Arabidopsis thaliana B-GATA factors repress starch synthesis and gravitropic growth responses

Jan Sala, Niccolò Mosesso, Erika Isono, Claus Schwechheimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Plants perceive the direction of gravity during skotomorphogenic growth, and of gravity and light during photomorphogenic growth. Gravity perception occurs through the sedimentation of starch granules in shoot endodermal and root columella cells. In this study, we demonstrate that the Arabidopsis thaliana GATA factors GNC (GATA, NITRATE-INDUCIBLE, CARBON METABOLISM-INVOLVED) and GNL/CGA1 (GNC-LIKE/CYTOKININ-RESPONSIVE GATA1) repress starch granule growth and amyloplast differentiation in endodermal cells. In our comprehensive study, we analysed gravitropic responses in the shoot, root and hypocotyl. We performed an RNA-seq analysis, used advanced microscopy techniques to examine starch granule size, number and morphology and quantified transitory starch degradation patterns. Using transmission electron microscopy, we examined amyloplast development. Our results indicate that the altered gravitropic responses in hypocotyls, shoots and roots of gnc gnl mutants and GNL overexpressors are due to the differential accumulation of starch granules observed in the GATA genotypes. At the whole-plant level, GNC and GNL play a more complex role in starch synthesis, degradation and starch granule initiation. Our findings suggest that the light-regulated GNC and GNL help balance phototropic and gravitropic growth responses after the transition from skotomorphogenesis to photomorphogenesis by repressing the growth of starch granules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-991
Number of pages13
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • GATA factor
  • amyloplast
  • gravitropism response
  • starch
  • starch granule


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