Opposite variations in fumarate and malate dominate metabolic phenotypes of Arabidopsis salicylate mutants with abnormal biomass under chilling.

Research paper by Ian M IM Scott, Jane L JL Ward, Sonia J SJ Miller, Michael H MH Beale

Indexed on: 17 Apr '14Published on: 17 Apr '14Published in: Physiologia Plantarum


In chilling conditions (5°C), salicylic acid (SA)-deficient mutants (sid2, eds5 and NahG) of Arabidopsis thaliana produced more biomass than wild type (Col-0), whereas the SA overproducer cpr1 was extremely stunted. The hypothesis that these phenotypes were reflected in metabolism was explored using 600 MHz (1) H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis of unfractionated polar shoot extracts. Biomass-related metabolic phenotypes were identified as multivariate data models of these NMR 'fingerprints'. These included principal components that correlated with biomass. Also, partial least squares-regression models were found to predict the relative size of plants in previously unseen experiments in different light intensities, or relative size of one genotype from the others. The dominant signal in these models was fumarate, which was high in SA-deficient mutants, intermediate in Col-0 and low in cpr1 at 5°C. Among signals negatively correlated with biomass, malate was prominent. Abundance of transcripts of the FUM2 cytosolic fumarase (At5g50950) showed strong positive correlation with fumarate levels and with biomass, whereas no significant differences were found for the FUM1 mitochondrial fumarase (At2g47510). It was confirmed that the morphological effects of SA under chilling find expression in the metabolome, with a role of fumarate highlighted.