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J Exp Bot. 2012 Jan;63(1):251-60. doi: 10.1093/jxb/err257. Epub 2011 Sep 16.

Plastid signalling under multiple conditions is accompanied by a common defect in RNA editing in plastids.

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National Institute of Vegetable and Tea Science, 360 Kusawa, Ano, Tsu, Mie 514-2392, Japan.


Retrograde signalling from the plastid to the nucleus, also known as plastid signalling, plays a key role in coordinating nuclear gene expression with the functional state of plastids. Inhibitors that cause plastid dysfunction have been suggested to generate specific plastid signals related to their modes of action. However, the molecules involved in plastid signalling remain to be identified. Genetic studies indicate that the plastid-localized pentatricopeptide repeat protein GUN1 mediates signalling under several plastid signalling-related conditions. To elucidate further the nature of plastid signals, investigations were carried out to determine whether different plastid signal-inducing treatments had similar effects on plastids and on nuclear gene expression. It is demonstrated that norflurazon and lincomycin treatments and the plastid protein import2-2 (ppi2-2) mutation, which causes a defect in plastid protein import, all resulted in similar changes at the gene expression level. Furthermore, it was observed that these three treatments resulted in defective RNA editing in plastids. This defect in RNA editing was not a secondary effect of down-regulation of pentatricopeptide repeat protein gene expression in the nucleus. The results indicate that these three treatments, which are known to induce plastid signals, affect RNA editing in plastids, suggesting an unprecedented link between plastid signalling and RNA editing.

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