Sucrose phosphate synthase and sucrose accumulation at low temperature

Charles L. Guy, Joan L.A. Huber, Steven C. Huber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of growth temperature on the free sugar and sucrose phosphate synthase content and activity of spinach (Spinacia oleracea) leaf tissue was studied. When plants were grown at 25° C for 3 weeks and then transferred to a constant 5°C, sucrose, glucose, and fructose accumulated to high levels during a 14-d period. Predawn sugar levels increased from 14- to 20-fold over the levels present at the outset of the low-temperature treatment. Sucrose was the most abundant free sugar before, during, and after exposure to 5°C. Leaf sucrose phosphate synthase activity was significantly increased by the low-temperature treatment, whereas sucrose synthase and invertases were not. Synthesis of the sucrose phosphate synthase subunit was increased during and after low-temperature exposure and paralleled an increase in the steady-state level of the subunit. The increases in sucrose and its primary biosynthetic enzyme, sucrose phosphate synthase, are discussed in relation to adjustment of metabolism to low nonfreezing temperature and freezing stress tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-508
Number of pages7
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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