Water Deficit Elicits a Transcriptional Response of Genes Governing d-pinitol Biosynthesis in Soybean (Glycine max).


The University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia. [Email]


d-pinitol is the most commonly accumulated sugar alcohol in the Leguminosae family and has been observed to increase significantly in response to abiotic stress. While previous studies have identified genes involved in d-pinitol synthesis, no study has investigated transcript expression in planta. The present study quantified the expression of several genes involved in d-pinitol synthesis in different plant tissues and investigated the accumulation of d-pinitol, myo-inositol and other metabolites in response to a progressive soil drought in soybean (Glycine max). Expression of myo-inositol 1-phosphate synthase (INPS), the gene responsible for the conversion of glucose-6-phosphate to myo-inositol-1-phosphate, was significantly up regulated in response to a water deficit for the first two sampling weeks. Expression of myo-inositol O-methyl transferase (IMT1), the gene responsible for the conversion of myo-inositol into d-ononitol was only up regulated in stems at sampling week 3. Assessment of metabolites showed significant changes in their concentration in leaves and stems. d-Pinitol concentration was significantly higher in all organs sampled from water deficit plants for all three sampling weeks. In contrast, myo-inositol, had significantly lower concentrations in leaf samples despite up regulation of INPS suggesting the transcriptionally regulated flux of carbon through the myo-inositol pool is important during water deficit.


cyclitols,gene expression,metabolism,water deficit,

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