New Publication: Functional analysis of PsbS transmembrane domains through base editing in Physcomitrium patens
Pubblicato il: 11.01.2023 14:49
Functional analysis of PsbS transmembrane domains through base editing in Physcomitrium patens
In the next years, the demand for food and energy will grow, as the global population is expected to increase from 8 billion today to 9.5 billion by 2050 and a further increase in production per plant is needed to obtain food security for future generations. In this context, improving photosynthesis efficiency is one of the main targets.
Plants have a love/hate relationship with light. Light is necessary for their growth, but too much light can cause serious damage to the photosynthetic apparatus. During evolution photosynthetic organisms faced a trade-off between photoprotection and photosynthetic efficiency, and modifying this balance is a strategy to improve plant productivity. The mechanism of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) has a prominent role in photoprotection, allowing dissipation of excess absorbed energy as heat, it is triggered by PsbS, a thylakoidal membrane protein. The paper by Claudia Beraldo, Alessandro Alboresi, and Tomas Morosinotto (Dept. Biology, University of Padua, Italy) in collaboration with Anouchka Guyon-Debastand Fabién Nogue (Université Paris-Saclay, INRAE, France), aimed to analyse PsbS transmembrane domains from a functional and biochemical point of view. They exploited base editing in the moss Physcomitrium patens to introduce in vivo specific amino acid changes and assess their impact on PsbS activity. This approach enabled the recognition of residues essential for protein stability and the identification of a hydrophobic cluster of amino acids impacting PsbS activity. This work provides new information on the PsbS molecular mechanism while also demonstrating the potential of base editing approaches for in planta gene function analysis.