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This article is part of the Research Topic Retrograde Signaling in Plants

Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Plant Sci., 27 December 2012 | http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2012.00282

Thylakoid redox signals are integrated into organellar-gene-expression-dependent retrograde signaling in the prors1-1 mutant

  • 1Plant Molecular Biology (Botany), Department Biology I, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany
  • 2Plant Biochemistry, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
  • 3Dipartimento di Bioscienze, Università degli studi di Milano, Milan, Italy

Perturbations in organellar gene expression (OGE) and the thylakoid redox state (TRS) activate retrograde signaling pathways that adaptively modify nuclear gene expression (NGE), according to developmental and metabolic needs. The prors1-1 mutation in Arabidopsis down-regulates the expression of the nuclear gene Prolyl-tRNA Synthetase1 (PRORS1) which acts in both plastids and mitochondria, thereby impairing protein synthesis in both organelles and triggering OGE-dependent retrograde signaling. Because the mutation also affects thylakoid electron transport, TRS-dependent signals may likewise have an impact on the changes in NGE observed in this genotype. In this study, we have investigated whether signals related to TRS are actually integrated into the OGE-dependent retrograde signaling pathway. To this end, the chaos mutation (for chlorophyll a/b binding protein harvesting-organelle specific), which shows a partial loss of PSII antennae proteins and thus a reduction in PSII light absorption capability, was introduced into the prors1-1 mutant background. The resulting double mutant displayed a prors1-1-like reduction in plastid translation rate and a chaos-like decrease in PSII antenna size, whereas the hyper-reduction of the thylakoid electron transport chain, caused by the prors1-1 mutation, was alleviated, as determined by monitoring chlorophyll (Chl) fluorescence and thylakoid phosphorylation. Interestingly, a substantial fraction of the nucleus-encoded photosynthesis genes down-regulated in the prors1-1 mutant are expressed at nearly wild-type rates in prors1-1 chaos leaves, and this recovery is reflected in the steady-state levels of their protein products in the chloroplast. We therefore conclude that signals related to photosynthetic electron transport and TRS, and indirectly to carbohydrate metabolism and energy balance, are indeed fed into the OGE-dependent retrograde pathway to modulate NGE and adjust the abundance of chloroplast proteins.

Keywords: gene expression, organelle, translation, light, redox, retrograde signaling

Citation: Tadini L, Romani I, Pribil M, Jahns P, Leister D and Pesaresi P (2012) Thylakoid redox signals are integrated into organellar-gene-expression-dependent retrograde signaling in the prors1-1 mutant. Front. Plant Sci. 3:282. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2012.00282

Received: 24 September 2012; Accepted: 30 November 2012;
Published online: 27 December 2012.

Edited by:

Tatjana Kleine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany

Reviewed by:

Shan Lu, Nanjing University, China
Margarete Baier, FU Berlin, Germany

Copyright © 2012 Tadini, Romani, Pribil, Jahns, Leister and Pesaresi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Dario Leister, Plant Molecular Biology (Botany), Department Biology I, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Großhaderner Str. 2, D-82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany. e-mail: leister@lmu.de