Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



The Plant Cell, Vol. 26: 4119–4134, October 2014


Copyright 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.


Triacylglycerol (TAG) metabolism is a key aspect of intracellular lipid homeostasis in yeast and mammals, but its role in vegetative tissues of plants remains poorly defined. We previously reported that PHOSPHOLIPID:DIACYLGLYCEROL ACYLTRANSFERASE1 (PDAT1) is crucial for diverting fatty acids (FAs) from membrane lipid synthesis to TAG and thereby protecting against FA-induced cell death in leaves. Here, we show that overexpression of PDAT1 enhances the turnover of FAs in leaf lipids. Using the trigalactosyldiacylglycerol1-1 (tgd1-1) mutant, which displays substantially enhanced PDAT1- mediated TAG synthesis, we demonstrate that disruption of SUGAR-DEPENDENT1 (SDP1) TAG lipase or PEROXISOMAL TRANSPORTER1 (PXA1) severely decreases FA turnover, leading to increases in leaf TAG accumulation, to 9% of dry weight, and in total leaf lipid, by 3-fold. The membrane lipid composition of tgd1-1 sdp1-4 and tgd1-1 pxa1-2 double mutants is altered, and their growth and development are compromised. We also show that two Arabidopsis thaliana lipin homologs provide most of the diacylglycerol for TAG synthesis and that loss of their functions markedly reduces TAG content, but with only minor impact on eukaryotic galactolipid synthesis. Collectively, these results show that Arabidopsis lipins, along with PDAT1 and SDP1, function synergistically in directing FAs toward peroxisomal b-oxidation via TAG intermediates, thereby maintaining membrane lipid homeostasis in leaves.