A functional calvin cycle is not indispensable for the light activation of C4 phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase kinase and its target enzyme in the maize mutant bundle sheath defective2-mutable1
Smith LH., Langdale JA., Chollet R.
We used a pale-green maize (Zea mays L.) mutant that fails to accumulate ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) to test the working hypothesis that the regulatory phosphorylation of C4 phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) by its Ca2+-insensitive protein-serine/threonine kinase (PEPC kinase) in the C4 mesophyll cytosol depends on cross-talk with a functional Calvin cycle in the bundle sheath. Wild-type (W22) and bundle sheath defective2-mutable1 (bsd2-m1) seeds were grown in a controlled environment chamber at 100 to 130 &mgr;mol m-2 s-1 photosynthetic photon flux density, and leaf tissue was harvested 11 d after sowing, following exposure to various light intensities. Immunoblot analysis showed no major difference in the amount of polypeptide present for several mesophyll- and bundle-sheath-specific photosynthetic enzymes apart from Rubisco, which was either completely absent or very much reduced in the mutant. Similarly, leaf net CO2-exchange analysis and in vitro radiometric Rubisco assays showed that no appreciable carbon fixation was occurring in the mutant. In contrast, the sensitivity of PEPC to malate inhibition in bsd2-m1 leaves decreased significantly with an increase in light intensity, and there was a concomitant increase in PEPC kinase activity, similar to that seen in wild-type leaf tissue. Thus, although bsd2-m1 mutant plants lack an operative Calvin cycle, light activation of PEPC kinase and its target enzyme are not grossly perturbed.