Photoregulation of Chloroplast Development: Retrograde Signaling

  • Naini Burman
  • Jitendra P. KhuranaEmail author
Part of the Advances in Photosynthesis and Respiration book series (AIPH, volume 36)


Chloroplasts are the major organelles of the plant cell, which perform photosynthesis and thereby support life on Earth. Light not only provides energy for photosynthesis, it also regulates several proteins which are involved in chloroplast biogenesis and functioning. This strategy helps plants to conserve their energy and resources for an appropriate time when the surrounding environment is favourable for their growth and development. This direct signaling pathway is called anterograde signaling. Apart from this direct signaling pathway, chloroplasts also have a retrograde route through which, based on their developmental status, they can modulate the expression of genes regulated by light. Chloroplasts emit some signals, called plastid signals, when they are under some kind of stress, to keep the nucleus updated on their developmental and metabolic status. These plastid signals use different components of the light signaling pathway such as phytochrome B (PHYB), cryptochrome 1 (CRY1), elongated hypocotyl 5 (HY5) and constitutive photomorphogenic 1 (COP1) and invariably convert them from a positive regulator of light-regulated genes into a negative regulator or vice-versa, depending upon the functional state of the chloroplast. Apart from this, also a light-independent pathway mediated by GUN1 (Genomes Uncoupled 1) exists. Thus, interplay of anterograde and retrograde signaling, crossing each other at different junctions, helps plants to respond appropriately to the ambient light environment and to regulate chloroplast development.


Retrograde Signaling Plastoquinone Pool Plastid Protein Chloroplast Biogenesis Nuclear Gene Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



2-CYS Peroxiredoxin-A;


ABA-insensitive 4;


Cytosolic ascorbate peroxidases;


Golden 2 like 1;


MYC-related transcriptional activator;


Chlorophyll a/b binding protein;


Circadian clock associated 1;


Mg-chelatase D subunit;


Mg-chelatase H subunit;


Mg-chelatase I subunit;


Constitutive ­photomorphogenic 1;


Cryptochrome 1;


Cryptochrome 2;


De-etiolated 1;


Empfindlicher im dunkelroten licht 1;


Early light-inducible proteins;


Enhanced de-etiolation;


Executor 1;


Executor 2;


Far-red elongated hypocotyl 3;




G-box binding factor;


Gene ontology;


Genomes uncoupled;


Long hypocotyl in far-red;


Hypersensitive to red and blue;


Heat shock protein;


Long hypocotyl mutant 1;


Long hypocotyl mutant 2;


Elongated hypocotyl 5;


Jasmonic acid;


Light harvesting complex of photosystem II subunit;


Light-harvesting complex II;


Light responsive elements;


Plastid gene expression;


Photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes;


Phytochrome interacting factor 3;


Phytochrome interacting factor 4;




Plastoquinone pool;


Plastid redox insensitive 2;


Pseudo-response regulator 5;


Plastid transcriptionally active chromosome protein 2;


Rubisco (small subunit);




Small mutS-related;


Suppressor of phytochrome A-1;


STT7 homolog;


Translocon of the inner envelope of the chloroplast;


Translocon of the outer envelope of the chloroplast;


Zinc finger transcription factor



Authors would like to acknowledge Department of Biotechnology, Government of India and University Grants Commission, New Delhi for financial support. Naini Burman thanks Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi for awarding research fellowship and University of Delhi for Teaching Assistantship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre for Plant Genomics and Department of Plant Molecular BiologyUniversity of DelhiNew DelhiIndia

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