Coordinate Expression of Rubisco Activase and Rubisco during Barley Leaf Cell Development
Zielinski, R.E.; Werneke, J.M.; Jenkins, M.E.
Plant Physiology 90(2): 516-521
ISSN/ISBN: 0032-0889 PMID: 16666801 DOI: 10.1104/pp.90.2.516
We have utilized the cellular differentiation gradient and photomorphogenic responses of the first leaf of 7-day-old barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) to examine the accumulation of mRNA and protein encoded by the ribulose-1,5-biphosphate carboxylase holoenzyme (rubisco) activase gene (rca). Previous studies have revealed a pattern of coordinate expression of rubisco subunit polypeptides during development. We compared the expression of rubisco polypeptides and mRNAs with those encoded by rca. The mRNAs encoding both rubisco activase and rubisco are expressed exclusively in leaf tissue of 7-day-old barley seedlings; mRNAs and polypeptides of rca accumulate progressively from the leaf base in a pattern that is qualitatively similar to that of rubisco subunit mRNAs and polypeptides. The parallel pattern of rca protein and mRNA accumulation indicate that a primary control of rca gene expression in this system lies at the level of mRNA production. Light-induced expression of rca in etiolated barley follows a different pattern from that of the acropetal barley leaf gradient, however. Etiolated, 7-day-old barley seedlings contain levels of rca mRNA near the limit of detection in Northern blot hybridization assays. White light induces a 50- to 100-fold accumulation of rca mRNA, which is detectable within 30 min after the onset of illumination. In contrast, steady state levels of mRNAs encoding the small rubisco subunit are affected little by light, and mRNAs encoding the large subunit accumulate about 5-fold in response to illumination. While rca mRNA levels are low in etiolated barley leaves, levels of the protein are approximately 50 to 75% of those found in fully green leaves.