Phosphatidylglycerol is a ubiquitous phospholipid in the biological membranes of many organisms. In plants, phosphatidylglycerol is mainly present in thylakoid membranes and has been suggested to play specific roles in photosynthesis. Here, we have isolated two T-DNA tagged lines of Arabidopsis thaliana that have a T-DNA insertion in the PGP1 gene encoding a phosphatidylglycerolphosphate synthase involved in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylglycerol. In homozygous plants of the T-DNA tagged lines, the PGP1 gene was completely disrupted. The growth of these knockout mutants was dependent on the presence of sucrose in the growth medium, and these plants had pale yellow-green leaves. The leaves of the mutants had remarkably large intercellular spaces due to the reduction in the number of mesophyll cells. The development of chloroplasts in the leaf cells was severely arrested in the mutants. Mesophyll cells with chloroplast particles are only found around vascular structures, whereas epidermal cells are enlarged but largely conserved. The content of phosphatidylglycerol in the mutants was reduced to 12% of that of the wild type. These results demonstrate that PGP1 plays a major role in the biosynthesis of phosphatidylglycerol in chloroplasts, and that phosphatidylglycerol is essential for the development of thylakoid membranes in A. thaliana.
- Arabidopsis thaliana
- Phosphatidylglycerolphosphate synthase
- Thylakoid membrane