Natural genetic variation in the expression regulation of the chloroplast antioxidant system among Arabidopsis thaliana accessions




Photosynthesis is the predominant source of reactive oxygen species in light. In order to prevent the negative influence of reactive oxygen species (ROS) on cell functionality, chloroplasts have evolved a highly efficient antioxidant protection system. Here, we present the first study on natural variation in this system. Comparison of temperature and developmental responses in seven accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana from northern habitats showed that the regulation is widely genetically manifested, but hardly correlates with geographic parameters. Transcript, polysomal RNA (pRNA) and protein data showed that the ecotypes use different strategies to adjust the chloroplast antioxidative defense system, either by regulating transcript abundance or initiation of translation. Comparison of mRNA and pRNA levels showed that Col-0 invests more into transcript accumulation, while Van-0, WS and C24 regulates the chloroplast antioxidant protection system more on the level of pRNA. Nevertheless, both strategies of regulation led to the expression of chloroplast antioxidant enzymes at sufficient level to efficiently protect plants from ROS accumulation in Col-0, WS, C24 and Van-0. On the contrary, Cvi-0, Ms-0 and Kas-1 accumulated high amounts of ROS. The expression of copper/zinc superoxide dismutase (Csd2), ascorbate peroxidases and 2-Cys peroxiredoxins was higher in Cvi-0 on the transcriptional level, while Csd2, peroxiredoxin Q, type II peroxiredoxin E and glutathione peroxidase 1 were induced in Ms-0 on the mRNA level. Similar to Kas-1, in which mRNA levels were less than or similar to Col-0 gene, specific support for translation was observed in Ms-0, showing that the ecotypes use different strategies to adjust the antioxidant system.