Chloroplast biogenesis during rehydration of the resurrection plant Xerophyta humilis: Parallels to the etioplast-chloroplast transition

Robert A. Ingle, Helen Collett, Keren Cooper, Yuichiro Takahashi, Jill M. Farrant, Nicola Illing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

De-etiolation of dark-grown seedlings is a commonly used experimental system to study the mechanisms of chloroplast biogenesis, including the stacking of thylakoid membranes into grana, the response of the nuclear-chloroplast transcriptome to light, and the ordered synthesis and assembly of photosystem II (PSII). Here, we present the xeroplast to chloroplast transition during rehydration of the resurrection plant Xerophyta humilis as a novel system for studying chloroplast biogenesis, and investigate the role of light in this process. Xeroplasts are characterized by the presence of numerous large and small membrane-bound vesicles and the complete absence of thylakoid membranes. While the initial assembly of stromal thylakoid membranes occurs independently of light, the formation of grana is light dependent. Recovery of photosynthetic activity is rapid in plants rehydrated in the light and correlates with the light-dependent synthesis of the D1 protein, but does not require de novo chlorophyll biosynthesis. Light-dependent synthesis of the chlorophyll-binding protein Lhcb2 and digalactosyldiacylglycerol synthase 1 correlated with the formation of grana and with the increased PSII activity. Our results suggest that the molecular mechanisms underlying photomorphogenic development may also function in desiccation tolerance in poikilochlorophyllous resurrection plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1813-1824
Number of pages12
JournalPlant, Cell and Environment
Volume31
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008

Keywords

  • Desiccation tolerance
  • Photosynthesis
  • Resurrection plant
  • Xeroplast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science

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