THE PLANT JOURNAL
Sensory plastids are important in plant responses to environmental changes. Previous studies show that MutS HOMOLOG 1 (MSH1) perturbation in sensory plastids induces heritable epigenetic phenotype adjustment. Previously, the PsbP homolog DOMAIN-CONTAINING PROTEIN 3 (PPD3), a protein of unknown function, was postulated to be an interactor with MSH1. This study investigates the relationship of PPD3 with MSH1 and with plant environmental sensing. The ppd3 mutant displays a whole-plant phenotype variably altered in growth rate, flowering time, reactive oxygen species (ROS) modulation and response to salt, with effects on meristem growth. Present in both chloroplasts and sensory plastids, PPD3 colocalized with MSH1 in root tips but not in leaf tissues. The suppression or overexpression of PPD3 affected the plant growth rate and stress tolerance, and led to a heritable, heterogenous ‘memory’ state with both dwarfed and vigorous growth phenotypes. Gene expression and DNA methylome data sets from PPD3-OX and derived memory states showed enrichment in growth versus defense networks and meristem effects. Our results support a model of sensory plastid influence on nuclear epigenetic behavior and ppd3 as a second trigger, functioning within meristem plastids to recalibrate growth plasticity.