Life on earth relies upon photosynthesis, which consumes carbon dioxide and generates oxygen and carbohydrates. Photosynthesis is sustained by a dynamic environment within the plant cell involving numerous organelles with cytoplasmic streaming. Physiological studies of chloroplasts, mitochondria and peroxisomes show that these organelles actively communicate during photorespiration, a process by which by-products produced by photosynthesis are salvaged. Nevertheless, the mechanisms enabling efficient exchange of metabolites have not been clearly defined. We found that peroxisomes along chloroplasts changed shape from spherical to elliptical and their interaction area increased during photorespiration. We applied a recent femtosecond laser technology to analyse adhesion between the organelles inside palisade mesophyll cells of Arabidopsis leaves and succeeded in estimating their physical interactions under different environmental conditions. This is the first application of this estimation method within living cells. Our findings suggest that photosynthetic-dependent interactions play a critical role in ensuring efficient metabolite flow during photorespiration.
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We thank Drs S. Arimura (The University of Tokyo) for providing the Mt-GFP plants, S. Takahashi (The Australian National University; ANU) for providing shmt1, and M.R. Badger (ANU) and S. Takahashi (ANU) for kindly discussing and suggesting experiments. This work was supported by MEXT KAKENHI (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas) to M.N. (no. 22120007) and Y.H. (no. 22120010).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Oikawa, K., Matsunaga, S., Mano, S. et al. Physical interaction between peroxisomes and chloroplasts elucidated by in situ laser analysis. Nature Plants 1, 15035 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2015.35
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