bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2021‒08‒22
three papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Front Plant Sci. 2021 ;12 695249
      In flowering plants, mitochondrial genes contain approximately 20-26 introns. Splicing of these introns is essential for mitochondrial gene expression and function. Recent studies have revealed that both nucleus- and mitochondrion-encoded factors are required for intron splicing, but the mechanism of splicing remains largely unknown. Elucidation of the mechanism necessitates a complete understanding of the splicing factors. Here, we report the identification of a regulator of chromosome condensation 1 (RCC1)-domain protein DEK47 that is required for mitochondrial intron splicing and seed development in maize. Loss of function in Dek47 severely arrests embryo and endosperm development, resulting in a defective kernel (dek) phenotype. DEK47 harbors seven RCC1 domains and is targeted to mitochondria. Null mutation of DEK47 causes a deficiency in the splicing of all four nad2 introns, abolishing the production of mature nad2 transcript and resulting in the disassembly and severely reduced activity of mitochondrial complex I. In response, the expression of the alternative oxidase AOX2 is sharply increased in dek47. These results indicate that Dek47 is required for the splicing of all the nad2 introns in mitochondria, and essential for complex I assembly, and kernel development in maize.
    Keywords:  complex I; intron splicing; maize; mitochondria; nad2; regulator of chromosome condensation 1-domain protein; seed development
  2. Front Plant Sci. 2021 ;12 693272
      The conversion of cytidines to uridines (C-to-U) at specific sites in mitochondrial and plastid transcripts is a post-transcriptional processing event that is important to the expression of organellar genes. Pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are involved in this process. In this study, we report the function of a previously uncharacterized PPR-DYW protein, Empty pericarp17 (EMP17), in the C-to-U editing and kernel development in maize. EMP17 is targeted to mitochondria. The loss-function of EMP17 arrests maize kernel development, abolishes the editing at ccmF C -799 and nad2-677 sites, and reduces the editing at ccmF C -906 and -966 sites. The absence of editing causes amino acid residue changes in CcmFC-267 (Ser to Pro) and Nad2-226 (Phe to Ser), respectively. As CcmFC functions in cytochrome c (Cytc) maturation, the amount of Cytc and Cytc 1 protein is drastically reduced in emp17, suggesting that the CcmFC-267 (Ser to Pro) change impairs the CcmFC function. As a result, the assembly of complex III is strikingly decreased in emp17. In contrast, the assembly of complex I appears less affected, suggesting that the Nad2-226 (Phe to Ser) change may have less impact on Nad2 function. Together, these results indicate that EMP17 is required for the C-to-U editing at several sites in mitochondrial transcripts, complex III biogenesis, and seed development in maize.
    Keywords:  CcmFC; EMP17; maize; mitochondrion; pentatricopeptide repeat protein; seed development
  3. Front Plant Sci. 2021 ;12 688067
      In the Arctic part of the Nordic region, cultivated crops need to specifically adapt to adverse and extreme climate conditions, such as low temperatures, long days, and a short growing season. Under the projected climate change scenarios, higher temperatures and an earlier spring thaw will gradually allow the cultivation of plants that could not be previously cultivated there. For millennia, Pea (Pisum sativum L.) has been a major cultivated protein plant in Nordic countries but is currently limited to the southern parts of the region. However, response and adaptation to the Arctic day length/light spectrum and temperatures are essential for the productivity of the pea germplasm and need to be better understood. This study investigated these factors and identified suitable pea genetic resources for future cultivation and breeding in the Arctic region. Fifty gene bank accessions of peas with a Nordic landrace or cultivar origin were evaluated in 2-year field trials at four Nordic locations in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway (55° to 69° N). The contrasting environmental conditions of the trial sites revealed differences in expression of phenological, morphological, crop productivity, and quality traits in the accessions. The data showed that light conditions related to a very long photoperiod partly compensated for the lack of accumulated temperature in the far north. A critical factor for cultivation in the Arctic is the use of cultivars with rapid flowering and maturation times combined with early sowing. At the most extreme site (69°N), no accession reached full maturation. Nonetheless several accessions, predominantly landraces of a northern origin, reached a green harvest state. All the cultivars reached full maturation at the sub-Arctic latitude in northern Sweden (63°N) when plants were established early in the season. Seed yield correlated positively with seed number and aboveground biomass, but negatively with flowering time. A high yield potential and protein concentration of dry seed were found in many garden types of pea, confirming their breeding potential for yield. Overall, the results indicated that pea genetic resources are available for breeding or immediate cultivation, thus aiding in the northward expansion of pea cultivation. Predicted climate changes would support this expansion.
    Keywords:  field pea; garden pea; ideotype; landraces; phenology; phenotyping; thermal modeling; yield components