Characterization of purple acid phosphatases involved in extracellular dNTP utilization in Stylosanthes

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Stylo (Stylosanthes spp.) is a pasture legume predominant in tropical and subtropical areas, where low phosphorus (P) availability is a major constraint for plant growth. Therefore, stylo might exhibit superior utilization of the P pool on acid soils, particularly organic P. However, little is known about mechanisms of inorganic phosphate (Pi) acquisition employed by stylo. In this study, the utilization of extracellular deoxy-ribonucleotide triphosphate (dNTP) and the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms were examined for two stylo genotypes with contrasting P efficiency. Results showed that the P-efficient genotype, TPRC2001-1, was superior to the P-inefficient genotype, Fine-stem, when using dNTP as the sole P source. This was reflected by a higher dry weight and total P content for TPRC2001-1 than for Fine-stem, which was correlated with higher root-associated acid phosphatase (APase) activities in TPRC2001-1 under low P conditions. Subsequently, three PAP members were cloned from TPRC2001-1: SgPAP7, SgPAP10, and SgPAP26. Expression levels of these three SgPAPs were up-regulated by Pi starvation in stylo roots. Furthermore, there was a higher abundance of transcripts of SgPAP7 and SgPAP10 in TPRC2001-1 than in Fine-stem. Subcellular localization analysis demonstrated that these three SgPAPs were localized on the plasma membrane. Overexpression of these three SgPAPs could result in significantly increased root-associated APase activities, and thus extracellular dNTP utilization in bean hairy roots. Taken together, the results herein suggest that SgPAP7, SgPAP10, and SgPAP26 may differentially contribute to root-associated APase activities, and thus control extracellular dNTP utilization in stylo.

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