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Plant & cell physiology

A Mutation in GIANT CHLOROPLAST Encoding a PARC6 Homolog Affects Spikelet Fertility in Rice.


PMID 25667114

Abstract

Chloroplasts are not generated de novo but proliferate from a pre-existing population of plastids present in meristematic cells. Chloroplast division is executed by the co-ordinated action of at least two molecular machineries: internal machinery located on the stromal side of the inner envelope membrane and external machinery located on the cytosolic side of the outer envelope membrane. To date, molecular studies of chloroplast division in higher plants have been limited to several species such as Arabidopsis. To elucidate chloroplast division in rice, we performed forward genetics and isolated a mutant displaying large chloroplasts among an ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-mutagenized Oryza sativa spp japonica Nipponbare population. Using a map-based approach, this mutation, termed giant chloroplast (gic), was allocated in a gene that encodes a protein that is homologous to Paralog of ARC6 (PARC6), which is known to play a role in chloroplast division. GIC is unique in that it has a long C-terminal extension that is not present in other PARC6 homologs. Characterization of gic phenotypes in a rice field showed that gic exhibited defective growth in seed setting, suggesting that the gic mutant negatively affects the reproductive stage. This report is the first describing a chloroplast division mutant in monocotyledons and its effect on plant development.