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Control of Tobacco mosaic virus Movement Protein Fate by CELL-DIVISION-CYCLE Protein48


Like many other viruses, Tobacco mosaic virus replicates in association with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and exploits this membrane network for intercellular spread through plasmodesmata (PD), a process depending on virus-encoded movement protein (MP). The movement process involves interactions of MP with the ER and the cytoskeleton as well as its targeting to PD. Later in the infection cycle, the MP further accumulates and localizes to ER-associated inclusions, the viral factories, and along microtubules before it is finally degraded. Although these patterns of MP accumulation have been described in great detail, the underlying mechanisms that control MP fate and function during infection are not known. Here, we identify CELL-DIVISION-CYCLE protein48 (CDC48), a conserved chaperone controlling protein fate in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and animal cells by extracting protein substrates from membranes or complexes, as a cellular factor regulating MP accumulation patterns in plant cells. We demonstrate that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) CDC48 is induced upon infection, interacts with MP in ER inclusions dependent on the MP N terminus, and promotes degradation of the protein. We further provide evidence that CDC48 extracts MP from ER inclusions to the cytosol, where it subsequently accumulates on and stabilizes microtubules. We show that virus movement is impaired upon overexpression of CDC48, suggesting that CDC48 further functions in controlling virus movement by removal of MP from the ER transport pathway and by promoting interference of MP with microtubule dynamics. CDC48 acts also in response to other proteins expressed in the ER, thus suggesting a general role of CDC48 in ER membrane maintenance upon ER stress.

Disruption of Abscisic Acid Signaling Constitutively Activates Arabidopsis Resistance to the Necrotrophic Fungus Plectosphaerella cucumerina


Plant resistance to necrotrophic fungi is regulated by a complex set of signaling pathways that includes those mediated by the hormones salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), jasmonic acid (JA), and abscisic acid (ABA). The role of ABA in plant resistance remains controversial, as positive and negative regulatory functions have been described depending on the plant-pathogen interaction analyzed. Here, we show that ABA signaling negatively regulates Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) resistance to the necrotrophic fungus Plectosphaerella cucumerina. Arabidopsis plants impaired in ABA biosynthesis, such as the aba1-6 mutant, or in ABA signaling, like the quadruple pyr/pyl mutant (pyr1pyl1pyl2pyl4), were more resistant to P. cucumerina than wild-type plants. In contrast, the hab1-1abi1-2abi2-2 mutant impaired in three phosphatases that negatively regulate ABA signaling displayed an enhanced susceptibility phenotype to this fungus. Comparative transcriptomic analyses of aba1-6 and wild-type plants revealed that the ABA pathway negatively regulates defense genes, many of which are controlled by the SA, JA, or ET pathway. In line with these data, we found that aba1-6 resistance to P. cucumerina was partially compromised when the SA, JA, or ET pathway was disrupted in this mutant. Additionally, in the aba1-6 plants, some genes encoding cell wall-related proteins were misregulated. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and biochemical analyses of cell walls from aba1-6 and wild-type plants revealed significant differences in their Fourier transform infrared spectratypes and uronic acid and cellulose contents. All these data suggest that ABA signaling has a complex function in Arabidopsis basal resistance, negatively regulating SA/JA/ET-mediated resistance to necrotrophic fungi.

14-3-3 Proteins SGF14c and SGF14l Play Critical Roles during Soybean Nodulation


The soybean (Glycine max) genome contains 18 members of the 14-3-3 protein family, but little is known about their association with specific phenotypes. Here, we report that the Glyma0529080 Soybean G-box Factor 14-3-3c (SGF14c) and Glyma08g12220 (SGF14l) genes, encoding 14-3-3 proteins, appear to play essential roles in soybean nodulation. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and western-immunoblot analyses showed that SGF14c mRNA and protein levels were specifically increased in abundance in nodulated soybean roots 10, 12, 16, and 20 d after inoculation with Bradyrhizobium japonicum. To investigate the role of SGF14c during soybean nodulation, RNA interference was employed to silence SGF14c expression in soybean roots using Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated root transformation. Due to the paleopolyploid nature of soybean, designing a specific RNA interference sequence that exclusively targeted SGF14c was not possible. Therefore, two highly similar paralogs (SGF14c and SGF14l) that have been shown to function as dimers were silenced. Transcriptomic and proteomic analyses showed that mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in the SGF14c/SGF14l-silenced roots, and these roots exhibited reduced numbers of mature nodules. In addition, SGF14c/SGF14l-silenced roots contained large numbers of arrested nodule primordia following B. japonicum inoculation. Transmission electron microscopy further revealed that the host cytoplasm and membranes, except the symbiosome membrane, were severely degraded in the failed nodules. Altogether, transcriptomic, proteomic, and cytological data suggest a critical role of one or both of these 14-3-3 proteins in early development stages of soybean nodules.

Two MicroRNAs Linked to Nodule Infection and Nitrogen-Fixing Ability in the Legume Lotus japonicus


Legumes overcome nitrogen shortage by developing root nodules in which symbiotic bacteria fix atmospheric nitrogen in exchange for host-derived carbohydrates and mineral nutrients. Nodule development involves the distinct processes of nodule organogenesis, bacterial infection, and the onset of nitrogen fixation. These entail profound, dynamic gene expression changes, notably contributed to by microRNAs (miRNAs). Here, we used deep-sequencing, candidate-based expression studies and a selection of Lotus japonicus mutants uncoupling different symbiosis stages to identify miRNAs involved in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Induction of a noncanonical miR171 isoform, which targets the key nodulation transcription factor Nodulation Signaling Pathway2, correlates with bacterial infection in nodules. A second candidate, miR397, is systemically induced in the presence of active, nitrogen-fixing nodules but not in that of noninfected or inactive nodule organs. It is involved in nitrogen fixation-related copper homeostasis and targets a member of the laccase copper protein family. These findings thus identify two miRNAs specifically responding to symbiotic infection and nodule function in legumes.

Medicago truncatula ERN Transcription Factors: Regulatory Interplay with NSP1/NSP2 GRAS Factors and Expression Dynamics throughout Rhizobial Infection


Rhizobial nodulation factors (NFs) activate a specific signaling pathway in Medicago truncatula root hairs that involves the complex interplay of Nodulation Signaling Pathway1 (NSP1)/NSP2 GRAS and Ethylene Response Factor Required for Nodulation1 (ERN1) transcription factors (TFs) to achieve full ENOD11 transcription. ERN1 acts as a direct transcriptional regulator of ENOD11 through the activation of the NF-responsive "NF box." Here, we show that NSP1, when combined with NSP2, can act as a strong positive regulator of ERN1 and ENOD11 transcription. Although ERN1 and NSP1/NSP2 both activate ENOD11, two separate promoter regions are involved that regulate expression during consecutive symbiotic stages. Our findings indicate that ERN1 is required to activate NF-elicited ENOD11 expression exclusively during early preinfection, while NSP1/NSP2 mediates ENOD11 expression during subsequent rhizobial infection. The relative contributions of ERN1 and the closely related ERN2 to the rhizobial symbiosis were then evaluated by comparing their regulation and in vivo dynamics. ERN1 and ERN2 exhibit expression profiles compatible with roles during NF signaling and subsequent infection. However, differences in expression levels and spatiotemporal profiles suggest specialized functions for these two TFs, ERN1 being involved in stages preceding and accompanying infection thread progression while ERN2 is only involved in certain stages of infection. By cross complementation, we show that ERN2, when expressed under the control of the ERN1 promoter, can restore both NF-elicited ENOD11 expression and nodule formation in an ern1 mutant background. This indicates that ERN1 and ERN2 possess similar biological activities and that functional diversification of these closely related TFs relies primarily on changes in tissue-specific expression patterns.

Metabolic and Transcriptomic Changes Induced in Arabidopsis by the Rhizobacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SS101


Systemic resistance induced in plants by nonpathogenic rhizobacteria is typically effective against multiple pathogens. Here, we show that root-colonizing Pseudomonas fluorescens strain SS101 (Pf.SS101) enhanced resistance in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) against several bacterial pathogens, including Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pst) and the insect pest Spodoptera exigua. Transcriptomic analysis and bioassays with specific Arabidopsis mutants revealed that, unlike many other rhizobacteria, the Pf.SS101-induced resistance response to Pst is dependent on salicylic acid signaling and not on jasmonic acid and ethylene signaling. Genome-wide transcriptomic and untargeted metabolomic analyses showed that in roots and leaves of Arabidopsis plants treated with Pf.SS101, approximately 1,910 genes and 50 metabolites were differentially regulated relative to untreated plants. Integration of both sets of "omics" data pointed to a prominent role of camalexin and glucosinolates in the Pf.SS101-induced resistance response. Subsequent bioassays with seven Arabidopsis mutants (myb51, cyp79B2cyp79B3, cyp81F2, pen2, cyp71A12, cyp71A13, and myb28myb29) disrupted in the biosynthesis pathways for these plant secondary metabolites showed that camalexin and glucosinolates are indeed required for the induction of Pst resistance by Pf.SS101. Also for the insect S. exigua, the indolic glucosinolates appeared to play a role in the Pf.SS101-induced resistance response. This study provides, to our knowledge for the first time, insight into the substantial biochemical and temporal transcriptional changes in Arabidopsis associated with the salicylic acid-dependent resistance response induced by specific rhizobacteria.