Isochorismate synthase 1 is required for thylakoid organization, optimal plastoquinone redox status, and state transitions in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Isochorismate synthase 1 (ICS1) is a crucial enzyme in the salicylic acid (SA) synthesis pathway, and thus it is important for immune defences. The ics1 mutant is used in experiments on plant–pathogen interactions, and ICS1 is required for the appropriate hypersensitive disease defence response. However, ICS1 also takes part in the synthesis of phylloquinone, which is incorporated into photosystem I and is an important component of photosynthetic electron transport in plants. Therefore, photosynthetic and molecular analysis of the ics1 mutant in comparison with wild-type and SA-degrading transgenic NahG Arabidopsis thaliana plants was performed. Photosynthetic parameters in the ics1 mutant, when compared with the wild type, were changed in a manner observed previously for state transition-impaired plants (STN7 kinase recessive mutant, stn7). In contrast to stn7, deregulation of the redox status of the plastoquinone pool (measured as 1–qp) in ics1 showed significant variation depending on the leaf age. SA-degrading transgenic NahG plants targeted to the cytoplasm or chloroplasts displayed normal (wild-type-like) state transition. However, ics1 plants treated with a phylloquinone precursor displayed symptoms of phenotypic reversion towards the wild type. ics1 also showed altered thylakoid structure with an increased number of stacked thylakoids per granum which indicates the role of ICS1 in regulation of state transition. The results presented here suggest the role of ICS1 in integration of the chloroplast ultrastructure, the redox status of the plastoquinone pool, and organization of the photosystems, which all are important for optimal immune defence and light acclimatory responses.

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