Aminophospholipid ATPases (ALAs) are lipid flippases involved in transporting specific lipids across membrane bilayers. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) contains 12 ALAs in five phylogenetic clusters, including four in cluster 3 (ALA4-ALA7). ALA4/5 and ALA6/7, are expressed primarily in vegetative tissues and pollen, respectively. Previously, a double knockout of ALA6/7 was shown to result in pollen fertility defects. Here we show that a double knockout of ALA4/5 results in dwarfism, characterized by reduced growth in rosettes (6.5-fold), roots (4.3-fold), bolts (4.5-fold), and hypocotyls (2-fold). Reduced cell size was observed for multiple vegetative cell types, suggesting a role for ALA4/5 in cellular expansion. Members of the third ALA cluster are at least partially interchangeable, as transgenes expressing ALA6 in vegetative tissues partially rescued ala4/5 mutant phenotypes, and expression of ALA4 transgenes in pollen fully rescued ala6/7 mutant fertility defects. ALA4-GFP displayed plasma membrane and endomembrane localization patterns when imaged in both guard cells and pollen. Lipid profiling revealed ala4/5 rosettes had perturbations in glycerolipid and sphingolipid content. Assays in yeast revealed that ALA5 can flip a variety of glycerolipids and the sphingolipid sphingomyelin across membranes. These results support a model whereby the flippase activity of ALA4 and ALA5 impacts the homeostasis of both glycerolipids and sphingolipids and is important for cellular expansion during vegetative growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science