Plastid ribosomal proteins (PRPs) are essential for ribosome biogenesis, plastid protein biosynthesis, chloroplast differentiation, and early chloroplast development. This study identifies the first rice PRP mutant, asl1 (albino seedling lethality1), which exhibits an albino lethal phenotype at the seedling stage. This albino phenotype was associated with altered chlorophyll (Chl) content and chloroplast development. Map-based cloning revealed that ASL1 encodes PRP S20 (PRPS20), which localizes to the chloroplast. ASL1 showed tissue-specific expression, as it was highly expressed in plumule and young seedlings but expressed at much lower levels in other tissues. In addition, ASL1 expression was regulated by light. The transcript levels of nuclear genes for Chl biosynthesis and chloroplast development were strongly affected in asl1 mutants; transcripts of some plastid genes for photosynthesis were undetectable. Our findings indicate that nuclear-encoded PRPS20 plays an important role in chloroplast development in rice. © 2013 Gong et al.
Gong, X., Jiang, Q., Xu, J., Zhang, J., Teng, S., Lin, D., & Dong, Y. (2013). Disruption of the rice plastid ribosomal protein S20 leads to chloroplast developmental defects and seedling lethality. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics, 3(9), 1769–1777. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.113.007856