Gamete and embryo development are crucial for successful reproduction and seed set in plants, which is often the determining factor for crop yield. Proline accumulation was largely viewed as a specific reaction to overcome stress conditions, while recent studies suggested important functions of proline metabolism also in reproductive development. Both the level of free proline and proline metabolism were proposed to influence the transition to flowering, as well as pollen and embryo development.
In this study, we performed a detailed analysis of the contribution of individual proline biosynthetic enzymes to vegetative development and reproductive success in Arabidopsis. In contrast to previous reports, we found that pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) synthetase 2 (P5CS2) is not essential for sexual reproduction although p5cs2 mutant plants were retarded in vegetative development and displayed reduced fertility under long-day conditions. Single mutant plants devoid of P5CS1 did not show any developmental defects. Simultaneous absence of both P5CS isoforms resulted in pollen sterility, while fertile egg cells could still be produced. Expression of P5C reductase (P5CR) was indispensable for embryo development but surprisingly not needed for pollen or egg cell fertility. The latter observation could be explained by an extreme stability of P5CR activity, which had a half-life time of greater than 3 weeks in vitro. Expression of P5CR-GFP under the control of the endogenous P5CR promoter was able to restore growth of homozygous p5cr mutant embryos. The analysis of P5CR-GFP-fluorescence in planta supported an exclusively cytoplasmatic localisation of P5CR.
Our results demonstrate that potential alternative pathways for proline synthesis or inter-generation transfer of proline are not sufficient to overcome a defect in proline biosynthesis from glutamate during pollen development. Proline biosynthesis through P5CS2 and P5CR is limiting for vegetative and reproductive development in Arabidopsis, whereas disruption of P5CS1 alone does not affect development of non-stressed plants.
Proline metabolism; Gamete and embryo development; Enzyme stability; Subcellular localisation
Proline has long been known to accumulate in plants experiencing water limitation and this has driven studies of proline as a beneficial solute allowing plants to increase cellular osmolarity during water limitation. Proline metabolism also has roles in redox buffering and energy transfer and is involved in plant pathogen interaction and programmed cell death. Some of these unique roles of proline depend on the properties of proline itself, whereas others depend on the “proline cycle” of coordinated proline synthesis in the chloroplast and cytoplasm with proline catabolism in the mitochondria. The regulatory mechanisms controlling proline metabolism, intercellular and intracellular transport and connections of proline to other metabolic pathways are all important to the in vivo functions of proline metabolism. Connections of proline metabolism to the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and glutamate-glutamine metabolism are of particular interest. The N-acetyl glutamate pathway can also produce ornithine and, potentially, proline but its role and activity are unclear. Use of model systems such as Arabidopsis thaliana to better understand both these long studied and newly emerging functions of proline can help in the design of next-generation experiments testing whether proline metabolism is a promising metabolic engineering target for improving stress resistance of economically important plants.
When exposed to stressful conditions, plants accumulate an array of metabolites, particularly amino acids. Amino acids have traditionally been considered as precursors to and constituents of proteins, and play an important role in plant metabolism and development. A large body of data suggests a positive correlation between proline accumulation and plant stress. Proline, an amino acid, plays a highly beneficial role in plants exposed to various stress conditions. Besides acting as an excellent osmolyte, proline plays three major roles during stress, i.e., as a metal chelator, an antioxidative defense molecule and a signaling molecule. Review of the literature indicates that a stressful environment results in an overproduction of proline in plants which in turn imparts stress tolerance by maintaining cell turgor or osmotic balance; stabilizing membranes thereby preventing electrolyte leakage; and bringing concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) within normal ranges, thus preventing oxidative burst in plants. Reports indicate enhanced stress tolerance when proline is supplied exogenously at low concentrations. However, some reports indicate toxic effects of proline when supplied exogenously at higher concentrations. In this article, we review and discuss the effects of exogenous proline on plants exposed to various abiotic stresses. Numerous examples of successful application of exogenous proline to improve stress tolerance are presented. The roles played by exogenous proline under varying environments have been critically examined and reviewed.
abiotic stress; antioxidant system; proline
In maize, water stress at flowering causes loss of kernel set and productivity. While changes in the levels of sugars and abscisic acid (ABA) are thought to play a role in this stress response, the mechanistic basis and genes involved are not known. A candidate gene approach was used with association mapping to identify loci involved in accumulation of carbohydrates and ABA metabolites during stress. A panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes from these metabolic pathways and in genes for reproductive development and stress response was used to genotype 350 tropical and subtropical maize inbred lines that were well watered or water stressed at flowering. Pre-pollination ears, silks, and leaves were analysed for sugars, starch, proline, ABA, ABA-glucose ester, and phaseic acid. ABA and sugar levels in silks and ears were negatively correlated with their growth. Association mapping with 1229 SNPs in 540 candidate genes identified an SNP in the maize homologue of the Arabidopsis MADS-box gene, PISTILLATA, which was significantly associated with phaseic acid in ears of well-watered plants, and an SNP in pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, a key regulator of carbon flux into respiration, that was associated with silk sugar concentration. An SNP in an aldehyde oxidase gene was significantly associated with ABA levels in silks of water-stressed plants. Given the short range over which decay of linkage disequilibrium occurs in maize, the results indicate that allelic variation in these genes affects ABA and carbohydrate metabolism in floral tissues during drought.
ASI; abscisic acid; association mapping; drought; flower set; kernel set
In response to osmotic stress, proline is accumulated in many bacterial and plant cells as an osmoprotectant. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae induces trehalose or glycerol synthesis but does not increase intracellular proline levels during various stresses. Using a proline-accumulating mutant, we previously found that proline protects yeast cells from damage by freezing, oxidative, or ethanol stress. This mutant was recently shown to carry an allele of PRO1 which encodes the Asp154Asn mutant γ-glutamyl kinase (GK), the first enzyme of the proline biosynthetic pathway. Here, enzymatic analysis of recombinant proteins revealed that the GK activity of S. cerevisiae is subject to feedback inhibition by proline. The Asp154Asn mutant was less sensitive to feedback inhibition than wild-type GK, leading to proline accumulation. To improve the enzymatic properties of GK, PCR random mutagenesis in PRO1 was employed. The mutagenized plasmid library was introduced into an S. cerevisiae non-proline-utilizing strain, and proline-overproducing mutants were selected on minimal medium containing the toxic proline analogue azetidine-2-carboxylic acid. We successfully isolated several mutant GKs that, due to extreme desensitization to inhibition, enhanced the ability to synthesize proline better than the Asp154Asn mutant. The amino acid changes were localized at the region between positions 142 and 154, probably on the molecular surface, suggesting that this region is involved in allosteric regulation. Furthermore, we found that yeast cells expressing Ile150Thr and Asn142Asp/Ile166Val mutant GKs were more tolerant to freezing stress than cells expressing the Asp154Asn mutant.
• Background and Aims Global warming is gaining significance as a threat to natural and managed ecosystems since temperature is one of the major environmental factors affecting plant productivity. Hence, the effects of moderate temperature increase on the growth and development of the tomato plant (Lycopersicon esculentum) were investigated.
• Methods Plants were grown at 32/26 °C as a moderately elevated temperature stress (METS) treatment or at 28/22 °C (day/night temperatures) as a control with natural light conditions. Vegetative growth and reproductive development as well as sugar content and metabolism, proline content and translocation in the androecium were investigated.
• Key Results METS did not cause a significant change in biomass, the number of flowers, or the number of pollen grains produced, but there was a significant decrease in the number of fruit set, pollen viability and the number of pollen grains released. Glucose and fructose contents in the androecium (i.e. all stamens from one flower) were generally higher in the control than METS, but sucrose was higher in METS. Coincidently, the mRNA transcript abundance of acid invertase in the androecium was decreased by METS. Proline contents in the androecium were almost the same in the control and METS, while the mRNA transcript level of proline transporter 1, which expresses specifically at the surface of microspores, was significantly decreased by METS.
• Conclusions The research indicated that failure of tomato fruit set under a moderately increased temperature above optimal is due to the disruption of sugar metabolism and proline translocation during the narrow window of male reproductive development.
Lycopersicon esculentum; moderately elevated temperature stress; microsporogenesis; mean daily temperature; fruit set; pollen release; male reproductive development; tapetum; hexose; sucrose; acid invertase; proline transporter
The flower has a finite lifespan that is controlled largely by its role in sexual reproduction. The programmed senescence of flowers allows the plant to systematically degrade the petal cells and remobilize nutrients to developing tissues, including the seeds. This senescence program is tightly controlled by the plant hormone ethylene in some flowers, while in some species the senescence signals are unknown. This review article will examine the role of nutrient remobilization during petal senescence and how this differs among flowers with different flower termination phenotypes.
The flower has a finite lifespan that is controlled largely by its role in sexual reproduction. Once the flower has been pollinated or is no longer receptive to pollination, the petals are programmed to senesce. A majority of the genes that are up-regulated during petal senescence, in both ethylene-sensitive and -insensitive flowers, encode proteins involved in the degradation of nucleic acids, proteins, lipids, fatty acids, and cell wall and membrane components. A smaller subset of these genes has a putative role in remobilizing nutrients, and only a few of these have been studied in detail. During senescence, carbohydrates (primarily sucrose) are transported from petals, and the degradation of macromolecules and organelles also allows the plant to salvage mineral nutrients from the petals before cell death. The remobilization of mineral nutrients from a few species has been investigated and will be reviewed in this article. Ethylene's role in nutrient remobilization is discussed by comparing nutrient changes during the senescence of ethylene-sensitive and -insensitive flowers, and by studies in transgenic petunias (Petunia × hybrida) that are insensitive to ethylene. Gene expression studies indicate that remobilization is a key feature of senescence, but some senescence-associated genes have different expression in leaves and petals. These gene expression patterns, along with differences in the nutrient content of leaves and petals, suggest that there are differences in the mechanisms of cellular degradation and nutrient transport in vegetative and floral organs. Autophagy may be the mechanism for large-scale degradation that allows for recycling during senescence, but it is unclear if this causes cell death. Future research should focus on autophagy and the regulation of ATG genes by ethylene during both leaf and petal senescence. We must identify the mechanisms by which individual mineral nutrients are transported out of senescing corollas in both ethylene-sensitive and -insensitive species.
Abscission; autophagy; cell death; flowers; nitrogen; petals; petunias; phosphorus
Streptomyces griseus synthesizes proline for osmoregulation under salt stress. Uptake of exogenous [14C]proline and internal synthesis of proline were quantified in cells growing at salt concentrations from 0 to 1 M NaCl. Externally supplied proline accounted for an increased proportion of the intracellular pool of free proline as salt concentration was increased, but neither the concentration nor the composition of the internal amino acid pool was substantially altered by supply of exogenous proline. Uptake of exogenous proline significantly increased the specific growth yield of S. griseus growing under salt stress; the increased yield was proportional to reductions in proline synthesis.
In plants, proline synthesis occurs by two enzymatic steps starting from glutamate as a precursor. Some bacteria, including bacteria such as Agrobacterium rhizogenes have an Ornithine Cyclodeaminase (OCD) which can synthesize proline in a single step by deamination of ornithine. In A. rhizogenes, OCD is one of the genes transferred to the plant genome during the transformation process and plants expressing A. rhizogenes OCD have developmental phenotypes. One nuclear encoded gene of Arabidopsis thaliana has recently been annotated as an OCD (OCD-like; referred to here as AtOCD) but nothing is known of its function. As proline metabolism contributes to tolerance of low water potential during drought, it is of interest to determine if AtOCD affects proline accumulation or low water potential tolerance.
Expression of AtOCD was induced by low water potential stress and by exogenous proline, but not by the putative substrate ornithine. The AtOCD protein was plastid localized. T-DNA mutants of atocd and AtOCD RNAi plants had approximately 15% higher proline accumulation at low water potential while p5cs1-4/atocd double mutants had 40% higher proline than p5cs1 at low water potential but no change in proline metabolism gene expression which could directly explain the higher proline level. AtOCD overexpression did not affect proline accumulation. Enzymatic assays with bacterially expressed AtOCD or AtOCD purified from AtOCD:Flag transgenic plants did not detect any activity using ornithine, proline or several other amino acids as substrates. Moreover, AtOCD mutant or over-expression lines had normal morphology and no difference in root elongation or flowering time, in contrast to previous report of transgenic plants expressing A. rhizogenes OCD. Metabolite analysis found few differences between AtOCD mutants and overexpression lines.
The Arabidopsis OCD-like protein (AtOCD) may not catalyze ornithine to proline conversion and this is consistent with observation that three residues critical for activity of bacterial OCDs are not conserved in AtOCD. AtOCD was, however, stress and proline induced and lack of AtOCD expression increased proline accumulation by an unknown mechanism which did not require expression of P5CS1, the main enzyme responsible for stress-induced proline synthesis from glutamate. The results suggest that AtOCD may have function distinct from bacterial OCDs.
Ornithine cyclodeaminase; Proline; Drought; Arabidopsis thaliana
Proline, a unique proteogenic secondary amino acid, has its own metabolic system with special features. Recent findings defining the regulation of this system led us to propose that proline is a stress substrate in the microenvironment of inflammation and tumorigenesis. The criteria for proline as a stress substrate are: 1) the enzymes utilizing proline respond to stress signaling, 2) there is a large, mobilizable pool of proline and 3) the metabolism of proline serves special stress functions. Studies show that the proline utilizing enzyme, proline oxidase/proline dehydrogenase responds to genotoxic, inflammatory and nutrient stress. Proline as substrate is stored as collagen in extracellular matrix, connective tissue and bone, and it is rapidly released from this reservoir by the sequential action of matrix metalloproteinases, peptidases and prolidase. Special functions include the use of proline by proline oxidase/proline dehydrogenase to generate superoxide radicals which initiate apoptosis by intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. Under conditions of nutrient stress, proline is an energy source. It provides carbons for the tricarboxylic acid cycle and, also participates in the proline cycle. The latter, catalyzed by mitochondrial proline oxidase and cytosolic pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase, shuttles reducing potential from the pentose phosphate pathway into mitochondria to generate ATP and oxidizing potential to activate the cytosolic pentose phosphate pathway.
proline oxidase; proline dehydrogenase; PPARγ; mTOR; apoptosis; bioenergetics
The amino acid l-proline is shown to be a good cryoprotectant for protein crystals. Four examples are provided; the range of proline used for cryoprotection is 2.0–3.0 M.
l-Proline is one of Mother Nature’s cryoprotectants. Plants and yeast accumulate proline under freeze-induced stress and the use of proline in the cryopreservation of biological samples is well established. Here, it is shown that l-proline is also a useful cryoprotectant for protein crystallography. Proline was used to prepare crystals of lysozyme, xylose isomerase, histidine acid phosphatase and 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase for low-temperature data collection. The crystallization solutions in these test cases included the commonly used precipitants ammonium sulfate, sodium chloride and polyethylene glycol and spanned the pH range 4.6–8.5. Thus, proline is compatible with typical protein-crystallization formulations. The proline concentration needed for cryoprotection of these crystals is in the range 2.0–3.0 M. Complete data sets were collected from the proline-protected crystals. Proline performed as well as traditional cryoprotectants based on the diffraction resolution and data-quality statistics. The structures were refined to assess the binding of proline to these proteins. As observed with traditional cryoprotectants such as glycerol and ethylene glycol, the electron-density maps clearly showed the presence of proline molecules bound to the protein. In two cases, histidine acid phosphatase and 1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase, proline binds in the active site. It is concluded that l-proline is an effective cryoprotectant for protein crystallography.
Anthocyanins are a group of common phenolic compounds in plants. They are mainly detected in flowers and fruits, are believed to play different important roles such as in the attraction of animals and seed dispersal, and also in the increase of the antioxidant response in tissues directly or indirectly affected by biotic or abiotic stress factors. As a major group of secondary metabolites in plants commonly consumed as food, they are of importance in both the food industry and human nutrition. It is known that arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi can influence the plant secondary metabolic pathways such as the synthesis of essential oils in aromatic plants, of secondary metabolites in roots, and increase flavonoid concentration. Plant Growth-Promoting Bacteria (PGPB) are able to increase plant growth, improving plant nutrition and supporting plant development under natural or stressed conditions. Various studies confirmed that a number of bacterial species living on and inside the root system are beneficial for plant growth, yield and crop quality. In this work it is shown that inoculation with AM fungi and/or with selected and tested Pseudomonas strains, under conditions of reduced fertilization, increases anthocyanin concentration in the fruits of strawberry.
anthocyanin; high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); arbuscular mycorrhizae; plant growth-promoting bacteria; low fertilization
Proline, an imino acid, has been well documented to be associated with the stress response induced by abiotic factors such as
drought, cold and salinity in plants and biotic factors such as bacterial and fungal attacks. However, the regulatory mechanisms
controlling proline metabolism, intercellular and intracellular transport and connections of proline to other metabolic pathways are
poorly understood. F-MATCH analysis combined with composite module analysis (CMA) revealed that the binding sites matching
matrices for O2 and OCSBF-1 were overrepresented in the promoters of differentially expressed proline metabolism genes. The
presence of MYBAS1 consensus binding sites occurring in combination with O2 and OCSBF1 in the promoters of genes of proline
biosynthesis pathway and SBF1 and GT1 consensus binding sites occurring in combination with O2 and OCSBF1 in the promoters
of proline catabolic pathway genes suggest their involvement in modulation of proline metabolism and its accumulation in plants.
Proline; Stress; Composite module analysis; Promoter; Transcription factor binding sites
During the fermentation of sake, cells of Saccharomyces cerevisiae are exposed to high concentrations of ethanol, thereby damaging the cell membrane and functional proteins. l-Proline protects yeast cells from damage caused by freezing or oxidative stress. In this study, we evaluated the role of intracellular l-proline in cells of S. cerevisiae grown under ethanol stress. An l-proline-accumulating laboratory strain carries a mutant allele of PRO1, pro1D154N, which encodes the Asp154Asn mutant γ-glutamyl kinase. This mutation increases the activity of γ-glutamyl kinase and γ-glutamyl phosphate reductase, which catalyze the first two steps of l-proline synthesis and which together may form a complex in vivo. When cultured in liquid medium in the presence of 9% and 18% ethanol under static conditions, the cell viability of the l-proline-accumulating laboratory strain is greater than the cell viability of the parent strain. This result suggests that intracellular accumulation of l-proline may confer tolerance to ethanol stress. We constructed a novel sake yeast strain by disrupting the PUT1 gene, which is required for l-proline utilization, and replacing the wild-type PRO1 allele with the pro1D154N allele. The resultant strain accumulated l-proline and was more tolerant to ethanol stress than was the control strain. We used the strain that could accumulate l-proline to brew sake containing five times more l-proline than what is found in sake brewed with the control strain, without affecting the fermentation profiles.
Many plant species can be induced to flower by responding to stress factors. The short-day plants Pharbitis nil and Perilla frutescens var. crispa flower under long days in response to the stress of poor nutrition or low-intensity light. Grafting experiments using two varieties of P. nil revealed that a transmissible flowering stimulus is involved in stress-induced flowering. The P. nil and P. frutescens plants that were induced to flower by stress reached anthesis, fruited and produced seeds. These seeds germinated, and the progeny of the stressed plants developed normally. Phenylalanine ammonialyase inhibitors inhibited this stress-induced flowering, and the inhibition was overcome by salicylic acid (SA), suggesting that there is an involvement of SA in stress-induced flowering. PnFT2, a P. nil ortholog of the flowering gene FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) of Arabidopsis thaliana, was expressed when the P. nil plants were induced to flower under poor-nutrition stress conditions, but expression of PnFT1, another ortholog of FT, was not induced, suggesting that PnFT2 is involved in stress-induced flowering.
flowering; stress; phenylalanine ammonia-lyase; salicylic acid; FLOWERING LOCUS T; Pharbitis nil; Perilla frutescens
Background and Aims
Ageing effects may be due to dysfunction leading to decreasing reproduction and survival with age. In plants, however, other (physiological) causes, associated with size for example, may also play a role. Iteroparous plants with genetically variable life spans can be helpful in unravelling these two aspects of changes associated with growing older.
In a long-term experiment, Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima (sea beet) plants from the same set of populations but with different ages were compared for flowering date over several years. Flowering date, root growth and seed production were measured in a synthetic population and in progenies derived from reciprocal crosses over three consecutive years and analysed with respect to the number of years yet to live. Heritabilities of these three characters and of life span were estimated.
Flowering occurred on average 1·3 d later each year over a plant's whole lifetime. In the year before dying, plants flowered on average 3·3 d later and both root investment and seed production decreased significantly compared with plants that remained alive for at least 1 further year. The negative relationship (trade-off) between reproduction and root investment in early life became positive near the end of life, and the positive relationship between flowering date and root growth became negative.
Effects of ageing – in the sense of a decline in reproduction and root storage – combined with later flowering were particularly pronounced in the year before death. The gradual change in flowering phenology, observed over the whole lifetime, could have a physiological basis unrelated to dysfunction.
Ageing; Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima (sea beet); flowering phenology; longevity; perennial; root investment; seed production; trade-offs; whole-plant senescence
Land plants have evolved several measures to maintain their life against abiotic stresses. The accumulation of proline is the most generalized response of plants under drought, heat or salt stress conditions. It is known as an osmoprotectant which also acts as an instant source of energy during drought recovery process. But, both its role and genetic inheritance are poorly understood in agriculture crops. In the present work, advanced backcross quantitative trait locus (AB-QTL) analysis was performed to elucidate genetic mechanisms controlling proline accumulation and leaf wilting in barley under drought stress conditions.
The analysis revealed eight QTL associated to proline content (PC) and leaf wilting (WS). QTL for PC were localized on chromosome 3H, 4H, 5H and 6H. The strongest QTL effect QPC.S42.5H was detected on chromosome 5H where drought inducible exotic allele was associated to increase PC by 54%. QTL effects QPC.S42.3H, QPC.S42.4H and QPC.S42.6H were responsible to heighten PC due to the preeminence of elite alleles over the exotic alleles which ranged from 26% to 43%. For WS, QTL have been localized on chromosome 1H, 2H, 3H and 4H. Among these, QWS.S42.1H and QWS.S42.4H were associated to decrease in WS due to the introgression of exotic alleles. In addition, two digenic epistatic interaction effects were detected for WS where the additive effect of exotic alleles imparted a favorable increase in the trait value.
The present data represents a first report on whole-genome mapping of proline accumulation and leaf wilting in barley. The detected QTL are linked to new alleles from both cultivated and wild accessions which bring out an initial insight on the genetic inheritance of PC and WS. These QTL alleles are fixed in the isogenic background of Scarlett, which will allow for positional cloning of underlying genes and to develop drought resilient barley cultivars.
QTL analysis; Drought stress tolerance; Proline content; Leaf wilting
The molecular mechanism for meiotic entry remains largely elusive in flowering plants. Only Arabidopsis SWI1/DYAD and maize AM1, both of which are the coiled-coil protein, are known to be required for the initiation of plant meiosis. The mechanism underlying the synchrony of male meiosis, characteristic to flowering plants, has also been unclear in the plant kingdom. In other eukaryotes, RNA-recognition-motif (RRM) proteins are known to play essential roles in germ-cell development and meiosis progression. Rice MEL2 protein discovered in this study shows partial similarity with human proline-rich RRM protein, deleted in Azoospermia-Associated Protein1 (DAZAP1), though MEL2 also possesses ankyrin repeats and a RING finger motif. Expression analyses of several cell-cycle markers revealed that, in mel2 mutant anthers, most germ cells failed to enter premeiotic S-phase and meiosis, and a part escaped from the defect and underwent meiosis with a significant delay or continued mitotic cycles. Immunofluorescent detection revealed that T7 peptide-tagged MEL2 localized at cytoplasmic perinuclear region of germ cells during premeiotic interphase in transgenic rice plants. This study is the first report of the plant RRM protein, which is required for regulating the premeiotic G1/S-phase transition of male and female germ cells and also establishing synchrony of male meiosis. This study will contribute to elucidation of similarities and diversities in reproduction system between plants and other species.
Meiosis is a pivotal event to produce haploid spores and gametes in all sexually reproducing species and is a fundamentally different type of cell cycle from mitosis. Thus, the molecular mechanisms to switch the cell cycle from mitosis to meiosis have been studied by many researchers. In yeast and metazoans, RNA-binding proteins are known to play important roles in the post-transcriptional regulation of genes implicated in the meiotic entry and meiosis. In contrast, in the plant kingdom, the mechanisms to control the meiotic entry have largely remained elusive. In this study, we discover a novel RNA-recognition-motif (RRM) protein in rice (Oryza sativa L.), designated MEL2, and demonstrate that MEL2 is required for the faithful transition of germ cells from mitosis to meiotic cell cycle. Rice MEL2 shows partial similarity with human DAZAP1, which is an RRM protein and relates to Azoospermia syndrome in human, while there are critical structural differences between germline-specific RRM proteins of mammals and plants. Our findings will lead the molecular-biological studies of plant meiotic entry to the next steps and will enable a comparison of the systems of meiotic entry between animals and plants.
During floral induction and flower development plants undergo delicate phase changes which are under tight molecular control. MADS-box transcription factors have been shown to play pivotal roles during these transition phases. SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) and AGAMOUS LIKE 24 (AGL24) are important regulators both during the transition to flowering and during flower development. During vegetative growth they exert opposite roles on floral transition, acting as repressor and promoter of flowering, respectively. Later during flower development they act redundantly as negative regulators of AG expression. In rice, the orthologues of SVP and AGL24 are OsMADS22, OsMADS47, and OsMADS55 and these three genes are involved in the negative regulation of brassinosteroid responses. In order to understand whether these rice genes have maintained the ability to function as regulators of flowering time in Arabidopsis, complementation tests were performed by expressing OsMADS22 and OsMADS47 in the svp and agl24 mutants. The results show that the rice genes are not able to complement the flowering-time phenotype of the Arabidopsis mutants, indicating that they are biologically inactive in Arabidopsis. Nevertheless, they cause floral reversions, which mimic the SVP and AGL24 floral overexpressor phenotypes. Yeast two-hybrid analysis suggests that these floral phenotypes are probably the consequence of protein interactions between OsMADS22 and OsMADS47 and other MADS-box proteins which interfere with the formation of complexes required for normal flower development.
Arabidopsis; floral reversion; floral transition; MADS; rice
Background and Aims
Reproductive phase change in Arabidopsis thaliana is characterized by two transitions in phytomer identity, the differentiation of the first elongate internode (bolting transition) and of the first flower (floral transition). An evaluation of the dynamics of these transitions was sought by examining the precision of the corresponding phytomer identity changes.
The length of the first elongate internode and the frequency of chimeric inflorescence structures, e.g. paraclades not subtended by a leaf (no-leaf/paraclades) and flowers subtended by a bract (bract/flowers), were measured in the Wassilewskija (Ws) accession and 47 early flowering mutants under a wide range of photoperiods. The impact of photoperiodic perturbations applied to Ws plants at different times of development was also evaluated.
In Ws, both types of characters were remarkably constant across photoperiods in spite of a high degree of interindividual variability. Bract/flowers were not normally produced in Ws, but they were observed in conditions that suggest enhanced light signalling, e.g. in response to continuous light perturbations and in mutants with reduced hypocotyl elongation. In contrast, no-leaf/paraclades were normally present in approx. 20 % of Ws plants, and their frequency was increased in conditions that suggest reduced light signalling, e.g. in mutants with altered specification of long-day responses. The length of the first elongate internode was unrelated to the rate of stem elongation and to the regulation of reproductive phase change.
Bract/flowers and no-leaf/paraclades corresponded to opposite effects on the floral transition that reflected different dynamics of progression to flowering. In contrast, the length of the first elongate internode was only indirectly related to the regulation of reproductive phase change and was mainly dependent on global morphogenetic constraints. This paper proposes that morphogenetic variability could be used to identify critical phases of development and characterize the canalization of developmental patterns.
Arabidopsis; bolting; early flowering mutants; flowering time; internode patterning; phase change; photoperiod; phytomer identity
Chickpea is a heat sensitive crop hence its potential yield is considerably reduced under high temperatures exceeding 35 °C. In the present study, we evaluated the efficacy of proline in countering the damage caused by heat stress to growth and to enzymes of carbon and antioxidative metabolism in chickpea. The chickpea seeds were raised without (control) and with proline (10 μM) at temperatures of 30/25 °C, 35/30 °C, 40/35 °C and 45/40 °C as day/ night (12 h/12 h) in a growth chamber. The shoot and root length at 40/35 °C decreased by 46 and 37 %, respectively over control while at 45/40 °C, a decrease of 63 and 47 %, respectively over control was observed. In the plants growing in the presence of 10 μM proline at 40/35 °C and 45/40 °C, the shoot length showed improvement of 32 and 53 %, respectively over untreated plants, while the root growth was improved by 22 and 26 %, respectively. The stress injury (as membrane damage) increased with elevation of temperatures while cellular respiration, chlorophyll content and relative leaf water content reduced as the temperature increased to 45/40 °C. The endogenous proline was elevated to 46 μmol g−1 dw at 40/35 °C but declined to 19 μmol g−1 dw in plants growing at 45/40 °C that was associated with considerable inhibition of growth at this temperature. The oxidative damage measured as malondialdehyde and hydrogen peroxide content increased manifolds in heat stressed plants coupled with inhibition in the activities of enzymatic (superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase) and levels of non-enzymatic (ascorbic acid, glutathione, proline) antioxidants. The enzymes associated with carbon fixation (RUBISCO), sucrose synthesis (sucrose phosphate synthase) and sucrose hydrolysis (invertase) were strongly inhibited at 45/40 °C. The plants growing in the presence of proline accumulated proline up to 63 μmol g−1 dw and showed less injury to membranes, had improved content of chlorophyll and water, especially at 45/40 °C. Additionally, the oxidative injury was significantly reduced coupled with elevated levels of enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants. A significant improvement was also noticed in the activities of enzymes of carbon metabolism in proline-treated plants. We report here that proline imparts partial heat tolerance to chickpea’s growth by reducing the cellular injury and protection of some vital enzymes related to carbon and oxidative metabolism and exogenous application of proline appears to have a countering effect against elevated high temperatures on chickpea.
Chickpea; Carbon fixation; Heat stress; Oxidative stress; Proline
Proline accumulation was often correlated with drought tolerance of plants infected by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), whereas lower proline in some AM plants including citrus was also found under drought stress and the relevant mechanisms have not been fully elaborated. In this study proline accumulation and activity of key enzymes relative to proline biosynthesis (▵1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate synthetase, P5CS; ornithine-δ-aminotransferase, OAT) and degradation (proline dehydrogenase, ProDH) were determined in trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata, a widely used citrus rootstock) inoculated with or without Funneliformis mosseae and under well-watered (WW) or water deficit (WD). AMF colonization significantly increased plant height, stem diameter, leaf number, root volume, biomass production of both leaves and roots and leaf relative water content, irrespectively of water status. Water deficit induced more tissue proline accumulation, in company with an increase of P5CS activity, but a decrease of OAT and ProDH activity, no matter whether under AM or no-AM. Compared with no-AM treatment, AM treatment resulted in lower proline concentration and content in leaf, root, and total plant under both WW and WD. The AMF colonization significantly decreased the activity of both P5CS and OAT in leaf, root, and total plant under WW and WD, except for an insignificant difference of root OAT under WD. The AMF inoculation also generally increased tissue ProDH activity under WW and WD. Plant proline content significantly positively correlated with plant P5CS activity, negatively with plant ProDH activity, but not with plant OAT activity. These results suggest that AM plants may suffer less from WD, thereby inducing lower proline accumulation, which derives from the integration of an inhibition of proline synthesis with an enhancement of proline degradation.
The transition from vegetative to reproductive development is a critical turning point in a plant's life cycle. It is now widely accepted that a leaf-borne signal, florigen, moves via the phloem from leaves to the shoot apical meristem to trigger its reprogramming to produce flowers.1 In part, the florigenic signal comprises a protein that belongs to the phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein (PEBP) family that is present in all living organisms but displays diverse functions. The founding floral-promoting PEBP gene in Arabidopsis is FLOWERING LOOCUS T (FT) whose functional homologs have been indentified in many flowering plants. We recently accumulated sufficient evidence to demonstrate the maize FT homolog ZCN8 has florigenic function. This task was particularly challenging due to the large number of FT-homologous genes in the maize genome. Here we show that ZCN8 function is more complex than simply regulating the floral transition. ZCN8 appears to play a pleiotropic role in the regulation of generalized growth of vegetative and reproductive tissues.
florigen; flowering; flowering locus t (ft); terminal flower1 (tfl1); meristem; PEBP
We have previously shown that lipophilic components (LPC) of the brown seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum (ANE) improved freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the mechanism(s) of this induced freezing stress tolerance is largely unknown. Here, we investigated LPC induced changes in the transcriptome and metabolome of A. thaliana undergoing freezing stress.
Gene expression studies revealed that the accumulation of proline was mediated by an increase in the expression of the proline synthesis genes P5CS1 and P5CS2 and a marginal reduction in the expression of the proline dehydrogenase (ProDH) gene. Moreover, LPC application significantly increased the concentration of total soluble sugars in the cytosol in response to freezing stress. Arabidopsis sfr4 mutant plants, defective in the accumulation of free sugars, treated with LPC, exhibited freezing sensitivity similar to that of untreated controls. The 1H NMR metabolite profile of LPC-treated Arabidopsis plants exposed to freezing stress revealed a spectrum dominated by chemical shifts (δ) representing soluble sugars, sugar alcohols, organic acids and lipophilic components like fatty acids, as compared to control plants. Additionally, 2D NMR spectra suggested an increase in the degree of unsaturation of fatty acids in LPC treated plants under freezing stress. These results were supported by global transcriptome analysis. Transcriptome analysis revealed that LPC treatment altered the expression of 1113 genes (5%) in comparison with untreated plants. A total of 463 genes (2%) were up regulated while 650 genes (3%) were down regulated.
Taken together, the results of the experiments presented in this paper provide evidence to support LPC mediated freezing tolerance enhancement through a combination of the priming of plants for the increased accumulation of osmoprotectants and alteration of cellular fatty acid composition.
Arabidopsis thaliana; Ascophyllum nodosum; Freezing tolerance; Chemical priming; Soluble sugars; Metabolite profiling; Microarray analysis
Bacillus subtilis is known to accumulate large amounts of the compatible solute proline via de novo synthesis as a stress protectant when it faces high-salinity environments. We elucidated the genetic determinants required for the osmoadaptive proline production from the precursor glutamate. This proline biosynthesis route relies on the proJ-encoded γ-glutamyl kinase, the proA-encoded γ-glutamyl phosphate reductase, and the proH-encoded Δ1-pyrroline-5-caboxylate reductase. Disruption of the proHJ operon abolished osmoadaptive proline production and strongly impaired the ability of B. subtilis to cope with high-osmolarity growth conditions. Disruption of the proA gene also abolished osmoadaptive proline biosynthesis but caused, in contrast to the disruption of proHJ, proline auxotrophy. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that the transcription of the proHJ operon is osmotically inducible, whereas that of the proBA operon is not. Reporter gene fusion studies showed that proHJ expression is rapidly induced upon an osmotic upshift. Increased expression is maintained as long as the osmotic stimulus persists and is sensitively linked to the prevalent osmolarity of the growth medium. Primer extension analysis revealed the osmotically controlled proHJ promoter, a promoter that resembles typical SigA-type promoters of B. subtilis. Deletion analysis of the proHJ promoter region identified a 126-bp DNA segment carrying all sequences required in cis for osmoregulated transcription. Our data disclose the presence of ProA-interlinked anabolic and osmoadaptive proline biosynthetic routes in B. subtilis and demonstrate that the synthesis of the compatible solute proline is a central facet of the cellular defense to high-osmolarity surroundings for this soil bacterium.