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The chloroplast is a semi-autonomous organelle with a double membrane structure, and its structural stability is a prerequisite for its correct function. Chloroplast development is regulated by known nuclear-encoded chloroplast proteins or proteins encoded within the chloroplast itself. However, the mechanism of chloroplast development regulated by other organelles remains largely unknown. Here, we report that the nuclear-localized DEAD-box RNA helicase 13 (RH13) is essential for chloroplast development in Arabidopsis thaliana. RH13 is widely expressed in tissues and localized to the nucleolus. A homozygous rh13 mutant shows abnormal chloroplast structure and leaf morphogenesis. Proteomic analysis showed that the expression levels of photosynthesis-related proteins in chloroplasts were reduced due to loss of RH13. Furthermore, RNA-sequencing and proteomics data revealed decreases in the expression levels of these chloroplast-related genes, which undergo alternative splicing events in the rh13 mutant. Taken together, we propose that nucleolus-localized RH13 is critical for chloroplast development in Arabidopsis. © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


Pan Luo, Ce Shi, Yi Zhou, Jiao Zhou, Xuecheng Zhang, Yukun Wang, Yong Yang, Xiongbo Peng, Tingting Xie, Xingchun Tang. The nuclear-localized RNA helicase 13 is essential for chloroplast development in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of experimental botany. 2023 Sep 13;74(17):5057-5071

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PMID: 37310806

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