Loss of plastidic lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase causes embryo-lethality in Arabidopsis

Bin Yu, Setsuko Wakao, Jilian Fan, Christoph Benning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Phosphatidic acid is a key intermediate for chloroplast membrane lipid biosynthesis. De novo phosphatidic acid biosynthesis in plants occurs in two steps: first the acylation of the sn-1 position of glycerol-3-phosphate giving rise to lysophosphatidic acid; second, the acylation of the sn-2 position of lysophosphatidic acid to form phosphatidic acid. The second step is catalyzed by a lysophosphatidic acid acyltransferase (LPAAT). Here we describe the identification of the ATS2 gene of Arabidopsis encoding the plastidic isoform of this enzyme. Introduction of the ATS2 cDNA into E. coli JC 201, which is temperature-sensitive and carries a mutation in its LPAAT gene plsC, restored this mutant to nearly wild type growth at high temperature. A green-fluorescent protein fusion with ATS2 localized to the chloroplast. Disruption of the ATS2 gene of Arabidopsis by T-DNA insertion caused embryo lethality. The development of the embryos was arrested at the globular stage concomitant with a transient increase in ATS2 gene expression. Apparently, plastidic LPAAT is essential for embryo development in Arabidopsis during the transition from the globular to the heart stage when chloroplasts begin to form.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
JournalPlant and Cell Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryo development
  • Fatty acid biosynthesis
  • Lipid metabolism
  • Lipid trafficking
  • Plastid pathway
  • Thylakoid membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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