1. Subcellular-compartment-specific decreased-activity mutants of phosphoglucose isomerase in Clarkia xantiana were used to analyse the control of sucrose and starch synthesis during photosynthesis. Mutants were available in which the plastid phosphoglucose isomerase complement is decreased to 75% or 50% of the wild-type level, and the cytosol complement to 64%, 36% or 18% of the wild-type level. 2. The effects on the [product]/[substrate] ratio and on fluxes to sucrose or starch and the rate of photosynthesis were studied with the use of saturating or limiting light intensity to impose a high or low flux through these pathways. 3. Removal of a small fraction of either phosphoglucose isomerase leads to a significant shift of the [product]/[substrate] ratio away, from equilibrium. We conclude that there is no ‘excess’ of enzyme over that needed to maintain its reactants reasonably close to equilibrium. 4. Decreased phosphoglucose isomerase activity can also alter the fluxes to starch or sucrose. However, the effect on flux does not correlate with the extent of disequilibrium, and also varies depending on the subcellular compartment and on the conditions. 5. The results were used to estimate Flux Control Coefficients for the chloroplast and cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerases. The chloroplast isoenzyme exerts control on the rate of starch synthesis and on photosynthesis in saturating light intensity and CO2, but not at low light intensity. The cytosolic enzyme only exerts significant control when its complement is decreased 3-5-fold, and differs from the plastid isoenzyme in exerting more control in low light intensity. It has a positive Control Coefficient for sucrose synthesis, and a negative Control Coefficient for starch synthesis. 6. The Elasticity Coefficients in vivo of the cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase were estimated to lie between 5 and 8 in the wild-type. They decrease in mutants with a lowered complement of cytosolic phosphoglucose isomerase. 7. The implications of these results for regulation and for evolution are discussed.

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