Subscribe: The Plant Cell recent issues
http://www.plantcell.org/rss/recent.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
activity  arabidopsis thaliana  arabidopsis  cell  cells  expression  gene  genes  genome  mutants  plant  plants  protein  root 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: The Plant Cell recent issues

The Plant Cell recent issues



The Plant Cell, published by the American Society of Plant Biologists, has the highest impact factor of primary research journals in plant biology.



 
























Plant Signaling and Metabolic Pathways Enabling Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Symbiosis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Plants have lived in close association with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi for over 400 million years. Today, this endosymbiosis occurs broadly in the plant kingdom where it has a pronounced impact on plant mineral nutrition. The symbiosis develops deep within the root cortex with minimal alterations in the external appearance of the colonized root; however, the absence of macroscopic alterations belies the extensive signaling, cellular remodeling, and metabolic alterations that occur to enable accommodation of the fungal endosymbiont. Recent research has revealed the involvement of a novel N-acetyl glucosamine transporter and an alpha/beta-fold hydrolase receptor at the earliest stages of AM symbiosis. Calcium channels required for symbiosis signaling have been identified, and connections between the symbiosis signaling pathway and key transcriptional regulators that direct AM-specific gene expression have been established. Phylogenomics has revealed the existence of genes conserved for AM symbiosis, providing clues as to how plant cells fine-tune their biology to enable symbiosis, and an exciting coalescence of genome mining, lipid profiling, and tracer studies collectively has led to the conclusion that AM fungi are fatty acid auxotrophs and that plants provide their fungal endosymbionts with fatty acids. Here, we provide an overview of the molecular program for AM symbiosis and discuss these recent advances.




De Novo Assembly of a New Solanum pennellii Accession Using Nanopore Sequencing

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Updates in nanopore technology have made it possible to obtain gigabases of sequence data. Prior to this, nanopore sequencing technology was mainly used to analyze microbial samples. Here, we describe the generation of a comprehensive nanopore sequencing data set with a median read length of 11,979 bp for a self-compatible accession of the wild tomato species Solanum pennellii. We describe the assembly of its genome to a contig N50 of 2.5 MB. The assembly pipeline comprised initial read correction with Canu and assembly with SMARTdenovo. The resulting raw nanopore-based de novo genome is structurally highly similar to that of the reference S. pennellii LA716 accession but has a high error rate and was rich in homopolymer deletions. After polishing the assembly with Illumina reads, we obtained an error rate of <0.02% when assessed versus the same Illumina data. We obtained a gene completeness of 96.53%, slightly surpassing that of the reference S. pennellii. Taken together, our data indicate that such long read sequencing data can be used to affordably sequence and assemble gigabase-sized plant genomes.




Genome-Wide Association Mapping Reveals That Specific and Pleiotropic Regulatory Mechanisms Fine-Tune Central Metabolism and Growth in Arabidopsis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Central metabolism is a coordinated network that is regulated at multiple levels by resource availability and by environmental and developmental cues. Its genetic architecture has been investigated by mapping metabolite quantitative trait loci (QTL). A more direct approach is to identify enzyme activity QTL, which distinguishes between cis-QTL in structural genes encoding enzymes and regulatory trans-QTL. Using genome-wide association studies, we mapped QTL for 24 enzyme activities, nine metabolites, three structural components, and biomass in Arabidopsis thaliana. We detected strong cis-QTL for five enzyme activities. A cis-QTL for UDP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activity in the UGP1 promoter is maintained through balancing selection. Variation in acid invertase activity reflects multiple evolutionary events in the promoter and coding region of VAC-INV. cis-QTL were also detected for ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, fumarase, and phosphoglucose isomerase activity. We detected many trans-QTL, including transcription factors, E3 ligases, protein targeting components, and protein kinases, and validated some by knockout analysis. trans-QTL are more frequent but tend to have smaller individual effects than cis-QTL. We detected many colocalized QTL, including a multitrait QTL on chromosome 4 that affects six enzyme activities, three metabolites, protein, and biomass. These traits are coordinately modified by different ACCELERATED CELL DEATH6 alleles, revealing a trade-off between metabolism and defense against biotic stress.




Novel Loci Underlie Natural Variation in Vitamin E Levels in Maize Grain

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Tocopherols, tocotrienols, and plastochromanols (collectively termed tocochromanols) are lipid-soluble antioxidants synthesized by all plants. Their dietary intake, primarily from seed oils, provides vitamin E and other health benefits. Tocochromanol biosynthesis has been dissected in the dicot Arabidopsis thaliana, which has green, photosynthetic seeds, but our understanding of tocochromanol accumulation in major crops, whose seeds are nonphotosynthetic, remains limited. To understand the genetic control of tocochromanols in grain, we conducted a joint linkage and genome-wide association study in the 5000-line U.S. maize (Zea mays) nested association mapping panel. Fifty-two quantitative trait loci for individual and total tocochromanols were identified, and of the 14 resolved to individual genes, six encode novel activities affecting tocochromanols in plants. These include two chlorophyll biosynthetic enzymes that explain the majority of tocopherol variation, which was not predicted given that, like most major cereal crops, maize grain is nonphotosynthetic. This comprehensive assessment of natural variation in vitamin E levels in maize establishes the foundation for improving tocochromanol and vitamin E content in seeds of maize and other major cereal crops.




Changes in Gene Expression in Space and Time Orchestrate Environmentally Mediated Shaping of Root Architecture

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Shaping of root architecture is a quintessential developmental response that involves the concerted action of many different cell types, is highly dynamic, and underpins root plasticity. To determine to what extent the environmental regulation of lateral root development is a product of cell-type preferential activities, we tracked transcriptomic responses to two different treatments that both change root development in Arabidopsis thaliana at an unprecedented level of temporal detail. We found that individual transcripts are expressed with a very high degree of temporal and spatial specificity, yet biological processes are commonly regulated, in a mechanism we term response nonredundancy. Using causative gene network inference to compare the genes regulated in different cell types and during responses to nitrogen and a biotic interaction, we found that common transcriptional modules often regulate the same gene families but control different individual members of these families, specific to response and cell type. This reinforces that the activity of a gene cannot be defined simply as molecular function; rather, it is a consequence of spatial location, expression timing, and environmental responsiveness.




POLYGALACTURONASE INVOLVED IN EXPANSION3 Functions in Seedling Development, Rosette Growth, and Stomatal Dynamics in Arabidopsis thaliana

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Plant cell separation and expansion require pectin degradation by endogenous pectinases such as polygalacturonases, few of which have been functionally characterized. Stomata are a unique system to study both processes because stomatal maturation involves limited separation between sister guard cells and stomatal responses require reversible guard cell elongation and contraction. However, the molecular mechanisms for how stomatal pores form and how guard cell walls facilitate dynamic stomatal responses remain poorly understood. We characterized POLYGALACTURONASE INVOLVED IN EXPANSION3 (PGX3), which is expressed in expanding tissues and guard cells. PGX3-GFP localizes to the cell wall and is enriched at sites of stomatal pore initiation in cotyledons. In seedlings, ablating or overexpressing PGX3 affects both cotyledon shape and the spacing and pore dimensions of developing stomata. In adult plants, PGX3 affects rosette size. Although stomata in true leaves display normal density and morphology when PGX3 expression is altered, loss of PGX3 prevents smooth stomatal closure, and overexpression of PGX3 accelerates stomatal opening. These phenotypes correspond with changes in pectin molecular mass and abundance that can affect wall mechanics. Together, these results demonstrate that PGX3-mediated pectin degradation affects stomatal development in cotyledons, promotes rosette expansion, and modulates guard cell mechanics in adult plants.




Two Complementary Mechanisms Underpin Cell Wall Patterning during Xylem Vessel Development

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

The evolution of the plant vasculature was essential for the emergence of terrestrial life. Xylem vessels are solute-transporting elements in the vasculature that possess secondary wall thickenings deposited in intricate patterns. Evenly dispersed microtubule (MT) bands support the formation of these wall thickenings, but how the MTs direct cell wall synthesis during this process remains largely unknown. Cellulose is the major secondary wall constituent and is synthesized by plasma membrane-localized cellulose synthases (CesAs) whose catalytic activity propels them through the membrane. We show that the protein CELLULOSE SYNTHASE INTERACTING1 (CSI1)/POM2 is necessary to align the secondary wall CesAs and MTs during the initial phase of xylem vessel development in Arabidopsis thaliana and rice (Oryza sativa). Surprisingly, these MT-driven patterns successively become imprinted and sufficient to sustain the continued progression of wall thickening in the absence of MTs and CSI1/POM2 function. Hence, two complementary principles underpin wall patterning during xylem vessel development.




SIEVE ELEMENT-LINING CHAPERONE1 Restricts Aphid Feeding on Arabidopsis during Heat Stress

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

The role of phloem proteins in plant resistance to aphids is still largely elusive. By genome-wide association mapping of aphid behavior on 350 natural Arabidopsis thaliana accessions, we identified the small heat shock-like SIEVE ELEMENT-LINING CHAPERONE1 (SLI1). Detailed behavioral studies on near-isogenic and knockout lines showed that SLI1 impairs phloem feeding. Depending on the haplotype, aphids displayed a different duration of salivation in the phloem. On sli1 mutants, aphids prolonged their feeding sessions and ingested phloem at a higher rate than on wild-type plants. The largest phenotypic effects were observed at 26°C, when SLI1 expression is upregulated. At this moderately high temperature, sli1 mutants suffered from retarded elongation of the inflorescence and impaired silique development. Fluorescent reporter fusions showed that SLI1 is confined to the margins of sieve elements where it lines the parietal layer and colocalizes in spherical bodies around mitochondria. This localization pattern is reminiscent of the clamp-like structures observed in previous ultrastructural studies of the phloem and shows that the parietal phloem layer plays an important role in plant resistance to aphids and heat stress.




CAMTA-Mediated Regulation of Salicylic Acid Immunity Pathway Genes in Arabidopsis Exposed to Low Temperature and Pathogen Infection

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Arabidopsis thaliana calmodulin binding transcription activator (CAMTA) factors repress the expression of genes involved in salicylic acid (SA) biosynthesis and SA-mediated immunity in healthy plants grown at warm temperature (22°C). This repression is overcome in plants exposed to low temperature (4°C) for more than a week and in plants infected by biotrophic and hemibiotrophic pathogens. Here, we present evidence that CAMTA3-mediated repression of SA pathway genes in nonstressed plants involves the action of an N-terminal repression module (NRM) that acts independently of calmodulin (CaM) binding to the IQ and CaM binding (CaMB) domains, a finding that is contrary to current thinking that CAMTA3 repression activity requires binding of CaM to the CaMB domain. Induction of SA pathway genes in response to low temperature did not occur in plants expressing only the CAMTA3-NRM region of the protein. Mutational analysis provided evidence that the repression activity of the NRM was suppressed by action of the IQ and CaMB domains responding to signals generated in response to low temperature. Plants expressing the CAMTA3-NRM region were also impaired in defense against the bacterial hemibiotrophic pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. Our results indicate that the regulation of CAMTA3 repression activity by low temperature and pathogen infection involves related mechanisms, but with distinct differences.




RNase H1 Cooperates with DNA Gyrases to Restrict R-Loops and Maintain Genome Integrity in Arabidopsis Chloroplasts

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Maintaining organellar genome integrity is essential for eukaryotic cells, and many factors can threaten genome integrity. R-loops are DNA:RNA duplexes produced during transcription, with the nontemplated DNA forming a single-stranded region. R-loops function in the regulation of transcription, DNA replication, and DNA repair, but can also be susceptible to lesions that form double-stranded breaks and thus induce genome instability. From investigating the function of a plant chloroplast-localized R-loop removing enzyme AtRNH1C, we have found that it is responsible for plastid R-loop homeostasis, chloroplast genome instability, and development. Interactome analysis revealed that AtRNH1C associates with multiple chloroplast-localized DNA and RNA metabolism-related proteins, including the core DNA gyrases complex. The interaction between AtRNH1C and AtGyrases was critical for R-loop homeostasis in chloroplast and important to release the transcription-replication conflicts in the highly transcribed and replication originated cp-rDNA regions and thus to reduce the DNA damage. Our results reveal the plastid R-loop accumulation leads to chloroplast DNA instability and provide insight into the maintenance of genome integrity in chloroplasts, in which the evolutionarily conserved RNase H1 and DNA gyrase proteins are involved.




Targeting of Photoreceptor Genes in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii via Zinc-Finger Nucleases and CRISPR/Cas9

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

The fast-growing biflagellated single-celled chlorophyte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is the most widely used alga in basic research. The physiological functions of the 18 sensory photoreceptors are of particular interest with respect to Chlamydomonas development and behavior. Despite the demonstration of gene editing in Chlamydomonas in 1995, the isolation of mutants lacking easily ascertained newly acquired phenotypes remains problematic due to low DNA recombination efficiency. We optimized gene-editing protocols for several Chlamydomonas strains (including wild-type CC-125) using zinc-finger nucleases (ZFNs), genetically encoded CRISPR/associated protein 9 (Cas9) from Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, and recombinant Cas9 and developed protocols for rapidly isolating nonselectable gene mutants. Using this technique, we disrupted the photoreceptor genes COP1/2, COP3 (encoding channelrhodopsin 1 [ChR1]), COP4 (encoding ChR2), COP5, PHOT, UVR8, VGCC, MAT3, and aCRY and created the chr1 chr2 and uvr8 phot double mutants. Characterization of the chr1, chr2, and mat3 mutants confirmed the value of photoreceptor mutants for physiological studies. Genes of interest were disrupted in 5 to 15% of preselected clones (~1 out of 4000 initial cells). Using ZFNs, genes were edited in a reliable, predictable manner via homologous recombination, whereas Cas9 primarily caused gene disruption via the insertion of cotransformed DNA. These methods should be widely applicable to research involving green algae.




Phosphorylation of Phosphoenolpyruvate Carboxylase Is Essential for Maximal and Sustained Dark CO2 Fixation and Core Circadian Clock Operation in the Obligate Crassulacean Acid Metabolism Species Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PPC; EC 4.1.1.31) catalyzes primary nocturnal CO2 fixation in Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species. CAM PPC is regulated posttranslationally by a circadian clock-controlled protein kinase called phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase kinase (PPCK). PPCK phosphorylates PPC during the dark period, reducing its sensitivity to feedback inhibition by malate and thus enhancing nocturnal CO2 fixation to stored malate. Here, we report the generation and characterization of transgenic RNAi lines of the obligate CAM species Kalanchoë fedtschenkoi with reduced levels of KfPPCK1 transcripts. Plants with reduced or no detectable dark phosphorylation of PPC displayed up to a 66% reduction in total dark period CO2 fixation. These perturbations paralleled reduced malate accumulation at dawn and decreased nocturnal starch turnover. Loss of oscillations in the transcript abundance of KfPPCK1 was accompanied by a loss of oscillations in the transcript abundance of many core circadian clock genes, suggesting that perturbing the only known link between CAM and the circadian clock feeds back to perturb the central circadian clock itself. This work shows that clock control of KfPPCK1 prolongs the activity of PPC throughout the dark period in K. fedtschenkoi, optimizing CAM-associated dark CO2 fixation, malate accumulation, CAM productivity, and core circadian clock robustness.




The Photorespiratory Metabolite 2-Phosphoglycolate Regulates Photosynthesis and Starch Accumulation in Arabidopsis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

The Calvin-Benson cycle and its photorespiratory repair shunt are in charge of nearly all biological CO2 fixation on Earth. They interact functionally and via shared carbon flow on several levels including common metabolites, transcriptional regulation, and response to environmental changes. 2-Phosphoglycolate (2PG) is one of the shared metabolites and produced in large amounts by oxidative damage of the CO2 acceptor molecule ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate. It was anticipated early on, although never proven, that 2PG could also be a regulatory metabolite that modulates central carbon metabolism by inhibition of triose-phosphate isomerase. Here, we examined this hypothesis using transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana lines with varying activities of the 2PG-degrading enzyme, 2PG phosphatase, and analyzing the impact of this intervention on operation of the Calvin-Benson cycle and other central pathways, leaf carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthetic gas exchange, and growth. Our results demonstrate that 2PG feeds back on the Calvin-Benson cycle. It also alters the allocation of photosynthates between ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration and starch synthesis. 2PG mechanistically achieves this by inhibiting the Calvin-Benson cycle enzymes triose-phosphate isomerase and sedoheptulose 1,7-bisphosphate phosphatase. We suggest this may represent one of the control loops that sense the ratio of photorespiratory to photosynthetic carbon flux and in turn adjusts stomatal conductance, photosynthetic CO2 and photorespiratory O2 fixation, and starch synthesis in response to changes in the environment.




ABA-Induced Stomatal Closure Involves ALMT4, a Phosphorylation-Dependent Vacuolar Anion Channel of Arabidopsis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Stomatal pores are formed between a pair of guard cells and allow plant uptake of CO2 and water evaporation. Their aperture depends on changes in osmolyte concentration of guard cell vacuoles, specifically of K+ and Mal2–. Efflux of Mal2– from the vacuole is required for stomatal closure; however, it is not clear how the anion is released. Here, we report the identification of ALMT4 (ALUMINUM ACTIVATED MALATE TRANSPORTER4) as an Arabidopsis thaliana ion channel that can mediate Mal2– release from the vacuole and is required for stomatal closure in response to abscisic acid (ABA). Knockout mutants showed impaired stomatal closure in response to the drought stress hormone ABA and increased whole-plant wilting in response to drought and ABA. Electrophysiological data show that ALMT4 can mediate Mal2– efflux and that the channel activity is dependent on a phosphorylatable C-terminal serine. Dephosphomimetic mutants of ALMT4 S382 showed increased channel activity and Mal2– efflux. Reconstituting the active channel in almt4 mutants impaired growth and stomatal opening. Phosphomimetic mutants were electrically inactive and phenocopied the almt4 mutants. Surprisingly, S382 can be phosphorylated by mitogen-activated protein kinases in vitro. In brief, ALMT4 likely mediates Mal2– efflux during ABA-induced stomatal closure and its activity depends on phosphorylation.




Fusicoccin Activates KAT1 Channels by Stabilizing Their Interaction with 14-3-3 Proteins

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Plants acquire potassium (K+) ions for cell growth and movement via regulated diffusion through K+ channels. Here, we present crystallographic and functional data showing that the K+ inward rectifier KAT1 (K+ Arabidopsis thaliana 1) channel is regulated by 14-3-3 proteins and further modulated by the phytotoxin fusicoccin, in analogy to the H+-ATPase. We identified a 14-3-3 mode III binding site at the very C terminus of KAT1 and cocrystallized it with tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) 14-3-3 proteins to describe the protein complex at atomic detail. Validation of this interaction by electrophysiology shows that 14-3-3 binding augments KAT1 conductance by increasing the maximal current and by positively shifting the voltage dependency of gating. Fusicoccin potentiates the 14-3-3 effect on KAT1 activity by stabilizing their interaction. Crystal structure of the ternary complex reveals a noncanonical binding site for the toxin that adopts a novel conformation. The structural insights underscore the adaptability of fusicoccin, predicting more potential targets than so far anticipated. The data further advocate a common mechanism of regulation of the proton pump and a potassium channel, two essential elements in K+ uptake in plant cells.




Maize NPF6 Proteins Are Homologs of Arabidopsis CHL1 That Are Selective for Both Nitrate and Chloride

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Nitrate uptake by plant cells requires both high- and low-affinity transport activities. Arabidopsis thaliana nitrate transporter 1/peptide transporter family (NPF) 6.3 is a dual-affinity plasma membrane transport protein that has both high- and low-affinity functions. At-NPF6.3 imports and senses nitrate and is regulated by phosphorylation at Thr-101 (T101). A detailed functional analysis of two maize (Zea mays) homologs of At-NPF6.3 (Zm-NPF6.6 and Zm-NPF6.4) showed that Zm-NPF6.6 was a pH-dependent nonbiphasic high-affinity nitrate-specific transport protein. By contrast, maize NPF6.4 was a low-affinity nitrate transporter with efflux activity. When supplied chloride, NPF6.4 switched to a high-affinity chloride selective transporter, while NPF6.6 had only a low-affinity chloride transport activity. Structural predictions identified a nitrate binding His (H362) in NPF6.6 but not in NPF6.4. Mutation of NPF6.4 Tyr-370 to His (Y370H) resulted in saturable high-affinity nitrate transport activity and nitrate selectivity. Loss of H362 in NPF6.6 (H362Y) eliminated both nitrate and chloride transport. Furthermore, alterations to Thr-104, a conserved phosphorylation site in NPF6.6, resulted in a similar high-affinity nitrate transport activity with increased Km, whereas equivalent changes in NPF6.4 (T106) disrupted high-affinity chloride transport activity. NPF6 proteins exhibit different substrate specificity in plants and regulate nitrate transport affinity/selectivity using a conserved His residue.




The F-Box Protein ZYGO1 Mediates Bouquet Formation to Promote Homologous Pairing, Synapsis, and Recombination in Rice Meiosis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Telomere bouquet formation, a highly conserved meiotic event, plays an important role in homologous pairing and therefore progression of meiosis; however, the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unknown. Here, we identified ZYGOTENE1 (ZYGO1), a novel F-box protein in rice (Oryza sativa), and verified its essential role in bouquet formation during early meiosis. In zygo1 mutants, zygotene chromosome aggregation and telomere clustering failed to occur. The suppressed telomere clustering in homologous pairing aberration in rice meiosis1 (pair1) zygo1 and rice completion of meiotic recombination (Oscom1) zygo1 double mutants, together with the altered localization of OsSAD1 (a SUN protein associated with the nuclear envelope) in zygo1, showed that ZYGO1 has a significant function in bouquet formation. In addition, the interaction between ZYGO1 and rice SKP1-like protein 1 suggested that ZYGO1 might modulate bouquet formation as a component of the SKP1-Cullin1-F-box complex. Although double-strand break formation and early recombination element installation occurred normally, zygo1 mutants showed defects in full-length pairing and synaptonemal complex assembly. Furthermore, crossover (CO) formation was disturbed, and foci of Human enhancer of invasion 10 were restricted to the partially synapsed chromosome regions, indicating that CO reduction might be caused by the failure of full-length chromosome alignment in zygo1. Therefore, we propose that ZYGO1 mediates bouquet formation to efficiently promote homolog pairing, synapsis, and CO formation in rice meiosis.




SCD1 and SCD2 Form a Complex That Functions with the Exocyst and RabE1 in Exocytosis and Cytokinesis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Although exocytosis is critical for the proper trafficking of materials to the plasma membrane, relatively little is known about the mechanistic details of post-Golgi trafficking in plants. Here, we demonstrate that the DENN (Differentially Expressed in Normal and Neoplastic cells) domain protein STOMATAL CYTOKINESIS DEFECTIVE1 (SCD1) and SCD2 form a previously unknown protein complex, the SCD complex, that functionally interacts with subunits of the exocyst complex and the RabE1 family of GTPases in Arabidopsis thaliana. Consistent with a role in post-Golgi trafficking, scd1 and scd2 mutants display defects in exocytosis and recycling of PIN2-GFP. Perturbation of exocytosis using the small molecule Endosidin2 results in growth inhibition and PIN2-GFP trafficking defects in scd1 and scd2 mutants. In addition to the exocyst, the SCD complex binds in a nucleotide state-specific manner with Sec4p/Rab8-related RabE1 GTPases and overexpression of wild-type RabE1 rescues scd1 temperature-sensitive mutants. Furthermore, SCD1 colocalizes with the exocyst subunit, SEC15B, and RabE1 at the cell plate and in distinct punctae at or near the plasma membrane. Our findings reveal a mechanism for plant exocytosis, through the identification and characterization of a protein interaction network that includes the SCD complex, RabE1, and the exocyst.




The Arabidopsis MOS4-Associated Complex Promotes MicroRNA Biogenesis and Precursor Messenger RNA Splicing

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

In Arabidopsis thaliana, the MOS4-ASSOCIATED COMPLEX (MAC) is required for defense and development. The evolutionarily conserved, putative RNA helicase MAC7 is a component of the Arabidopsis MAC, and the human MAC7 homolog, Aquarius, is implicated in pre-mRNA splicing. Here, we show that mac7-1, a partial loss-of-function mutant in MAC7, and two other MAC subunit mutants, mac3a mac3b and prl1 prl2 (pleiotropic regulatory locus), exhibit reduced microRNA (miRNA) levels, indicating that MAC promotes miRNA biogenesis. The mac7-1 mutant shows reduced primary miRNA (pri-miRNA) levels without affecting miRNA gene (MIR) promoter activity or the half-life of pri-miRNA transcripts. As a nuclear protein, MAC7 is not concentrated in dicing bodies, but it affects the localization of HYPONASTIC LEAVES1 (HYL1), a key protein in pri-miRNA processing, to dicing bodies. Immunoprecipitation of HYL1 retrieved 11 known MAC subunits, including MAC7, indicating association between HYL1 and MAC. We propose that MAC7 links MIR transcription to pri-miRNA processing. RNA-seq analysis showed that downregulated genes in MAC subunit mutants are mostly involved in plant defense and stimulus responses, confirming a role of MAC in biotic and abiotic stress responses. We also discovered global intron retention defects in mutants in three subunits of MAC, thus linking MAC function to splicing in Arabidopsis.




Evidence for a Role of ANAC082 as a Ribosomal Stress Response Mediator Leading to Growth Defects and Developmental Alterations in Arabidopsis

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Ribosome-related mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana share several notable characteristics regarding growth and development, which implies the existence of a common pathway that responds to disorders in ribosome biogenesis. As a first step to explore this pathway genetically, we screened a mutagenized population of root initiation defective2 (rid2), a temperature-sensitive mutant that is impaired in pre-rRNA processing, and isolated suppressor of root initiation defective two1 (sriw1), a suppressor mutant in which the defects of cell proliferation observed in rid2 at the restrictive temperature was markedly rescued. sriw1 was identified as a missense mutation of the NAC transcription factor gene ANAC082. The sriw1 mutation greatly alleviated the developmental abnormalities of rid2 and four other tested ribosome-related mutants, including rid3. However, the impaired pre-rRNA processing in rid2 and rid3 was not relieved by sriw1. Expression of ANAC082 was localized to regions where phenotypic effects of ribosome-related mutations are readily evident and was elevated in rid2 and rid3 compared with the wild type. These findings suggest that ANAC082 acts downstream of perturbation of biogenesis of the ribosome and may mediate a set of stress responses leading to developmental alterations and cell proliferation defects.




The Maize Imprinted Gene Floury3 Encodes a PLATZ Protein Required for tRNA and 5S rRNA Transcription through Interaction with RNA Polymerase III

2017-11-10T07:05:43-08:00

Maize (Zea mays) floury3 (fl3) is a classic semidominant negative mutant that exhibits severe defects in the endosperm but fl3 plants otherwise appear normal. We cloned the fl3 gene and determined that it encodes a PLATZ (plant AT-rich sequence and zinc binding) protein. The mutation in fl3 resulted in an Asn-to-His replacement in the conserved PLATZ domain, creating a dominant allele. Fl3 is specifically expressed in starchy endosperm cells and regulated by genomic imprinting, which leads to the suppressed expression of fl3 when transmitted through the male, perhaps as a consequence the semidominant behavior. Yeast two-hybrid screening and bimolecular luciferase complementation experiments revealed that FL3 interacts with the RNA polymerase III subunit 53 (RPC53) and transcription factor class C 1 (TFC1), two critical factors of the RNA polymerase III (RNAPIII) transcription complex. In the fl3 endosperm, the levels of many tRNAs and 5S rRNA that are transcribed by RNAPIII are significantly reduced, suggesting that the incorrectly folded fl3 protein may impair the function of RNAPIII. The transcriptome is dramatically altered in fl3 mutants, in which the downregulated genes are primarily enriched in pathways related to translation, ribosome, misfolded protein responses, and nutrient reservoir activity. Collectively, these changes may lead to defects in endosperm development and storage reserve filling in fl3 seeds.




Journal Impact: Brave New World

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00






















Architecture and Dynamics of the Jasmonic Acid Gene Regulatory Network

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Jasmonic acid (JA) is a critical hormonal regulator of plant growth and defense. To advance our understanding of the architecture and dynamic regulation of the JA gene regulatory network, we performed a high-resolution RNA-seq time series of methyl JA-treated Arabidopsis thaliana at 15 time points over a 16-h period. Computational analysis showed that methyl JA (MeJA) induces a burst of transcriptional activity, generating diverse expression patterns over time that partition into distinct sectors of the JA response targeting specific biological processes. The presence of transcription factor (TF) DNA binding motifs correlated with specific TF activity during temporal MeJA-induced transcriptional reprogramming. Insight into the underlying dynamic transcriptional regulation mechanisms was captured in a chronological model of the JA gene regulatory network. Several TFs, including MYB59 and bHLH27, were uncovered as early network components with a role in pathogen and insect resistance. Analysis of subnetworks surrounding the TFs ORA47, RAP2.6L, MYB59, and ANAC055, using transcriptome profiling of overexpressors and mutants, provided insights into their regulatory role in defined modules of the JA network. Collectively, our work illuminates the complexity of the JA gene regulatory network, pinpoints and validates previously unknown regulators, and provides a valuable resource for functional studies on JA signaling components in plant defense and development.




Zygotic Genome Activation Occurs Shortly after Fertilization in Maize

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

The formation of a zygote via the fusion of an egg and sperm cell and its subsequent asymmetric division herald the start of the plant’s life cycle. Zygotic genome activation (ZGA) is thought to occur gradually, with the initial steps of zygote and embryo development being primarily maternally controlled, and subsequent steps being governed by the zygotic genome. Here, using maize (Zea mays) as a model plant system, we determined the timing of zygote development and generated RNA-seq transcriptome profiles of gametes, zygotes, and apical and basal daughter cells. ZGA occurs shortly after fertilization and involves ~10% of the genome being activated in a highly dynamic pattern. In particular, genes encoding transcriptional regulators of various families are activated shortly after fertilization. Further analyses suggested that chromatin assembly is strongly modified after fertilization, that the egg cell is primed to activate the translational machinery, and that hormones likely play a minor role in the initial steps of early embryo development in maize. Our findings provide important insights into gamete and zygote activity in plants, and our RNA-seq transcriptome profiles represent a comprehensive, unique RNA-seq data set that can be used by the research community.




Genomic Analysis of the DNA Replication Timing Program during Mitotic S Phase in Maize (Zea mays) Root Tips

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

All plants and animals must replicate their DNA, using a regulated process to ensure that their genomes are completely and accurately replicated. DNA replication timing programs have been extensively studied in yeast and animal systems, but much less is known about the replication programs of plants. We report a novel adaptation of the "Repli-seq" assay for use in intact root tips of maize (Zea mays) that includes several different cell lineages and present whole-genome replication timing profiles from cells in early, mid, and late S phase of the mitotic cell cycle. Maize root tips have a complex replication timing program, including regions of distinct early, mid, and late S replication that each constitute between 20 and 24% of the genome, as well as other loci corresponding to ~32% of the genome that exhibit replication activity in two different time windows. Analyses of genomic, transcriptional, and chromatin features of the euchromatic portion of the maize genome provide evidence for a gradient of early replicating, open chromatin that transitions gradually to less open and less transcriptionally active chromatin replicating in mid S phase. Our genomic level analysis also demonstrated that the centromere core replicates in mid S, before heavily compacted classical heterochromatin, including pericentromeres and knobs, which replicate during late S phase.




Subgenome Dominance in an Interspecific Hybrid, Synthetic Allopolyploid, and a 140-Year-Old Naturally Established Neo-Allopolyploid Monkeyflower

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Recent studies have shown that one of the parental subgenomes in ancient polyploids is generally more dominant, having retained more genes and being more highly expressed, a phenomenon termed subgenome dominance. The genomic features that determine how quickly and which subgenome dominates within a newly formed polyploid remain poorly understood. To investigate the rate of emergence of subgenome dominance, we examined gene expression, gene methylation, and transposable element (TE) methylation in a natural, <140-year-old allopolyploid (Mimulus peregrinus), a resynthesized interspecies triploid hybrid (M. robertsii), a resynthesized allopolyploid (M. peregrinus), and progenitor species (M. guttatus and M. luteus). We show that subgenome expression dominance occurs instantly following the hybridization of divergent genomes and significantly increases over generations. Additionally, CHH methylation levels are reduced in regions near genes and within TEs in the first-generation hybrid, intermediate in the resynthesized allopolyploid, and are repatterned differently between the dominant and recessive subgenomes in the natural allopolyploid. Subgenome differences in levels of TE methylation mirror the increase in expression bias observed over the generations following hybridization. These findings provide important insights into genomic and epigenomic shock that occurs following hybridization and polyploid events and may also contribute to uncovering the mechanistic basis of heterosis and subgenome dominance.




A Specific Gibberellin 20-Oxidase Dictates the Flowering-Runnering Decision in Diploid Strawberry

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Asexual and sexual reproduction occur jointly in many angiosperms. Stolons (elongated stems) are used for asexual reproduction in the crop species potato (Solanum tuberosum) and strawberry (Fragaria spp), where they produce tubers and clonal plants, respectively. In strawberry, stolon production is essential for vegetative propagation at the expense of fruit yield, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown. Here, we show that the stolon deficiency trait of the runnerless (r) natural mutant in woodland diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is due to a deletion in the active site of a gibberellin 20-oxidase (GA20ox) gene, which is expressed primarily in the axillary meristem dome and primordia and in developing stolons. This mutation, which is found in all r mutants, goes back more than three centuries. When FveGA20ox4 is mutated, axillary meristems remain dormant or produce secondary shoots terminated by inflorescences, thus increasing the number of inflorescences in the plant. The application of bioactive gibberellin (GA) restored the runnering phenotype in the r mutant, indicating that GA biosynthesis in the axillary meristem is essential for inducing stolon differentiation. The possibility of regulating the runnering-flowering decision in strawberry via FveGA20ox4 provides a path for improving productivity in strawberry by controlling the trade-off between sexual reproduction and vegetative propagation.




Plant-Specific Histone Deacetylases HDT1/2 Regulate GIBBERELLIN 2-OXIDASE2 Expression to Control Arabidopsis Root Meristem Cell Number

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Root growth is modulated by environmental factors and depends on cell production in the root meristem (RM). New cells in the meristem are generated by stem cells and transit-amplifying cells, which together determine RM cell number. Transcription factors and chromatin-remodeling factors have been implicated in regulating the switch from stem cells to transit-amplifying cells. Here, we show that two Arabidopsis thaliana paralogs encoding plant-specific histone deacetylases, HDT1 and HDT2, regulate a second switch from transit-amplifying cells to expanding cells. Knockdown of HDT1/2 (hdt1,2i) results in an earlier switch and causes a reduced RM cell number. Our data show that HDT1/2 negatively regulate the acetylation level of the C19-GIBBERELLIN 2-OXIDASE2 (GA2ox2) locus and repress the expression of GA2ox2 in the RM and elongation zone. Overexpression of GA2ox2 in the RM phenocopies the hdt1,2i phenotype. Conversely, knockout of GA2ox2 partially rescues the root growth defect of hdt1,2i. These results suggest that by repressing the expression of GA2ox2, HDT1/2 likely fine-tune gibberellin metabolism and they are crucial for regulating the switch from cell division to expansion to determine RM cell number. We propose that HDT1/2 function as part of a mechanism that modulates root growth in response to environmental factors.




Phosphorylation of Histone H2A at Serine 95: A Plant-Specific Mark Involved in Flowering Time Regulation and H2A.Z Deposition

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Phosphorylation of histone H3 affects transcription, chromatin condensation, and chromosome segregation. However, the role of phosphorylation of histone H2A remains unclear. Here, we found that Arabidopsis thaliana MUT9P-LIKE-KINASE (MLK4) phosphorylates histone H2A on serine 95, a plant-specific modification in the histone core domain. Mutations in MLK4 caused late flowering under long-day conditions but no notable phenotype under short days. MLK4 interacts with CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED1 (CCA1), which allows MLK4 to bind to the GIGANTEA (GI) promoter. CCA1 interacts with YAF9a, a co-subunit of the Swi2/Snf2-related ATPase (SWR1) and NuA4 complexes, which are responsible for incorporating the histone variant H2A.Z into chromatin and histone H4 acetylase activity, respectively. Importantly, loss of MLK4 function led to delayed flowering by decreasing phosphorylation of H2A serine 95, along with attenuated accumulation of H2A.Z and the acetylation of H4 at GI, thus reducing GI expression. Together, our results provide insight into how phosphorylation of H2A serine 95 promotes flowering time and suggest that phosphorylation of H2A serine 95 modulated by MLK4 is required for the regulation of flowering time and is involved in deposition of the histone variant H2A.Z and H4 acetylation in Arabidopsis.




The Intracellular Immune Receptor Sw-5b Confers Broad-Spectrum Resistance to Tospoviruses through Recognition of a Conserved 21-Amino Acid Viral Effector Epitope

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Plants use both cell surface-resident pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) and intracellular nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) receptors to detect various pathogens. Plant PRRs typically recognize conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) to provide broad-spectrum resistance. By contrast, plant NLRs generally detect pathogen strain-specific effectors and confer race-specific resistance. Here, we demonstrate that the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) NLR Sw-5b confers broad-spectrum resistance against American-type tospoviruses by recognizing a conserved 21-amino acid peptide region within viral movement protein NSm (NSm21). Sw-5b NB-ARC-LRR domains directly associate with NSm21 in vitro and in planta. Domain swap, site-directed mutagenesis and structure modeling analyses identified four polymorphic sites in the Sw-5b LRR domain that are critical for the recognition of NSm21. Furthermore, recognition of NSm21 by Sw-5b likely disturbs the residues adjacent to R927 in the LRR domain to weaken the intramolecular interaction between LRR and NB-ARC domains, thus translating recognition of NSm21 into activation of Sw-5b. Natural variation analysis of Sw-5b homologs from wild tomato species of South America revealed that the four polymorphic sites in the Sw-5b LRR domain were positively selected during evolution and are all necessary to confer resistance to tospovirus. The results described here provide a new example of a plant NLR mediating broad-spectrum resistance through recognition of a small conserved PAMP-like region within the pathogen effector.




GENERAL CONTROL NONREPRESSIBLE4 Degrades 14-3-3 and the RIN4 Complex to Regulate Stomatal Aperture with Implications on Nonhost Disease Resistance and Drought Tolerance

2017-10-10T10:55:27-07:00

Plants have complex and adaptive innate immune responses against pathogen infections. Stomata are key entry points for many plant pathogens. Both pathogens and plants regulate stomatal aperture for pathogen entry and defense, respectively. Not all plant proteins involved in stomatal aperture regulation have been identified. Here, we report GENERAL CONTROL NONREPRESSIBLE4 (GCN4), an AAA+-ATPase family protein, as one of the key proteins regulating stomatal aperture during biotic and abiotic stress. Silencing of GCN4 in Nicotiana benthamiana and Arabidopsis thaliana compromises host and nonhost disease resistance due to open stomata during pathogen infection. AtGCN4 overexpression plants have reduced H+-ATPase activity, stomata that are less responsive to pathogen virulence factors such as coronatine (phytotoxin produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae) or fusicoccin (a fungal toxin produced by the fungus Fusicoccum amygdali), reduced pathogen entry, and enhanced drought tolerance. This study also demonstrates that AtGCN4 interacts with RIN4 and 14-3-3 proteins and suggests that GCN4 degrades RIN4 and 14-3-3 proteins via a proteasome-mediated pathway and thereby reduces the activity of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase complex, thus reducing proton pump activity to close stomata.




An InDel in the Promoter of Al-ACTIVATED MALATE TRANSPORTER9 Selected during Tomato Domestication Determines Fruit Malate Contents and Aluminum Tolerance

2017-10-10T10:55:28-07:00

Deciphering the mechanism of malate accumulation in plants would contribute to a greater understanding of plant chemistry, which has implications for improving flavor quality in crop species and enhancing human health benefits. However, the regulation of malate metabolism is poorly understood in crops such as tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Here, we integrated a metabolite-based genome-wide association study with linkage mapping and gene functional studies to characterize the genetics of malate accumulation in a global collection of tomato accessions with broad genetic diversity. We report that TFM6 (tomato fruit malate 6), which corresponds to Al-ACTIVATED MALATE TRANSPORTER9 (Sl-ALMT9 in tomato), is the major quantitative trait locus responsible for variation in fruit malate accumulation among tomato genotypes. A 3-bp indel in the promoter region of Sl-ALMT9 was linked to high fruit malate content. Further analysis indicated that this indel disrupts a W-box binding site in the Sl-ALMT9 promoter, which prevents binding of the WRKY transcription repressor Sl-WRKY42, thereby alleviating the repression of Sl-ALMT9 expression and promoting high fruit malate accumulation. Evolutionary analysis revealed that this highly expressed Sl-ALMT9 allele was selected for during tomato domestication. Furthermore, vacuole membrane-localized Sl-ALMT9 increases in abundance following Al treatment, thereby elevating malate transport and enhancing Al resistance.




Light and Ethylene Coordinately Regulate the Phosphate Starvation Response through Transcriptional Regulation of PHOSPHATE STARVATION RESPONSE1

2017-10-10T10:55:28-07:00

Plants have evolved an array of adaptive responses to low Pi availability, a process modulated by various external stimuli and endogenous growth regulatory signals. Little is known about how these signaling processes interact to produce an integrated response. Arabidopsis thaliana PHOSPHATE STARVATION RESPONSE1 (PHR1) encodes a conserved MYB-type transcription factor that is essential for programming Pi starvation-induced gene expression and downstream Pi starvation responses (PSRs). Here, we show that loss-of-function mutations in FHY3 and FAR1, encoding two positive regulators of phytochrome signaling, and in EIN3, encoding a master regulator of ethylene responses, cause attenuated PHR1 expression, whereas mutation in HY5, encoding another positive regulator of light signaling, causes increased PHR1 expression. FHY3, FAR1, HY5, and EIN3 directly bind to the PHR1 promoter through distinct cis-elements. FHY3, FAR1, and EIN3 activate, while HY5 represses, PHR1 expression. FHY3 directly interacts with EIN3, and HY5 suppresses the transcriptional activation activity of FHY3 and EIN3 on PHR1. Finally, both light and ethylene promote FHY3 protein accumulation, and ethylene blocks the light-promoted stabilization of HY5. Our results suggest that light and ethylene coordinately regulate PHR1 expression and PSRs through signaling convergence at the PHR1 promoter.




The Arabidopsis Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor Kinase BIR3 Negatively Regulates BAK1 Receptor Complex Formation and Stabilizes BAK1

2017-10-10T10:55:28-07:00

BAK1 is a coreceptor and positive regulator of multiple ligand binding leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) and is involved in brassinosteroid (BR)-dependent growth and development, innate immunity, and cell death control. The BAK1-interacting LRR-RKs BIR2 and BIR3 were previously identified by proteomics analyses of in vivo BAK1 complexes. Here, we show that BAK1-related pathways such as innate immunity and cell death control are affected by BIR3 in Arabidopsis thaliana. BIR3 also has a strong negative impact on BR signaling. BIR3 directly interacts with the BR receptor BRI1 and other ligand binding receptors and negatively regulates BR signaling by competitive inhibition of BRI1. BIR3 is released from BAK1 and BRI1 after ligand exposure and directly affects the formation of BAK1 complexes with BRI1 or FLAGELLIN SENSING2. Double mutants of bak1 and bir3 show spontaneous cell death and constitutive activation of defense responses. BAK1 and its closest homolog BKK1 interact with and are stabilized by BIR3, suggesting that bak1 bir3 double mutants mimic the spontaneous cell death phenotype observed in bak1 bkk1 mutants via destabilization of BIR3 target proteins. Our results provide evidence for a negative regulatory mechanism for BAK1 receptor complexes in which BIR3 interacts with BAK1 and inhibits ligand binding receptors to prevent BAK1 receptor complex formation.




CORRECTION

2017-10-10T10:55:28-07:00




RETRACTION

2017-10-10T10:55:28-07:00




Phenomics of root system architecture: Measuring and analyzing root phenes (By Larry York and Guillaume Lobet)

2017-10-10T10:55:28-07:00

One of roots’ key roles is to secure access to water and nutrients for the plant, often in a highly heterogeneous and challenging environment. To cope with such function, root systems have evolved as highly plastic, responsive and diverse organs. However, due to technical constraints, root research has long been stuck in its infancy. This teaching tool discusses the relatively young field of root system architecture quantification. It introduces the concepts of phenes (like genes, but referring to the phenotype), and architectural concepts including morphology, geometry, and topology. It concludes by discussing the practical considerations linked to the root system architecture quantification (including growth and sampling methods), and different data analysis methods. Posted September 20, 2017.

Click HERE to access Teaching Tool Components



















ePlant: Visualizing and Exploring Multiple Levels of Data for Hypothesis Generation in Plant Biology

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

A big challenge in current systems biology research arises when different types of data must be accessed from separate sources and visualized using separate tools. The high cognitive load required to navigate such a workflow is detrimental to hypothesis generation. Accordingly, there is a need for a robust research platform that incorporates all data and provides integrated search, analysis, and visualization features through a single portal. Here, we present ePlant (http://bar.utoronto.ca/eplant), a visual analytic tool for exploring multiple levels of Arabidopsis thaliana data through a zoomable user interface. ePlant connects to several publicly available web services to download genome, proteome, interactome, transcriptome, and 3D molecular structure data for one or more genes or gene products of interest. Data are displayed with a set of visualization tools that are presented using a conceptual hierarchy from big to small, and many of the tools combine information from more than one data type. We describe the development of ePlant in this article and present several examples illustrating its integrative features for hypothesis generation. We also describe the process of deploying ePlant as an "app" on Araport. Building on readily available web services, the code for ePlant is freely available for any other biological species research.




Differences in DNA Binding Specificity of Floral Homeotic Protein Complexes Predict Organ-Specific Target Genes

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Floral organ identities in plants are specified by the combinatorial action of homeotic master regulatory transcription factors. However, how these factors achieve their regulatory specificities is still largely unclear. Genome-wide in vivo DNA binding data show that homeotic MADS domain proteins recognize partly distinct genomic regions, suggesting that DNA binding specificity contributes to functional differences of homeotic protein complexes. We used in vitro systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment followed by high-throughput DNA sequencing (SELEX-seq) on several floral MADS domain protein homo- and heterodimers to measure their DNA binding specificities. We show that specification of reproductive organs is associated with distinct binding preferences of a complex formed by SEPALLATA3 and AGAMOUS. Binding specificity is further modulated by different binding site spacing preferences. Combination of SELEX-seq and genome-wide DNA binding data allows differentiation between targets in specification of reproductive versus perianth organs in the flower. We validate the importance of DNA binding specificity for organ-specific gene regulation by modulating promoter activity through targeted mutagenesis. Our study shows that intrafamily protein interactions affect DNA binding specificity of floral MADS domain proteins. Differential DNA binding of MADS domain protein complexes plays a role in the specificity of target gene regulation.




Rapid Recovery Gene Downregulation during Excess-Light Stress and Recovery in Arabidopsis

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Stress recovery may prove to be a promising approach to increase plant performance and, theoretically, mRNA instability may facilitate faster recovery. Transcriptome (RNA-seq, qPCR, sRNA-seq, and PARE) and methylome profiling during repeated excess-light stress and recovery was performed at intervals as short as 3 min. We demonstrate that 87% of the stress-upregulated mRNAs analyzed exhibit very rapid recovery. For instance, HSP101 abundance declined 2-fold every 5.1 min. We term this phenomenon rapid recovery gene downregulation (RRGD), whereby mRNA abundance rapidly decreases promoting transcriptome resetting. Decay constants (k) were modeled using two strategies, linear and nonlinear least squares regressions, with the latter accounting for both transcription and degradation. This revealed extremely short half-lives ranging from 2.7 to 60.0 min for 222 genes. Ribosome footprinting using degradome data demonstrated RRGD loci undergo cotranslational decay and identified changes in the ribosome stalling index during stress and recovery. However, small RNAs and 5'-3' RNA decay were not essential for recovery of the transcripts examined, nor were any of the six excess light-associated methylome changes. We observed recovery-specific gene expression networks upon return to favorable conditions and six transcriptional memory types. In summary, rapid transcriptome resetting is reported in the context of active recovery and cellular memory.




Auxin-Induced Modulation of ETTIN Activity Orchestrates Gene Expression in Arabidopsis

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

The phytohormone auxin governs crucial developmental decisions throughout the plant life cycle. Auxin signaling is effectuated by auxin response factors (ARFs) whose activity is repressed by Aux/IAA proteins under low auxin levels, but relieved from repression when cellular auxin concentrations increase. ARF3/ETTIN (ETT) is a conserved noncanonical Arabidopsis thaliana ARF that adopts an alternative auxin-sensing mode of translating auxin levels into multiple transcriptional outcomes. However, a mechanistic model for how this auxin-dependent modulation of ETT activity regulates gene expression has not yet been elucidated. Here, we take a genome-wide approach to show how ETT controls developmental processes in the Arabidopsis shoot through its auxin-sensing property. Moreover, analysis of direct ETT targets suggests that ETT functions as a central node in coordinating auxin dynamics and plant development and reveals tight feedback regulation at both the transcriptional and protein-interaction levels. Finally, we present an example to demonstrate how auxin sensitivity of ETT-protein interactions can shape the composition of downstream transcriptomes to ensure specific developmental outcomes. These results show that direct effects of auxin on protein factors, such as ETT-TF complexes, comprise an important part of auxin biology and likely contribute to the vast number of biological processes affected by this simple molecule.




MYC2 Orchestrates a Hierarchical Transcriptional Cascade That Regulates Jasmonate-Mediated Plant Immunity in Tomato

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

The hormone jasmonate (JA), which functions in plant immunity, regulates resistance to pathogen infection and insect attack through triggering genome-wide transcriptional reprogramming in plants. We show that the basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor (TF) MYC2 in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) acts downstream of the JA receptor to orchestrate JA-mediated activation of both the wounding and pathogen responses. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing (ChIP-seq) coupled with RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) assays, we identified 655 MYC2-targeted JA-responsive genes. These genes are highly enriched in Gene Ontology categories related to TFs and the early response to JA, indicating that MYC2 functions at a high hierarchical level to regulate JA-mediated gene transcription. We also identified a group of MYC2-targeted TFs (MTFs) that may directly regulate the JA-induced transcription of late defense genes. Our findings suggest that MYC2 and its downstream MTFs form a hierarchical transcriptional cascade during JA-mediated plant immunity that initiates and amplifies transcriptional output. As proof of concept, we showed that during plant resistance to the necrotrophic pathogen Botrytis cinerea, MYC2 and the MTF JA2-Like form a transcription module that preferentially regulates wounding-responsive genes, whereas MYC2 and the MTF ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR.C3 form a transcription module that preferentially regulates pathogen-responsive genes.




SG2-Type R2R3-MYB Transcription Factor MYB15 Controls Defense-Induced Lignification and Basal Immunity in Arabidopsis

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Lignification of cell wall appositions is a conserved basal defense mechanism in the plant innate immune response. However, the genetic pathway controlling defense-induced lignification remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate the Arabidopsis thaliana SG2-type R2R3-MYB transcription factor MYB15 as a regulator of defense-induced lignification and basal immunity. Loss of MYB15 reduces the content but not the composition of defense-induced lignin, whereas constitutive expression of MYB15 increases lignin content independently of immune activation. Comparative transcriptional and metabolomics analyses implicate MYB15 as necessary for the defense-induced synthesis of guaiacyl lignin and the basal synthesis of the coumarin metabolite scopoletin. MYB15 directly binds to the secondary wall MYB-responsive element consensus sequence, which encompasses the AC elements, to drive lignification. The myb15 and lignin biosynthetic mutants show increased susceptibility to the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae, consistent with defense-induced lignin having a major role in basal immunity. A scopoletin biosynthetic mutant also shows increased susceptibility independently of immune activation, consistent with a role in preformed defense. Our results support a role for phenylalanine-derived small molecules in preformed and inducible Arabidopsis defense, a role previously dominated by tryptophan-derived small molecules. Understanding the regulatory network linking lignin biosynthesis to plant growth and defense will help lignin engineering efforts to improve the production of biofuels and aromatic industrial products as well as increase disease resistance in energy and agricultural crops.




VPS9a Activates the Rab5 GTPase ARA7 to Confer Distinct Pre- and Postinvasive Plant Innate Immunity

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Plant innate immunity can effectively prevent the proliferation of filamentous pathogens. Papilla formation at the site of attack is essential for preinvasive immunity; in postinvasive immunity, the encasement of pathogen structures inside host cells can hamper disease. Whereas papillae are highly dependent on transcytosis of premade material, little is known about encasement formation. Here, we show that endosome-associated VPS9a, the conserved guanine-nucleotide exchange factor activating Rab5 GTPases, is required for both pre- and postinvasive immunity against a nonadapted powdery mildew fungus (Blumeria graminis f. sp hordei) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Surprisingly, VPS9a acts in addition to two previously well-described innate immunity components and thus represents an additional step in the regulation of how plants resist pathogens. We found VPS9a to be important for delivering membrane material to the encasement and VPS9a also plays a predominant role in postinvasive immunity. GTP-bound Rab5 GTPases accumulate in the encasement, but not the papillae, suggesting that two independent pathways form these defense structures. VPS9a also mediates defense to an adapted powdery mildew fungus, thus regulating a durable type of defense that works in both host and nonhost resistance. We propose that VPS9a plays a conserved role in organizing cellular endomembrane trafficking, required for delivery of defense components in response to powdery mildew fungi.




Differentially Regulated Orthologs in Sorghum and the Subgenomes of Maize

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Identifying interspecies changes in gene regulation, one of the two primary sources of phenotypic variation, is challenging on a genome-wide scale. The use of paired time-course data on cold-responsive gene expression in maize (Zea mays) and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) allowed us to identify differentially regulated orthologs. While the majority of cold-responsive transcriptional regulation of conserved gene pairs is species specific, the initial transcriptional responses to cold appear to be more conserved than later responses. In maize, the promoters of genes with conserved transcriptional responses to cold tend to contain more micrococcal nuclease hypersensitive sites in their promoters, a proxy for open chromatin. Genes with conserved patterns of transcriptional regulation between the two species show lower ratios of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions. Genes involved in lipid metabolism, known to be involved in cold acclimation, tended to show consistent regulation in both species. Genes with species-specific cold responses did not cluster in particular pathways nor were they enriched in particular functional categories. We propose that cold-responsive transcriptional regulation in individual species may not be a reliable marker for function, while a core set of genes involved in perceiving and responding to cold stress are subject to functionally constrained cold-responsive regulation across the grass tribe Andropogoneae.




Mutations in eIF5B Confer Thermosensitive and Pleiotropic Phenotypes via Translation Defects in Arabidopsis thaliana

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

The conserved eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5B, eIF5B, is a GTPase that acts late in translation initiation. We found that an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant sensitive to hot temperatures 3 (hot3-1), which behaves as the wild type in the absence of stress but is unable to acclimate to high temperature, carries a missense mutation in the eIF5B1 gene (At1g76810), producing a temperature sensitive protein. A more severe, T-DNA insertion allele (hot3-2) causes pleiotropic developmental phenotypes. Surprisingly, Arabidopsis has three other eIF5B genes that do not substitute for eIF5B1; two of these appear to be in the process of pseudogenization. Polysome profiling and RNA-seq analysis of hot3-1 plants show delayed recovery of polysomes after heat stress and reduced translational efficiency (TE) of a subset of stress protective proteins, demonstrating the critical role of translational control early in heat acclimation. Plants carrying the severe hot3-2 allele show decreased TE of auxin-regulated, ribosome-related, and electron transport genes, even under optimal growth conditions. The hot3-2 data suggest that disrupting specific eIF5B interactions on the ribosome can, directly or indirectly, differentially affect translation. Thus, modulating eIF5B interactions could be another mechanism of gene-specific translational control.




HISTONE DEACETYLASE6 Acts in Concert with Histone Methyltransferases SUVH4, SUVH5, and SUVH6 to Regulate Transposon Silencing

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Histone deacetylases (HDACs) play important roles in regulating gene expression. In yeast and animals, HDACs act as components of multiprotein complexes that modulate transcription during various biological processes. However, little is known about the interacting proteins of plant HDACs. To identify the plant HDAC complexes and interacting proteins, we developed an optimized workflow using immunopurification coupled to mass spectrometry-based proteomics in Arabidopsis thaliana. We found that the histone deacetylase HDA6 can interact with the histone methyltransferases SUVH4, SUVH5, and SUVH6 (SUVH4/5/6). Domain analysis revealed that the C-terminal regions of HDA6 and SUVH5 are important for their interaction. Furthermore, HDA6 interacts with SUVH4/5/6 and coregulates a subset of transposons through histone H3K9 methylation and H3 deacetylation. In addition, two phosphorylated serine residues, S427 and S429, were unambiguously identified in the C-terminal region of HDA6. Phosphomimetics (amino acid substitutions that mimic a phosphorylated protein) of HDA6 resulted in increased enzymatic activity, whereas the mutation of S427 to alanine in HDA6 abolished its interaction with SUVH5 and SUVH6, suggesting that the phosphorylation of HDA6 is important for its activity and function.




The Arabidopsis LAZY1 Family Plays a Key Role in Gravity Signaling within Statocytes and in Branch Angle Control of Roots and Shoots

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

During gravitropism, the directional signal of gravity is perceived by gravity-sensing cells called statocytes, leading to asymmetric distribution of auxin in the responding organs. To identify the genes involved in gravity signaling in statocytes, we performed transcriptome analyses of statocyte-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana mutants and found two candidates from the LAZY1 family, AtLAZY1/LAZY1-LIKE1 (LZY1) and AtDRO3/AtNGR1/LZY2. We showed that LZY1, LZY2, and a paralog AtDRO1/AtNGR2/LZY3 are redundantly involved in gravitropism of the inflorescence stem, hypocotyl, and root. Mutations of LZY genes affected early processes in gravity signal transduction without affecting amyloplast sedimentation. Statocyte-specific expression of LZY genes rescued the mutant phenotype, suggesting that LZY genes mediate gravity signaling in statocytes downstream of amyloplast displacement, leading to the generation of asymmetric auxin distribution in gravity-responding organs. We also found that lzy mutations reversed the growth angle of lateral branches and roots. Moreover, expression of the conserved C-terminal region of LZY proteins also reversed the growth direction of primary roots in the lzy mutant background. In lateral root tips of lzy multiple mutants, asymmetric distribution of PIN3 and auxin response were reversed, suggesting that LZY genes regulate the direction of polar auxin transport in response to gravity through the control of asymmetric PIN3 expression in the root cap columella.




Exploiting Natural Variation to Uncover an Alkene Biosynthetic Enzyme in Poplar

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Alkenes are linear hydrocarbons with one or more double bonds. Despite their potential as biofuels and precursors for specialty chemicals, the underlying biochemistry and genetics of alkene biosynthesis in plants remain elusive. Here, we report on a screen of natural accessions of poplar (Populus trichocarpa), revealing that the leaf cuticular waxes are predominantly composed of alkanes and alkenes. Interestingly, the accumulation of alkenes increases with leaf development, is limited to the abaxial side of the leaf, and is impaired in a few accessions. Among other genes, a β-ketoacyl CoA synthase gene (PotriKCS1) was downregulated in leaves from non-alkene-producing accessions. We demonstrated biochemically that PotriKCS1 elongates monounsaturated fatty acids and is responsible for the recruitment of unsaturated substrates to the cuticular wax. Moreover, we found significant associations between the presence of alkenes and tree growth and resistance to leaf spot. These findings highlight the crucial role of cuticular waxes as the first point of contact with the environment, and they provide a foundation for engineering long-chain monounsaturated oils in other species.




NRT1.5/NPF7.3 Functions as a Proton-Coupled H+/K+ Antiporter for K+ Loading into the Xylem in Arabidopsis

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Potassium and nitrogen are essential macronutrients for plant growth and have a positive impact on crop yield. Previous studies have indicated that the absorption and translocation of K+ and NO3 are correlated with each other in plants; however, the molecular mechanism that coordinates K+ and NO3 transport remains unknown. In this study, using a forward genetic approach, we isolated a low-K+-sensitive Arabidopsis thaliana mutant, lks2, that showed a leaf chlorosis phenotype under low-K+ conditions. LKS2 encodes the transporter NRT1.5/NPF7.3, a member of the NRT1/PTR (Nitrate Transporter 1/Peptide Transporter) family. The lks2/nrt1.5 mutants exhibit a remarkable defect in both K+ and NO3 translocation from root to shoot, especially under low-K+ conditions. This study demonstrates that LKS2 (NRT1.5) functions as a proton-coupled H+/K+ antiporter. Proton gradient can promote NRT1.5-mediated K+ release out of root parenchyma cells and facilitate K+ loading into the xylem. This study reveals that NRT1.5 plays a crucial role in K+ translocation from root to shoot and is also involved in the coordination of K+/NO3 distribution in plants.




Suppressing a Putative Sterol Carrier Gene Reduces Plasmodesmal Permeability and Activates Sucrose Transporter Genes during Cotton Fiber Elongation

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

Plasmodesmata (PDs) play vital roles in cell-to-cell communication and plant development. Emerging evidence suggests that sterols are involved in PD activity during cytokinesis. However, whether sterols contribute to PD gating between established cells remains unknown. Here, we isolated GhSCP2D, a putative sterol carrier protein gene from elongating cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fibers. In contrast to wild-type fiber PDs, which opened at 5 to 10 d postanthesis (DPA) and closed only at 15 to 25 DPA, plants with suppressed GhSCP2D expression had reduced sterol contents and closed PDs at 5 through 25 DPA. The GhSCP2D-suppressed fibers exhibited callose deposition at the PDs, likely due to reduced expression of GhPdBG3-2A/D, which encodes a PD-targeting β-1,3-glucanase. Both GhPdBG3-2A/D expression and callose deposition were sensitive to a sterol biosynthesis inhibitor. Moreover, suppressing GhSCP2D upregulated a cohort of SUT and SWEET sucrose transporter genes in fiber cells. Collectively, our results indicate that (1) GhSCP2D is required for GhPdBG3-2A/D expression to degrade callose at the PD, thereby contributing to the establishment of the symplasmic pathway; and (2) blocking the symplasmic pathway by downregulating GhSCP2D activates or increases the expression of SUTs and SWEETs, leading to the switch from symplasmic to apoplasmic pathways.




Nitrate Reductase Knockout Uncouples Nitrate Transport from Nitrate Assimilation and Drives Repartitioning of Carbon Flux in a Model Pennate Diatom

2017-09-07T09:34:27-07:00

The ecological prominence of diatoms in the ocean environment largely results from their superior competitive ability for dissolved nitrate (NO3). To investigate the cellular and genetic basis of diatom NO3 assimilation, we generated a knockout in the nitrate reductase gene (NR-KO) of the model pennate diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. In NR-KO cells, N-assimilation was abolished although NO3 transport remained intact. Unassimilated NO3 accumulated in NR-KO cells, resulting in swelling and associated changes in biochemical composition and physiology. Elevated expression of genes encoding putative vacuolar NO3 chloride channel transporters plus electron micrographs indicating enlarged vacuoles suggested vacuolar storage of NO3. Triacylglycerol concentrations in the NR-KO cells increased immediately following the addition of NO3, and these increases coincided with elevated gene expression of key triacylglycerol biosynthesis components. Simultaneously, induction of transcripts encoding proteins involved in thylakoid membrane lipid recycling suggested more abrupt repartitioning of carbon resources in NR-KO cells compared with the wild type. Conversely, ribosomal structure and photosystem genes were immediately deactivated in NR-KO cells following NO3 addition, followed within hours by deactivation of genes encoding enzymes for chlorophyll biosynthesis and carbon fixation and metabolism. N-assimilation pathway genes respond uniquely, apparently induced simultaneously by both NO3 replete and deplete conditions.