, Volume 237, Issue 1, pp 279–292 | Cite as

Young Leaf Chlorosis 1, a chloroplast-localized gene required for chlorophyll and lutein accumulation during early leaf development in rice

  • Kunneng Zhou
  • Yulong Ren
  • Jia Lv
  • Yihua Wang
  • Feng Liu
  • Feng Zhou
  • Shaolu Zhao
  • Saihua Chen
  • Cheng Peng
  • Xin Zhang
  • Xiuping Guo
  • Zhijun Cheng
  • Jiulin Wang
  • Fuqing Wu
  • Ling Jiang
  • Jianmin WanEmail author
Original Article


Chlorophyll (Chl) and lutein are the two most abundant and essential components in photosynthetic apparatus, and play critical roles in plant development. In this study, we characterized a rice mutant named young leaf chlorosis 1 (ylc1) from a 60Co-irradiated population. Young leaves of the ylc1 mutant showed decreased levels of Chl and lutein compared to those of wild type, and transmission electron microscopy analysis revealed that the thylakoid lamellar structures were obviously loosely arranged. Whereas, the mutant turns green gradually and approaches normal green at the maximum tillering stage. The Young Leaf Chlorosis 1 (YLC1) gene was isolated via map-based cloning and identified to encode a protein of unknown function belonging to the DUF3353 superfamily. Complementation and RNA-interference tests confirmed the role of the YLC1 gene, which expressed in all tested rice tissues, especially in the leaves. Real-time PCR analyses showed that the expression levels of the genes associated with Chl biosynthesis and photosynthesis were affected in ylc1 mutant at different temperatures. In rice protoplasts, the YLC1 protein displayed a typical chloroplast location pattern. The N-terminal 50 amino acid residues were confirmed to be necessary and sufficient for chloroplast targeting. These data suggested that the YLC1 protein may be involved in Chl and lutein accumulation and chloroplast development at early leaf development in rice.


Chlorophyll Chloroplast Lutein Rice (Oryza sativaYLC1 gene 



Bacterial artificial chromosome








Domain of unknown function


Green fluorescent protein


High performance liquid chromatography


Light-harvesting complex II


Open reading frame


RNA interference


Simple sequence repeats


Transmission electron microscopy


Young leaf chlorosis 1





We thank Dr. Meiqin Liu (Beijing Forestry University) for her help in subcellular location. This research is supported by the grants from the 863 Program of China (2012AA100101, 2012AA101101), National Transform Science and Technology Program (2011ZX08001-004), Jiangsu Science and Technology Development Program (BK2010016, BE2011302), the earmarked fund for Modern Agro-industry Technology Research System and Jiangsu PAPD Program, the 973 Program of China (2009CB118506).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kunneng Zhou
    • 1
  • Yulong Ren
    • 1
  • Jia Lv
    • 1
  • Yihua Wang
    • 1
  • Feng Liu
    • 1
  • Feng Zhou
    • 1
  • Shaolu Zhao
    • 1
  • Saihua Chen
    • 1
  • Cheng Peng
    • 1
  • Xin Zhang
    • 2
  • Xiuping Guo
    • 2
  • Zhijun Cheng
    • 2
  • Jiulin Wang
    • 2
  • Fuqing Wu
    • 2
  • Ling Jiang
    • 1
  • Jianmin Wan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory for Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Jiangsu Plant Gene Engineering Research CenterNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop ScienceChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina

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