JCJC SVSE 2 - JCJC : Sciences de la vie, de la santé et des écosystèmes : Biologie cellulaire, développement

Chloroplast directed environmental stress acclimation in plants. – CHLORO_SAP

How do chloroplasts help plants adapt to their environment?

Chloroplasts are essential organelles that are the site of photosynthesis in green plants. Chloroplasts are now at the heart of plant energy metabolism and are delicate sensors of the outside environment and the specific nutrient requirements of the plant. Here we propose to find out how chloroplasts sense environmental change and how they then signal to mediate chloroplast and plant-wide acclimation.

Objectives

Chloroplasts are essential organelles that are the site of photosynthesis in green plants. By capturing and converting sun light photosynthesis is the primary source of chemical energy for the whole biosphere. Chloroplasts were formed when a eukaryotic cell swallowed an ancient cyanobacterium. Today bacteria-like processes including photosynthesis, transcription and translation continue within the chloroplast, with the addition of new eukaryotic processes such as hormone and starch metabolism. Chloroplasts are now at the heart of plant energy metabolism and are delicate sensors of the outside environment and the specific nutrient requirements of the plant. Here we propose to find out how chloroplasts sense environmental change and how they then signal to mediate chloroplast and plant-wide acclimation. Progress in these areas will open up new horizons in plant biology, and will be crucial for improving plants to face the challenges of a changing climate (by development of drought and salt tolerant crops and plants for carbon dioxide sequestration) and uncertain energy supplies (by development of plant-based alternatives to fossil fuels and petrochemicals).

We are using an array of genetic techniques to address these questions in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. We have developed innovative new genetic tools that allow us to specifically activate or inactivate signalling pathways in the chloroplast. Using this approach we can follow specific signalling pathways in isolation and identify their molecular targets (for example enzymes or genes). We are also studying the behaviour of plants modified by these tools under a range of different growth and stress conditions. Our experiments are already suggesting that certain pathways are vital for the development of the chloroplast and the growth of the plant.

Our results are still very preliminary.

The broader perspectives of our work are described above in the Objectives section.

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Chloroplasts are essential organelles that are the site of photosynthesis in green plants. By capturing and converting sun light photosynthesis is the primary source of chemical energy for the whole biosphere. Chloroplasts were formed when a eukaryotic cell swallowed an ancient cyanobacterium. Today bacteria-like processes including photosynthesis, transcription and translation continue within the chloroplast, with the addition of new eukaryotic processes such as hormone and starch metabolism. Chloroplasts are now at the heart of plant energy metabolism and are delicate sensors of the outside environment and the specific nutrient requirements of the plant.

Here we propose to find out how chloroplasts sense environmental change and how they then signal to mediate chloroplast and plant-wide acclimation. Progress in these areas will open up new horizons in plant biology, and will be crucial for improving plants to face the challenges of a changing climate (by development of drought and salt tolerant crops and plants for carbon dioxide sequestration) and uncertain energy supplies (by development of plant-based alternatives to fossil fuels and petrochemicals).

Project coordinator

Monsieur Benjamin FIELD (CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE - DELEGATION REGIONALE PROVENCE) – ben.field@univmed.fr

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

CNRS DR12 - BVME CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE - DELEGATION REGIONALE PROVENCE

Help of the ANR 250,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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