Trans-acting small interfering RNAs (ta-siRNAs) are plant-specific siRNAs released from TAS precursor transcripts after microRNA-dependent cleavage, conversion into double-stranded RNA, and Dicer-dependent phased processing. Like microRNAs (miRNAs), ta-siRNAs direct site-specific cleavage of target RNAs at sites of extensive complementarity. Here, we show that the DICER-LIKE 4 protein of Physcomitrella patens (PpDCL4) is essential for the biogenesis of 21 nucleotide (nt) ta-siRNAs. In ΔPpDCL4 mutants, off-sized 23 and 24-nt ta-siRNAs accumulated as the result of PpDCL3 activity. ΔPpDCL4 mutants display severe abnormalities throughout Physcomitrella development, including sterility, that were fully reversed in ΔPpDCL3/ΔPpDCL4 double-mutant plants. Therefore, PpDCL3 activity, not loss of PpDCL4 function per se, is the cause of the ΔPpDCL4 phenotypes. Additionally, we describe several new Physcomitrella trans-acting siRNA loci, three of which belong to a new family, TAS6. TAS6 loci are typified by sliced miR156 and miR529 target sites and are in close proximity to PpTAS3 loci.
ta-siRNA; miR156; PpDCL3; PpDCL4; development; moss
A deep-sequencing approach was pursued utilizing 454 and Illumina sequencing methods to discover new genes involved in xyloglucan biosynthesis. cDNA sequences were generated from developing nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) seeds, which produce large amounts of non-fucosylated xyloglucan as a seed storage polymer. In addition to known xyloglucan biosynthetic genes, a previously uncharacterized putative xyloglucan galactosyltransferase was identified. Analysis of an Arabidopsis thaliana mutant line defective in the corresponding ortholog (AT5G62220) revealed that this gene shows no redundancy with the previously characterized xyloglucan galactosyltransferase, MUR3, but is required for galactosyl-substitution of xyloglucan at a different position. The gene was termed XLT2 for Xyloglucan L-side chain galactosylTransferase position 2. It represents an enzyme in the same subclade of glycosyltransferase family 47 as MUR3. A double mutant defective in both MUR3 (mur3.1) and XLT2 led to an Arabidopsis plant with xyloglucan that consists essentially of only xylosylated glucosyl units, with no further substitutions.
seed biology; cell walls; nasturtium; storage polymers; xyloglucan
The plant cell wall is composed of a matrix of cellulose fibers, flexible pectin polymers, and an array of assorted carbohydrates and proteins. The receptor-like Wall-Associated Kinases (WAKs) of Arabidopsis bind pectin in the wall, and are necessary both for cell expansion during development and for a response to pathogens and wounding. Mitogen Activated Protein Kinases (MPKs) form a major signaling link between cell surface receptors and both transcriptional and enzyme regulation in eukaryotes, and Arabidopsis MPK6 and MPK3 indeed have important roles in development and the response to stress and pathogens. A dominant allele of WAK2 requires kinase activity and activates a stress response that includes an increased ROS accumulation and the up-regulation of numerous genes involved in pathogen resistance, wounding, and cell wall biogenesis. This dominant allele requires a functional pectin binding and kinase domain, indicating that it is engaged in a WAK signaling pathway. A null mutant of the major plasma membrane ROS-producing enzyme complex, rbohd/f does not suppress the WAK2cTAP-induced phenotype. A mpk6, but not a mpk3, null allele is able to suppress the effects of this dominant WAK2 mutation, thus distinguishing MPK3 and MPK6, whose activity previously was thought to be redundant. Pectin activation of gene expression is abated in a wak2-null, but is tempered by the WAK-dominant allele that induces elevated basal stress-related transcript levels. The results suggest a mechanism in which changes to the cell wall can lead to a large change in cellular responses and help to explain how pathogens and wounding can have general effects on growth.
Wall Associated Kinases; MPK3; MPK6; pectin; oligogalacturonides
The endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) is a highly conserved mechanism to remove misfolded membrane/secretory proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). While many of the individual components of the ERAD machinery are well characterized in yeast and mammals, our knowledge of a plant ERAD process is rather limited. Here, we report a functional study of an Arabidopsis homolog (AtOS9) of an ER luminal lectin Yos9 (OS-9 in mammals) that recognizes a unique asparagine-linked glycan on misfolded proteins. We discovered that AtOS9 is an ER-localized glycoprotein that is co-expressed with many known/predicted ER chaperones. A T-DNA insertional atos9-t mutation blocks the degradation of a structurally imperfect yet biochemically competent brassinosteroid (BR) receptor bri1-9, causing its increased accumulation in the ER and its consequent leakage to the cell surface responsible for restoring the BR sensitivity and suppressing the dwarfism of the bri1-9 mutant. In addition, we identified a missense mutation in AtOS9 in a recently discovered ERAD mutant ems-mutagenized bri1 suppressor 6 (ebs6-1). Moreover, we showed that atos9-t also inhibits the ERAD of bri1-5, another ER-retained BR receptor, and a misfolded EFR, a BRI1-like receptor for the bacterial translation elongation factor EF-Tu. Furthermore, we found that AtOS9 interacted biochemically and genetically with EBS5, an Arabidopsis homolog of the yeast Hrd3/mammalian Sel1L known to collaborate with Yos9/OS-9 to select ERAD clients. Taken together, our results demonstrated a functional role of AtOS9 in a plant ERAD process that degrades misfolded receptor-like kinases.
brassinosteroid receptor; ER quality control; EMS-mutagenized bri1-9 suppressor; lectin; N-glycan; MRH domain
The endogenous circadian clock regulates many physiological processes related to plant survival and adaptability. GIGANTEA (GI), a clock-associated protein, contributes to the maintenance of circadian period length and amplitude, and also regulates flowering time and hypocotyl growth in response to day length. Similarly, EARLY FLOWERING 4 (ELF4), another clock regulator, also contributes to these processes. However, little is known about either the genetic or molecular interactions between GI and ELF4 in Arabidopsis. In this study, we investigated the genetic interactions between GI and ELF4 in the regulation of circadian clock-controlled outputs. Our mutant analysis shows that GI is epistatic to ELF4 in flowering time determination, while ELF4 is epistatic to GI in hypocotyl growth regulation. Moreover, GI and ELF4 have a synergistic or additive effect on endogenous clock regulation. Gene expression profiling of gi, elf4, and gi elf4 mutants further established that GI and ELF4 have differentially dominant influences on circadian physiological outputs at dusk and dawn, respectively. This phasing of GI and ELF4 influences provides a potential means to achieve diversity in the regulation of circadian physiological outputs, including flowering time and hypocotyl growth.
microarray; LHY; endogenous clock; GI; ELF4
Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) is a blue-light receptor mediating blue-light inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic promotion of floral initiation. CRY2 is a constitutive nuclear protein that undergoes blue-light-dependent phosphorylation, ubiquitination, photobody formation, and degradation in the nucleus, but the relationship between these blue-light-dependent events remains unclear. It has been proposed that CRY2 phosphorylation triggers a conformational change responsible for the subsequent ubiquitination and photobody formation, leading to CRY2 function and/or degradation. We tested this hypothesis by a structure-function study, using mutant CRY2–GFP fusion proteins expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis. We show that changes of lysine residues of the NLS (Nuclear Localization Signal) sequence of CRY2 to arginine residues partially impair the nuclear importation of the CRY2K541R and CRY2K554/5R mutant proteins, resulting in reduced phosphorylation, physiological activities, and degradation in response to blue light. In contrast to the wild-type CRY2 protein that forms photobodies exclusively in the nucleus, the CRY2K541R and CRY2K554/5R mutant proteins form protein bodies in both the nucleus and cytosol in response to blue light. These results suggest that photoexcited CRY2 molecules can aggregate to form photobody-like structure without the nucleus-dependent protein modifications or the association with the nuclear CRY2-interacting proteins. Taken together, the observation that CRY2 forms photobodies markedly faster than CRY2 phosphorylation in response to blue light, we hypothesize that the photoexcited cryptochromes form oligomers, preceding other biochemical changes of CRY2, to facilitate photobody formation, signal amplification, and propagation, as well as desensitization by degradation.
protein phosphorylation; signal transduction; fluorescence imaging; protein degradation; photobody
Plants constantly survey the surrounding environment using several sets of photoreceptors. They can sense changes in the quantity (=intensity) and quality (=wavelength) of light and use this information to adjust their physiological responses, growth, and developmental patterns. In addition to the classical photoreceptors, such as phytochromes, cryptochromes, and phototropins, ZEITLUPE (ZTL), FLAVIN-BINDING, KELCH REPEAT, F-BOX 1 (FKF1), and LOV KELCH PROTEIN 2 (LKP2) proteins have been recently identified as blue-light photoreceptors that are important for regulation of the circadian clock and photoperiodic flowering. The ZTL/FKF1/LKP2 protein family possesses a unique combination of domains: a blue-light-absorbing LOV (Light, Oxygen, or Voltage) domain along with domains involved in protein degradation. Here, we summarize recent advances in our understanding of the function of the Arabidopsis ZTL/FKF1/LKP2 proteins. We summarize the distinct photochemical properties of their LOV domains and discuss the molecular mechanisms by which the ZTL/FKF1/LKP2 proteins regulate the circadian clock and photoperiodic flowering by controlling blue-light-dependent protein degradation.
blue light; LOV domain; ZTL; FKF1; LKP2; photoperiodic flowering; circadian clock; Arabidopsis
The reversibly red (R)/far-red (FR)-light-responsive phytochrome (phy) photosensory system initiates both the deetiolation process in dark-germinated seedlings upon first exposure to light, and the shade-avoidance process in fully deetiolated seedlings upon exposure to vegetational shade. The intracellular signaling pathway from the light-activated photoreceptor conformer (Pfr) to the transcriptional network that drives these responses involves direct, physical interaction of Pfr with a small subfamily of bHLH transcription factors, termed Phy-Interacting Factors (PIFs), which induces rapid PIF proteolytic degradation. In addition, there is evidence of further complexity in light-grown seedlings, whereby phyB–PIF interaction reciprocally induces phyB degradation, in a mutually-negative, feedback-loop configuration. Here, to assess the relative contributions of these antagonistic activities to the net phenotypic readout in light-grown seedlings, we have examined the magnitude of the light- and simulated-shade-induced responses of a pentuple phyBpif1pif3pif4pif5 (phyBpifq) mutant and various multiple pif-mutant combinations. The data (1) reaffirm that phyB is the predominant, if not exclusive, photoreceptor imposing the inhibition of hypocotyl elongation in deetiolating seedlings in response to prolonged continuous R irradiation and (2) show that the PIF quartet (PIF1, PIF3, PIF4, and PIF5) retain and exert a dual capacity to modulate hypocotyl elongation under these conditions, by concomitantly promoting cell elongation through intrinsic transcriptional-regulatory activity, and reducing phyB-inhibitory capacity through feedback-loop-induced phyB degradation. In shade-exposed seedlings, immunoblot analysis shows that the shade-imposed reduction in Pfr levels induces increases in the abundance of PIF3, and mutant analysis indicates that PIF3 acts, in conjunction with PIF4 and PIF5, to promote the known shade-induced acceleration of hypocotyl elongation. Conversely, although the quadruple pifq mutant displays clearly reduced hypocotyl elongation compared to wild-type in response to prolonged shade, immunoblot analysis detects no elevation in phyB levels in the mutant seedlings compared to the wild-type during the majority of the shade-induced growth period, and phyB levels are not robustly correlated with the growth phenotype across the pif-mutant combinations compared. These results suggest that PIF feedback modulation of phyB abundance does not play a dominant role in modulating the magnitude of the PIF-promoted, shade-responsive phenotype under these conditions. In seedlings grown under diurnal light–dark cycles, the data show that FR-pulse-induced removal of Pfr at the beginning of the dark period (End-of-Day-FR (EOD-FR) treatment) results in longer hypocotyls relative to no EOD-FR treatment and that this effect is attenuated in the pif-mutant combinations tested. This result similarly indicates that the PIF quartet members are capable of intrinsically promoting hypocotyl cell elongation in light-grown plants, independently of the effects of PIF feedback modulation of photoactivated-phyB abundance.
Light regulation; light signaling; genetics; molecular biology; transcriptional control and transcription factors; photomorphogenesis
Phytochromes (Phy) and phytochrome-interacting factor (PIF) transcription factors constitute a major signaling module that controls plant development in response to red and far-red light. A low red:far-red ratio is interpreted as shading by neighbor plants and induces cell elongation—a phenomenon called shade-avoidance syndrome (SAS). PAR1 and its closest homolog PAR2 are negative regulators of SAS; they belong to the HLH transcription factor family that lacks a typical basic domain required for DNA binding, and they are believed to regulate gene expressions through DNA binding transcription factors that are yet to be identified. Here, we show that light signal stabilizes PAR1 protein and PAR1 interacts with PIF4 and inhibits PIF4-mediated gene activation. DNA pull-down and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays showed that PAR1 inhibits PIF4 DNA binding in vitro and in vivo. Transgenic plants overexpressing PAR1 (PAR1OX) are insensitive to gibberellin (GA) or high temperature in hypocotyl elongation, similarly to the pifq mutant. In addition to PIF4, PAR1 also interacts with PRE1, a HLH transcription factor activated by brassinosteroid (BR) and GA. Overexpression of PRE1 largely suppressed the dwarf phenotype of PAR1OX. These results indicate that PAR1–PRE1 and PAR1–PIF4 heterodimers form a complex HLH/bHLH network regulating cell elongation and plant development in response to light and hormones.
PAR1; PIF4; PRE1; bHLH; DNA binding
Photomorphogenesis is controlled by multiple signaling pathways, including the
light and brassinosteroid (BR) pathways. BR signaling activates the BZR1
transcription factor, which is required for suppressing photomorphogenesis in
the dark. We identified a suppressor of the BR hypersensitive mutant
bzr1–1D and named it
(bzs1–D). The bzs1–D mutation
was caused by overexpression of a B-box zinc finger protein BZS1, which is
transcriptionally repressed by BZR1. Overexpression of BZS1
causes de-etiolation in the dark, short hypocotyls in the light, reduced
sensitivity to BR treatment, and repression of many BR-activated genes.
Knockdown of BZS1 by co-suppression partly suppressed the short
hypocotyl phenotypes of BR-deficient or insensitive mutants. These results
support that BZS1 is a negative regulator of BR response. BZS1 overexpressors
are hypersensitive to different wavelengths of light and loss of function of
BZS1 reduces plant sensitivity to light and partly suppresses the
constitutive photomorphogenesis 1 (cop1)
mutant in the dark, suggesting a positive role in light response. BZS1 protein
accumulates at an increased level after light treatment of dark-grown
BZS1–OX plants and in the cop1
mutants, and BZS1 interacts with COP1 in vitro, suggesting that
light regulates BZS1 through COP1-mediated ubiquitination and proteasomal
degradation. These results demonstrate that BZS1 mediates the crosstalk between
BR and light pathways.
photomorphogenesis; light signaling; Brassinosteroid; BZS1; Arabidopsis
Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), the main naturally occurring auxin, is essential for almost every aspect of plant growth and development. However, only recently have studies finally established the first complete auxin biosynthesis pathway that converts tryptophan (Trp) to IAA in plants. Trp is first converted to indole-3-pyruvate (IPA) by the TAA family of amino transferases and subsequently IAA is produced from IPA by the YUC family of flavin monooxygenases. The two-step conversion of Trp to IAA is the main auxin biosynthesis pathway that plays an essential role in many developmental processes.
hormonal regulation; hormone biology; genetics; development; auxin
The patatin-related phospholipase A (pPLA) hydrolyzes membrane glycerolipids to produce monoacyl compounds and free fatty acids. Phospholipids are cleaved by pPLAIIα at the sn-1 and sn-2 positions, and galactolipids, including those containing oxophytodienoic acids, can also serve as substrates. Ablation of pPLAIIα decreased lysophosphatidylcholine and lysophosphatidylethanolamine levels, but increased free linolenic acid. pPLAIIα-deficient plants displayed a higher level of jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate, as well as the oxylipin-biosynthetic intermediates 13-hydroperoxylinolenic acid and 12-oxophytodienoic acid than wild-type (WT) plants. The expression of genes involved in oxylipin production was also higher in the pPLAIIα-deficient mutant than in WT plants. The mutant plants lost water more quickly than WT plants. The stomata of WT and mutant plants responded similarly to abscisic acid. In response to desiccation, the mutant and WT leaves produced abscisic acid at the same rate, but, after 4 h of desiccation, the jasmonic acid level was much higher in mutant than WT leaves. These results indicate that pPLAIIα negatively regulates oxylipin production and suggest a role in the removal of oxidatively modified fatty acids from membranes.
patatin-related phospholipase A; oxidative modified lipids; jasmonate synthesis; water loss; Arabidopsis thaliana
This work shows that a successful heat response depends on the integrity of epigenetic pathways and provides evidence that heat-dependent gene expression is influenced by closely located transposon sequences and read-through transcription.
Heat stress affects epigenetic gene silencing in Arabidopsis. To test for a mechanistic involvement of epigenetic regulation in heat-stress responses, we analyzed the heat tolerance of mutants defective in DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin-remodeling, or siRNA-based silencing pathways. Plants deficient in NRPD2, the common second-largest subunit of RNA polymerases IV and V, and in the Rpd3-type histone deacetylase HDA6 were hypersensitive to heat exposure. Microarray analysis demonstrated that NRPD2 and HDA6 have independent roles in transcriptional reprogramming in response to temperature stress. The misexpression of protein-coding genes in nrpd2 mutants recovering from heat correlated with defective epigenetic regulation of adjacent transposon remnants which involved the loss of control of heat-stress-induced read-through transcription. We provide evidence that the transcriptional response to temperature stress, at least partially, relies on the integrity of the RNA-dependent DNA methylation pathway.
heat stress; RNA-directed DNA methylation; transposons; read-through transcription
We investigated the role of known and newly discovered miRNAs in drought response and leaf development in Brachypodium distachyon. Differential expression analyses and miRNA-target predictions suggest evidence for regulatory networks controlling cell division and expansion in normal and stressed conditions.
Plant responses to drought are regulated by complex genetic and epigenetic networks leading to rapid reprogramming of plant growth. miRNAs have been widely indicated as key players in the regulation of growth and development. The role of miRNAs in drought response was investigated in young leaves of Brachypodium distachyon, a drought-tolerant monocot model species. Adopting an in vivo drought assay, shown to cause a dramatic reduction in leaf size, mostly due to reduced cell expansion, small RNA libraries were produced from proliferating and expanding leaf cells. Next-generation sequencing data were analyzed using an in-house bioinformatics pipeline allowing the identification of 66 annotated miRNA genes and 122 new high confidence predictions greatly expanding the number of known Brachypodium miRNAs. In addition, we identified four TAS3 loci and a large number of siRNA-producing loci that show characteristics suggesting that they may represent young miRNA genes. Most miRNAs showed a high expression level, consistent with their involvement in early leaf development and cell identity. Proliferating and expanding leaf cells respond differently to drought treatment and differential expression analyses suggest novel evidence for an miRNA regulatory network controlling cell division in both normal and stressed conditions and demonstrate that drought triggers a genetic reprogramming of leaf growth in which miRNAs are deeply involved.
miRNAs; drought; Brachypodium; leaf development.
Major strigolactones produced by rice (Oryza sativa L.) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) were purified and their stereochemical structures were determined definitely by comparing with optically pure synthetic standards for spectroscopic data.
Major strigolactones (SLs) produced by rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Nipponbare) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. Michinoku No. 1) were purified and their stereochemical structures were determined by comparing with optically pure synthetic standards for their NMR and CD data and retention times and mass fragmentations in ESI–LC/MS and GC–MS. SLs purified from root exudates of rice plants were orobanchol, orobanchyl acetate, and ent-2’-epi-5-deoxystrigol. In addition to these SLs, 7-oxoorobanchyl acetate and the putative three methoxy-5-deoxystrigol isomers were detected by LC–MS/MS. The production of 7-oxoorobanchyl acetate seemed to occur in the early growth stage, as it was detected only in the root exudates collected during the first week of incubation. The root exudates of tobacco contained at least 11 SLs, including solanacol, solanacyl acetate, orobanchol, ent-2’-epi-orobanchol, orobanchyl acetate, ent-2’-epi-orobanchyl acetate, 5-deoxystrigol, ent-2’-epi-5-deoxystrigol, and three isomers of putative didehydro-orobanchol whose structures remain to be clarified. Furthermore, two sorgolactone isomers but not sorgolactone were detected as minor SLs by LC–MS/MS analysis. It is intriguing to note that rice plants produced only orobanchol-type SLs, derived from ent-2’-epi-5-deoxystrigol, but both orobanchol-type and strigol-type SLs, derived from 5-deoxystrigol were detected in tobacco plants.
germination stimulant; Orobanche; rice; root parasitic plant; Striga; strigolactone; tobacco
Cell-to-cell signal transduction is vital for orchestrating the whole-body physiology of multi-cellular organisms, and many endogenous macromolecules, proteins, and nucleic acids function as such transported signals. In plants, many of these molecules are transported through plasmodesmata (Pd), the cell wall-spanning channel structures that interconnect plant cells. Furthermore, Pd also act as conduits for cell-to-cell movement of most plant viruses that have evolved to pirate these channels to spread the infection. Pd transport is presumed to be highly selective, and only a limited repertoire of molecules is transported through these channels. Recent studies have begun to unravel mechanisms that actively regulate the opening of the Pd channel to allow traffic. This macromolecular transport between cells comprises two consecutive steps: intracellular targeting to Pd and translocation through the channel to the adjacent cell. Here, we review the current knowledge of molecular species that are transported though Pd and the mechanisms that control this traffic. Generally, Pd traffic can occur by passive diffusion through the trans-Pd cytoplasm or through the membrane/lumen of the trans-Pd ER, or by active transport that includes protein–protein interactions. It is this latter mode of Pd transport that is involved in intercellular traffic of most signal molecules and is regulated by distinct and sometimes interdependent mechanisms, which represent the focus of this article.
Plasmodesmata; cell-to-cell transport; plant viruses; transcription factors
The two LIM domain-containing proteins from plants (LIMs) typically exhibit a dual cytoplasmic–nuclear distribution, suggesting that, in addition to their previously described roles in actin cytoskeleton organization, they participate in nuclear processes. Using a south-western blot-based screen aimed at identifying factors that bind to plant histone gene promoters, we isolated a positive clone containing the tobacco LIM protein WLIM2 (NtWLIM2) cDNA. Using both green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion- and immunology-based strategies, we provide clear evidence that NtWLIM2 localizes to the actin cytoskeleton, the nucleus, and the nucleolus. Interestingly, the disruption of the actin cytoskeleton by latrunculin B significantly increases NtWLIM2 nuclear fraction, pinpointing a possible novel cytoskeletal–nuclear crosstalk. Biochemical and electron microscopy experiments reveal the ability of NtWLIM2 to directly bind to actin filaments and to crosslink the latter into thick actin bundles. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that NtWLIM2 specifically binds to the conserved octameric cis-elements (Oct) of the Arabidopsis histone H4A748 gene promoter and that this binding largely relies on both LIM domains. Importantly, reporter-based experiments conducted in Arabidopsis and tobacco protoplasts confirm the ability of NtWLIM2 to bind to and activate the H4A748 gene promoter in live cells. Expression studies indicate the constitutive presence of NtWLIM2 mRNA and NtWLIM2 protein during tobacco BY-2 cell proliferation and cell cycle progression, suggesting a role of NtWLIM2 in the activation of basal histone gene expression. Interestingly, both live cell and in vitro data support NtWLIM2 di/oligomerization. We propose that NtWLIM2 functions as an actin-stabilizing protein, which, upon cytoskeleton remodeling, shuttles to the nucleus in order to modify gene expression.
actin; BY-2; cytoskeleton; DNA-binding; histone genes; LIM; Nicotiana tabacum; promoter regulation; trans-acting factors
Vitamin B6 (vitB6) serves as an essential cofactor for more than 140 enzymes. Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), active cofactor form of vitB6, can be photolytically destroyed by trace amounts of ultraviolet-B (UV-B). How sun-exposed organisms cope with PLP photosensitivity and modulate vitB6 homeostasis is currently unknown. We previously reported on two Arabidopsis mutants, rus1 and rus2, that are hypersensitive to trace amounts of UV-B light. We performed mutagenesis screens for second-site suppressors of the rus mutant phenotype and identified mutations in the ASPARTATE AMINOTRANSFERASE2 (ASP2) gene. ASP2 encodes for cytosolic aspartate aminotransferase (AAT), a PLP-dependent enzyme that plays a key role in carbon and nitrogen metabolism. Genetic analyses have shown that specific amino acid substitutions in ASP2 override the phenotypes of rus1 and rus2 single mutants as well as rus1 rus2 double mutant. These substitutions, all shown to reside at specific positions in the PLP-binding pocket, resulted in no PLP binding. Additional asp2 mutants that abolish AAT enzymatic activity, but which alter amino acids outside of the PLP-binding pocket, fail to suppress the rus phenotype. Furthermore, exogenously adding vitB6 in growth media can rescue both rus1 and rus2. Our data suggest that AAT plays a role in vitB6 homeostasis in Arabidopsis.
Vitamin B6; pyridoxal-phosphate; aspartate aminotransferase; ultraviolet light; photo protection
AUXIN BINDING PROTEIN 1 (ABP1) has long been proposed as an auxin receptor to regulate cell expansion. The embryo lethality of ABP1-null mutants demonstrates its fundamental role in plant development, but also hinders investigation of its involvement in post-embryonic processes and its mode of action. By taking advantage of weak alleles and inducible systems, several recent studies have revealed a role for ABP1 in organ development, cell polarization, and shape formation. In addition to its role in the regulation of auxin-induced gene expression, ABP1 has now been shown to modulate non-transcriptional auxin responses. ABP1 is required for activating two antagonizing ROP GTPase signaling pathways involved in cytoskeletal reorganization and cell shape formation, and participates in the regulation of clathrin-mediated endocytosis to subsequently affect PIN protein distribution. These exciting discoveries provide indisputable evidence for the auxin-induced signaling pathways that are downstream of ABP1 function, and suggest intriguing mechanisms for ABP1-mediated polar cell expansion and spatial coordination in response to auxin.
Hormonal regulation; hormone biology; receptors; signal transduction; cell signaling
Secretion of proteins and other molecules is the primary means by which a cell interacts with its surroundings. The overall organization of the secretory system is remarkably conserved among eukaryotes, and many of the components have been investigated in detail in animal models. Plant cells, because of their sessile lifestyle, are uniquely reliant on the secretory pathway to respond to changes in their environments, either abiotic, such as the absence of nutrients, or biotic, such as the presence of predators or pathogens. In particular, most plant pathogens are extracellular, which demands a robust and efficient host secretory system directed at the site of attack. Here, we present a summary of recent advances in our understanding of the molecular details of the secretory pathway during plant–microbe interactions. Secretion is required not only for the delivery of antimicrobial molecules, but also for the biogenesis of cell surface sensors to detect microbes. The deposition of extracellular material is important in the defense against classical bacterial pathogens as well as in the so-called ‘non-host’ resistance. Finally, boosting the protein secretion capacity is vital for avoiding infection as well as for achieving symbiosis, even though in the latter case, the microbes are engulfed in intracellular compartments. The emerging evidence indicates that secretion provides an essential interface between plant hosts and their associated microbial partners.
protein secretion; defense; salicylic acid; NPR1; symbiosis; Arabidopsis; legume; endoplasmic reticulum; SNARE
Plant growth and morphogenesis depend on the levels and distribution of the plant hormone auxin. Plants tightly regulate cellular levels of the active auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) through synthesis, inactivation, and transport. Although the transporters that move IAA into and out of cells are well characterized and play important roles in development, little is known about the transport of IAA precursors. In this review, we discuss the accumulating evidence suggesting that the IAA precursor indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) is transported independently of the characterized IAA transport machinery along with the recent identification of specific IBA efflux carriers and enzymes suggested to metabolize IBA. These studies have revealed important roles for IBA in maintaining IAA levels and distribution within the plant to support normal development.
Auxin; auxin transport; indole-3-butyric acid; IBA
Plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPases are the primary pumps responsible for the establishment of cellular membrane potential in plants. In addition to regulating basic aspects of plant cell function, these enzymes contribute to signaling events in response to diverse environmental stimuli. Here, we focus on the roles of the PM H+-ATPase during plant–pathogen interactions. PM H+-ATPases are dynamically regulated during plant immune responses and recent quantitative proteomics studies suggest complex spatial and temporal modulation of PM H+-ATPase activity during early pathogen recognition events. Additional data indicate that PM H+-ATPases cooperate with the plant immune signaling protein RIN4 to regulate stomatal apertures during bacterial invasion of leaf tissue. Furthermore, pathogens have evolved mechanisms to manipulate PM H+-ATPase activity during infection. Thus, these ubiquitous plant enzymes contribute to plant immune responses and are targeted by pathogens to increase plant susceptibility.
Ion channels; ion transport; defense responses; disease responses; plant–microbe interactions