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High-Temperature Perturbation of Starch Synthesis Is Attributable to Inhibition of ADP-Glucose Pyrophosphorylase by Decreased Levels of Glycerate-3-Phosphate in Growing Potato Tubers1

  • Peter Geigenberger
  • Michael Geiger
  • Mark Stitt
American Society of Plant Physiologists
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1998


To investigate the short-term effect of elevated temperatures on carbon metabolism in growing potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tubers, developing tubers were exposed to a range of temperatures between 19°C and 37°C. Incorporation of [14C]glucose (Glc) into starch showed a temperature optimum at 25°C. Increasing the temperature from 23°C or 25°C up to 37°C led to decreased labeling of starch, increased labeling of sucrose (Suc) and intermediates of the respiratory pathway, and increased respiration rates. At elevated temperatures, hexose-phosphate levels were increased, whereas the levels of glycerate-3-phosphate (3PGA) and phosphoenolpyruvate were decreased. There was an increase in pyruvate and malate, and a decrease in isocitrate. The amount of adenine diphosphoglucose (ADPGlc) decreased when tubers were exposed to elevated temperatures. There was a strong correlation between the in vivo levels of 3PGA and ADPGlc in tubers incubated at different temperatures, and the decrease in ADPGlc correlated very well with the decrease in the labeling of starch. In tubers incubated at temperatures above 30°C, the overall activities of Suc synthase and ADPGlc pyrophosphorylase declined slightly, whereas soluble starch synthase and pyruvate kinase remained unchanged. Elevated temperatures led to an activation of Suc phosphate synthase involving a change in its kinetic properties. There was a strong correlation between Suc phosphate synthase activation and the in vivo level of Glc-6-phosphate. It is proposed that elevated temperatures lead to increased rates of respiration, and the resulting decline of 3PGA then inhibits ADPGlc pyrophosphorylase and starch synthesis.

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