J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2010, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (8): 750-761.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2010.00980.x

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Arabidopsis Chloroplast FtsH, var2 and Suppressors of var2 Leaf Variegation: a Review

Xiayan Liu1,2, Fei Yu1,3 and Steve Rodermel1*   

  1. 1Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
    2Interdepartmental Genetics Graduate Program, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
    3College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, Shaanxi 712100, China
  • Received:2010-05-03 Accepted:2010-06-24 Published:2010-06-29
  • About author: *Corresponding author Tel: +1 515 294 8890; Fax: +1 515 294 1337; E-mail: rodermel@iastate.edu


Variegation mutants are ideal model systems to study chloroplast biogenesis. We are interested in variegations whose green and white-sectored leaves arise as a consequence of the action of nuclear recessive genes. In this review, we focus on the Arabidopsis var2 variegation mutant, and discuss recent progress toward understanding the function of VAR2 and the mechanism of var2-mediated variegation. VAR2 is a subunit of the chloroplast FtsH complex, which is involved in turnover of the Photosystem II reaction center D1 protein, as well as in other processes required for the development and maintenance of the photosynthetic apparatus. The cells in green sectors of var2 have normal-appearing chloroplasts whereas cells in the white sectors have abnormal plastids that lack pigments and organized lamellae. To explain the mechanism of var2 variegation, we have proposed a threshold model in which the formation of chloroplasts is due to the presence of activities/processes that are able to compensate for a lack of VAR2. To gain insight into these activities, second-site suppressor screens have been carried out to obtain mutants with non-variegation phenotypes. Cloning and characterization of several var2 suppressor lines have uncovered several mechanisms of variegation suppression, including an unexpected link between var2 variegation and chloroplast translation.

Liu X, Yu F, Rodermel S (2010) Arabidopsis chloroplast FtsH, var2 and suppressors of var2 leaf variegation: a review. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 52(8), 750–761.

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