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1.  The effects of foliar fertilization with iron sulfate in chlorotic leaves are limited to the treated area. A study with peach trees (Prunus persica L. Batsch) grown in the field and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) grown in hydroponics 
Crop Fe deficiency is a worldwide problem. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of foliar Fe applications in two species grown in different environments: peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) trees grown in the field and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L. cv. “Orbis”) grown in hydroponics. The distal half of Fe-deficient, chlorotic leaves was treated with Fe sulfate by dipping and using a brush in peach trees and sugar beet plants, respectively. The re-greening of the distal (Fe-treated) and basal (untreated) leaf areas was monitored, and the nutrient and photosynthetic pigment composition of the two areas were also determined. Leaves were also studied using chlorophyll fluorescence imaging, low temperature-scanning electron microscopy microanalysis, scanning transmission ion microscopy-particle induced X-ray emission and Perls Fe staining. The distal, Fe-treated leaf parts of both species showed a significant increase in Fe concentrations (across the whole leaf volume) and marked re-greening, with significant increases in the concentrations of all photosynthetic pigments, as well as decreases in de-epoxidation of xanthophyll cycle carotenoids and increases in photochemical efficiency. In the basal, untreated leaf parts, Fe concentrations increased slightly, but little re-greening occurred. No changes in the concentrations of other nutrients were found. Foliar Fe fertilization was effective in re-greening treated leaf areas both in peach trees and sugar beet plants. Results indicate that the effects of foliar Fe-sulfate fertilization in Fe-deficient, chlorotic leaves were minor outside the leaf surface treated, indicating that Fe mobility within the leaf is a major constraint for full fertilizer effectiveness in crops where Fe-deficiency is established and leaf chlorosis occurs.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00002
PMCID: PMC3895801  PMID: 24478782
Prunus persica; Beta vulgaris; foliar Fe nutrition; leaf anatomy; leaf chlorosis; leaf Fe localization
2.  Electron transport and light-harvesting switches in cyanobacteria 
Cyanobacteria possess multiple mechanisms for regulating the pathways of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport. Electron transport may be regulated indirectly by controlling the transfer of excitation energy from the light-harvesting complexes, or it may be more directly regulated by controlling the stoichiometry, localization, and interactions of photosynthetic and respiratory electron transport complexes. Regulation of the extent of linear vs. cyclic electron transport is particularly important for controlling the redox balance of the cell. This review discusses what is known of the regulatory mechanisms and the timescales on which they occur, with particular regard to the structural reorganization needed and the constraints imposed by the limited mobility of membrane-integral proteins in the crowded thylakoid membrane. Switching mechanisms requiring substantial movement of integral thylakoid membrane proteins occur on slower timescales than those that require the movement only of cytoplasmic or extrinsic membrane proteins. This difference is probably due to the restricted diffusion of membrane-integral proteins. Multiple switching mechanisms may be needed to regulate electron transport on different timescales.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00007
PMCID: PMC3896814  PMID: 24478787
cyanobacteria; electron transport; light-harvesting; orange carotenoid protein; phycobilisome; state transitions; thylakoid membrane
3.  Regulation of water, salinity, and cold stress responses by salicylic acid 
Salicylic acid (SA) is a naturally occurring phenolic compound. SA plays an important role in the regulation of plant growth, development, ripening, and defense responses. The role of SA in the plant–pathogen relationship has been extensively investigated. In addition to defense responses, SA plays an important role in the response to abiotic stresses, including drought, low temperature, and salinity stresses. It has been suggested that SA has great agronomic potential to improve the stress tolerance of agriculturally important crops. However, the utility of SA is dependent on the concentration of the applied SA, the mode of application, and the state of the plants (e.g., developmental stage and acclimation). Generally, low concentrations of applied SA alleviate the sensitivity to abiotic stresses, and high concentrations of applied induce high levels of oxidative stress, leading to a decreased tolerance to abiotic stresses. In this article, the effects of SA on the water stress responses and regulation of stomatal closure are reviewed.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00004
PMCID: PMC3899523  PMID: 24478784
reactive oxygen species; drought tolerance; stomata; salicylic acid; feedback loop
4.  When fat is not bad: the regulation of actin dynamics by phospholipid signaling molecules 
The actin cytoskeleton plays a key role in the plant morphogenesis and is involved in polar cell growth, movement of subcellular organelles, cell division, and plant defense. Organization of actin cytoskeleton undergoes dynamic remodeling in response to internal developmental cues and diverse environmental signals. This dynamic behavior is regulated by numerous actin-binding proteins (ABPs) that integrate various signaling pathways. Production of the signaling lipids phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate and phosphatidic acid affects the activity and subcellular distribution of several ABPs, and typically correlates with increased actin polymerization. Here we review current knowledge of the inter-regulatory dynamics between signaling phospholipids and the actin cytoskeleton in plant cells.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00005
PMCID: PMC3899574  PMID: 24478785
actin; actin-binding proteins; capping protein; cytoskeleton; phosphatidic acid; phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate; phospholipase D; signaling
5.  Autophagy as a possible mechanism for micronutrient remobilization from leaves to seeds 
Seed formation is an important step of plant development which depends on nutrient allocation. Uptake from soil is an obvious source of nutrients which mainly occurs during vegetative stage. Because seed filling and leaf senescence are synchronized, subsequent mobilization of nutrients from vegetative organs also play an essential role in nutrient use efficiency, providing source-sink relationships. However, nutrient accumulation during the formation of seeds may be limited by their availability in source tissues. While several mechanisms contributing to make leaf macronutrients available were already described, little is known regarding micronutrients such as metals. Autophagy, which is involved in nutrient recycling, was already shown to play a critical role in nitrogen remobilization to seeds during leaf senescence. Because it is a non-specific mechanism, it could also control remobilization of metals. This article reviews actors and processes involved in metal remobilization with emphasis on autophagy and methodology to study metal fluxes inside the plant. A better understanding of metal remobilization is needed to improve metal use efficiency in the context of biofortification.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00011
PMCID: PMC3900762  PMID: 24478789
transition metal; isotopic labeling; nutrient use efficiency; leaf senescence; nutrient fluxes; atg; Fe; Zn
6.  Abiotic stress responses in plant roots: a proteomics perspective 
Abiotic stress conditions adversely affect plant growth, resulting in significant decline in crop productivity. To mitigate and recover from the damaging effects of such adverse environmental conditions, plants have evolved various adaptive strategies at cellular and metabolic levels. Most of these strategies involve dynamic changes in protein abundance that can be best explored through proteomics. This review summarizes comparative proteomic studies conducted with roots of various plant species subjected to different abiotic stresses especially drought, salinity, flood, and cold. The main purpose of this article is to highlight and classify the protein level changes in abiotic stress response pathways specifically in plant roots. Shared as well as stressor-specific proteome signatures and adaptive mechanism(s) are simultaneously described. Such a comprehensive account will facilitate the design of genetic engineering strategies that enable the development of broad-spectrum abiotic stress-tolerant crops.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00006
PMCID: PMC3900766  PMID: 24478786
proteomics; abiotic stress; root; adaptive response
7.  Arabidopsis mutants in sphingolipid synthesis as tools to understand the structure and function of membrane microdomains in plasmodesmata 
Plasmodesmata—intercellular channels that communicate adjacent cells—possess complex membranous structures. Recent evidences indicate that plasmodesmata contain membrane microdomains. In order to understand how these submembrane regions collaborate to plasmodesmata function, it is necessary to characterize their size, composition and dynamics. An approach that can shed light on these microdomain features is based on the use of Arabidopsis mutants in sphingolipid synthesis. Sphingolipids are canonical components of microdomains together with sterols and some glycerolipids. Moreover, sphingolipids are transducers in pathways that display programmed cell death as a defense mechanism against pathogens. The study of Arabidopsis mutants would allow determining which structural features of the sphingolipids are important for the formation and stability of microdomains, and if defense signaling networks using sphingoid bases as second messengers are associated to plasmodesmata operation. Such studies need to be complemented by analysis of the ultrastructure and the use of protein probes for plasmodesmata microdomains and may constitute a very valuable source of information to analyze these membrane structures.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00003
PMCID: PMC3900917  PMID: 24478783
sphingolipid Arabidopsis mutants; sphingolipids and microdomains; long chain bases; sphingoid bases; microdomains and plasmodesmata
8.  Zinc allocation and re-allocation in rice 
Aims: Agronomy and breeding actively search for options to enhance cereal grain Zn density. Quantifying internal (re-)allocation of Zn as affected by soil and crop management or genotype is crucial. We present experiments supporting the development of a conceptual model of whole plant Zn allocation and re-allocation in rice.
Methods: Two solution culture experiments using 70Zn applications at different times during crop development and an experiment on within-grain distribution of Zn are reported. In addition, results from two earlier published experiments are re-analyzed and re-interpreted.
Results: A budget analysis showed that plant zinc accumulation during grain filling was larger than zinc allocation to the grains. Isotope data showed that zinc taken up during grain filling was only partly transported directly to the grains and partly allocated to the leaves. Zinc taken up during grain filling and allocated to the leaves replaced zinc re-allocated from leaves to grains. Within the grains, no major transport barrier was observed between vascular tissue and endosperm. At low tissue Zn concentrations, rice plants maintained concentrations of about 20 mg Zn kg−1 dry matter in leaf blades and reproductive tissues, but let Zn concentrations in stems, sheath, and roots drop below this level. When plant zinc concentrations increased, Zn levels in leaf blades and reproductive tissues only showed a moderate increase while Zn levels in stems, roots, and sheaths increased much more and in that order.
Conclusions: In rice, the major barrier to enhanced zinc allocation towards grains is between stem and reproductive tissues. Enhancing root to shoot transfer will not contribute proportionally to grain zinc enhancement.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00008
PMCID: PMC3902299  PMID: 24478788
70Zn; zinc allocation; rice; Oryza sativa; stable isotope; re-allocation
9.  The CP12 protein family: a thioredoxin-mediated metabolic switch? 
CP12 is a small, redox-sensitive protein, representatives of which are found in most photosynthetic organisms, including cyanobacteria, diatoms, red and green algae, and higher plants. The only clearly defined function for CP12 in any organism is in the thioredoxin-mediated regulation of the Calvin–Benson cycle. CP12 mediates the formation of a complex between glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and phosphoribulokinase (PRK) in response to changes in light intensity. Under low light, the formation of the GAPDH/PRK/CP12 complex results in a reduction in the activity of both PRK and GAPDH and, under high light conditions, thioredoxin mediates the disassociation of the complex resulting in an increase in both GAPDH and PRK activity. Although the role of CP12 in the redox-mediated formation of the GAPDH/PRK/CP12 multiprotein complex has been clearly demonstrated, a number of studies now provide evidence that the CP12 proteins may play a wider role. In Arabidopsis thaliana CP12 is expressed in a range of tissue including roots, flowers, and seeds and antisense suppression of tobacco CP12 disrupts metabolism and impacts on growth and development. Furthermore, in addition to the higher plant genomes which encode up to three forms of CP12, analysis of cyanobacterial genomes has revealed that, not only are there multiple forms of the CP12 protein, but that in these organisms CP12 is also found fused to cystathionine-β-synthase domain containing proteins. In this review we present the latest information on the CP12 protein family and explore the possibility that CP12 proteins form part of a redox-mediated metabolic switch, allowing organisms to respond to rapid changes in the external environment.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00009
PMCID: PMC3906501  PMID: 24523724
protein–protein interactions; redox; cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS)-domains; thioredoxin; intrinsically unstructured (disordered) protein
10.  Phenolic content variability and its chromosome location in tritordeum 
For humans, wheat is the most important source of calories, but it is also a source of antioxidant compounds that are involved in the prevention of chronic disease. Among the antioxidant compounds, phenolic acids have great potential to improve human health. In this paper we evaluate the effect of environmental and genetic factors on the phenolics content in the grain of a collection of tritordeums with different cytoplasm and chromosome substitutions. To this purpose, tritordeum flour was used for extraction of the free, conjugates and bound phenolic compounds. These phenolic compounds were identified and quantified by RP-HPLC and the results were analyzed by univariate and multivariate methods. This is the first study that describes the composition of phenolic acids of the amphiploid tritordeum. As in wheat, the predominant phenolic compound is ferulic acid. In tritordeum there is great variability for the content of phenolic compounds and the main factor which determines its content is the genotype followed by the environment, in this case included in the year factor. Phenolic acid content is associated with the substitution of chromosome DS1D(1Hch) and DS2D(2Hch), and the translocation 1RS/1BL in tritordeum. The results show that there is high potential for further improving the quality and quantity of phenolics in tritordeum because this amphiploid shows high variability for the content of phenolic compounds.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00010
PMCID: PMC3906567  PMID: 24523725
plant breeding; antioxidant; healthy; variability; nutritive; chromosome sustitution; wheat; flour quality
11.  Ubiquitin Lys 63 chains – second-most abundant, but poorly understood in plants 
Covalent attachment of the small modifier ubiquitin to Lys ε-amino groups of proteins is surprisingly diverse. Once attached to a substrate, ubiquitin is itself frequently modified by ubiquitin, to form chains. All seven Lys residues of ubiquitin, as well as its N-terminal Met, can be ubiquitylated, implying cellular occurrence of different ubiquitin chain types. The available data suggest that the synthesis, recognition, and hydrolysis of different chain types are precisely regulated. This remarkable extent of control underlies a versatile cellular response to substrate ubiquitylation. In this review, we focus on roles of Lys63-linked ubiquitin chains in plants. Despite limited available knowledge, several recent findings illustrate the importance of these chains as signaling components in plants.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00015
PMCID: PMC3907715  PMID: 24550925
ubiquitin Lys63 chains; cell signaling; vacuolar sorting; endoctosis; iron response; DNA repair; auxin transport; plant defense
12.  Functions and regulation of quorum-sensing in Agrobacterium tumefaciens 
In Agrobacterium tumefaciens, horizontal transfer and vegetative replication of oncogenic Ti plasmids involve a cell-to-cell communication process called quorum-sensing (QS). The determinants of the QS-system belong to the LuxR/LuxI class. The LuxI-like protein TraI synthesizes N-acyl-homoserine lactone molecules which act as diffusible QS-signals. Beyond a threshold concentration, these molecules bind and activate the LuxR-like transcriptional regulator TraR, thereby initiating the QS-regulatory pathway. For the last 20 years, A. tumefaciens has stood as a prominent model in the understanding of the LuxR/LuxI type of QS systems. A number of studies also unveiled features which are unique to A. tumefaciens QS, some of them being directly related to the phytopathogenic lifestyle of the bacteria. In this review, we will present the current knowledge of QS in A. tumefaciens at both the genetic and molecular levels. We will also describe how interactions with plant host modulate the QS pathway of A. tumefaciens, and discuss what could be the advantages for the agrobacteria to use such a tightly regulated QS-system to disseminate the Ti plasmids.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00014
PMCID: PMC3907764  PMID: 24550924
quorum-sensing; opines; conjugation; genetic; plant host; quorum-quenching; gene expression regulation
13.  Significant role of PB1 and UBA domains in multimerization of Joka2, a selective autophagy cargo receptor from tobacco 
Tobacco Joka2 protein is a hybrid homolog of two mammalian selective autophagy cargo receptors, p62 and NBR1. These proteins can directly interact with the members of ATG8 family and the polyubiquitinated cargoes designed for degradation. Function of the selective autophagy cargo receptors relies on their ability to form protein aggregates. It has been shown that the N-terminal PB1 domain of p62 is involved in formation of aggregates, while the UBA domains of p62 and NBR1 have been associated mainly with cargo binding. Here we focus on roles of PB1 and UBA domains in localization and aggregation of Joka2 in plant cells. We show that Joka2 can homodimerize not only through its N-terminal PB1-PB1 interactions but also via interaction between N-terminal PB1 and C-terminal UBA domains. We also demonstrate that Joka2 co-localizes with recombinant ubiquitin and sequestrates it into aggregates and that C-terminal part (containing UBA domains) is sufficient for this effect. Our results indicate that Joka2 accumulates in cytoplasmic aggregates and suggest that in addition to these multimeric forms it also exists in the nucleus and cytoplasm in a monomeric form.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00013
PMCID: PMC3907767  PMID: 24550923
Joka2; PB1; UBA; autophagy; proteasome; ubiquitin; selective autophagy cargo receptor; NBR1
14.  The Carboxy-terminus of BAK1 regulates kinase activity and is required for normal growth of Arabidopsis 
Binding of brassinolide to the brassinosteroid-insenstive 1(BRI1) receptor kinase promotes interaction with its co-receptor, BRI1-associated receptor kinase 1 (BAK1). Juxtaposition of the kinase domains that occurs then allows reciprocal transphosphorylation and activation of both kinases, but details of that process are not entirely clear. In the present study we show that the carboxy (C)-terminal polypeptide of BAK1 may play a role. First, we demonstrate that the C-terminal domain is a strong inhibitor of the transphosphorylation activity of the recombinant BAK1 cytoplasmic domain protein. However, recombinant BAK1 lacking the C-terminal domain is unable to transactivate the peptide kinase activity of BRI1 in vitro. Thus, the C-terminal domain may play both a positive and negative role. Interestingly, a synthetic peptide corresponding to the full C-terminal domain (residues 576–615 of BAK1) interacted with recombinant BRI1 in vitro, and that interaction was enhanced by phosphorylation at the Tyr-610 site. Expression of a BAK1 C-terminal domain truncation (designated BAK1-ΔCT-Flag) in transgenic Arabidopsis plants lacking endogenous bak1 and its functional paralog, bkk1, produced plants that were wild type in appearance but much smaller than plants expressing full-length BAK1-Flag. The reduction in growth may be attributed to a partial inhibition of BR signaling in vivo as reflected in root growth assays but other factors are likely involved as well. Our working model is that in vivo, the inhibitory action of the C-terminal domain of BAK1 is relieved by binding to BRI1. However, that interaction is not essential for BR signaling, but other aspects of cellular signaling are impacted when the C-terminal domain is truncated and result in inhibition of growth. These results increase the molecular understanding of the C-terminal domain of BAK1 as a regulator of kinase activity that may serve as a model for other receptor kinases.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00016
PMCID: PMC3912384  PMID: 24550926
brassinosteroid; BAK1; BRI1; domain; phosphotyrosine; protein–peptide interaction
15.  Vacuolar sequestration capacity and long-distance metal transport in plants 
The vacuole is a pivotal organelle functioning in storage of metabolites, mineral nutrients, and toxicants in higher plants. Accumulating evidence indicates that in addition to its storage role, the vacuole contributes essentially to long-distance transport of metals, through the modulation of Vacuolar sequestration capacity (VSC) which is shown to be primarily controlled by cytosolic metal chelators and tonoplast-localized transporters, or the interaction between them. Plants adapt to their environments by dynamic regulation of VSC for specific metals and hence targeting metals to specific tissues. Study of VSC provides not only a new angle to understand the long-distance root-to-shoot transport of minerals in plants, but also an efficient way to biofortify essential mineral nutrients or to phytoremediate non-essential metal pollution. The current review will focus on the most recent proceedings on the interaction mechanisms between VSC regulation and long-distance metal transport.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00019
PMCID: PMC3912839  PMID: 24550927
vacuolar sequestration capacity; vacuole; transporter; chelator; metal transport
16.  The effect of irradiance on the carbon balance and tissue characteristics of five herbaceous species differing in shade-tolerance 
The carbon balance is defined here as the partitioning of daily whole-plant gross CO2 assimilation (A) in C available for growth and C required for respiration (R). A scales positively with growth irradiance and there is evidence for an irradiance dependence of R as well. Here we ask if R as a fraction of A is also irradiance dependent, whether there are systematic differences in C-balance between shade-tolerant and shade-intolerant species, and what the causes could be. Growth, gas exchange, chemical composition and leaf structure were analyzed for two shade-tolerant and three shade-intolerant herbaceous species that were hydroponically grown in a growth room at five irradiances from 20 μmol m−2 s−1 (1.2 mol m−2 day−1) to 500 μmol m−2 s−1 (30 mol m−2 day−1). Growth analysis showed little difference between species in unit leaf rate (dry mass increase per unit leaf area) at low irradiance, but lower rates for the shade-tolerant species at high irradiance, mainly as a result of their lower light-saturated rate of photosynthesis. This resulted in lower relative growth rates in these conditions. Daily whole-plant R scaled with A in a very tight manner, giving a remarkably constant R/A ratio of around 0.3 for all but the lowest irradiance. Although some shade-intolerant species showed tendencies toward a higher R/A and inefficiencies in terms of carbon and nitrogen investment in their leaves, no conclusive evidence was found for systematic differences in C-balance between the shade-tolerant and intolerant species at the lowest irradiance. Leaf tissue of the shade-tolerant species was characterized by high dry matter percentages, C-concentration and construction costs, which could be associated with a better defense in shade environments where leaf longevity matters. We conclude that shade-intolerant species have a competitive advantage at high irradiance due to superior potential growth rates, but that shade-tolerance is not necessarily associated with a better C-balance at low irradiance. Under those conditions tolerance to other stresses is probably more important for the performance of shade-tolerant species.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00012
PMCID: PMC3912841  PMID: 24550922
construction costs; growth analysis; photosynthesis; root respiration; scaling slope analysis; shoot respiration; whole-plant gas exchange
17.  ER and vacuoles: never been closer 
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) represents the gateway for intracellular trafficking of membrane proteins, soluble cargoes and lipids. In all eukaryotes, the best described mechanism of exiting the ER is via COPII-coated vesicles, which transport both membrane proteins and soluble cargoes to the cis-Golgi. The vacuole, together with the plasma membrane, is the most distal point of the secretory pathway, and many vacuolar proteins are transported from the ER through intermediate compartments. However, past results and recent findings demonstrate the presence of alternative transport routes from the ER towards the tonoplast, which are independent of Golgi- and post-Golgi trafficking. Moreover, the transport mechanism of the vacuolar proton pumps VHA-a3 and AVP1 challenges the current model of vacuole biogenesis, pointing to the endoplasmic reticulum for being the main membrane source for the biogenesis of the plant lytic compartment. This review gives an overview of the current knowledge on the transport routes towards the vacuole and discusses the possible mechanism of vacuole biogenesis in plants.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00020
PMCID: PMC3913007  PMID: 24550928
endoplasmic reticulum; COPII vesicles; Golgi apparatus; trans-Golgi network; multivesicular body; vacuole
18.  The Arabidopsis cytosolic proteome: the metabolic heart of the cell 
The plant cytosol is the major intracellular fluid that acts as the medium for inter-organellar crosstalk and where a plethora of important biological reactions take place. These include its involvement in protein synthesis and degradation, stress response signaling, carbon metabolism, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and accumulation of enzymes for defense and detoxification. This central role is highlighted by estimates indicating that the majority of eukaryotic proteins are cytosolic. Arabidopsis thaliana has been the subject of numerous proteomic studies on its different subcellular compartments. However, a detailed study of enriched cytosolic fractions from Arabidopsis cell culture has been performed only recently, with over 1,000 proteins reproducibly identified by mass spectrometry. The number of proteins allocated to the cytosol nearly doubles to 1,802 if a series of targeted proteomic characterizations of complexes is included. Despite this, few groups are currently applying advanced proteomic approaches to this important metabolic space. This review will highlight the current state of the Arabidopsis cytosolic proteome since its initial characterization a few years ago.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00021
PMCID: PMC3914213  PMID: 24550929
cytosol; ribosome; proteasome; localization; Arabidopsis
19.  Associations between the acclimation of phloem-cell wall ingrowths in minor veins and maximal photosynthesis rate 
The companion cells (CCs) and/or phloem parenchyma cells (PCs) in foliar minor veins of some species exhibit invaginations that are amplified when plants develop in high light (HL) compared to low light (LL). Leaves of plants that develop under HL also exhibit greater maximal rates of photosynthesis compared to those that develop under LL, suggesting that the increased membrane area of CCs and PCs of HL-acclimated leaves may provide for greater levels of transport proteins facilitating enhanced sugar export. Furthermore, the degree of wall invagination in PCs (Arabidopsis thaliana) or CCs (pea) of fully expanded LL-acclimated leaves increased to the same level as that present in HL-acclimated leaves 7 days following transfer to HL, and maximal photosynthesis rates of transferred leaves of both species likewise increased to the same level as in HL-acclimated leaves. In contrast, transfer of Senecio vulgaris from LL to HL resulted in increased wall invagination in CCs, but not PCs, and such leaves furthermore exhibited only partial upregulation of photosynthetic capacity following LL to HL transfer. Moreover, a significant linear relationship existed between the level of cell wall ingrowths and maximal photosynthesis rates across all three species and growth light regimes. A positive linear relationship between these two parameters was also present for two ecotypes (Sweden, Italy) of the winter annual A. thaliana in response to growth at different temperatures, with significantly greater levels of PC wall ingrowths and higher rates of photosynthesis in leaves that developed at cooler versus warmer temperatures. Treatment of LL-acclimated plants with the stress hormone methyl jasmonate also resulted in increased levels of wall ingrowths in PCs of A. thaliana and S. vulgaris but not in CCs of pea and S. vulgaris. The possible role of PC wall ingrowths in sugar export versus as physical barriers to the movement of pathogens warrants further attention.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00024
PMCID: PMC3915099  PMID: 24567735
biotic defense; companion cells; light acclimation; leaf vasculature; phloem; photosynthesis; temperature acclimation; transfer cells
20.  Molybdenum metabolism in plants and crosstalk to iron 
In the form of molybdate the transition metal molybdenum is essential for plants as it is required by a number of enzymes that catalyze key reactions in nitrogen assimilation, purine degradation, phytohormone synthesis, and sulfite detoxification. However, molybdate itself is biologically inactive and needs to be complexed by a specific organic pterin in order to serve as a permanently bound prosthetic group, the molybdenum cofactor, for the socalled molybdo-enyzmes. While the synthesis of molybdenum cofactor has been intensively studied, only little is known about the uptake of molybdate by the roots, its transport to the shoot and its allocation and storage within the cell. Yet, recent evidence indicates that intracellular molybdate levels are tightly controlled by molybdate transporters, in particular during plant development. Moreover, a tight connection between molybdenum and iron metabolisms is presumed because (i) uptake mechanisms for molybdate and iron affect each other, (ii) most molybdo-enzymes do also require iron-containing redox groups such as iron-sulfur clusters or heme, (iii) molybdenum metabolism has recruited mechanisms typical for iron-sulfur cluster synthesis, and (iv) both molybdenum cofactor synthesis and extramitochondrial iron-sulfur proteins involve the function of a specific mitochondrial ABC-type transporter.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00028
PMCID: PMC3916724  PMID: 24570679
aldehyde oxidase; iron; molybdenum; molybdate transporter; molybdo-enzymes; nitrate reductase; sulfite oxidase; xanthine dehydrogenase
21.  GIP/MZT1 proteins orchestrate nuclear shaping 
The functional organization of the nuclear envelope (NE) is only just emerging in plants with the recent characterization of NE protein complexes and their molecular links to the actin cytoskeleton. The NE also plays a role in microtubule nucleation by recruiting γ-Tubulin Complexes (γ-TuCs) which contribute to the establishment of a robust mitotic spindle. γ-tubulin Complex Protein 3 (GCP3)-interacting proteins (GIPs) have been identified recently as integral components of γ-TuCs. GIPs have been conserved throughout evolution and are also named MZT1 (mitotic-spindle organizing protein 1). This review focuses on recent data investigating the role of GIP/MZT1 at the NE, including insights from the study of GIP partners. It also uncovers new functions for GIP/MZT1 during interphase and highlights a current view of NE-associated components which are critical for nuclear shaping during both cell division and differentiation.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00029
PMCID: PMC3916773  PMID: 24570680
nucleocytoplasmic continuum; gamma-tubulin complex; spindle assembly; nuclear envelope proteins; Arabidopsis thaliana
22.  Systems analysis of transcriptome data provides new hypotheses about Arabidopsis root response to nitrate treatments 
Nitrogen (N) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth and development. Plants adapt to changes in N availability partly by changes in global gene expression. We integrated publicly available root microarray data under contrasting nitrate conditions to identify new genes and functions important for adaptive nitrate responses in Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Overall, more than 2000 genes exhibited changes in expression in response to nitrate treatments in Arabidopsis thaliana root organs. Global regulation of gene expression by nitrate depends largely on the experimental context. However, despite significant differences from experiment to experiment in the identity of regulated genes, there is a robust nitrate response of specific biological functions. Integrative gene network analysis uncovered relationships between nitrate-responsive genes and 11 highly co-expressed gene clusters (modules). Four of these gene network modules have robust nitrate responsive functions such as transport, signaling, and metabolism. Network analysis hypothesized G2-like transcription factors are key regulatory factors controlling transport and signaling functions. Our meta-analysis highlights the role of biological processes not studied before in the context of the nitrate response such as root hair development and provides testable hypothesis to advance our understanding of nitrate responses in plants.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00022
PMCID: PMC3917222  PMID: 24570678
meta-analysis; root hairs; nitrate; systems biology; gene co-expression analysis; transcription factors; Gene Ontology (GO)
23.  Regulation of primary plant metabolism during plant-pathogen interactions and its contribution to plant defense 
Plants are constantly exposed to microorganisms in the environment and, as a result, have evolved intricate mechanisms to recognize and defend themselves against potential pathogens. One of these responses is the downregulation of photosynthesis and other processes associated with primary metabolism that are essential for plant growth. It has been suggested that the energy saved by downregulation of primary metabolism is diverted and used for defense responses. However, several studies have shown that upregulation of primary metabolism also occurs during plant-pathogen interactions. We propose that upregulation of primary metabolism modulates signal transduction cascades that lead to plant defense responses. In support of this thought, we here compile evidence from the literature to show that upon exposure to pathogens or elicitors, plants induce several genes associated with primary metabolic pathways, such as those involved in the synthesis or degradation of carbohydrates, amino acids and lipids. In addition, genetic studies have confirmed the involvement of these metabolic pathways in plant defense responses. This review provides a new perspective highlighting the relevance of primary metabolism in regulating plant defense against pathogens with the hope to stimulate further research in this area.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00017
PMCID: PMC3919437  PMID: 24575102
primary metabolism; plant defense; virulent pathogens; avirulent pathogens; programmed cell death; hypersensitive response
24.  Evolutionary aspects of non-cell-autonomous regulation in vascular plants: structural background and models to study 
Plasmodesmata (PD) serve for the exchange of information in form of miRNA, proteins, and mRNA between adjacent cells in the course of plant development. This fundamental role of PD is well established in angiosperms but has not yet been traced back to the evolutionary ancient plant taxa where functional studies lag behind studies of PD structure and ontogenetic origin. There is convincing evidence that the ability to form secondary (post-cytokinesis) PD, which can connect any adjacent cells, contrary to primary PD which form during cytokinesis and link only cells of the same lineage, appeared in the evolution of higher plants at least twice: in seed plants and in some representatives of the Lycopodiophyta. The (in)ability to form secondary PD is manifested in the symplasmic organization of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) which in most taxa of seedless vascular plants differs dramatically from that in seed plants. Lycopodiophyta appear to be suitable models to analyze the transport of developmental regulators via PD in SAMs with symplasmic organization both different from, as well as analogous to, that in angiosperms, and to understand the evolutionary aspects of the role of this transport in the morphogenesis of vascular plant taxa.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00031
PMCID: PMC3920070  PMID: 24575105
Lycopodiophyta; primary plasmodesmata; secondary plasmodesmata; cell boundaries; shoot apical meristem; KNOX transcription factors
25.  Root traits and microbial community interactions in relation to phosphorus availability and acquisition, with particular reference to Brassica 
Brassicas are among the most widely grown and important crops worldwide. Phosphorus (P) is a key mineral element in the growth of all plants and is largely supplied as inorganic rock-phosphate, a dwindling resource, which is likely to be an increasingly significant factor in global agriculture. In order to develop crops which can abstract P from the soil, utilize it more efficiently, require less of it or obtain more from other sources such as soil organic P reservoirs, a detailed understanding the factors that influence P metabolism and cycling in plants and associated soil is required. This review focuses on the current state of understanding of root traits, rhizodeposition and rhizosphere community interaction as it applies to P solubilization and acquisition, with particular reference to Brassica species. Physical root characteristics, exudation of organic acids (particularly malate and citrate) and phosphatase enzymes are considered and the potential mechanisms of control of these responses to P deficiency examined. The influence of rhizodeposits on the development of the rhizosphere microbial community is discussed and the specific features of this community in response to P deficiency are considered; specifically production of phosphatases, phytases and phosphonate hydrolases. Finally various potential approaches for improving overall P use efficiency in Brassica production are discussed.
doi:10.3389/fpls.2014.00027
PMCID: PMC3920115  PMID: 24575103
rhizodeposition; phosphorus; Brassica; rhizosphere; microbial community; root traits; organic acids; phosphatases

Results 1-25 (1262)