Reversible posttranslational modification of proteins by the action of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) peptide (sumoylation) has been known to participate in various biological processes in eukaryotes. However, much less is known about the role of sumoylation in plants. In our recent paper to which we write this Addendum, we show that loss of SIZ1, a SUMO E3 ligase, results in a highly increased SA-mediated defense signaling through a PAD4-dependent pathway. This signaling leads to constitutively expressed pathogen related (PR) genes and to increased disease resistance to a virulent bacterial pathogen. These findings significantly increase our understanding of the role of sumoylation in the plant defense system.
plant innate immunity; salicylic acid (SA); small ubiquitin-like modifer (SUMO); plant-pathogen interactions
Thellungiella parvula1 is related to Arabidopsis thaliana and is endemic to saline, resource-poor habitats2, making it a model for the evolution of plant adaptation to extreme environments. Here we present the draft genome for this extremophile species. Exclusively by next generation sequencing, we obtained the de novo assembled genome in 1,496 gap-free contigs, closely approximating the estimated genome size of 140 Mb. We anchored these contigs to seven pseudo chromosomes without the use of maps. We show that short reads can be assembled to a near-complete chromosome level for a eukaryotic species lacking prior genetic information. The sequence identifies a number of tandem duplications that, by the nature of the duplicated genes, suggest a possible basis for T. parvula’s extremophile lifestyle. Our results provide essential background for developing genomically influenced testable hypotheses for the evolution of environmental stress tolerance.
Transcriptional repression of pathogen defense-related genes is essential for plant growth and development. Several proteins are known to be involved in the transcriptional regulation of plant defense responses. However, mechanisms by which expression of defense-related genes are regulated by repressor proteins are poorly characterized. Here, we describe the in planta function of CBNAC, a calmodulin-regulated NAC transcriptional repressor in Arabidopsis. A T-DNA insertional mutant (cbnac1) displayed enhanced resistance to a virulent strain of the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae DC3000 (PstDC3000), whereas resistance was reduced in transgenic CBNAC overexpression lines. The observed changes in disease resistance were correlated with alterations in pathogenesis-related protein 1 (PR1) gene expression. CBNAC bound directly to the PR1 promoter. SNI1 (suppressor of nonexpressor of PR genes1, inducible 1) was identified as a CBNAC-binding protein. Basal resistance to PstDC3000 and derepression of PR1 expression was greater in the cbnac1 sni1 double mutant than in either cbnac1 or sni1 mutants. SNI1 enhanced binding of CBNAC to its cognate PR1 promoter element. CBNAC and SNI1 are hypothesized to work as repressor proteins in the cooperative suppression of plant basal defense.
Geminiviruses are single-stranded DNA viruses that infect a number of monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants. Arabidopsis is susceptible to infection with the Curtovirus, Beet severe curly top virus (BSCTV). Infection of Arabidopsis with BSCTV causes severe symptoms characterized by stunting, leaf curling, and the development of abnormal inflorescence and root structures. BSCTV-induced symptom development requires the virus-encoded C4 protein which is thought to interact with specific plant-host proteins and disrupt signaling pathways important for controlling cell division and development. Very little is known about the specific plant regulatory factors that participate in BSCTV-induced symptom development. This study was conducted to identify specific transcription factors that are induced by BSCTV infection.
Arabidopsis plants were inoculated with BSCTV and the induction of specific transcription factors was monitored using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assays. We found that the ATHB12 and ATHB7 genes, members of the homeodomain-leucine zipper family of transcription factors previously shown to be induced by abscisic acid and water stress, are induced in symptomatic tissues of Arabidopsis inoculated with BSCTV. ATHB12 expression is correlated with an array of morphological abnormalities including leaf curling, stunting, and callus-like structures in infected Arabidopsis. Inoculation of plants with a BSCTV mutant with a defective c4 gene failed to induce ATHB12. Transgenic plants expressing the BSCTV C4 gene exhibited increased ATHB12 expression whereas BSCTV-infected ATHB12 knock-down plants developed milder symptoms and had lower ATHB12 expression compared to the wild-type plants. Reporter gene studies demonstrated that the ATHB12 promoter was responsive to BSCTV infection and the highest expression levels were observed in symptomatic tissues where cell cycle genes also were induced.
These results suggest that ATHB7 and ATHB12 may play an important role in the activation of the abnormal cell division associated with symptom development during geminivirus infection.
The Arabidopsis thaliana YUCCA family of flavin monooxygenase proteins catalyses a rate-limiting step in de novo auxin biosynthesis. A YUCCA6 activation mutant, yuc6-1D, has been shown to contain an elevated free IAA level and to display typical high-auxin phenotypes. It is reported here that Arabidopsis plants over-expressing YUCCA6, such as the yuc6-1D activation mutant and 35S:YUC6 transgenic plants, displayed dramatic longevity. In addition, plants over-expressing YUCCA6 exhibited classical, delayed dark-induced and hormone-induced senescence in assays using detached rosette leaves. However, plants over-expressing an allele of YUCCA6, that carries mutations in the NADPH cofactor binding site, exhibited neither delayed leaf senescence phenotypes nor phenotypes typical of auxin overproduction. When the level of free IAA was reduced in yuc6-1D by conjugation to lysine, yuc6-1D leaves senesced at a rate similar to the wild-type leaves. Dark-induced senescence in detached leaves was accompanied by a decrease in their free IAA content, by the reduced expression of auxin biosynthesis enzymes such as YUCCA1 and YUCCA6 that increase cellular free IAA levels, and by the increased expression of auxin-conjugating enzymes encoded by the GH3 genes that reduce the cellular free auxin levels. Reduced transcript abundances of SAG12, NAC1, and NAC6 during senescence in yuc6-1D compared with the wild type suggested that auxin delays senescence by directly or indirectly regulating the expression of senescence-associated genes.
Arabidopsis thaliana; auxin; leaf senescence; longevity; YUCCA6
As much as there is known about the function of the sodium/proton antiporter SOS1 in plants, recent studies point towards a more general role for this protein. The crucial involvement in salt stress protection is clearly one of its functions—confined to the N-terminus, but the modular structure of the protein includes a segment with several domains that are functionally not studied but comprise more than half of the protein's length. Additional functions of the protein appear to be an influence on vesicle trafficking, vacuolar pH and general ion homeostasis during salt stress. Eliminating SOS1 leads to the expression of genes that are not strictly salinity stress related. Functions that are regulated in sos1 mutants included pathogen responses, and effects on circadian rhythm.
Arabidopsis thaliana; SOS1 deficiency; crosstalk; calcium-channels; proton gradients; biotic stress
Salinity is an abiotic stress that limits both yield and the expansion of agricultural crops to new areas. In the last 20 years our basic understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant tolerance and adaptation to saline environments has greatly improved owing to active development of advanced tools in molecular, genomics, and bioinformatics analyses. However, the full potential of investigative power has not been fully exploited, because the use of halophytes as model systems in plant salt tolerance research is largely neglected. The recent introduction of halophytic Arabidopsis-Relative Model Species (ARMS) has begun to compare and relate several unique genetic resources to the well-developed Arabidopsis model. In a search for candidates to begin to understand, through genetic analyses, the biological bases of salt tolerance, 11 wild relatives of Arabidopsis thaliana were compared: Barbarea verna, Capsella bursa-pastoris, Hirschfeldia incana, Lepidium densiflorum, Malcolmia triloba, Lepidium virginicum, Descurainia pinnata, Sisymbrium officinale, Thellungiella parvula, Thellungiella salsuginea (previously T. halophila), and Thlaspi arvense. Among these species, highly salt-tolerant (L. densiflorum and L. virginicum) and moderately salt-tolerant (M. triloba and H. incana) species were identified. Only T. parvula revealed a true halophytic habitus, comparable to the better studied Thellungiella salsuginea. Major differences in growth, water transport properties, and ion accumulation are observed and discussed to describe the distinctive traits and physiological responses that can now be studied genetically in salt stress research.
Germination; halophytes; ion contents; root elongation; stomata; water relations
Much is already known about the function and functioning of the three genes that make up the SOS (Salt-Overly-Sensitive) pathway in plants, but recent studies indicate that the linkage between external increases in salinity and stress protection provided by genes SOS1, SOS2 and SOS3 is more complex than previously appreciated. It has recently been shown that the engineered reduced expression of the sodium/proton antiporter SOS1 affected several pathways indicating a role for SOS1 that exceeds its known function as an antiporter. Interference with expression of SOS1, characterized as a sodium/proton antiporter in the halophyte Thellungiella salsuginea converted Thellungiella into an essentially glycophytic species.
SOS1 function; Thellungiella salsuginea; halophytism
A mutation of AtSOS1 (Salt Overly Sensitive 1), a plasma membrane Na+/H+-antiporter in Arabidopsis thaliana, leads to a salt-sensitive phenotype accompanied by the death of root cells under salt stress. Intracellular events and changes in gene expression were compared during a non-lethal salt stress between the wild type and a representative SOS1 mutant, atsos1-1, by confocal microscopy using ion-specific fluorophores and by quantitative RT-PCR. In addition to the higher accumulation of sodium ions, atsos1-1 showed inhibition of endocytosis, abnormalities in vacuolar shape and function, and changes in intracellular pH compared to the wild type in root tip cells under stress. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed a dramatically faster and higher induction of root-specific Ca2+ transporters, including several CAXs and CNGCs, and the drastic down-regulation of genes involved in pH-homeostasis and membrane potential maintenance. Differential regulation of genes for functions in intracellular protein trafficking in atsos1-1 was also observed. The results suggested roles of the SOS1 protein, in addition to its function as a Na+/H+ antiporter, whose disruption affected membrane traffic and vacuolar functions possibly by controlling pH homeostasis in root cells.
Arabidopsis thaliana; endocytosis; salinity tolerance; SOS1
Sessile plants have developed a very delicate system to sense diverse kinds of endogenous developmental cues and exogenous environmental stimuli by using a simple Ca2+ ion. Calmodulin (CaM) is the predominant Ca2+ sensor and plays a crucial role in decoding the Ca2+ signatures into proper cellular responses in various cellular compartments in eukaryotes. A growing body of evidence points to the importance of Ca2+ and CaM in the regulation of the transcriptional process during plant responses to endogenous and exogenous stimuli. Here, we review recent progress in the identification of transcriptional regulators modulated by Ca2+ and CaM and in the assessment of their functional significance during plant signal transduction in response to biotic and abiotic stresses and developmental cues.
Abiotic/environmental stress; calcium signaling/transport; gene expression
Pn-AMP1, Pharbitis nil antimicrobial peptide 1, is a small cysteine-rich peptide implicated in host-plant defense. We show here that Pn-AMP1 causes depolarization of the actin cytoskeleton in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Candida albicans. Pn-AMP1 induces rapid depolarization of actin cables and patches within 15 min. Increased osmolarity or temperature induces transient actin depolarization and results in increased sensitivity to Pn-AMP1, while cells conditioned to these stresses show less sensitivity. Mutations in components of a cell wall integrity pathway (Wsc1p, Rom2p, Bck1p and Mpk1p), which regulate actin repolarization, result in increased sensitivity to Pn-AMP1. A genetic screen reveals that mutations in components of the α-1,6-mannosyltransferase complex (Mnn10p, Mnn11p and Och1p), which regulate mannosylation of cell wall proteins, confer resistance to Pn-AMP1. FITC-conjugated Pn-AMP1 localizes to the outer surface of the cell with no significant staining observed in spheroplasts. Taken together, these results indicate that cell wall proteins are determinants of resistance to Pn-AMP1, and the ability of a plant defense protein to induce actin depolarization is important for its antifungal activity.
Actin cytoskeleton; Cell wall integrity pathway; Hevein-like peptide; Plant antifungal protein; Yeast
Loss-of-function siz1 mutations caused early flowering under short days. siz1 plants have elevated salicylic acid (SA) levels, which are restored to wild-type levels by expressing nahG, bacterial salicylate hydroxylase. The early flowering of siz1 was suppressed by expressing nahG, indicating that SIZ1 represses the transition to flowering mainly through suppressing SA-dependent floral promotion signaling under short days. Previous results have shown that exogenous SA treatment does not suppress late flowering of autonomous pathway mutants. However, the siz1 mutation accelerated flowering time of an autonomous pathway mutant, luminidependens, by reducing the expression of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a floral repressor. This result suggests that SIZ1 promotes FLC expression, possibly through an SA-independent pathway. Evidence indicates that SIZ1 is required for the full activation of FLC expression in the late-flowering FRIGIDA background. Interestingly, increased FLC expression and late flowering of an autonomous pathway mutant, flowering locus d (fld), was not suppressed by siz1, suggesting that SIZ1 promotes FLC expression by repressing FLD. Consistent with this, SIZ1 facilitates sumoylation of FLD that can be suppressed by mutations in three predicted sumoylation motifs in FLD (i.e. FLDK3R). Furthermore, expression of FLDK3R in fld protoplasts strongly reduced FLC transcription compared with expression of FLD, and this affect was linked to reduced acetylation of histone 4 in FLC chromatin. Taken together, the results suggest that SIZ1 is a floral repressor that not only represses the SA-dependent pathway, but also promotes FLC expression by repressing FLD activity through sumoylation, which is required for full FLC expression in a FRIGIDA background.
SIZ1; SA; flowering; SUMO; FLD; FLC
The myristoylated calcium sensor SOS3 and its interacting protein kinase, SOS2, play critical regulatory roles in salt tolerance. Mutations in either of these proteins render Arabidopsis thaliana plants hypersensitive to salt stress. We report here the isolation and characterization of a mutant called enh1-1 that enhances the salt sensitivity of sos3-1 and also causes increased salt sensitivity by itself. ENH1 encodes a chloroplast-localized protein with a PDZ domain at the N-terminal region and a rubredoxin domain in the C-terminal part. Rubredoxins are known to be involved in the reduction of superoxide in some anaerobic bacteria. The enh1-1 mutation causes enhanced accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), particularly under salt stress. ROS also accumulate to higher levels in sos2-1 but not in sos3-1 mutants. The enh1-1 mutation does not enhance sos2-1 phenotypes. Also, enh1-1 and sos2-1 mutants, but not sos3-1 mutants, show increased sensitivity to oxidative stress. These results indicate that ENH1 functions in the detoxification of reactive oxygen species resulting from salt stress by participating in a new salt tolerance pathway that may involve SOS2 but not SOS3.
Calmodulin (CaM) is involved in defense responses in plants. In soybean (Glycine max), transcription of calmodulin isoform 4 (GmCaM4) is rapidly induced within 30 min after pathogen stimulation, but regulation of the GmCaM4 gene in response to pathogen is poorly understood. Here, we used the yeast one-hybrid system to isolate two cDNA clones encoding proteins that bind to a 30-nt A/T-rich sequence in the GmCaM4 promoter, a region that contains two repeats of a conserved homeodomain binding site, ATTA. The two proteins, GmZF-HD1 and GmZF-HD2, belong to the zinc finger homeodomain (ZF-HD) transcription factor family. Domain deletion analysis showed that a homeodomain motif can bind to the 30-nt GmCaM4 promoter sequence, whereas the two zinc finger domains cannot. Critically, the formation of super-shifted complexes by an anti-GmZF-HD1 antibody incubated with nuclear extracts from pathogen-treated cells suggests that the interaction between GmZF-HD1 and two homeodomain binding site repeats is regulated by pathogen stimulation. Finally, a transient expression assay with Arabidopsis protoplasts confirmed that GmZF-HD1 can activate the expression of GmCaM4 by specifically interacting with the two repeats. These results suggest that the GmZF-HD1 and –2 proteins function as ZF-HD transcription factors to activate GmCaM4 gene expression in response to pathogen.