Ascorbate-Deficient vtc2 Mutants in Arabidopsis Do Not Exhibit Decreased Growth
Frontiers in Plant Science
Copyright © 2016 Lim, Smirnoff, Cobbett and Golz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
In higher plants the L-galactose pathway represents the major route for ascorbate biosynthesis. The first committed step of this pathway is catalyzed by the enzyme GDP-L-galactose phosphorylase and is encoded by two paralogs in Arabidopsis – VITAMIN C2 (VTC2) and VTC5. The first mutant of this enzyme, vtc2-1, isolated via an EMS mutagenesis screen, has approximately 20–30% of wildtype ascorbate levels and has been reported to have decreased growth under standard laboratory conditions. Here, we show that a T-DNA insertion into the VTC2 causes a similar reduction in ascorbate levels, but does not greatly affect plant growth. Subsequent segregation analysis revealed the growth defects of vtc2-1 mutants segregate independently of the vtc2-1 mutation. These observations suggest that it is the presence of an independent cryptic mutation that affects growth of vtc2-1 mutants, and not the 70–80% decrease in ascorbate levels that has been assumed in past studies.
This research is supported by a grant from the Australian Research Council (BL, CSC, JFG) and a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council grant (NS; BB/G021678/1).
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Vol. 7, article 1025