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Arabidopsis STAY-GREEN2 is a negative regulator of chlorophyll degradation during leaf senescence.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Sakuraba Yasuhito, Park So-Yon, Kim Ye-Sol, Wang Seung-Hyun, Yoo Soo-Cheul, Hörtensteiner Stefan, Paek Nam-Chon,
Project Chlorophyll breakdown: catabolite modification and transport, and the relation to stoma function and cell death signalling
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Molecular plant
Volume (Issue) 7(8)
Page(s) 1288 - 302
Title of proceedings Molecular plant
DOI 10.1093/mp/ssu045

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


Chlorophyll (Chl) degradation causes leaf yellowing during senescence or under stress conditions. For Chl breakdown, STAY-GREEN1 (SGR1) interacts with Chl catabolic enzymes (CCEs) and light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) at the thylakoid membrane, possibly to allow metabolic channeling of potentially phototoxic Chl breakdown intermediates. Among these Chl catabolic components, SGR1 acts as a key regulator of leaf yellowing. In addition to SGR1 (At4g22920), the Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains an additional homolog, SGR2 (At4g11910), whose biological function remains elusive. Under senescence-inducing conditions, SGR2 expression is highly up-regulated, similarly to SGR1 expression. Here we show that SGR2 function counteracts SGR1 activity in leaf Chl degradation; SGR2-overexpressing plants stayed green and the sgr2-1 knockout mutant exhibited early leaf yellowing under age-, dark-, and stress-induced senescence conditions. Like SGR1, SGR2 interacted with LHCII but, in contrast to SGR1, SGR2 interactions with CCEs were very limited. Furthermore, SGR1 and SGR2 formed homo- or heterodimers, strongly suggesting a role for SGR2 in negatively regulating Chl degradation by possibly interfering with the proposed CCE-recruiting function of SGR1. Our data indicate an antagonistic evolution of the functions of SGR1 and SGR2 in Arabidopsis to balance Chl catabolism in chloroplasts with the dismantling and remobilizing of other cellular components in senescing leaf cells.