Accumulation, selection and covariation of amino acids in sieve tube sap of tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) and castor bean (Ricinus communis): evidence for the function of a basic amino acid transporter and the absence of a γ-amino butyric acid transporter

Susanne N Bauer, Heike Nowak, Frank Keller, Jose Kallarackal, Mohamad-Reza Hajirezaei, Ewald Komor
Physiologia Plantarum 2014, 152 (1): 130-7
Sieve tube sap was obtained from Tanacetum by aphid stylectomy and from Ricinus after apical bud decapitation. The amino acids in sieve tube sap were analyzed and compared with those from leaves. Arginine and lysine accumulated in the sieve tube sap of Tanacetum more than 10-fold compared to the leaf extracts and they were, together with asparagine and serine, preferably selected into the sieve tube sap, whereas glycine, methionine/tryptophan and γ-amino butyric acid were partially or completely excluded. The two basic amino acids also showed a close covariation in sieve tube sap. The acidic amino acids also grouped together, but antagonistic to the other amino acids. The accumulation ratios between sieve tube sap and leaf extracts were smaller in Ricinus than in Tanacetum. Arginine, histidine, lysine and glutamine were enriched and preferentially loaded into the phloem, together with isoleucine and valine. In contrast, glycine and methionine/tryptophan were partially and γ-amino butyric acid almost completely excluded from sieve tube sap. The covariation analysis grouped arginine together with several neutral amino acids. The acidic amino acids were loaded under competition with neutral amino acids. It is concluded from comparison with the substrate specificities of already characterized plant amino acid transporters, that an AtCAT1-like transporter functions in phloem loading of basic amino acids, whereas a transporter like AtGAT1 is absent in phloem. Although Tanacetum and Ricinus have different minor vein architecture, their phloem loading specificities for amino acids are relatively similar.

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