The roles of light and of the putative plastid signal in glycolate oxidase (GLO) gene expression were investigated in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Samsun NN) seedlings during their shift from skotomorphogenic to photomorphogenic development. GLO transcript and enzyme activities were detected in etiolated seedlings. Their respective levels increased three- and six-fold during 96 h of exposure to light. The GLO transcript was almost undetectable in seedlings in which chloroplast development was impaired by photooxidation with the herbicide norflurazon. In transgenic tobacco seedlings, photooxidation inhibited the light-dependent increase in GUS activity when it was placed under the regulation of the GLO promoter PGLO. However, even under these photooxidative conditions, a continuous increase in GUS activity was observed as compared to etiolated seedlings. When GUS expression was driven by the CaMV 35S promoter (P35S), no apparent difference was observed between etiolated, deetiolated and photooxidized seedlings. These observations indicate that the effects of the putative plastid development signal and light on GUS expression can be separated. Translational yield analysis indicated that the translation of the GUS transcript in PGLO::GUS seedlings was enhanced 30-fold over that of the GUS transcript in P35S::GUS seedlings. The overall picture emerging from these results is that in etiolated seedlings GLO transcript, though present at a substantial level, is translated at a low rate. Increased GLO transcription is enhanced, however, in response to signals originating from the developing plastids. GLO gene expression is further enhanced at the translational level by a yet undefined light-dependent mechanism.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 4, 2004
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