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      Amino acid sequence variations in Nicotiana CRR4 orthologs determine the species-specific efficiency of RNA editing in plastids

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          Abstract

          In flowering plants, RNA editing is a posttranscriptional process that converts specific C to U in organelle mRNAs. Nicotiana tabacum is an allotetraploid species derived from the progenitors of Nicotiana sylvestris and Nicotiana tomentosiformis. These Nicotiana species have been used as a model for understanding the mechanism and evolution of RNA editing in plastids. In Nicotiana species, the ndhD-1 site is edited to create the translational initiation codon of ndhD that encodes a subunit of the NAD(P)H dehydrogenease (NDH) complex. An analysis of this RNA editing revealed that editing efficiency in N. tomentosiformis is lower (15%) than that in N. tabacum (42%) and N. sylvestris (37%). However, this level of editing is sufficient for accumulating the NDH complex and its activity. The heterogous complementation of Arabidopsis crr4-3 mutant, in which RNA editing of ndhD-1 is completely impaired, with CRR4 orthologous genes derived from Nicotiana species suggested that the reduction in editing efficiency in N. tomentosiformis is caused by amino acid variations accumulating in CRR4.

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          Genome-wide analysis of Arabidopsis pentatricopeptide repeat proteins reveals their essential role in organelle biogenesis.

          The complete sequence of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome revealed thousands of previously unsuspected genes, many of which cannot be ascribed even putative functions. One of the largest and most enigmatic gene families discovered in this way is characterized by tandem arrays of pentatricopeptide repeats (PPRs). We describe a detailed bioinformatic analysis of 441 members of the Arabidopsis PPR family plus genomic and genetic data on the expression (microarray data), localization (green fluorescent protein and red fluorescent protein fusions), and general function (insertion mutants and RNA binding assays) of many family members. The basic picture that arises from these studies is that PPR proteins play constitutive, often essential roles in mitochondria and chloroplasts, probably via binding to organellar transcripts. These results confirm, but massively extend, the very sparse observations previously obtained from detailed characterization of individual mutants in other organisms.
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            Cyclic electron flow around photosystem I is essential for photosynthesis.

            Photosynthesis provides at least two routes through which light energy can be used to generate a proton gradient across the thylakoid membrane of chloroplasts, which is subsequently used to synthesize ATP. In the first route, electrons released from water in photosystem II (PSII) are eventually transferred to NADP+ by way of photosystem I (PSI). This linear electron flow is driven by two photochemical reactions that function in series. The cytochrome b6f complex mediates electron transport between the two photosystems and generates the proton gradient (DeltapH). In the second route, driven solely by PSI, electrons can be recycled from either reduced ferredoxin or NADPH to plastoquinone, and subsequently to the cytochrome b6f complex. Such cyclic flow generates DeltapH and thus ATP without the accumulation of reduced species. Whereas linear flow from water to NADP+ is commonly used to explain the function of the light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis, the role of cyclic flow is less clear. In higher plants cyclic flow consists of two partially redundant pathways. Here we have constructed mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana in which both PSI cyclic pathways are impaired, and present evidence that cyclic flow is essential for efficient photosynthesis.
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              The complete sequence of the rice (Oryza sativa L.) mitochondrial genome: frequent DNA sequence acquisition and loss during the evolution of flowering plants.

              The entire mitochondrial genome of rice (Oryza sativa L.), a monocot plant, has been sequenced. It was found to comprise 490,520 bp, with an average G+C content of 43.8%. Three rRNA genes, 17 tRNA genes and five pseudo tRNA sequences were identified. In addition, eleven ribosomal protein genes and two pseudo ribosomal protein genes were found, which are homologous to 13 of the 16 genes for ribosomal proteins in the mitochondrial genome of the liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha). A greater degree of variation in terms of presence/absence and integrity of genes was observed among the ribosomal protein genes and tRNA genes of rice, Arabidopsis and sugar beet. Transcription and post-transcriptional modification (RNA editing) in the rice mitochondrial sequence were also examined. In all, 491 Cs in the genomic DNA were converted to Ts in cDNA. The frequency of RNA editing differed markedly depending upon the ORF considered. Sequences derived from plastid and nuclear genomes make up 6.3% and 13.4% of the mitochondrial genome, respectively. The degree of conservation of plastid sequences in the mitochondrial genome ranged from 61% to 100%, suggesting that sequence migration has occurred very frequently. Three plastid DNA fragments that were incorporated into the mitochondrial genome were subsequently transferred to the nuclear genome. Nineteen fragments that were similar to transposon or retrotransposon sequences, but different from those found in the mitochondrial genomes of dicots, were identified. The results indicate frequent and independent DNA sequence flow to and from the mitochondrial genome during the evolution of flowering plants, and this may account for the range of genetic variation observed between the mitochondrial genomes of higher plants.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nucleic Acids Res
                Nucleic Acids Res
                nar
                nar
                Nucleic Acids Research
                Oxford University Press
                0305-1048
                1362-4962
                November 2008
                29 September 2008
                29 September 2008
                : 36
                : 19
                : 6155-6164
                Affiliations
                1Department of Botany, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Oiwake-cho, Kitashirakawa, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan and 2Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 6-10-1, Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan
                Author notes
                *To whom correspondence should be addressed. Tel: + 81 75 753 4247; Fax: + 81 75 753 4257; Email: shikanai@ 123456pmg.bot.kyoto-u.ac.jp
                Article
                gkn629
                10.1093/nar/gkn629
                2577327
                18824480
                © 2008 The Author(s)

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/uk/) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                RNA

                Genetics

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