Maize Carbohydrate partitioning defective1 impacts carbohydrate distribution, callose accumulation, and phloem function

Benjamin T. Julius, Thomas L. Slewinski, R. Frank Baker, Vered Tzin, Shaoqun Zhou, Saadia Bihmidine, Georg Jander, David M. Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Plants synthesize carbohydrates in photosynthetic tissues, with the majority of plants transporting sucrose to non-photosynthetic tissues to sustain growth and development. While the anatomical, biochemical, and physiological processes regulating sucrose long-distance transport are well characterized, little is known concerning the genes controlling whole-plant carbohydrate partitioning. To identify loci influencing carbon export from leaves, we screened mutagenized maize plants for phenotypes associated with reduced carbohydrate transport, including chlorosis and excessive starch and soluble sugars in leaves. Carbohydrate partitioning defective1 (Cpd1) was identified as a semi-dominant mutant exhibiting these phenotypes. Phloem transport experiments suggested that the hyperaccumulation of starch and soluble sugars in the Cpd1/+ mutant leaves was due to inhibited sucrose export. Interestingly, ectopic callose deposits were observed in the phloem of mutant leaves, and probably underlie the decreased transport. In addition to the carbohydrate hyperaccumulation phenotype, Cpd1/+ mutants overaccumulate benzoxazinoid defense compounds and exhibit increased tolerance when attacked by aphids. However, double mutant studies between Cpd1/+ and benzoxazinoid-less plants indicate that the ectopic callose and carbon hyperaccumulation are independent of benzoxazinoid production. Based on the formation of callose occlusions in the developing phloem, we hypothesize that the cpd1 gene functions early in phloem development, thereby impacting whole-plant carbohydrate partitioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3917-3931
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number16
StatePublished - 18 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Benzoxazinoid
  • Cpd1
  • [ 14 C]sucrose
  • callose
  • chlorosis
  • lignin
  • maize
  • phloem
  • starch
  • sugars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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