Spatial and Temporal Regulation of Chloroplast Development in Arabidopsis Root

Part of the Advanced Topics in Science and Technology in China book series (ATSTC)


In higher plants, heterotrophic organs develop non-green plastids whereas photosynthetic organs develop chloroplasts within the cells. In Arabidopsis, roots grow underground as heterotrophic organs with developing non-green plastids. Although the roots have a potential to develop chloroplasts, it may be usually repressed through the COP1/DET1-mediating degradation of HY5 even in the presence of light. On the other hand, our recent data demonstrate that the roots detached from the shoot develop chloroplasts through a modification of auxin/cytokinin signaling. To reveal the regulatory system of chloroplast biogenesis, in this study we investigated spatial and temporal patterns of chlorophyll accumulation, HY5 protein accumulation, and CHLH expression in Arabidopsis roots. While the patterns of chlorophyll accumulation and CHLH expression in roots were very similar, the distribution pattern of HY5 was largely different from those, suggesting that the accumulation of HY5 is not a rate-limiting factor for chlorophyll synthesis in roots. Meanwhile, overexpression of GOLDEN2-LIKE (GLK) 1 and GLK2 transcription factors resulted in an ectopic accumulation of chlorophyll in roots. Because GLKs are strong upregulators of genes associated with chlorophyll biosynthesis and light harvesting, the expression rate of GLK1 and GLK2 is likely one of limiting factors for chloroplast biogenesis in roots.


Arabidopsis Chlorophyll Chloroplast Root greening 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Benzing DH, Friedman WE, Peterson G, Renfrow A (1983) Shootlessness, Velamentous Roots, and the Pre-Eminence of Orchidaceae in the Epiphytic Biotope. Am. J. Bot. 70: 121–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chory J, Peto CA (1990) Mutations in the DET1 Gene Affect Cell-Type-Specific Expression of Light-Regulated Genes and Chloroplast Development in Arabidopsis. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 87: 8776–8780PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Flores HE, Dai Y, Cuello JL, Maldonado-Mendoza IE, Loyola-Vargas VM (1993) Green Roots: Photosynthesis and Photoautotrophy in an Underground Plant Organ. Plant Physiol. 101: 363–371PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Gill AM, Tomlinson PB (1977) Studies of the Growth of Red Mangrove (Rhizophora Mangle L) 4: the Adult Root System. Biotropica 9: 145–155CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Masuda T, Fujita Y (2008) Regulation and Evolution of Chlorophyll Metabolism. Photochem. Photobiol. Sci. 7: 1131–1149PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Nakamura H, Muramatsu M, Hakata M, Ueno O, Nagamura Y, Hirochika H, Takano M, Ichikawa H (2009) Ectopic Overexpression of the Transcription Factor OsGLK1 Induces Chloroplast Development in Non-Green Rice Cells. Plant Cell Physiol. 50: 1933–1949PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Oravecz A, Baumann A, Máté Z, Brzezinska A, Molinier J, Oakeley EJ, Adám E, Schäfer E, Nagy F, Ulm R (2006) Constitutively Photomorphogenicl Is Required for the UV-B Response in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 18: 1975–1990PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Oyama T, Shimura Y, Okada K (1997) The Arabidopsis HY5 Gene Encodes a bZIP Protein that Regulates Stimulus-Induced Development of Root and Hypocotyl. Genes Dev. 11: 2983–2995PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Usami T, Mochizuki N, Kondo M, Nishimura M, Nagatani A (2004) Cryptochromes and Phytochromes synergistically Regulate Arabidopsis Root Greening under Blue Light. Plant Cell Physiol. 45: 1798–1808PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Waters MT, Moylan EC, Langdale JA (2008) GLK Transcription Factors Regulate Chloroplast Development in a Cell-Autonomous Manner. Plant J. 56: 432–444PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Waters MT, Wang P, Korkaric M, Capper RG, Saunders NJ, Langdale JA (2009) GLK Transcription Factors Coordinate Expression of the Photosynthetic Apparatus in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell 21: 1109–1128PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Zhejiang University Press, Hangzhou and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RIKEN Plant Science CenterYokohamaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of Arts and SciencesThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations