We have introduced a proline codon in place of a leucine codon at position 204 of the petB gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This gene modification mimics the presence of proline codons at the same position in the petB genes of maize and tobacco, which are subsequently edited to leucine codons at the RNA level. Following transformation, we observed no editing at this position in C. reinhardtii, independent of the type of proline codon we have used: the CCA codon, edited in maize, or a CCT codon. Strains carrying the introduced mutation were non phototrophic and displayed a block in photosynthetic electron transfer, consistent with a lack of cytochrome b6f activity. Thus the presence of a proline residue at position 204 in cytochrome b6 is detrimental to photosynthesis. We show that the mutant phenotype arose from a defective assembly of cytochrome b6f complexes and not from altered electron transfer properties in the assembled protein complex. Biochemical comparison of the proline-containing transformants with a cytochrome b6 mutant deficient in heme-attachment indicates that their primary defect is at the level of assembly of apocytochrome b6 with the bh heme, thereby preventing assembly of the whole cytochrome b6f complex.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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