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Plastids are major regulators of light signaling in Arabidopsis.

Ruckle M.E., Burgoon L.D., Lawrence L.A., Sinkler C.A., Larkin R.M.

We previously provided evidence that plastid signaling regulates the downstream components of a light signaling network and that this signal integration coordinates chloroplast biogenesis with both the light environment and development by regulating gene expression. We tested these ideas by analyzing light- and plastid-regulated transcriptomes in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We found that the enrichment of Gene Ontology terms in these transcriptomes is consistent with the integration of light and plastid signaling (1) down-regulating photosynthesis and inducing both repair and stress tolerance in dysfunctional chloroplasts and (2) helping coordinate processes such as growth, the circadian rhythm, and stress responses with the degree of chloroplast function. We then tested whether factors that contribute to this signal integration are also regulated by light and plastid signals by characterizing T-DNA insertion alleles of genes that are regulated by light and plastid signaling and that encode proteins that are annotated as contributing to signaling, transcription, or no known function. We found that a high proportion of these mutant alleles induce chloroplast biogenesis during deetiolation. We quantified the expression of four photosynthesis-related genes in seven of these enhanced deetiolation (end) mutants and found that photosynthesis-related gene expression is attenuated. This attenuation is particularly striking for Photosystem II subunit S expression. We conclude that the integration of light and plastid signaling regulates a number of END genes that help optimize chloroplast function and that at least some END genes affect photosynthesis-related gene expression.

Plant Physiol. 159:366-390(2012) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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