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Pectin Methylesterase-Generated Methanol May Be Involved in Tobacco Leaf Growth

T. V. Komarova1,2, D. V. Pozdyshev1,2, I. V. Petrunia2, E. V. Sheshukova2, and Y. L. Dorokhov1,2*

1Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: +7 (495) 939-3181; E-mail: dorokhov@genebee.msu.su

2Vavilov Institute of General Genetics, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Gubkina 3, 119991 Moscow, Russia; fax: +7 (499) 132-8962; E-mail: dorokhov@genebee.msu.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received September 26, 2013; Revision received October 14, 2013
Plant leaves undergo a sink–source modification of intercellular macromolecular transport during the transition from carbon import to carbon export. After assessing the role of metabolite signaling in gene regulation in Nicotiana tabacum sink and source leaves, we observed increased pectin methylesterase (PME)-mediated methanol generation in immature leaves. Using suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH), we identified a number of genes whose activity changes from sink to source leaves. The most abundant SSH-identified genes appeared to be sensitive to methanol. We hypothesize that tobacco leaf maturation and the sink–source transition are accompanied by a change in mRNA levels of genes that function in methanol-dependent cell signaling.
KEY WORDS: pectin methylesterase, methanol, movement, plasmodesmata, Nicotiana tabacum, transport

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297914020035