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EMBO Rep. 2003 May;4(5):491-8.

Covariations in the nuclear chloroplast transcriptome reveal a regulatory master-switch.

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  • 1Abteilung für Pflanzenzüchtung und Ertragsphysiologie, Max Planck Institut für Züchtungsforschung, Carl-von-Linné-Weg 10, D-50829 Köln, Germany.


The evolution of the endosymbiotic progenitor into the chloroplast organelle was associated with the transfer of numerous chloroplast genes into the nucleus. Hence, inter-organellar signalling, and the co-ordinated expression of sets of nuclear genes, was set up to control the metabolic and developmental status of the chloroplast. Here, we show by the differential-expression analysis of 3,292 genes, that most of the 35 environmental and genetic conditions tested, including plastid signalling mutations, elicit only three main classes of response from the nuclear chloroplast transcriptome. Two classes, probably involving GUN (genomes uncoupled)-type plastid signalling, are characterized by alterations, in opposite directions, in the expression of largely overlapping sets of genes.

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