Multi-omics Analyses Reveal the Importance of Chromoplast Plastoglobules in Carotenoid Accumulation in Citrus Fruit
Published:22 Nov.2023    Source:The Plant Journal
Chromoplasts act as a metabolic sink for carotenoids, in which plastoglobules serve as versatile lipoprotein particles. PGs in chloroplasts have been characterized. However, the features of PGs from non-photosynthetic plastids are poorly understood.
We found that the development of chromoplast plastoglobules (CPGs) in globular and crystalloid chromoplasts of citrus is associated with alterations in carotenoid storage. Using Nycodenz density gradient ultracentrifugation, an efficient protocol for isolating highly purified CPGs from sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) pulp was established. Forty-four proteins were defined as likely comprise the core proteome of CPGs using comparative proteomics analysis. Lipidome analysis of different chromoplast microcompartments revealed that the nonpolar microenvironment within CPGs was modified by 35 triacylglycerides, two sitosterol esters, and one stigmasterol ester.
Manipulation of the CPG-localized gene CsELT1 (esterase/lipase/thioesterase) in citrus calli resulted in increased lipids and carotenoids, which is further evidence that the nonpolar microenvironment of CPGs contributes to carotenoid accumulation and storage in the chromoplasts. This multi-feature analysis of CPGs sheds new light on the role of chromoplasts in carotenoid metabolism, paving the way for manipulating carotenoid content in citrus fruit and other crops.