Regulation of Photosynthetic Carbohydrate Metabolism by a Raf-Like Kinase in the Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha

Eri Koide, Noriyuki Suetsugu, Megumi Iwano, Eiji Gotoh, Yuko Nomura, Sara Christina Stolze, Hirofumi Nakagami, Takayuki Kohchi, Ryuichi Nishihama

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11 Citations (Scopus)


To optimize growth and development, plants monitor photosynthetic activities and appropriately regulate various cellular processes. However, signaling mechanisms that coordinate plant growth with photosynthesis remain poorly understood. To identify factors that are involved in signaling related to photosynthetic stimuli, we performed a phosphoproteomic analysis with Marchantia polymorpha, an extant bryophyte species in the basal lineage of land plants. Among proteins whose phosphorylation status changed differentially between dark-treated plants and those after light irradiation but failed to do so in the presence of a photosynthesis inhibitor, we identified a B4-group Raf-like kinase, named PHOTOSYNTHESIS-RELATED RAF (MpPRAF). Biochemical analyses confirmed photosynthesis-activity-dependent changes in the phosphorylation status of MpPRAF. Mutations in the MpPRAF gene resulted in growth retardation. Measurement of carbohydrates demonstrated both hyper-accumulation of starch and reduction of sucrose in Mppraf mutants. Neither inhibition of starch synthesis nor exogenous supply of sucrose alleviated the growth defect, suggesting serious impairment of Mppraf mutants in both the synthesis of sucrose and the repression of its catabolism. As a result of the compromised photosynthate metabolism, photosynthetic electron transport was downregulated in Mppraf mutants. A mutated MpPRAF with a common amino acid substitution for inactivating kinase activity was unable to rescue the Mppraf mutant defects. Our results provide evidence that MpPRAF is a photosynthesis signaling kinase that regulates sucrose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-643
Number of pages13
JournalPlant & cell physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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