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Plant Physiol. 2009 Mar;149(3):1261-76. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.133777. Epub 2009 Jan 16.

Chloroplast NADPH-thioredoxin reductase interacts with photoperiodic development in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biology, University of Turku, FI-20014 Turku, Finland.


Chloroplast NADPH-thioredoxin reductase (NTRC) belongs to the thioredoxin systems that control crucial metabolic and regulatory pathways in plants. Here, by characterization of T-DNA insertion lines of NTRC gene, we uncover a novel connection between chloroplast thiol redox regulation and the control of photoperiodic growth in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Transcript and metabolite profiling revealed severe developmental and metabolic defects in ntrc plants grown under a short 8-h light period. Besides reduced chlorophyll and anthocyanin contents, ntrc plants showed alterations in the levels of amino acids and auxin. Furthermore, a low carbon assimilation rate of ntrc leaves was associated with enhanced transpiration and photorespiration. All of these characteristics of ntrc were less severe when plants were grown under a long 16-h photoperiod. Transcript profiling revealed that the mutant phenotypes of ntrc were accompanied by differential expression of genes involved in stomatal development, chlorophyll biosynthesis, chloroplast biogenesis, and circadian clock-linked light perception systems in ntrc plants. We propose that NTRC regulates several key processes, including chlorophyll biosynthesis and the shikimate pathway, in chloroplasts. In the absence of NTRC, imbalanced metabolic activities presumably modulate the chloroplast retrograde signals, leading to altered expression of nuclear genes and, ultimately, to the formation of the pleiotrophic phenotypes in ntrc mutant plants.

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