Overexpression of Ferredoxin, PETF, Enhances Tolerance to Heat Stress in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by plants in adverse environments can cause damage to organelles and trigger cell death. Removal of excess ROS can be achieved through the ascorbate scavenger pathway to prevent plant cell death. The amount of this scavenger can be regulated by ferredoxin (FDX). Chloroplastic FDXs are electron transfer proteins that perform in distributing photosynthetic reducing power. In this study, we demonstrate that overexpression of the endogenous photosynthetic FDX gene, PETF, in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii could raise the level of reduced ascorbate and diminish H2O2 levels under normal growth conditions. Furthermore, the overexpressing PETF transgenic Chlamydomonas lines produced low levels of H2O2 and exhibited protective effects that were observed through decreased chlorophyll degradation and increased cell survival under heat-stress conditions. The findings of this study suggest that overexpression of PETF can increase the efficiency of ROS scavenging in chloroplasts to confer heat tolerance. The roles of PETF in the downregulation of the ROS level offer a method for potentially improving the tolerance of crops against heat stress.