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Plastid redox state and sugars: Interactive regulators of nuclear-encoded photosynthetic gene expression

By O Oswald, T Martin, P J Dominy and I A Graham


Feedback regulation of photosynthesis by carbon metabolites has long been recognized, but the underlying cellular mechanisms that control this process remain unclear. By using an Arabidopsis cell culture, we show that a block in photosynthetic electron flux prevents the increase in transcript levels of chlorophyll a/b-binding protein and the small subunit of Rubisco that typically occurs when intracellular sugar levels are depleted. In contrast, the expression of the nitrate reductase gene, which is induced by sugars, is not affected. These findings were confirmed in planta by using Arabidopsis carrying the firefly luciferase reporter gene fused to the plastocyanin and chlorophyll a/b-binding protein 2 gene promoters. Transcription from both promoters increases on carbohydrate depletion. Blocking photosynthetic electron transport with 3-(3',4'-dichlorophenyl)-1,1'-dimethylurea prevents this increase in transcription. We conclude that plastid-derived redox signaling can override the sugar-regulated expression of nuclear-encoded photosynthetic genes. In the sugar-response mutant, sucrose uncoupled 6 (sun6), plastocyanin-firefly luciferase transcription actually increases in response to exogenous sucrose rather than decreasing as in the wild type. Interestingly, plastid-derived redox signals do not influence this defective pattern of sugar-regulated gene expression in the sun6 mutant. A model, which invokes a positive inducer originating from the photosynthetic electron transport chain, is proposed to explain the nature of the plastid-derived signal

Year: 2001
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