Mango malformation is the most threaten disease that limits mango production, worldwide. For a long time, due to its complex nature, the cause and causal agents were strongly disputed. Diverse Fusaria, including Fusarium mangiferae, are known to be associated with the disease. There are indications that augmented level of endogenous ethylene in response to various abiotic and biotic stresses alters the morphology of reproductive organs. Here, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of healthy and malformed reproductive organs of mango cv. Baramasi was performed to compare the functional morphology. The SEM study revealed that anthers of hermaphrodite healthy flowers were bilobed with large number of turgid pollen grains whereas malformed flowers showed fused lobed anthers with scanty deformed pollen grains. Furthermore, the stigma of healthy flowers exhibited a broad landing pad as compared to malformed stigma which showed hooked and pointed tip. All these impaired morphology of male and female reproductive organs lead to failure of sexual reproduction. This is the first evidence to show fused lobed anther with impaired pollen grains and hooked stigma with poor stigmatic receptivity are mainly responsible for restricting the pollen germination and pollen tube growth. Here we suggest that abnormal development of anthers and pistils is due to endogenously produced stress ethylene. Further, added load of cyanide, a byproduct of ethylene biosynthesis, may also contribute to the development of necrosis which lead to desiccation of anther and pistil during hypersensitive response of plants.
Anther; mango malformation; pollen; scanning electron microscopy; stigma; stress ethylene
As the newest plant hormone, strigolactone research is undergoing an exciting expansion. In less than five years, roles for strigolactones have been defined in shoot branching, secondary growth, root growth and nodulation, to add to the growing understanding of their role in arbuscular mycorrhizae and parasitic weed interactions.1 Strigolactones are particularly fascinating as signaling molecules as they can act both inside the plant as an endogenous hormone and in the soil as a rhizosphere signal.2-4 Our recent research has highlighted such a dual role for strigolactones, potentially acting as both an endogenous and exogenous signal for arbuscular mycorrhizal development.5 There is also significant interest in examining strigolactones as putative regulators of responses to environmental stimuli, especially the response to nutrient availability, given the strong regulation of strigolactone production by nitrate and phosphate observed in many species.5,6 In particular, the potential for strigolactones to mediate the ecologically important response of mycorrhizal colonization to phosphate has been widely discussed. However, using a mutant approach we found that strigolactones are not essential for phosphate regulation of mycorrhizal colonization or nodulation.5 This is consistent with the relatively mild impairment of phosphate control of seedling root growth observed in Arabidopsis strigolactone mutants.7 This contrasts with the major role for strigolactones in phosphate control of shoot branching of rice and Arabidopsis8,9 and indicates that the integration of strigolactones into our understanding of nutrient response will be complex. New data presented here, along with the recent discovery of phosphate specific CLE peptides,10 indicates a potential role for PsNARK, a component of the autoregulation of nodulation pathway, in phosphate control of nodulation.
strigolactones; nodulation; autoregulation; mycorrhizae; nitrate; phosphate; pea
In higher plants, cellulose is synthesized by cellulose synthase complexes, which contain multiple isoforms of cellulose synthases (CESAs). Among the total 10 CESA genes in Arabidopsis, recessive mutations at three of them cause the collapse of mature xylem cells in inflorescence stems of Arabidopsis (irx1cesa8, irx3cesa7 and irx5cesa4). These CESA genes are considered secondary cell wall CESAs. The others (the function CESA10 is still unknown) are thought to be specialized for cellulose synthesis in the primary cell wall. A split-ubiquitin membrane yeast two-hybrid system was used to assess interactions among four primary CESAs (CESA1, CESA2, CESA3, CESA6) and three secondary CESAs (CESA4, CESA7, CESA8). Our results showed that primary CESAs could physically interact with secondary CESAs in a limited fashion. Analysis of transgenic lines showed that CESA1 could partially rescue irx1cesa8 null mutants, resulting in complementation of the plant growth defect, collapsed xylem and cellulose content deficiency. These results suggest that mixed primary and secondary CESA complexes are functional using experimental set-ups.
cellulose; cellulose synthase complex (CSC); primary cell wall; secondary cell wall; promoter swap
The circadian (~24 h) clock has an enormous influence on the biology of plants and controls a plethora of processes including growth, photosynthesis, photoperiodic flowering and transcription of more than 30% of the genome. The oscillator mechanism that generates these circadian rhythms consists of interlocking feedback loops. CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1) is a single MYB-transcription factor with a key role in the main feedback loop. CCA1 regulation is important for correct oscillator function and may be an important integration point for environmental signals such as temperature and light that entrain the oscillator. Here we show that CCA1 protein stability is controlled by the proteasome and discuss our findings in the context of the different levels of CCA1 regulation.
circadian; arabidopsis; proteasome; CCA1; protein; inhibitor; degradation
StREM1.3 Remorin is a well-established plant raftophilic protein, predominantly associated with sterol- and sphingolipid-rich membrane rafts. We recently identified a C-terminal domain (RemCA) required and sufficient for StREM1.3 anchoring to the plasma membrane. Here, we report a search for homologs and analogs of RemCA domain in publicly available protein sequence and structure databases. We could not identify RemCA homologous domains outside the Remorin family but we identified domains sharing bias in amino-acid composition and predicted structural fold with RemCA in bacterial, viral and animal proteins. These results suggest that RemCA emerged by convergent evolution among unrelated membrane binding domain.
membrane anchor; lipid rafts; remorin; convergent evolution
The functional role of ascorbate oxidase (AO; EC 126.96.36.199) has never been fully explained so far, due to the difficulties in understanding the presence of an enzyme specifically oxidizing ascorbate with no obvious advantage, and the apparent disadvantage of lowering plant stress resistance as a consequence of ascorbate consumption. Here we suggest a complete change of perspective, by proposing an essential role of AO as a modulator of both ascorbate and oxygen content, with relevant implications related to signaling. By affecting the overall redox state, AO is actually involved in redox regulation in the extracellular matrix. In addition, AO can contribute to creating a hypoxic microenvironment, especially relevant in the maintenance of meristem identity and the establishment of mutualistic plant-microbe interactions. We also hypothesize the possible involvement of AO in the activation of a signaling cascade analogous to the mechanism of prolyl hydroxylases/Hypoxia Inducible Factors in animals.
ascorbate oxidase; hypoxic microenvironment; plant stem cells; plant-microbe interactions; redox regulation
We recently demonstrated the circadian clock modulated water dynamics in the roots of a small model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, by the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) microimaging technique. Our developed technique was able to visualize the water distribution that depended on differences in the 1H signal among region in the shoot, such as the shoot apex, the hypocotyl and the root shoot junction. Water content in the shoot increased during periods of light in comparison with dark periods, and continued through the early stage of seedling growth until the dark period. When the water content changed, elongation and/or movement occurred in the hypocotyl, and these events were synchronized. The water dynamics of the shoot also displayed an opposite phase with the root water dynamics.
Arabidopsis thaliana; 1H-NMR imaging; NMR microimaging; circadian regulation; water dynamics
The minor chloroplastic O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase isoform encoded by the CS26 gene in Arabidopsis thaliana has been described as an S-sulfocysteine synthase enzyme that plays an important role in chloroplast function. This enzyme is located in the thylakoid lumen, and its S-sulfocysteine activity is essential for the proper photosynthetic performance of the chloroplast under long-day growth conditions. Based on the present knowledge of this enzyme, we suggest that S-sulfocysteine synthase functions as a protein sensor to detect the accumulation of thiosulfate as a result of the inadequate detoxification of reactive oxygen species generated under conditions of excess light to produce the S-sulfocysteine molecule that triggers protection mechanisms of the photosynthetic apparatus.
cysteine; S-sulfocysteine; sulfur metabolism; redox regulation; Arabidopsis
The role of sucrose as a signaling molecule in plants was originally proposed several decades ago. However, recognition of sucrose as a true signal has been largely debated and only recently this role has been fully accepted. The best-studied cases of sucrose signaling involve metabolic processes, such as the induction of fructan or anthocyanin synthesis, but a large volume of scattered information suggests that sucrose signals may control a vast array of developmental processes along the whole life cycle of the plant. Also, wide gaps exist in our current understanding of the intracellular steps that mediate sucrose action. Sucrose concentration in plant tissues tends to be directly related to light intensity, and inversely related to temperature, and accordingly, exogenous sucrose supply often mimics the effect of high light and cold. However, many exceptions to this rule seem to occur due to interactions with other signaling pathways. In conclusion, the sucrose role as a signal molecule in plants is starting to be unveiled and much research is still needed to have a complete map of its significance in plant function.
sucrose signaling; low temperature; light
Following the discovery that in Arabidopsis, a third isoenzyme of NADH-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) is expressed in the mitochondria of the root companion cells, we have re-examined the GDH isoenzyme composition. By analyzing the NADH-GDH isoenzyme composition of single, double and triple mutants deficient in the expression of the three genes encoding the enzyme, we have found that the α, β and γ polypeptides that comprise the enzyme can be assembled into a complex combination of heterohexamers in roots. Moreover, we observed that when one or two of the three root isoenzymes were missing from the mutants, the remaining isoenzymes compensated for this deficiency. The significance of such complexity is discussed in relation to the metabolic and signaling function of the NADH-GDH enzyme. Although it has been shown that a fourth gene encoding a NADPH-dependent enzyme is present in Arabidopsis, we were not able to detect corresponding enzyme activity, even in the triple mutant totally lacking NADH-GDH activity.
Arabidopsis; glutamate dehydrogenase; isoenzymes; NADH-; NADPH-dependent activity; roots
By being sessile, plants have evolved a remarkable capacity to perceive and respond to changes in environmental conditions throughout their life cycle. Light represents probably the most important environmental factor that impinge on plant development because, other than supplying the energy source for photosynthesis, it also provides seasonal and positional information that are essential for the plant survival and fitness. Changes in the light environment can dramatically alter plant morphogenesis, especially during the early phases of plant life, and a compelling amount of evidence indicates that light-mediated changes in auxin homeostasis are central in these processes. Auxin exerts its morphogenetic action through instructive hormone gradients that drive developmental programs of plants. Such gradients are formed and maintained via an accurate control on directional auxin transport. This review summarizes the recent advances in understanding the influence of the light environment on polar auxin transport.
light; photomorphogenesis; shade avoidance; phototropism; polar auxin transport; PIN efflux carriers
Although gibberellins (GAs) promote many developmental responses in plants, little is known about how the hormone interacts with environmental signals at the molecular level for regulating plant growth. Recently, we have demonstrated that inhibition of growth by the GA biosynthesis inhibitor paclobutrazol (PAC) at ambient [CO2] (350 µmol CO2 mol-1) is reverted by elevated [CO2] (750 μmol CO2 mol-1). Our finding points to an important role of elevated [CO2] as a signal allowing higher growth rates of low-GA plants. GA promotes plant growth via a complex transcriptional network that integrates multiple signaling pathways. Herein, we discuss how elevated [CO2] stimulates biomass accumulation in a GA-independent manner by regulating the expression of growth-related genes.
elevated carbon dioxide concentration; transcription factor; gibberellin; growth; paclobutrazol
VOZ (vascular plant one zinc-finger protein) is a plant specific one-zinc finger type transcriptional activator, which is highly conserved through land plant evolution. We have previously shown that loss-of-function mutations in VOZ1 and VOZ2 showed increased cold and drought stress tolerances whereas decreased biotic stress resistance in Arabidopsis. Here, we demonstrate that transgenic plants overexpressing VOZ2 impairs freezing and drought stress tolerances but increases resistance to a fungal pathogen, Colletoricum higginsianum. Consistent with changes in the tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, the expression of marker genes for these stresses is significantly altered compared with those of the wild-type plant. These results indicate that a overexpression of VOZ2 confers biotic stress tolerance but impairs abiotic stress tolerances in Arabidopsis.
Arabidopsis thaliana; VOZ; abiotic stress; abscisic acid; biotic stress; overexpression; transcription factor,
In leguminous plants, rhizobial infection of the epidermis triggers proliferation of cortical cells to form a nodule primordium. Recent studies have demonstrated that two classic phytohormones, cytokinin and auxin, have important functions in nodulation. The identification of these functions in Lotus japonicus was facilitated by use of the spontaneous nodule formation 2 (snf2) mutation of the putative cytokinin receptor LOTUS HISTIDINE KINASE 1 (LHK1). Analyses using snf2 demonstrated that constitutive activation of cytokinin signaling causes formation of spontaneous nodule-like structures in the absence of rhizobia and that auxin responses are induced in proliferating cortical cells during such spontaneous nodule development. Thus, cytokinin signaling positively regulates the auxin response. In the present study, we further investigated the induction of the auxin response using a gain-of-function mutation of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) that causes spontaneous nodule formation. We demonstrate that CCaMKT265D-mediated spontaneous nodule development is accompanied by a localized auxin response. Thus, a localized auxin response at the site of an incipient nodule primordium is essential for nodule organogenesis.
auxin; CCaMK; Lotus japonicus; nodulation; spontaneous nodule formation
The life cycle of higher plants alternates between the haploid gametophyte and diploid sporophyte. The female gametophyte (FG), surrounded by the sporophyte, develops within the ovule and orients along the chalazal/micropylar axis. This polarity is important in cell specification and development for both the ovule and FG. Previously, cytokinin was shown to act in the sporophytic tissue to regulate FG development.1,2 In the highlighted study,3 we further showed that enriched cytokinin signaling in chalaza, the central domain of the ovule, is required for the specification of the functional megaspore, which usually occurs in the chalazal-most megaspore after meiosis. The restricted cytokinin signaling in the chalaza is achieved by localized cytokinin biosynthesis and perception. Here, we discuss the implications of this and other studies for the understanding of the role of two-component signaling in FG development and the genetic and cellular interactions between gametophytic and sporophytic cells. Further, we show that cytokinin-deficient mutants display distorted cell morphology in the inner integument and elevated mitotic activity in the maternal sporophyte. These results suggest that cytokinin negatively regulates cell proliferation in the sporophytic tissues surrounding the developing FG, consistent with previous results indicating that cytokinin deficiency causes an increase in the number of cells in the embryos and consequently an enlarged seed size.
cytokinin; two-component signaling; female gametophyte; functional megaspore; integument
The arbuscular mycorrhizal-induced LjMAMI gene is phylogenetically related to GARP transcription factors involved in Pi-starvation responses such as AtPHR1. The gene is strongly upregulated in arbusculated cells from mycorrhizal plants and in root meristems, irrespectively of the fungal presence. A further expression analysis revealed a similar expression pattern for LjPT4, considered a marker gene for mycorrhizal functionality. Here we show that the LjPT4 promoter contains two conserved cis-acting elements typically found in Pi-starvation induced Pi transporters. One of these is strongly related to the binding site of AtPHR1, suggesting a direct regulation of LjPT4 by LjMAMI. The expression of both genes in non-mycorrhizal tissues leads to the hypothesis that these symbiosis-inducible genes are also involved in Pi starvation responses in root meristems in an AM-independent manner.
putative-transcription factor; phosphate transporter; root architecture; symbiosis
In rice seedlings, elongation of leaf sheaths is suppressed by light stimuli. The response is mediated by two classes of photoreceptors, phytochromes and cryptochromes. However, it remains unclear how these photoreceptors interact in the process. Our recent study using phytochrome mutants and novel cryptochrome RNAi lines revealed that cryptochromes and phytochromes function cooperatively, but independently to reduce active GA contents in seedlings in visible light. Blue light captured by cryptochrome 1 (cry1a and cry1b) induces robust expression of GA 2-oxidase genes (OsGA2ox4-7). In parallel, phytochrome B with auxiliary action of phytochrome A mediates repression of GA 20-oxidase genes (OsGA20ox2 and OsGA20ox4). The independent effects cumulatively reduce active GA contents, leading to a suppression of leaf sheath elongation. These regulatory mechanisms are distinct from phytochrome B function in dicots. We discuss reasons why the distinct system appeared in rice, and advantages of the rice system in early photomorphogenesis.
cryptochrome; gibberellin (GA); leaf sheath elongation; photomorphogenesis; phytochrome; rice (Oryza sativa)
Transition metals such as Iron (Fe) and Copper (Cu) are essential for plant cell development. At the same time, due their capability to generate hydroxyl radicals they can be potentially toxic to plant metabolism. Recent works on hydroxyl-radical activation of ion transporters suggest that hydroxyl radicals generated by transition metals could play an important role in plant growth and adaptation to imbalanced environments. In this mini-review, the relation between transition metals uptake and utilization and oxidative stress-activated ion transport in plant cells is analyzed, and a new model depicting both apoplastic and cytosolic mode of ROS signaling to plasma membrane transporters is suggested.
copper; iron; membrane transport; potassium; calcium; hydroxyl radicals; oxidative stress; toxicity; adaptation; development
Legumes represent some of the most important crop species worldwide. They are able to form novel root organs known as nodules, within which biological nitrogen fixation is facilitated through a symbiotic interaction with soil-dwelling bacteria called rhizobia. This provides legumes with a distinct advantage over other plant species, as nitrogen is a key factor for growth and development. Nodule formation is tightly regulated by the plant and can be inhibited by a number of external factors, such as soil pH. This is of significant agricultural and economic importance as much of global legume crops are grown on low pH soils. Despite this, the precise mechanism by which low pH conditions inhibits nodule development remains poorly characterized.
legume nodulation; rhizobia; nitrogen fixation; plant signalling and development; symbiosis; soil pH; soil acidity
Sex-specific interactions with herbivores and pollinators have been observed in female and male plants of dioecious species. However, only a limited number of studies have revised sex-specific patterns in mycorrhizal symbiosis. To test whether female and male plants of Antennaria dioica differ in their relationship with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, we examined the temporal and spatial variation in AM fungi in female, male and non-reproductive A. dioica plants in three natural populations in Finland during flowering and after seed production. Our results are consistent with previous studies both under greenhouse and field conditions with the same species showing differences in AM colonization between the sexes linked with allocation to reproduction. Taken together, the results indicate that there is a sex-specific interaction between A. dioica and AM fungi. Overall, females have a greater investment in AM fungi, likely to enhance their uptake of soil nutrients and support the reproduction by seed.
Asteraceae; AM morphotypes; plant-fungus interactions; secondary sexual dimorphism; sex allocation patterns
A previous study of maize primary roots under water stress showed pronounced increases in oxalate oxidase activity and apoplastic hydrogen peroxide in the apical region of the growth zone where cell elongation is maintained. We examined whether increased oxalate oxidase activity in water-stressed roots is conserved across diverse lines of maize and rice. The maize lines exhibited varied patterns of activity, with some lines lacking activity in the apical region. Moreover, none of the rice lines showed activity in the apical region. Also, although the genotypic response of root elongation to water stress was variable in both maize and rice, this was not correlated with the pattern of oxalate oxidase activity. Implications of these findings for root growth regulation under water stress are discussed.
maize; oxalate oxidase; rice; root elongation; water stress
Cellular functions of actin, and associated actin binding proteins (ABPs), have been well characterized with respect to their dynamic cytosolic role as components of the complex cytoskeletal network. In this regard, the collective research in this field has vastly expanded our knowledge of the role of actin to more recently identify a key role within the nucleus as an integral part gene organization and expression. Herein, we describe the requirement of the ABP actin depolymerizing factor-4 (ADF4) as a regulator of resistance to Pseudomonas syringae DC3000 expressing the effector AvrPphB via ADF4’s cytosolic and nuclear functions. In total, our work has identified significant alterations in the expression of the resistance protein RPS5 in an ADF4 phosphorylation dependent manner. In this mini-review, we provide compelling evidence in support of both a nuclear function for ADF4, as well as potential targeting of the actin cytoskeleton bythe bacterial effector AvrPphB.
ADF4; nucleus; actin; plant defense
The ubiquitin/26S proteasome-dependent proteolysis of response regulators is a critical element of many plant hormone signaling pathways. We have recently shown that cytokinin signaling requires the AXR1 component of the related to ubiquitin (RUB) protein modification pathway to promote the proteasome-dependent degradation of the cytokinin response inhibitor ARR5. Here, we show that ARR5 also accumulates in the 26S proteasome mutant rpn12a-1, and leads to a marked resistance to cytokinins. Collectively, these results suggest that proteasome-dependent proteolysis of feedback inhibitors such as ARR5 is essential for the maintenance of optimal responsivity and plasticity in cytokinin signaling.
cytokinin signaling; 26S proteasome; RUB modification pathway; type-A ARRs; negative feedback regulation
Plant miRNAs, the critical regulator of gene expression, involve many development processes in vivo. However, the roles of miRNAs in plant cell proliferation and redifferntiation in vitro remain unknown. To determine better the molecular mechanism of these processes, we have recently reported that a set of miRNAs with different expression patterns between cells of totipotent and non-totipotent Arabidopsis calli. Some of these were specifically up- or downregulated during callus formation or shoot regeneration, and other development. Among them, miR160, and one of its target genes, ARF10, regulated Arabidopsis in vitro shoot regeneration via WUS, CLV3 and CUC1/2. The miR160-overexpressing, 35S transgenic lines, exhibited reduced shoot regeneration efficiency. The mARF10, a miR160-resistant form of ARF10, showed a high level of shoot regeneration ability. In the transgenic, expression of the above shoot meristem-specific genes was elevated, which is consistent with the improved shoot regeneration. In contrast, the ARF10 deficient knockout mutant produced fewer regenerated shoot. However, overexpressors of ARF10 were only marginally more efficient than the wild type with the respect to shoot regeneration. Our observation strongly supports that proper shoot regeneration from in vitro cultured cells requires the miR160-directed negative influence of ARF10. The enhanced expression of ARF10 is likely to have contributed to the improved regeneration ability.
Arabidopsis; microRNA; shoot regeneration; calli; ARF10; miR160
In plants, microRNA399 (miR399) is a major regulator of phosphate (Pi) homeostasis by way of post-transcriptional mechanisms including transcript cleavage and transcriptional repression. Although miRNA genomic organization, biogenesis, and mode of action in plants are known, the regulatory mechanisms affecting miRNAs are poorly understood. We have shown that AtMYB2 functions as a transcriptional activator for miR399f expression in the context of phosphate homeostasis. AtMYB2 directly binds to a MYB-binding site in the promoter of the miR399f precursor and regulates miR399f expression. In addition, AtMYB2 transcripts are induced under Pi deficiency. The overexpression of AtMYB2 affects root system architecture (RSA), indicated by suppression of primary root growth and enhanced development of root hairs. AtMYB2 and miR399f are expressed and localized in the same tissues under Pi limitation. This study establishes that AtMYB2 regulates Pi-starvation responses (PSR) by activating of miR399f transcript, suggesting that an analysis of this miRNA promoter could reveal the existence and extent of crosstalk with other signaling mechanisms.
Arabidopsis MYB2; microRNA399; phosphate; phytohormones; signaling