Madsen SR, Olsen CE, Nour-Eldin HH, Halkier BA (2014) Elucidating the role of transport processes in leaf glucosinolate distribution. Plant Physiol 166: 1450–1462.
In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), a strategy to defend its leaves against herbivores is to accumulate glucosinolates along the midrib and at the margin. Although it is generally assumed that glucosinolates are synthesized along the vasculature in an Arabidopsis leaf, thereby suggesting that the margin accumulation is established through transport, little is known about these transportprocesses. Here, we show through leaf apoplastic fluid analysis and glucosinolate feeding experiments that two glucosinolate transporters, GTR1 and GTR2, essential for long-distance transport of glucosinolates in Arabidopsis, also play key roles in glucosinolate allocation within a mature leaf by effectively importing apoplastically localized glucosinolates into appropriate cells. Detection of glucosinolates in root xylem sap unambiguously shows that this transport route is involved in root-to-shoot glucosinolate allocation. Detailed leaf dissections show that in the absence of GTR1 and GTR2 transport activity, glucosinolates accumulate predominantly in leaf margins and leaf tips. Furthermore, we show that glucosinolates accumulate in the leaf abaxial epidermis in a GTR-independent manner. Based on our results, we propose a model for how glucosinolates accumulate in the leaf margin and epidermis, which includes symplasmic movement through plasmodesmata, coupled with the activity of putative vacuolar glucosinolate importers in these peripheral cell layers.