Biochemical and molecular characterization of photosystem I deficiency in the NCS6 mitochondrial mutant of maize

Shunxing Jiao, Jeffry M. Thornsberry, Thomas E. Elthon, Kathleen J. Newton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Interorganellar signaling interactions are poorly understood. The maize non-chromosomal stripe (NCS) mutants provide models to study the requirement of mitochondrial function for chloroplast biogenesis and photosynthesis. Previous work suggested that the NCS6 mitochondrial mutation, a cytochrome oxidase subunit 2 (cox2) deletion, is associated with a malfunction of Photosystem I (PSI) in defective chloroplasts of mutant leaf sectors (Gu et al., 1993). We have now quantified the reductions of photosynthetic rates and PSI activity in the NCS6 defective stripes. Major reductions of the plastid-coded PsaC and nucleus-coded PsaD and PsaE PSI subunits and of their corresponding mRNAs are seen in mutant sectors; however, although thepsaA/B mRNA is greatly reduced, levels of PsaA and PsaB (the core proteins of PSI) are only slightly decreased. Levels of the PsaL subunit and its mRNA appear to be unchanged. Tested subunits of other thylakoid membrane complexes - PSII, Cyt b6/f, and ATP synthase, have minor (or no) reductions within mutant sectors. The results suggest that specific signaling pathways sense the dysfunction of the mitochondrial electron transport chain and respond to down-regulate particular PSI mRNAs, leading to decreased PSI accumulation in the chloroplast. The reductions of both nucleus and plastid encoded components indicate that complex interorganellar signaling pathways may be involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Chloroplast
  • Cytochrome oxidase
  • Mutation
  • Photosynthesis
  • Respiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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