Primary plant metabolism and regulation

Associate professor
Department of biological sciences - University of Montreal


Our main research interest concerns metabolic adaptations to changes in the environment in plants. We are particularly interested in studying the modifications that occur in the plant glycolytic pathway following exposure to stress or nutrient limitation. We mainly use non-photosynthetic tissues (roots, cell cultures) as experimental models. Our laboratory uses different approaches such as enzyme purification and kinetic analysis, generation and characterization of transgenic plants, large scale metabolite quantification, protein and gene expression studies as well as in vivo metabolic tracer studies and metabolite quantification. Another aspect of our work concerns the study of regulation of primary metabolism enzymes by phosphorylation and protein-protein interactions.

Keywords: Primary plant metabolism and its regulation Metabolic adaptation to environmental stress Control mechanisms of glycolysis.


Research assistant
Sonia Dorion

Ph.D. students
Charlie Boutin
Kaur Diljot, co-supervision for Jacqueline Bede (University McGill)

M.Sc. students
Camille Clément


BIO-1534: Physiologie végétale
BIO-2020: Stage en milieu de travail
BIO-2091: Initiation à la recherche
BIO-2541: Physiologie végétale avancée
BIO-3702: Biotechnologie végétale
BIO-6028: Séminaires en biologie végétale
BIO-6157: Biochimie et biologie moléculaire des plantes

  • Troncoso-Ponce, M.A., J. Rivoal, S. Dorion, R. Sánchez, M. Venegas-Calerón, A.J. Moreno-Pérez, S. Baud, R. Garces et E. Martínez-Force. 2018. Molecular and biochemical characterization of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus L) cytosolic and plastidial enolases in relation to seed development. Plant Science, 272: 117-130.
  • Dorion, S., A. Clendenning et J. Rivoal. 2016. Engineering the expression level of cytosolic nucleoside diphosphate kinase in transgenic Solanum tuberosum roots alters growth, respiration and carbon metabolism. The Plant Journal, 89: 914-926.
  • Dumont, S., N.V. Bykova, G. Pelletier, S. Dorion, et J. Rivoal. 2016. Cytosolic triosephosphate isomerase from Arabidopsis thaliana is reversibly modified by glutathione on cysteines 127 and 218. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7: 1942.
  • Liu, Y., V. Joly, S. Dorion, J. Rivoal, et D.P. Matton. 2015. The plant ovule secretome: a different view toward pollenpistil interactions. Journal of proteome research, 14 (11): 4763-4775.
  • Auslender, E.L., S. Dorion, S. Dumont et J. Rivoal. 2015. Expression, purification and characterization of Solanum tuberosum recombinant cytosolic pyruvate kinase. Protein expression and purification, 110: 7-13.
  • Dorion, S. et J. Rivoal. 2015. Clues to the functions of plant NDPK isoforms, Naunyn-Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, 388: 119-132.
  • Dagenais-Bellefeuille, S., S. Dorion, J. Rivoal et D. Morse. 2014. The dinoflagellate Lingulodinium polyedrums responds to N depletion by a polarized deposition of starch and lipid bodies. ). PloS One, 9 (11): e111067.
  • Claeyssen, E., S. Dorion, A. Clendenning, J. Z. He, O. Wally, J. Chen, E. L. Auslender, M.-C. Moisan, M. Jolicoeur and J. Rivoal. 2013. The Futile Cycling of Hexose Phosphates Could Account for the Fact That Hexokinase Exerts a High Control on Glucose Phosphorylation but Not on Glycolytic Rate in Transgenic Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Roots. PLoS One 8: e53898 (14p.).
  • Valancin, A., B. Srinivasan, J. Rivoal and M. Jolicoeur. 2013. Analysing the effect of the decreasing cytosolic triosephosphate Isomerase on Solanum tuberosum hairy root cells using a kinetic-metabolic model. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 110: 924-935.
  • Dorion, S., A. Clendenning, J. Jeukens, J. J. Salas, N. Parveen, A.A. Haner, R.D. Law, E. Martinez Force and J. Rivoal. 2012. A large decrease of cystosolic triosephosphate isomerase in transgenic potato roots affects the distribution of carbon in primary metabolism. Planta 236: 1177-1190.
  • Troncoso-Ponce, M.A., J. Rivoal, M. Venegas-Calerón, S. Dorion, R. Sánchez, F.J. Cejudo, R. Garcés and E. Martínez-Force. 2012. Molecular cloning and biochemical characterization of three phosphoglycerate kinase isoforms from developing sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) seeds. Phytochemistry 79: 27-38.
  • Moisan, M.-C. and J. Rivoal. 2011. Purification to homogeneity and characterization of nonproteolyzed potato (Solanum tuberosum) tuber hexokinase 1. Botany 89: 289-299.
  • Troncoso-Ponce, M.A., J. Rivoal, S. Dorion, M.-C. Moisan, R. Garcés and E. Martinez-Force. 2011. Cloning, biochemical characterization and expression of a sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) hexokinase associated with seed storage compounds accumulation. J. Plant Physiol. 168 : 299-308.
  • Marsolais, F., A. Pajak, F. Yin, M. Taylor, M. Gabriel, D.M. Merino, V. Ma, A. Kameka, P. Vijayan, H. Pham, S. Huang, J. Rivoal, K. Bett, C. Hernandez-Sebastia, Q. Liu, A. Bertrand and R. Chapman. 2010. Proteomic analysis of seed storage protein deficiency in common bean identifies global changes in protein composition. J. Proteomics 73: 1587-1600.
  • Troncoso-Ponce, M.A., J. Rivoal, F.J. Cejudo, S. Dorion, R. Garcés and E. Martinez-Force. 2010. Cloning, biochemical characterisation, tissue localisation and possible post-translational regulatory mechanism of the cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase from developing sunflower seeds. Planta 232 : 845-859.
  • Dorion, S. and J. Rivoal. 2009. A rapid ion exchange procedure that facilitates spectrophotometric assays of phosphorylated metabolites in potato extracts. Acta Physiol. Plant. 31: 855-859.
  • Claeyssen E., Rivoal J. (2007) Plant hexokinase isozymes: occurrence, properties, and functions. Phytochemistry 68: 709-731
  • Germain H., Houde J., Gray-Mitsumune M., Sawasaki R.T., Endo Y., Rivoal J., and Matton D.P. (2007). Characterization of ScORK28, a transmembrane functional protein receptor kinase predominantly expressed in ovaries from the wild potato species Solanum chacoense. FEBS Letters 581: 5137-5142
  • Bertomeu T., Rivoal J., Morse D. (2007) A dinoflagellate CDK5-like cyclin-dependent kinase. Biology of the Cell 99: 531-540
  • Rhainds M., Doyon J., Rivoal J., Brodeur J. (2007) Thrips-induced damage of chrysanthemum inflorescences: evidence for enhanced release of carotenoid pigments. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 123: 247-252
  • Dorion S., Dumas F., Rivoal J. (2006) Autophosphorylation of Solanum chacoense cytosolic nucleoside diphosphate kinase on Ser117: Identification, mutational analysis and potential regulatory mechanism. Journal of Experimental Botany 57: 4079-4088
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  • Rathinasabapathi.B.; Wu S., Sundaram S., Rivoal J., Srivastava M., Ma L.Q. (2006) Arsenic resistance in Pteris vittata L.: Identification of a cytosolic triosephosphate isomerase based on cDNA expression cloning in Escherichia coli. Plant Molecular Biology 62:845-857
  • Dorion S., Matton D.P., Rivoal J. (2006) Cloning and characterization of a cytosolic nucleoside diphosphate kinase associated with cell division and growth in potato. Planta 224: 108-124
  • Claeyssen E., Wally O., Matton D.P., Morse D., Rivoal J. (2006) Cloning, expression, purification and properties of a putative plasma membrane hexokinase from Solanum chacoense. Protein Expression and Purification 47: 329-339
  • Dorion S., Parveen, Jeukens J., Rivoal J. (2005) Characterization and expression of potato triosephosphate isomerase isoforms. In Photosynthesis: Fundamental Aspects to Global Perspectives, Vol 2 (A. van der Est, D. Bruce eds.), Allen Press. pp 903-905.
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  • Dorion S., Parveen, Jeukens J., Matton D.P., Rivoal J. (2005) Cloning and characterization of a cytosolic triosephosphate isomerase developmentally regulated in potato leaves. Plant Science 168: 183-194
  • Rivoal J., Dorion S., Claeyssen E., Zhang H. (2004) Organization of the plant cytosolic glycolytic pathway and its regulation by abiotic stresses in nonphotosynthetic tissues. In Recent Research Developments in Environmental Biology, Vol 1. (S.G. Pandalai ed.), Research Signpost. pp 77-100.
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  • Dordas C., Hassinoff B.B., Rivoal J., Hill R.D. (2004) Class-1 hemoglobins, nitrate and NO levels in anoxic maize cell-suspension cultures. Planta 219: 66-72.
  • Dorion S., Rivoal J. (2003) Quantification of uridine-diphosphate (UDP)-glucose by high-performance liquid chromatography and its application to a non radioactive assay for nucleoside diphosphate kinase using UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase as coupling enzyme. Anal. Biochem., 323:188-196
  • Dordas C., Hasinoff B.B., Igamberdiev A.U., Manac’h N., Rivoal J., Hill R.D. (2003) Expression of stress-induced hemoglobin affects NO levels produced by alfalfa root under hypoxic stress. The Plant J. 35:763-770
  • Dordas C., Rivoal J., Hill R.D. (2003) Plant hemoglobins, nitric oxide and hypoxic stress. Ann. Bot. 91: 173-178
  • Rivoal J., Turpin D.H., Plaxton W.C. (2002) In vitro evidence for phosphorylation of phosphoenolpyruvate in the green alga Selenastrum minutum. Plant Cell Physiol. 43: 785-792.
  • Rivoal J., Smith C.R., Moraes T.F., Turpin D.H., Plaxton W.C. (2002) A method for activity staining after native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis using a coupled enzyme assay and fluorescence detection: Application to the analysis of several glycolytic enzymes. Anal. Biochem. 300: 94-99.
  • Rivoal J., Trzos S., Gage D.A., Plaxton W.C., Turpin D.H (2001) Two unrelated phosphoenol-pyruvate carboxylase polypeptides physically interact in the high molecular mass isoforms of this enzyme in Selenastrum minutum. J. Biol. Chem. 276: 12588-12597.
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  • Rivoal J., Trzos S., Gage D.A., Plaxton W.C., Turpin D.H. (1999) Characterization of high- and low-molecular-mass isoforms of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase from the green alga Selenastrum minutumIn Photosynthesis: Mechanisms and effects, Vol. V (G. Garad ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp 3403-3406.
  • Rivoal J., Plaxton W.C., Turpin D.H. (1998) Characterization of high- and low-molecular-mass isoforms of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: kinetic, structural and immunological evidence suggest that the green algal enzyme is distinct from the prokaryotic and higher plant enzyme. Biochem. Journal 331: 201-209.
  • Rivoal J., Ricard B., Thind S., Pradet A. (1997) Differential induction of pyruvate decarboxylase subunits and transcripts in anoxic rice seedlings. Plant Physiol. 114: 1021-1029.
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  • Rivoal J., Dunford R., Plaxton W.C., Turpin D.H. (1996) Purification and properties of four phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase isoforms from the green alga Selenastrum minutum: evidence that association of the 102 kDa catalytic subunit with unrelated polypeptides modifies the physical and kinetic properties of the enzyme. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 332: 47-57.
  • Turpin D.H., Rivoal J., Dunford R., Plaxton W.C., Huppe H.C. (1995) Interaction of carbon and nitrogen metabolism in photosynthetic cells: clues from unicellar algae. In Photosynthesis: from light to biosphere, Vol. V (P. Mathis ed.). Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp 353-358
  • Rivoal J., Hanson A.D. (1994) Metabolic control of anaerobic glycolysis: overexpression of lactate dehydrogenase in transgenic tomato roots supports the Davies-Roberts hypothesis and points to a critical role for lactate secretion. Plant Physiol. 106: 1179-1185.
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  • Hanson A.D., Rivoal J., Burnet M., Rathinasabapthi B. (1994) Biosynthesis of quaternary ammonium and tertiary sulfonium compounds in response to water deficit. In Environment and Plant Metabolism (N. Smirnoff ed.). Bios Scientific Publishers. pp 189-198
  • Rivoal J., Hanson A.D. (1994) Choline-O-sulfate biosynthesis in plants: identification and partial characterization of a salinity inducible choline sulfotransferase from species of Limonium (Plumbaginaceae). Plant Physiol. 106: 1187-1193.
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  • Attucci S., Rivoal J., Brouquisse R., Carde J.P., Pradet A., Raymond P. (1994) Characterization of a mitochondrial NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase in axes of germinating sunflower seeds. Plant Science 102: 49-59
  • Hanson A.D., Rivoal J., Paquet L., Gage D.A. (1994) Synthesis of 3-dimethyl sulfoniopropionate in Wollastonia biflora: evidence that S-methylmethionine is an intermediate. Plant Physiol. 105: 103-110.
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  • Hanson A.D., Rathinasabapathi B., Rivoal J., Burnet M., Dillon M.O., Gage D.A. (1994) Osmoprotective compounds in the Plumbaginaceae: a natural experiment in metabolic engineering of stress tolerance. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 91: 306-310.
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  • Rivoal J., Hanson A.D. (1993) Evidence for a large and sustained glycolytic flux to lactate in anoxic roots of some members of the halophytic genus Limonium. Plant Physiol. 101: 553-560.
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  • Rivoal J., Ricard B., Pradet A. (1991) Lactate dehydrogenase in Oryza sativa seedlings and roots. Identification and partial characterization. Plant Physiol. 95: 682-686
  • Ricard B., Rivoal J., Spiteri A., Pradet A. (1991) Anaerobic stress induces the transcription and translation of sucrose synthase in rice. Plant Physiol. 95: 669-674
  • Rivoal J., Ricard B., Pradet A. (1990) Purification and partial characterization of pyruvate decarboxylase from Oryza sativa. Eur. J. Biochem. 194: 791-797
  • Pradet A., Attucci S., Gidrol X., Noubhani M., Raymond P., Saint-Gès V., Mocquot B., Ricard B., Rivoal J. (1989) Oxygen requirement and toxicity in seeds. Acta Hort. 253: 179-185
  • Ricard B., Rivoal J., Pradet A. (1989) Rice cytosolic glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase contains two subunits differentially regulated by anaerobiosis. Plant Mol. Biol. 12: 131-139
  • Rivoal J., Ricard B., Pradet A. (1989) Glycolytic and fermentative enzyme induction during anaerobiosis in rice seedlings. Plant Physiol. Biochem. 27: 43-52