Kindgren P, Kremnev D, Blanco NE, de Dios Barajas López J, Fernández AP, Tellgren-Roth C, Kleine T, Small I, Strand A
Plant J. 70 (2) 279-291 [2012-04-00; online 2012-01-04]
The photosynthetic apparatus is composed of proteins encoded by genes from both the nuclear and the chloroplastic genomes. The activities of the nuclear and chloroplast genomes must therefore be closely coordinated through intracellular signalling. The plastids produce multiple retrograde signals at different times of their development, and in response to changes in the environment. These signals regulate the expression of nuclear-encoded photosynthesis genes to match the current status of the plastids. Using forward genetics we identified PLASTID REDOX INSENSITIVE 2 (PRIN2), a chloroplast component involved in redox-mediated retrograde signalling. The allelic mutants prin2-1 and prin2-2 demonstrated a misregulation of photosynthesis-associated nuclear gene expression in response to excess light, and an inhibition of photosynthetic electron transport. As a consequence of the misregulation of LHCB1.1 and LHCB2.4, the prin2 mutants displayed a high irradiance-sensitive phenotype with significant photoinactivation of photosystem II, indicated by a reduced variable to maximal fluorescence ratio (F(v) /F(m) ). PRIN2 is localized to the nucleoids, and plastid transcriptome analyses demonstrated that PRIN2 is required for full expression of genes transcribed by the plastid-encoded RNA polymerase (PEP). Similarly to the prin2 mutants, the ys1 mutant with impaired PEP activity also demonstrated a misregulation of LHCB1.1 and LHCB2.4 expression in response to excess light, suggesting a direct role for PEP activity in redox-mediated retrograde signalling. Taken together, our results indicate that PRIN2 is part of the PEP machinery, and that the PEP complex responds to photosynthetic electron transport and generates a retrograde signal, enabling the plant to synchronize the expression of photosynthetic genes from both the nuclear and plastidic genomes.