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Transcript, Protein and Metabolite Temporal Dynamics In the Cam Plant Agave

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Nature Plants
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Already a proven mechanism for drought resilience, crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a specialized type of photosynthesis that maximizes water-use efficiency (WUE) via an inverse (compared to C3 and C4 photosynthesis-performing species) day/night pattern of stomatal closure/opening to shift CO2 uptake to the night, when evapotranspiration rates are low. A systems-level understanding of temporal molecular and metabolic controls is needed to define the cellular behavior that underpins CAM. Here, we report high-resolution temporal behaviors of transcript, protein and metabolite abundances across a CAM diel cycle and, where applicable, compare those observations to the well-established C3 model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. A mechanistic finding that emerged is that CAM operates with a diel redox poise that is shifted relative to that in Arabidopsis thaliana. Moreover, we identified widespread rescheduled expression of genes associated with signal transduction mechanisms that regulate stomatal opening/closing. Controlled production and degradation of transcripts and proteins represents a timing mechanism by which to regulate cellular function, yet how this molecular timekeeping regulates CAM physiology remains unclear. Here, we provide new insights into complex post-transcriptional and -translational hierarchies that govern CAM in Agave. These data sets together provide a resource to inform efforts to engineer more water-use efficient CAM pathway traits into economically valuable C3 crops.