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Photosynth Res. 2005 Sep;85(3):327-40.

Effects of chlorophyllide a oxygenase overexpression on light acclimation in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Institute of Low Temperature Science, CREST, Hokkaido University, Japan Science and Technology Corporation, N19 W8, 060-0819 Sapporo, Kita-ku, Japan.


Land plants change the compositions of light-harvesting complexes (LHC) and chlorophyll (Chl) a/b ratios in response to the variable light environments which they encounter. In this study, we attempted to determine the mechanism which regulates Chl a/b ratios and whether the changes in Chl a/b ratios are essential in regulation of LHC accumulation during light acclimation. We hypothesized that changes in the mRNA levels for chlorophyll a oxygenase (CAO) involved in Chl b biosynthesis are an essential part of light response of Chl a/b ratios and LHC accumulation. We also examined the light-intensity dependent response of CAO-overexpression and wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana plants. When wild-type plants were acclimated from low-light (LL) to high-light (HL) conditions, CAO mRNA levels decreased and the Chl a/b ratio increased. In transgenic plants overexpressing CAO, the Chl a/b ratio remained low under HL conditions; thereby suggesting that changes in the CAO mRNA levels are necessary for those in Chl a/b ratios upon light acclimation. Under HL conditions, the accumulation of Lhcb1, Lhcb3 and Lhcb6 was enhanced in plants overexpressing CAO. On the contrary, in a CAO-deficient mutant, chlorina 1-1, theaccumulation of Lhcb1, Lhcb2, Lhcb3, Lhcb6 and Lhca4 was reduced. In comparison to wild-type, beta-carotene levels were reduced in CAO-overexpressing plants, while they were elevated in chlorina 1-1 mutants. These results imply that the transcriptional control of CAO is a part of the regulatory mechanism for the accumulation of a distinct set of LHC proteins upon light acclimation.

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