A Tonoplast P3B-ATPase Mediates Fusion of Two Types of Vacuoles in Petal Cells

Marianna Faraco, Yanbang Li, Shuangjiang Li, Cornelis Spelt, Gian Pietro Di Sansebastiano, Lara Reale, Francesco Ferranti, Walter Verweij, Ronald Koes*, Francesca M. Quattrocchio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It is known that plant cells can contain multiple distinct vacuoles; however, the abundance of multivacuolar cells and the mechanisms underlying vacuolar differentiation and communication among different types of vacuoles remain unknown. PH1 and PH5 are tonoplast P-ATPases that form a heteromeric pump that hyper-acidifies the central vacuole (CV) of epidermal cells in petunia petals. Here, we show that the sorting of this pump and other vacuolar proteins to the CV involves transit through small vacuoles: vacuolinos. Vacuolino formation is controlled by transcription factors regulating pigment synthesis and transcription of PH1 and PH5. Trafficking of proteins from vacuolinos to the central vacuole is impaired by misexpression of vacuolar SNAREs as well as mutants for the PH1 component of the PH1-PH5 pump. The finding that PH1-PH5 and these SNAREs interact strongly suggests that structural tonoplast proteins can act as tethering factors in the recognition of different vacuolar types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2413-2422
Number of pages10
JournalCell Reports
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2017


  • membrane fusion
  • membrane recognition
  • multiple vacuoles
  • SNARE complex
  • tethering factors


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