Delaying chloroplast turnover increases water-deficit stress tolerance through the enhancement of nitrogen assimilation in rice

J Exp Bot. 2018 Feb 12;69(4):867-878. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erx247.


Abiotic stress-induced senescence in crops is a process particularly affecting the photosynthetic apparatus, decreasing photosynthetic activity and inducing chloroplast degradation. A pathway for stress-induced chloroplast degradation that involves the CHLOROPLAST VESICULATION (CV) gene was characterized in rice (Oryza sativa) plants. OsCV expression was up-regulated with the age of the plants and when plants were exposed to water-deficit conditions. The down-regulation of OsCV expression contributed to the maintenance of the chloroplast integrity under stress. OsCV-silenced plants displayed enhanced source fitness (i.e. carbon and nitrogen assimilation) and photorespiration, leading to water-deficit stress tolerance. Co-immunoprecipitation, intracellular co-localization, and bimolecular fluorescence demonstrated the in vivo interaction between OsCV and chloroplastic glutamine synthetase (OsGS2), affecting source-sink relationships of the plants under stress. Our results would indicate that the OsCV-mediated chloroplast degradation pathway is involved in the regulation of nitrogen assimilation during stress-induced plant senescence.

Keywords: CHLOROPLAST VESICULATION; nitrogen assimilation; photorespiration; photosynthesis; stress-induced senescence; water stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chloroplasts / metabolism*
  • Droughts*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / physiology*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Water / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Water
  • Nitrogen