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Zagari, Nicola; Sandoval-Ibanez, Omar; Sandal, Niels; Su, Junyi; Rodriguez-Concepcion, Manuel; Stougaard, Jens; Pribil, Mathias; Leister, Dario; Pulido, Pablo (2017): SNOWY COTYLEDON 2 Promotes Chloroplast Development and Has a Role in Leaf Variegation in Both Lotus japonicus and Arabidopsis thaliana. In: Molecular Plant, Vol. 10, No. 5: pp. 721-734
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Plants contain various factors that transiently interact with subunits or intermediates of the thylakoid multiprotein complexes, promoting their stable association and integration. Hence, assembly factors are essential for chloroplast development and the transition from heterotrophic to phototrophic growth. Snowy cotyledon 2 (SCO2) is a DNAJ-like protein involved in thylakoid membrane biogenesis and interacts with the light-harvesting chlorophyll-binding protein LHCB1. In Arabidopsis thaliana, SCO2 function was previously reported to be restricted to cotyledons. Here we show that disruption of SCO2 in Lotus japonicus results not only in paler cotyledons but also in variegated true leaves. Furthermore, smaller and palegreen true leaves can also be observed in A. thaliana sco2 (atsco2) mutants under short-day conditions. In both species, SCO2 is required for proper accumulation of PSII-LHCII complexes. In contrast to other variegated mutants, inhibition of chloroplastic translation strongly affects L. japonicus sco2 mutant development and fails to suppress their variegated phenotype. Moreover, inactivation of the suppressor of variegation AtClpR1 in the atsco2 background results in an additive double-mutant phenotype with variegated true leaves. Taken together, our results indicate that SCO2 plays a distinct role in PSII assembly or repair and constitutes a novel factor involved in leaf variegation.