Developing seedlings of the Arabidopsis gun1 (genomes uncoupled1) mutant, which is defective in retrograde plastid-to-nucleus signalling, show several previously unrecognized mutant phenotypes. gun1 seedlings accumulated less anthocyanin than wild-type seedlings when grown in the presence of 2% (w/v) sucrose, due to lower amounts of transcripts of early anthocyanin biosynthesis genes in gun1. Norflurazon and lincomycin, which induce retrograde signalling, further decreased the anthocyanin content of sucrose-treated seedlings, and altered the temporal pattern of anthocyanin accumulation. Lincomycin treatment altered the spatial pattern of sucrose-induced anthocyanin accumulation, suggesting that plastids provide information for the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis seedlings. The temporal pattern of accumulation of LHCB1 transcripts differed between wild-type and gun1 seedlings, and gun1 seedlings were more sensitive to sucrose suppression of LHCB1 transcript accumulation than wild-type seedlings. Growth and development of gun1 seedlings was more sensitive to exogenous 2% sucrose than wild-type seedlings and, in the presence of lincomycin, cotyledon expansion was enhanced in gun1 seedlings compared to the wild type. gun1 seedlings were more sensitive than wild-type seedlings to the inhibition of seedling growth and development by abscisic acid. These observations clearly implicate GUN1 and plastid signalling in the regulation of seedling development and anthocyanin biosynthesis, and indicate a complex interplay between sucrose and plastid signalling pathways
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