Acta Scientific Agriculture (ASAG)(ISSN: 2581-365X)

Review Article Volume 5 Issue 2

Mechanism of Sugar Signaling in Plants

Stephen Kukkamudi, Beena Radha*, Manju RV, Viji MM and Roy Stepehn

Department of Plant Physiology, Kerala Agricultural University, India

*Corresponding Author: Beena Radha, Department of Plant Physiology, Kerala Agricultural University, India.

Received: January 02, 2021; Published: January 22, 2021



  Plants produce a wide range of sugars that are involved in growth and developmental processes. To coordinate and integrate all these processes plants have developed specific mechanisms. A complex network of metabolic and hormone signaling pathways is present in plants that are intimately linked to diverse sugar responses. One of the mechanisms that has been found to modulate actively with other systems is the ‘sugar signaling mechanism’. In order to integrate these changes in the different processes and environmental conditions, plants have developed a mechanism to sense these ‘sugar signals’. While hormonal signals are generated at micro-molar concentrations, sugar signals are generated at milli-molar concentrations. The sugar signals modulate gene expression by acting on various kinases and phosphatases. Sugar signals are generated through metabolic processes such as relative concentrations of carbohydrates and other nutrients, through the action of specific enzymes or through various sensors and transporters that are present in the nucleus, cytosol or on the surface of certain organelles.After detection of sugars by sensors, the information is passed on through signal transduction and amplifying cascades, resulting in appropriate responses. Signaling cascades ultimately lead to gene regulation. Sugars regulate gene expression by translating nutrient status to modulate growth and development with available carbohydrate content.

Keywords: Sugar Signaling; Plants; Nitrogen



  1. Antunes Werner C., et al. "Changes in stomatal function and water use efficiency in potato plants with altered sucrolytic activity”. Plant, Cell and Environment4 (2012): 747-759.
  2. Barker Laurence., et al. "SUT2, a putative sucrose sensor in sieve elements”. The Plant Cell7 (2000): 1153-1164.
  3. Bhaskar Pudota B., et al. "Suppression of the vacuolarinvertase gene prevents cold-induced sweetening in potato”. Plant Physiology2 (2010): 939-948.
  4. Borisjuk Ljudmilla., et al. "Spatial analysis of plant metabolism: sucrose imaging within Viciafaba cotyledons reveals specific developmental patterns”. The Plant Journal4 (2002): 521-530.
  5. Chandrashekar Jayaram., et al. "The receptors and cells for mammalian taste”. Nature7117 (2006): 288-294.
  6. Chincinska Izabela., et al. "Photoperiodic regulation of the sucrose transporter StSUT4 affects the expression of circadian-regulated genes and ethylene production”. Frontiers in Plant Science4 (2013): 26.
  7. Cho Jung-Il., et al. "Role of the rice hexokinases OsHXK5 and OsHXK6 as glucose sensors”. Plant Physiology2 (2009): 745-759.
  8. Cho Young-Hee., et al. "Regulatory functions of nuclear hexokinase1 complex in glucose signaling”. Cell3 (2006): 579-589.
  9. Ciereszko Iwona. "Regulatory roles of sugars in plant growth and development”. Acta Societatis Botanicorum Poloniae2 (2018).
  10. Coruzzi Gloria and Daniel R Bush. "Nitrogen and carbon nutrient and metabolite signaling in plants”. Plant Physiology1 (2001): 61-64.
  11. Dobrenel Thomas., et al. "TOR signaling and nutrient sensing”. Annual Review of Plant Biology67 (2016): 261-285.
  12. Eveland, Andrea L and David P Jackson. "Sugars, signalling, and plant development”. Journal of Experimental Botany9 (2012): 3367-3377.
  13. Figueroa Carlos M and John E Lunn. "A tale of two sugars: trehalose 6-phosphate and sucrose”. Plant Physiology1 (2016): 7-27.
  14. Fonseca Bruno D., et al. "The ever-evolving role of mTOR in translation”. Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 36 (2014).
  15. Francis Dennis and Nigel G Halford. "Nutrient sensing in plant meristems”. Plant Molecular Biology6 (2006): 981-993.
  16. Granot David., et al. "Hexose kinases and their role in sugar-sensing and plant development”. Frontiers in Plant Science4 (2013): 44.
  17. Griffiths Cara A., et al. "Chemical intervention in plant sugar signalling increases yield and resilience”. Nature7634 (2016): 574-578.
  18. Hellmann Hanjo A and SjefSmeekens. "Sugar sensing and signaling in plants”. Frontiers in Plant Science5 (2014): 113.
  19. Jiao Yue., et al. "Glucose signaling, AtRGS1 and plant autophagy”. Plant Signaling and Behavior7 (2019): 1607465.
  20. Jin Ye., et al. "Posttranslational elevation of cell wall invertase activity by silencing its inhibitor in tomato delays leaf senescence and increases seed weight and fruit hexose level”. The Plant Cell7 (2009): 2072-2089.
  21. Johnston Christopher A., et al. "GTPase acceleration as the rate-limiting step in Arabidopsis G protein-coupled sugar signaling”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences44 (2007): 17317-17322.
  22. Kanwar Poonam and GopaljeeJha. "Alterations in plant sugar metabolism: signatory of pathogen attack”. Planta2 (2019): 305-318.
  23. Karve Abhijit., et al. "Expression and evolutionary features of the hexokinase gene family in Arabidopsis”. Planta3 (2008): 411.
  24. Koch Karen. "Sucrose metabolism: regulatory mechanisms and pivotal roles in sugar sensing and plant development”. Current Opinion in Plant Biology3 (2004): 235-246.
  25. Lastdrager Jeroen., et al. "Sugar signals and the control of plant growth and development”. Journal of Experimental Botany3 (2014): 799-807.
  26. León Patricia and Jen Sheen. "Sugar and hormone connections”. Trends in Plant Science3 (2003): 110-116.
  27. Li Lei and Jen Sheen. "Dynamic and diverse sugar signaling”. Current Opinion in Plant Biology33 (2016): 116-125.
  28. Lugassi Nitsan., et al. "Expression of Arabidopsis hexokinase in citrus guard cells controls stomatal aperture and reduces transpiration”. Frontiers in Plant Science6 (2015): 1114.
  29. Mair Andrea., et al. "SnRK1-triggered switch of bZIP63 dimerization mediates the low-energy response in plants”. Elife4 (2015): e05828.
  30. Min Ling., et al. "Sugar and auxinsignaling pathways respond to high-temperature stress during anther development as revealed by transcript profiling analysis in cotton”. Plant Physiology3 (2014): 1293-1308.
  31. Mishra Bhuwaneshwar S., et al. "Glucose and auxinsignaling interaction in controlling Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings root growth and development”. PLOS One2 (2009): e4502.
  32. Nunes Cátia., et al. "Inhibition of SnRK1 by metabolites: tissue-dependent effects and cooperative inhibition by glucose 1-phosphate in combination with trehalose 6-phosphate”. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry63 (2013): 89-98.
  33. O’Hara Liam E., et al. "How do sugars regulate plant growth and development? New insight into the role of trehalose-6-phosphate”. Molecular Plant2 (2013): 261-274.
  34. Paul Matthew J., et al. "The role of trehalose 6-phosphate in crop yield and resilience”. Plant Physiology1 (2018): 12-23.
  35. Paul Matthew., et al. "Enhancing photosynthesis with sugar signals”. Trends in Plant Science5 (2001): 197-200.
  36. Pien Stéphane., et al. "Novel marker genes for early leaf development indicate spatial regulation of carbohydrate metabolism within the apical meristem”. The Plant Journal6 (2001): 663-674.
  37. Ramon Matthew., et al. "Sugar sensing and signaling”. The Arabidopsis book/American Society of Plant Biologists6 (2008).
  38. Rolland Filip., et al. "Sugar sensing and signaling in plants”. The Plant Cell14 (2002): S185-S205.
  39. Rook Fred., et al. "Impaired sucrose‐induction mutants reveal the modulation of sugar‐induced starch biosynthetic gene expression by abscisic acid signalling”. The Plant Journal4 (2001): 421-433.
  40. Rook Fred., et al. "Sucrose‐specific signalling represses translation of the Arabidopsis ATB2bZIP transcription factor gene”. The Plant Journal2 (1998): 253-263.
  41. Rosa Mariana., et al. "Soluble sugars: Metabolism, sensing and abiotic stress: A complex network in the life of plants”. Plant Signaling and Behavior5 (2009): 388-393.
  42. Ruan Yong-Ling. "Sucrose metabolism: gateway to diverse carbon use and sugar signaling”. Annual Review of Plant Biology65 (2014): 33-67.
  43. Sadka Avi., et al. "Phosphate modulates transcription of soybean VspB and other sugar-inducible genes”. The Plant Cell5 (1994): 737-749.
  44. Sami Fareen., et al. "Interaction of glucose and phytohormonesignaling in plants”. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry135 (2019): 119-126.
  45. Satoh-Nagasawa Namiko., et al. "A trehalose metabolic enzyme controls inflorescence architecture in maize”. Nature7090 (2006): 227-230.
  46. Smeekens Sjef., et al. "Sugar signals and molecular networks controlling plant growth”. Current Opinion in Plant Biology3 (2010): 273-278.
  47. Smeekens Sjef. "Sugar-induced signal transduction in plants”. Annual Review of Plant Biology1 (2000): 49-81.
  48. Smidansky Eric D., et al. "Enhanced ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activity in wheat endosperm increases seed yield”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences3 (2002): 1724-1729.
  49. Solfanelli Cinzia., et al. "Sucrose-specific induction of the anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway in Arabidopsis”. Plant physiology2 (2006): 637-646.
  50. Thompson Michael., et al. "Effects of elevated carbon dioxide on photosynthesis and carbon partitioning: a perspective on root sugar sensing and hormonal crosstalk”. Frontiers in Physiology8 (2017): 578.
  51. Wang Ertao., et al. "Control of rice grain-filling and yield by a gene with a potential signature of domestication”. Nature Genetics11 (2008): 1370-1374.
  52. Wang, Lu and Yong-Ling Ruan. "Shoot–root carbon allocation, sugar signalling and their coupling with nitrogen uptake and assimilation”. Functional Plant Biology2 (2016): 105-113.
  53. Wingenter Karina., et al. "Increased activity of the vacuolar monosaccharide transporter TMT1 alters cellular sugar partitioning, sugar signaling, and seed yield in Arabidopsis”. Plant Physiology2 (2010): 665-677.
  54. Wingler Astrid. "Transitioning to the next phase: the role of sugar signaling throughout the plant life cycle”. Plant Physiology2 (2018): 1075-1084.
  55. Wurzinger Bernhard., et al. "The SnRK1 kinase as central mediator of energy signaling between different organelles”. Plant Physiology2 (2018): 1085-1094.
  56. Xu Shou-Min., et al. "Overexpression of a potato sucrose synthase gene in cotton accelerates leaf expansion, reduces seed abortion, and enhances fiber production”. Molecular Plant2 (2012): 430-441.
  57. Zhang Yuhua., et al. "Inhibition of SNF1-related protein kinase1 activity and regulation of metabolic pathways by trehalose-6-phosphate”. Plant Physiology4 (2009): 1860-1871.


Citation: Beena Radha., et al. “Mechanism of Sugar Signaling in Plants".Acta Scientific Agriculture 5.2 (2021): 45-51.


Acceptance rate32%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days
Impact Factor1.014

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is July 10, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US