New paper on plant lipid biosynthesis and hydrogen isotope fractionation published in New Phytologist

biochem schematic

Nemiah Ladd led this study with contributions from Dan Nelson, Ansgar Kahmen, and others, which used artificial position specific 13C-labeled pyruvate to track metabolic exchange between cytosolic and plastidial biosynthetic pathways. The study showed that acetogenic compounds primarily incorporated carbon from 13C2-pyruvate, whereas isoprenoids incorporated 13C1- and 13C2-pyruvate equally, providing the first direct experimental evidence for the purported metabolic crosstalk mechanism. This this helps to explain why sterol hydrogen isotope values are lower than those of acetogenic compounds, and suggests that relative differences between the hydrogen isotopic composition of sterols and phytol can be used to trace exchange between the two pathways for biosynthesis of isoprenoid lipids.