Chloroplast development in green plant tissues: the interplay between light, hormone, and transcriptional regulation

Lee Cackett, Leonie H. Luginbuehl, Tina B. Schreier, Enrique Lopez Juez, Julian M. Hibberd

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Chloroplasts are best known for their role in photosynthesis, but they also allow nitrogen and sulphur assimilation, amino acid, fatty acid, nucleotide and hormone synthesis.Howchloroplasts develop is therefore relevant to these diverse and fundamental biological processes, but also to attempts at their rational redesign. Light is strictly required for chloroplast formation in all angiosperms and directly regulates the expression of hundreds of chloroplast-related genes. Light also modulates the levels of several hormones including brassinosteriods, cytokinins, auxins and gibberellins, which themselves control chloroplast development particularly during early stages of plant development. Transcription factors such as GOLDENLIKE1&2 (GLK1&2), GATA NITRATE-INDUCIBLE CARBON METABOLISM-INVOLVED (GNC) and CYTOKININRESPONSIVE GATA FACTOR 1 (CGA1) act downstream of both light and phytohormone signalling to regulate chloroplast development. Thus, in green tissues transcription factors, light signalling and hormone signalling form a complex network regulating the transcription of chloroplast- and photosynthesis-related genes to control the development and number of chloroplasts per cell.Weuse this conceptual framework to identify points of regulation that could be harnessed to modulate chloroplast abundance and increase photosynthetic efficiency of crops, and to highlight future avenues to overcome gaps in current knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-167
Number of pages17
JournalNew Phytologist
Early online date2 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Nov 2021


  • Biogenesis
  • Green tissues
  • Hormone signalling
  • Light signalling
  • Plastid division

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