Effects of MPK3 and MPK6 kinases on the chloroplast architecture and function induced by cold acclimation in Arabidopsis

Mariana Saucedo-García, Carla D. González-Córdova, I. Giordano Ponce-Pineda, Dora Cano-Ramírez, Fernanda M. Romero-Colín, Erik E. Arroyo-Pérez, Beatriz King-Díaz, Alonso Zavafer, Marina Gavilanes-Ruíz*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Exposure to low, non-freezing temperatures develops freezing tolerance in many plant species. Such process is called cold acclimation. Molecular changes undergone during cold acclimation are orchestrated by signalling networks including MAP kinases. Structure and function of chloroplasts are affected by low temperatures. The aim of this work was to study how the MAP kinases MPK3 and MPK6 are involved in the chloroplast performance upon a long period of cold acclimation. We used Arabidopsis thaliana wild type and mpk3 and mpk6 mutants. Adult plants were acclimated during 7 days at 4 °C and then measurements of PSII performance and chloroplast ultrastructure were carried out. Only the mpk6 acclimated plants showed a high freezing sensitivity. No differences in the PSII function were observed in the plants from the three genotypes exposed to non-acclimated or acclimated conditions. The acclimation of wild-type plants produced severe alterations in the ultrastructure of chloroplast and thylakoids, which was more accentuated in the mpk plants. However, only the mpk6 mutant was unable to internalize the damaged chloroplasts into the vacuole. These results indicate that cold acclimation induces alterations in the chloroplast architecture leading to preserve an optimal performance of PSII. MPK3 and MPK6 are necessary to regulate these morphological changes, but besides, MPK6 is needed to the vacuolization of the damaged chloroplasts, suggesting a role in the chloroplast recycling during cold acclimation. The latter could be quite relevant, since it could explain why this mutant is the only one showing an extremely low freezing tolerance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)201-212
    Number of pages12
    JournalPhotosynthesis Research
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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