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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Sucrose synthase activity is not required for cellulose biosynthesis in Arabidopsis

Wang, Wei; Viljamaa, Sonja; Hodek, Ondrej; Moritz, Thomas; Niittyla, Totte


Biosynthesis of plant cell walls requires UDP-glucose as the substrate for cellulose biosynthesis, and as an intermediate for the synthesis of other matrix polysaccharides. The sucrose cleaving enzyme sucrose synthase (SUS) is thought to have a central role in UDP-glucose biosynthesis, and a long-held and much debated hypothesis postulates that SUS is required to supply UDP-glucose to cellulose biosynthesis. To investigate the role of SUS in cellulose biosynthesis of Arabidopsis thaliana we characterized mutants in which four or all six Arabidopsis SUS genes were disrupted. These sus mutants showed no growth phenotypes, vascular tissue cell wall defects, or changes in cellulose content. Moreover, the UDP-glucose content of rosette leaves of the sextuple sus mutants was increased by approximately 20% compared with wild type. It can thus be concluded that cellulose biosynthesis is able to employ alternative UDP-glucose biosynthesis pathway(s), and thereby the model of SUS requirements for cellulose biosynthesis in Arabidopsis can be refuted.


UDP-glucose; cellulose; sucrose synthase; Arabidopsis thaliana

Published in

Plant Journal
2022, Volume: 110, number: 5, pages: 1493-1497
Publisher: WILEY