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Gene Review

psbA  -  photosystem II protein D1

Arabidopsis thaliana

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Disease relevance of psbA

  • High-fluence blue light stimulates transcription from a higher plant chloroplast psbA promoter expressed in a cyanobacterium, Synechococcus (sp. strain PCC7942) [1].

High impact information on psbA

  • The reaction center core of photosystem II is composed of two chlorophyll binding proteins, D1 and D2, that are encoded by the chloroplast genes psbA and psbD [2].
  • On the other hand, overproduction of AtSig2 enhanced the transcription of psbA gene and trnE operon, but not psbD transcription [3].
  • The BLRP was not significantly expressed in cotyledons of light-grown wild-type seedlings, unlike the light-responsive expression of the chloroplast, psbA and rbcL, and nuclear, Lhcb and Chs, genes [4].
  • 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].
  • Definite proof that Ely is atrazine-resistant was obtained by sequencing the psbA gene, encoding the D1 protein of photosystem II, revealing a point mutation causing the same amino acid change as found in other atrazine-resistant species [6].

Biological context of psbA

  • 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 [7].
  • In the second nad2 coding region (exons c-e) a pseudo tRNA(Tyr) sequence and a fragment of the plastid psbA gene are located upstream of the trans-spliced exon c. Primer extension analysis identifies RNA 5'-termini within the pseudo-tRNA(Tyr) confirming this sequence to be non-functional [8].
  • Based on these findings, we hypothesize that post-transcriptional regulation of psbA gene expression in chloroplasts of vascular plants involves redox-dependent interactions between specific sequences in the 5'UTR and 43- and 30-kDa RNA-binding proteins [9].
  • Analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana phytochrome mutants, phyAphyB and hy2, indicated that a distinct blue phototransduction pathway stimulates psbA expression [1].
  • The 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the psbA mRNA (psbA encodes the PSII reaction center protein, D1) is a key site for RNA-protein interactions in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression [9].

Anatomical context of psbA

  • Furthermore, transient overexpression of AtSig5 in dark-adapted protoplasts specifically elevated psbD and psbA transcription activities [3].

Other interactions of psbA

  • Northern hybridization and RNase protection experiments suggest co-transcription of a minor RNA fraction over the full lengths of psbA and the preceding trnK-UUU gene, but not including downstream trnH sequences [10].
  • It contains the conserved genes psbA for the precursor of the D1 reaction-centre protein of photosystem II, trnH for tRNAHis, and rps19' for the 6.8-kDa protein of the small ribosomal subunit [10].
  • To identify genetic markers in the Arabidopsis thaliana plastid genome (ptDNA), we amplified and sequenced the rpl2-psbA and rbcL-accD regions in 26 ecotypes [11].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of psbA

  • Two other PSII genes, psbA (chloroplast-encoded) and psbP (nuclear-encoded), isolated by degenerate primer PCR, display a similar trend in expression [12].


  1. High-fluence blue light stimulates transcription from a higher plant chloroplast psbA promoter expressed in a cyanobacterium, Synechococcus (sp. strain PCC7942). Tsinoremas, N.F., Kawakami, A., Christopher, D.A. Plant Cell Physiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  2. Cryptochrome 1, cryptochrome 2, and phytochrome a co-activate the chloroplast psbD blue light-responsive promoter. Thum, K.E., Kim, M., Christopher, D.A., Mullet, J.E. Plant Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. Blue light-induced transcription of plastid-encoded psbD gene is mediated by a nuclear-encoded transcription initiation factor, AtSig5. Tsunoyama, Y., Ishizaki, Y., Morikawa, K., Kobori, M., Nakahira, Y., Takeba, G., Toyoshima, Y., Shiina, T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. DET1 represses a chloroplast blue light-responsive promoter in a developmental and tissue-specific manner in Arabidopsis thaliana. Christopher, D.A., Hoffer, P.H. Plant J. (1998) [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. Altered photosynthetic performance of a natural Arabidopsis accession is associated with atrazine resistance. El-Lithy, M.E., Rodrigues, G.C., van Rensen, J.J., Snel, J.F., Dassen, H.J., Koornneef, M., Jansen, M.A., Aarts, M.G., Vreugdenhil, D. J. Exp. Bot. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Structure and blue-light-responsive transcription of a chloroplast psbD promoter from Arabidopsis thaliana. Hoffer, P.H., Christopher, D.A. Plant Physiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  8. The rps4-gene is encoded upstream of the nad2-gene in Arabidopsis mitochondria. Lippok, B., Brennicke, A., Unseld, M. Biol. Chem. Hoppe-Seyler (1996) [Pubmed]
  9. RNA binding-proteins interact specifically with the Arabidopsis chloroplast psbA mRNA 5' untranslated region in a redox-dependent manner. Shen, Y., Danon, A., Christopher, D.A. Plant Cell Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  10. Identification and characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana chloroplast DNA region containing the genes psbA, trnH and rps19'. Liere, K., Kestermann, M., Müller, U., Link, G. Curr. Genet. (1995) [Pubmed]
  11. DNA markers define plastid haplotypes in Arabidopsis thaliana. Azhagiri, A.K., Maliga, P. Curr. Genet. (2007) [Pubmed]
  12. Photosynthetic genes are differentially transcribed during the dehydration-rehydration cycle in the resurrection plant, Xerophyta humilis. Collett, H., Butowt, R., Smith, J., Farrant, J., Illing, N. J. Exp. Bot. (2003) [Pubmed]
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