Changes in the levels of cytosolic glutamine synthetase (GS1) and chloroplastic glutamine synthetase (GS2) polypeptides and of their corresponding mRNAs have been investigated in segments of the 13th leaf of hydroponically grown rice (Oryza sativa L.) plants during natural senescence. The leaf blade on the main stem at early (0 day), middle (15 days), and late (25 days) stages of senescence was harvested and cut into 18 or 19 segments, 2 centimeters in length from the base to the tip. The amount of GS1 polypeptide, detected with specific antibody for the GS1, was greatest near the middle of the leaf blade (segments 11-13). There was little difference in the GS1 content between corresponding leaf segments obtained at the early and middle stages of senescence. At the late senescence stage, all segments had lost some GS1 polypeptide, but more than 50% of GS1 detected at both the early and middle stages was still detectable in segments. The relative content of mRNA for GS1 in the total RNA in all segments was very low during early senescence but increased in all leaf segments during later senescence. At the late stage of senescence, GS1 mRNA in the total RNA increased about 4.2- to 4.6-fold in segments 12 to 16 in the day-25 samples compared with those in the early stage. The content of the GS2 polypeptide, as well as ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) protein, was highest in segment 17 in the 0-day samples. During senescence, this peak became lower and broader, and finally disappeared, i.e. approximately 80% of GS2 polypeptide and Rubisco protein in segment 17 were lost by day 25. In contrast with GS2 polypeptide, the relative level of GS2 mRNA increased 1.8- to 2.9-fold in individual segments at the middle stage of senescence. Even at the late stage, the transcript signals remained slightly higher than those at the early stage in all segments. Thus, GS1 and GS2 polypeptides and corresponding mRNAs responded in a different manner within an attached rice leaf during natural senescence. The contents of GS1 and GS2 polypeptides were not simply determined by the abundance of their corresponding mRNAs in the rice leaf blades during natural senescence.
ASJC Scopus subject areas