Duckweed physiology, biochemistry & molecular biology

Links to on-line research.

Nutritional composition
Effects of Stress
Plant Growth Regulation
Chloroplasts & Photosynthesis
Molecular Biology
Other Sites

This page is intended to provide a small sample of recent on-line papers and abstracts to illustrate the wide range of research projects that use duckweeds as the model system.  The papers listed are not necessarily chosen for their importance or quality, but for their range of subject matter.  Some fairly recent articles cited here are not on-line.  It is hoped that in the future more journals will choose to present their contents or at least their abstracts on-line.

Effects of Stress

Heavy Metals

Salt Stress UV-B Radiation. Biosynthetic Pathways

Amino Acid Biosynthesis and Sulfur Metabolism

Anne Datko, research bibliography (1978 - 1990)

Ferreira, R.M.B. and Teixeira, A.R.N. "Sulfur starvation in Lemna leads to degradation of ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase without plant death."  J. Biol. Chem. (1992) 267: 7253-7257. [ link ] [ research bibliography of this group ]

Marianne Suter et al. (2000) "Adenosine 5'-Phosphosulfate Sulfotransferase and Adenosine 5'-Phosphosulfate Reductase Are Identical Enzymes" J. Biol. Chem. 2000 275: 930-936. [ Abstract ]

"Adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (APS) sulfotransferase and APS reductase have been described as key enzymes of assimilatory sulfate reduction of plants catalyzing the reduction of APS to bound and free sulfite, respectively."
Indole-3-Acetic Acid (Auxin) Biosynthesis

Inositol phosphates

Lipids and Related Molecules Xenobiotics
Ensley, H.E., H.A. Sharma, J.T. Barber, and M.A. Polito. 1997. Metabolism of chlorinated phenols by Lemna gibba, Duckweed. In E.L. Kruger, T.A. Anderson, and J.R. Coats (eds.), Phytoremediation of Soil and Water Contaminants, ACS Symposium Series No. 664. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC., chapter 17.

Uptake and metabolism of DDT and organophosphorus pesticides by Spirodela [ references and abstracts ]

Plant Growth Regulation


Abscisic Acid (ABA)
Weatherwax, S.C., Williams, S.A., Tingay, S., and Tobin, E.M. (1998) The phytochrome response of the Lemna NPR1 gene is mediated primarily through changes in abscisic acid levels. Plant Physiol. 116: 1299-1305. [ link ]

Development of dormant buds (turions) is regulated by ABA (and cytokinins). [ link ]

Smart CC; Fleming AJ (1996) "Hormonal and environmental regulation of a plant PDR5-like ABC transporter. J Biol Chem 271(32):19351-7
ABC transporters are involved in the ATP-dependent efflux of a variety of structurally unrelated cytotoxic compounds. A homolog of a yeast ABC transporter was isolated from Spirodela.  Transcripts of this gene accumulated following treatment with abscisic acid, and this induction was repressed by the adenine-derived hormone, kinetin.

Breaking of dormancy in turions (antagonizes abscisic acid).  [ link ]

Frick H. (1991) Vitrification in vitro in Lemna minor and its maintenance by isopentenyl adenine. J Plant Physiol 137:502-504.
Isopentenyl adenine is a cytokinin commonly added to plant tissue culture media.

Monesmith TT, Stomp AM, Blanchard SM. Investigation of the effect of benzyladenine on growth and protein content of L. gibba G3 (duckweed). Submitted to Physiologia Plantarum.

GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid)
Kinnersley, Alan M., Auxein Corporation (  "Physiological evidence for GABA receptors in plants." Plant Physiology (1999 supplement) [ Abstract 719 ]
Inada, Sayaka and Shimmen, Teruo "Regulation of Elongation Growth by Gibberellin in Root Segments of Lemna minor." Plant Cell Physiol. 2000 41: 932-939.
"Exogenous GA3 did not promote the segment elongation but rather inhibited it.  Uniconazole-P, a gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor, significantly inhibited the segment elongation, and the inhibitory effect was completely nullified by GA3.  In the epidermis, cell elongation was inhibited, but lateral cell expansion was not affected by uniconazole-P.  ...These results suggested that endogenous gibberellin controls the elongation growth of root by regulating cell elongation. " [ abstract link ] [ also available in full-text ]
Indole-3-Acetic Acid (Auxin) Biosynthesis

Chloroplasts & Photosynthesis

Regulation of mRNA Levels for Chloroplast Proteins

Peters, J.L. and J. Silverthorne. (1995) Organ-specific stability of two Lemna rbcS mRNAs is determined primarily in the nuclear compartment. The Plant Cell 7:131-140.

Chloroplast Movements

Tlalka M; Runquist M; Fricker M (1999) Light perception and the role of the xanthophyll cycle in blue-light-dependent chloroplast movements in Lemna trisulca L. Plant J. (England), 20(4) p447-459.
Tlalka M; Fricker M (1999) The role of calcium in blue-light-dependent chloroplast movement in Lemna trisulca L. Plant J. (England), 20(4) p461-473.
"Chloroplast movements are a normal physiological response to changes in light intensity and provide a good model system to analyse the signal transduction pathways following light perception."  "In most higher plants, chloroplasts move towards the periclinal cell walls in weak blue light (WBL) to increase light harvesting for photosynthesis, and towards the anticlinal walls as an escape reaction, thus avoiding photo-damage in strong blue light (SBL)."
Malec, P., Rinaldi, R.A., Gabry, H. Light-induced chloroplast movements in Lemna  trisulca L. Identification of the motile system. Plant Sci.,  120, 127–137, 1996.
Malec P. Kinetic modeling of chloroplast phototranslocations in Lemna trisulca L.: Two rate  limiting components? J. Theoret. Biol., 169, 189–195, 1994.
Other Sites
The links on this page represent only a tiny fraction of the biochemical literature related to duckweeds.


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Revised:  December 31, 2011