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Free Content happy on norflurazon’ (hon) mutations implicate perturbance of plastid homeostasis with activating stress acclimatization and changing nuclear gene expression in norflurazon-treated seedlings

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Various mutant screens have been undertaken to identify constituents involved in the transmission of signals from the plastid to the nucleus. Many of these screens have been performed using carotenoid-deficient plants grown in the presence of norflurazon (NF), an inhibitor of phytoene desaturase. NF-treated plants are bleached and suppress the expression of nuclear genes encoding chloroplast proteins. Several genomes uncoupled (gun) mutants have been isolated that de-repress the expression of these nuclear genes. In the present study, a genetic screen has been established that circumvents severe photo-oxidative stress in NF-treated plants. Under these modified screening conditions, happy on norflurazon (hon) mutants have been identified that, like gun mutants, de-repress expression of the Lhcb gene, encoding a light-harvesting chlorophyll protein, but, in contrast to wild-type and gun mutants, are green in the presence of NF. hon mutations disturb plastid protein homeostasis, thereby activating plastid signaling and inducing stress acclimatization. Rather than defining constituents of a retrograde signaling pathway specifically associated with the NF-induced suppression of nuclear gene expression, as proposed for gun, hon mutations affect Lhcb expression more indirectly prior to initiation of plastid signaling in NF-treated seedlings. They pre-condition seedlings by inducing stress acclimatization, thereby attenuating the impact of a subsequent NF treatment.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis; chloroplast; hon mutants; norflurazon; plastid homeostasis; retrograde signaling

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Plant Sciences, Plant Genetics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland 2: Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden 3: Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Ithaca, NY, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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