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A new class of plant lipid is essential for protection against phosphorus depletion

Nature Communications
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2512
  • Article
  • Biology


Phosphorus supply is a major factor responsible for reduced crop yields. As a result, plants utilize various adaptive mechanisms against phosphorus depletion, including lipid remodelling. Here we report the involvement of a novel plant lipid, glucuronosyldiacylglycerol, against phosphorus depletion. Lipidomic analysis of Arabidopsis plants cultured in phosphorus-depleted conditions revealed inducible accumulation of glucuronosyldiacylglycerol. Investigation using a series of sulfolipid sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol synthesis-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis determined that the biosynthesis of glucuronosyldiacylglycerol shares the pathway of sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol synthesis in chloroplasts. Under phosphorus-depleted conditions, the Arabidopsis sqd2 mutant, which does not accumulate either sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol or glucuronosyldiacylglycerol, was the most severely damaged of three sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol-deficient mutants. As glucuronosyldiacylglycerol is still present in the other two mutants, this result indicates that glucuronosyldiacylglycerol has a role in the protection of plants against phosphorus limitation stress. Glucuronosyldiacylglycerol was also found in rice, and its concentration increased significantly following phosphorus limitation, suggesting a shared physiological significance of this novel lipid against phosphorus depletion in plants.

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