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Title: Signal Transduction Pathways of Chloroplast Quality Control

Abstract

Chloroplasts (photosynthetic organelles) of higher plants contain about 3000 proteins, but fewer than 5% of these proteins are encoded by genes in the chloroplast. The rest are encoded by genes in the nucleus, which is a separate organelle within the plant cell. To avoid the accumulation of dangerous reactive oxygen species that are the inherent by-product of photosynthesis, gene expression of these spatially separated genomes is regulated by two-way signaling. Thus, while plastid differentiation and development are largely controlled by the nucleus and the proteins encoded within, developmentally arrested or damaged plastids can regulate expression of nuclear genes via retrograde signaling pathways. During the early years of this DOE-funded study, we performed a number of genetic screens to identify genes and protein involved in these signals. Based on the genes that we identified, we found that chloroplast gene expression and the chlorophyll (the major light-harvesting pigment that gives plant tissue its characteristic green color) biosynthetic pathway can act as the source of both positive and stress-related retrograde signals. We also found a new protein called GUN1, that plays a crucial role in retrograde signaling. Although the exact molecular mechanism of GUN1 remains a mystery, our work showed that it likelymore » acts in the chloroplast to coordinate chloroplast gene expression with nuclear gene expression and to ensure that seedlings can quickly green after germination. Using that work as a foundation, we have recently uncovered a new type of retrograde signal that leads to the selective removal of damaged chloroplasts from the cell. We have only begun the characterization of this pathway, but our initial studies have suggested that this may be an extremely important mechanism that allows plants to adapt to stressful conditions. Together this will aid in the understanding of the developmental control of photosynthesis, the chloroplast assembly/disassembly pathways, and how plants adapt to stressful conditions. Ultimately, we hope this work will allow us to begin to engineer these crucial pathways into agriculturally important or bioenergy rich crops. This will be crucial to our quest for an abundant food supply and cheap, dependable sources of energy.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]
  1. The Salk Inst. for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
The Salk Inst. for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1416021
Report Number(s):
DOE-SALK-04ER15540
DOE Contract Number:  
FG02-04ER15540
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Citation Formats

Chory, Joanne. Signal Transduction Pathways of Chloroplast Quality Control. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1416021.
Chory, Joanne. Signal Transduction Pathways of Chloroplast Quality Control. United States. doi:10.2172/1416021.
Chory, Joanne. Mon . "Signal Transduction Pathways of Chloroplast Quality Control". United States. doi:10.2172/1416021. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1416021.
@article{osti_1416021,
title = {Signal Transduction Pathways of Chloroplast Quality Control},
author = {Chory, Joanne},
abstractNote = {Chloroplasts (photosynthetic organelles) of higher plants contain about 3000 proteins, but fewer than 5% of these proteins are encoded by genes in the chloroplast. The rest are encoded by genes in the nucleus, which is a separate organelle within the plant cell. To avoid the accumulation of dangerous reactive oxygen species that are the inherent by-product of photosynthesis, gene expression of these spatially separated genomes is regulated by two-way signaling. Thus, while plastid differentiation and development are largely controlled by the nucleus and the proteins encoded within, developmentally arrested or damaged plastids can regulate expression of nuclear genes via retrograde signaling pathways. During the early years of this DOE-funded study, we performed a number of genetic screens to identify genes and protein involved in these signals. Based on the genes that we identified, we found that chloroplast gene expression and the chlorophyll (the major light-harvesting pigment that gives plant tissue its characteristic green color) biosynthetic pathway can act as the source of both positive and stress-related retrograde signals. We also found a new protein called GUN1, that plays a crucial role in retrograde signaling. Although the exact molecular mechanism of GUN1 remains a mystery, our work showed that it likely acts in the chloroplast to coordinate chloroplast gene expression with nuclear gene expression and to ensure that seedlings can quickly green after germination. Using that work as a foundation, we have recently uncovered a new type of retrograde signal that leads to the selective removal of damaged chloroplasts from the cell. We have only begun the characterization of this pathway, but our initial studies have suggested that this may be an extremely important mechanism that allows plants to adapt to stressful conditions. Together this will aid in the understanding of the developmental control of photosynthesis, the chloroplast assembly/disassembly pathways, and how plants adapt to stressful conditions. Ultimately, we hope this work will allow us to begin to engineer these crucial pathways into agriculturally important or bioenergy rich crops. This will be crucial to our quest for an abundant food supply and cheap, dependable sources of energy.},
doi = {10.2172/1416021},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}