Phytochrome-dependent coordinate control of distinct aspects of nuclear and plastid gene expression during anterograde signaling and photomorphogenesis

  • Oh S
  • Montgomery B
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Abstract

Light perception by photoreceptors impacts plastid transcription, development, and differentiation. This photoreceptor-dependent activity suggests a mechanism for photoregulation of gene expression in the nucleus and plastid that serves to coordinate expression of critical genes of these two organelles. This coordinate expression is required for proper stoichiometric accumulation of components needed for assembly of plastids, photosynthetic light-harvesting complexes and components such as phytochromes. Chloroplast-targeted sigma factors, which function together with the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase to regulate expression of plastid-encoded genes, and nuclear-encoded plastid development factors, such as GLK1 and GLK2, are targets of phytochrome regulation. Such phytochrome-dependent functions are hypothesized to allow light-dependent regulation, and feasibly tuning, of plastid components and function in response to changes in the external environment, which directly affects photosynthesis and the potential for light-induced damage. When the size and protein composition of the light-harvesting complexes are not tuned to the external environment, imbalances in electron transport can impact the cellular redox state and cause cellular damage. We show that phytochromes specifically regulate the expression of multiple factors that function to modulate plastid transcription and, thus, provide a paradigm for coordinate expression of the nuclear and plastid genomes in response to changes in external light conditions. As phytochromes respond to changes in the prevalent wavelengths of light and light intensity, we propose that specific phytochrome-dependent molecular mechanisms are used during light-dependent signaling between the nucleus and chloroplast during photomorphogenesis to coordinate chloroplast development with plant developmental stage and the external environment.

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Oh, S., & Montgomery, B. L. (2014). Phytochrome-dependent coordinate control of distinct aspects of nuclear and plastid gene expression during anterograde signaling and photomorphogenesis. Frontiers in Plant Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2014.00171

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