OsCRP1, a Ribonucleoprotein Gene, Regulates Chloroplast mRNA Stability That Confers Drought and Cold Tolerance.


Bang SW(1), Lee HS(1), Park SH(1)(2), Lee DK(1)(3), Seo JS(1), Kim YS(1)(4), Park SC(1), Kim JK(1).
Author information:
(1)Crop Biotechnology Institute, GreenBio Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Pyeongchang 25354, Korea.
(2)Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117604, Singapore.
(3)E GREEN GLOBAL, Gunpo 15843, Korea.
(4)Department of Agriculture and Life Industry, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon 24341, Korea.


Chloroplast ribonucleoproteins (cpRNPs) are nuclear-encoded and highly abundant proteins that are proposed to function in chloroplast RNA metabolism. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of chloroplast RNAs involved in stress tolerance are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that CHLOROPLAST RNA-BINDING PROTEIN 1 (OsCRP1), a rice (Oryza sativa) cpRNP gene, is essential for stabilization of RNAs from the NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDH) complex, which in turn enhances drought and cold stress tolerance. An RNA-immunoprecipitation assay revealed that OsCRP1 is associated with a set of chloroplast RNAs. Transcript profiling indicated that the mRNA levels of genes from the NDH complex significantly increased in the OsCRP1 overexpressing compared to non-transgenic plants, whereas the pattern in OsCRP1 RNAi plants were opposite. Importantly, the OsCRP1 overexpressing plants showed a higher cyclic electron transport (CET) activity, which is essential for elevated levels of ATP for photosynthesis. Additionally, overexpression of OsCRP1 resulted in significantly enhanced drought and cold stress tolerance with higher ATP levels compared to wild type. Thus, our findings suggest that overexpression of OsCRP1 stabilizes a set of mRNAs from genes of the NDH complex involved in increasing CET activity and production of ATP, which consequently confers enhanced drought and cold tolerance.