Published on Fri Sep 10 2021

Phosphatidylglycerol synthesis facilitates plastid gene expression and light induction of nuclear photosynthetic genes

Fujii, S., Kobayashi, K., Lin, Y.-C., Liu, Y.-c., Nakamura, Y., Wada, H.

Phosphatidylglycerol (PG) is the only major phospholipid in the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts. PG is essential for photosynthesis and loss of PG in Arabidopsis thaliana results in severe defects of growth and chloroplast development.

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Abstract

Phosphatidylglycerol (PG) is the only major phospholipid in the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts. PG is essential for photosynthesis and loss of PG in Arabidopsis thaliana results in severe defects of growth and chloroplast development with decreased chlorophyll accumulation, impaired thylakoid formation, and downregulation of photosynthesis-associated genes encoded in nuclear and plastid genomes. However, how the absence of PG affects the gene expression and plant growth remains unclear. To elucidate this mechanism, we investigated the growth and transcriptional profiles of a PG-deficient Arabidopsis mutant pgp1-2 under various light conditions. Microarray analysis demonstrated that reactive oxygen species-responsive genes were upregulated in pgp1-2. Decreased growth light did not alleviated the impaired leaf development and the downregulation of photosynthesis-associated genes in pgp1-2, indicating limited impacts of photooxidative stress on the defects of pgp1-2. Illumination to dark-adapted pgp1-2 triggered downregulation of photosynthesis-associated nuclear-encoded genes (PhANGs), while plastid-encoded genes were constantly suppressed. Overexpression of GOLDEN2-LIKE1 (GLK1), a transcription factor regulating chloroplast development, in pgp1-2 upregulated PhANGs but not plastid-encoded genes along with chlorophyll accumulation. Our data suggest a broad impact of PG biosynthesis on nuclear-encoded genes partially via GLK1 and a specific involvement of this lipid in the plastid gene expression and plant development.