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Evidence for transcriptional regulation of plastid photosynthesis genes in Arabidopsis thaliana roots

Isono, K., Niwa, Y., Satoh, K., Kobayashi, H.
Plant physiology 1997 v.114 no.2 pp. 623-630
Arabidopsis thaliana, roots, callus, plastids, photosystem II, net assimilation rate, ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase, enzyme activity, genetic code, genes, gene expression, chromosome mapping, transcription (genetics)
Mechanisms underlying suppressed levels of transcripts for plastid photosynthesis genes in nongreen tissues such as roots and calli were analyzed in Arabidopsis thaliana, a plant suitable for further genetic dissection. A region encoding promoters of rbcL, the gene encoding the large subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, and the atpB/E operon for the beta and epsilon subunits of coupling factor one were cloned and sequenced. Transcripts for rbcL, atpB/E, and psbA, the gene for the D1 protein in the photosystem II reaction center, were barely detectable in roots of A. thaliana, whereas 16S rRNA was detected at a low level. The run-on transcription experiment revealed that expression of rbcL, atpB/E, and psbA was regulated at transcription. The copy number of plastic DNA in roots was one-fifth that in green leaves on the basis of total cellular DNA, suggesting that in the latter the DNA copy-number regulation also exists in plastic gene expression. Digestion of DNA with methyl-sensitive and -insensitive isoschizomeric endonucleases and subsequent polymerase chain reaction, as well as in vitro transcription of plastic DNAs with Escherichia coli RNA polymerase, resulted in no evidence of regulation by DNA modification. In spite of predominant suppression of expression of rbcL, atpB/E, and psbA at transcription in roots and calli, 16S rRNA levels were decreased because of low RNA stability.