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Crop Biotech Update

OsCpn60β1 Vital for Chloroplast Development in Rice, Study

June 17, 2020

Researchers from Zhejiang University and Zhejiang Academy elucidated the role of OsCpn60β1 in chloroplast development in rice. Their findings are published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 

Chaperonin 60 (Cpn60) protein has been known to control the folding of several chloroplast protein polypeptides. In chloroplasts, Cpn60 has two subunit types—Cpn60α and Cpn60β and the rice genome encodes three α and three β plastid chaperonin subunits. However, the functions of Cpn60 family members remains unclear. To understand the molecular mechanism of OsCpn60β1, the researchers disrupted the gene using CRISPR-Cas9.

Results showed that the OsCpn60β1 knockout rice plants manifested albino leaves and were seedling lethal. When the leaves were observed under an electron microscope, it was found that the chloroplasts were severely disrupted. OsCpn60β1 was found in the chloroplast and OsCpn60β1 is constitutively expressed in different tissues especially in the green tissues. Further analysis showed that photosynthesis-related pathways and ribosomal pathways were significantly inhibited in OsCpn60β1 mutants.

Based on the findings, the researchers concluded that OsCpn60β1 is essential for chloroplast development in rice.

Read more in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

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