Sucrose carrier RcSCR1 is involved in sucrose retrieval, but not in sucrose unloading in growing hypocotyls of Ricinus communis L

D A Eisenbarth, A R Weig
Plant Biology 2005, 7 (1): 98-103
The transport of assimilates from source to sink tissues is mediated by the phloem. Along the vascular system the phloem changes its physiological function from loading phloem to transport and unloading phloem. Sucrose carrier proteins have been identified in the transport phloem, but it is unclear whether the physiological role of these transporters is phloem unloading of sucrose or retrieval of apoplasmic sucrose back into the sieve element/companion cell complex. Here, we describe the dynamic expression of the Ricinus communis sucrose carrier RcSCR1 in the hypocotyl at different sink strengths. Our results indicate that phloem unloading in castor bean is not catalysed by the phloem loader RcSCR1. However, this sucrose carrier represents the molecular basis of the sucrose retrieval mechanism along the transport phloem, which is dynamically adjusted to the sink strength. As a consequence, we assume that other release carrier(s) exist in sink tissues, such as the hypocotyl, in R. communis.

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