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1.  Endoreduplication preferentially occurs at the proximal side of the abscission zone during abscission of tomato leaf 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2012;7(9):1106-1109.
Endoreduplication is a cell cycle variant in which multiple rounds of DNA replication occur without subsequent mitosis, resulting in polyploid cells. Although cells with endoreduplicated nuclei were ubiquitously distributed throughout the abscission zone (AZ) of tomato leaf before abscission induction by ethylene, endoreduplication was detected mostly on the proximal side of the AZ after induction. The possible association between endoreduplication and intensive membrane trafficking in cells at the proximal side of the AZ is discussed.
PMCID: PMC3489638  PMID: 22899068
abscission zone; endoreduplication; ethylene; membrane trafficking; tomato
2.  Signalling Network Construction for Modelling Plant Defence Response 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51822.
Plant defence signalling response against various pathogens, including viruses, is a complex phenomenon. In resistant interaction a plant cell perceives the pathogen signal, transduces it within the cell and performs a reprogramming of the cell metabolism leading to the pathogen replication arrest. This work focuses on signalling pathways crucial for the plant defence response, i.e., the salicylic acid, jasmonic acid and ethylene signal transduction pathways, in the Arabidopsis thaliana model plant. The initial signalling network topology was constructed manually by defining the representation formalism, encoding the information from public databases and literature, and composing a pathway diagram. The manually constructed network structure consists of 175 components and 387 reactions. In order to complement the network topology with possibly missing relations, a new approach to automated information extraction from biological literature was developed. This approach, named Bio3graph, allows for automated extraction of biological relations from the literature, resulting in a set of (component1, reaction, component2) triplets and composing a graph structure which can be visualised, compared to the manually constructed topology and examined by the experts. Using a plant defence response vocabulary of components and reaction types, Bio3graph was applied to a set of 9,586 relevant full text articles, resulting in 137 newly detected reactions between the components. Finally, the manually constructed topology and the new reactions were merged to form a network structure consisting of 175 components and 524 reactions. The resulting pathway diagram of plant defence signalling represents a valuable source for further computational modelling and interpretation of omics data. The developed Bio3graph approach, implemented as an executable language processing and graph visualisation workflow, is publically available at can be utilised for modelling other biological systems, given that an adequate vocabulary is provided.
PMCID: PMC3525666  PMID: 23272172
3.  Spatial and temporal profiles of cytokinin biosynthesis and accumulation in developing caryopses of maize 
Annals of Botany  2010;107(7):1235-1245.
Background and Aims
Cytokinins are a major group of plant hormones and are associated with various developmental processes. Developing caryopses of maize have high levels of cytokinins, but little is known about their spatial and temporal distribution. The localization and quantification of cytokinins was investigated in maize (Zea mays) caryopsis from 0 to 28 d after pollination together with the expression and localization of isopentenyltransferase ZmIPT1 involved in cytokinin biosynthesis and ZmCNGT, the gene putatively involved in N9-glucosylation.
Biochemical, cellular and molecular approaches resolved the overall cytokinin profiles, and several gene expression assays were used for two critical genes to assess cytokinin cell-specific biosynthesis and conversion to the biologically inactive form. Cytokinins were immunolocalized for the first time in maize caryopses.
Key Results
During the period 0–28 d after pollination (DAP): (1) large quantities of cytokinins were detected in the maternal pedicel region relative to the filial tissues during the early stages after fertilization; (2) unpollinated ovules did not accumulate cytokinins; (3) the maternal nucellar region showed little or no cytokinin signal; (4) the highest cytokinin concentrations in filial endosperm and embryo were detected at 12 DAP, predominantly zeatin riboside and zeatin-9-glucoside, respectively; and (5) a strong cytokinin immuno-signal was detected in specific cell types in the pedicel, endosperm and embryo.
The cytokinins of developing maize caryopsis may originate from both local syntheses as well as by transport. High levels of fertilization-dependent cytokinins in the pedicel suggest filial control on metabolism in the maternal tissue; they may also trigger developmental programmed cell death in the pedicel.
PMCID: PMC3091798  PMID: 21169292
Caryopsis; cytokinins; immunolocalization; maize; N9-glucosylation; programmed cell death; Zea mays
4.  'Bois noir' phytoplasma induces significant reprogramming of the leaf transcriptome in the field grown grapevine 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:460.
Phytoplasmas are bacteria without cell walls from the class Mollicutes. They are obligate intracellular plant pathogens which cause diseases in hundreds of economically important plants including the grapevine (Vitis vinifera). Knowledge of their biology and the mechanisms of their interactions with hosts is largely unknown because they are uncultivable and experimentally inaccessible in their hosts. We detail here the global transcriptional profiling in grapevine responses to phytoplasmas. The gene expression patterns were followed in leaf midribs of grapevine cv. 'Chardonnay' naturally infected with a phytoplasma from the stolbur group 16SrXII-A, which is associated with the grapevine yellows disease 'Bois noir'.
We established an on field experimental system in a productive vineyard that allowed application of molecular tools in a plant natural environment. Global transcription profiles of infected samples were compared with the healthy ones using microarray datasets and metabolic pathway analysis software (MapMan). The two-year-long experiment revealed that plant genes involved in primary and secondary metabolic pathways were changed in response to infection and that these changes might support phytoplasma nutrition. A hypothesis that phytoplasmas interact with the plant carbohydrate metabolism was proven and some possibilities how the products of this pathway might be utilized by phytoplasmas are discussed. In addition, several photosynthetic genes were largely down-regulated in infected plants, whereas defense genes from the metabolic pathway leading to formation of flavonoids and some PR proteins were significantly induced. Few other genes involved in defense-signaling were differentially expressed in healthy and infected plants. A set of 17 selected genes from several differentially expressed pathways was additionally analyzed with quantitative real-time PCR and confirmed to be suitable for a reliable classification of infected plants and for the characterization of susceptibility features in the field conditions.
This study revealed some fundamental aspects of grapevine interactions with the stolbur 'Bois noir' phytoplasma in particular and some plant interactions with phytoplasmas in general. In addition, the results of the study will likely have an impact on grape improvement by yielding marker genes that can be used in new diagnostic assays for phytoplasmas or by identifying candidate genes that contribute to the improved properties of grape.
PMCID: PMC2761425  PMID: 19799775

Results 1-4 (4)