bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2019‒04‒21
two papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences


  1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 15. pii: 201820426. [Epub ahead of print]
    Zhao X, Huang J, Chory J.
      During development or under stress, chloroplasts generate signals that regulate the expression of a large number of nuclear genes, a process called retrograde signaling. GENOMES UNCOUPLED 1 (GUN1) is an important regulator of this pathway. In this study, we have discovered an unexpected role for GUN1 in plastid RNA editing, as gun1 mutations affect RNA-editing efficiency at multiple sites in plastids during retrograde signaling. GUN1 plays a direct role in RNA editing by physically interacting with MULTIPLE ORGANELLAR RNA EDITING FACTOR 2 (MORF2). MORF2 overexpression causes widespread RNA-editing changes and a strong genomes uncoupled (gun) molecular phenotype similar to gun1 MORF2 further interacts with RNA-editing site-specificity factors: ORGANELLE TRANSCRIPT PROCESSING 81 (OTP81), ORGANELLE TRANSCRIPT PROCESSING 84 (OTP84), and YELLOW SEEDLINGS 1 (YS1). We further show that otp81, otp84, and ys1 single mutants each exhibit a very weak gun phenotype, but combining the three mutations enhances the phenotype. Our study uncovers a role for GUN1 in the regulation of RNA-editing efficiency in damaged chloroplasts and suggests that MORF2 is involved in retrograde signaling.
    Keywords:  GUN1; MORF2/RIP2; PPR; RNA editing; retrograde signaling
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820426116
  2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 16. pii: 201903809. [Epub ahead of print]
    Dooner HK, Wang Q, Huang JT, Li Y, He L, Xiong W, Du C.
      While studying spontaneous mutations at the maize bronze (bz) locus, we made the unexpected discovery that specific low-copy number retrotransposons are mobile in the pollen of some maize lines, but not of others. We conducted large-scale genetic experiments to isolate new bz mutations from several Bz stocks and recovered spontaneous stable mutations only in the pollen parent in reciprocal crosses. Most of the new stable bz mutations resulted from either insertions of low-copy number long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons or deletions, the same two classes of mutations that predominated in a collection of spontaneous wx mutations [Wessler S (1997) The Mutants of Maize, pp 385-386]. Similar mutations were recovered at the closely linked sh locus. These events occurred with a frequency of 2-4 × 10-5 in two lines derived from W22 and in 4Co63, but not at all in B73 or Mo17, two inbreds widely represented in Corn Belt hybrids. Surprisingly, the mutagenic LTR retrotransposons differed in the active lines, suggesting differences in the autonomous element make-up of the lines studied. Some active retrotransposons, like Hopscotch, Magellan, and Bs2, a Bs1 variant, were described previously; others, like Foto and Focou in 4Co63, were not. By high-throughput sequencing of retrotransposon junctions, we established that retrotranposition of Hopscotch, Magellan, and Bs2 occurs genome-wide in the pollen of active lines, but not in the female germline or in somatic tissues. We discuss here the implications of these results, which shed light on the source, frequency, and nature of spontaneous mutations in maize.
    Keywords:  LTR retrotransposon; inbred variation; maize; male sporogenesis; spontaneous mutation
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903809116