bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2021‒05‒30
two papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Plant Cell. 2021 May 28. pii: koab155. [Epub ahead of print]
      Genetic incompatibility between the cytoplasm and the nucleus is thought to be a major factor in species formation, but mechanistic understanding of this process is poor. In evening primroses (Oenothera spp.), a model plant for organelle genetics and population biology, hybrid offspring regularly display chloroplast-nuclear incompatibility. This usually manifests in bleached plants, more rarely in hybrid sterility. Hence, most of these incompatibilities affect photosynthetic capability, a trait that is under selection in changing environments. Here we show that light-dependent misregulation of the plastid psbB operon, which encodes core subunits of photosystem II and the cytochrome b6f complex, can lead to hybrid incompatibility, and this ultimately drives speciation. This misregulation causes an impaired light acclimation response in incompatible plants. Moreover, as a result of their different chloroplast genotypes, the parental lines differ in photosynthesis performance upon exposure to different light conditions. Significantly, the incompatible chloroplast genome is naturally found in xeric habitats with high light intensities, whereas the compatible one is limited to mesic habitats. Consequently, our data raise the possibility that the hybridization barrier evolved as a result of adaptation to specific climatic conditions.
  2. Plant Sci. 2021 Jul;pii: S0168-9452(21)00101-1. [Epub ahead of print]308 110908
      Chloroplast biogenesis and development regulation have long been a focus of research; however, the underlying mechanisms of these processes have not yet been fully elucidated. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins have been shown to play key roles in chloroplast development. Here, we identified a novel P-type PPR protein, Early Chloroplast Development 2 (ECD2), and the ecd2 mutant resulted in embryo lethality. The RNAi lines of ECD2 showed varying degrees of albino cotyledons and abnormal chloroplast development, but true leaves were similar to the wild-type. Further analysis revealed that ECD2 was responsible for chloroplast gene expression and group II intron splicing of several genes. Transcriptome analysis combined with quantitative real-time PCR showed that ECD2 was associated with the expression of ribosomal genes and accumulation of chloroplast ribosomes. Overall, our results indicate that ECD2 is critically important for early chloroplast development in cotyledon.
    Keywords:  Chloroplast; Development; ECD2; Gene expression; PPR proteins