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Comparative assessment of chloroplast transcriptional responses highlights conserved and unique patterns across Triticeae members under salt stress

Mirzaei, Saeid, Mansouri, Mehdi, Mohammadi-Nejad, Ghasem, Sablok, Gaurav
Photosynthesis research 2018 v.136 no.3 pp. 357-369
H+/K+-exchanging ATPase, H-transporting ATP synthase, RNA editing, Triticum aestivum, biotic stress, carbon dioxide fixation, chloroplast genes, chloroplasts, crops, domestication, electron transfer, genomics, introns, photochemical reactions, photosystem II, phytomass, reactive oxygen species, salt stress, transcription (genetics), transcriptomics, translation (genetics)
Chloroplast functional genomics, in particular understanding the chloroplast transcriptional response is of immense importance mainly due to its role in oxygenic photosynthesis. As a photosynthetic unit, its efficiency and transcriptional activity is directly regulated by reactive oxygen species during abiotic and biotic stress and subsequently affects carbon assimilation, and plant biomass. In crops, understanding photosynthesis is crucial for crop domestication by identifying the traits that could be exploited for crop improvement. Transcriptionally and translationally active chloroplast plays a key role by regulating the PSI and PSII photo-reaction centres, which ubiquitously affects the light harvesting. Using a comparative transcriptomics mapping approach, we identified differential regulation of key chloroplast genes during salt stress across Triticeae members with potential genes involved in photosynthesis and electron transport system such as CytB6f. Apart from differentially regulated genes involved in PSI and PSII, we found widespread evidence of intron splicing events, specifically uniquely spliced petB and petD in Triticum aestivum and high proportion of RNA editing in ndh genes across the Triticeae members during salt stress. We also highlight the role and differential regulation of ATP synthase as member of CF₀CF₁ and also revealed the effect of salt stress on the water-splitting complex under salt stress. It is worthwhile to mention that the observed conserved down-regulation of psbJ across the Triticeae is limiting the assembly of water-splitting complexes and thus making the BEP clade Triticeae members more vulnerable to high light during the salt stress. Comparative understanding of the chloroplast transcriptional dynamics and photosynthetic regulation will improve the approaches for improved crop domestication.