bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2020‒04‒12
two papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Plant Direct. 2020 Apr;4(4): e00213
      Plastid and mitochondrial RNAs in vascular plants are subjected to cytidine-to-uridine editing. The model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) has two nuclear-encoded plastid-targeted organelle RNA recognition motif (ORRM) proteins: ORRM1 and ORRM6. In the orrm1 mutant, 21 plastid RNA editing sites were affected but none are essential to photosynthesis. In the orrm6 mutants, two plastid RNA editing sites were affected: psbF-C77 and accD-C794. Because psbF encodes the β subunit of cytochrome b 559 in photosystem II, which is essential to photosynthesis, the orrm6 mutants were much smaller than the wild type. In addition, the orrm6 mutants had pale green leaves and reduced photosynthetic efficiency. To investigate the functional relationship between ORRM1 and ORRM6, we generated orrm1 orrm6 double homozygous mutants. Morphological and physiological analyses showed that the orrm1 orrm6 double mutants had a smaller plant size, reduced chlorophyll contents, and decreased photosynthetic efficiency, similar to the orrm6 single mutants. Although the orrm1 orrm6 double mutants adopted the phenotype of the orrm6 single mutants, the total number of plastid RNA editing sites affected in the orrm1 orrm6 double mutants was the sum of the sites affected in the orrm1 and orrm6 single mutants. These data suggest that ORRM1 and ORRM6 are in charge of distinct sets of plastid RNA editing sites and that simultaneous mutations in ORRM1 and ORRM6 genes do not cause additional reduction in editing extent at other plastid RNA editing sites.
    Keywords:  RNA editing interacting proteins; multiple organellar RNA editing factors; organelle RNA recognition motif proteins; organelle zinc finger proteins; pentatricopeptide repeat proteins; plastid RNA editing
  2. Nat Plants. 2020 Apr 06.
      The vast majority of eukaryotic cells contain mitochondria, essential powerhouses and metabolic hubs1. These organelles have a bacterial origin and were acquired during an early endosymbiosis event2. Mitochondria possess specialized gene expression systems composed of various molecular machines, including the mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes). Mitoribosomes are in charge of translating the few essential mRNAs still encoded by mitochondrial genomes3. While chloroplast ribosomes strongly resemble those of bacteria4,5, mitoribosomes have diverged significantly during evolution and present strikingly different structures across eukaryotic species6-10. In contrast to animals and trypanosomatids, plant mitoribosomes have unusually expanded ribosomal RNAs and have conserved the short 5S rRNA, which is usually missing in mitoribosomes11. We have previously characterized the composition of the plant mitoribosome6, revealing a dozen plant-specific proteins in addition to the common conserved mitoribosomal proteins. In spite of the tremendous recent advances in the field, plant mitoribosomes remained elusive to high-resolution structural investigations and the plant-specific ribosomal features of unknown structures. Here, we present a cryo-electron microscopy study of the plant 78S mitoribosome from cauliflower at near-atomic resolution. We show that most of the plant-specific ribosomal proteins are pentatricopeptide repeat proteins (PPRs) that deeply interact with the plant-specific rRNA expansion segments. These additional rRNA segments and proteins reshape the overall structure of the plant mitochondrial ribosome, and we discuss their involvement in the membrane association and mRNA recruitment prior to translation initiation. Finally, our structure unveils an rRNA-constructive phase of mitoribosome evolution across eukaryotes.