BackgroundSince their discovery, vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) have consistently been investigated as programmed cell death (PCD) initiators and participants in plant development and responses to biotic or abiotic stresses, in part due to similarities with the apoptosis regulator caspase-1. However, recent studies show additional functions of VPE in tomatoes, specifically in sucrose accumulation and fruit ripening.
ResultsHerein, we evaluated the functions of VPE from sweetpotato, initially in expression pattern analyses of IbVPE1 during development and senescence. Subsequently, we identified physiological functions by overexpressing IbVPE1 in Arabidopsis thaliana, and showed reduced leaf sizes and numbers and early flowering, and elucidated the underlying molecular mechanisms.
ConclusionsThe present data demonstrate functions of the VPE gene family in development and senescence and in regulation of flowering times, leaf sizes and numbers, and senescence phenotypes in Arabidopsis thaliana.