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Journal Cover Plant Molecular Biology
  [SJR: 1.842]   [H-I: 121]   [9 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  [2280 journals]
  • Evolutionary history of double-stranded RNA binding proteins in plants:
           identification of new cofactors involved in easiRNA biogenesis
    • Abstract: Abstract In this work, we retrace the evolutionary history of plant double-stranded RNA binding proteins (DRBs), a group of non-catalytic factors containing one or more double-stranded RNA binding motif (dsRBM) that play important roles in small RNA biogenesis and functions. Using a phylogenetic approach, we show that multiple dsRBM DRBs are systematically composed of two different types of dsRBMs evolving under different constraints and likely fulfilling complementary functions. In vascular plants, four distinct clades of multiple dsRBM DRBs are always present with the exception of Brassicaceae species, that do not possess member of the newly identified clade we named DRB6. We also identified a second new and highly conserved DRB family (we named DRB7) whose members possess a single dsRBM that shows concerted evolution with the most C-terminal dsRBM domain of the Dicer-like 4 (DCL4) proteins. Using a BiFC approach, we observed that Arabidopsis thaliana DRB7.2 (AtDRB7.2) can directly interact with AtDRB4 but not with AtDCL4 and we provide evidence that both AtDRB7.2 and AtDRB4 participate in the epigenetically activated siRNAs pathway.
      PubDate: 2016-02-09
  • The peach HECATE3 -like gene FLESHY plays a double role during fruit
    • Abstract: Abstract Tight control of cell/tissue identity is essential for a correct and functional organ patterning, an important component of overall fruit development and eventual maturation and ripening. Despite many investigations regarding the molecular determinants of cell identity in fruits of different species, a useful model able to depict the regulatory networks governing this relevant part of fruit development is still missing. Here we described the peach fruit as a system to link the phenotype of a slow ripening (SR) selection to an altered transcriptional regulation of genes involved in determination of mesocarp cell identity providing insight toward molecular regulation of fruit tissue formation. Morpho-anatomical observations and metabolomics analyses performed during fruit development on the reference cultivar Fantasia, compared to SR, revealed that the mesocarp of SR maintained typical immaturity traits (e.g. small cell size, high amino acid contents and reduced sucrose) throughout development, along with a strong alteration of phenylpropanoid contents, resulting in accumulation of phenylalanine and lignin. These findings suggest that the SR mesocarp is phenotypically similar to a lignifying endocarp. To test this hypothesis, the expression of genes putatively involved in determination of drupe tissues identity was assessed. Among these, the peach HEC3-like gene FLESHY showed a strongly altered expression profile consistent with pit hardening and fruit ripening, generated at a post-transcriptional level. A double function for FLESHY in channelling the phenylpropanoid pathway to either lignin or flavour/aroma is suggested, along with its possible role in triggering auxin-ethylene cross talk at the start of ripening.
      PubDate: 2016-02-05
  • A CURLY LEAF homologue controls both vegetative and reproductive
           development of tomato plants
    • Abstract: Abstract The Enhancer of Zeste Polycomb group proteins, which are encoded by a small gene family in Arabidopsis thaliana, participate to the control of plant development. In the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), these proteins are encoded by three genes (SlEZ1, SlEZ2 and SlEZ3) that display specific expression profiles. Using a gene specific RNAi strategy, we demonstrate that repression of SlEZ2 correlates with a general reduction of H3K27me3 levels, indicating that SlEZ2 is part of an active PRC2 complex. Reduction of SlEZ2 gene expression impacts the vegetative development of tomato plants, consistent with SlEZ2 having retained at least some of the functions of the Arabidopsis CURLY LEAF (CLF) protein. Notwithstanding, we observed significant differences between transgenic SlEZ2 RNAi tomato plants and Arabidopsis clf mutants. First, we found that reduced SlEZ2 expression has dramatic effects on tomato fruit development and ripening, functions not described in Arabidopsis for the CLF protein. In addition, repression of SlEZ2 has no significant effect on the flowering time or the control of flower organ identity, in contrast to the Arabidopsis clf mutation. Taken together, our results are consistent with a diversification of the function of CLF orthologues in plants, and indicate that although partly conserved amongst plants, the function of EZ proteins need to be newly investigated for non-model plants because they might have been recruited to specific developmental processes.
      PubDate: 2016-02-04
  • Expression of grapevine AINTEGUMENTA -like genes is associated with
           variation in ovary and berry size
    • Abstract: Abstract Fruit size is a highly important trait for most fruit and vegetable crops. This trait has been a main selection target and could be involved in divergent selection processes leading to the differentiation between modern table and wine cultivars. Even though its determination is highly influenced by cultural practices, several regions within the grapevine genome have been identified affecting berry size, either directly or indirectly through their effect on seed content. Using grapevine seeded cultivars, we have analyzed the relationship between ovary cell number and the final size of ovaries and berry fruits. We also performed the characterization of the grapevine AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE family, since it is well reported in Arabidopsis that AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) regulates cell proliferation and organ growth in flower organ primordia by maintaining the meristematic competence of cells during organogenesis. Here we show that orthologous grapevine gene expression associate with flower developmental stages suggesting a similar biological role for this gene family in this species. Moreover, we detected a correlation between those organs size and the level of expression of VviANT1 the grapevine homolog of AtANT. This grapevine gene also co-localizes in linkage group 18 with the confidence interval of a previously detected QTL for berry size. Thus our results suggest the involvement of ANT in the regulation of berry size in grapevine.
      PubDate: 2016-02-02
  • NOD promoter-controlled AtIRT1 expression functions synergistically with
           NAS and FERRITIN genes to increase iron in rice grains
    • Abstract: Abstract Rice is a staple food for over half of the world’s population, but it contains only low amounts of bioavailable micronutrients for human nutrition. Consequently, micronutrient deficiency is a widespread health problem among people who depend primarily on rice as their staple food. Iron deficiency anemia is one of the most serious forms of malnutrition. Biofortification of rice grains for increased iron content is an effective strategy to reduce iron deficiency. Unlike other grass species, rice takes up iron as Fe(II) via the IRON REGULATED TRANSPORTER (IRT) in addition to Fe(III)-phytosiderophore chelates. We expressed Arabidopsis IRT1 (AtIRT1) under control of the Medicago sativa EARLY NODULIN 12B promoter in our previously developed high-iron NFP rice lines expressing NICOTIANAMINE SYNTHASE (AtNAS1) and FERRITIN. Transgenic rice lines expressing AtIRT1 alone had significant increases in iron and combined with NAS and FERRITIN increased iron to 9.6 µg/g DW in the polished grains that is 2.2-fold higher as compared to NFP lines. The grains of AtIRT1 lines also accumulated more copper and zinc but not manganese. Our results demonstrate that the concerted expression of AtIRT1, AtNAS1 and PvFERRITIN synergistically increases iron in both polished and unpolished rice grains. AtIRT1 is therefore a valuable transporter for iron biofortification programs when used in combination with other genes encoding iron transporters and/or storage proteins.
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • ABA-HYPERSENSITIVE BTB/POZ PROTEIN 1 functions as a negative regulator in
           ABA-mediated inhibition of germination in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract To elucidate the contribution of CRL3–ABA-mediated responses, we attempted to find CRL3 substrate receptors involved in ABA signaling. One gene named ABA-HYPERSENSITIVE BTB/POZ PROTEIN 1 (AHT1) was upregulated more than 2.5 times by ABA, and its coding region possessed a BTB/POZ domain, which is the common feature of CRL3 substrate receptors. Loss of AHT1 led to retardation of the germination process, not inhibition of root growth. AHT1 transcripts also increased in response to mannitol, NaCl and drought treatments at the seedling stage and in dry seeds. High expression of AHT1 in dry seeds was inhibited by the defect of ABA signaling components such as ABI1, ABI3 and SRKs indicating that the expression of AHT1 is dependent on ABA signaling. Among bZIP transcription factors participating in ABA signaling, the losses of ABI5/DPBF1, AREB1/ABF2, EEL/DPBF4 and DPBF2/bZIP67 resulted in reduced AHT1 expression, showing that these transcription factors play a positive role in ABA-induced AHT1 expression. While loss of AHT1 did not affect the expression pattern of NCED3, ABI2, SRKs and AREB/ABF genes, it led to hyperinduction of ABI5/DPBF genes such as ABI5/DPBF1, EEL/DPBF4 and AREB3/DPBF3, which are mainly involved in seed development and germination, as well as ABA-inducible genes transactivated by ABI5. Overall, these findings indicate that AHT1 negatively regulates ABA-mediated inhibition of germination, possibly by repressing the expression of a subset of ABI5/DPBF subfamily genes, and that AHT1 may be regulated by a negative feedback process through its linkage with a part of ABI5/DPBF proteins.
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis of early seed development in rice (
           Oryza sativa L.)
    • Abstract: Abstract Rice (Oryza sativa L.) seed serves as a major food source for over half of the global population. Though it has been long recognized that phosphorylation plays an essential role in rice seed development, the phosphorylation events and dynamics in this process remain largely unknown so far. Here, we report the first large scale identification of rice seed phosphoproteins and phosphosites by using a quantitative phosphoproteomic approach. Thorough proteomic studies in pistils and seeds at 3, 7 days after pollination resulted in the successful identification of 3885, 4313 and 4135 phosphopeptides respectively. A total of 2487 proteins were differentially phosphorylated among the three stages, including Kip related protein 1, Rice basic leucine zipper factor 1, Rice prolamin box binding factor and numerous other master regulators of rice seed development. Moreover, differentially phosphorylated proteins may be extensively involved in the biosynthesis and signaling pathways of phytohormones such as auxin, gibberellin, abscisic acid and brassinosteroid. Our results strongly indicated that protein phosphorylation is a key mechanism regulating cell proliferation and enlargement, phytohormone biosynthesis and signaling, grain filling and grain quality during rice seed development. Overall, the current study enhanced our understanding of the rice phosphoproteome and shed novel insight into the regulatory mechanism of rice seed development.
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • Targeting chitinase gene of Helicoverpa armigera by host-induced RNA
           interference confers insect resistance in tobacco and tomato
    • Abstract: Abstract Helicoverpa armigera Hübner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a devastating agricultural insect pest with broad spectrum of host range, causing million dollars crop loss annually. Limitations in the present conventional and transgenic approaches have made it crucial to develop sustainable and environmental friendly methods for crop improvement. In the present study, host-induced RNA interference (HI-RNAi) approach was used to develop H. armigera resistant tobacco and tomato plants. Chitinase (HaCHI) gene, critically required for insect molting and metamorphosis was selected as a potential target. Hair-pin RNAi construct was prepared from the conserved off-target free partial HaCHI gene sequence and was used to generate several HaCHI-RNAi tobacco and tomato plants. Northern hybridization confirmed the production of HaCHI gene-specific siRNAs in HaCHI-RNAi tobacco and tomato lines. Continuous feeding on leaves of RNAi lines drastically reduced the target gene transcripts and consequently, affected the overall growth and survival of H. armigera. Various developmental deformities were also manifested in H. armigera larvae after feeding on the leaves of RNAi lines. These results demonstrated the role of chitinase in insect development and potential of HI-RNAi for effective management of H. armigera.
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • OsERF2 controls rice root growth and hormone responses through tuning
           expression of key genes involved in hormone signaling and sucrose
    • Abstract: Abstract Root determines plant distribution, development progresses, stress response, as well as crop qualities and yields, which is under the tight control of genetic programs and environmental stimuli. Ethylene responsive factor proteins (ERFs) play important roles in plant growth and development. Here, the regulatory function of OsERF2 involved in root growth was investigated using the gain-function mutant of OsERF2 (nsf2857) and the artificial microRNA-mediated silenced lines of OsERF2 (Ami-OsERF2). nsf2857 showed short primary roots compared with the wild type (WT), while the primary roots of Ami-OsERF2 lines were longer than those of WT. Consistent with this phenotype, several auxin/cytokinin responsive genes involved in root growth were downregulated in nsf2857, but upregulated in Ami-OsERF2. Then, we found that nsf2857 seedlings exhibited decreased ABA accumulation and sensitivity to ABA and reduced ethylene-mediated root inhibition, while those were the opposite in Ami-ERF2 plants. Moreover, several key genes involved in ABA synthesis were downregulated in nsf2857, but unregulated in Ami-ERF2 lines. In addition, OsERF2 affected the accumulation of sucrose and UDPG by mediating expression of key genes involved in sucrose metabolism. These results indicate that OsERF2 is required for the control of root architecture and ABA- and ethylene-response by tuning expression of series genes involved in sugar metabolism and hormone signaling pathways.
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • Adaptation of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens VirG response regulator to
           activate transcription in plants
    • Abstract: The Agrobacterium tumefaciens VirG response regulator of the VirA/VirG two-component system was adapted to function in tobacco protoplasts. The subcellular localization of VirG and VirA proteins transiently expressed in onion cells was determined using GFP fusions. Preliminary studies using Gal4DBD-VP16 fusions with VirG and Escherichia coli UhpA, and NarL response regulators indicated compatibility of these bacterial proteins with the eukaryotic transcriptional apparatus. A strong transcriptional activator based on tandem activation domains from the Drosophila fushi tarazu and Herpes simplex VP16 was created. Selected configurations of the two-site Gal4-vir box GUS reporters were activated by chimeric effectors dependent on either the yeast Gal4 DNA-binding domain or that of VirG. Transcriptional induction of the GUS reporter was highest for the VirE19-element promoter with both constitutive and wild-type VirG-tandem activation domain effectors. Multiple VirE19 elements increased the reporter activity proportionately, indicating that the VirG DNA binding domain was functional in plants. The VirG constitutive-Q-VP16 effector was more active than the VirG wild-type. In both the constitutive and wild-type forms of VirG, Q-VP16 activated transcription of the GUS reporter best when located at the C-terminus, i.e. juxtaposed to the VirG DNA binding domain. These results demonstrate the possibility of using DNA binding domains from bacterial response regulators and their cognate binding elements in the engineering of plant gene expression. Graphical
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • Overexpression of the MYB37 transcription factor enhances abscisic acid
           sensitivity, and improves both drought tolerance and seed productivity in
           Arabidopsis thaliana
    • Abstract: Abstract Although a lot of genes have been revealed to participate in abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, many of the additional components involved in ABA signaling remain to be discovered. Here we report that overexpression of MYB37, a R2R3 MYB subgroup 14 transcription factor in Arabidopsis thaliana, confers hypersensitive phenotypes to exogenous ABA in all the major ABA responses, including ABA-induced inhibition of seed germination, cotyledon greening and early seedling growth, and ABA-induced stomatal closure and inhibition of stomatal opening. Interestingly and importantly, MYB37-overexpression improves plant tolerance to drought, enhances growth of mature plants and seed productivity, thought it delays flowering, which suggests that this gene may be used for improving crop adaptability to drought environment and productivity. However, a myb37-1 knockout mutant displays wild-type ABA responses most likely due to a functional redundancy of the multiple MYB members. Real-time PCR analysis shows that upregulation of the MYB37 expression changes expression of a subset of ABA-responsive genes. Together, these findings suggest that the MYB37 transcription factor plays an important, positive role in plant response to ABA and drought stress, and meanwhile, it plays a positive role in the regulation of seed production.
      PubDate: 2016-02-01
  • Natural genetic variation in Arabidopsis for responsiveness to plant
           growth-promoting rhizobacteria
    • Abstract: Abstract The plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium (PGPR) Pseudomonas simiae WCS417r stimulates lateral root formation and increases shoot growth in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis). These plant growth-stimulating effects are partly caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced by the bacterium. Here, we performed a genome-wide association (GWA) study on natural genetic variation in Arabidopsis for the ability to profit from rhizobacteria-mediated plant growth-promotion. To this end, 302 Arabidopsis accessions were tested for root architecture characteristics and shoot fresh weight in response to exposure to WCS417r. Although virtually all Arabidopsis accessions tested responded positively to WCS417r, there was a large variation between accessions in the increase in shoot fresh weight, the extra number of lateral roots formed, and the effect on primary root length. Correlation analyses revealed that the bacterially-mediated increase in shoot fresh weight is related to alterations in root architecture. GWA mapping for WCS417r-stimulated changes in root and shoot growth characteristics revealed 10 genetic loci highly associated with the responsiveness of Arabidopsis to the plant growth-promoting activity of WCS417r. Several of the underlying candidate genes have been implicated in important plant growth-related processes. These results demonstrate that plants possess natural genetic variation for the capacity to profit from the plant growth-promoting function of a beneficial rhizobacterium in their rhizosphere. This knowledge is a promising starting point for sustainable breeding strategies for future crops that are better able to maximize profitable functions from their root microbiome.
      PubDate: 2016-01-30
  • Arabidopsis thaliana gonidialess A/Zuotin related factors (GlsA/ZRF) are
           essential for maintenance of meristem integrity
    • Abstract: Abstract Observation of a differential expression pattern, including strong expression in meristematic tissue of an Agave tequilana GlsA/ZRF ortholog suggested an important role for this gene during bulbil formation and developmental changes in this species. In order to better understand this role, the two GlsA/ZFR orthologs present in the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana were functionally characterized by analyzing expression patterns, double mutant phenotypes, promoter-GUS fusions and expression of hormone related or meristem marker genes. Patterns of expression for A. thaliana show that GlsA/ZFR genes are strongly expressed in SAMs and RAMs in mature plants and developing embryos and double mutants showed multiple changes in morphology related to both SAM and RAM tissues. Typical double mutants showed stunted growth of aerial and root tissue, formation of multiple ectopic meristems and effects on cotyledons, leaves and flowers. The KNOX genes STM and BP were overexpressed in double mutants whereas CLV3, WUSCHEL and AS1 were repressed and lack of AtGlsA expression was also associated with changes in localization of auxin and cytokinin. These results suggest that GlsA/ZFR is an essential component of the machinery that maintains the integrity of SAM and RAM tissue and underline the potential to identify new genes or gene functions based on observations in non-model plants.
      PubDate: 2016-01-29
  • Nice to meet you: genetic, epigenetic and metabolic controls of plant
           perception of beneficial associative and endophytic diazotrophic bacteria
           in non-leguminous plants
    • Abstract: Abstract A wide range of rhizosphere diazotrophic bacteria are able to establish beneficial associations with plants, being able to associate to root surfaces or even endophytically colonize plant tissues. In common, both associative and endophytic types of colonization can result in beneficial outcomes to the plant leading to plant growth promotion, as well as increase in tolerance against biotic and abiotic stresses. An intriguing question in such associations is how plant cell surface perceives signals from other living organisms, thus sorting pathogens from beneficial ones, to transduce this information and activate proper responses that will finally culminate in plant adaptations to optimize their growth rates. This review focuses on the recent advances in the understanding of genetic and epigenetic controls of plant-bacteria signaling and recognition during beneficial associations with associative and endophytic diazotrophic bacteria. Finally, we propose that “soil–rhizosphere–rhizoplane–endophytes–plant” could be considered as a single coordinated unit with dynamic components that integrate the plant with the environment to generate adaptive responses in plants to improve growth. The homeostasis of the whole system should recruit different levels of regulation, and recognition between the parties in a given environment might be one of the crucial factors coordinating these adaptive plant responses.
      PubDate: 2016-01-28
  • Co-expression network analysis reveals transcription factors associated to
           cell wall biosynthesis in sugarcane
    • Abstract: Abstract Sugarcane is a hybrid of Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum, with minor contributions from other species in Saccharum and other genera. Understanding the molecular basis of cell wall metabolism in sugarcane may allow for rational changes in fiber quality and content when designing new energy crops. This work describes a comparative expression profiling of sugarcane ancestral genotypes: S. officinarum, S. spontaneum and S. robustum and a commercial hybrid: RB867515, linking gene expression to phenotypes to identify genes for sugarcane improvement. Oligoarray experiments of leaves, immature and intermediate internodes, detected 12,621 sense and 995 antisense transcripts. Amino acid metabolism was particularly evident among pathways showing natural antisense transcripts expression. For all tissues sampled, expression analysis revealed 831, 674 and 648 differentially expressed genes in S. officinarum, S. robustum and S. spontaneum, respectively, using RB867515 as reference. Expression of sugar transporters might explain sucrose differences among genotypes, but an unexpected differential expression of histones were also identified between high and low Brix° genotypes. Lignin biosynthetic genes and bioenergetics-related genes were up-regulated in the high lignin genotype, suggesting that these genes are important for S. spontaneum to allocate carbon to lignin, while S. officinarum allocates it to sucrose storage. Co-expression network analysis identified 18 transcription factors possibly related to cell wall biosynthesis while in silico analysis detected cis-elements involved in cell wall biosynthesis in their promoters. Our results provide information to elucidate regulatory networks underlying traits of interest that will allow the improvement of sugarcane for biofuel and chemicals production.
      PubDate: 2016-01-28
  • WRKY1 regulates stomatal movement in drought-stressed Arabidopsis thaliana
    • Abstract: Abstract A key response of plants to moisture stress is stomatal closure, a process mediated by the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). Closure is affected by changes in the turgor of the stomatal guard cell. The transcription factor WRKY1 is a part of the regulatory machinery underlying stomatal movements, and through this, in the plant’s response to drought stress. The loss-of-function T-DNA insertion mutant wrky1 was particularly sensitive to ABA, with respect to both ion channel regulation and stomatal movements, and less sensitive to drought than the wild type. Complementation of the wrky1 mutant resulted in the recovery of the wild type phenotype. The WRKY1 product localized to the nucleus, and was shown able to bind to the W-box domain in the promoters of MYB2, ABCG40, DREB1A and ABI5, and thereby to control their transcription in response to drought stress or ABA treatment. WRKY1 is thought to act as a negative regulator in guard cell ABA signalling.
      PubDate: 2016-01-28
  • Functional analysis of three BrMYB28 transcription factors controlling the
           biosynthesis of glucosinolates in Brassica rapa
    • Abstract: Abstract Glucosinolates (GSLs) are secondary metabolites that have anticarcinogenic activity and play defense roles in plants of the Brassicaceae family. MYB28 is known as a transcription factor that regulates aliphatic GSL biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. Brassicaceae plants have three orthologous copies of AtMYB28 derived from recent genome triplication. These BrMYB28 genes have a high level of sequence homology, with 81–87 % similarities in the coding DNA sequence compared to Arabidopsis. Overexpression of three paralogous BrMYB28 genes in transgenic Chinese cabbage increased the total GSL content in all T1 generation plants and in two inbred lines of homozygous T2 plants. The highest total GSL contents were detected in homozygous T2 lines overexpressing BrMYB28.1, which showed an approximate fivefold increase compared to that of nontransgenic plants. The homozygous T2 lines with overexpressed BrMYB28.1 also showed an increased content of aliphatic, indolic, and aromatic GSLs compared to that of nontransgenic plants. Furthermore, all of the three BrMYB28 genes were identified as negative regulators of BrAOP2 and positive regulators of BrGSL-OH in the homozygous T2 lines. These data indicate the regulatory mechanism of GSL biosynthesis in B. rapa is unlike that in A. thaliana. Our results will provide useful information for elucidating the regulatory mechanism of GSL biosynthesis in polyploid plants.
      PubDate: 2016-01-28
  • Hormonal control of sulfate uptake and assimilation
    • Abstract: Abstract Plant hormones have a plethora of functions in control of plant development, stress response, and primary metabolism, including nutrient homeostasis. In the plant nutrition, the interplay of hormones with responses to nitrate and phosphate deficiency is well described, but relatively little is known about the interaction between phytohormones and regulation of sulfur metabolism. As for other nutrients, sulfate deficiency results in modulation of root architecture, where hormones are expected to play an important role. Accordingly, sulfate deficiency induces genes involved in metabolism of tryptophane and auxin. Also jasmonate biosynthesis is induced, pointing to the need of increase the defense capabilities of the plants when sulfur is limiting. However, hormones affect also sulfate uptake and assimilation. The pathway is coordinately induced by jasmonate and the key enzyme, adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate reductase, is additionally regulated by ethylene, abscisic acid, nitric oxid, and other phytohormones. Perhaps the most intriguing link between hormones and sulfate assimilation is the fact that the main regulator of the response to sulfate starvation, SULFATE LIMITATION1 (SLIM1) belongs to the family of ethylene related transcription factors. We will review the current knowledge of interplay between phytohormones and control of sulfur metabolism and discuss the main open questions.
      PubDate: 2016-01-25
  • Diversity of transcripts and transcript processing forms in plastids of
           the dinoflagellate alga Karenia mikimotoi
    • Abstract: Abstract Plastids produce a vast diversity of transcripts. These include mature transcripts containing coding sequences, and their processing precursors, as well as transcripts that lack direct coding functions, such as antisense transcripts. Although plastid transcriptomes have been characterised for many plant species, less is known about the transcripts produced in other plastid lineages. We characterised the transcripts produced in the fucoxanthin-containing plastids of the dinoflagellate alga Karenia mikimotoi. This plastid lineage, acquired through tertiary endosymbiosis, utilises transcript processing pathways that are very different from those found in plants and green algae, including 3′ poly(U) tail addition, and extensive substitutional editing of transcript sequences. We have sequenced the plastid transcriptome of K. mikimotoi, and have detected evidence for divergent evolution of fucoxanthin plastid genomes. We have additionally characterised polycistronic and monocistronic transcripts from two plastid loci, psbD-tRNA Met -ycf4 and rpl36-rps13-rps11. We find evidence for a range of transcripts produced from each locus that differ in terms of editing state, 5′ end cleavage position, and poly(U) tail addition. Finally, we identify antisense transcripts in K. mikimotoi, which appear to undergo different processing events from the corresponding sense transcripts. Overall, our study provides insights into the diversity of transcripts and processing intermediates found in plastid lineages across the eukaryotes.
      PubDate: 2016-01-14
  • Rice GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase OsVTC1-1 and OsVTC1-3 play different
           roles in ascorbic acid synthesis
    • Abstract: Abstract GDP-d-mannose pyrophosphorylase (GMPase) catalyzes the synthesis of GDP-d-mannose, which is a precursor for ascorbic acid (AsA) synthesis in plants. The rice genome encodes three GMPase homologs OsVTC1-1, OsVTC1-3 and OsVTC1-8, but their roles in AsA synthesis are unclear. The overexpression of OsVTC1-1 or OsVTC1-3 restored the AsA synthesis of vtc1-1 in Arabidopsis, while that of OsVTC1-8 did not, indicating that only OsVTC1-1 and OsVTC1-3 are involved in AsA synthesis in rice. Similar to Arabidopsis VTC1, the expression of OsVTC1-1 was high in leaves, induced by light, and inhibited by dark. Unlike OsVTC1-1, the expression level of OsVTC1-3 was high in roots and quickly induced by the dark, while the transcription level of OsVTC1-8 did not show obvious changes under constant light or dark treatments. In OsVTC1-1 RNAi plants, the AsA content of rice leaves decreased, and the AsA production induced by light was limited. In contrast, OsVTC1-3 RNAi lines altered AsA synthesis levels in rice roots, but not in the leaves or under the light/dark treatment. The enzyme activity showed that OsVTC1-1 and OsVTC1-3 had higher GMPase activities than OsVTC1-8 in vitro. Our data showed that, unlike in Arabidopsis, the rice GPMase homologous proteins illustrated a new model in AsA synthesis: OsVTC1-1 may be involved in the AsA synthesis, which takes place in leaves, while OsVTC1-3 may be responsible for AsA synthesis in roots. The different roles of rice GMPase homologous proteins in AsA synthesis may be due to their differences in transcript levels and enzyme activities.
      PubDate: 2015-12-29
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