Developmental and cell type characterization of bundle sheath and mesophyll chloroplast transcript abundance in maize
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- Sharpe, R.M., Mahajan, A., Takacs, E.M. et al. Curr Genet (2011) 57: 89. doi:10.1007/s00294-010-0329-8
The C4 grass Zea mays separates light and light-independent photosynthetic processes into two leaf cell types: bundle sheath (BS) and mesophyll (M). When mature, BS and M cells have anatomically and biochemically distinct chloroplasts that must cooperate to complete the process of photosynthesis. This report compares changes in transcript abundance between young and mature maize BS and M chloroplasts from specific segments of the leaf developmental gradient. Representative transcripts encoding components of Photosystem I, Photosystem II, Cytochrome b6f, thylakoidal NADH dehydrogenase; and the large subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase as well as nine nuclear-coded transcripts encoding chloroplast proteins were measured using quantitative RT-PCR. In addition, 887 nuclear genes encoding plastid-localized proteins, as well as 64 chloroplast and 34 mitochondrial genes were assayed utilizing a cDNA microarray. In 9 out of the 18 chloroplast-encoded genes and 84 genes from the 985 element microarray revealed greater than twofold transcript abundance differences between developmental stages and/or cell types. Patterns for transcripts associated with operons and gene clusters suggest differing regulatory mechanisms for particular polycistronic stretches. In summary, this report provides evidence that cell type-specific transcript abundance varies more in the young developing chloroplast, and differences plateau or subside as chloroplasts mature.