We investigated the pigment composition and the transcriptome of albina (alb-e 16 and alb-f 17 ) and xantha (xan-s 46 and xan-b 12 ) barley mutants to provide an overall transcriptional picture of genes whose expression is interconnected with chloroplast activities and to search for candidate genes associated with the mutations. Beside those encoding plastid-localized proteins, more than 3,000 genes involved in non-chloroplast localized metabolism were up-/down-regulated in the mutants revealing the network of chloroplast-dependent metabolic pathways. The alb-e 16 mutant was characterized by overaccumulation of protoporphyrin IX upon ALA (5-amino levulinic acid) feeding and down-regulation of the gene encoding one subunit of Mg-chelatase, suggesting a block of the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway before Mg-protoporphyrin IX biosynthesis, while alb-f 17 overaccumulated Mg-protoporphyrin IX and repressed PorA expression, without alterations in Mg-chelatase mRNA level. The alb-f 17 mutant also showed overexpression of several genes involved in phytochrome and in phytochrome-dependent pathways. The results indicate that the down-regulation of Lhcb genes in alb-e 16 cannot be mediated by the accumulation of Mg-protoporphyrin IX. After ALA treatment, xan-s 46 showed overaccumulation of Mg-protoporphyrin IX, while the relative porphyrin composition of xan-b 12 was similar to wild type. The transcripts encoding the components of several mitochondrial metabolic pathways were up-regulated in albina/xantha leaves to compensate for the absence of active chloroplasts. The mRNAs encoding gun3, gun4, and gun5 barley homologous genes showed significant expression variations and were used to search for co-expressed genes across all samples. These analyses provide additional evidences on a chloroplast-dependent covariation of large sets of nuclear genes.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 26, 2009
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