Comparative analysis of nucleus-encoded plastid-targeting proteins in Rafflesia cantleyi against photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic representatives reveals orthologous systems with potentially divergent functions

Siuk Mun Ng, Xin Wei Lee, Mohd Noor Mat-Isa, Mohd Afiq Aizat-Juhari, Jumaat Adam, Rahmah Mohamed, Kiew Lian Wan, Mohd Firdaus Mohd Raih

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Abstract

Parasitic plants are known to discard photosynthesis thus leading to the deletion or loss of the plastid genes. Despite plastid genome reduction in non-photosynthetic plants, some nucleus-encoded proteins are transported back to the plastid to carry out specific functions. In this work, we study such proteins in Rafflesia cantleyi, a member of the holoparasitic genus well-known for producing the largest single flower in the world. Our analyses of three transcriptome datasets, two holoparasites (R. cantleyi and Phelipanche aegyptiaca) and one photosynthetic plant (Arabidopsis thaliana), suggest that holoparasites, such as R. cantleyi, retain some common plastid associated processes such as biosynthesis of amino acids and lipids, but are missing photosynthesis components that can be extensions of these pathways. The reconstruction of two selected biosynthetic pathways involving plastids correlates the trend of plastid retention to pathway complexity - transcriptome evidence for R. cantleyi suggests alternate mechanisms in regulating the plastidial heme and terpenoid backbone biosynthesis pathways. The evolution to holoparasitism from autotrophy trends towards devolving the plastid genes to the nuclear genome despite the functional sites remaining in the plastid, or maintaining non-photosynthetic processes in the plastid, before the eventual loss of the plastid and any site dependent functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17258
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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Chloroplast Proteins
Plastids
Photosynthesis
Autotrophic Processes
Plastid Genomes
Biosynthetic Pathways
Terpenes
Gene Expression Profiling
Heme
Transcriptome
Arabidopsis
Genes
Proteins
Genome
Lipids
Amino Acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Comparative analysis of nucleus-encoded plastid-targeting proteins in Rafflesia cantleyi against photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic representatives reveals orthologous systems with potentially divergent functions. / Ng, Siuk Mun; Lee, Xin Wei; Mat-Isa, Mohd Noor; Aizat-Juhari, Mohd Afiq; Adam, Jumaat; Mohamed, Rahmah; Wan, Kiew Lian; Mohd Raih, Mohd Firdaus.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 17258, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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