Replication of chloroplast, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA during growth of unirradiated and UVB-irradiated Arabidopsis leaves


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Replication of Arabidopsis nuclear, mitochondrial and chloroplast DNA (ncDNA, mtDNA, cpDNA) was assayed by measuring respective changes in copies per leaf, employing quantitative PCR (QPCR) analysis with genome-specific primer pairs. All three genomes showed parallel increases during growth of cotyledons and 5th leaves in planta, maintaining approximately 13 mtDNA copies and 280 cpDNA copies per haploid nuclear genome. Detached 5th leaves, which showed good growth and DNA replication on agar plates, were irradiated at (DNA-effective) UV-B fluences of 1.3–5.0 kJ m−2 and incubated under blue (photorepair-active) plus gold light or gold light only. Under blue light, replication of all genomes after all UV fluences was approximately as efficient as replication in unirradiated leaves. UV-irradiated leaves showed little growth under gold light only; 5 kJ m−2 stopped replication of all three genomes, 2.5 kJ m−2 stopped only cpDNA replication, and 1.3 kJ m−2 only delayed cpDNA replication. Immunoassays showed that 5 kJ m−2 induced about 1.2 cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers and 0.1 [6-4]photoproducts per kbp of bulk DNA, and that both photoproducts were completely removed during 2–3 days under blue light, suggesting efficient photorepair of at least ncDNA and cpDNA. The evidence for efficient photorepair of organellar DNA contrasts with previous studies of irradiated 5-day-old seedlings, and with the apparent absence of Arabidopsis photolyases bearing transit peptides.