Chloroplast biogenesis needs to be well coordinated with cell division and cell expansion during plant growth and development to achieve optimal photosynthesis rates. Previous studies showed that gibberellins (GAs) regulate many important plant developmental processes, including cell division and cell expansion. However, the relationship between chloroplast biogenesis with cell division and cell expansion, and how GA coordinately regulates these processes, remains poorly understood. In this study, we showed that chloroplast division was significantly reduced in the GA-deficient mutants of Arabidopsis (ga1-3) and Oryza sativa (d18-AD), accompanied by the reduced expression of several chloroplast division-related genes. However, the chloroplasts of both mutants exhibited increased grana stacking compared with their respective wild-type plants, suggesting that there might be a compensation mechanism linking chloroplast division and grana stacking. A time-course analysis showed that cell expansion-related genes tended to be upregulated earlier and more significantly than the genes related to chloroplast division and cell division in GA-treated ga1-3 leaves, suggesting the possibility that GA may promote chloroplast division indirectly through impacting leaf mesophyll cell expansion. Furthermore, our cellular and molecular analysis of the GA-response signaling mutants suggest that RGA and GAI are the major repressors regulating GA-induced chloroplast division, but other DELLA proteins (RGL1, RGL2 and RGL3) also play a role in repressing chloroplast division in Arabidopsis. Taken together, our data show that GA plays a critical role in controlling and coordinating cell division, cell expansion and chloroplast biogenesis through influencing the DELLA protein family in both dicot and monocot plant species.
© 2012 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.