Crop Biotech Update

Sweetpotato Enzymes Expressed in Arabidopsis Revealed Additional Functions of VEPs

May 22, 2019

Vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) have been found to be involved in several key biological processes in plants particularly in programmed cell death, plant development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, in part because of its similarities with apoptosis regulator caspase-1. A study published in BMC Plant Biology shows that VPE also plays a role in sucrose accumulation and fruit ripening.

Scientists from Jiangsu Normal University, China, assessed the functions of VPE from sweetpotato, first in expression pattern analyses of IbVPE1 during development and senescence. Overexpression of IbVPE1 in Arabidopsis led to reduced leaf sizes and numbers and early flowering, and further elucidated the molecular processes involved.

The results of the study showed the functions of the VPE gene family in development and senescence and in regulation of flowering times, leaf sizes and numbers, and senescence phenotypes in Arabidopsis.

Read the research article in BMC Plant Biology.