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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The photorespiratory Arabidopsis shm1 mutant is deficient in SHM1.

Mitochondrial serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), combined with glycine decarboxylase, catalyzes an essential sequence of the photorespiratory C2 cycle, namely, the conversion of two molecules of glycine into one molecule each of CO2, NH4+, and serine. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mutant shm (now designated shm1-1) is defective in mitochondrial SHMT activity and displays a lethal photorespiratory phenotype when grown at ambient CO2, but is virtually unaffected at elevated CO2. The Arabidopsis genome harbors seven putative SHM genes, two of which (SHM1 and SHM2) feature predicted mitochondrial targeting signals. We have mapped shm1-1 to the position of the SHM1 gene (At4g37930). The mutation is due to a G --> A transition at the 5' splice site of intron 6 of SHM1, causing aberrant splicing and a premature termination of translation. A T-DNA insertion allele of SHM1, shm1-2, and the F1 progeny of a genetic cross between shm1-1 and shm1-2 displayed the same conditional lethal phenotype as shm1-1. Expression of wild-type SHM1 under the control of either the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S or the SHM1 promoter in shm1-1 abrogated the photorespiratory phenotype of the shm mutant, whereas overexpression of SHM2 or expression of SHM1 under the control of the SHM2 promoter did not rescue the mutant phenotype. Promoter-beta-glucuronidase analyses revealed that SHM1 is predominantly expressed in leaves, whereas SHM2 is mainly transcribed in the shoot apical meristem and roots. Our findings establish SHM1 as the defective gene in the Arabidopsis shm1-1 mutant.[1]


  1. The photorespiratory Arabidopsis shm1 mutant is deficient in SHM1. Voll, L.M., Jamai, A., Renné, P., Voll, H., McClung, C.R., Weber, A.P. Plant Physiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
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