Our research seeks to achieve a more complete understanding of chloroplast protein import mechanisms, using a full spectrum of molecular, cellular, genetic, and biochemical approaches. We have brought to bear the unique advantages offered by the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana thale cress as an experimental system in relation to plastid protein import research. More recently, having identified potential practical applications of our work, we have begun to also employ crop species as alternative models. Our recent work revealed that plastid biogenesis is directly regulated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system UPS , defining a new and fundamentally important area of biology Trends Cell Biol.
This revealed for the first time that the UPS directly regulates plastid development, and showed that plastid protein import is not merely a housekeeping process but rather it is one that can be dynamically regulated. Owing to its fundamental importance for organelle biogenesis and plant development, SP1 also has potential applications in agriculture.
In Arabidopsis , SP1 is required for developmental transitions in which plastids convert from one type to another, and for optimizing plant responses to environmental stress Curr. As plastids and their interconversions are important throughout plant development, manipulation of SP1 could conceivably find diverse applications.
For example, manipulation of SP1 activity may allow greater control over fruit ripening in crops such as tomato and citrus, when chloroplasts transform into chromoplasts, or grain development in field crops such as wheat and rice, when amyloplasts are formed; alternatively, it might be used to improve stress tolerance in a variety of crop species.
Plant Physiol. Ling, Q.
PROGRAM – International Symposium on Photosynthesis and Chloroplast Biogenesis
Jarvis, P. Trends Cell Biol.
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Light initiates chloroplast biogenesis by activating photosynthesis-associated genes encoded by not only the nuclear but also the plastidial genome, but how photoreceptors control plastidial gene expression remains enigmatic. Here we show that the photoactivation of phytochromes triggers the expression of photosynthesis-associated plastid-encoded genes PhAPGs by stimulating the assembly of the bacterial-type plastidial RNA polymerase PEP into a kDa complex. PMID: This entry form currently does not support special characters.
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Chloroplast biogenesis: diversity and regulation of the protein import apparatus.
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