bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2021‒02‒21
three papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Nat Commun. 2021 02 15. 12(1): 1036
      Hybrid wheat varieties give higher yields than conventional lines but are difficult to produce due to a lack of effective control of male fertility in breeding lines. One promising system involves the Rf1 and Rf3 genes that restore fertility of wheat plants carrying Triticum timopheevii-type cytoplasmic male sterility (T-CMS). Here, by genetic mapping and comparative sequence analyses, we identify Rf1 and Rf3 candidates that can restore normal pollen production in transgenic wheat plants carrying T-CMS. We show that Rf1 and Rf3 bind to the mitochondrial orf279 transcript and induce cleavage, preventing expression of the CMS trait. The identification of restorer genes in wheat is an important step towards the development of hybrid wheat varieties based on a CMS-Rf system. The characterisation of their mode of action brings insights into the molecular basis of CMS and fertility restoration in plants.
  2. Plant Cell. 2020 Oct 02. 32(10): 3240-3255
      Chloroplasts mediate genetically controlled cell death via chloroplast-to-nucleus retrograde signaling. To decipher the mechanism, we examined chloroplast-linked lesion-mimic mutants of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) deficient in plastid division, thereby developing gigantic chloroplasts (GCs). These GC mutants, including crumpled leaf (crl), constitutively express immune-related genes and show light-dependent localized cell death (LCD), mirroring typical autoimmune responses. Our reverse genetic approach excludes any potential role of immune/stress hormones in triggering LCD. Instead, transcriptome and in silico analyses suggest that reactive electrophile species (RES) generated via oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) or lipid peroxidation-driven signaling may induce LCD. Consistent with these results, the one of the suppressors of crl, dubbed spcrl4, contains a causative mutation in the nuclear gene encoding chloroplast-localized FATTY ACID DESATURASE5 (FAD5) that catalyzes the conversion of palmitic acid (16:0) to palmitoleic acid (16:1). The loss of FAD5 in the crl mutant might attenuate the levels of RES and/or lipid peroxidation due to the reduced levels of palmitic acid-driven PUFAs, which are prime targets of reactive oxygen species. The fact that fad5 also compromises the expression of immune-related genes and the development of LCD in other GC mutants substantiates the presence of an intrinsic retrograde signaling pathway, priming the autoimmune responses in a FAD5-dependent manner.
  3. Plant Cell. 2019 Aug 06. 31(8): 1723-1733
      Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins bind RNA via a mechanism that facilitates the customization of sequence specificity. However, natural PPR proteins have irregular features that limit the degree to which their specificity can be predicted and customized. We demonstrate here that artificial PPR proteins built from consensus PPR motifs selectively bind the intended RNA in vivo, and we use this property to develop a new tool for ribonucleoprotein characterization. We show by RNA coimmunoprecipitation sequencing (RIP-seq) that artificial PPR proteins designed to bind the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) chloroplast psbA mRNA bind with high specificity to psbA mRNA in vivo. Analysis of coimmunoprecipitating proteins by mass spectrometry showed the psbA translational activator HCF173 and two RNA binding proteins of unknown function (CP33C and SRRP1) to be highly enriched. RIP-seq revealed that these proteins are bound primarily to psbA RNA in vivo, and precise mapping of the HCF173 and CP33C binding sites placed them in different locations on psbA mRNA. These results demonstrate that artificial PPR proteins can be tailored to bind specific endogenous RNAs in vivo, add to the toolkit for characterizing native ribonucleoproteins, and open the door to other applications that rely on the ability to target a protein to a specified RNA sequence.