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Dobrenel T.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Marchive C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Sormani R.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Moreau M.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 5 more authors.
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2011

The TOR (target of rapamycin) kinase is present in nearly all eukaryotic organisms and regulates a wealth of biological processes collectively contributing to cell growth. The genome of the model plant Arabidopsis contains a single TOR gene and two RAPTOR (regulatory associated protein of TOR)/KOG1 (Kontroller of growth 1) and GβL/LST8 (G-protein β-subunit-like/lethal with Sec thirteen 8) genes but, in contrast with other organisms, plants appear to be resistant to rapamycin. Disruption of the RAPTOR1 and TOR genes in Arabidopsis results in an early arrest of embryo development. Plants that overexpress the TOR mRNA accumulate more leaf and root biomass, producemore seeds and aremore resistant to stress. Conversely, the down-regulation of TOR by constitutive or inducible RNAi (RNA interference) leads to a reduced organ growth, to an early senescence and to severe transcriptomic and metabolic perturbations, including accumulation of sugars and amino acids. It thus seems that plant growth is correlated to the level of TOR expression. We have also investigated the effect of reduced TOR expression on tissue organization and cell division. We suggest that, like in other eukaryotes, the plant TOR kinase could be one of the main contributors to the link between environmental cues and growth processes. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2011 Biochemical Society.

Dall'Osto L.,University of Verona | Holt N.E.,University of Verona | Holt N.E.,Laboratoire Of Genetique Et Biophysique Des Plantes | Kaligotla S.,University of Connecticut | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2012

Plants are particularly prone to photo-oxidative damage caused by excess light. Photoprotection is essential for photosynthesis to proceed in oxygenic environments either by scavenging harmful reactive intermediates or preventing their accumulation to avoid photoinhibition. Carotenoids play a key role in protecting photosynthesis from the toxic effect of over-excitation; under excess light conditions, plants accumulate a specific carotenoid, zeaxanthin, that was shown to increase photoprotection. In this work we genetically dissected different components of zeaxanthin-dependent photoprotection. By using time-resolved differential spectroscopy in vivo, we identified a zeaxanthin-dependent optical signal characterized by a red shift in the carotenoid peak of the triplet-minus-singlet spectrum of leaves and pigment-binding proteins. By fractionating thylakoids into their component pigment binding complexes, the signal was found to originate from the monomeric Lhcb4-6 antenna components of Photosystem II and the Lhca1-4 subunits of Photosystem I. By analyzing mutants based on their sensitivity to excess light, the red-shifted triplet-minus-singlet signal was tightly correlated with photoprotection in the chloroplasts, suggesting the signal implies an increased efficiency of zeaxanthin in controlling chlorophyll triplet formation. Fluorescence-detected magnetic resonance analysis showed a decrease in the amplitude of signals assigned to chlorophyll triplets belonging to the monomeric antenna complexes of Photosystem II upon zeaxanthin binding; however, the amplitude of carotenoid triplet signal does not increase correspondingly. Results show that the high light-induced binding of zeaxanthin to specific proteins plays a major role in enhancing photoprotection by modulating the yield of potentially dangerous chlorophyll-excited states in vivo and preventing the production of singlet oxygen. © 2012 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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