating that this rescue is independent from the sugar-triggered induction of GPT2. We propose that cytosolic carbohydrate availability modulates acclimation to high light in A. thaliana. It is conceivable that the strong relationship between the chloroplast and nucleus with respect to a co-ordinated expression of photosynthesis genes is modified in carbohydrate-starved plants. Hence carbohydrates may be considered as a novel component involved in chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signaling, an aspect that will be addressed in future studies.
    BMC Plant Biology 01/2012; 12:8. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana mutants impaired in starch biosynthesis due to defects in either ADP glucose pyrophosphorylase (adg1-1), plastidic phosphoglucose mutase (pgm) or a new allele of plastidic phosphoglucose isomerase (pgi1-2) exhibit substantial activity of glucose-6-phosphate (Glc6P) transport in leaves that is mediated by a Glc6P/phosphate translocator (GPT) of the inner plastid envelope membrane. In contrast to the wild type, GPT2, one of two functional GPT genes of A. thaliana, is strongly induced in these mutants during the light period. The proposed function of the GPT in plastids of non-green tissues is the provision of Glc6P for starch biosynthesis and/or the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway. The function of GPT in photosynthetic tissues, however, remains obscure. The adg1-1 and pgi1-2 mutants were crossed with the gpt2-1 mutant defective in GPT2. Whereas adg1-1/gpt2-1 was starch-free, residual starch could be detected in pgi1-2/gpt2-1 and was confined to stomatal guard cells, bundle sheath cells and root tips, which parallels the reported spatial expression profile of AtGPT1. Glucose content in the cytosolic heteroglycan increased substantially in adg1-1 but decreased in pgi1-2, suggesting that the plastidic Glc6P pool contributes to its biosynthesis. The abundance of GPT2 mRNA correlates with increased levels of soluble sugars, in particular of glucose in leaves, suggesting induction by the sugar-sensing pathway. The possible function of GPT2 in starch-free mutants is discussed in the background of carbon requirement in leaves during the light-dark cycle.
    Plant Biology 09/2010; 12 Suppl 1:115-28. · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Restriction of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) supply to plastids causes lethality of female and male gametophytes in Arabidopsis thaliana defective in both a phosphoenolpyruvate/phosphate translocator (PPT) of the inner envelope membrane and the plastid-localized enolase (ENO1) involved in glycolytic PEP provision. Homozygous double mutants of cue1 (defective in PPT1) and eno1 could not be obtained, and homozygous cue1 heterozygous eno1 mutants [cue1/eno1(+/-)] exhibited retarded vegetative growth, disturbed flower development, and up to 80% seed abortion. The phenotypes of diminished oil in seeds, reduced flavonoids and aromatic amino acids in flowers, compromised lignin biosynthesis in stems, and aberrant exine formation in pollen indicate that cue1/eno1(+/-) disrupts multiple pathways. While diminished fatty acid biosynthesis from PEP via plastidial pyruvate kinase appears to affect seed abortion, a restriction in the shikimate pathway affects formation of sporopollonin in the tapetum and lignin in the stem. Vegetative parts of cue1/eno1(+/-) contained increased free amino acids and jasmonic acid but had normal wax biosynthesis. ENO1 overexpression in cue1 rescued the leaf and root phenotypes, restored photosynthetic capacity, and improved seed yield and oil contents. In chloroplasts, ENO1 might be the only enzyme missing for a complete plastidic glycolysis.
    The Plant Cell 08/2010; 22(8):2594-617. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis thaliana gene At1g74030 codes for a putative plastid phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) enolase (ENO1). The recombinant ENO1 protein exhibited enolase activity and its kinetic properties were determined. ENO1 is localized to plastids and expressed in most heterotrophic tissues including trichomes and non-root-hair cells, but not in the mesophyll of leaves. Two T-DNA insertion eno1 mutants exhibited distorted trichomes and reduced numbers of root hairs as the only visible phenotype. The essential role of ENO1 in PEP provision for anabolic processes within plastids, such as the shikimate pathway, is discussed with respect to plastid transporters, such as the PEP/phosphate translocator.
    FEBS letters 03/2009; 583(6):983-91. · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) double mutant impaired in starch biosynthesis and the triose phosphate/phosphate translocator (adg1-1/tpt-1) is characterized by a diminished utilization of photoassimilates and the concomitant consumption of reducing power and energy produced in the photosynthetic light reaction. In order to guarantee survival, the double mutant responds to this metabolic challenge with growth retardation, an 80% decline in photosynthetic electron transport, diminished chlorophyll contents, an enhanced reduction state of plastoquinone in the dark (up to 50%), a perturbation of the redox poise in leaves (increased NADPH/NADP ratios and decreased ascorbate/dehydroascorbate ratios), hyperstacking of grana thylakoids, and an increased number of plastoglobules. Enhanced oxygen consumption and applications of inhibitors of alternative mitochondrial and chloroplast oxidases (AOX and PTOX) suggest that chlororespiration as well as mitochondrial respiration are involved in the enhanced plastoquinone reduction state in the dark. Transcript amounts of PTOX and AOX were diminished and nucleus-encoded components related to plastidic NADH reductase (NDH1) were increased in adg1-1/tpt-1 compared with the wild type. Cytochrome b559, proposed to be involved in the reoxidation of photosystem II, was not regulated at the transcriptional level. The hyperstacking of grana thylakoids mimics adaptation to low light, and increased plastoglobule numbers suggest a response to enhanced oxidative stress. Altered chloroplast organization combined with perturbations in the redox poise suggests that adg1-1/tpt-1 could be a tool for the in vivo study of retrograde signaling mechanisms controlling the coordinated expression of nucleus- and plastome-encoded photosynthetic genes.
    Plant physiology 11/2008; 149(1):515-33. · 6.56 Impact Factor