Two stable transformed lines containing antisense LeETR1 or LeETR2 sequences and their hybridized line were investigated to determine the effect of LeETR1 and LeETR2 specificity in the ethylene receptor family in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) on ethylene signaling. The transgenic line ale1 containing antisense LeETR1 displayed shorter length of seedling grown in the dark and adult plant in the light, severe epinastic petiole, and accelerated abscission of petiole explant and senescence of flower explant, compared with its wild type B1. The transgenic line ale2 containing antisense LeETR2 also exhibited shorter hypocotyls and slightly accelerated abscission. The phenotypes of cross line dale of LeETR1 and LeETR2 were close to ale1 in many aspects. These results suggested that LeETR1 probably plays a relatively important role in ethylene signaling of tomato growth and development.
Antisense transformation; Ethylene receptor; Ethylene response; Tomato
The phytohormone ethylene is perceived in Arabidopsis by a five-member receptor family. Earlier work has demonstrated that the basic functional unit for an ethylene receptor is a disulfide-linked homodimer. We recently reported in The Journal of Biological Chemistry that the ethylene-receptor ETR1 physically associates with other ethylene receptors through higher order interactions, suggesting the existence of receptor clusters. Here we consider the implications of such clusters upon the mechanism of ethylene signal transduction. In particular, we consider how such clustering provides a cooperative mechanism, akin to what has been found for the prokaryotic chemoreceptors, by which plant sensitivity to ethylene may be increased. In addition, we consider how the dominant ethylene insensitivity conferred by some receptor mutations, such as etr1-1, may also be propagated by interactions among members of the ethylene receptor family.
ethylene; receptor; ETR1; cooperativity; Arabidopsis
Background and Aims
Exposure of plants to ethylene can influence a spectrum of developmental processes including organ senescence and abscission. The aim of this study was to examine the role of the gaseous regulator in Nicotiana sylvestris plants exhibiting a silenced or constitutive ethylene response.
Transgenic N. sylvestris plants were generated that either ectopically expressed the Arabidopsis mutant ethylene receptor ETR1-1 or the tomato EIN3-like (LeEIL1) gene. Highly expressing homozygous lines were selected and the time-course of development, from germination to organ senescence, was studied.
Fifty percent of the homozygous Pro35S:ETR1-1 lines examined showed a high susceptibility to collapse prior to flowering, with plant death occurring within a few days of leaf wilting. The time-course of leaf senescence in the remaining Pro35S:ETR1-1 lines was visibly arrested compared to wild type (negative segregant) plants and this observation was reaffirmed by chlorophyll and protein analysis. Petal necrosis was also delayed in Pro35S:ETR1-1 lines and corolla abscission did not take place. When senescence of Pro35S:ETR1-1 plants did take place this was accompanied by leaf bleaching, but tissues remained fully turgid and showed no signs of collapse. A single Pro35S:LeEIL1 line was found to exhibit consistently accelerated leaf and flower senescence and precocious flower bud shedding.
These observations support a role for ethylene in regulating a spectrum of developmental events associated with organ senescence and tissue necrosis. Furthermore, the transgenic lines generated during this study may provide a valuable resource for exploring how senescence processes are regulated in plants.
Nicotiana sylvestris; ethylene; senescence; chlorophyll; flower abscission; etr1-1; necrosis; pathogenesis
Overexpression of Arabidopsis Reversion-To-ethylene Sensitivity1 (RTE1) results in whole-plant ethylene insensitivity dependent on the ethylene receptor gene Ethylene Response1 (ETR1). However, overexpression of the tomato RTE1 homologue Green Ripe (GR) delays fruit ripening but does not confer whole-plant ethylene insensitivity. It was decided to investigate whether aspects of ethylene-induced growth and development of the monocotyledonous model plant rice could be modulated by rice RTE1 homologues (OsRTH genes). Results from a cross-species complementation test in Arabidopsis showed that OsRTH1 overexpression complemented the rte1-2 loss-of-function mutation and conferred whole-plant ethylene insensitivity in an ETR1-dependent manner. In contrast, OsRTH2 and OsRTH3 overexpression did not complement rte1-2 or confer ethylene insensitivity. In rice, OsRTH1 overexpression substantially prevented ethylene-induced alterations in growth and development, including leaf senescence, seedling leaf elongation and development, coleoptile elongation or curvature, and adventitious root development. Results of subcellular localizations of OsRTHs, each fused with the green fluorescent protein, in onion epidermal cells suggested that the three OsRTHs were predominantly localized to the Golgi. OsRTH1 may be an RTE1 orthologue of rice and modulate rice ethylene responses. The possible roles of auxins and gibberellins in the ethylene-induced alterations in growth were evaluated and the biological significance of ethylene in the early stage of rice seedling growth is discussed.
Arabidopsis; coleoptile curvature; ethylene; OsRTH1; rice; RTE1
The paper supports the view that ethylene plays a significant role in maintaining tomato pollen thermotolerance. Interfering with the ethylene signalling pathway or reducing ethylene levels and increased tomato pollen sensitivity to heat stress. On the other hand, increasing ethylene levels before heat-stress improved pollen quality.
Background and aims
Exposure to higher-than-optimal temperatures reduces crop yield and quality, mainly due to sensitivity of developing pollen grains. The mechanisms maintaining high pollen quality under heat-stress conditions are poorly understood. Our recently published data indicate high heat-stress-induced expression of ethylene-responsive genes in tomato pollen, indicating ethylene involvement in the pollen heat-stress response. Here we elucidated ethylene's involvement in pollen heat-stress response and thermotolerance by assessing the effects of interfering with the ethylene signalling pathway and altering ethylene levels on tomato pollen functioning under heat stress.
Plants of the ethylene-insensitive mutant Never ripe (Nr)—defective in an ethylene response sensor (ERS)-like ethylene receptor—and the corresponding wild type were exposed to control or heat-stress growing conditions, and pollen quality was determined. Starch and carbohydrates were measured in isolated pollen grains from these plants. The effect of pretreating cv. Micro-Tom tomato plants, prior to heat-stress exposure, with an ethylene releaser or inhibitor of ethylene biosynthesis on pollen quality was assessed.
Never ripe pollen grains exhibited higher heat-stress sensitivity, manifested by a significant reduction in the total number of pollen grains, reduction in the number of viable pollen and elevation of the number of non-viable pollen, compared with wild-type plants. Mature Nr pollen grains accumulated only 40 % of the sucrose level accumulated by the wild type. Pretreatment of tomato plants with an ethylene releaser increased pollen quality under heat stress, with an over 5-fold increase in the number of germinating pollen grains per flower. Pretreatment with an ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor reduced the number of germinating pollen grains following heat-stress exposure over 5-fold compared with non-treated controls.
Ethylene plays a significant role in tomato pollen thermotolerance. Interfering with the ethylene signalling pathway or reducing ethylene levels increased tomato pollen sensitivity to heat stress, whereas increasing ethylene levels prior to heat-stress exposure increased pollen quality.
The ethylene receptor ethylene response 1 (ETR1) and the Arabidopsis histidine-containing phosphotransfer protein 1 (AHP1) form a tight complex in vitro. According to our current model ETR1 and AHP1 together with a response regulator form a phosphorelay system controlling the gene expression response to the plant hormone ethylene, similar to the two-component signaling in bacteria. The model implies that ETR1 functions as a sensor kinase and is autophosphorylated in the absence of ethylene. The phosphoryl group is then transferred onto a histidine at the canonical phosphorylation site in AHP1. For phosphoryl group transfer both binding partners need to form a tight complex. After ethylene binding the receptor is switched to the non-phosphorylated state. This switch is accompanied by a conformational change that decreases the affinity to the phosphorylated AHP1. To test this model we used fluorescence polarization and examined how the phosphorylation status of the proteins affects formation of the suggested ETR1−AHP1 signaling complex. We have employed various mutants of ETR1 and AHP1 mimicking permanent phosphorylation or preventing phosphorylation, respectively. Our results show that phosphorylation plays an important role in complex formation as affinity is dramatically reduced when the signaling partners are either both in their non-phosphorylated form or both in their phosphorylated form. On the other hand, affinity is greatly enhanced when either protein is in the phosphorylated state and the corresponding partner in its non-phosphorylated form. Our results indicate that interaction of ETR1 and AHP1 requires that ETR1 is a dimer, as in its functional state as receptor in planta.
Flowers of ethylene-sensitive ornamental plants transformed with ethylene-insensitive 1-1(etr1-1), a mutant ethylene receptor first isolated from Arabidopsis, are known to have longer shelf lives. We have generated petunia plants in which the etr1-1 gene was over-expressed under the control of a chemically-inducible promoter, which would allow expression of etr1-1 to be initiated at the desired time and stage of development. Here, we showed that transgenic plants grew and developed normally without a chemical inducer. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR demonstrated that the abundance of transcripts of Arabidopsis etr1-1 gene was substantially induced in flowers with 30 μM dexamethasone (DEX). Consequently, t he life of the flowers was almost doubled and the peak of ethylene production was delayed. We compared gene expression changes of petals with DEX to those without DEX at 24 h and 48 h by microarray. Our results indicated that transcripts of many putative genes encoding transcription factors were down-regulated by etr1-1 induced expression at the early stage. In addition, putative genes involved in gibberellin biosynthesis, response to jasmonic acid/gibberellins stimulus, cell wall modification, ethylene biosynthesis, and cell death were down-regulated associating with etr1-1 induced expression. We investigated time-course gene expression profiles and found two profiles which displayed totally opposite expression patterns under these two treatments. In these profiles, ‘the regulation of transcription’ was predominant in GO categories. Taking all results together, we concluded those transcription factors down-regulated at early stage might exert a major role in regulating the senescence process which were consequently characterized by cell wall modification and cell death.
The single-celled trichome of Arabidopsis thaliana is a widely used model system for studying cell development. While the pathways that control the later stages of trichome development are well characterized, the early signalling events that co-ordinate these pathways are less well understood. Hormones such as gibberellic acid, salicylic acid, cytokinins, and ethylene are known to affect trichome initiation and development. To understand the role of the plant hormone ethylene in trichome development, an Arabidopsis loss-of-function ethylene receptor mutant, etr2-3, which has completely unbranched trichomes, is analysed in this study. It was hypothesized that ETR2 might affect the assembly of the microtubule cytoskeleton based on analysis of the cytoskeleton in developing trichomes, and exposures to paclitaxol and oryzalin, which respectively act either to stabilize or depolymerize the cytoskeleton. Through epistatic and gene expression analyses it is shown that ETR2 is positioned upstream of CHROMATIN ASSEMBLY FACTOR1 and TRYPTICHON and is independent of the GLABRA2 and GLABRA3 pathways. These results help extend understanding of the early events that control trichome development and identify a signalling pathway through which ethylene affects trichome branching.
Cytoskeleton; endoreduplication; epigenetic; hormone; signal transduction; tubulin
Ethylene is an important regulator of plant growth, development and responses to environmental stresses. Arabidopsis perceives ethylene through five homologous receptors that negatively regulate ethylene responses. RTE1, a novel gene conserved in plants, animals and some protists, was recently identified as a positive regulator of the ETR1 ethylene receptor. Here, we genetically analyze the dependence of ETR1 on RTE1 in order to obtain further insight into RTE1 function. The function of RTE1 was found to be independent and distinct from that of RAN1, which encodes a copper transporter required for ethylene receptor function. We tested the ability of an rte1 loss-of-function mutation to suppress 11 etr1 ethylene-binding domain mis-sense mutations, all of which result in dominant ethylene insensitivity due to constitutive signaling. This suppression test uncovered two classes of etr1 mutations – RTE1-dependent and RTE1-independent. The nature of these mutations suggests that the ethylene-binding domain is a possible target of RTE1 action. Based on these findings, we propose that RTE1 promotes ETR1 signaling through a conformational effect on the ethylene-binding domain.
RTE1; ETR1; ethylene; receptor; signaling; Arabidopsis
The past two decades have been rewarding in terms of deciphering the ethylene signal transduction and functional validation of the ethylene receptor and downstream genes involved in the cascade. Our knowledge of ethylene receptors and its signal transduction pathway provides us a robust platform where we can think of manipulating and regulating ethylene sensitivity by the use of genetic engineering and making transgenic. This review focuses on ethylene perception, receptor mediated regulation of ethylene biosynthesis, role of ethylene receptors in flower senescence, fruit ripening and other effects induced by ethylene. The expression behavior of the receptor and downstream molecules in climacteric and non climacteric crops is also elaborated upon. Possible strategies and recent advances in altering the ethylene sensitivity of plants using ethylene receptor genes in an attempt to modulate the regulation and sensitivity to ethylene have also been discussed. Not only will these transgenic plants be a boon to post-harvest physiology and crop improvement but, it will also help us in discovering the mechanism of regulation of ethylene sensitivity.
ethylene insensitive; ethylene receptors; ethylene; negative regulation; perception; sensitivity; transgenic
Ethylene, a regulator of plant growth and development, is perceived by specific receptors that act as negative regulators of the ethylene response. Five ethylene receptors, i.e., ETR1, ERS1, EIN4, ETR2, and ERS2, are present in Arabidopsis and dominant negative mutants of each that confer ethylene insensitivity have been reported. In contrast, maize contains just two types of ethylene receptors: ZmERS1, encoded by ZmERS1a and ZmERS1b, and ZmETR2, encoded by ZmETR2a and ZmETR2b. In this study, we introduced a Cys to Tyr mutation in the transmembrane domain of ZmERS1b and ZmETR2b that is present in the etr1-1 dominant negative mutant and expressed each protein in Arabidopsis. Mutant Zmers1b and Zmetr2b receptors conferred ethylene insensitivity and Arabidopsis expressing Zmers1b or Zmetr2b were larger and exhibited a delay in leaf senescence characteristic of ethylene insensitive Arabidopsis mutants. Zmers1b and Zmetr2b were dominant and functioned equally well in a hemizygous or homozygous state. Expression of the Zmers1b N-terminal transmembrane domain was sufficient to exert dominance over endogenous Arabidopsis ethylene receptors whereas the Zmetr2b N-terminal domain failed to do so. Neither Zmers1b nor Zmetr2b functioned in the absence of subfamily 1 ethylene receptors, i.e., ETR1 and ERS1. These results suggest that Cys65 in maize ZmERS1b and ZmETR2b plays the same role that it does in Arabidopsis receptors. Moreover, the results demonstrate that the mutant maize ethylene receptors are functionally dependent on subfamily 1 ethylene receptors in Arabidopsis, indicating substantial functional conservation between maize and Arabidopsis ethylene receptors despite their sequence divergence.
Ethylene; Ethylene receptors; etr1-1; Maize; Arabidopsis; Signal transduction
Ethylene influences the growth and development of plants through the action of receptors that have homology to bacterial two-component receptors. In bacteria these receptors function via autophosphorylation of a His residue in the kinase domain followed by phosphotransfer to a conserved Asp residue in a response regulator protein. In Arabidopsis, two of the five receptor isoforms are capable of His kinase activity. However, the role of His kinase activity and phosphotransfer is unclear in ethylene signaling. A previous study showed that ethylene stimulates nutations of the hypocotyl in etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings that are dependent on the ETR1 receptor isoform. The ETR1 receptor is the only isoform in Arabidopsis that contains both a functional His kinase domain and a receiver domain for phosphotransfer. Therefore, we examined the role that ETR1 His kinase activity and phosphotransfer plays in ethylene-stimulated nutations.
ethylene; nutations; signal transduction; receptors; histidine kinase; phosphotransfer; two component signalling
The gaseous hormone ethylene is perceived by a family of ethylene receptors which interact with the Raf-like kinase CTR1. SlTPR1 encodes a novel TPR (tetratricopeptide repeat) protein from tomato that interacts with the ethylene receptors NR and LeETR1 in yeast two-hybrid and in vitro protein interaction assays. SlTPR1 protein with a GFP fluorescent tag was localized in the plasmalemma and nuclear membrane in Arabidopsis, and SlTPR1-CFP and NR-YFP fusion proteins were co-localized in the plasmalemma and nuclear membrane following co-bombardment of onion cells. Overexpression of SlTPR1 in tomato resulted in ethylene-related pleiotropic effects including reduced stature, delayed and reduced production of inflorescences, abnormal and infertile flowers with degenerate styles and pollen, epinasty, reduced apical dominance, inhibition of abscission, altered leaf morphology, and parthenocarpic fruit. Similar phenotypes were seen in Arabidopsis overexpressing SlTPR1. SlTPR1 overexpression did not increase ethylene production but caused enhanced accumulation of mRNA from the ethylene responsive gene ChitB and the auxin-responsive gene SlSAUR1-like, and reduced expression of the auxin early responsive gene LeIAA9, which is known to be inhibited by ethylene and to be associated with parthenocarpy. Cuttings from the SlTPR1-overexpressors produced fewer adventitious roots and were less responsive to indole butyric acid. It is suggested that SlTPR1 overexpression enhances a subset of ethylene and auxin responses by interacting with specific ethylene receptors. SlTPR1 shares features with human TTC1, which interacts with heterotrimeric G-proteins and Ras, and competes with Raf-1 for Ras binding. Models for SlTPR1 action are proposed involving modulation of ethylene signalling or receptor levels.
Development; ethylene signalling; SlTPR1; tetratricopeptide repeat protein; tomato
The gaseous hormone ethylene regulates many aspects of plant growth and development. Ethylene is perceived by a family of high-affinity receptors typified by the ETR1 protein from Arabidopsis. The ETR1 gene codes for a protein which contains a hydrophobic N-terminal domain that binds ethylene and a C-terminal domain that is related in sequence to histidine kinase-response regulator two-component signal transducers found in bacteria. A structural model for the ethylene-binding domain is presented in which a Cu(I) ion is coordinated within membrane-spanning alpha-helices of the hydrophobic domain. It is proposed that binding of ethylene to the transition metal would induce a conformational change in the sensor domain that would be propagated to the cytoplasmic transmitter domain of the protein. A total of four additional genes that are related in sequence to ETR1 have been identified in Arabidopsis. Specific missense mutations in any one of the five genes leads to ethylene insensitivity in planta. Models for signal transduction that can account for the genetic dominance of these mutations are discussed.
Arabidopsis AtCTR1 is a Raf-like protein kinase that interacts with ETR1 and ERS and negatively regulates ethylene responses. In tomato, several CTR1-like proteins could perform this role. We have characterized LeCTR2, which has similarity to AtCTR1 and also to EDR1, a CTR1-like Arabidopsis protein involved in defence and stress responses. Protein–protein interactions between LeCTR2 and six tomato ethylene receptors indicated that LeCTR2 interacts preferentially with the subfamily I ETR1-type ethylene receptors LeETR1 and LeETR2, but not the NR receptor or the subfamily II receptors LeETR4, LeETR5 and LeETR6. The C-terminus of LeCTR2 possesses serine/threonine kinase activity and is capable of auto-phosphorylation and phosphorylation of myelin basic protein in vitro. Overexpression of the LeCTR2 N-terminus in tomato resulted in altered growth habit, including reduced stature, loss of apical dominance, highly branched inflorescences and fruit trusses, indeterminate shoots in place of determinate flowers, and prolific adventitious shoot development from the rachis or rachillae of the leaves. Expression of the ethylene-responsive genes E4 and chitinase B was upregulated in transgenic plants, but ethylene production and the level of mRNA for the ethylene biosynthetic gene ACO1 was unaffected. The leaves and fruit of transgenic plants also displayed enhanced susceptibility to infection by the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea, which was associated with much stronger induction of pathogenesis-related genes such as PR1b1 and chitinase B compared with the wild-type. The results suggest that LeCTR2 plays a role in ethylene signalling, development and defence, probably through its interactions with the ETR1-type ethylene receptors of subfamily I.
LeCTR2; ethylene signalling; protein–protein interaction; protein kinase; defence; tomato
The mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) Constitutive Triple-Response1 (CTR1) plays a key role in mediating ethylene receptor signaling via its N-terminal interaction with the ethylene receptor C-terminal histidine kinase (HK) domain. Loss-of-function mutations of CTR1 prevent ethylene receptor signaling, and corresponding ctr1 mutants show a constitutive ethylene response phenotype. We recently reported in Plant Physiology that expression of the truncated ethylene receptor Ethylene Response1 (ETR1) isoforms etr11-349 and dominant ethylene-insensitive etr1-11-349, lacking the C-terminal HK and receiver domains, both suppressed the ctr1 mutant phenotype. Therefore, the ETR1 N terminus is capable of receptor signaling independent of CTR1. The constitutive ethylene response phenotype is stronger for ctr1-1 than ctr1-1 lines expressing the etr11-349 transgene, so N-terminal signaling by the full-length but not truncated ETR1 is inhibited by ctr1-1. We address possible modulations of ETR1 N-terminal signaling with docking of CTR1 on the ETR1 HK domain.
ethylene; ethylene receptor; ETR1; CTR1; ETR1 N-terminal signaling
The effects of root hypoxia on ethylene biosynthesis and perception have been documented in many vegetative organs, but not extensively in fruit. Therefore, in the present study, the effects of root hypoxia on ethylene biosynthesis and perception were investigated in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) fruit at five stages of the maturation phase. Our results showed that root hypoxia does not affect ethylene biosynthesis in fruit, but stimulates its reception from other plant parts, as indicated by the increase in the expression of ethylene receptors ETR1 and 3.
tomato fruit; root hypoxia; ethylene
The gaseous plant hormone ethylene is perceived in Arabidopsis thaliana by a five-member receptor family composed of ETR1, ERS1, ETR2, ERS2, and EIN4.
Gel-filtration analysis of ethylene receptors solubilized from Arabidopsis membranes demonstrates that the receptors exist as components of high-molecular-mass protein complexes. The ERS1 protein complex exhibits an ethylene-induced change in size consistent with ligand-mediated nucleation of protein-protein interactions. Deletion analysis supports the participation of multiple domains from ETR1 in formation of the protein complex, and also demonstrates that targeting to and retention of ETR1 at the endoplasmic reticulum only requires the first 147 amino acids of the receptor. A role for disulfide bonds in stabilizing the ETR1 protein complex was demonstrated by use of reducing agents and mutation of Cys4 and Cys6 of ETR1. Expression and analysis of ETR1 in a transgenic yeast system demonstrates the importance of Cys4 and Cys6 of ETR1 in stabilizing the receptor for ethylene binding.
These data support the participation of ethylene receptors in obligate as well as ligand-dependent non-obligate protein interactions. These data also suggest that different protein complexes may allow for tailoring of the ethylene signal to specific cellular environments and responses.
In higher plants, copper ions, hydrogen peroxide, and cycloheximide have been recognized as very effective inducers of the transcriptional activity of genes encoding the enzymes of the ethylene biosynthesis pathway. In this report, the transcriptional patterns of genes encoding the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthases (ACSs), 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate oxidases (ACOs), ETR1, ETR2, and ERS1 ethylene receptors, phospholipase D (PLD)-α1, -α2, -γ1, and -δ, and respiratory burst oxidase homologue (Rboh)-NADPH oxidase-D and -F in response to these inducers in Brassica oleracea etiolated seedlings are shown. ACS1, ACO1, ETR2, PLD-γ1, and RbohD represent genes whose expression was considerably affected by all of the inducers used. The investigations were performed on the seedlings with (i) ethylene insensitivity and (ii) a reduced level of the PLD-derived phosphatidic acid (PA). The general conclusion is that the expression of ACS1, -3, -4, -5, -7, and -11, ACO1, ETR1, ERS1, and ETR2, PLD-γ 1, and RbohD and F genes is undoubtedly under the reciprocal cross-talk of the ethylene and PAPLD signalling routes; both signals affect it in concerted or opposite ways depending on the gene or the type of stimuli. The results of these studies on broccoli seedlings are in agreement with the hypothesis that PA may directly affect the ethylene signal transduction pathway via an inhibitory effect on CTR1 (constitutive triple response 1) activity.
ACC oxidase; ACC synthase; Brassica oleracea; ethylene; ethylene receptors; phosphatidic acid; phospholipase D
Flowering plants have evolved sophisticated and complicated reproductive structures to ensure optimal conditions for the next generation. Successful reproduction relies on careful timing and coordination of tissue development, which requires constant communication between these tissues. Work on flower and fruit development over the last decade places the phytohormone auxin in a key role as a master of patterning and tissue specification of reproductive organs. Although many questions still remain, it is now clear that auxin mediates its function in flowers and fruits through an integrated process of biosynthesis, transport, and signaling, as well as interaction with other hormonal pathways. In addition, the knowledge obtained so far about auxin function already allows researchers to develop tools for crop improvement and precision agriculture.
The phytohormone auxin is master regulator of plant reproductive organs. It marks floral initiation sites and controls stamen, pollen, gynoecium, and fruit development.
Ethylene is an important plant growth regulator perceived by membrane-bound ethylene receptors. The ETR1 ethylene receptor is positively regulated by a predicted membrane protein, RTE1, based on genetic studies in Arabidopsis. RTE1 homologs exist in plants, animals and protists, but the molecular function of RTE1 is unknown. Here, we examine RTE1 expression and subcellular protein localization in order to gain a better understanding of RTE1 and its function in relation to ETR1. Arabidopsis plants transformed with the RTE1 promoter fused to the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene revealed that RTE1 expression partly correlates with previously described sites of ETR1 expression or sites of ethylene response, such as the seedling root, root hairs and apical hook. RTE1 transcript levels are also enhanced by ethylene treatment, and reduced by the inhibition of ethylene signaling. For subcellular localization of RTE1, a functional RTE1 fusion to red fluorescent protein (RFP) was expressed under the control of the native RTE1 promoter. Using fluorescence microscopy, RTE1 was observed primarily at the Golgi apparatus and partially at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in stably transformed Arabidopsis protoplasts, roots and root hairs. Next, a functional ETR1 fusion to a 5xMyc epitope tag was expressed under the control of the native ETR1 promoter. Immunohistochemistry of root hairs not only showed ETR1 residing at the ER as previously reported, but revealed substantial localization of ETR1 at the Golgi apparatus. Lastly, we demonstrated the subcellular co-localization of RTE1 and ETR1. These findings support and enhance the genetic model that RTE1 plays a role in regulating ETR1.
RTE1; ETR1; ethylene receptor; Golgi; localization; Arabidopsis
The signal transduction pathway of the plant stress and defense hormone, ethylene, has been extensively elucidated using the plant genetic model Arabidopsis over the last two decades. Among others, a MAPKKK CTR1 was identified as a negative regulator that has led to the speculation of MAPK involvement in ethylene signaling. However, it remained unclear how the MAPK modules acting downstream of the receptors to mediate ethylene signaling. We have recently presented new evidence that the MKK9-MPK3/6 modules identified by combined functional genomic and genetic screens mediate ethylene signaling, which is negatively regulated by the genetically identified CTR1-dependent cascades. Our genetic studies show consistently that the MKK9-MPK3/MPK6 modules act downstream of the ethylene receptors. Biochemical and transgenic analyses further demonstrated that the positive-acting and negative-acting MAPK activities are integrated and act simultaneously to control the key transcription factor EIN3 through dual phosphorylations to regulate the EIN3 protein stability and downstream transcription cascades. This study has revealed a novel molecular mechanism that defines the specificity of complex MAPK signaling. Comprehensive elucidation of MAPK cascades and the underlying molecular mechanisms would provide more precise explanations for how plant cells utilize MAPK cascades to control specific downstream outputs in response to distinct stimuli.
ethylene; EIN3; CTR1; MKK9; MPK3; MPK6
Plant response to stress is orchestrated by hormone signalling pathways including those activated by jasmonates (JAs) and by ethylene, both of which stunt root growth. COI1 is a JA receptor and is required for the known responses to this hormone. It was observed that the coi1 mutant, which is largely unresponsive to growth inhibition by JAs, was also partially unresponsive to growth inhibition by ethylene and by its immediate precursor, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), in the light but not in the dark. Although COI1 was required for this response to ACC, other components of the JA signal perception pathway were not. Mutants selected for insensitivity to ethylene, including etr1, ein2, and ein3, showed greater ACC-induced root growth inhibition in the light than in the dark. However, the double mutants etr1;coi1, ein2;coi1, and ein3;coi1, and coi1 seedlings treated with silver ions to block the ethylene receptors showed almost complete unresponsiveness to ACC-induced root growth inhibition in the light. The light requirement for the COI1-mediated growth inhibition by ACC was for long photoperiods, and the ACC response was not abolished by mutations in the known photoreceptors. The complementation assay indicated that SCF complex assembly was not required for COI1 function in the ACC response, in contrast to the JA response. It is concluded that COI1 is required for the light-dependent, JA-independent, root growth inhibition by ethylene.
Arabidopsis; COI1; ethylene; jasmonate; light; root growth inhibition
Ethylene receptor single mutants of Arabidopsis do not display a visibly prominent phenotype, but mutants defective in multiple ethylene receptors exhibit a constitutive ethylene response phenotype. It is inferred that ethylene responses in Arabidopsis are negatively regulated by five functionally redundant ethylene receptors. However, genetic redundancy limits further study of individual receptors and possible receptor interactions. Here, we examined the ethylene response phenotype in two quadruple receptor knockout mutants, (ETR1) ers1 etr2 ein4 ers2 and (ERS1) etr1 etr2 ein4 ers2, to unravel the functions of ETR1 and ERS1. Their functions were also reciprocally inferred from phenotypes of mutants lacking ETR1 or ERS1. Receptor protein levels are correlated with receptor gene expression. Expression levels of the remaining wild-type receptor genes were examined to estimate the receptor amount in each receptor mutant, and to evaluate if effects of ers1 mutations on the ethylene response phenotype were due to receptor functional compensation. As ers1 and ers2 are in the Wassilewskija (Ws) ecotype and etr1, etr2, and ein4 are in the Columbia (Col-0) ecotype, possible effects of ecotype mixture on ethylene responses were also investigated.
Ethylene responses were scored based on seedling hypocotyl measurement, seedling and rosette growth, and relative Chitinase B (CHIB) expression. Addition of ers1 loss-of-function mutations to any ETR1-containing receptor mutants alleviated ethylene growth inhibition. Growth recovery by ers1 mutation was reversed when the ers1 mutation was complemented by ERS1p:ERS1. The addition of the ers2-3 mutation to receptor mutants did not reverse the growth inhibition. Overexpressing ERS1 receptor protein in (ETR1 ERS1)etr2 ein4 ers2 substantially elevated growth inhibition and CHIB expression. Receptor gene expression analyses did not favor receptor functional compensation upon the loss of ERS1.
Our results suggest that ERS1 has dual functions in the regulation of ethylene responses. In addition to repressing ethylene responses, ERS1 also promotes ethylene responses in an ETR1-dependent manner. Several lines of evidence support the argument that ecotype mixture does not reverse ethylene responses. Loss of ERS1 did not lead to an increase in total receptor gene expression, and functional compensation was not observed. The inhibitory effects of ERS1 on the ethylene signaling pathway imply negative receptor collaboration.
Arabidopsis AtTRP1 is an orthologue of SlTPR1, a tomato tetratricopeptide repeat protein that interacts with the tomato ethylene receptors LeETR1 and NR in yeast 2-hybrid assays and in vitro, and modulates plant development. AtTRP1 is encoded by a single copy gene in the Arabidopsis genome, and is related to TCC1, a human protein that competes with Raf-1 for Ras binding, and distantly related to the immunophilin-like FK-binding proteins TWD1 and PAS1. The former is involved in auxin transport and the latter is translocated to the nucleus in response to auxin. AtTRP1 interacted preferentially with the Arabidopsis ethylene receptor ERS1 in yeast two-hybrid assays. This association was confirmed by in vivo co-immunoprecipitation. AtTRP1 promoter–GUS was highly expressed in vascular tissue, mature anthers, the abscission zone, and was induced by ACC. Overexpression of AtTRP1 in wild-type Arabidopsis resulted in dwarf plants with reduced fertility, altered leaf/silique morphology, and enhanced expression of the ethylene responsive gene AtChitB. Exogenous GA did not reverse the dwarf habit. Etiolated transgenic seedlings overexpressing AtTRP1 displayed enhanced sensitivity to low ACC and this was correlated with the transgene expression. Seedlings overexpressing AtTRP1 at high levels exhibited shortened and swollen hypocotyls, inhibited root growth, and an altered apical hook. Plants overexpressing AtTRP1 also showed a reduced response to exogenous IAA and altered expression of a subset of auxin early responsive genes. These results indicated that overexpression of AtTRP1 affects cross-talk between ethylene and auxin signalling and enhances some ethylene responses and alters some auxin responses. A model for AtTRP1 action is proposed.
ArabidopsisAtTRP1; auxin response; development; ethylene signalling; tetratricopeptide repeat protein