The pentatricopeptide-repeat (PPR) protein DELAYED GREENING 1 (DG1) has been shown to be involved in the regulation of early chloroplast development and chloroplast gene expression in Arabidopsis. To gain insight into the mode of DG1 action, we used a yeast two-hybrid screening approach and identified a partner, SIG6, which is a chloroplast sigma factor responsible for the transcription of plastid-encoded RNA polymerase (PEP)-dependent chloroplast genes in cotyledons. Further analysis showed that the C-terminal region of DG1 and the N-terminal region of SIG6 are responsible for such interactions. High-level expression of a truncated C-terminal DG1 in wild-type Arabidopsis caused a dominant-negative phenotype. The sig6 dg1 double mutant displayed a more severe chlorotic phenotype, and the PEP-dependent chloroplast gene transcripts were greatly reduced compared with transcript levels in the single mutants. Overexpression of SIG6 rescued the chlorophyll deficiency in dg1 cotyledons but not in young leaves. In addition, increased SIG6 promoted PEP-dependent chloroplast gene transcript accumulation in the dg1 mutant background. These results suggest that the interaction of DG1 and SIG6 is functionally significant in the regulation of PEP-dependent chloroplast gene transcription in Arabidopsis cotyledons.
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.