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Deletion of glycine decarboxylase in arabidopsis is lethal under nonphotorespiratory conditions


Weckwerth,  W.
Integrative Proteomics and Metabolomics, Department Stitt, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Max Planck Society;

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Engel, N., van den Daele, K., Kolukisaoglu, U., Morgenthal, K., Weckwerth, W., Parnik, T., et al. (2007). Deletion of glycine decarboxylase in arabidopsis is lethal under nonphotorespiratory conditions. Plant Physiology, 144(3), 1328-1335. doi:10.1104/pp.107.099317.

The mitochondrial multienzyme glycine decarboxylase (GDC) catalyzes the tetrahydrofolate-dependent catabolism of glycine to 5,10-methylene-tetrahydrofolate and the side products NADH, CO 2, and NH3. This reaction forms part of the photorespiratory cycle and contributes to one-carbon metabolism. While the important role of GDC for these two metabolic pathways is well established, the existence of bypassing reactions has also been suggested. Therefore, it is not clear to what extent GDC is obligatory for these processes. Here, we report on features of individual and combined T-DNA insertion mutants for one of the GDC subunits, P protein, which is encoded by two genes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The individual knockout of either of these two genes does not significantly alter metabolism and photosynthetic performance indicating functional redundancy. In contrast, the double mutant does not develop beyond the cotyledon stage in air enriched with 0.9% CO2. Rosette leaves do not appear and the seedlings do not survive for longer than about 3 to 4 weeks under these nonphotorespiratory conditions. This feature distinguishes the GDC-lacking double mutant from all other known photorespiratory mutants and provides evidence for the nonreplaceable function of GDC in vital metabolic processes other than photorespiration.