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Planta. 2006 Aug;224(3):692-9. Epub 2006 Mar 8.

Light and dark modulation of chlorophyll biosynthetic genes in response to temperature.

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School of Life Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, 110067 New Delhi, India.


Temperature and light significantly influence chloroplast development and chlorophyll biosynthesis. To understand the mechanism of the modulation of chlorophyll biosynthesis, the levels of transcripts and proteins of many enzymatic steps of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis in wheat and cucumber were simultaneously examined. The effect of low (chill-stress) as well as high (heat-stress) temperatures on dark- and light-grown seedlings was monitored. The protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR) content was greatly reduced in response to light in control and heat-stressed seedlings. However, the POR level was not reduced in light-exposed chill-stressed seedlings. The genes for glutamate semialdehyde aminotransferase (gsa; cucumber), glutamyl-tRNA reductase (GluTR; cucumber), 5-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (Ala D; cucumber and wheat) and for a subunit of Mg-chelatase (Chl I; wheat) showed a reduced expression in cold stress compared to controls and heat-stress conditions. Although expression of the ferrochelatase gene (Fch) and geranylgeranyl reductase gene (Chl P) was upregulated in light, they were downregulated by both chill- and heat-stress. Interestingly, gsa and uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase gene (UroD) and gene product abundance was stimulated by light and heat-stress implying the presence of both light and heat-inducible elements in their promoters. This observation corroborates with the previous report of increased enzymatic activity of UroD in heat-stressed cucumber seedlings. The gsa and Uro D may play an important role in tolerance of the greening process of plants to heat-stress.

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