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Gene Review

rbcL  -  RuBisCO large subunit

Arabidopsis thaliana

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High impact information on rbcL

  • Here we report the results of parsimony analyses of DNA sequences of the plastid genes rbcL and atpB and the nuclear 18S rDNA for 560 species of angiosperms and seven non-flowering seed plants and show a well-resolved and well-supported phylogenetic tree for the angiosperms for use in comparative biology [1].
  • The phylogenetic utility of RPB2-d within the Gentianales is evaluated in comparison with the chloroplast genes ndhF and rbcL [2].
  • Short-term transfer of Arabidopsis plants grown at ambient CO2 to high CO2 resulted in a decrease in total rbcS mRNA by d 6, whereas Rubisco content and rbcL mRNA decreased by d 9 [3].
  • Their kinetics of accumulation resembled the accumulation of chloroplast psbA and rbcL mRNAs but differed from the accumulation of the nuclear-encoded Lhcb and Chs mRNAs [4].
  • Transcription from the Arabidopsis psbD promoter was 3-fold higher in blue relative to red light, whereas red and blue light affected total chloroplast, rbcL, and 16S rDNA transcription similarly [4].

Biological context of rbcL

  • A region encoding promoters of rbcL, the gene encoding the large subunit of ribulose-1,5-biphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, and the atpB/E operon for the beta and epsilon subunits of coupling factor one were cloned and sequenced [5].
  • In spite of predominant suppression of expression of rbcL, atpB/E, and psbA at transcription in roots and calli, 16S rRNA levels were decreased because of low RNA stability [5].
  • The photosynthesis gene ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit (rbcL) from Arabidopsis thaliana was used as an exogenous spike [6].

Other interactions of rbcL

  • The rbcL transcript was present at very low levels, the pattern of transcripts from the polycistronic psbB-psbH-petB-petD operon was abnormal, and the mature psbH message was almost completely lacking [7].
  • However, certain cpDNA sequences, including the central portion of the rbcL gene and the 3' end of the psaA gene, are shared by all six crucifer mtDNAs and appear to have been transferred in a common ancestor of the crucifer family over 30 million years ago [8].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of rbcL

  • The mutant showed: (1) reduction in the translation product but not the transcript for plastid-encoded rbcL, (2) reduction in photosynthetic activity monitored with pulse-amplitude modulated fluorometry, (3) impaired chloroplast development, as observed by electron microscopy [9].


  1. Angiosperm phylogeny inferred from multiple genes as a tool for comparative biology. Soltis, P.S., Soltis, D.E., Chase, M.W. Nature (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Discovery of paralogous nuclear gene sequences coding for the second-largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (RPB2) and their phylogenetic utility in gentianales of the asterids. Oxelman, B., Bremer, B. Mol. Biol. Evol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Effects of short- and long-term elevated CO2 on the expression of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase genes and carbohydrate accumulation in leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Cheng, S.H., Moore, B., Seemann, J.R. Plant Physiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  4. Structure and blue-light-responsive transcription of a chloroplast psbD promoter from Arabidopsis thaliana. Hoffer, P.H., Christopher, D.A. Plant Physiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  5. Evidence for transcriptional regulation of plastid photosynthesis genes in Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Isono, K., Niwa, Y., Satoh, K., Kobayashi, H. Plant Physiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  6. The use of endogenous and exogenous reference RNAs for qualitative and quantitative detection of PRRSV in porcine semen. Revilla-Fernández, S., Wallner, B., Truschner, K., Benczak, A., Brem, G., Schmoll, F., Mueller, M., Steinborn, R. J. Virol. Methods (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. hcf5, a nuclear photosynthetic electron transport mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana with a pleiotropic effect on chloroplast gene expression. Dinkins, R.D., Bandaranayake, H., Baeza, L., Griffiths, A.J., Green, B.R. Plant Physiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. Location, identity, amount and serial entry of chloroplast DNA sequences in crucifer mitochondrial DNAs. Nugent, J.M., Palmer, J.D. Curr. Genet. (1988) [Pubmed]
  9. Knock-out of the plastid ribosomal protein S21 causes impaired photosynthesis and sugar-response during germination and seedling development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Morita-Yamamuro, C., Tsutsui, T., Tanaka, A., Yamaguchi, J. Plant Cell Physiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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