Logo of plntphysLink to Publisher's site
Plant Physiol. Oct 1997; 115(2): 773–781.
PMCID: PMC158537

Photoregulation of Chloroplast Gene Transcription in the Chromophytic Alga Heterosigma carterae.


Light acts as a complex regulator of cellular development and gene expression in photoautotrophs. Although light signals are highly effective in controlling cellular division and chloroplast biogenesis in the toxic marine alga Heterosigma carterae, their influence on gene expression has not been well characterized. To address this need cultures of H. carterae synchronized by an alternating light-dark regime were sampled through 12 h of light and 12 h of dark to characterize cell division, chloroplast complement, and chloroplast RNA abundance. These studies have identified a unimodal pattern of chloroplast transcriptional activity for a suite of cellular and photosynthetic genes. To determine the alga's response to a change in photoperiod, 12-h light/12-h dark-synchronized cultures were transferred to constant light and then periodically sampled. Although cellular and chloroplast division cycles remained synchronized in constant conditions for 24 h, the transcriptional apparatus responded by increasing ctRNA abundance within 45 min of the change in photoperiod. However, the ability of the alga to mount this rapid transcriptional response was limited to the first 2 h of the putative dark period. Thus, the chloroplast transcriptional apparatus of H. carterae may initiate a rapid, temporally gated response to a change in photoperiod that is independent of ongoing light-entrained cellular and chloroplast division cycles.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (1.4M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Adamska I, Scheel B, Kloppstech K. Circadian oscillations of nuclear-encoded chloroplast proteins in pea (Pisum sativum). Plant Mol Biol. 1991 Nov;17(5):1055–1065. [PubMed]
  • Aoki S, Kondo T, Ishiura M. Circadian expression of the dnaK gene in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803. J Bacteriol. 1995 Oct;177(19):5606–5611. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Baumgartner BJ, Rapp JC, Mullet JE. Plastid Genes Encoding the Transcription/Translation Apparatus Are Differentially Transcribed Early in Barley (Hordeum vulgare) Chloroplast Development (Evidence for Selective Stabilization of psbA mRNA). Plant Physiol. 1993 Mar;101(3):781–791. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bolle C, Kusnetsov VV, Herrmann RG, Oelmüller R. The spinach AtpC and AtpD genes contain elements for light-regulated, plastid-dependent and organ-specific expression in the vicinity of the transcription start sites. Plant J. 1996 Jan;9(1):21–30. [PubMed]
  • Bringloe DH, Dyer TA, Gray JC. Developmental, circadian and light regulation of wheat ferredoxin gene expression. Plant Mol Biol. 1995 Jan;27(2):293–306. [PubMed]
  • Cattolico RA, Boothroyd JC, Gibbs SP. Synchronous Growth and Plastid Replication in the Naturally Wall-less Alga Olisthodiscus luteus. Plant Physiol. 1976 Apr;57(4):497–503. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Chomczynski P, Sacchi N. Single-step method of RNA isolation by acid guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction. Anal Biochem. 1987 Apr;162(1):156–159. [PubMed]
  • Irwin PP, Weston PM, Sheridan W, Matthews PN. Transitional cell carcinoma arising in a urachal cyst. Br J Urol. 1991 Jan;67(1):103–104. [PubMed]
  • Gruissem W. Chloroplast gene expression: how plants turn their plastids on. Cell. 1989 Jan 27;56(2):161–170. [PubMed]
  • Hardison LK, Boczar BA, Reynolds AE, Cattolico RA. A description of the Rubisco large subunit gene and its transcript in Olisthodiscus luteus. Plant Mol Biol. 1992 Feb;18(3):595–599. [PubMed]
  • Hauser CR, Gillham NW, Boynton JE. Translational regulation of chloroplast genes. Proteins binding to the 5'-untranslated regions of chloroplast mRNAs in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. J Biol Chem. 1996 Jan 19;271(3):1486–1497. [PubMed]
  • Hwang S, Kawazoe R, Herrin DL. Transcription of tufA and other chloroplast-encoded genes is controlled by a circadian clock in Chlamydomonas. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Feb 6;93(3):996–1000. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Johnson CH, Kondo T. Light pulses induce "singular" behavior and shorten the period of the circadian phototaxis rhythm in the CW15 strain of Chlamydomonas. J Biol Rhythms. 1992 Winter;7(4):313–327. [PubMed]
  • Kim M, Christopher DA, Mullet JE. Direct evidence for selective modulation of psbA, rpoA, rbcL and 16S RNA stability during barley chloroplast development. Plant Mol Biol. 1993 Jun;22(3):447–463. [PubMed]
  • Laroche J, Mortain-Bertrand A, Falkowski PG. Light Intensity-Induced Changes in cab mRNA and Light Harvesting Complex II Apoprotein Levels in the Unicellular Chlorophyte Dunaliella tertiolecta. Plant Physiol. 1991 Sep;97(1):147–153. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Maxwell DP, Laudenbach DE, Huner NPA. Redox Regulation of Light-Harvesting Complex II and cab mRNA Abundance in Dunaliella salina. Plant Physiol. 1995 Nov;109(3):787–795. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • McIntosh L, Cattolico RA. Preservation of algal and higher plant ribosomal RNA integrity during extraction and electrophoretic quantitation. Anal Biochem. 1978 Dec;91(2):600–612. [PubMed]
  • Pearson CK, Wilson SB, Schaffer R, Ross AW. NAD turnover and utilisation of metabolites for RNA synthesis in a reaction sensing the redox state of the cytochrome b6f complex in isolated chloroplasts. Eur J Biochem. 1993 Dec 1;218(2):397–404. [PubMed]
  • Reith ME, Cattolico RA. Chloroplast Protein Synthesis in the Chromophytic Alga Olisthodiscus luteus: Cell Cycle Analysis. Plant Physiol. 1985 Sep;79(1):231–236. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Salvador ML, Klein U, Bogorad L. Light-regulated and endogenous fluctuations of chloroplast transcript levels in Chlamydomonas. Regulation by transcription and RNA degradation. Plant J. 1993 Feb;3(2):213–219. [PubMed]
  • Sexton TB, Christopher DA, Mullet JE. Light-induced switch in barley psbD-psbC promoter utilization: a novel mechanism regulating chloroplast gene expression. EMBO J. 1990 Dec;9(13):4485–4494. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bryant C. Australian Society for Parasitology Presidential Address. Intraspecies variations of energy metabolism in parasitic helminths. Int J Parasitol. 1983 Aug;13(4):327–332. [PubMed]
  • Vaulot D, Marie D, Olson RJ, Chisholm SW. Growth of prochlorococcus, a photosynthetic prokaryote, in the equatorial pacific ocean. Science. 1995 Jun 9;268(5216):1480–1482. [PubMed]

Articles from Plant Physiology are provided here courtesy of American Society of Plant Biologists


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...