Vir-115 gene product is required to stabilize D1 translation intermediates in chloroplasts. Academic Article uri icon


  • The nuclear gene mutant of barley, vir-115, shows a developmentally induced loss of D1 synthesis that results in inactivation of Photosystem II. Translation in plastids isolated from 1 h illuminated vir-115 seedlings is similar to wild type. In wild-type barley, illumination of plants for 16 to 72 h results in increased radiolabel incorporation into the D1 translation intermediates of 15-24 kDa. In contrast, these D1 translation intermediates were not observed in vir-115 plastids isolated from plants illuminated for 16-72 h. In addition, after 72 h of illumination, radiolabel incorporation into D1 was undetectable in vir-115 plastids. The level and distribution of psbA mRNA in membrane-associated polysomes was similar in wild-type and vir-115 mutant plastids isolated from plants illuminated for 16-72 h. Toeprint analysis showed similar levels of translation initiation complexes on psbA mRNA in vir-115 and wild-type plastids. These results indicate that translation initiation and elongation of D1 is not significantly altered in the mutant plastids. Ribosome pausing on psbA mRNA was observed in wild-type and vir-115 mutant plastids. Therefore, the absence of D1 translation intermediates in mutant plastids is not due to a lack of ribosome pausing on psbA mRNA. Based on these results, it is proposed that vir-115 lacks or contains a modified nuclear-encoded gene product which normally stabilizes the D1 translation intermediates. In wild-type plastids, ribosome pausing and stabilization of D1 translation intermediates is proposed to facilitate assembly of cofactors such as chlorophyll with D1 allowing continued D1 synthesis and accumulation in mature chloroplasts.

published proceedings

  • Plant Mol Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Kim, J., Klein, P. G., & Mullet, J. E.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Kim, J||Klein, PG||Mullet, JE

publication date

  • June 1994