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Journal Cover   Plant Molecular Biology
  [SJR: 1.842]   [H-I: 121]   [8 followers]  Follow
   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1573-5028 - ISSN (Online) 0167-4412
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2281 journals]
  • The unified ICE–CBF pathway provides a transcriptional feedback
           control of freezing tolerance during cold acclimation in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract During cold acclimation, C-repeat binding factors (CBFs) activate downstream targets, such as cold-regulated genes, leading to the acquisition of freezing tolerance in plants. Inducer of CBF expression 1 (ICE1) plays a key role by activating CBF3 expression in shaping the cold-induced transcriptome. While the ICE1–CBF3 regulon constitutes a major cold acclimation pathway, gene regulatory networks governing the CBF signaling are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrated that ICE1 and its paralog ICE2 induce CBF1, CBF2, and CBF3 by binding to the gene promoters. ICE2, like ICE1, was ubiquitinated by the high expression of osmotically responsive gene 1 (HOS1) E3 ubiquitin ligase. Whereas ICE2-defective ice2-2 mutant did not exhibit any discernible freezing-sensitive phenotypes, ice1-2 ice2-2/+ plant, which is defective in ICE1 and has a heterozygotic ice2 mutation, exhibited significantly reduced freezing tolerance. Accordingly, all three CBF genes were markedly down-regulated in the ice1-2 ice2-2/+ plant, indicating that ICE1 and ICE2 are functionally redundant with different implementations in inducing CBF genes. Together with the negative regulation of CBF3 by CBF2, we propose that the unified ICE–CBF pathway provides a transcriptional feedback of freezing tolerance to sustain plant development and survival during cold acclimation.
      PubDate: 2015-08-27
  • Lace plant ethylene receptors, AmERS1a and AmERS1c, regulate
           ethylene-induced programmed cell death during leaf morphogenesis
    • Abstract: Abstract The lace plant, Aponogeton madagascariensis, is an aquatic monocot that forms perforations in its leaves as part of normal leaf development. Perforation formation occurs through developmentally regulated programmed cell death (PCD). The molecular basis of PCD regulation in the lace plant is unknown, however ethylene has been shown to play a significant role. In this study, we examined the role of ethylene receptors during perforation formation. We isolated three lace plant ethylene receptors AmERS1a, AmERS1b and AmERS1c. Using quantitative PCR, we examined their transcript levels at seven stages of leaf development. Through laser-capture microscopy, transcript levels were also determined in cells undergoing PCD and cells not undergoing PCD (NPCD cells). AmERS1a transcript levels were significantly lower in window stage leaves (in which perforation formation and PCD are occurring) as compared to all other leaf developmental stages. AmERS1a and AmERS1c (the most abundant among the three receptors) had the highest transcript levels in mature stage leaves, where PCD is not occurring. Their transcript levels decreased significantly during senescence-associated PCD. AmERS1c had significantly higher transcript levels in NPCD compared to PCD cells. Despite being significantly low in window stage leaves, AmERS1a transcripts were not differentially expressed between PCD and NPCD cells. The results suggested that ethylene receptors negatively regulate ethylene-controlled PCD in the lace plant. A combination of ethylene and receptor levels determines cell fate during perforation formation and leaf senescence. A new model for ethylene emission and receptor expression during lace plant perforation formation and senescence is proposed.
      PubDate: 2015-08-19
  • Rice WRKY4 acts as a transcriptional activator mediating defense responses
           toward Rhizoctonia solani , the causing agent of rice sheath blight
    • Abstract: Abstract WRKY transcription factors have been implicated in the regulation of transcriptional reprogramming associated with various plant processes but most notably with plant defense responses to pathogens. Here we demonstrate that expression of rice WRKY4 gene (OsWRKY4) was rapidly and strongly induced upon infection of Rhizoctonia solani, the causing agent of rice sheath blight, and exogenous jasmonic acid (JA) and ethylene (ET). OsWRKY4 is localized to the nucleus of plant cells and possesses transcriptional activation ability. Modulation of OsWRKY4 transcript levels by constitutive overexpression increases resistance to the necrotrophic sheath blight fungus, concomitant with elevated expression of JA- and ET-responsive pathogenesis-related (PR) genes such as PR1a, PR1b, PR5 and PR10/PBZ1. Suppression by RNA interference (RNAi), on the other hand, compromises resistance to the fungal pathogen. Yeast one-hybrid assay and transient expression in tobacco cells reveal that OsWRKY4 specifically binds to the promoter regions of PR1b and PR5 which contain W-box (TTGAC[C/T]), or W-box like (TGAC[C/T]) cis-elements. In conclusion, we propose that OsWRKY4 functions as an important positive regulator that is implicated in the defense responses to rice sheath blight via JA/ET-dependent signal pathway.
      PubDate: 2015-08-15
  • The crystal structure of the thiocyanate-forming protein from Thlaspi
           arvense , a kelch protein involved in glucosinolate breakdown
    • Abstract: Abstract Kelch repeat-containing proteins are involved in diverse cellular processes, but only a small subset of plant kelch proteins has been functionally characterized. Thiocyanate-forming protein (TFP) from field-penny cress, Thlaspi arvense (Brassicaceae), is a representative of specifier proteins, a group of kelch proteins involved in plant specialized metabolism. As components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system of the Brassicaceae, specifier proteins determine the profile of bioactive products formed when plant tissue is disrupted and glucosinolates are hydrolyzed by myrosinases. Here, we describe the crystal structure of TaTFP at a resolution of 1.4 Å. TaTFP crystallized as homodimer. Each monomer forms a six-blade β-propeller with a wide “top” and a narrower “bottom” opening with distinct strand-connecting loops protruding far beyond the lower propeller surface. Molecular modeling and mutational analysis identified residues for glucosinolate aglucone and Fe2+ cofactor binding within these loops. As the first experimentally determined structure of a plant kelch protein, the crystal structure of TaTFP not only enables more detailed mechanistic studies on glucosinolate breakdown product formation, but also provides a new basis for research on the diverse roles and mechanisms of other kelch proteins in plants.
      PubDate: 2015-08-11
  • Development and analysis of a highly flexible multi-gene expression system
           for metabolic engineering in Arabidopsis seeds and other plant tissues
    • Abstract: Abstract Production of novel value-added compounds in transgenic crops has become an increasingly viable approach in recent years. However, in many cases, product yield still falls short of the levels necessary for optimal profitability. Determination of the limiting factors is thus of supreme importance for the long-term viability of this approach. A significant challenge to most metabolic engineering projects is the need for strong coordinated co-expression of multiple transgenes. Strong constitutive promoters have been well-characterized during the >30 years since plant transformation techniques were developed. However, organ- or tissue-specific promoters are poorly characterized in many cases. Oilseeds are one such example. Reports spanning at least 20 years have described the use of certain seed-specific promoters to drive expression of individual transgenes. Multi-gene engineering strategies are often hampered by sub-optimal expression levels or improper tissue-specificity of particular promoters, or rely on the use of multiple copies of the same promoter, which can result in DNA instability or transgene silencing. We describe here a flexible system of plasmids that allows for expression of 1–7 genes per binary plasmid, and up to 18 genes altogether after multiple rounds of transformation or sexual crosses. This vector system includes six seed-specific promoters and two constitutive promoters. Effective constitutive and seed-specific RNA interference gene-suppression cloning vectors were also constructed for silencing of endogenous genes. Taken together, this molecular toolkit allows combinatorial cloning for multiple transgene expression in seeds, vegetative organs, or both simultaneously, while also providing the means to coordinately overexpress some genes while silencing others.
      PubDate: 2015-08-09
  • Identification and functional characterization of the BBX24 promoter and
           gene from chrysanthemum in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract The B-box (BBX) family is a subgroup of zinc finger transcription factors that regulate flowering time, light-regulated morphogenesis, and abiotic stress in Arabidopsis. Overexpression of CmBBX24, a zinc finger transcription factor gene in chrysanthemum, results in abiotic stress tolerance. We have investigated and characterized the promoter of CmBBX24, isolating a 2.7-kb CmBBX24 promoter sequence and annotating a number of abiotic stress-related cis-regulatory elements, such as DRE, MYB, MYC, as well as cis-elements which respond to plant hormones, such as GARE, ABRE, and CARE. We also observed a number of cis-elements related to light, such as TBOX and GBOX, and some tissue-specific cis-elements, such as those for guard cells (TAAAG). Expression of the CmBBX24 promoter produced a clear response in leaves and a lower response in roots, based on β-glucuronidase histochemical staining and fluorometric analysis. The CmBBX24 promoter was induced by abiotic stresses (mannitol, cold temperature), hormones (gibberellic acid, abscisic acid), and different light treatments (white, blue, red); activation was measured by fluorometric analysis in the leaves and roots. The deletion of fragments from the 5′-end of the promoter led to different responses under various stress conditions. Some CmBBX24 promoter segments were found to be more important than others for regulating all stresses, while other segments were relatively more specific to stress type. D0-, D1-, D2-, D3-, and D4-proCmBBX24::CmBBX24 transgenic Arabidopsis lines developed for further study were found to be more tolerant to the low temperature and drought stresses than the controls. We therefore speculate that CmBBX24 is of prime importance in the regulation of abiotic stress in Arabidopsis and that the CmBBX24 promoter is inductive in abiotic stress conditions. Consequently, we suggest that CmBBX24 is a potential candidate for the use in breeding programs of important ornamental plants.
      PubDate: 2015-08-08
  • Functional roles of the pepper RING finger protein gene, CaRING1, in
           abscisic acid signaling and dehydration tolerance
    • Abstract: Abstract Plants are constantly exposed to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses, which include pathogens and conditions of high salinity, low temperature, and drought. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a major plant hormone involved in signal transduction pathways that mediate the defense response of plants to abiotic stress. Previously, we isolated Ring finger protein gene (CaRING1) from pepper (Capsicum annuum), which is associated with resistance to bacterial pathogens, accompanied by hypersensitive cell death. Here, we report a new function of the CaRING1 gene product in the ABA-mediated defense responses of plants to dehydration stress. The expression of the CaRING1 gene was induced in pepper leaves treated with ABA or exposed to dehydration or NaCl. Virus-induced gene silencing of CaRING1 in pepper plants exhibited low degree of ABA-induced stomatal closure and high levels of transpirational water loss in dehydrated leaves. These led to be more vulnerable to dehydration stress in CaRING1-silenced pepper than in the control pepper, accompanied by reduction of ABA-regulated gene expression and low accumulation of ABA and H2O2. In contrast, CaRING1-overexpressing transgenic plants showed enhanced sensitivity to ABA during the seedling growth and establishment. These plants were also more tolerant to dehydration stress than the wild-type plants because of high ABA accumulation, enhanced stomatal closure and increased expression of stress-responsive genes. Together, these results suggest that the CaRING1 acts as positive factor for dehydration tolerance in Arabidopsis by modulating ABA biosynthesis and ABA-mediated stomatal closing and gene expression.
      PubDate: 2015-08-07
  • Alterations of histone modifications at the senescence-associated gene
           HvS40 in barley during senescence
    • Abstract: Abstract The barley gene HvS40, encoding a putative regulator of leaf senescence, is strongly induced during leaf senescence. As shown by chromatin immunoprecipitation, euchromatic histone modification H3K9ac is added at promoter close to ATG and coding sequence of HvS40 after onset of senescence. In parallel, level of heterochromatic H3K9me2 decreases at this gene. Bisulfite sequencing revealed no DNA-methylation in this region, but a heavily methylated DNA-island, starting 664 bp upstream from translational start site in both, mature and senescent leaves. A decrease in DNA methylation in senescing leaves could be shown at one specific CpG motif at the end of this methylation island. In addition, global changes in chromatin structure during senescence were analyzed via immunocytology, revealing senescence-associated changes in spatial distribution of heterochromatic H3K9me2 patterns in the nuclei. Our results prove a senescence-specific mechanism, altering histone modification marks at distinct sequences of the senescence-associated gene HvS40 and altering distribution of heterochromatic areas in the nuclei.
      PubDate: 2015-08-07
  • Lotus japonicus flowers are defended by a cyanogenic β-glucosidase
           with highly restricted expression to essential reproductive organs
    • Abstract: Abstract Flowers and leaves of Lotus japonicus contain α-, β-, and γ-hydroxynitrile glucoside (HNG) defense compounds, which are bioactivated by β-glucosidase enzymes (BGDs). The α-HNGs are referred to as cyanogenic glucosides because their hydrolysis upon tissue disruption leads to release of toxic hydrogen cyanide gas, which can deter herbivore feeding. BGD2 and BGD4 are HNG metabolizing BGD enzymes expressed in leaves. Only BGD2 is able to hydrolyse the α-HNGs. Loss of function mutants of BGD2 are acyanogenic in leaves but fully retain cyanogenesis in flowers pointing to the existence of an alternative cyanogenic BGD in flowers. This enzyme, named BGD3, is identified and characterized in this study. Whereas all floral tissues contain α-HNGs, only those tissues in which BGD3 is expressed, the keel and the enclosed reproductive organs, are cyanogenic. Biochemical analysis, active site architecture molecular modelling, and the observation that L. japonicus accessions lacking cyanogenic flowers contain a non-functional BGD3 gene, all support the key role of BGD3 in floral cyanogenesis. The nectar of L. japonicus flowers was also found to contain HNGs and additionally their diglycosides. The observed specialisation in HNG based defence in L. japonicus flowers is discussed in the context of balancing the attraction of pollinators with the protection of reproductive structures against herbivores.
      PubDate: 2015-08-07
  • Large distribution and high sequence identity of a Copia -type
           retrotransposon in angiosperm families
    • Abstract: Abstract Retrotransposons are the main component of plant genomes. Recent studies have revealed the complexity of their evolutionary dynamics. Here, we have identified Copia25 in Coffea canephora, a new plant retrotransposon belonging to the Ty1-Copia superfamily. In the Coffea genomes analyzed, Copia25 is present in relatively low copy numbers and transcribed. Similarity sequence searches and PCR analyses show that this retrotransposon with LTRs (Long Terminal Repeats) is widely distributed among the Rubiaceae family and that it is also present in other distantly related species belonging to Asterids, Rosids and monocots. A particular situation is the high sequence identity found between the Copia25 sequences of Musa, a monocot, and Ixora, a dicot species (Rubiaceae). Our results reveal the complexity of the evolutionary dynamics of the ancient element Copia25 in angiosperm, involving several processes including sequence conservation, rapid turnover, stochastic losses and horizontal transfer.
      PubDate: 2015-08-06
  • Unfoldome variation upon plant-pathogen interactions: strawberry infection
           by Colletotrichum acutatum
    • Abstract: Abstract Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are proteins that lack secondary and/or tertiary structure under physiological conditions. These proteins are very abundant in eukaryotic proteomes and play crucial roles in all molecular mechanisms underlying the response to environmental challenges. In plants, different IDPs involved in stress response have been identified and characterized. Nevertheless, a comprehensive evaluation of protein disorder in plant proteomes under abiotic or biotic stresses is not available so far. In the present work the transcriptome dataset of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) fruits interacting with the fungal pathogen Colletotrichum acutatum was actualized onto the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) genome. The obtained cDNA sequences were translated into protein sequences, which were subsequently subjected to disorder analysis. The results, providing the first estimation of disorder abundance associated to plant infection, showed that the proteome activated in the strawberry red fruit during the active fungal propagation is remarkably depleted in disorder. On the other hand, in the resistant white fruit, no significant disorder reduction is observed in the proteins expressed in response to fungal infection. Four representative proteins, FvSMP, FvPRKRIP, FvPCD-4 and FvFAM32A-like, predicted as mainly disordered and never experimentally characterized before, were isolated, and the absence of structure was validated at the secondary and tertiary level using circular dichroism and differential scanning fluorimetry. Their quaternary structure was also established using light scattering. The results are discussed considering the role of protein disorder in plant defense.
      PubDate: 2015-08-06
  • The pepper phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase CaPEPCK1 is involved in plant
           immunity against bacterial and oomycete pathogens
    • Abstract: Abstract Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, a member of the lyase family, is involved in the metabolic pathway of gluconeogenesis in organisms. Although the major function of PEPCK in gluconeogenesis is well established, it is unclear whether this enzyme is involved in plant immunity. Here, we isolated and identified the pepper (Capsicum annuum) PEPCK (CaPEPCK1) gene from pepper leaves infected with Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv). CaPEPCK1 was strongly expressed in pepper leaves during the incompatible interaction with avirulent Xcv and in response to environmental stresses, especially salicylic acid (SA) treatment. PEPCK activity was low in healthy leaves but dramatically increased in avirulent Xcv-infected leaves. Knock-down expression of CaPEPCK1 by virus-induced gene silencing resulted in high levels of susceptibility to both virulent and avirulent Xcv infection. CaPEPCK1 silencing in pepper compromised induction of the basal defense-marker genes CaPR1 (pathogenesis-related 1 protein), CaPR10 (pathogenesis-related 10 protein) and CaDEF1 (defensin) during Xcv infection. SA accumulation was also significantly suppressed in the CaPEPCK1-silenced pepper leaves infected with Xcv. CaPEPCK1 in an Arabidopsis overexpression (OX) line inhibited the proliferation of Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) and Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa). CaPEPCK1-OX plants developed more rapidly, with enlarged leaves, compared to wild-type plants. The T-DNA insertion Arabidopsis orthologous mutants pck1-3 and pck1-4 were more susceptible to the bacterial Pst and oomycete Hpa pathogens than the wild type. Taken together, these results suggest that CaPEPCK positively contributes to plant innate immunity against hemibiotrophic bacterial and obligate biotrophic oomycete pathogens.
      PubDate: 2015-08-02
  • Genome-wide analysis reveals phytohormone action during cassava storage
           root initiation
    • Abstract: Abstract Development of storage roots is a process associated with a phase change from cell division and elongation to radial growth and accumulation of massive amounts of reserve substances such as starch. Knowledge of the regulation of cassava storage root formation has accumulated over time; however, gene regulation during the initiation and early stage of storage root development is still poorly understood. In this study, transcription profiling of fibrous, intermediate and storage roots at eight weeks old were investigated using a 60-mer-oligo microarray. Transcription and gene expression were found to be the key regulating processes during the transition stage from fibrous to intermediate roots, while homeostasis and signal transduction influenced regulation from intermediate roots to storage roots. Clustering analysis of significant genes and transcription factors (TF) indicated that a number of phytohormone-related TF were differentially expressed; therefore, phytohormone-related genes were assembled into a network of correlative nodes. We propose a model showing the relationship between KNOX1 and phytohormones during storage root initiation. Exogeneous treatment of phytohormones N 6 -benzylaminopurine and 1-Naphthaleneacetic acid were used to induce the storage root initiation stage and to investigate expression patterns of the genes involved in storage root initiation. The results support the hypothesis that phytohormones are acting in concert to regulate the onset of cassava storage root development. Moreover, MeAGL20 is a factor that might play an important role at the onset of storage root initiation when the root tip becomes swollen.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • A purple acid phosphatase plays a role in nodule formation and nitrogen
           fixation in Astragalus sinicus
    • Abstract: Abstract The AsPPD1 gene from Astragalus sinicus encodes a purple acid phosphatase. To address the functions of AsPPD1 in legume-rhizobium symbiosis, its expression patterns, enzyme activity, subcellular localization, and phenotypes associated with its over-expression and RNA interference (RNAi) were investigated. The expression of AsPPD1 was up-regulated in roots and nodules after inoculation with rhizobia. Phosphate starvation reduced the levels of AsPPD1 transcripts in roots while increased those levels in nodules. We confirmed the acid phosphatase and phosphodiesterase activities of recombinant AsPPD1 purified from Pichia pastoris, and demonstrated its ability to hydrolyze ADP and ATP in vitro. Subcellular localization showed that AsPPD1 located on the plasma membranes in hairy roots and on the symbiosomes membranes in root nodules. Over-expression of AsPPD1 in hairy roots inhibited nodulation, while its silencing resulted in nodules early senescence and significantly decreased nitrogenase activity. Furthermore, HPLC measurement showed that AsPPD1 overexpression affects the ADP levels in the infected roots and nodules, AsPPD1 silencing affects the ratio of ATP/ADP and the energy charge in nodules, and quantitative observation demonstrated the changes of AsPPD1 transcripts level affected nodule primordia formation. Taken together, it is speculated that AsPPD1 contributes to symbiotic ADP levels and energy charge control, and this is required for effective nodule organogenesis and nitrogen fixation.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • The soybean R2R3 MYB transcription factor GmMYB100 negatively regulates
           plant flavonoid biosynthesis
    • Abstract: Abstract Soybean flavonoids, a group of important signaling molecules in plant-environment interaction, ubiquitously exist in soybean and are tightly regulated by many genes. Here we reported that GmMYB100, a gene encoding a R2R3 MYB transcription factor, is involved in soybean flavonoid biosynthesis. GmMYB100 is mainly expressed in flowers, leaves and immature embryo, and its level is decreased after pod ripening. Subcellular localization assay indicates that GmMYB100 is a nuclear protein. GmMYB100 has transactivation ability revealed by a yeast functional assay; whereas bioinformatic analysis suggests that GmMYB100 has a negative function in flavonoid biosynthesis. GmMYB100-overexpression represses the transcript levels of flavonoid-related genes in transgenic soybean hairy roots and Arabidopsis, and inhibits isoflavonoid (soybean) and flavonol (Arabidopsis) production in transgenic plants. Furthermore, the transcript levels of six flavonoid-related genes and flavonoid (isoflavonoid and flavone aglycones) accumulation are elevated in the GmMYB100-RNAi transgenic hairy roots. We also demonstrate that GmMYB100 protein depresses the promoter activities of soybean chalcone synthase and chalcone isomerase. These findings indicate that GmMYB100 is a negative regulator in soybean flavonoid biosynthesis pathway.
      PubDate: 2015-08-01
  • Genetic linkage facilitates cloning of Ert - m regulating plant
           architecture in barley and identified a strong candidate of Ant1 involved
           in anthocyanin biosynthesis
    • Abstract: Abstract The erectoides-m anthocyanin-less 1 (ert-m ant1) double mutants are among the very few examples of induced double mutants in barley. From phenotypic observations of mutant plants it is known that the Ert-m gene product regulates plant architecture whereas the Ant1 gene product is involved in anthocyanin biosynthesis. We used a near-isogenic line of the cultivar Bowman, BW316 (ert-m.34), to create four F2-mapping populations by crosses to the barley cultivars Barke, Morex, Bowman and Quench. We phenotyped and genotyped 460 plants, allowing the ert-m mutation to be mapped to an interval of 4.7 cM on the short arm of barley chromosome 7H. Bioinformatic searches identified 21 candidate gene models in the mapped region. One gene was orthologous to a regulator of Arabidopsis thaliana plant architecture, ERECTA, encoding a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase. Sequencing of HvERECTA in barley ert-m mutant accessions identified severe DNA changes in 15 mutants, including full gene deletions in ert-m.40 and ert-m.64. Both deletions, additionally causing anthocyanin deficiency, were found to stretch over a large region including two putative candidate genes for the anthocyanin biosynthesis locus Ant1. Analyses of ert-m and ant1 single- and double-deletion mutants suggest Ant1 as a closely linked gene encoding a R2R3 myeloblastosis transcription factor.
      PubDate: 2015-07-31
  • Effects of cold acclimation on sugar metabolism and sugar-related gene
           expression in tea plant during the winter season
    • Abstract: Abstract Sugar plays an essential role in plant cold acclimation (CA), but the interaction between CA and sugar remains unclear in tea plants. In this study, during the whole winter season, we investigated the variations of sugar contents and the expression of a large number of sugar-related genes in tea leaves. Results indicated that cold tolerance of tea plant was improved with the development of CA during early winter season. At this stage, starch was dramatically degraded, whereas the content of total sugars and several specific sugars including sucrose, glucose and fructose were constantly elevated. Beyond the CA stage, the content of starch was maintained at a low level during winter hardiness (WH) period and then was elevated during de-acclimation (DC) period. Conversely, the content of sugar reached a peak at WH stage followed by a decrease during DC stage. Moreover, gene expression results showed that, during CA period, sugar metabolism-related genes exhibited different expression pattern, in which beta-amylase gene (CsBAM), invertase gene (CsINV5) and raffinose synthase gene (CsRS2) engaged in starch, sucrose and raffinose metabolism respectively were solidly up-regulated; the expressions of sugar transporters were stimulated in general except the down-regulations of CsSWEET2, 3, 16, CsERD6.7 and CsINT2; interestingly, the sugar-signaling related CsHXK3 and CsHXK2 had opposite expression patterns at the early stage of CA. These provided comprehensive insight into the effects of CA on carbohydrates indicating that sugar accumulation contributes to tea plant cold tolerance during winter season, and a simply model of sugar regulation in response to cold stimuli is proposed.
      PubDate: 2015-07-28
  • Comparison of CRISPR/Cas9 expression constructs for efficient targeted
           mutagenesis in rice
    • Abstract: Abstract The CRISPR/Cas9 system is an efficient tool used for genome editing in a variety of organisms. Despite several recent reports of successful targeted mutagenesis using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in plants, in each case the target gene of interest, the Cas9 expression system and guide-RNA (gRNA) used, and the tissues used for transformation and subsequent mutagenesis differed, hence the reported frequencies of targeted mutagenesis cannot be compared directly. Here, we evaluated mutation frequency in rice using different Cas9 and/or gRNA expression cassettes under standardized experimental conditions. We introduced Cas9 and gRNA expression cassettes separately or sequentially into rice calli, and assessed the frequency of mutagenesis at the same endogenous targeted sequences. Mutation frequencies differed significantly depending on the Cas9 expression cassette used. In addition, a gRNA driven by the OsU6 promoter was superior to one driven by the OsU3 promoter. Using an all-in-one expression vector harboring the best combined Cas9/gRNA expression cassette resulted in a much improved frequency of targeted mutagenesis in rice calli, and bi-allelic mutant plants were produced in the T0 generation. The approach presented here could be adapted to optimize the construction of Cas9/gRNA cassettes for genome editing in a variety of plants.
      PubDate: 2015-07-19
  • Analysis of cuticular wax constituents and genes that contribute to the
           formation of ‘glossy Newhall’, a spontaneous bud mutant from
           the wild-type ‘Newhall’ navel orange
    • Abstract: Abstract Navel orange (Citrus sinensis [L.] Osbeck) fruit surfaces contain substantial quantities of cuticular waxes, which have important eco-physiological roles, such as water retention and pathogen defense. The wax constituents of ripe navel orange have been studied in various reports, while the wax changes occurring during fruit development and the molecular mechanism underlying their biosynthesis/export have not been investigated. Recently, we reported a spontaneous bud mutant from the wild-type (WT) ‘Newhall’ Navel orange. This mutant displayed unusual glossy fruit peels and was named ‘glossy Newhall’ (MT). In this study, we compared the developmental profiles of the epicuticular and intracuticular waxes on the WT and MT fruit surfaces. The formation of epicuticular wax crystals on the navel orange surface was shown to be dependent on the accumulation of high amounts of aliphatic wax components with trace amounts of terpenoids. In sharp contrast, the underlying intracuticular wax layers have relatively low concentrations of aliphatic wax components but high concentrations of cyclic wax compounds, especially terpenoids at the late fruit developmental stages. Our work also showed that many genes that are involved in wax biosynthesis and export pathways were down-regulated in MT fruit peels, leading to a decrease in aliphatic wax component amounts and the loss of epicuticular wax crystals, ultimately causing the glossy phenotype of MT fruits.
      PubDate: 2015-07-16
  • Ascorbate biosynthesis and its involvement in stress tolerance and plant
           development in rice ( Oryza sativa L.)
    • Abstract: Abstract Ascorbic acid (AsA) biosynthesis and its implications for stress tolerance and plant development were investigated in a set of rice knock-out (KO) mutants for AsA biosynthetic genes and their wild-types. KO of two isoforms of GDP-d-mannose epimerase (OsGME) reduced the foliar AsA level by 20–30 %, and KO of GDP-l-galactose phosphorylase (OsGGP) by 80 %, while KO of myo-inositol oxygenase (OsMIOX) did not affect foliar AsA levels. AsA concentration was negatively correlated with lipid peroxidation in foliar tissue under ozone stress and zinc deficiency, but did not affect the sensitivity to iron toxicity. Lack of AsA reduced the photosynthetic efficiency as represented by the maximum carboxylation rate of Rubisco (Vmax), the maximum electron transport rate (Jmax) and the chlorophyll fluorescence parameter ΦPSII. Mutants showed lower biomass production than their wild-types, especially when OsGGP was lacking (around 80 % reductions). All plants except for KO mutants of OsGGP showed distinct peaks in foliar AsA concentrations during the growth, which were consistent with up-regulation of OsGGP, suggesting that OsGGP plays a pivotal role in regulating foliar AsA levels during different growth stages. In conclusion, our data demonstrate multiple roles of AsA in stress tolerance and development of rice.
      PubDate: 2015-07-01
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