Bryophytes, the most basal of the extant land plants, diverged at least 450 million years ago. A major feature of these plants is the biphasic alternation of generations between a dominant haploid gametophyte and a minor diploid sporophyte phase. These dramatic differences in form and function occur in a constant genetic background, raising the question of whether the switch from gametophyte-to-sporophyte development reflects major changes in the spectrum of genes being expressed or alternatively whether only limited changes in gene expression occur and the differences in plant form are due to differences in how the gene products are put together. This study performed replicated microarray analyses of RNA from several thousand dissected and developmentally staged sporophytes of the moss Physcomitrella patens, allowing analysis of the transcriptomes of the sporophyte and early gametophyte, as well as the early stages of moss sporophyte development. The data indicate that more significant changes in transcript profile occur during the switch from gametophyte to sporophyte than recently reported, with over 12% of the entire transcriptome of P. patens being altered during this major developmental transition. Analysis of the types of genes contributing to these differences supports the view of the early sporophyte being energetically and nutritionally dependent on the gametophyte, provides a profile of homologues to genes involved in angiosperm stomatal development and physiology which suggests a deeply conserved mechanism of stomatal control, and identifies a novel series of transcription factors associated with moss sporophyte development.
Alternation of generations; gametophyte; microarray; moss; Physcomitrella; sporophyte; stomata.
The response of stomata to many environmental factors is well documented. Multiple signalling pathways for abscisic acid (ABA)-induced stomatal closure have been proposed over the last decades. However, it seems that exposure of a leaf for a long time (several days) to some environmental conditions generates a sort of memory in the guard cells that results in the loss of suitable responses of the stomata to closing stimuli, such as desiccation and ABA. In this review paper we discuss changes in the normal pattern of signal transduction that could account for disruption of guard cell signalling after long-term exposure to some environmental conditions, with special emphasis on long-term low vapour pressure deficit (VPD).
Abscisic acid; calcium; environmental factors; guard cell signalling pathway; hydrogen peroxide; nitric oxide; secondary messengers; stomata; vapour pressure deficit.
Green foxtail (Setaria viridis) is a new model plant for the genomic investigation of C4 photosynthesis biology. As the ancestor of foxtail millet (Setaria italica), an ancient cereal of great importance in arid regions of the world, green foxtail is crucial for the study of domestication and evolution of this ancient crop. In the present study, 288 green foxtail accessions, which were collected from all geographical regions of China, were analysed using 77 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) that cover the whole genome. A high degree of molecular diversity was detected in these accessions, with an average of 33.5 alleles per locus. Two clusters, which were inconsistent with the distribution of eco-geographical regions in China, were inferred from STRUCTURE, Neighbor–Joining, and principal component analysis, indicating a partially mixed distribution of Chinese green foxtails. The higher subpopulation diversity was from accessions mainly collected from North China. A low level of linkage disequilibrium was observed in the green foxtail genome. Furthermore, a combined analysis of green foxtail and foxtail millet landraces was conducted, and the origin and domestication of foxtail millet was inferred in North China.
Genetic diversity; germplasm; green foxtail; Setaria viridis.
Isochorismate synthase 1 (ICS1) is a crucial enzyme in the salicylic acid (SA) synthesis pathway, and thus it is important for immune defences. The ics1 mutant is used in experiments on plant–pathogen interactions, and ICS1 is required for the appropriate hypersensitive disease defence response. However, ICS1 also takes part in the synthesis of phylloquinone, which is incorporated into photosystem I and is an important component of photosynthetic electron transport in plants. Therefore, photosynthetic and molecular analysis of the ics1 mutant in comparison with wild-type and SA-degrading transgenic NahG Arabidopsis thaliana plants was performed. Photosynthetic parameters in the ics1 mutant, when compared with the wild type, were changed in a manner observed previously for state transition-impaired plants (STN7 kinase recessive mutant, stn7). In contrast to stn7, deregulation of the redox status of the plastoquinone pool (measured as 1–q
p) in ics1 showed significant variation depending on the leaf age. SA-degrading transgenic NahG plants targeted to the cytoplasm or chloroplasts displayed normal (wild-type-like) state transition. However, ics1 plants treated with a phylloquinone precursor displayed symptoms of phenotypic reversion towards the wild type. ics1 also showed altered thylakoid structure with an increased number of stacked thylakoids per granum which indicates the role of ICS1 in regulation of state transition. The results presented here suggest the role of ICS1 in integration of the chloroplast ultrastructure, the redox status of the plastoquinone pool, and organization of the photosystems, which all are important for optimal immune defence and light acclimatory responses.
Chlorophyll fluorescence; photosynthetic electron transport (PET); phylloquinone; plastoquinone pool (PQ pool); salicylic acid (SA); state transitions (ST).
The beneficial endophytic fungus Piriformospora indica colonizes the roots of many plant species, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Its colonization promotes plant growth, development, and seed production as well as resistance to various biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present work, P. indica was tested as potential antagonist of the sedentary plant-parasitic nematode Heterodera schachtii. This biotrophic cyst-forming nematode induces severe host plant damage by changing the morphogenesis and physiology of infected roots. Here it is shown that P. indica colonization, as well as the application of fungal exudates and cell-wall extracts, significantly affects the vitality, infectivity, development, and reproduction of H. schachtii.
Antagonist; Arabidopsis; cell-wall extract; culture filtrate; Heterodera schachtii; Piriformospora indica.
Strawberries (Fragaria×ananassa) are false fruits the ripening of which follows the non-climacteric pathway. The role played by a C-type MADS-box gene [SHATTERPROOF-like (FaSHP)] in the ripening of strawberries has been studied by transiently modifying gene expression through either over-expression or RNA-interference-mediated down-regulation. The altered expression of the FaSHP gene caused a change in the time taken by the over-expressing and the down- regulated fruits to attain the pink stage, which was slightly shorter and much longer, respectively, compared to controls. In parallel with the modified ripening times, the metabolome components and the expression of ripening-related genes also appeared different in the transiently modified fruits. Differences in the response time of the analysed genes suggest that FaSHP can control the expression of ripening genes either directly or indirectly through other transcription factor-encoding genes. Because fleshy strawberries are false fruits these results indicate that C-type MADS-box genes like SHATTERPROOF may act as modulators of ripening in fleshy fruit-like structures independently of their anatomical origin. Treatment of strawberries with either auxin or abscisic acid had antagonistic impacts on both the expression of FaSHP and the expression of ripening-related genes and metabolome components.
Abscisic acid; auxin; Fragaria×ananassa; fruit metabolome; fruit ripening; MADS-box gene; non-climacteric fruit; SHATTERPROOF-like gene; strawberry.
Brassinosteroid (BR)-induced antioxidant defence has been shown to enhance stress tolerance. In this study, the role of the maize 65kDa microtubule-associated protein (MAP65), ZmMAP65-1a, in BR-induced antioxidant defence was investigated. Treatment with BR increased the expression of ZmMAP65-1a in maize (Zea mays) leaves and mesophyll protoplasts. Transient expression and RNA interference silencing of ZmMAP65-1a in mesophyll protoplasts further revealed that ZmMAP65-1a is required for the BR-induced increase in expression and activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Both exogenous and BR-induced endogenous H2O2 increased the expression of ZmMAP65-1a. Conversely, transient expression of ZmMAP65-1a in maize mesophyll protoplasts enhanced BR-induced H2O2 accumulation, while transient silencing of ZmMAP65-1a blocked the BR-induced expression of NADPH oxidase genes and inhibited BR-induced H2O2 accumulation. Inhibiting the activity and gene expression of ZmMPK5 significantly prevented the BR-induced expression of ZmMAP65-1a. Likewise, transient expression of ZmMPK5 enhanced BR-induced activities of the antioxidant defence enzymes SOD and APX in a ZmMAP65- 1a-dependent manner. ZmMPK5 directly interacted with ZmMAP65-1a in vivo and phosphorylated ZmMAP65-1a in vitro. These results suggest that BR-induced antioxidant defence in maize operates through the interaction of ZmMPK5 with ZmMAP65-1a. Furthermore, ZmMAP65-1a functions in H2O2 self-propagation via regulation of the expression of NADPH oxidase genes in BR signalling.
Antioxidant defence; brassinosteroid; H2O2; NADPH oxidase; ZmMAP65-1a; ZmMPK5.
Pathogenic microbes manipulate eukaryotic cells during invasion and target plant proteins to achieve host susceptibility. BAX INHIBITOR-1 (BI-1) is an endoplasmic reticulum-resident cell death suppressor in plants and animals and is required for full susceptibility of barley to the barley powdery mildew fungus Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei. LIFEGUARD (LFG) proteins resemble BI-1 proteins in terms of predicted membrane topology and cell-death-inhibiting function in metazoans, but display clear sequence-specific distinctions. This work shows that barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and Arabidopsis thaliana genomes harbour five LFG genes, HvLFGa–HvLFGe and AtLFG1–AtLFG5, whose functions are largely uncharacterized. As observed for HvBI-1, single-cell overexpression of HvLFGa supports penetration success of B. graminis f.sp. hordei into barley epidermal cells, while transient-induced gene silencing restricts it. In penetrated barley epidermal cells, a green fluorescent protein-tagged HvLFGa protein accumulates at the site of fungal entry, around fungal haustoria and in endosomal or vacuolar membranes. The data further suggest a role of LFG proteins in plant–powdery mildew interactions in both monocot and dicot plants, because stable overexpression or knockdown of AtLFG1 or AtLFG2 also support or delay development of the powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe cruciferarum on the respective Arabidopsis mutants. Together, this work has identified new modulators of plant–powdery mildew interactions, and the data further support functional similarities between BI-1 and LFG proteins beyond cell death regulation.
Arabidopsis thaliana; haustorial complex; Hordeum vulgare; powdery mildew fungus; programmed cell death; susceptibility.
Orchidaceae, one of the largest angiosperm families, has significant commercial value. Isolation of genes involved in orchid floral development and morphogenesis, scent production, and colouration will advance knowledge of orchid flower formation and facilitate breeding new varieties to increase the commercial value. With high-throughput virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS), this study identified five transcription factors involved in various aspects of flower morphogenesis in the orchid Phalaenopsis equestris. These genes are PeMADS1, PeMADS7, PeHB, PebHLH, and PeZIP. Silencing PeMADS1 and PebHLH resulted in reduced flower size together with a pelaloid column containing petal-like epidermal cells and alterations of epidermal cell arrangement in lip lateral lobes, respectively. Silencing PeMADS7, PeHB, and PeZIP alone resulted in abortion of the first three fully developed flower buds of an inflorescence, which indicates the roles of the genes in late flower development. Furthermore, double silencing PeMADS1 and PeMADS6, C- and B-class MADS-box genes, respectively, produced a combinatorial phenotype with two genes cloned in separate vectors. Both PeMADS1 and PeMADS6 are required to ensure the normal development of the lip and column as well as the cuticle formation on the floral epidermal cell surface. Thus, VIGS allows for unravelling the interaction between two classes of MADS transcription factors for dictating orchid floral morphogenesis.
Cymbidium mosaic virus; PebHLH; PeMADS1; PeMADS6; Phalaenopsis; virus-induced gene silencing.
Critical responses to developmental or environmental stimuli are mediated by different transcription factors, including members of the ERF, bZIP, MYB, MYC, and WRKY families. Of these, MYB genes play roles in many developmental processes. The overexpression of one MYB gene, MYBH, significantly increased hypocotyl elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana plants grown in the light, and the expression of this gene increased markedly in the dark. The MYBH protein contains a conserved motif, R/KLFGV, which was implicated in transcriptional repression. Interestingly, the gibberellin biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol blocked the increase in hypocotyl elongation in seedlings that overexpressed MYBH. Moreover, the function of MYBH was dependent on phytochrome-interacting factor (PIF) proteins. Taken together, these results suggest that hypocotyl elongation is regulated by a delicate and efficient mechanism in which MYBH expression is triggered by challenging environmental conditions such as darkness, leading to an increase in PIF accumulation and subsequent enhanced auxin biosynthesis. These results indicate that MYBH is one of the molecular components that regulate hypocotyl elongation in response to darkness.
Arabidopsis; auxin; hypocotyl elongation; MYBH; PIF; photomorphogenesis.
The phytase activity in food and feedstuffs is an important nutritional parameter. Members of the Triticeae tribe accumulate purple acid phosphatase phytases (PAPhy) during grain filling. This accumulation elevates mature grain phytase activities (MGPA) up to levels between ~650 FTU/kg for barley and 6000 FTU/kg for rye. This is notably more than other cereals. For instance, rice, maize, and oat have MGPAs below 100 FTU/kg. The cloning and characterization of the PAPhy gene complement from wheat, barley, rye, einkorn, and Aegilops tauschii is reported here. The Triticeae PAPhy genes generally consist of a set of paralogues, PAPhy_a and PAPhy_b, and have been mapped to Triticeae chromosomes 5 and 3, respectively. The promoters share a conserved core but the PAPhy_a promoter have acquired a novel cis-acting regulatory element for expression during grain filling while the PAPhy_b promoter has maintained the archaic function and drives expression during germination. Brachypodium is the only sequenced Poaceae sharing the PAPhy duplication. As for the Triticeae, the duplication is reflected in a high MGPA of ~4200 FTU/kg in Brachypodium. The sequence conservation of the paralogous loci on Brachypodium chromosomes 1 and 2 does not extend beyond the PAPhy gene. The results indicate that a single-gene segmental duplication may have enabled the evolution of high MGPA by creating functional redundancy of the parent PAPhy gene. This implies that similar MGPA levels may be out of reach in breeding programs for some Poaceae, e.g. maize and rice, whereas Triticeae breeders should focus on PAPhy_a.
Barley; Brachypodium; einkorn; gene duplication; PAPhy; phytase; purple acid phosphatase; Triticeae; wheat.
Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CPKs) are important Ca2+ signalling components involved in complex immune and stress signalling networks; but the knowledge of CPK gene functions in the hexaploid wheat is limited. Previously, TaCPK2 was shown to be inducible by powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis tritici, Bgt) infection in wheat. Here, its functions in disease resistance are characterized further. This study shows the presence of defence-response and cold-response cis-elements on the promoters of the A subgenome homoeologue (TaCPK2-A) and D subgenome homoeologue (TaCPK2-D), respectively. Their expression patterns were then confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) using genome-specific primers, where TaCPK2-A was induced by Bgt treatment while TaCPK2-D mainly responded to cold treatment. Downregulation of TaCPK2-A by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) causes loss of resistance to Bgt in resistant wheat lines, indicating that TaCPK2-A is required for powdery mildew resistance. Furthermore, overexpression of TaCPK2-A in rice enhanced bacterial blight (Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, Xoo) resistance. qRT-PCR analysis showed that overexpression of TaCPK2-A in rice promoted the expression of OsWRKY45-1, a transcription factor involved in both fungal and bacterial resistance by regulating jasmonic acid and salicylic acid signalling genes. The opposite effect was found in wheat TaCPK2-A VIGS plants, where the homologue of OsWRKY45-1 was significantly repressed. These data suggest that modulation of WRKY45-1 and associated defence-response genes by CPK2 genes may be the common mechanism for multiple disease resistance in grass species, which may have undergone subfunctionalization in promoters before the formation of hexaploid wheat.
CPK; defence signalling; disease resistance; jasmonic acid; wheat.
Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations will probably increase rice (Oryza sativa L.) yield but decrease grain nitrogen (GN) concentration. Grains attached to different positions in the panicles differ greatly in weight and quality, but their responses to elevated CO2 (e[CO2]) are poorly understood, which limits our understanding of the mechanisms of yield enhancement and quality degradation. Thus a free-air CO2 enrichment experiment was conducted to examine the effects of e[CO2] on grain mass (GM), grain carbon (GC), and GN accumulation in the spikelets attached to the upper primary rachis branch (superior spikelets; SS) and those attached to the lower secondary rachis (inferior spikelets; IS). e[CO2] stimulated the rice yield by 13% but decreased the N concentration in the panicle by 7% when averaged over two levels of N fertilizations (P < 0.01). The responses of SS and IS to e[CO2] were different particularly under higher N supply. For SS, e[CO2] decreased GN by 24% (P < 0.01) but did not affect GM. For IS, e[CO2] increased GM by 13% (P < 0.05) but GN was not affected. The reduction of GN due to e[CO2] started to appear at the beginning of grain filling. These results suggest that future [CO2] levels probably stimulate the grain growth of IS, most of which are not marketable due to limited size, at the expense of GN reduction in SS. Translocation of N from SS to IS may be a possible mechanism for reduction in GN of SS. This may degrade the grain quality of marketable rice under e[CO2].
Dilution; free-air CO2 enrichment; grain filling; grain mass; inferior spikelets; nitrogen; Oryza sativa L.; protein; superior spikelets; translocation.
p24 proteins are a family of type I membrane proteins localized to compartments of the early secretory pathway and to coat protein I (COPI)- and COPII-coated vesicles. They can be classified, by sequence homology, into four subfamilies, named p24α, p24β, p24γ, and p24δ. In contrast to animals and fungi, plants contain only members of the p24β and p24δ subfamilies, the latter probably including two different subclasses. It has previously been shown that transiently expressed red fluorescent protein (RFP)–p24δ5 (p24δ1 subclass) localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) at steady state as a consequence of highly efficient COPI-based recycling from the Golgi apparatus. It is now shown that transiently expressed RFP–p24δ9 (p24δ2 subclass) also localizes to the ER. In contrast, transiently expressed green fluorescent protein (GFP)–p24β3 mainly localizes to the Golgi apparatus (as p24β2) and exits the ER in a COPII-dependent manner. Immunogold electron microscopy in Arabidopsis root tip cells using specific antibodies shows that endogenous p24δ9 localizes mainly to the ER but also partially to the cis-Golgi. In contrast, endogenous p24β3 mainly localizes to the Golgi apparatus. By a combination of experiments using transient expression, knock-out mutants, and co-immunoprecipitation, it is proposed that Arabidopsis p24 proteins form different heteromeric complexes (including members of the β and δ subfamilies) which are important for their stability and their coupled trafficking at the ER–Golgi interface. Evidence is also provided for a role for p24δ5 in retrograde Golgi–ER transport of the KDEL-receptor ERD2.
Arabidopsis; coat protein I (COPI); coat protein II (COPII); ER–Golgi transport; p24 proteins; secretory pathway.
The objective of this study was to identify barley leaf proteins differentially regulated in response to drought and heat and the combined stresses in context of the morphological and physiological changes that also occur. The Syrian landrace Arta and the Australian cultivar Keel were subjected to drought, high temperature, or a combination of both treatments starting at heading. Changes in the leaf proteome were identified using differential gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry. The drought treatment caused strong reductions of biomass and yield, while photosynthetic performance and the proteome were not significantly changed. In contrast, the heat treatment and the combination of heat and drought reduced photosynthetic performance and caused changes of the leaf proteome. The proteomic analysis identified 99 protein spots differentially regulated in response to heat treatment, 14 of which were regulated in a genotype-specific manner. Differentially regulated proteins predominantly had functions in photosynthesis, but also in detoxification, energy metabolism, and protein biosynthesis. The analysis indicated that de novo protein biosynthesis, protein quality control mediated by chaperones and proteases, and the use of alternative energy resources, i.e. glycolysis, play important roles in adaptation to heat stress. In addition, genetic variation identified in the proteome, in plant growth and photosynthetic performance in response to drought and heat represent stress adaption mechanisms to be exploited in future crop breeding efforts.
Abiotic stress; barley; drought; heat; proteomics; Rubisco activase; yield.
Iron insufficiency is a worldwide problem in human diets. In cereals like wheat, the bran layer of the grains is an important source of iron. However, the dietary availability of iron in wheat flour is limited due to the loss of the iron-rich bran during milling and processing and the presence of anti-nutrients like phytic acid that keep iron strongly chelated in the grain. The present study investigated the localization of iron and phosphorus in grain tissues of wheat genotypes with contrasting grain iron content using synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) and micro-proton-induced X-ray emission (micro-PIXE). X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) was employed to determine the proportion of divalent and trivalent forms of Fe in the grains. It revealed the abundance of oxygen, phosphorus, and sulphur in the local chemical environment of Fe in grains, as Fe-O-P-R and Fe-O-S-R coordination. Contrasting differences were noticed in tissue-specific relative localization of Fe, P, and S among the different genotypes, suggesting a possible effect of localization pattern on iron bioavailability. The current study reports the shift in iron distribution from maternal to filial tissues of grains during the evolution of wheat from its wild relatives to the present-day cultivated varieties, and thus suggests the value of detailed physical localization studies in varietal improvement programmes for food crops.
Biofortification; grain iron distribution; micro-PIXE; Triticum aestivum; XANES; micro-XRF.
The present study provides new insights on the role of the potato (Solanum tuberosum) suberin feruloyl transferase FHT in native and wound tissues, leading to conclusions about hitherto unknown properties of the phellogen. In agreement with the enzymatic role of FHT, it is shown that its transcriptional activation and protein accumulation are specific to tissues that undergo suberization such as the root boundary layers of the exodermis and the endodermis, along with the tuber periderm. Remarkably, FHT expression and protein accumulation within the periderm is restricted to the phellogen derivative cells with phellem identity. FHT levels in the periderm are at their peak near harvest during periderm maturation, with the phellogen becoming meristematically inactive and declining thereafter. However, periderm FHT levels remain high for several months after harvest, suggesting that the inactive phellogen retains the capacity to synthesize ferulate esters. Tissue wounding induces FHT expression and the protein accumulates from the first stages of the healing process onwards. FHT is up-regulated by abscisic acid and down-regulated by salicylic acid, emphasizing the complex regulation of suberin synthesis and wound healing. These findings open up new prospects important for the clarification of the suberization process and yield important information with regard to the skin quality of potatoes.
ABA; BAHD suberin feruloyl transferases; cell wall suberization; FHT promoter; phellem; phellogen; potato periderm; suberin; wound-healing periderm.
Aspartic proteases (APs) comprise a large proteolytic enzyme family widely distributed in animals, microbes, viruses, and plants. The rice genome encodes 96 APs, of which only a few have been functionally characterized. Here, the identification and characterization of a novel AP gene, OsAP65, which plays an indispensable role in pollen tube growth in rice, is reported. The T-DNA insertion line of OsAP65 caused severe segregation distortion. In the progeny derived from an individual heterozygous for the T-DNA insertion, the wild type and T-DNA-carrying heterozygote segregated at a ratio close to 1:1, while homozygotes of disrupted OsAP65 (OsAP65–/–) were not recovered. Reciprocal crosses between heterozygotes and wild-type plants demonstrated that the mutant alleles could not be transmitted through the male gamete. Examination of the anthers from heterozygous plants revealed that the mutant pollen matured normally, but did not germinate or elongate. OsAP65 was expressed in various tissues and the transcript level in heterozygous plants was about half of the amount measured in the wild-type plants. The subcellular localization showed that OsAP65 is a pre-vacuolar compartment (PVC) protein. These results indicated that OsAP65 was essential for rice pollen germination and tube growth.
Aspartic protease; Oryza sativa; pollen maturation; pollen tube growth; segregation distortion; T-DNA.
The stamen produces pollen grains for pollination in higher plants. Coordinated development of four microsporangia in the stamen is essential for normal fertility. The roles of miR165/166-directed pathways in the establishment of adaxial–abaxial polarity have been well defined in leaves. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the adaxial–abaxial polarity of the stamen is elusive. Here it is reported that HYPONASTIC LEAVES1 (HYL1), a general regulator of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis, plays an essential role in establishing the stamen architecture of the four microsporangia in Arabidopsis thaliana. In stamens, HYL1 and miR165/6 expression are progressively restricted to the lateral region, microsporangia, microspore mother cells, and microspores, whereas HD-ZIP III genes are preferentially expressed in the middle region, vascular bundle, and stomium. Loss of HYL1 leads to the formation of two rather than four microsporangia in each stamen. In the stamen of the hyl1 mutant, miR165/6 accumulation is reduced, whereas miR165/6-targeted HD-ZIP III genes are up-regulated and FILAMENTOUS FLOWER (FIL) is down-regulated; and, specifically, REVOLUTA (REV) is overexpressed in the adaxial region and FIL is underexpressed in the abaxial regions, concomitant with the aberrance of the two inner microsporangia and partial adaxialization of the connectives. Genetic analysis reveals that FIL works downstream of HYL1, and the defects in hyl1 stamens are partially rescued by rev-9 or phv-5 phb-6 alleles. These results suggest that HYL1 modulates inner microsporangia and stamen architecture by repression of HD-ZIP III genes and promotion of the FIL gene through miR165/6. Thus, the role of HYL1 in establishment of stamen architecture provides insight into the molecular mechanism of male fertility.
Anther; Arabidopsis thaliana; FIL; HD-ZIP III; HYL1; miR165/6; polarity; stamen.
Rac-like GTPases or Rho-related GTPases from plants (RAC/ROPs) are important components of hormone signalling pathways in plants. Based on phylogeny, several groups can be distinguished, and the underlying premise is that members of different groups perform distinct functions in the plant. AtRAC7/ROP9 is phylogenetically unique among 11 Arabidopsis RAC/ROPs, and here it was shown that it functions as a modulator of auxin and abscisic acid (ABA) signalling, a dual role not previously assigned to these small GTPases. Plants with reduced levels of AtRAC7/ROP9 had increased sensitivity to auxin and were less sensitive to ABA. On the other hand, overexpressing AtRAC7/ROP9 activated ABA-induced gene expression but repressed auxin-induced gene expression. In addition, both hormones regulated the activity of the AtRAC7/ROP9 promoter, suggesting a feedback mechanism to modulate the signalling output from the AtRAC7/ROP9-controlled molecular switch. High levels of AtRAC7/ROP9 were detected specifically in embryos and lateral roots, underscoring the important role of this protein during embryo development and lateral root formation. These results place AtRAC7/ROP9 as an important signal transducer in recently described pathways that integrate auxin and ABA signalling in the plant.
ABA; auxin; embryo development; hormone crosstalk; lateral roots; RAC/ROPs.
Small or shrivelled wheat kernels (screenings) that reduce crop value are commonly produced in terminal drought environments. The aim of this study was to establish whether the incorporation of the tiller inhibition (tin) gene would contribute to maintenance of kernel weight and reductions in screenings under terminal water deficit. Five Silverstar near-isogenic lines contrasting in high and low tiller potential and their recurrent Silverstar parent were established at two plant densities under managed terminal water deficit (mild and severe) and irrigated conditions. With irrigation (grain yield of 5.6 t ha–1), kernels of all lines weighed ~31mg, with restricted-tillering (R-tin) lines producing an average 15% lower grain yield. Under both mild and severe terminal water deficit (4.1 t ha–1 and 2.8 t ha–1), free-tillering lines had relatively high screenings ranging from 11.9% to 16.2%. Compared with free-tillering lines, R-tin lines maintained large kernel weight (~29mg kernel–1) and had 29% and 51% fewer screenings under the two stresses, and a significantly greater (+11%) grain yield under mild stress. Higher kernel weights in tin lines were realized even with the greater kernel number per spike. The higher kernel weight of the R-tin lines under stress conditions was associated with greater anthesis biomass and increased stem water-soluble carbohydrates, ensuring more assimilate for later translocation to filling grain. The incorporation of the tin gene into genetic material adapted to the target environments provides scope for improvement in both grain yield and kernel weight, and a reduction in screenings in terminal water deficit environments.
Dryland agriculture; grain size; tiller inhibition gene; water-soluble carbohydrate; water stress; yield.
Rht-B1c, allelic to the DELLA protein-encoding gene Rht-B1a, is a natural mutation documented in common wheat (Triticum aestivum). It confers variation to a number of traits related to cell and plant morphology, seed dormancy, and photosynthesis. The present study was conducted to examine the sequence variations of Rht-B1c and their functional impacts. The results showed that Rht-B1c was partially dominant or co-dominant for plant height, and exhibited an increased dwarfing effect. At the sequence level, Rht-B1c differed from Rht-B1a by one 2kb Veju retrotransposon insertion, three coding region single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), one 197bp insertion, and four SNPs in the 1kb upstream sequence. Haplotype investigations, association analyses, transient expression assays, and expression profiling showed that the Veju insertion was primarily responsible for the extreme dwarfing effect. It was found that the Veju insertion changed processing of the Rht-B1c transcripts and resulted in DELLA motif primary structure disruption. Expression assays showed that Rht-B1c caused reduction of total Rht-1 transcript levels, and up-regulation of GATA-like transcription factors and genes positively regulated by these factors, suggesting that one way in which Rht-1 proteins affect plant growth and development is through GATA-like transcription factor regulation.
DELLA protein; dominance; GATA transcription factor; sequence variation; wheat.
Bioactive gibberellins (GAs) are involved in many developmental aspects of the life cycle of plants, acting either directly or through interaction with other hormones. Accumulating evidence suggests that GAs have an important effect on root growth; however, there is currently little information on the specific regulatory mechanism of GAs during adventitious root development. A study was conducted on tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants for altered rates of biosynthesis, catabolism, and GA signalling constitutively or in specific tissues using a transgenic approach. In the present study, PtGA20ox, PtGA2ox1, and PtGAI were overexpressed under the control of the 35S promoter, vascular cambium-specific promoter (LMX5), or root meristem-specific promoter (TobRB7), respectively. Evidence is provided that the precise localization of bioactive GA in the stem but not in the roots is required to regulate adventitious root development in tobacco. High levels of GA negatively regulate the early initiation step of root formation through interactions with auxin, while a proper and mobile GA signal is required for the emergence and subsequent long-term elongation of established primordia. The results demonstrated that GAs have an inhibitory effect on adventitious root formation but a stimulatory effect on root elongation.
Adventitious root formation; auxin–gibberellin interaction; gibberellin; Nicotiana tabacum; root elongation; vascular tissue.
The cellulose binding elicitor lectin (CBEL) of the genus Phytophthora induces necrosis and immune responses in several plant species, including Arabidopsis thaliana. However, the role of CBEL-induced responses in the outcome of the interaction is still unclear. This study shows that some of CBEL-induced defence responses, but not necrosis, required the receptor-like kinase BAK1, a general regulator of basal immunity in Arabidopsis, and the production of a reactive oxygen burst mediated by respiratory burst oxidases homologues (RBOH). Screening of a core collection of 48 Arabidopsis ecotypes using CBEL uncovered a large variability in CBEL-induced necrotic responses. Analysis of non-responsive CBEL lines Ws-4, Oy-0, and Bla-1 revealed that Ws-4 and Oy-0 were also impaired in the production of the oxidative burst and expression of defence genes, whereas Bla-1 was partially affected in these responses. Infection tests using two Phytophthora parasitica strains, Pp310 and Ppn0, virulent and avirulent, respectively, on the Col-0 line showed that BAK1 and RBOH mutants were susceptible to Ppn0, suggesting that some immune responses controlled by these genes, but not CBEL-induced cell death, are required for Phytophthora parasitica resistance. However, Ws-4, Oy-0, and Bla-1 lines were not affected in Ppn0 resistance, showing that natural variability in CBEL responsiveness is not correlated to Phytophthora susceptibility. Overall, the results uncover a BAK1- and RBOH-dependent CBEL-triggered immunity essential for Phytophthora resistance and suggest that natural quantitative variation of basal immunity triggered by conserved general elicitors such as CBEL does not correlate to Phytophthora susceptibility.
Arabidopsis; cell death; elicitor; immunity; natural variability; necrosis; oomycete; Phytophthora.
The regulation of Rho of plants (ROP) in morphogenesis of leaf epidermal cells has been well studied, but the roles concerning regulators of ROPs such as RhoGDIs are poorly understood. This study reports that AtRhoGDI1 (GDI1) acts as a versatile regulator to modulate development of seedlings and leaf pavement cells. In mutant gdi1, leaf pavement cells showed shorter lobes in comparison with those in wild type. In GDI1-14 seedlings (GDI1-overexpression line) the growth of lobes in pavement cells was severely suppressed and the development of seedlings was altered. These results indicate that GDI1 plays an essential role in morphogenesis of epidermal pavement cells through modulating the ROP signalling pathways. The interaction between GDI1 and ROP2 or ROP6 was detected in the leaf pavement cells using FRET analysis. Dominant negative, not constitutively active, DN-rop6 could weaken the effect caused by overexpression of GDI1; because the pleiotropic phenotype of GDI1-14 plants was eliminated in the hybrid line GDI1-14 DN-rop6. GDI1 could be phosphorylated by CPK3. Three conserved Ser/Thr residues in GDI1 were determined as targeted amino acids for CPK3. Overexpression of GDI1(3D), not GDI1(3A), could rescue the abnormal growth phenotypes of gdi1-1 seedlings, demonstrating the impact of GDI1 phosphorylation in the development of Arabidopsis. In summary, these results suggest that GDI1 regulation in morphogenesis of seedlings and leaf pavement cells could be undergone through modulating the ROP signalling pathways and the phosphorylation of GDI1 by CPK3 was required for the developmental modulation in Arabidopsis.
Calcium; CPK3; GDI1; pavement cells; phosphorylation; ROP.