Impaired chloroplast positioning affects photosynthetic capacity and regulation of the central carbohydrate metabolism during cold acclimation
Photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism of higher plants need to be tightly regulated to prevent tissue damage during environmental changes. The intracellular position of chloroplasts changes due to a changing light regime. Chloroplast avoidance and accumulation response under high and low light, respectively, are well known phenomena, and deficiency of chloroplast movement has been shown to result in photodamage and reduced biomass accumulation. Yet, effects of chloroplast positioning on underlying metabolic regulation are less well understood. Here, we analysed photosynthesis together with metabolites and enzyme activities of the central carbohydrate metabolism during cold acclimation of the chloroplast unusual positioning 1 (chup1) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana. We compared cold acclimation under ambient and low light and found that maximum quantum yield of PSII was significantly lower in chup1 than in Col-0 under both conditions. Our findings indicated that net CO2 assimilation in chup1 is rather limited by biochemistry than by photochemistry. Further, cold-induced dynamics of sucrose phosphate synthase differed significantly between both genotypes. Together with a reduced rate of sucrose cycling derived from kinetic model simulations our study provides evidence for a central role of chloroplast positioning for photosynthetic and metabolic acclimation to low temperature.