Article

Cyanobacterial flavodoxin complements ferredoxin deficiency in knocked-down transgenic tobacco plants.

División Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquímicas y Farmacéuticas, Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Rosario (IBR, CONICET), Universidad Nacional de Rosario, S2002LRK Rosario, Argentina.
The Plant Journal (Impact Factor: 6.58). 12/2010; 65(6):922-35. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04479.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ferredoxins are the main electron shuttles in chloroplasts, accepting electrons from photosystem I and delivering them to essential oxido-reductive pathways in the stroma. Ferredoxin levels decrease under adverse environmental conditions in both plants and photosynthetic micro-organisms. In cyanobacteria and some algae, this decrease is compensated for by induction of flavodoxin, an isofunctional flavoprotein that can replace ferredoxin in many reactions. Flavodoxin is not present in plants, but tobacco lines expressing a plastid-targeted cyanobacterial flavodoxin developed increased tolerance to environmental stress. Chloroplast-located flavodoxin interacts productively with endogenous ferredoxin-dependent pathways, suggesting that its protective role results from replacement of stress-labile ferredoxin. We tested this hypothesis by using RNA antisense and interference techniques to decrease ferredoxin levels in transgenic tobacco. Ferredoxin-deficient lines showed growth arrest, leaf chlorosis and decreased CO(2) assimilation. Chlorophyll fluorescence measurements indicated impaired photochemistry, over-reduction of the photosynthetic electron transport chain and enhanced non-photochemical quenching. Expression of flavodoxin from the nuclear or plastid genome restored growth, pigment contents and photosynthetic capacity, and relieved the electron pressure on the electron transport chain. Tolerance to oxidative stress also recovered. In the absence of flavodoxin, ferredoxin could not be decreased below 45% of physiological content without fatally compromising plant survival, but in its presence, lines with only 12% remaining ferredoxin could grow autotrophically, with almost wild-type phenotypes. The results indicate that the stress tolerance conferred by flavodoxin expression in plants stems largely from functional complementation of endogenous ferredoxin by the cyanobacterial flavoprotein.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
78 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ferredoxins are electron shuttles harbouring iron-sulfur clusters that connect multiple oxido-reductive pathways in organisms displaying different lifestyles. Some prokaryotes and algae express an isofunctional electron carrier, flavodoxin, which contains flavin mononucleotide as cofactor. Both proteins evolved in the anaerobic environment preceding the appearance of oxygenic photosynthesis. The advent of an oxygen-rich atmosphere proved detrimental to ferredoxin owing to iron limitation and oxidative damage to the iron-sulfur cluster, and many microorganisms induced flavodoxin expression to replace ferredoxin under stress conditions. Paradoxically, ferredoxin was maintained throughout the tree of life, whereas flavodoxin is absent from plants and animals. Of note is that flavodoxin expression in transgenic plants results in increased tolerance to multiple stresses and iron deficit, through mechanisms similar to those operating in microorganisms. Then, the question remains open as to why a trait that still confers plants such obvious adaptive benefits was not retained. We compare herein the properties of ferredoxin and flavodoxin, and their contrasting modes of expression in response to different environmental stimuli. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that the flavodoxin gene was already absent in the algal lineages immediately preceding land plants. Geographical distribution of phototrophs shows a bias against flavodoxin-containing organisms in iron-rich coastal/freshwater habitats. Based on these observations, we propose that plants evolved from freshwater macroalgae that already lacked flavodoxin because they thrived in an iron-rich habitat with no need to back up ferredoxin functions and therefore no selective pressure to keep the flavodoxin gene. Conversely, ferredoxin retention in the plant lineage is probably related to its higher efficiency as an electron carrier, compared with flavodoxin. Several lines of evidence supporting these contentions are presented and discussed.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 07/2014; · 5.79 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Photosynthetic electron transport is the major energy source for cellular metabolism in plants, and it also has the potential to generate excess reactive oxygen species that cause irreversible damage to photosynthetic apparatus under adversities. Ferredoxins (Fds), as the electron distributing hub in the chloroplast, contribute to redox regulation and antioxidant defenses. However, the steady state levels of photosynthetic Fd decline in plants when they are exposed to environmental stress conditions. To understand the effect of Fd downregulation on plant growth, we characterized the plants lacking Fd2 (Fd2-KO) in Arabidopsis thaliana under long-term high light (HL) conditions. Unexpectedly, Fd2-KO plants exhibited efficient photosynthetic capacity and stable thylakoid protein complexes. At the transcriptional level, photoprotection-related genes were upregulated more in the mutant plants, suggesting that knockout Fd2 lines possess a relatively effective photoacclimatory responses involving enhanced plastid redox signaling. Contrary to the physiological characterization of Fd2-KO under short-term HL, during extended HL the PQ pool returned to a relatively balanced redox state via elevated PGR5-dependent cyclic electron flow. fd2pgr5 double mutant plants displayed severely impaired photosynthetic capacity under HL treatment, further supporting a role for PGR5 in adaptation to HL in the Fd2-KO plants. These results suggest potential benefits in reducing Fd levels in plants grown under long-term HL conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    The Plant Journal 10/2013; · 6.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Ferredoxins (Fds) are ferrosulfoproteins that function as low-potential electron carriers in plants. The Fd family is composed of several isoforms that share high sequence homology but differ in functional characteristics. In leaves, at least two isoforms conduct linear and cyclic photosynthetic electron transport around photosystem I, and mounting evidence suggests the existence of at least partial division of duties between these isoforms. To evaluate the contribution of different kinds of Fds to the control of electron fluxes along the photosynthetic electron transport chain, we overexpressed a minor pea (Pisum sativum) Fd isoform (PsFd1) in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants. The transplastomic OeFd1 plants exhibited variegated leaves and retarded growth and developmental rates. Photosynthetic studies of these plants indicated a reduction in carbon dioxide assimilation rates, photosystem II photochemistry, and linear electron flow. However, the plants showed an increase in nonphotochemical quenching, better control of excitation pressure at photosystem II, and no evidence of photoinhibition, implying a better dynamic regulation to remove excess energy from the photosynthetic electron transport chain. Finally, analysis of P700 redox status during illumination confirmed that the minor pea Fd isoform promotes enhanced cyclic flow around photosystem I. The two novel features of this work are: (1) that Fd levels achieved in transplastomic plants promote an alternative electron partitioning even under greenhouse light growth conditions, a situation that is exacerbated at higher light intensity measurements; and (2) that an alternative, minor Fd isoform has been overexpressed in plants, giving new evidence of labor division among Fd isoforms.
    Plant physiology 02/2013; 161(2):866-879. · 6.56 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
0 Downloads
Available from
Sep 15, 2014