Molecular regulation of chloroplast metabolism

Molecular regulation of chloroplast metabolism

Group Leaders
Manuel Rodríguez-Concepción
CSIC Associate Professor
Group Members
Molecular Regulation Of Chloroplast Metabolism group


Our group works on the regulation of metabolism in chloroplasts (and also in bacteria, their evolutionary ancestors). The major focus of our research is the biosynthesis of isoprenoids, one of the main groups of plant natural products. All isoprenoids, including many compounds with interest as nutrients, pigments, drugs, or biofuels, derive from prenyl diphosphates whose production is uniquely compartmentalized in plant cells. In chloroplasts, these precursors are synthesized by the MEP pathway. We are using forward and reverse genetic as well as biochemical approaches to understand how plants regulate the metabolic flux through the MEP pathway and the cross-talk with downstream pathways for the production of isoprenoid end-products such as carotenoids. 

Carotenoids are plastidial isoprenoids that contribute to light harvesting, protect the photosynthetic apparatus against excess light, and color non-photosynthetic tissues of many flowers and fruits. Carotenoid-derived products include plant growth regulators such as abscisic acid and strigolactones. The economic interest of carotenoids is mainly based on their use as natural pigments but they are also important as vitamin A precursors and health-promoting phytonutrients. However, our limited knowledge on the molecular mechanisms that regulate plant carotenogenesis is still a major drawback for the generation of new carotenoid-enriched plant varieties. Our current work is unveiling some of these regulatory mechanisms in Arabidopsis and translating the knowledge to crops such as tomato.

Manuel Rodríguez-Concepción coordinates the Spanish Carotenoid Network, named CaRed, which includes 10 Spanish research groups dedicated to the study of carotenoids

Selected Publications

Ortiz-Alcaide M, Llamas E, Gómez-Cadenas A, Nagatani A, Martinez-Garcia JF*, Rodriguez-Concepcion M* 
Chloroplasts modulate elongation responses to canopy shade by retrograde pathways involving HY5 and ABA. 
(2019) Plant Cell 31:384–398

D'Andrea, L., Simon-Moya, M., Llorente, B., Llamas, E., Marro, M., Loza-Alvarez, P., Li, L., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M.
Interference with Clp protease impairs carotenoid accumulation during tomato fruit ripening
(2018) Journal of Experimental Botany, vol. 69 (7), pp. 1557-1568 COVER

Llamas, E., Pulido, P., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M.
Interference with plastome gene expression and Clp protease activity in Arabidopsis triggers a chloroplast unfolded protein response to restore protein homeostasis
(2017) PLoS Genetics, vol. 13 (9), Art. number e1007022

Pulido, P., Llamas, E., Llorente, B., Ventura, S., Wright, L.P., Rodríguez-Concepción, M.
Specific Hsp100 Chaperones Determine the Fate of the First Enzyme of the Plastidial Isoprenoid Pathway for Either Refolding or Degradation by the Stromal Clp Protease in Arabidopsis
(2016) PLoS Genetics, vol. 12 (1), Art. number e1005824

Ruiz-Sola, M.Á., Barja, M.V., Manzano, D., Llorente, B., Schipper, B., Beekwilder, J., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M.
A single arabidopsis gene encodes two differentially targeted geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase isoforms
(2016) Plant Physiology, vol. 172 (3), pp. 1393-1402

Llorente, B., D'Andrea, L., Ruiz-Sola, M.A., Botterweg, E., Pulido, P., Andilla, J., Loza-Alvarez, P., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M.
Tomato fruit carotenoid biosynthesis is adjusted to actual ripening progression by a light-dependent mechanism
(2016) Plant Journal, vol. 85 (1), pp. 107-119

Bou-Torrent, J., Toledo-Ortiz, G., Ortiz-Alcaide, M., Cifuentes-Esquivel, N., Halliday, K.J., Martinez-García, J.F., Rodriguez-Concepcion, M.
Regulation of carotenoid biosynthesis by shade relies on specific subsets of antagonistic transcription factors and cofactors
(2015) Plant Physiology, vol. 169 (3), pp. 1584-1594

Pulido, P., Toledo-Ortiz, G., Phillips, M.A., Wright, L.P., Rodríguez-Concepción, M.
Arabidopsis J-Protein J20 delivers the first enzyme of the plastidial isoprenoid pathway to protein quality control
(2013) Plant Cell, vol. 25 (10), pp. 4183-4194

Sangari, F.J., Pérez-Gil, J., Carretero-Paulet, L., García-Lobo, J.M., Rodríguez-Concepción, M.
A new family of enzymes catalyzing the first committed step of the methylerythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway for isoprenoid biosynthesis in bacteria
(2010) PNAS, vol. 107 (32), pp. 14081-14086 COVER

Toledo-Ortiz, G., Huq, E., Rodríguez-Concepción, M.
Direct regulation of phytoene synthase gene expression and carotenoid biosynthesis by phytochrome-interacting factors
(2010) PNAS, vol. 107 (25), pp. 11626-11631

Gas, E., Flores-Pérez, Ú., Sauret-Güeto, S., Rodríguez-Concepción, M.
Hunting for plant nitric oxide synthase provides new evidence of a central role for plastids in nitric oxide metabolism
(2009) Plant Cell, vol. 21 (1), pp. 18-23

Flores-Pérez, Ú., Sauret-Güeto, S., Gas, E., Jarvis, P., Rodríguez-Concepcióna, M.
A mutant impaired in the production of plastome-encoded proteins uncovers a mechanism for the homeostasis of isoprenoid biosynthetic enzymes in Arabidopsis plastids
(2008) Plant Cell, vol. 20 (5), pp. 1303-131