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Journal Cover Plant Molecular Biology
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 1573-5028 - ISSN (Online) 0167-4412
     Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2210 journals]   [SJR: 1.769]   [H-I: 112]
  • Ectopic expression of        class="a-plus-plus">CaRLK1 enhances hypoxia
           tolerance with increasing alanine production in        class="a-plus-plus">Nicotiana spp.
    • Abstract: Abstract In a previous report, the pepper receptor-like kinase 1 (CaRLK1) gene was shown to be responsible for negatively regulating plant cell death caused by pathogens via accumulation of superoxide anions. Here, we examined whether this gene also plays a role in regulating cell death under abiotic stress. The total concentrations of free amino acids in CaRLK1-overexpressed cells (RLKox) increased by twofold compared with those of the wild-type Nicotiana tabacum BY-2 cells. Additionally, alanine and pyruvate concentrations increased by approximately threefold. These accumulations were associated with both the expression levels of the isocitrate lyase (ICL) and malate synthase genes and their specific activities, which were preferentially up-regulated in the RLKox cells. The expression levels of ethylene biosynthetic genes (ACC synthase and ACC oxidase) were suppressed, but those of both the metallothionein and lesion simulating disease 1 genes increased in the RLKox cells during submergence-induced hypoxia. The specific activity of catalase, which is involved in protecting ICL from reactive oxygen species, was also induced threefold in the RLKox cells. The primary roots of the transgenic plants that were exposed to hypoxic conditions grew at similar rates to those in normal conditions. We propose that CaRLK1 maintains a persistent hypoxia-resistant phenotype.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • The CCCH zinc finger protein gene        class="a-plus-plus">AtZFP1 improves salt
           resistance in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract The CCCH type zinc finger proteins are a super family involved in many aspects of plant growth and development. In this study, we investigated the response of one CCCH type zinc finger protein AtZFP1 (At2g25900) to salt stress in Arabidopsis. The expression of AtZFP1 was upregulated by salt stress. Compared to transgenic strains, the germination rate, emerging rate of cotyledons and root length of wild plants were significantly lower under NaCl treatments, while the inhibitory effect was significantly severe in T-DNA insertion mutant strains. At germination stage, it was mainly osmotic stress when treated with NaCl. Relative to wild plants, overexpression strains maintained a higher K+, K+/Na+, chlorophyll and proline content, and lower Na+ and MDA content. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression of stress related marker genes KIN1, RD29B and RD22 increased more significantly in transgenic strains by salt stress. Overexpression of AtZFP1 also enhanced oxidative and osmotic stress tolerance which was determined by measuring the expression of a set of antioxidant genes, osmotic stress genes and ion transport protein genes such as SOS1, AtP5CS1 and AtGSTU5. Overall, our results suggest that overexpression of AtZFP1 enhanced salt tolerance by maintaining ionic balance and limiting oxidative and osmotic stress.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • Co-modification of class B genes        class="a-plus-plus">TfDEF and        class="a-plus-plus">TfGLO in        class="a-plus-plus">Torenia fournieri Lind. alters
           both flower morphology and inflorescence architecture
    • Abstract: Abstract The class B genes DEFICIENS (DEF)/APETALA3 (AP3) and GLOBOSA (GLO)/PISTILLATA (PI), encoding MADS-box transcription factors, and their functions in petal and stamen development have been intensely studied in Arabidopsis and Antirrhinum. However, the functions of class B genes in other plants, including ornamental species exhibiting floral morphology different from these model plants, have not received nearly as much attention. Here, we examine the cooperative functions of TfDEF and TfGLO on floral organ development in the ornamental plant torenia (Torenia fournieri Lind.). Torenia plants co-overexpressing TfDEF and TfGLO showed a morphological alteration of sepals to petaloid organs. Phenotypically, these petaloid sepals were nearly identical to petals but had no stamens or yellow patches like those of wild-type petals. Furthermore, the inflorescence architecture in the co-overexpressing torenias showed a characteristic change in which, unlike the wild-types, their flowers developed without peduncles. Evaluation of the petaloid sepals showed that these attained a petal-like nature in terms of floral organ phenotype, cell shape, pigment composition, and the expression patterns of anthocyanin biosynthesis-related genes. In contrast, torenias in which TfDEF and TfGLO were co-suppressed exhibited sepaloid petals in the second whorl. The sepaloid petals also attained a sepal-like nature, in the same way as the petaloid sepals. The results clearly demonstrate that TfDEF and TfGLO play important cooperative roles in petal development in torenia. Furthermore, the unique transgenic phenotypes produced create a valuable new way through which characteristics of petal development and inflorescence architecture can be investigated in torenia.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • The PSI family of nuclear proteins is required for growth in arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract PSI1 was identified as a gene that is co-expressed with the phytosulfokine (PSK) receptor genes PSKR1 and PSKR2 in Arabidopsis thaliana. It represents a plant-specific protein family of unknown function with six members in two clades. Clade 1 members PSI1, PSI2 and PSI3 were characterized in this study. All three are nuclear localized. A predicted N-terminal myristoylation site was functionally analyzed. psi1-1 seedlings have shorter roots and hypocotyls. This growth-retarded phenotype was restored by expression of either wildtype PSI1 or PSI1 G2A with a mutated myristate attachment site in the psi1-1 background suggesting that myristate attachment was not essential for PSI1 function. psi2-1 and psi3-1 seedlings have a wildtype phenotype but overexpression of PSI1 or PSI2 promoted seedling growth. PSI2 activity appears to be linked to PSK signaling as psi2-1 and psi2-1 psi3-1 roots are unresponsive to PSK. PSI3 functions in vegetative plant growth synergistic with PSI2. psi3-1 and particularly psi2-1 psi3-1 rosettes are small. Overexpression of PSI3 promoted plant growth indicating that PSI3 is limiting at the vegetative stage. Severe dwarfism of psi2-1 psi3-1 plants results from reduced cell growth and proliferation and premature leaf growth arrest. Plants further display reduced fertility and premature senescence revealing a crucial function of PSI proteins in vegetative growth and reproduction. Psi single and double knock-out plants have less and PSI3ox plants have more starch compared to wt and growth retardation is partially rescued by sucrose. Our studies reveal a crucial function of the nuclear-localized PSI proteins in growth possibly through metabolic control.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • Transcriptomic profiling revealed an important role of cell wall
           remodeling and ethylene signaling pathway during salt acclimation in
    • Abstract: Abstract Plants can successfully improve their resistance to previously lethal salinity stress by a short exposure to low levels of salt stress, a process known as salt acclimation (SA). In spite of its fundamental significance in theoretical study and agricultural practice, the molecular mechanisms underlying plant SA remain elusive. In this study, we found that salt acclimated Arabidopsis young seedlings can survive subsequent 200 mM NaCl stress. RNA-seq was performed to analyze the genome-wide transcriptional response under SA conditions. Among 518 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) under SA, 366 up-regulated genes were enriched for cell wall biosynthesis, osmoregulation, oxidative stress, or transcription factors. Seven DEGs participate in the synthesis of lignin and 24 DEGs encode plant cell wall proteins, suggesting the importance of cell wall remodeling under SA. Furthermore, in comparison to non-acclimated salt stress, 228 of 245 DEGs were repressed by acclimated salt stress, including many genes related to ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathway. In addition, MAPK6, a major component of the ethylene signaling pathway, was found to play a crucial role in SA. Our transcriptomic analysis has provided important insight on the roles of transcription factors, cell wall remodeling, and the ethylene biosynthesis and signaling pathways during SA in Arabidopsis.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • Expression and characterization of plasma membrane aquaporins in stomatal
           complexes of Zea mays
    • Abstract: Abstract Stomata, the microscopic pores on the surface of the aerial parts of plants, are bordered by two specialized cells, known as guard cells, which control the stomatal aperture according to endogenous and environmental signals. Like most movements occurring in plants, the opening and closing of stomata are based on hydraulic forces. During opening, the activation of plasma membrane and tonoplast transporters results in solute accumulation in the guard cells. To re-establish the perturbed osmotic equilibrium, water follows the solutes into the cells, leading to their swelling. Numerous studies have contributed to the understanding of the mechanism and regulation of stomatal movements. However, despite the importance of transmembrane water flow during this process, only a few studies have provided evidence for the involvement of water channels, called aquaporins. Here, we microdissected Zea mays stomatal complexes and showed that members of the aquaporin plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP) subfamily are expressed in these complexes and that their mRNA expression generally follows a diurnal pattern. The substrate specificity of two of the expressed ZmPIPs, ZmPIP1;5 and ZmPIP1;6, was investigated by heterologous expression in Xenopus oocytes and yeast cells. Our data show that both isoforms facilitate transmembrane water diffusion in the presence of the ZmPIP2;1 isoform. In addition, both display CO2 permeability comparable to that of the CO2 diffusion facilitator NtAQP1. These data indicate that ZmPIPs may have various physiological roles in stomatal complexes.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • Increased expression of Fe-chelatase leads to increased metabolic flux
           into heme and confers protection against photodynamically induced
           oxidative stress
    • Abstract: Abstract Fe-chelatase (FeCh, EC inserts Fe2+ into protoporphyrin IX (Proto IX) to form heme, which influences the flux through the tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway as well as fundamental cellular processes. In transgenic rice (Oryza sativa), the ectopic expression of Bradyrhizobium japonicum FeCh protein in cytosol results in a substantial increase of FeCh activity compared to wild-type (WT) rice and an increasing level of heme. Interestingly, the transgenic rice plants showed resistance to oxidative stress caused not only by the peroxidizing herbicide acifluorfen (AF) as indicated by a reduced formation of leaf necrosis, a lower conductivity, lower malondialdehyde and H2O2 contents as well as sustained Fv/Fm compared to WT plants, but also by norflurazon, paraquat, salt, and polyethylene glycol. Moreover, the transgenic plants responded to AF treatment with markedly increasing FeCh activity. The accompanying increases in heme content and heme oxygenase activity demonstrate that increased heme metabolism attenuates effects of oxidative stress caused by accumulating porphyrins. These findings suggest that increases in heme levels and porphyrin scavenging capacity support a detoxification mechanism serving against porphyrin-induced oxidative stress. This study also implicates heme as possibly being a positive signal in plant stress responses.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
           calmodulin-like protein CML24 regulates pollen tube growth by modulating
           the actin cytoskeleton and controlling the cytosolic Ca       class="a-plus-plus">2+ concentration
    • Abstract: Abstract Cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]cyt), which is essential during pollen germination and pollen tube growth, can be sensed by calmodulin-like proteins (CMLs). The Arabidopsis thaliana genome encodes over 50 CMLs, the physiological role(s) of most of which are unknown. Here we show that the gene AtCML24 acts as a regulator of pollen germination and pollen tube extension, since the pollen produced by loss-of-function mutants germinated less rapidly than that of wild-type (WT) plants, the rate of pollen tube extension was slower, and the final length of the pollen tube was shorter. The [Ca2+]cyt within germinated pollen and extending pollen tubes produced by the cml24 mutant were higher than their equivalents in WT plants, and pollen tube extension was less sensitive to changes in external [K+] and [Ca2+]. The pollen and pollen tubes produced by cml24 mutants were characterized by a disorganized actin cytoskeleton and lowered sensitivity to the action of latrunculin B. The observations support an interaction between CML24 and [Ca2+]cyt and an involvement of CML24 in actin organization, thereby affecting pollen germination and pollen tube elongation.
      PubDate: 2014-10-01
  • Arabidopsis
           drought-induced protein Di19-3 participates in plant response to drought
           and high salinity stresses
    • Abstract: Abstract Di19 (drought-induced protein19) family is a novel type of Cys2/His2 zinc-finger proteins. In this study, Arabidopsis Di19-3 was functionally characterized. The experimental results revealed that AtDi19-3 is a transcriptional activator, and could bind to the TACA(A/G)T sequence. AtDi19-3 expression in plants was remarkably induced by NaCl, mannitol and abscisic acid (ABA). T-DNA insertion mutation of AtDi19-3 results in an increase in plant tolerance to drought and high salinity stresses and ABA, whereas overexpression of AtDi19-3 leads to a drought-, salt- and ABA-sensitive phenotype of the transgenic plants. In the presence of NaCl, mannitol or ABA, rates of seed germination and cotyledon greening in Atdi19-3 mutant were higher, but in AtDi19-3 overexpression transgenic plants were lower than those in wild type. Roots of Atdi19-3 mutant seedlings were longer, but those of AtDi19-3 overexpression transgenic seedlings were shorter than those of wild type. Chlorophyll and proline contents in Atdi19-3 mutant were higher, but in AtDi19-3 overexpression seedlings were lower than those in wild type. Atdi19-3 mutant showed greater drought-tolerance, whereas AtDi19-3 overexpression transgenic plants exhibited more drought-sensitivity than wild type. Furthermore, expression of the genes related to ABA signaling pathway was altered in Atdi19-3 mutant and AtDi19-3 transgenic plants. These data suggest that AtDi19-3 may participate in plant response to drought and salt stresses in an ABA-dependent manner.
      PubDate: 2014-09-14
  • Analysis of global gene expression profiles to identify differentially
           expressed genes critical for embryo development in        class="a-plus-plus">Brassica rapa
    • Abstract: Abstract Embryo development represents a crucial developmental period in the life cycle of flowering plants. To gain insights into the genetic programs that control embryo development in Brassica rapa L., RNA sequencing technology was used to perform transcriptome profiling analysis of B. rapa developing embryos. The results generated 42,906,229 sequence reads aligned with 32,941 genes. In total, 27,760, 28,871, 28,384, and 25,653 genes were identified from embryos at globular, heart, early cotyledon, and mature developmental stages, respectively, and analysis between stages revealed a subset of stage-specific genes. We next investigated 9,884 differentially expressed genes with more than fivefold changes in expression and false discovery rate ≤0.001 from three adjacent-stage comparisons; 1,514, 3,831, and 6,633 genes were detected between globular and heart stage embryo libraries, heart stage and early cotyledon stage, and early cotyledon and mature stage, respectively. Large numbers of genes related to cellular process, metabolism process, response to stimulus, and biological process were expressed during the early and middle stages of embryo development. Fatty acid biosynthesis, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and photosynthesis-related genes were expressed predominantly in embryos at the middle stage. Genes for lipid metabolism and storage proteins were highly expressed in the middle and late stages of embryo development. We also identified 911 transcription factor genes that show differential expression across embryo developmental stages. These results increase our understanding of the complex molecular and cellular events during embryo development in B. rapa and provide a foundation for future studies on other oilseed crops.
      PubDate: 2014-09-12
  • Genome-wide identification of housekeeping genes in maize
    • Abstract: Abstract In the wake of recent progress of high throughput transcriptome profiling technologies, extensive housekeeping gene mining has been conducted in humans. However, very few studies have been reported in maize (Zea mays L.), an important crop plant, and none were conducted on a genome -wide level. In this study, we surveyed housekeeping genes throughout the maize transcriptome using RNA-seq and microarray techniques, and validated the housekeeping profile with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) under a series of conditions including different genotypes and nitrogen supplies. Seven microarray datasets and two RNA-seq libraries representing 40 genotypes at more than 20 developmental stages were selected to screen for commonly expressed genes. A total of 1,661 genes showed constitutive expression in both microarray and RNA-seq datasets, serving as our starting housekeeping gene candidates. To determine for stably expressed housekeeping genes, NormFinder was used to select the top 20 % invariable genes to be the more likely candidates, which resulted in 48 and 489 entries from microarray and RNA-seq data, respectively. Among them, nine genes (2OG-Fe, CDK, DPP9, DUF, NAC, RPN, SGT1, UPF1 and a hypothetical protein coding gene) were expressed in all 40 maize diverse genotypes tested covering 16 tissues at more than 20 developmental stages under normal and stress conditions, implying these as being the most reliable reference genes. qPCR analysis confirmed the stable expression of selected reference gene candidates compared to two widely used housekeeping genes. All the reference gene candidates showed higher invariability than ACT and GAPDH. The hypothetical protein coding gene exhibited the most stable expression across 26 maize lines with different nitrogen treatments with qPCR, followed by CDK encoding the cyclin-dependent kinase. As the first study to systematically screen for housekeeping genes in maize, we identified candidates by examining the transcriptome atlas generated from RNA-seq and microarray technologies. The nine top-ranked qPCR-validated novel housekeeping genes provide a valuable resource of reference genes for maize gene expression analysis.
      PubDate: 2014-09-11
  • New target carotenoids for CCD4 enzymes are revealed with the
           characterization of a novel stress-induced carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase
           gene from Crocus
    • Abstract: Abstract Apocarotenoid compounds play diverse communication functions in plants, some of them being as hormones, pigments and volatiles. Apocarotenoids are the result of enzymatic cleavage of carotenoids catalyzed by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD). The CCD4 family is the largest family of plant CCDs, only present in flowering plants, suggesting a functional diversification associated to the adaptation for specific physiological capacities unique to them. In saffron, two CCD4 genes have been previously isolated from the stigma tissue and related with the generation of specific volatiles involved in the attraction of pollinators. The aim of this study was to identify additional CCD4 members associated with the generation of other carotenoid-derived volatiles during the development of the stigma. The expression of CsCCD4c appears to be restricted to the stigma tissue in saffron and other Crocus species and was correlated with the generation of megastigma-4,6,8-triene. Further, CsCCD4c was up-regulated by wounding, heat, and osmotic stress, suggesting an involvement of its apocarotenoid products in the adaptation of saffron to environmental stresses. The enzymatic activity of CsCCD4c was determined in vivo in Escherichia coli and subsequently in Nicotiana benthamiana by analyzing carotenoids by HPLC–DAD and the volatile products by GC/MS. β-Carotene was shown to be the preferred substrate, being cleaved at the 9,10 (9′,10′) bonds and generating β-ionone, although β-cyclocitral resulting from a 7,8 (7′,8′) cleavage activity was also detected at lower levels. Lutein, neoxanthin and violaxanthin levels in Nicotiana leaves were markedly reduced when CsCCD4c is over expressed, suggesting that CsCCD4c recognizes these carotenoids as substrates.
      PubDate: 2014-09-10
  • Processing of the 5′-UTR and existence of protein factors that
           regulate translation of tobacco chloroplast        class="a-plus-plus">psbN mRNA
    • Abstract: Abstract The chloroplast psbB operon includes five genes encoding photosystem II and cytochrome b 6 /f complex components. The psbN gene is located on the opposite strand. PsbN is localized in the thylakoid and is present even in the dark, although its level increases upon illumination and then decreases. However, the translation mechanism of the psbN mRNA remains unclear. Using an in vitro translation system from tobacco chloroplasts and a green fluorescent protein as a reporter protein, we show that translation occurs from a tobacco primary psbN 5′-UTR of 47 nucleotides (nt). Unlike many other chloroplast 5′-UTRs, the psbN 5′-UTR has two processing sites, at −39 and −24 upstream from the initiation site. Processing at −39 enhanced the translation rate fivefold. In contrast, processing at −24 did not affect the translation rate. These observations suggest that the two distinct processing events regulate, at least in part, the level of PsbN during development. The psbN 5′-UTR has no Shine–Dalgarno (SD)-like sequence. In vitro translation assays with excess amounts of the psbN 5′-UTR or with deleted psbN 5′-UTR sequences demonstrated that protein factors are required for translation and that their binding site is an 18 nt sequence in the 5′-UTR. Mobility shift assays using 10 other chloroplast 5′-UTRs suggested that common or similar proteins are involved in translation of a set of mRNAs lacking SD-like sequences.
      PubDate: 2014-09-09
  • A Brassica napus PHT1
           phosphate transporter, BnPht1;4, promotes phosphate uptake and affects
           roots architecture of transgenic Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential nutrient elements for plant development. In this work, BnPht1;4 gene, encoding a phosphate transporter of PHT1 family, was isolated from Brassica napus. BnPht1;4 possesses the major characteristic of PHT1 high-affinity Pi transporters in plants, such as plasma-membrane localization and 12 transmembrane-spanning domains. Quantitative reverse-transcription PCR analysis and promoter activity assay showed BnPht1;4 was inert in plants under Pi sufficient conditions. However, expression of this gene was remarkably enhanced in roots under Pi deficient conditions. Interestingly, under low Pi conditions, its promoter activity is impaired in tips of elongated roots, suggesting that the high-affinity Pi transporter may be not involved in low Pi response at root tip area. The experimental results also indicated that BnPht1;4 induction by Pi deficiency is dependent on the existence of sugar. In 35S:BnPht1;4 transgenic Arabidopsis, the increase of Pi availability resulted in the change of root architecture under Pi deficient conditions, showing longer primary roots and lower lateral root density than that of wild type. By cis-element analysis, two P1BS and two W-box elements were found in BnPht1;4 promoter. Yeast one-hybrid assay indicated that PHR1 could bind to the BnPht1;4 promoter. P1BS elements in BnPht1;4 promoter are essential for BnPht1;4 induction in Pi starvation response. Furthermore, WRKY75 could bind to the BnPht1;4 promoter, in which W-box elements are important for this binding. These results indicated BnPht1;4 may be dually controlled by two family regulators under low Pi responses. Thus, our data on the regulative mechanism of high-affinity Pi transporter in Pi starvation response will be valuable for B. napus molecular agriculture.
      PubDate: 2014-09-07
  • DWD HYPERSENSITIVE TO UV-B 1 is negatively involved in UV-B mediated
           cellular responses in        class="a-plus-plus">Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract Among T-DNA insertion mutants of various cullin4-RING ubiquitin E3 ligase (CRL4) substrate receptors, one mutant that exhibits enhanced sensitivity in response to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) illumination has been isolated and its corresponding gene has been named DWD HYPERSENSITIVE TO UV-B 1 (DHU1) in Arabidopsis. dhu1 lines showed much shorter hypocotyls than those in wild type under low doses of UV-B. Other light did not alter hypocotyl growth patterns in dhu1, indicating the hypersensitivity of dhu1 is restricted to UV-B. DHU1 was upregulated by more than two times in response to UV-B application of 1.5 μmol m−2 s−1, implying its possible involvement in UV-B signaling. DHU1 is able to bind to DDB1, an adaptor of CRL4; accordingly, DHU1 is thought to act as a substrate receptor of CRL4. Microarray data generated from wild-type and dhu1 under low doses of UV-B revealed that 209 or 124 genes were upregulated or downregulated by more than two times in dhu1 relative to wild type, respectively. About 23.4 % of the total upregulated genes in dhu1 were upregulated by more than five times in response to UV-B based on the AtGenExpress Visualization Tool data, while only about 1.4 % were downregulated to the same degree by UV-B, indicating that loss of DHU1 led to the overall enhancement of the upregulation of UV-B inducible genes. dhu1 also showed altered responsiveness under high doses of UV-B. Taken together, these findings indicate that DHU1 is a potent CRL4 substrate receptor that may function as a negative regulator of UV-B response in Arabidopsis.
      PubDate: 2014-09-06
  • Transcriptome profiling of Vitis
    , an extremely cold-tolerant Chinese wild        class="a-plus-plus">Vitis species, reveals
           candidate genes and events that potentially connected to cold stress
    • Abstract: Abstract Vitis amurensis Rupr. is an exceptional wild-growing Vitis (grape) species that can safely survive a wide range of cold conditions, but the underlying cold-adaptive mechanism associated with gene regulation is poorly investigated. We have analyzed the physiochemical and transcriptomic changes caused by cold stress in a cold-tolerant accession, ‘Heilongjiang seedling’, of Chinese wild V. amurensis. We statistically determined that a total of 6,850 cold-regulated transcripts were involved in cold regulation, including 3,676 up-regulated and 3,174 down-regulated transcripts. A global survey of messenger RNA revealed that skipped exon is the most prevalent form of alternative spicing event. Importantly, we found that the total splicing events increased with the prolonged cold stress. We also identified thirty-eight major TF families that were involved in cold regulation, some of which were previously unknown. Moreover, a large number of candidate pathways for the metabolism or biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were found to be regulated by cold, which is of potential importance in coordinating cold tolerance with growth and development. Several heat shock proteins and heat shock factors were also detected to be intensively cold-regulated. Furthermore, we validated the expression profiles of 16 candidates using qRT-PCR to further confirm the accuracy of the RNA-seq data. Our results provide a genome-wide view of the dynamic changes in the transcriptome of V. amurensis, in which it is evident that various structural and regulatory genes are crucial for cold tolerance/adaptation. Moreover, our robust dataset advances our knowledge of the genes involved in the complex regulatory networks of cold stress and leads to a better understanding of cold tolerance mechanisms in this extremely cold-tolerant Vitis species.
      PubDate: 2014-09-05
  • Identification and characterization of CYP79D16 and CYP71AN24 catalyzing
           the first and second steps in        type-small-caps">l-phenylalanine-derived cyanogenic
           glycoside biosynthesis in the Japanese apricot,        class="a-plus-plus">Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc.
    • Abstract: Abstract Japanese apricot, Prunus mume Sieb. et Zucc., belonging to the Rosaceae family, produces as defensive agents the cyanogenic glycosides prunasin and amygdalin, which are presumably derived from l-phenylalanine. In this study, we identified and characterized cytochrome P450s catalyzing the conversion of l-phenylalanine into mandelonitrile via phenylacetaldoxime. Full-length cDNAs encoding CYP79D16, CYP79A68, CYP71AN24, CYP71AP13, CYP71AU50, and CYP736A117 were cloned from P. mume ‘Nanko’ using publicly available P. mume RNA-sequencing data, followed by 5′- and 3′-RACE. CYP79D16 was expressed in seedlings, whereas CYP71AN24 was expressed in seedlings and leaves. Enzyme activity of these cytochrome P450s expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was evaluated by liquid and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. CYP79D16, but not CYP79A68, catalyzed the conversion of l-phenylalanine into phenylacetaldoxime. CYP79D16 showed no activity toward other amino acids. CYP71AN24, but not CYP71AP13, CYP71AU50, and CYP736A117, catalyzed the conversion of phenylacetaldoxime into mandelonitrile. CYP71AN24 also showed lower conversions of various aromatic aldoximes and nitriles. The K m value and turnover rate of CYP71AN24 for phenylacetaldoxime were 3.9 µM and 46.3 min−1, respectively. The K m value and turnover of CYP71AN24 may cause the efficient metabolism of phenylacetaldoxime, avoiding the release of the toxic intermediate to the cytosol. These results suggest that cyanogenic glycoside biosynthesis in P. mume is regulated in concert with catalysis by CYP79D16 in the parental and sequential reaction of CYP71AN24 in the seedling.
      PubDate: 2014-09-01
  • Expression of a gene encoding a rice RING zinc-finger protein, OsRZFP34,
           enhances stomata opening
    • Abstract: Abstract By oligo microarray expression profiling, we identified a rice RING zinc-finger protein (RZFP), OsRZFP34, whose gene expression increased with high temperature or abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. As compared with the wild type, rice and Arabidopsis with OsRZFP34 overexpression showed increased relative stomata opening even with ABA treatment. Furthermore, loss-of-function mutation of OsRZFP34 and AtRZFP34 (At5g22920), an OsRZFP34 homolog in Arabidopsis, decreased relative stomata aperture under nonstress control conditions. Expressing OsRZFP34 in atrzfp34 reverted the mutant phenotype to normal, which indicates a conserved molecular function between OsRZFP34 and AtRZFP34. Analysis of water loss and leaf temperature under stress conditions revealed a higher evaporation rate and cooling effect in OsRZFP34-overexpressing Arabidopsis and rice than the wild type, atrzfp34 and osrzfp34. Thus, stomata opening, enhanced leaf cooling, and ABA insensitivity was conserved with OsRZFP34 expression. Transcription profiling of transgenic rice overexpressing OsRZFP34 revealed many genes involved in OsRZFP34-mediated stomatal movement. Several genes upregulated or downregulated in OsRZFP34-overexpressing plants were previously implicated in Ca2+ sensing, K+ regulator, and ABA response. We suggest that OsRZFP34 may modulate these genes to control stomata opening.
      PubDate: 2014-09-01
  • The role of the MCM2-7 helicase complex during        class="a-plus-plus">Arabidopsis seed development
    • Abstract: Abstract The MINICHROMOSOME MAINTENANCE 2-7 (MCM2-7) complex, a ring-shaped heterohexamer, unwinds the DNA double helix ahead of the other replication machinery. Although there is evidence that individual components might have other roles, the essential nature of the MCM2-7 complex in DNA replication has made it difficult to uncover these. Here, we present a detailed analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana mcm2-7 mutants and reveal phenotypic differences. The MCM2-7 genes are coordinately expressed during development, although MCM7 is expressed at a higher level in the egg cell. Consistent with a role in the egg cell, heterozygous mcm7 mutants resulted in frequent ovule abortion, a phenotype that does not occur in other mcm mutants. All mutants showed a maternal effect, whereby seeds inheriting a maternal mutant allele occasionally aborted later in seed development with defects in embryo patterning, endosperm nuclear size, and cellularization, a phenotype that is variable between subunit mutants. We provide evidence that this maternal effect is due to the necessity of a maternal store of MCM protein in the central cell that is sufficient for maintaining seed viability and size in the absence of de novo MCM transcription. Reducing MCM levels using endosperm-specific RNAi constructs resulted in the up-regulation of DNA repair transcripts, consistent with the current hypothesis that excess MCM2-7 complexes are loaded during G1 phase, and are required during S phase to overcome replicative stress or DNA damage. Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of the MCM2-7 subunits during seed development and suggests that there are functional differences between the subunits.
      PubDate: 2014-09-01
  • Transcriptome comparison reveals the patterns of selection in domesticated
           and wild ramie (Boehmeria
    L. Gaud)
    • Abstract: Abstract Ramie is an old fiber crop, cultivated for thousands of years in China. The cultivar ramie evolved from the wild species Qingyezhuma (QYZM, Boehmeria nivea var. tenacissima). However, the mechanism of domestication of this old fiber crop is poorly understood. In order to characterize the selective pattern in ramie domestication, orthologous genes between the transcriptomes of domesticated ramie variety Zhongzhu 1 (ZZ1) and wild QYZM were assessed using bidirectional best-hit method and ratio of non-synonymous (Ka) to synonymous (Ks) nucleotide substitutions was estimated. Sequence comparison of 56,932 and 59,246 unigenes from the wild QYZM and domesticated ZZ1, respectively, helped identify 10,745 orthologous unigene pairs with a total orthologous length of 10.18 Mb. Among these unigenes, 85 and 13 genes were found to undergo significant purifying and positive selection, respectively. Most of the selected genes were homologs of those involved in abiotic stress tolerance or disease resistance in other plants, suggesting that abiotic and biotic stresses were important selective pressures in ramie domestication. Two genes probably related to the fiber yield of ramie were subjected to positive selection, which may be caused by human manipulation. Thus, our results show the pervasive effects of artificial and natural selections on the accelerated domestication of ramie from its wild relative.
      PubDate: 2014-09-01
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Heriot-Watt University
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