Trehalose 6‐phosphate is involved in triggering axillary bud outgrowth in garden pea (Pisum sativum L.)
Trehalose 6‐phosphate (Tre6P) is a signal of sucrose availability in plants, and has been implicated in the regulation of shoot branching by the abnormal branching phenotypes of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and maize (Zea mays) mutants with altered Tre6P metabolism. Decapitation of garden pea (Pisum sativum) plants has been proposed to release the dormancy of axillary buds lower down the stem due to changes in sucrose supply, and we hypothesized that this response is mediated by Tre6P. Decapitation led to a rapid and sustained rise in Tre6P levels in axillary buds, coinciding with the onset of bud outgrowth. This response was suppressed by simultaneous defoliation that restricts the supply of sucrose to axillary buds in decapitated plants. Decapitation also led to a rise in amino acid levels in buds, but a fall in phosphoenolpyruvate and 2‐oxoglutarate. Supplying sucrose to stem node explants in vitro triggered a concentration‐dependent increase in the Tre6P content of the buds that was highly correlated with their rate of outgrowth. These data show that changes in bud Tre6P levels are correlated with initiation of bud outgrowth following decapitation, suggesting that Tre6P is involved in the release of bud dormancy by sucrose. Tre6P might also be linked to a reconfiguration of carbon and nitrogen metabolism to support the subsequent growth of the bud into a new shoot.
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