Disruptions in Valine Degradation Affect Seed Development and Germination in Arabidopsis
We have functionally characterized the role of two putative mitochondrial enzymes in valine degradation using insertional mutants. Prior to this study, the relationship between branched-chain amino acid degradation (named for leucine, valine and isoleucine) and seed development was limited to leucine catabolism. Using a reverse genetics approach, we show that disruptions in the mitochondrial valine degradation pathway affect seed development and germination in Arabidopsis thaliana. A null mutant of 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase (CHY4, At4g31810) resulted in an embryo lethal phenotype, while a null mutant of methylmalonate semialdehyde dehydrogenase (MMSD, At2g14170) resulted in seeds with wrinkled coats, decreased storage reserves, elevated valine and leucine, and reduced germination rates. These data highlight the unique contributions CHY4 and MMSD make to the overall growth and viability of plants. It also increases our knowledge of the role branched-chain amino acid catabolism plays in seed development and amino acid homeostasis.
The Plant Journal