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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Arabidopsis plants perform arithmetic division to prevent starvation at night
Author(s): Scialdone, Antonio
Mugford, Sam T
Feike, Doreen
Skeffington, Alastair
Borrill, Philippa
Graf, Alexander
Smith, Alison M
Howard, Martin
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Keywords: General Immunology and Microbiology
General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
General Medicine
General Neuroscience
Issue Date: 25-Jun-2013
Date Deposited: 28-Jun-2023
Citation: Scialdone A, Mugford ST, Feike D, Skeffington A, Borrill P, Graf A, Smith AM & Howard M (2013) Arabidopsis plants perform arithmetic division to prevent starvation at night. <i>eLife</i>, 2.
Abstract: Photosynthetic starch reserves that accumulate in Arabidopsis leaves during the day decrease approximately linearly with time at night to support metabolism and growth. We find that the rate of decrease is adjusted to accommodate variation in the time of onset of darkness and starch content, such that reserves last almost precisely until dawn. Generation of these dynamics therefore requires an arithmetic division computation between the starch content and expected time to dawn. We introduce two novel chemical kinetic models capable of implementing analog arithmetic division. Predictions from the models are successfully tested in plants perturbed by a night-time light period or by mutations in starch degradation pathways. Our experiments indicate which components of the starch degradation apparatus may be important for appropriate arithmetic division. Our results are potentially relevant for any biological system dependent on a food reserve for survival over a predictable time period.
DOI Link: 10.7554/elife.00669
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
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