Author(s): Cheminant S, Wild M, Bouvier F, Pelletier S, Renou JP,
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Abstract In plants, light represents an important environmental signal that triggers the production of photosynthetically active chloroplasts. This developmental switch is critical for plant survival because chlorophyll precursors that accumulate in darkness can be extremely destructive when illuminated. Thus, plants have evolved mechanisms to adaptively control plastid development during the transition into light. Here, we report that the gibberellin (GA)-regulated DELLA proteins play a crucial role in the formation of functional chloroplasts during deetiolation. We show that Arabidopsis thaliana DELLAs accumulating in etiolated cotyledons derepress chlorophyll and carotenoid biosynthetic pathways in the dark by repressing the transcriptional activity of the phytochrome-interacting factor proteins. Accordingly, dark-grown GA-deficient ga1-3 mutants (that accumulate DELLAs) display a similar gene expression pattern to wild-type seedlings grown in the light. Consistent with this, ga1-3 seedlings accumulate higher amounts of protochlorophyllide (a phototoxic chlorophyll precursor) in darkness but, surprisingly, are substantially more resistant to photooxidative damage following transfer into light. This is due to the DELLA-dependent upregulation of the photoprotective enzyme protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) in the dark. Our results emphasize the role of DELLAs in regulating the levels of POR, protochlorophyllide, and carotenoids in the dark and in protecting etiolated seedlings against photooxidative damage during initial light exposure.
This article was published in Plant Cell
and referenced in Journal of Plant Biochemistry & Physiology