Plant Science

Small RNA retunes photosynthesis

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Science  23 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6344, pp. 1244-1245
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6344.1244-e

Blue-green Synechocystis algal cells

PHOTO: BASF/FLICKR

When iron is limited, photosynthetic pathways are remodeled to accommodate the deficit. Iron transport systems and alternative redox carriers are mobilized. Georg et al. now show that a 68-nucleotide small RNA named iron-stress-activated RNA1 (IsaR1) is central to this accommodation in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis. IsaR1 is conserved across cyanobacterial species and expressed in response to iron starvation. With iron deprivation, IsaR1 adjusts components of photosynthetic electron transfer, pigment biosynthesis, and Fe-S cluster biogenesis to make the most of the available light with the materials at hand.

Curr. Biol. 27, 1425 (2017)

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