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Enhanced precursor delivery by enhanced sulfur assimilation and transport

Over-expression of enzymes involved in sulfur assimilation, as for example APS reductase or methionine S-methyltransferase, is one strategy to increase the content of reduced sulfur containing compounds (e.g. glutathione or methionine) in edible plant tissues. Data obtained during the project show that overexpression of APS reductase in major European crops like maize or potato plants, does not lead to increased glutathione levels. These results are in contrast to results obtained from the model plant Arabidopsis.

Preliminary results from plants over-expressing methionine S-methyltransferase show in a few transgenic lines an increase in the content of S-methylmethionine, a major transport form of reduced sulfur in a number of plant species. Preliminary results as well as transgenic lines generated during the project are exchanged between partners. The transgenic plants mentioned above are being combined with additional traits, e.g. plants with increased sink strength for sulfur containing amino acids.

In the current state of progress, the future industrial applicability and the commercial value of these transgenic lines cannot yet be estimated. Results obtained contribute to a better understanding of the field and will be made publicly available by publications in scientific journals so that the scientific community targeting plant sulfur metabolism will benefit from this project.

Reported by

University of Berne
Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21
3013 BERNE