Insight into Unique Sugar Transport in Plants

A research group at Aarhus University in Denmark has explained the structure of a sugar transport protein (STP) that is unique to plants. 

STP is unique to plants, and is important for the proper development of plant organs such as pollen. Sugar is generated in plants through photosynthesis and transported as sucrose to plant parts through the sieve tissue. In sink tissues such as roots, pollen, and fruits, the plant absorbs sugar either as sucrose or, after cleavage, as glucose and fructose.

With the new structure, the researchers show that the overall form of STPs resembles other sugar transporters such as those in humans. A new domain that has not been described before is also being investigated by the group. The researchers made a version of the protein in which this was removed. When this was done, the protein lost its ability to transport sugar efficiently at certain pH values. 

Assistant Professor Bjørn Panyella Pedersen said that the results of their study are related to how many of the plants’ organs develop correctly, and at the same time have proved to be an important contribution to plants’ response to fungal attacks.

For more details, read the news article from Aarhus University.

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