Plastid-encoded plastid RNA polymerase (PEP), a dominant RNA polymerase in mature chloroplasts, consists of core subunits and peripheral subunits. Despite the importance of the peripheral subunits in control of PEP activity it is unclear how they interact with one another to exert physiological effects on chloroplast development and plant growth, especially in rice. Here, we report a mutant, designated wsl3 that lacks a peripheral subunit in rice. We isolated the WSL3 gene encoding an essential peripheral subunit of rice PEP complex, OsPAP1/OspTAC3 by map-based cloning, and verified its function by complementation analysis. The wsl3 mutant showed a typical expression pattern of plastid-encoded genes, suggesting that PEP activity was impaired. Using immunofluorescent labeling and immunoblotting, we found that WSL3 was localized to the chloroplast and associated with the nucleoid. In addition, we demonstrated that WSL3 interacted with PEP subunits in Y2H, BiFC and pull-down experiments. Furthermore, a cpDNA IP assay revealed that WSL3 was associated with the PEP complex during the entire transcription process. We provide evidence suggesting that WSL3 is essential for early chloroplast development by interacting with subunits of the PEP complex.
Keywords: Nuclear chloroplast interaction; Oryza sativa; PEP; WSL3; pTAC3.