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BMB Rep. 2017 Jul;50(7):343-344.

An FCA-mediated epigenetic route towards thermal adaptation of autotrophic development in plants.

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Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.
Department of Chemistry, Seoul National University, and Plant Genomics and Breeding Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea.


Plants are able to recognize even small changes in surrounding temperatures to optimize their growth and development. At warm temperatures, plants exhibit diverse architectural adjustments, including hypocotyl and petiole elongation, leaf hyponasty, and reduced stomatal density. However, it was previously unknown how such warm temperatures affected the early stages of seedling development. In our recent study, we demonstrated that the RNA-binding protein, FCA, is critical for sustaining chlorophyll biosynthesis during early seedling development, which is a prerequisite for autotrophic transition at warm temperatures. FCA plays a dual role in this thermal response. It inhibits the rapid degradation of protochlorophyllide oxidoreductases (PORs) that mediate chlorophyll biosynthesis. In addition, it induces the expression of POR genes at the chromatin level, which contributes to maintaining functional enzyme levels. Our findings provide molecular basis for the thermal adaptation of chlorophyll biosynthesis during the early stages of seedling development in nature. [BMB Reports 2017; 50(7): 343-344].

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