Niaz Ahmad* and Brent L. Nielsen Pages 855 - 860 ( 6 )
Plastids in higher plants carry out specialized roles such as photosynthesis, nitrogen assimilation, biosynthesis of amino acids, fatty acids, isoprenoids, and various metabolites. Plastids arise from undifferentiated precursors known as proplastids, which are found in the root and shoot meristems. They are highly dynamic as they change their number, morphology, and physiology according to the tissue they are present. In addition to housing various metabolic activities, plastids also serve as a global sensor for both internal and external environmental cues including different stresses, and help plants to respond/adjust accordingly. They relay information to the nucleus, which then responds by changing the expression levels of specific genes. It has been shown that plants with impaired plastid functions exhibit abnormalities. One of the sources emanating these signals to the nucleus is plastid transcription. Normal plastid functioning is therefore critical for plant survival. Despite immense significance for plant acclimation, the plastid transcriptome is largely an unstudied research area. In this review, we discuss the importance of plastid transcriptomics for the acclimation of plants under changing environmental conditions and summarize the key literature published in this field.
Proplastids, plastid transcriptome, mRNA processing, functional genomics, RNA-Seq, nucleus.
Agricultural Biotechnology Division, National Institute for Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering (NIBGE), Jhang Road, Faisalabad 38000, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah