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Journal Cover Plant Molecular Biology
  [SJR: 1.915]   [H-I: 137]   [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  [2336 journals]
  • Nutritional functions of the funiculus in Brassica napus seed maturation
           revealed by transcriptome and dynamic metabolite profile analyses
    • Abstract: Abstract The funiculus provides the sole channel of communication between the seed and the parent plant; however, little is known about its role in nutrient supply during seed maturation. Here, we investigated the dynamic metabolite profiles of the funiculus during seed maturation in Brassica napus. The funiculus was fully developed at 21 days after flowering (DAF), but the levels of nutrients, including carbohydrates, fatty acids, and amino acids, increased rapidly from 21 to 35 DAF. Orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis and correlation analysis identified 37 metabolites that correlated closely with seed fresh weight. To determine the influence of silique wall photosynthesis on the metabolites in the funiculus, we also covered the siliques of intact plants with aluminum foil; in these plants, the funiculus and silique wall had lower metabolite levels, compared with control. RNA-sequencing analysis of the funiculi in the dark-treated and light-exposed siliques showed that the expression of genes encoding nutrient transporters significantly increased in the funiculi in the dark-treated siliques. Furthermore, the transcripts encoding primary metabolic enzymes for amino acid synthesis, fatty acid synthesis and triacylglycerol assembly, and sucrose-starch metabolism, were also markedly up-regulated, despite the decline in metabolite levels of funiculi in the dark-treated silique. These results provide new insights into funiculus function in seed growth and synthesis of storage reserves in seeds, at the metabolic and transcriptional levels. The identification of these metabolites and genes also provides useful information for creating genetically enhanced oilseed crops with improved seed properties.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Split-ubiquitin yeast two-hybrid interaction reveals a novel interaction
           between a natural resistance associated macrophage protein and a membrane
           bound thioredoxin in Brassica juncea
    • Abstract: Abstract Natural resistance associated macrophage proteins (NRAMPs) are evolutionarily conserved metal transporters involved in the transport of essential and nonessential metals in plants. Fifty protein interactors of a Brassica juncea NRAMP protein was identified by a Split-Ubiquitin Yeast-Two-Hybrid screen. The interactors were predicted to function as components of stress response, signaling, development, RNA binding and processing. BjNRAMP4.1 interactors were particularly enriched in proteins taking part in photosynthetic or light regulated processes, or proteins predicted to be localized in plastid/chloroplast. Further, many interactors also had a suggested role in cellular redox regulation. Among these, the interaction of a photosynthesis-related thioredoxin, homologous to Arabidopsis HCF164 (High-chlorophyll fluorescence164) was studied in detail. Homology modeling of BjNRAMP4.1 suggested that it could be redox regulated by BjHCF164. In yeast, the interaction between the two proteins was found to increase in response to metal deficiency; Mn excess and exogenous thiol. Excess Mn also increased the interaction in planta and led to greater accumulation of the complex at the root apoplast. Network analysis of Arabidopsis homologs of BjNRAMP4.1 interactors showed enrichment of many protein components, central to chloroplastic/cellular ROS signaling. BjNRAMP4.1 interacted with BjHCF164 at the root membrane and also in the chloroplast in accordance with its proposed function related to photosynthesis, indicating that this interaction occurred at different sub-cellular locations depending on the tissue. This may serve as a link between metal homeostasis and chloroplastic/cellular ROS through protein–protein interaction.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Cloning and characterization of soybean gene Fg1 encoding flavonol 3- O
           -glucoside/galactoside (1→6) glucosyltransferase
    • Abstract: Key message Flavonoids are important secondary metabolites in plants. Sugar–sugar glycosyltransferases are involved in the final step of flavonoid biosynthesis and contribute to the structural diversity of flavonoids. This manuscript describes the first cloning of a sugar–sugar glucosyltransferase gene in the UGT family that attaches glucose to the 6″-position of sugar bound to a flavonol. The results provide a glimpse on the possible evolution of sugar–sugar glycosyltransferase genes and identify putative amino acids responsible for the recognition of the hydroxyl group of the sugar moiety and specification of sugar. A scheme for the genetic control of flavonol glycoside biosynthesis is proposed. Flavonol glycosides (FGs) are predominant in soybean leaves and they show substantial differences among genotypes. In previous studies, we identified two flavonoid glycoside glycosyltransferase genes that segregated in recombinant inbred lines developed from a cross between cultivars Nezumisaya and Harosoy; one was responsible for the attachment of glucose to the 2″-position of glucose or galactose that is bound to the 3-position of kaempferol and the other was involved in the attachment of glucose to the 6″-position. This study was conducted to clone and characterize the 6″-glucosyltransferase gene. Linkage mapping indicated that the gene was located in the molecular linkage group I (chromosome 20). Based on the genome sequence, we cloned a candidate cDNA, GmF3G6"Gt from Harosoy but the corresponding cDNA could not be amplified by PCR from Nezumisaya. The coding region of GmF3G6″Gt in Harosoy is 1386 bp long encoding 462 amino acids. This gene was not expressed in leaves of Nezumisaya. The GmF3G6″Gt recombinant protein converted UDP-glucose and kaempferol 3-O-glucoside or kaempferol 3-O-galactoside to kaempferol 3-O-glucosyl-(1→6)-glucoside or kaempferol 3-O-glucosyl-(1→6)-galactoside, respectively. These results indicate that GmF3G6″Gt encodes a flavonol 3-O-glucoside/galactoside (1→6) glucosyltransferase and corresponds to the Fg1 gene. GmF3G6″Gt had an amino acid similarity of 82 % with GmF3G6″Rt encoding flavonol 3-O-glucoside/galactoside (1→6) rhamnosyltransferase, suggesting a recent evolutionary divergence of the two genes. This may be the first cloning of a sugar-sugar glucosyltransferase gene in the UGT family that attaches glucose to the 6″-position of sugar bound to a flavonol. A scheme for the control of FG biosynthesis is proposed.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • D27E mutation of VTC1 impairs the interaction with CSN5B and enhances
           ascorbic acid biosynthesis and seedling growth in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Abstract Our previous investigation revealed that GDP-Man pyrophosphorylase (VTC1), a vital ascorbic acid (AsA) biosynthesis enzyme, could be degraded through interaction with the photomorphogenic factor COP9 signalosome subunit 5B (CSN5B) in the darkness, demonstrating the posttranscriptional regulation of light signal in AsA production. Here, we further report that a point mutation in D27E of VTC1 disables the interaction with CSN5B, resulting in enhancement of AsA biosynthesis and seedling growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. To identify the interaction sites with CSN5B, we first predicted the key amino acids in VTC1 via bioinformatics analysis. And then we biochemically and genetically demonstrated that the 27th Asp was the amino acid that influenced the interaction of VTC1 with CSN5B in plants. Moreover, transgenic lines overexpressing the site-specific mutagenesis from D27 (Asp) into E27 (Glu) in VTC1 showed enhanced AsA accumulation and reduced H2O2 content in Arabidopsis seedlings, compared with the lines overexpressing the mutation from D27 into N27 (Asn) in VTC1. In addition, this regulation of VTC1 D27E mutation promoted seedling growth. Together, our data reveal that the 27th amino acid of VTC1 confers a key regulation in the interaction with CSN5B and AsA biosynthesis, as well as in Arabidopsis seedling growth.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Regulation of transcription by the Arabidopsis UVR8 photoreceptor involves
           a specific histone modification
    • Abstract: Abstract The photoreceptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) specifically mediates photomorphogenic responses to UV-B wavelengths. UVR8 acts by regulating transcription of a set of genes, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Previous research indicated that UVR8 can associate with chromatin, but the specificity and functional significance of this interaction are not clear. Here we show, by chromatin immunoprecipitation, that UV-B exposure of Arabidopsis increases acetylation of lysines K9 and/or K14 of histone H3 at UVR8-regulated gene loci in a UVR8-dependent manner. The transcription factors HY5 and/or HYH, which mediate UVR8-regulated transcription, are also required for this chromatin modification, at least for the ELIP1 gene. Furthermore, sequencing of the immunoprecipitated DNA revealed that all UV-B-induced enrichments in H3K9,14diacetylation across the genome are UVR8-dependent, and approximately 40 % of the enriched loci contain known UVR8-regulated genes. In addition, inhibition of histone acetylation by anacardic acid reduces the UV-B induced, UVR8 mediated expression of ELIP1 and CHS. No evidence was obtained in yeast 2-hybrid assays for a direct interaction between either UVR8 or HY5 and several proteins involved in light-regulated histone modification, nor for the involvement of these proteins in UVR8-mediated responses in plants, although functional redundancy between proteins could influence the results. In summary, this study shows that UVR8 regulates a specific chromatin modification associated with transcriptional regulation of a set of UVR8-target genes.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Precision breeding for RNAi suppression of a major 4-coumarate:coenzyme A
           ligase gene improves cell wall saccharification from field grown sugarcane
    • Abstract: Abstract Sugarcane (Saccharum spp. hybrids) is a major feedstock for commercial bioethanol production. The recent integration of conversion technologies that utilize lignocellulosic sugarcane residues as well as sucrose from stem internodes has elevated bioethanol yields. RNAi suppression of lignin biosynthetic enzymes is a successful strategy to improve the saccharification of lignocellulosic biomass. 4-coumarate:coenzyme A ligase (4CL) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoid metabolites, such as lignin and flavonoids. Identifying a major 4CL involved in lignin biosynthesis among multiple isoforms with functional divergence is key to manipulate lignin biosynthesis. In this study, two full length 4CL genes (Sh4CL1 and Sh4CL2) were isolated and characterized in sugarcane. Phylogenetic, expression and RNA interference (RNAi) analysis confirmed that Sh4CL1 is a major lignin biosynthetic gene. An intragenic precision breeding strategy may facilitate the regulatory approval of the genetically improved events and was used for RNAi suppression of Sh4CL1. Both, the RNAi inducing cassette and the expression cassette for the mutated ALS selection marker consisted entirely of DNA sequences from sugarcane or the sexually compatible species Sorghum bicolor. Field grown sugarcane with intragenic RNAi suppression of Sh4CL1 resulted in reduction of the total lignin content by up to 16.5 % along with altered monolignol ratios without reduction in biomass yield. Mature, field grown, intragenic sugarcane events displayed 52–76 % improved saccharification efficiency of lignocellulosic biomass compared to wild type (WT) controls. This demonstrates for the first time that an intragenic approach can add significant value to lignocellulosic feedstocks for biofuel and biochemical production.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • GH32 family activity: a topological approach through protein contact
    • Abstract: Key message The application of Protein Contact Networks methodology allowed to highlight a novel response of border region between the two domains to substrate binding. Glycoside hydrolases (GH) are enzymes that mainly hydrolyze the glycosidic bond between two carbohydrates or a carbohydrate and a non-carbohydrate moiety. These enzymes are involved in many fundamental and diverse biological processes in plants. We have focused on the GH32 family, including enzymes very similar in both sequence and structure, each having however clear specificities of substrate preferences and kinetic properties. Structural and topological differences among proteins of the GH32 family have been here identified by means of an emerging approach (Protein Contact network, PCN) based on the formalization of 3D structures as contact networks among amino-acid residues. The PCN approach proved successful in both reconstructing the already known functional domains and in identifying the structural counterpart of the properties of GH32 enzymes, which remain uncertain, like their allosteric character. The main outcome of the study was the discovery of the activation upon binding of the border (cleft) region between the two domains. This reveals the allosteric nature of the enzymatic activity for all the analyzed forms in the GH32 family, a character yet to be highlighted in biochemical studies. Furthermore, we have been able to recognize a topological signature (graph energy) of the different affinity of the enzymes towards small and large substrates.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Variation of 45S rDNA intergenic spacers in Arabidopsis thaliana
    • Abstract: Abstract Approximately seven hundred 45S rRNA genes (rDNA) in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome are organised in two 4 Mbp-long arrays of tandem repeats arranged in head-to-tail fashion separated by an intergenic spacer (IGS). These arrays make up 5 % of the A. thaliana genome. IGS are rapidly evolving sequences and frequent rearrangements inside the rDNA loci have generated considerable interspecific and even intra-individual variability which allows to distinguish among otherwise highly conserved rRNA genes. The IGS has not been comprehensively described despite its potential importance in regulation of rDNA transcription and replication. Here we describe the detailed sequence variation in the complete IGS of A. thaliana WT plants and provide the reference/consensus IGS sequence, as well as genomic DNA analysis. We further investigate mutants dysfunctional in chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1) (fas1 and fas2 mutants), which are known to have a reduced number of rDNA copies, and plant lines with restored CAF-1 function (segregated from a fas1xfas2 genetic background) showing major rDNA rearrangements. The systematic rDNA loss in CAF-1 mutants leads to the decreased variability of the IGS and to the occurrence of distinct IGS variants. We present for the first time a comprehensive and representative set of complete IGS sequences, obtained by conventional cloning and by Pacific Biosciences sequencing. Our data expands the knowledge of the A. thaliana IGS sequence arrangement and variability, which has not been available in full and in detail until now. This is also the first study combining IGS sequencing data with RFLP analysis of genomic DNA.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • WSL3, a component of the plastid-encoded plastid RNA polymerase, is
           essential for early chloroplast development in rice
    • Abstract: Abstract Plastid-encoded plastid RNA polymerase (PEP), a dominant RNA polymerase in mature chloroplasts, consists of core subunits and peripheral subunits. Despite the importance of the peripheral subunits in control of PEP activity it is unclear how they interact with one another to exert physiological effects on chloroplast development and plant growth, especially in rice. Here, we report a mutant, designated wsl3 that lacks a peripheral subunit in rice. We isolated the WSL3 gene encoding an essential peripheral subunit of rice PEP complex, OsPAP1/OspTAC3 by map-based cloning, and verified its function by complementation analysis. The wsl3 mutant showed a typical expression pattern of plastid-encoded genes, suggesting that PEP activity was impaired. Using immunofluorescent labeling and immunoblotting, we found that WSL3 was localized to the chloroplast and associated with the nucleoid. In addition, we demonstrated that WSL3 interacted with PEP subunits in Y2H, BiFC and pull-down experiments. Furthermore, a cpDNA IP assay revealed that WSL3 was associated with the PEP complex during the entire transcription process. We provide evidence suggesting that WSL3 is essential for early chloroplast development by interacting with subunits of the PEP complex.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • The germin-like protein OsGLP2-1 enhances resistance to fungal blast and
           bacterial blight in rice
    • Abstract: Key message This is the first report that GLP gene (OsGLP2-1) is involved in panicle blast and bacterial blight resistance in rice. In addition to its resistance to blast and bacterial blight, OsGLP2-1 has also been reported to co-localize with a QTLs for sheath blight resistance in rice. These suggest that the disease resistance provided by OsGLP2-1 is quantitative and broad spectrum. Its good resistance to these major diseases in rice makes it to be a promising target in rice breeding. Rice (Oryza sativa) blast caused by Magnaporthe oryzae and bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae are the two most destructive rice diseases worldwide. Germin-like protein (GLP) gene family is one of the important defense gene families which have been reported to be involved in disease resistance in plants. Although GLP proteins have been demonstrated to positively regulate leaf blast resistance in rice, their involvement in resistance to panicle blast and bacterial blight, has not been reported. In this study, we reported that one of the rice GLP genes, OsGLP2-1, was significantly induced by blast fungus. Overexpression of OsGLP2-1 quantitatively enhanced resistance to leaf blast, panicle blast and bacterial blight. The temporal and spatial expression analysis revealed that OsGLP2-1is highly expressed in leaves and panicles and sub-localized in the cell wall. Compared with empty vector transformed (control) plants, the OsGLP2-1 overexpressing plants exhibited higher levels of H2O2 both before and after pathogen inoculation. Moreover, OsGLP2-1 was significantly induced by jasmonic acid (JA). Overexpression of OsGLP2-1 induced three well-characterized defense-related genes which are associated in JA-dependent pathway after pathogen infection. Higher endogenous level of JA was also identified in OsGLP2-1 overexpressing plants than in control plants both before and after pathogen inoculation. Together, these results suggest that OsGLP2-1 functions as a positive regulator to modulate disease resistance. Its good quantitative resistance to the two major diseases in rice makes it to be a promising target in rice breeding.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE6 can functionally replace AINTEGUMENTA but alters
           Arabidopsis flower development when misexpressed at high levels
    • Abstract: Key message Expression differences underlie the functional differences between two related transcription factors: AINTEGUMENTA and AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE6. Ectopic expression of AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE6 at high levels alters floral organ initiation, growth and identity specification. AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) and AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE6 (AIL6) encode related transcription factors with partially overlapping roles in floral organ development in Arabidopsis thaliana. To investigate whether the functional differences between ANT and AIL6 are a consequence of differences in gene expression and/or protein activity, we made transgenic plants in which a genomic copy of AIL6 was expressed under the control of the ANT promoter. ANT:gAIL6 can rescue the floral organ size defects of ant mutants when AIL6 is expressed at similar levels as ANT in wild type. Thus, the functional differences between ANT and AIL6 result primarily from gene expression differences. However, lines that express AIL6 at higher levels display additional phenotypes that include reduced numbers of floral organs and the production of mosaic floral organs. These phenotypes were also observed in two different inducible AIL6 transgenic lines but not in 35S:ANT, suggesting that AIL6 protein may have activities distinct from ANT, although the in vivo relevance of such differences is not clear. Similar to 35S:ANT plants, overexpression of AIL6 in the inducible lines also results in the production of larger flowers. The distinct phenotypes resulting from AIL6 misexpression in the transgenic lines described here and those previously characterized appear to result from different levels and patterns of AIL6 expression.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Transcriptome profiling of developmental leaf senescence in sorghum (
           Sorghum bicolor )
    • Abstract: Key message This piece of the submission is being sent via mail. Leaf senescence is essential for the nutrient economy of crops and is executed by so-called senescence-associated genes (SAGs). Here we explored the monocot C4 model crop Sorghum bicolor for a holistic picture of SAG profiles by RNA-seq. Leaf samples were collected at four stages during developmental senescence, and in total, 3396 SAGs were identified, predominantly enriched in GO categories of metabolic processes and catalytic activities. These genes were enriched in 13 KEGG pathways, wherein flavonoid and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis and phenylalanine metabolism were overrepresented. Seven regions on Chromosomes 1, 4, 5 and 7 contained SAG ‘hotspots’ of duplicated genes or members of cupin superfamily involved in manganese ion binding and nutrient reservoir activity. Forty-eight expression clusters were identified, and the candidate orthologues of the known important senescence transcription factors such as ORE1, EIN3 and WRKY53 showed “SAG” expression patterns, implicating their possible roles in regulating sorghum leaf senescence. Comparison of developmental senescence with salt- and dark- induced senescence allowed for the identification of 507 common SAGs, 1996 developmental specific SAGs as well as 176 potential markers for monitoring senescence in sorghum. Taken together, these data provide valuable resources for comparative genomics analyses of leaf senescence and potential targets for the manipulation of genetic improvement of Sorghum bicolor.
      PubDate: 2016-11-01
  • Deep analysis of wild Vitis flower transcriptome reveals unexplored genome
           regions associated with sex specification
    • Abstract: Key message RNA-seq of Vitis during early stages of bud development, in male, female and hermaphrodite flowers, identified new loci outside of annotated gene models, suggesting their involvement in sex establishment. The molecular mechanisms responsible for flower sex specification remain unclear for most plant species. In the case of V. vinifera ssp. vinifera, it is not fully understood what determines hermaphroditism in the domesticated subspecies and male or female flowers in wild dioecious relatives (Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris). Here, we describe a de novo assembly of the transcriptome of three flower developmental stages from the three Vitis vinifera flower types. The validation of de novo assembly showed a correlation of 0.825. The main goals of this work were the identification of V. v. sylvestris exclusive transcripts and the characterization of differential gene expression during flower development. RNA from several flower developmental stages was used previously to generate Illumina sequence reads. Through a sequential de novo assembly strategy one comprehensive transcriptome comprising 95,516 non-redundant transcripts was assembled. From this dataset 81,064 transcripts were annotated to V. v. vinifera reference transcriptome and 11,084 were annotated against V. v. vinifera reference genome. Moreover, we found 3368 transcripts that could not be mapped to Vitis reference genome. From all the non-redundant transcripts that were assembled, bioinformatics analysis identified 133 specific of V. v. sylvestris and 516 transcripts differentially expressed among the three flower types. The detection of transcription from areas of the genome not currently annotated suggests active transcription of previously unannotated genomic loci during early stages of bud development.
      PubDate: 2016-10-24
  • The targeting of starch binding domains from starch synthase III to the
           cell wall alters cell wall composition and properties
    • Abstract: Key message Starch binding domains of starch synthase III from Arabidopsis thaliana (SBD123) binds preferentially to cell wall polysaccharides rather than to starch in vitro. Transgenic plants overexpressing SBD123 in the cell wall are larger than wild type. Cell wall components are altered in transgenic plants. Transgenic plants are more susceptible to digestion than wild type and present higher released glucose content. Our results suggest that the transgenic plants have an advantage for the production of bioethanol in terms of saccharification of essential substrates. The plant cell wall, which represents a major source of biomass for biofuel production, is composed of cellulose, hemicelluloses, pectins and lignin. A potential biotechnological target for improving the production of biofuels is the modification of plant cell walls. This modification is achieved via several strategies, including, among others, altering biosynthetic pathways and modifying the associations and structures of various cell wall components. In this study, we modified the cell wall of A. thaliana by targeting the starch-binding domains of A. thaliana starch synthase III to this structure. The resulting transgenic plants (E8-SDB123) showed an increased biomass, higher levels of both fermentable sugars and hydrolyzed cellulose and altered cell wall properties such as higher laxity and degradability, which are valuable characteristics for the second-generation biofuels industry. The increased biomass and degradability phenotype of E8-SBD123 plants could be explained by the putative cell-wall loosening effect of the in tandem starch binding domains. Based on these results, our approach represents a promising biotechnological tool for reducing of biomass recalcitrance and therefore, the need for pretreatments.
      PubDate: 2016-10-21
  • Five novel transcription factors as potential regulators of OsNHX1 gene
           expression in a salt tolerant rice genotype
    • Abstract: Key message This manuscript reports the identification and characterization of five transcription factors binding to the promoter of OsNHX1 in a salt stress tolerant rice genotype (Hasawi). Although NHX1 encoding genes are known to be highly regulated at the transcription level by different abiotic stresses, namely salt and drought stress, until now only one transcription factor (TF) binding to its promoter has been reported. In order to unveil the TFs regulating NHX1 gene expression, which is known to be highly induced under salt stress, we have used a Y1H system to screen a salt induced rice cDNA expression library from Hasawi. This approach allowed us to identify five TFs belonging to three distinct TF families: one TCP (OsPCF2), one CPP (OsCPP5) and three NIN-like (OsNIN-like2, OsNIN-like3 and OsNIN-like4) binding to the OsNHX1 gene promoter. We have also shown that these TFs act either as transcriptional activators (OsPCF2, OsNIN-like4) or repressors (OsCPP5, OsNIN-like2) and their encoding genes are differentially regulated by salt and PEG-induced drought stress in two rice genotypes, Nipponbare (salt-sensitive) and Hasawi (salt-tolerant). The transactivation activity of OsNIN-like3 was not possible to determine. Increased soil salinity has a direct impact on the reduction of plant growth and crop yield and it is therefore fundamental to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying gene expression regulation under adverse environmental conditions. OsNHX1 is the most abundant K+-Na+/H+ antiporter localized in the tonoplast and its gene expression is induced by salt, drought and ABA. To investigate how OsNHX1 is transcriptionally regulated in response to salt stress in a salt-tolerant rice genotype (Hasawi), a salt-stress-induced cDNA expression library was constructed and subsequently screened using the yeast one-hybrid system and the OsNHX1 promoter as bait. Five transcription factors (TFs) belonging to three distinct TF families: one TCP (OsPCF2), one CPP (OsCPP5) and three NIN-like (OsNIN-like2, OsNIN-like3 and OsNIN-like4) were identified as binding to OsNHX1 promoter. Transactivation activity assays performed in Arabidopsis and rice protoplasts showed that OsPCF2 and OsNIN-like4 are activators of the OsNHX1 gene expression, while OsCPP5 and OsNIN-like2 act as repressors. The transactivation activity of OsNIN-like3 needs to be further investigated. Gene expression studies showed that OsNHX1 transcript level is highly induced by salt and PEG-induced drought stress in both shoots and roots in both Nipponbare and Hasawi rice genotypes. Nevertheless, OsNHX1 seems to play a particular role in shoots in response to drought. Most of the TFs binding to OsNHX1 promoter showed a modest transcriptional regulation under stress conditions, however, in response to most of the conditions studied, the OsPCF2 was induced earlier than OsNHX1, indicating that OsPCF2 may activate OsNHX1 gene expression. In addition, although the OsNHX1 response to salt and PEG-induced drought stress in either shoots or roots was quite similar in both rice genotypes, the expression of OsPCF2 in roots under salt stress and the OsNIN-like4 in roots subjected to PEG was mainly up-regulated in Hasawi, indicating that these TFs may be associated with the salt and drought stress tolerance observed for this genotype.
      PubDate: 2016-10-20
  • UV-mediated Chlamydomonas mutants with enhanced nuclear transgene
           expression by disruption of DNA methylation-dependent and independent
           silencing systems
    • Authors: Sari Dewi Kurniasih; Tomohito Yamasaki; Fantao Kong; Sigeru Okada; Dwiyantari Widyaningrum; Takeshi Ohama
      Abstract: Key message In this investigation, we succeeded to generate Chlamydomonas mutants that bear dramatically enhanced ability for transgene expression. To yield these mutants, we utilized DNA methyltransferase deficient strain. These mutants must be useful as a plant cell factory. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (hereafter Chlamydomonas) is a green freshwater microalga. It is a promising cell factory for the production of recombinant proteins because it rapidly grows in simple salt-based media. However, expression of transgenes integrated into the nuclear genome of Chlamydomonas is very poor, probably because of severe transcriptional silencing irrespective of the genomic position. In this study, we generated Chlamydomonas mutants by ultraviolet (UV)-mediated mutagenesis of maintenance-type DNA methyltransferase gene (MET1)-null mutants to overcome this disadvantage. We obtained several mutants with an enhanced ability to overexpress various transgenes irrespective of their integrated genomic positions. In addition, transformation efficiencies were significantly elevated. Our findings indicate that in addition to mechanisms involving MET1, transgene expression is regulated by a DNA methylation-independent transgene silencing system in Chlamydomonas. This is in agreement with the fact that DNA methylation occurs rarely in this organism. The generated mutants may be useful for the low-cost production of therapeutic proteins and eukaryotic enzymes based on their rapid growth in simple salt-based media.
      PubDate: 2016-10-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s11103-016-0529-9
  • Regulatory cis -elements are located in accessible promoter regions of the
           CAT2 promoter and affect activating histone modifications in Arabidopsis
    • Authors: Miriam Laxa
      Abstract: Abstract Catalase 2 (CAT2) plays an important role in the detoxification of hydrogen peroxide released either during photorespiration or as a consequence of biotic and abiotic stress as well as in the initiation of senescence. To date, our understanding of the regulation of CAT2 gene expression is rather poor. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that a wide region of the CAT2 promoter is nucleosome depleted, reflecting the ability to rapidly respond to changing environmental and stress conditions and, thus, adjusting the transcript levels of CAT2. The lowest nucleosome density was found in the region of −900 bp relative to the transcription initiation start (TIS) where two regulatory elements are located. The distance of the nucleosome depleted region to the TIS is quite unusual because the majority of nucleosome free regions are generally located in close vicinity to the 5′ untranslated region. The analysis of transgenic 5′ upstream deletion::gusA Arabidopsis lines showed that this region is important for the regulation of CAT2 promoter activity. To evaluate the function of the two motifs, the contribution of each element to CAT2 promoter activity was analyzed by site directed mutagenesis. The data revealed that the CAT2 promoter is regulated by the ACGT motif (Box2) rather than by the G-Box binding motif (Box1) in the vegetative phase of development. Furthermore, the presence of both Box1 and Box2 positively affected the abundance of activating histone modifications.
      PubDate: 2016-10-12
      DOI: 10.1007/s11103-016-0546-8
  • Overexpression of OsDT11 , which encodes a novel cysteine-rich peptide,
           enhances drought tolerance and increases ABA concentration in rice
    • Authors: Xiaoming Li; Huipei Han; Ming Chen; Wei Yang; Li Liu; Ning Li; Xinhua Ding; Zhaohui Chu
      Abstract: Abstract Short-chain peptides play important roles in plant development and responses to abiotic and biotic stresses. Here, we characterized a gene of unknown function termed OsDT11, which encodes an 88 amino acid short-chain peptide and belongs to the cysteine-rich peptide family. It was found that the expression of OsDT11 can be activated by polyethylene glycol (PEG) treatment. Compared with wild-type lines, the OsDT11-overexpression lines displayed dramatically enhanced tolerance to drought and had reduced water loss, reduced stomatal density, and an increased the concentration of abscisic acid (ABA). The suppression of OsDT11 expression resulted in an increased sensitivity to drought compared to wild-type expression. Several drought-related genes, including genes encoding abscisic acid (ABA) signaling markers, were also strongly induced in the OsDT11-overexpressing lines. Moreover, the expression of OsDT11 was repressed in ABA-insensitive mutant Osbzip23 and Os2H16 RNAi lines. These results suggest that OsDT11-mediated drought tolerance may be dependent on the ABA signaling pathway.
      PubDate: 2016-10-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s11103-016-0544-x
  • A genetic genomics-expression approach reveals components of the molecular
           mechanisms beyond the cell wall that underlie peach fruit woolliness due
           to cold storage
    • Authors: Clara Pons; Cristina Martí; Javier Forment; Carlos H. Crisosto; Abhaya M. Dandekar; Antonio Granell
      Abstract: Abstract Peach fruits subjected to prolonged cold storage (CS) to delay decay and over-ripening often develop a form of chilling injury (CI) called mealiness/woolliness (WLT), a flesh textural disorder characterized by lack of juiciness. Transcript profiles were analyzed after different lengths of CS and subsequent shelf life ripening (SLR) in pools of fruits from siblings of the Pop-DG population with contrasting sensitivity to develop WLT. This was followed by quantitative PCR on pools and individual lines of the Pop-DG population to validate and extend the microarray results. Relative tolerance to WLT development during SLR was related to the fruit’s ability to recover from cold and the reactivation of normal ripening, processes that are probably regulated by transcription factors involved in stress protection, stress recovery and induction of ripening. Furthermore, our results showed that altered ripening in WLT fruits during shelf life is probably due, in part, to cold-induced desynchronization of the ripening program involving ethylene and auxin hormonal regulation of metabolism and cell wall. In addition, we found strong correlation between expression of RNA translation and protein assembly genes and the visual injury symptoms.
      PubDate: 2016-10-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s11103-016-0526-z
  • Altered levels of AtHSCB disrupts iron translocation from roots to shoots
    • Authors: Laura Leaden; María A. Pagani; Manuel Balparda; María V. Busi; Diego F. Gomez-Casati
      Abstract: Key message Plants overexpressing AtHSCB and hscb knockdown mutants showed altered iron homeostasis. The overexpression of AtHSCB led to activation of the iron uptake system and iron accumulation in roots without concomitant transport to shoots, resulting in reduced iron content in the aerial parts of plants. By contrast, hscb knockdown mutants presented the opposite phenotype, with iron accumulation in shoots despite the reduced levels of iron uptake in roots. AtHSCB play a key role in iron metabolism, probably taking part in the control of iron translocation from roots to shoots. Many aspects of plant iron metabolism remain obscure. The most known and studied homeostatic mechanism is the control of iron uptake in the roots by shoots. Nevertheless, this mechanism likely involves various unknown sensors and unidentified signals sent from one tissue to another which need to be identified. Here, we characterized Arabidopsis thaliana plants overexpressing AtHSCB, encoding a mitochondrial cochaperone involved in [Fe–S] cluster biosynthesis, and hscb knockdown mutants, which exhibit altered shoot/root Fe partitioning. Overexpression of AtHSCB induced an increase in root iron uptake and content along with iron deficiency in shoots. Conversely, hscb knockdown mutants exhibited increased iron accumulation in shoots and reduced iron uptake in roots. Different experiments, including foliar iron application, citrate supplementation and iron deficiency treatment, indicate that the shoot-directed control of iron uptake in roots functions properly in these lines, implying that [Fe–S] clusters are not involved in this regulatory mechanism. The most likely explanation is that both lines have altered Fe transport from roots to shoots. This could be consistent with a defect in a homeostatic mechanism operating at the root-to-shoot translocation level, which would be independent of the shoot control over root iron deficiency responses. In summary, the phenotypes of these plants indicate that AtHSCB plays a role in iron metabolism.
      PubDate: 2016-09-21
      DOI: 10.1007/s11103-016-0537-9
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