An L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase mutation leads to metabolic shifts and growth inhibition in Arabidopsis

João Henrique F. Cavalcanti, Menny Kirma, Jessica A.S. Barros, Carla G.S. Quinhones, Ítalo A. Pereira-Lima, Toshihiro Obata, Adriano Nunes-Nesi, Gad Galili, Alisdair R. Fernie, Tamar Avin-Wittenberg, Wagner L. Araújo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Lysine (Lys) connects the mitochondrial electron transport chain to amino acid catabolism and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. However, our understanding of how a deficiency in Lys biosynthesis impacts plant metabolism and growth remains limited. Here, we used a previously characterized Arabidopsis mutant (dapat) with reduced activity of the Lys biosynthesis enzyme L,L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase to investigate the physiological and metabolic impacts of impaired Lys biosynthesis. Despite displaying similar stomatal conductance and internal CO2 concentration, we observed reduced photosynthesis and growth in the dapat mutant. Surprisingly, whilst we did not find differences in dark respiration between genotypes, a lower storage and consumption of starch and sugars was observed in dapat plants. We found higher protein turnover but no differences in total amino acids during a diurnal cycle in dapat plants. Transcriptional and two-dimensional (isoelectric focalization/SDS-PAGE) proteome analyses revealed alterations in the abundance of several transcripts and proteins associated with photosynthesis and photorespiration coupled with a high glycine/serine ratio and increased levels of stress-responsive amino acids. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that biochemical alterations rather than stomatal limitations are responsible for the decreased photosynthesis and growth of the dapat mutant, which we hypothesize mimics stress conditions associated with impairments in the Lys biosynthesis pathway.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5489-5506
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License


  • Alternative respiration
  • Amino acid
  • Carbon partition
  • L
  • L-diaminopimelate aminotransferase
  • Lysine biosynthesis
  • Primary metabolism


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