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Ectopic Transplastomic Expression of a Synthetic MatK Gene Leads to Cotyledon-Specific Leaf Variegation.
Frontiers in plant science
9 None 1453
Chloroplasts (and other plastids) harbor their own genetic material, with a bacterial-like gene-expression systems. Chloroplast RNA metabolism is complex and is predominantly mediated by nuclear-encoded RNA-binding proteins. In addition to these nuclear factors, the chloroplast-encoded intron maturase MatK has been suggested to perform as a splicing factor for a subset of chloroplast introns. MatK is essential for plant cell survival in tobacco, and thus null mutants have not yet been isolated. We therefore attempted to over-express MatK from a neutral site in the chloroplast, placing it under the control of a theophylline-inducible riboswitch. This ectopic insertion of MatK lead to a variegated cotyledons phenotype. The addition of the inducer theophylline exacerbated the phenotype in a concentration-dependent manner. The extent of variegation was further modulated by light, sucrose and spectinomycin, suggesting that the function of MatK is intertwined with photosynthesis and plastid translation...