NADP-dependent malic enzyme (NADP-ME) is a major decarboxylating enzyme in NADP-ME-type C4 species such as maize and Flaveria. In this study, chloroplastic NADP-ME was transferred to rice (Oryza sativa L.) using a chimeric gene composed of maize NADP-ME cDNA under the control of rice light-harvesting chlorophyll-a/b-binding protein (Cab) promoter. There was a 20- to 70-fold increase in the NADP-ME activity in leaves of transgenic rice compared to that in wild-type rice plants. Immunocytochemical studies by electron microscopy showed that maize NADP-ME was mostly localized in chloroplasts in transgenic rice plants, and that the chloroplasts were agranal without thylakoid stacking. Chlorophyll content and photosystem II activity were inversely correlated with the level of NADP-ME activity. These results suggest that aberrant chloroplasts in transgenic plants may be caused by excessive NADP-ME activity. Based on these results and the known fact that only bundle sheath cells of NADP-ME species, among all three C4 subgroups, have agranal chloroplasts, we postulate that a high level of chloroplastic NADP-ME activity could strongly affect the development of chloroplasts.
Planta – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 14, 2000
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