The expression of a cytosolic glutamine synthetase (GS1; EC 184.108.40.206) gene was examined in cotyledons of Scots pine seedlings. Light strongly stimulated GS1 mRNA accumulation during development. Similarly, steady-state levels of GS1 transcripts increased in dark-grown seedlings transferred to light and decreased in dark-adapted seedlings. Light/dark adaptation affected rbcS and lhcb2 mRNA levels and chlorophyll contents in the same manner. Light-grown seedlings in the presence of the herbicide norflurazon showed a drastic decrease in mRNA for GS and photosynthetic proteins, whereas the effect of the herbicide on mitochondrial β-ATP synthase mRNA was limited. These results indicate that factors associated with developing chloroplasts could be required for maximal GS1 gene expression during seedling development. The level of GS polypeptide, determined by immunoblot, was up-regulated during seedling development in the light or dark. However, the levels of the polypeptide detected were unaltered by the light/dark adaptation treatments. The analysis of GS1 mRNA association with polysomes indicated that the discrepancies between GS protein and mRNA levels are not a result of a differential translational rate of the transcript in darkness relative to light. Two GS isoproteins with different isoelectric point were resolved by two-dimensional PAGE in light- and dark-germinated plants. The relative abundance of one of them was markedly affected by light and correlated with the observed changes in GS mRNA, suggesting that the other form is not a product derived from the detected transcript. In situ hybridization of cotyledon sections showed the presence of GS1 mRNAs in mesophyll and phloem cells confirming gene expression in photosynthetic tissues. High levels of transcript were detected also in meristematic cells of apical primordia. These data suggest a dual role for the GS1 gene associated with chloroplast development/activity and glutamine biosynthesis for nitrogen mobilization during early growth of Scots pine.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 19, 2004
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