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Planegg, Germany

De Vries J.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Habicht J.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Woehle C.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | Huang C.,Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf | And 5 more authors.
Genome Biology and Evolution | Year: 2013

Plastids sequestered by sacoglossan sea slugs have long been a puzzle. Some sacoglossans feed on siphonaceous algae and can retain the plastids in the cytosol of their digestive gland cells. There, the stolen plastids (kleptoplasts) can remain photosynthetically active in some cases for months. Kleptoplast longevity itself challenges current paradigms concerning photosystem turnover, because kleptoplast photosystems remain active in the absence of nuclear algal genes. In higher plants, nuclear genes are essential for plastid maintenance, in particular, for the constant repair of the D1 protein of photosystem II. Lateral gene transfer was long suspected to underpin slug kleptoplast longevity, but recent transcriptomic and genomic analyses show that no algal nuclear genes are expressed from the slug nucleus. Kleptoplast genomes themselves, however, appear expressed in the sequestered state. Here we present sequence data for the chloroplast genome of Acetabularia acetabulum, the food source of the sacoglossan Elysia timida, which can maintain Acetabularia kleptoplasts in an active state for months. The data reveal what might be the key to sacoglossan kleptoplast longevity: plastids that remain photosynthetically active within slugs for periods of months share the property of encoding ftsH, a D1 quality control protease that is essential for photosystem II repair. In land plants, ftsH is always nuclear encoded, it was transferred to the nucleus from the plastid genome when Charophyta and Embryophyta split. A replenishable supply of ftsH could, in principle, rescue kleptoplasts from D1 photodamage, thereby influencing plastid longevity in sacoglossan slugs. © The Author(s) 2013. Source

Nick S.,Biozentrum LMU Munich | Nick S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Meurer J.,Biozentrum LMU Munich | Soll J.,Biozentrum LMU Munich | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Plant | Year: 2013

Chloroplast-located proteins which are encoded by the nuclear genome have to be imported from the cytosol into the organelle in a posttranslational manner. Among these nuclear-encoded chloroplast proteins are the light-harvesting chlorophyll a/b-binding proteins (LHCPs). After translation in the cytosol, precursor proteins of LHCPs are imported via the TOC/TIC translocase, processed to their mature size to insert into thylakoid membranes where they recruit chlorophylls a and b to form pigment-protein complexes. The translocation of proteins is a highly regulated process which employs several regulators. To analyze whether CAO (chlorophyll a oxigenase) which converts chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b at the inner chloroplast membrane, is one of these regulators, we performed import reactions utilizing a homozygous loss-of-function mutant (cao-1). We imported in vitro translated and 35S-labeled precursor proteins of light-harvesting proteins of photosystem II LHCB1, LHCB4, and LHCB5 into chloroplasts isolated from cao-1 and show that import of precursor proteins and their processing to mature forms are not impaired in the mutant. Therefore, regulation of the import machinery cannot be responsible for the decreased steady-state levels of light-harvesting complex (LHC) proteins. Regulation does not take place at the transcriptional level either, because Lhcb mRNAs are not down-regulated. Additionally, reduced steady-state levels of LHCPs also do not occur due to posttranslational turnover of non-functional LHCPs in chloroplasts. Taken together, our data show that plants in the absence of CAO and therefore devoid of chlorophyll b are not influenced in their import behavior of LHC proteins. © 2012 The Author. Source

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