An rbcL mRNA-binding protein is associated with C-3 to C-4 evolution and light-induced production of Rubisco in Flaveria
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Nuclear-encoded RLSB protein binds chloroplastic rbcL mRNA encoding the Rubisco large subunit. RLSB is highly conserved across all groups of land plants and is associated with positive post-transcriptional regulation of rbcL expression. In C-3 leaves, RLSB and Rubisco occur in all chlorenchyma cell chloroplasts, while in C-4 leaves these accumulate only within bundle sheath (BS) chloroplasts. RLSB's role in rbcL expression makes modification of its localization a likely prerequisite for the evolutionary restriction of Rubisco to BS cells. Taking advantage of evolutionarily conserved RLSB orthologs in several C-3, C-3-C-4, C-4-like, and C-4 photosynthetic types within the genus Flaveria, we show that low level RLSB sequence divergence and modification to BS specificity coincided with ontogeny of Rubisco specificity and Kranz anatomy during C-3 to C-4 evolution. In both C-3 and C-4 species, Rubisco production reflected RLSB production in all cell types, tissues, and conditions examined. Co-localization occurred only in photosynthetic tissues, and both proteins were co-ordinately induced by light at post-transcriptional levels. RLSB is currently the only mRNA-binding protein to be associated with rbcL gene regulation in any plant, with variations in sequence and acquisition of cell type specificity reflecting the progression of C-4 evolution within the genus Flaveria.
|Journal Title||Journal of Experimental Botany|
|Rights||Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International|