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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]
  • CRISPR/Cas9-mediated targeted mutagenesis in Nicotiana tabacum
    • Abstract: Abstract Genome editing is one of the most powerful tools for revealing gene function and improving crop plants. Recently, RNA-guided genome editing using the type II clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein (Cas) system has been used as a powerful and efficient tool for genome editing in various organisms. Here, we report genome editing in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) mediated by the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Two genes, NtPDS and NtPDR6, were used for targeted mutagenesis. First, we examined the transient genome editing activity of this system in tobacco protoplasts, insertion and deletion (indel) mutations were observed with frequencies of 16.2–20.3 % after transfecting guide RNA (gRNA) and the nuclease Cas9 in tobacco protoplasts. The two genes were also mutated using multiplexing gRNA at a time. Additionally, targeted deletions and inversions of a 1.8-kb fragment between two target sites in the NtPDS locus were demonstrated, while indel mutations were also detected at both the sites. Second, we obtained transgenic tobacco plants with NtPDS and NtPDR6 mutations induced by Cas9/gRNA. The mutation percentage was 81.8 % for NtPDS gRNA4 and 87.5 % for NtPDR6 gRNA2. Obvious phenotypes were observed, etiolated leaves for the psd mutant and more branches for the pdr6 mutant, indicating that highly efficient biallelic mutations occurred in both transgenic lines. No significant off-target mutations were obtained. Our results show that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is a useful tool for targeted mutagenesis of the tobacco genome.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • Overexpression of a cotton annexin gene, GhAnn1 , enhances drought and
           salt stress tolerance in transgenic cotton
    • Abstract: Abstract Plant annexins are members of a diverse, multigene protein family that has been associated with a variety of cellular processes and responses to abiotic stresses. GhAnn1, which encodes a putative annexin protein, was isolated from a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. acc 7235) cDNA library. Tissue-specific expression showed that GhAnn1 is expressed at differential levels in all tissues examined and strongly induced by various phytohormones and abiotic stress. In vivo and in vitro subcellular localization suggested that GhAnn1 is located in the plasma membrane. In response to drought and salt stress, transgenic cotton plants overexpressing GhAnn1 showed significantly higher germination rates, longer roots, and more vigorous growth than wild-type plants. In addition, plants overexpressing GhAnn1 had higher total chlorophyll content, lower lipid peroxidation levels, increased peroxidase activities, and higher levels of proline and soluble sugars, all of which contributed to increased salt and drought stress tolerance. However, transgenic cotton plants in which the expression of GhAnn1 was suppressed showed the opposite results compared to the overexpressing plants. These findings demonstrated that GhAnn1 plays an important role in the abiotic stress response, and that overexpression of GhAnn1 in transgenic cotton improves salt and drought tolerance.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • Overexpression of heat stress-responsive TaMBF1c , a wheat ( Triticum
           aestivum L.) Multiprotein Bridging Factor, confers heat tolerance in both
           yeast and rice
    • Abstract: Abstract Previously, we found an ethylene-responsive transcriptional co-activator, which was significantly induced by heat stress (HS) in both thermo-sensitive and thermo-tolerant wheat. The corresponding ORF was isolated from wheat, and named TaMBF1c (Multiprotein Bridging Factor1c). The deduced amino acid sequence revealed the presence of conserved MBF1 and helix-turn-helix domains at the N- and C-terminus, respectively, which were highly similar to rice ERTCA (Ethylene Response Transcriptional Co-Activator) and Arabidopsis MBF1c. The promoter region of TaMBF1c contained three heat shock elements (HSEs) and other stress-responsive elements. There was no detectable mRNA of TaMBF1c under control conditions, but the transcript was rapidly and significantly induced by heat stress not only at the seedling stage, but also at the flowering stage. It was also slightly induced by drought and H2O2 stresses, as well as by application of the ethylene synthesis precursor ACC, but not, however, by circadian rhythm, salt, ABA or MeJA treatments. Under normal temperatures, TaMBF1c-eGFP protein showed predominant nuclear localization with some levels of cytosol localization in the bombarded onion epidermal cells, but it was mainly detected in the nucleus with almost no eGFP signals in cytosol when the bombarded onion cells were cultured under high temperature conditions. Overexpression of TaMBF1c in yeast imparted tolerance to heat stress compared to cells expressing the vector alone. Most importantly, transgenic rice plants engineered to overexpress TaMBF1c showed higher thermotolerance than control plants at both seedling and reproductive stages. In addition, transcript levels of six Heat Shock Protein and two Trehalose Phosphate Synthase genes were higher in TaMBF1c transgenic lines than in wild-type rice upon heat treatment. Collectively, the present data suggest that TaMBF1c plays a pivotal role in plant thermotolerance and holds promising possibilities for improving heat tolerance in crops.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • Cloning and functional characterization of two abiotic stress-responsive
           Jerusalem artichoke ( Helianthus tuberosus ) fructan 1-exohydrolases
           (1-FEHs)
    • Abstract: Abstract Two fructan hydrolases were previously reported to exist in Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) and one native fructan-β-fructosidase (1-FEH) was purified to homogeneity by SDS-PAGE, but no corresponding cDNA was cloned. Here, we cloned two full-length 1-FEH cDNA sequences from Jerusalem artichoke, named Ht1-FEH I and Ht1-FEH II, which showed high levels of identity with chicory 1-FEH I and 1-FEH II. Functional characterization of the corresponding recombinant proteins in Pichia pastoris X-33 demonstrated that both Ht1-FEHs had high levels of hydrolase activity towards β(2,1)-linked fructans, but low or no activity towards β(2,6)-linked levan and sucrose. Like other plant FEHs, the activities of the recombinant Ht1-FEHs were greatly inhibited by sucrose. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that Ht1-FEH I transcripts accumulated to high levels in the developing leaves and stems of artichoke, whereas the expression levels of Ht1-FEH II increased in tubers during tuber sprouting, which implies that the two Ht1-FEHs play different roles. The levels of both Ht1-FEH I and II transcript were significantly increased in the stems of NaCl-treated plants. NaCl treatment also induced transcription of both Ht1-FEHs in the tubers, while PEG treatments slightly inhibited the expression of Ht1-FEH II in tubers. Analysis of sugar-metabolizing enzyme activities and carbohydrate concentration via HPLC showed that the enzyme activities of 1-FEHs were increased but the fructose content was decreased under NaCl and PEG treatments. Given that FEH hydrolyzes fructan to yield Fru, we discuss possible explanations for the inconsistency between 1-FEH activity and fructan dynamics in artichokes subjected to abiotic stress.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • De novo sequencing and analysis of the lily pollen transcriptome: an open
           access data source for an orphan plant species
    • Abstract: Abstract Pollen grains of Lilium longiflorum are a long-established model system for pollen germination and tube tip growth. Due to their size, protein content and almost synchronous germination in synthetic media, they provide a simple system for physiological measurements as well as sufficient material for biochemical studies like protein purifications, enzyme assays, organelle isolation or determination of metabolites during germination and pollen tube elongation. Despite recent progresses in molecular biology techniques, sequence information of expressed proteins or transcripts in lily pollen is still scarce. Using a next generation sequencing strategy (RNAseq), the lily pollen transcriptome was investigated resulting in more than 50 million high quality reads with a length of 90 base pairs. Sequenced transcripts were assembled and annotated, and finally visualized with MAPMAN software tools and compared with other RNAseq or genome data including Arabidopsis pollen, Lilium vegetative tissues and the Amborella trichopoda genome. All lily pollen sequence data are provided as open access files with suitable tools to search sequences of interest.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • Global changes in gene expression, assayed by microarray hybridization and
           quantitative RT-PCR, during acclimation of three Arabidopsis thaliana
           accessions to sub-zero temperatures after cold acclimation
    • Abstract: Abstract During cold acclimation plants increase in freezing tolerance in response to low non-freezing temperatures. This is accompanied by many physiological, biochemical and molecular changes that have been extensively investigated. In addition, plants of many species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, become more freezing tolerant during exposure to mild, non-damaging sub-zero temperatures after cold acclimation. There is hardly any information available about the molecular basis of this adaptation. Here, we have used microarrays and a qRT-PCR primer platform covering 1,880 genes encoding transcription factors (TFs) to monitor changes in gene expression in the Arabidopsis accessions Columbia-0, Rschew and Tenela during the first 3 days of sub-zero acclimation at −3 °C. The results indicate that gene expression during sub-zero acclimation follows a tighly controlled time-course. Especially AP2/EREBP and WRKY TFs may be important regulators of sub-zero acclimation, although the CBF signal transduction pathway seems to be less important during sub-zero than during cold acclimation. Globally, we estimate that approximately 5 % of all Arabidopsis genes are regulated during sub-zero acclimation. Particularly photosynthesis-related genes are down-regulated and genes belonging to the functional classes of cell wall biosynthesis, hormone metabolism and RNA regulation of transcription are up-regulated. Collectively, these data provide the first global analysis of gene expression during sub-zero acclimation and allow the identification of candidate genes for forward and reverse genetic studies into the molecular mechanisms of sub-zero acclimation.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • A SNP in OsMCA1 responding for a plant architecture defect by deactivation
           of bioactive GA in rice
    • Abstract: Abstract Plant architecture directly affects biomass in higher plants, especially grain yields in agricultural crops. In this study, we characterized a recessive mutant, plant architecture determinant (pad), derived from the Oryza sativa ssp. indica cultivar MH86. The mutant exhibited severe dwarf phenotypes, including shorter and stunted leaves, fewer secondary branches during both the vegetative and reproductive growth stages. Cytological studies revealed that pad mutant growth defects are primarily due to the inhibition of cell expansion. The PAD gene was isolated using a map-based cloning strategy. It encodes a plasma membrane protein OsMCA1 and a SNP responsible for a single amino acid change was found in the mutant. PAD was universally expressed in rice tissues from the vegetative to reproductive growth stages, especially in seedlings, nodes and rachillae. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the most of the genes responding to gibberellin (GA) metabolism were up-regulated in pad mutant internodes. The endogenous GA content measurement revealed that the levels of GA1 were significantly decreased in the third internode of pad mutants. Moreover, a GA response assay suggested that OsMCA1/PAD might be involved in the regulation of GA metabolism and signal transduction. Our results revealed the pad is a loss-of-function mutant of the OsMCA1/PAD, leading to upregulation of genes related to GA deactivation, which decreased bioactive GA levels.
      PubDate: 2015-01-01
       
  • The pearl millet mitogen-activated protein kinase PgMPK4 is involved in
           responses to downy mildew infection and in jasmonic- and salicylic
           acid-mediated defense
    • Abstract: Abstract Plant mitogen-activated protein kinases (MPKs) transduce signals required for the induction of immunity triggered by host recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns. We isolated a full-length cDNA of a group B MPK (PgMPK4) from pearl millet. Autophosphorylation assay of recombinant PgMPK4 produced in Escherichia coli confirmed it as a kinase. Differential accumulation of PgMPK4 mRNA and kinase activity was observed between pearl millet cultivars 852B and IP18292 in response to inoculation with the downy mildew oomycete pathogen Sclerospora graminicola. This increased accumulation of PgMPK4 mRNA, kinase activity as well as nuclear-localization of PgMPK protein(s) was only detected in the S. graminicola resistant cultivar IP18292 with a ~tenfold peak at 9 h post inoculation. In the susceptible cultivar 852B, PgMPK4 mRNA and immuno-detectable nuclear PgMPK could be induced by application of the chemical elicitor β-amino butyric acid, the non-pathogenic bacteria Pseudomonas fluorescens, or by the phytohormones jasmonic acid (JA) or salicylic acid (SA). Furthermore, kinase inhibitor treatments indicated that PgMPK4 is involved in the JA- and SA-mediated expression of three defense genes, lipoxygenase, catalase 3 and polygalacturonase-inhibitor protein. These findings indicate that PgMPK/s contribute to pearl millet defense against the downy mildew pathogen by activating the expression of defense proteins.
      PubDate: 2014-12-20
       
  • Rice phenylalanine ammonia-lyase gene OsPAL4 is associated with broad
           spectrum disease resistance
    • Abstract: Abstract Most agronomically important traits, including resistance against pathogens, are governed by quantitative trait loci (QTL). QTL-mediated resistance shows promise of being effective and long-lasting against diverse pathogens. Identification of genes controlling QTL-based disease resistance contributes to breeding for cultivars that exhibit high and stable resistance. Several defense response genes have been successfully used as good predictors and contributors to QTL-based resistance against several devastating rice diseases. In this study, we identified and characterized a rice (Oryza sativa) mutant line containing a 750 bp deletion in the second exon of OsPAL4, a member of the phenylalanine ammonia-lyase gene family. OsPAL4 clusters with three additional OsPAL genes that co-localize with QTL for bacterial blight and sheath blight disease resistance on rice chromosome 2. Self-pollination of heterozygous ospal4 mutant lines produced no homozygous progeny, suggesting that homozygosity for the mutation is lethal. The heterozygous ospal4 mutant line exhibited increased susceptibility to three distinct rice diseases, bacterial blight, sheath blight, and rice blast. Mutation of OsPAL4 increased expression of the OsPAL2 gene and decreased the expression of the unlinked OsPAL6 gene. OsPAL2 function is not redundant because the changes in expression did not compensate for loss of disease resistance. OsPAL6 co-localizes with a QTL for rice blast resistance, and is down-regulated in the ospal4 mutant line; this may explain enhanced susceptibility to Magnoporthe oryzae. Overall, these results suggest that OsPAL4 and possibly OsPAL6 are key contributors to resistance governed by QTL and are potential breeding targets for improved broad-spectrum disease resistance in rice.
      PubDate: 2014-12-17
       
  • Biofortification of rice with lysine using endogenous histones
    • Abstract: Abstract Rice is the most consumed cereal grain in the world, but deficient in the essential amino acid lysine. Therefore, people in developing countries with limited food diversity who rely on rice as their major food source may suffer from malnutrition. Biofortification of stable crops by genetic engineering provides a fast and sustainable method to solve this problem. In this study, two endogenous rice lysine-rich histone proteins, RLRH1 and RLRH2, were over-expressed in rice seeds to achieve lysine biofortification. Their protein sequences passed an allergic sequence-based homology test. Their accumulations in rice seeds were raised to a moderate level by the use of a modified rice glutelin 1 promoter with lowered expression strength to avoid the occurrence of physiological abnormalities like unfolded protein response. The expressed proteins were further targeted to protein storage vacuoles for stable storage using a glutelin 1 signal peptide. The lysine content in the transgenic rice seeds was enhanced by up to 35 %, while other essential amino acids remained balanced, meeting the nutritional standards of the World Health Organization. No obvious unfolded protein response was detected. Different degrees of chalkiness, however, were detected in the transgenic seeds, and were positively correlated with both the levels of accumulated protein and lysine enhancement. This study offered a solution to the lysine deficiency in rice, while at the same time addressing concerns about food safety and physiological abnormalities in biofortified crops.
      PubDate: 2014-12-17
       
  • Tissue-specific expression of a soybean hypersensitive-induced response
           (HIR) protein gene promoter
    • Abstract: Abstract A Glycine max gene encoding a putative protein similar to hypersensitive-induced response proteins (HIR) was identified as a gene with preferred expressions in flowers and developing seeds by whole transcriptome gene expression profiling. Its promoter gm-hir1 was cloned and revealed to strongly express a fluorescence reporter gene primarily in integuments, anther tapetum, and seed coat with unique tissue-specificity. Expression in the inner integument was apparent prior to pollination, while expression in the outer integument started to develop from the micropylar end outward as the embryo matured. A 5′-deletion study showed that the promoter can be truncated to 600 bp long relative to the translation start site without affecting expression. A positive regulatory element was identified between 600 and 481 bp that controls expression in the inner integument, with no noticeable effect on expression in the outer integument or tapetum. Additionally, removal of the 5′UTR intron had no effect on levels or location of gm-hir1 expression while truncation to 370 bp resulted in a complete loss of expression suggesting that elements controlling both the outer integument and tapetum expression are located within the 481–370 bp region.
      PubDate: 2014-12-13
       
  • Rad54 is not essential for any geminiviral replication mode in planta
    • Abstract: Abstract The circular single-stranded DNA of phytopathogenic geminiviruses is propagated by three modes: complementary strand replication (CSR), rolling circle replication (RCR) and recombination-dependent replication (RDR), which need host plant factors to be carried out. In addition to necessary host polymerases, proteins of the homologous recombination repair pathway may be considered essential, since geminiviruses are particularly prone to recombination. Among several others, Rad54 was suggested to be necessary for the RCR of Mungbean yellow mosaic India virus. This enzyme is a double-stranded DNA-dependent ATPase and chromatin remodeller and was found to bind and modulate the viral replication-initiator protein in vitro and in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In contrast to the previous report, we scrutinized the requirement of Rad54 in planta for two distinct fully infectious geminiviruses with respect to the three replication modes. Euphorbia yellow mosaic virus and Cleome leaf crumple virus were inoculated into Rad54-deficient and wildtype Arabidopsis thaliana plant lines to compare the occurrence of viral DNA forms. Replication intermediates were displayed in the time course of infection by one and two-dimensional agarose gel electrophoresis and Southern hybridization. The experiments showed that Rad54 was neither essential for CSR, RCR nor RDR, and it had no significant influence on virus titers during systemic infection.
      PubDate: 2014-12-10
       
  • Functional analysis of OsPGIP1 in rice sheath blight resistance
    • Abstract: Abstract As one of the most devastating diseases of rice, sheath blight causes severe rice yield loss. However, little progress has been made in rice breeding for sheath blight resistance. It has been reported that polygalacturonase inhibiting proteins can inhibit the degradation of the plant cell wall by polygalacturonases from pathogens. Here, we prokaryotically expressed and purified OsPGIP1 protein, which was verified by Western blot analysis. Activity assay confirmed the inhibitory activity of OsPGIP1 against the PGase from Rhizoctonia solani. In addition, the location of OsPGIP1 was determined by subcellular localization. Subsequently, we overexpressed OsPGIP1 in Zhonghua 11 (Oryza sativa L. ssp. japonica), and applied PCR and Southern blot analysis to identify the positive T0 transgenic plants with single-copy insertions. Germination assay of the seeds from T1 transgenic plants was carried out to select homozygous OsPGIP1 transgenic lines, and the expression levels of OsPGIP1 in these lines were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. Field testing of R. solani inoculation showed that the sheath blight resistance of the transgenic rice was significantly improved. Furthermore, the levels of sheath blight resistance were in accordance with the expression levels of OsPGIP1 in the transgenic lines. Our results reveal the functions of OsPGIP1 and its resistance mechanism to rice sheath blight, which will facilitate rice breeding for sheath blight resistance.
      PubDate: 2014-12-09
       
  • ZmGRF, a GA regulatory factor from maize, promotes flowering and plant
           growth in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract Transcription factors that act as positive regulators of gibberellin (GA) biosynthetic genes in plants are not well understood. A nuclear-localized basic leucine zipper transcription factor, ZmGRF, was isolated from maize. The core DNA sequence motif recognized for binding by ZmGRF was CCANNTGGC. ZmGRF overexpression in transgenic Arabidopsis plants promoted flowering, stem elongation, and cell expansion. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that ZmGRF bound directly to the cis-element CCANNTGGC in the promoter of the Arabidopsis ent-kaurene oxidase (AtKO1) gene and promoted AtKO1 expression. GA4 content increased by 372–567 % in transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ZmGRF compared to wild-type control plants. The GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1 gene, which encodes a GA receptor, was also upregulated and the growth-repressing DELLA protein gene GA INSENSITIVE was downregulated. Our results showed ZmGRF functioned through the GA-signaling pathway.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
       
  • GsSKP21 , a Glycine soja S-phase kinase-associated protein, mediates the
           regulation of plant alkaline tolerance and ABA sensitivity
    • Abstract: Abstract Plant SKP1-like family proteins, components of the SCF complex E3 ligases, are involved in the regulation of plant development and stress responses. Little is known about the precise function of SKP genes in plant responses to environmental stresses. GsSKP21 was initially identified as a potential stress-responsive gene based on the transcriptome sequencing of Glycine soja. In this study, we found that GsSKP21 protein contains highly conserved SKP domains in its N terminus and an extra unidentified domain in its C terminus. The transcript abundance of GsSKP21, detected by quantitative real-time PCR, was induced under the treatment of alkali and salt stresses. Overexpression of GsSKP21 in Arabidopsis dramatically increased plant tolerance to alkali stress. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of GsSKP21 resulted in decreased ABA sensitivity during both the seed germination and early seedling growth stages. GsSKP21 mediated ABA signaling by altering the expression levels of the ABA signaling-related and ABA-induced genes. We also investigated the tissue expression specificity and subcellular localization of GsSKP21. These results suggest that GsSKP21 is important for plant tolerance to alkali stress and plays a critical regulatory role in the ABA-mediated stress response.
      PubDate: 2014-12-05
       
  • Processing of the 5′-UTR and existence of protein factors that
           regulate translation of tobacco chloroplast 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: 2014-12-01
       
  • A Rosa canina WUSCHEL-related homeobox gene, RcWOX1 , is involved in
           auxin-induced rhizoid formation
    • Abstract: Abstract Homeobox (HB) proteins are important transcription factors that regulate the developmental decisions of eukaryotes. WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX) transcription factors, known as a plant-specific HB family, play a key role in plant developmental processes. Our previous work has indicated that rhizoids are induced by auxin in rose (Rosa spp.), which acts as critical part of an efficient plant regeneration system. However, the function of WOX genes in auxin-induced rhizoid formation remains unclear. Here, we isolated and characterized a WUSCHEL-related homeobox gene from Rosa canina, RcWOX1, containing a typical homeodomain with 65 amino acid residues. Real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that RcWOX1 was expressed in the whole process of callus formation and in the early stage of rhizoid formation. Moreover, its expression was induced by auxin treatment. In Arabidopsis transgenic lines expressing the RcWOX1pro::GUS and 35S::GFP-RcWOX1, RcWOX1 was specifically expressed in roots and localized to the nucleus. Overexpression of RcWOX1 in Arabidopsis increased lateral root density and induced upregulation of PIN1 and PIN7 genes. Therefore, we postulated that RcWOX1 is a functional transcription factor that plays an essential role in auxin-induced rhizoid formation.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
       
  • Effect of cytokinins on delaying petunia flower senescence: a
           transcriptome study approach
    • Abstract: Abstract Flower senescence is a fascinating natural process that represents the final developmental stage in the life of a flower. Plant hormones play an important role in regulating the timing of flower senescence. Ethylene is a trigger and usually accelerates the senescence rate, while cytokinins are known to delay it. The aim of this work was to study the effect of 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) on petal senescence by transcript profile comparison after 3 or 6 h using a cross-species method by hybridizing petunia samples to a 4 × 44 K Agilent tomato array. The relative content of ethylene, abscisic acid, anthocyanins, total carotenoids and total phenols that determine the physiological behaviours of the petal tissue were measured. BA treatment prolonged the flower life and increased the concentrations of phenols and anthocyanins, while total carotenoids did not increase and were lower than the control. The ethylene biosynthetic and perception gene expressions were studied immediately after treatment until 24 h and all genes were repressed, while ethylene production was strongly induced after 4 days. The microarray analyses highlighted that BA strongly affected gene regulation after 3 h, but only 14 % of genes remained differentially expressed after 6 h. The most affected pathways and genes were those related to stress, such as heat shock proteins, abscisic acid (ABA) catabolism and its signalling pathway, lipid metabolism and antioxidant defence systems. A gene annotation enrichment analysis using DAVID showed that the most important gene clusters were involved in energy generation and conservation processes. In addition to the ethylene pathway, cytokinins seem to be strongly involved the regulation of the ABA response in flower tissues.
      PubDate: 2014-11-26
       
  • Comparative assessments of CRISPR-Cas nucleases’ cleavage efficiency
           in planta
    • Abstract: Abstract Custom-designed nucleases can enable precise plant genome editing by catalyzing DNA-breakage at specific targets to stimulate targeted mutagenesis or gene replacement. The CRISPR-Cas system, with its target-specifying RNA molecule to direct the Cas9 nuclease, is a recent addition to existing nucleases that bind and cleave the target through linked protein domains (e.g. TALENs and zinc-finger nucleases). We have conducted a comparative study of these different types of custom-designed nucleases and we have assessed various components of the CRISPR-Cas system. For this purpose, we have adapted our previously reported assay for cleavage-dependent luciferase gene correction in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves (Johnson et al. in Plant Mol Biol 82(3):207–221, 2013). We found that cleavage by CRISPR-Cas was more efficient than cleavage of the same target by TALENs. We also compared the cleavage efficiency of the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 protein based on expression using three different Cas9 gene variants. We found significant differences in cleavage efficiency between these variants, with human and Arabidopsis thaliana codon-optimized genes having the highest cleavage efficiencies. We compared the activity of 12 de novo-designed single synthetic guide RNA (sgRNA) constructs, and found their cleavage efficiency varied drastically when using the same Cas9 nuclease. Finally, we show that, for one of the targets tested with our assay, we could induce a germinally-transmitted deletion in a repeat array in A. thaliana. This work emphasizes the efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas system in plants. It also shows that further work is needed to be able to predict the optimal design of sgRNAs or Cas9 variants.
      PubDate: 2014-11-18
       
  • The B″ regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A mediates the
           dephosphorylation of rice retinoblastoma-related protein-1
    • Abstract: Abstract The phosphorylation of plant retinoblastoma-related (RBR) proteins by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) is well documented, but the counteracting phosphatases have not been identified yet. We report here that rice retinoblastoma-related protein-1 (OsRBR1) interacted with the B″ subunit of rice protein phosphatase 2A (OsPP2A B″) and underwent reversible phosphorylation during the cell division cycle. The OsRBR1-OsPP2A B” association required B domain in OsRBR1 and the C-terminal region of OsPP2A B″. We found by immunoprecipitation that OsPP2A B″, OsPP2A catalytic subunit subtype II, PSTAIRE-type CDK and OsRBR1 were in the same protein complex, indicating a physical association between the phosphatase, the kinase and their common substrate. OsPP2A B″ contains three predicted CDK phosphorylation sites: Ser95, Ser102 and Ser119. The in vitro phosphorylation of Ser95 and Ser119 with PSTAIRE-kinases was verified by mass spectrometry. We generated a series of phosphorylation site mutants to mimic the dephosphorylated or phosphorylated states of OsPP2A B″, and confirmed that all of the three predicted sites can be phosphorylated. Yeast two-hybrid experiments suggested that the phosphorylation of OsPP2A B″ promoted the formation of the OsPP2A holoenzyme. A triple phosphorylation mimicking OsPP2A B″ mutant containing holoenzyme showed higher activity in phosphatase assays. Our data collectively show that the phosphatase activity of OsPP2A against OsRBR1 is regulated by the phosphorylation of its B″ regulatory subunit. However, the analysis of the effect of okadaic acid, a phosphatase inhibitor, in rice cell suspension cultures revealed that the dephosphorylation of OsRBR1 was completely inhibited only by high dose (300 nM) of the okadaic acid during the cell cycle progression. Therefore the role of the protein phosphatase 1 should be considered as an additional post translational regulatory component of RBR protein function in higher plants.
      PubDate: 2014-11-15
       
 
 
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