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Plant Cell Physiol. 2002 May;43(5):522-31.

Tissue-specific, light-regulated and plastid-regulated expression of the single-copy nuclear gene encoding the chloroplast Rieske FeS protein of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant Sciences and Cambridge Centre for Molecular Recognition, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3EA, U.K.


The single-copy PetC gene encoding the chloroplast Rieske FeS protein of Arabidopsis thaliana consists of five exons interrupted by four introns and encodes a protein of 229 amino acid residues with extensive sequence similarity to the chloroplast Rieske proteins of other higher plants. The N-terminal 50 amino acid residues constitute a presequence for targeting to the chloroplast and the remaining 179 amino acid residues make up the mature protein. Three of the introns are in identical positions in the PetC gene of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, suggesting that they are of ancient origin. RNA-blot hybridisation showed that the gene was expressed in shoots, but not roots, and was light regulated and repressed by sucrose. The expression of chimeric genes consisting of PetC promoter fragments fused to the beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene was examined in A. thaliana and tobacco. In A. thaliana, GUS activity was detected in leaves, stems, flowers and siliques, but not in roots, and showed a strong correlation with the presence of chloroplasts. In transgenic tobacco, low levels of GUS activity were also detected in light-exposed roots. GUS activity in transgenic tobacco seedlings was light regulated and was decreased by norflurazon in the light suggesting regulation of PetC expression by plastid signals.

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