, Volume 165, Issue 3, pp 311-321

First online:

Tagetitoxin affects plastid development in seedling leaves of wheat

  • J. H. LukensAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Pathology, University of WisconsinAgricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of AgricultureBiological Laboratories, Harvard University
  • , R. D. DurbinAffiliated withDepartment of Plant Pathology, University of WisconsinAgricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

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Ultrastructural and biochemical approaches were used to investigate the mode of action of tagetitoxin, a nonhost-specific phytotoxin produced by Pseudomonas syringae pv. tagetis (Hellmers) Young, Dye and Wilkie, which causes chlorosis in developing — but not mature — leaves. Tagetitoxin has no effect on the growth rate or morphology of developing leaves of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings. Its cytological effects are limited to plastid aberrations; in both light-and dark-grown leaves treated with toxin, internal plastid membranes fail to develop normally and plastid ribosomes are absent, whereas mitochondrial and cytoplasmic ribosomes are unaffected. The activity of a plastid stromal enzyme, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase (RuBPCase, EC, which is co-coded by nuclear and chloroplast genes, is markedly lower in extracts of both light-and dark-grown toxin-treated leaves, whereas the activity of another stromal enzyme, NADP-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (NADP-G-3P-DH, EC, which is coded only by the nuclear genome, is significantly lower in extracts of light-grown, but not of dark-grown, treated leaves. The mitochondrial enzymes fumarase (EC and cytochrome-c oxidase (EC are unaffected by toxin in dark-grown leaves, but fumarase activity is reduced in light-grown ones. Four peroxisomal enzyme activities are lowered by toxin treatment in both light- and dark-grown leaves. Light- and dark-grown, toxintreated leaves contain about 50% and 75%, respectively, of the total protein of untreated leaves. There are threefold and twofold increases in free amino acids in light-grown and dark-grown treated leaves, respectively. In general, the effects of tagetitoxin are more extensive and exaggerated in light-grown than in dark-grown leaves. We conclude that tagetitoxin interferes primarily with a light-independent aspect of chloroplast-specific metabolism which is important in plastid biogenesis.

Key words

Chloroplast development Chloroplast ribosomes Etioplast (prolamellar body) Pseudomonas (toxin) Tagetitoxin Triticum (chloroplast development)