Although chemical predator cues often lead to changes in the anti-predator behavior of animal prey, it is not clear whether non-volatile herbivore kairomones (i.e. incidental chemical cues produced by herbivore movement or metabolism but not produced by an attack) trigger the induction of defense in plants prior to attack. I found that unwounded plants (Brassica nigra) that were regularly exposed to kairomones from snails (mucus and feces produced during movement of Helix aspersa) subsequently experienced reduced rates of attack by snails, unlike unwounded plants that received only one initial early exposure to snail kairomones. A follow-up experiment found that mucus alone did not affect snail feeding on previously harvested B. oleracea leaves, suggesting that changes in herbivory on B. nigra were due to changes in plant quality. The finding that chemicals associated with herbivores leads to changes in palatability of unwounded plants suggests that plants eavesdrop on components of non-volatile kairomones of their snail herbivores. Moreover, this work shows that the nature of plant exposure matters, supporting the conclusion that plants that have not been attacked or wounded nonetheless tailor their use of defenses based on incidental chemical information associated with herbivores and the timing with which cues of potential attack are encountered.
Nicotiana attenuata HSPRO (NaHSPRO) is a negative regulator of seedling growth promoted by the fungus Piriformospora indica. Homologs of NaHSPRO in Arabidopsis thaliana (i.e., AtHSPRO1 and AtHSPRO2) are known to physically interact with the AKINβγ subunit of the SnRK1 complex.2 To investigate whether NaHSPRO is associated with SnRK1 function during the stimulation of seedling growth by P. indica, we studied N. attenuata plants silenced in the expression of NaGAL83 (as-gal83 plants)—a gene that encodes for the regulatory β-subunit of SnRK1—and plants silenced in the expression of both NaHSPRO and NaGAL83 (ir-hspro/as-gal83 plants). The results showed that P. indica differentially stimulated the growth of both as-gal83 and ir-hspro/as-gal83 seedlings compared with control seedlings, with a magnitude similar to that observed in ir-hspro seedlings. Thus, we showed that, similar to NaHSPRO, NaGAL83 is a negative regulator of seedling growth stimulated by P. indica. We propose that the effect of NaHSPRO on seedling growth is associated with SnRK1 signaling.
Nicotiana attenuata; Piriformospora indica; HSPRO; SnRK1; plant growth promotion; signaling
Accumulation of plant biomass (Mg ha−1) with calendar time (wk) occurs as a result of photosynthesis for green land-based plants. A corresponding accumulation of mineral elements (kg ha−1) such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium occurs from the soil through plant roots. Field data from literature for the warm-season annual cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) are used in this analysis. The expanded growth model is used to describe accumulation of biomass and mineral elements with calendar time. The growth model predicts a simple linear relationship between biomass yield and the growth quantifier, which is confirmed with the data. The growth quantifier incorporates the unit processes of distribution of solar energy which drives biomass accumulation by photosynthesis, partitioning of biomass between light-gathering and structural components of the plants, and an aging function. A hyperbolic relationship between plant nutrient uptake and biomass yield is assumed, and is confirmed for the mineral elements nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. It is concluded that the rate limiting process in the system is biomass accumulation by photosynthesis and that nutrient accumulation occurs in virtual equilibrium with biomass accumulation. The expanded growth model describes field data from California and Alabama rather well. Furthermore, all model parameters were common for the two sites with the exception of the yield factor A which accounts for differences in soil types, environmental conditions, fertilizer levels, and plant population.
This study was conducted to compare the effects of foliar spray and rhizosphere irrigation with purple phototrophic bacteria (PPB) on growth and stevioside (ST) yield of Stevia. rebaudiana. The S. rebaudiana plants were treated by foliar spray, rhizosphere irrigation, and spray plus irrigation with PPB for 10 days, respectively. All treatments enhanced growth of S. rebaudiana, and the foliar method was more efficient than irrigation. Spraying combined with irrigation increased the ST yield plant -1 by 69.2% as compared to the control. The soil dehydrogenase activity, S. rebaudiana shoot biomass, chlorophyll content in new leaves, and soluble sugar in old leaves were affected significantly by S+I treatment, too. The PPB probably works in the rhizosphere by activating the metabolic activity of soil bacteria, and on leaves by excreting phytohormones or enhancing the activity of phyllosphere microorganisms.
Witches’ broom disease of Mexican lime (Citrus aurantifolia L.), which is associated to the phytoplasma ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia’, is a devastating disease that results in significant economic losses. Plants adapt to biotic stresses by regulating gene expression at the transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a recently identified family of molecules that regulate plant responses to environmental stresses through post-transcriptional gene silencing.
Using a high-throughput approach to sequence small RNAs, we compared the expression profiles of miRNAs in healthy Mexican lime trees and in plants infected with ‘Ca. P. aurantifolia’.
Our results demonstrated the involvement of different miRNAs in the response of Mexican lime trees to infection by ‘Ca. P. aurantifolia’. We identified miRNA families that are expressed differentially upon infection with phytoplasmas. Most of the miRNAs had variants with small sequence variations (isomiRs), which are expressed differentially in response to pathogen infection.
It is likely that the miRNAs that are expressed differentially in healthy and phytoplasma-infected Mexican lime trees are involved in coordinating the regulation of hormonal, nutritional, and stress signalling pathways, and the complex interactions between them. Future research to elucidate the roles of these miRNAs should improve our understanding of the level of diversity of specific plant responses to phytoplasmas.
Plants respond to herbivore attack by rapidly inducing defenses that are mainly regulated by jasmonic acid (JA). Due to the systemic nature of induced defenses, attack by root herbivores can also result in a shoot response and vice versa, causing interactions between above- and belowground herbivores. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions. We investigated whether plants respond differently when roots or shoots are induced. We mimicked herbivore attack by applying JA to the roots or shoots of Brassica oleracea and analyzed molecular and chemical responses in both organs. In shoots, an immediate and massive change in primary and secondary metabolism was observed. In roots, the JA-induced response was less extensive and qualitatively different from that in the shoots. Strikingly, in both roots and shoots we also observed differential responses in primary metabolism, development as well as defense specific traits depending on whether the JA induction had been below- or aboveground. We conclude that the JA response is not only tissue-specific but also dependent on the organ that was induced. Already very early in the JA signaling pathway the differential response was observed. This indicates that both organs have a different JA signaling cascade, and that the signal eliciting systemic responses contains information about the site of induction, thus providing plants with a mechanism to tailor their responses specifically to the organ that is damaged.
Cuticular wax is a class of organic compounds that comprises the outermost layer of plant surfaces. Plant cuticular wax, the last barrier of self-defense, plays an important role in plant growth and development. The OsGL1-6 gene, a member of the fatty aldehyde decarbonylase gene family, is highly homologous to Arabidopsis CER1, which is involved in cuticular wax biosynthesis. However, whether OsGL1-6 participates in cuticular wax biosynthesis remains unknown. In this study, an OsGL1-6 antisense-RNA vector driven by its own promoter was constructed and introduced into the rice variety Zhonghua11 by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to obtain several independent transgenic plants with decreased OsGL1-6 expression. These OsGL1-6 antisense-RNA transgenic plants showed droopy leaves at the booting stage, significantly decreased leaf cuticular wax deposition, thinner cuticle membrane, increased chlorophyll leaching and water loss rates, and enhanced drought sensitivity. The OsGL1-6 gene was constitutively expressed in all examined organs and was very highly expressed in leaf epidermal cells and vascular bundles. The transient expression of OsGL1-6-GFP fusion indicated that OsGL1-6 is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of the wax composition using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed a significantly reduced total cuticular wax load on the leaf blades of the OsGL1-6 antisense-RNA transgenic plants as well as markedly decreased alkane and aldehyde contents. Their primary alcohol contents increased significantly compared with those in the wild type plants, suggesting that OsGL1-6 is associated with the decarbonylation pathways in wax biosynthesis. We propose that OsGL1-6 is involved in the accumulation of leaf cuticular wax and directly impacts drought resistance in rice.
The mirid bugs Adelphocoris suturalis (Jakovlev), Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze) and Adelphocoris fasciaticollis (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Miridae) are common pests of several agricultural crops. These three species have vastly different geographical distributions, phenologies and abundances, all of which are linked to their reliance on local plants. Previous work has shown notable differences in Adelphocoris spp. host use for overwintering. In this study, we assessed the extent to which each of the Adelphocoris spp. relies on some of its major overwinter hosts for spring development. Over the course of four consecutive years (2009–2012), we conducted population surveys on 77 different plant species from 39 families. During the spring, A. fasciaticollis used the broadest range of hosts, as it was found on 35 plant species, followed by A. suturalis (15 species) and A. lineolatus (7 species). Abundances of the species greatly differed between host plants, with A. fasciaticollis reaching the highest abundance on Chinese date (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.), whereas both A. suturalis and A. lineolatus preferred alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). The host breadths of the three Adelphocoris spp. differed greatly between subsequent spring and winter seasons. The generalist species exhibited the least host fidelity, with A. suturalis and A. lineolatus using 8 of 22 and 4 of 12 overwinter host species for spring development, respectively. By contrast, the comparative specialist A. fasciaticollis relied on 9 of its 11 overwinter plants as early-season hosts. We highlight important seasonal changes in host breadth and interspecific differences in the extent of host switching behavior between the winter and spring seasons. These findings benefit our understanding of the evolutionary interactions between mirid bugs and their host plants and can be used to guide early-season population management.
Pollen grains are the male gametophytes that deliver sperm cells to female gametophytes during sexual reproduction of higher plants. Pollen is a major source of aeroallergens and environmental antigens. The pollen coat harbors a plethora of lipids that are required for pollen hydration, germination, and penetration of the stigma by pollen tubes. In addition to proteins, pollen displays a wide array of lipids that interact with the human immune system. Prior searches for pollen allergens have focused on the identification of intracellular allergenic proteins, but have largely overlooked much of the extracellular pollen matrix, a region where the majority of lipid molecules reside. Lipid antigens have attracted attention for their potent immunoregulatory effects. By being in close proximity to allergenic proteins on the pollen surface when they interact with host cells, lipids could modify the antigenic properties of proteins.
We performed a comparative pollen lipid profiling of 22 commonly allergenic plant species by the use of gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy, followed by detailed data mining and statistical analysis. Three experiments compared pollen lipid profiles. We built a database library of the pollen lipids by matching acquired pollen-lipid mass spectra and retention times with the NIST/EPA/NIH mass-spectral library. We detected, identified, and relatively quantified more than 106 lipid molecular species including fatty acids, n-alkanes, fatty alcohols, and sterols. Pollen-derived lipids stimulation up-regulate cytokines expression of dendritic and natural killer T cells co-culture.
Here we report on a lipidomic analysis of pollen lipids that can serve as a database for identifying potential lipid antigens and/or novel candidate molecules involved in allergy. The database provides a resource that facilitates studies on the role of lipids in the immunopathogenesis of allergy. Pollen lipids vary greatly among allergenic species and contain many molecules that have stimulatory or regulatory effects on immune responses.
Resistance to biotrophic pathogens is largely dependent on the hormone salicylic acid (SA) while jasmonic acid (JA) regulates resistance against necrotrophs. JA negatively regulates SA and is, in itself, negatively regulated by SA. A key component of the JA signal transduction pathway is its receptor, the COI1 gene. Mutations in this gene can affect all the JA phenotypes, whereas mutations in other genes, either in JA signal transduction or in JA biosynthesis, lack this general effect. To identify components of the part of the resistance against biotrophs independent of SA, a mutagenised population of NahG plants (severely depleted of SA) was screened for suppression of susceptibility. The screen resulted in the identification of intragenic and extragenic suppressors, and the results presented here correspond to the characterization of one extragenic suppressor, coi1-40. coi1-40 is quite different from previously described coi1 alleles, and it represents a strategy for enhancing resistance to biotrophs with low levels of SA, likely suppressing NahG by increasing the perception to the remaining SA. The phenotypes of coi1-40 lead us to speculate about a modular function for COI1, since we have recovered a mutation in COI1 which has a number of JA-related phenotypes reduced while others are equal to or above wild type levels.
Temperatures higher than the optimum negatively affects plant growth and development. Tolerance to high temperature is a complex process that involves several pathways. Understanding this process, especially in crops such as rice, is essential to prepare for predicted climate changes due to global warming. Here, we show that OsMYB55 is induced by high temperature and overexpression of OsMYB55 resulted in improved plant growth under high temperature and decreased the negative effect of high temperature on grain yield. Transcriptome analysis revealed an increase in expression of several genes involved in amino acids metabolism. We demonstrate that OsMYB55 binds to the promoter regions of target genes and directly activates expression of some of those genes including glutamine synthetase (OsGS1;2) glutamine amidotransferase (GAT1) and glutamate decarboxylase 3 (GAD3). OsMYB55 overexpression resulted in an increase in total amino acid content and of the individual amino acids produced by the activation of the above mentioned genes and known for their roles in stress tolerance, namely L-glutamic acid, GABA and arginine especially under high temperature condition. In conclusion, overexpression of OsMYB55 improves rice plant tolerance to high temperature, and this high tolerance is associated with enhanced amino acid metabolism through transcription activation.
Lygus rugulipennis Poppius and Liocoris tripustulatus Fabricius (Heteroptera: Miridae) are pests of glasshouse cucumber and sweet pepper crops respectively. L. rugulipennis has a wide range of foodplants, but L. tripustulatus is specialised with very few food plants. We report behavioural assessments to investigate whether either species exhibits a preference for salad over wild hosts, and whether the role of olfaction and vision in response to cues from host plants can be distinguished. Olfactory responses to leaves were tested in choice chambers. L. rugulipennis was presented nettle (wild host) and a salad leaf of cucumber or sweet pepper, where the salad leaves had higher nitrogen content. L. tripustulatus was tested with nettle and sweet pepper of two different nitrogen contents. Female L. rugulipennis spent more time on the cucumber salad host, and chose it first most often, but males showed no preference. Neither sex discriminated between sweet pepper or nettle leaves, but males made more first contacts with sweet pepper. Neither sex of L. tripustulatus discriminated between sweet pepper and nettle leaves when the sweet pepper had higher nitrogen. When the plant species contained equivalent nitrogen both sexes spent more time on nettle. There was no difference in first choice made by either sex. When visual stimuli were available, and leaves had equivalent nitrogen, L. rugulipennis showed no preference and L. tripustulatus preferred nettle leaves. We conclude that the generalist L. rugulipennis has the ability to use remote olfactory cues for host choice whereas the specialist L. tripustulatus relies mainly on contact chemosensory and gustatory cues.
Jasmonate-mediated regulation of VOC emission has been extensively investigated in higher plants, however, only little is known about VOC production and its regulation in ferns. Here, we investigate whether the emission of VOCs from bracken fern Pteridium aquilinum is triggered by herbivory and if so - whether it is regulated by the octadecanoid signaling pathway. Interestingly, feeding of both generalist (Spodoptera littoralis) and specialist (Strongylogaster multifasciata) herbivores as well as application of singular and continuous mechanical wounding of fronds induced only very low levels of VOC emission. In contrast, treatment with jasmonic acid (JA) led to the emission of a blend of VOCs that was mainly comprised of terpenoids. Likewise, treatment with the JA precursor 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) and α-linolenic acid also induced VOC emission, albeit to a lower intesity than the JA treatment. Accumulation of endogenous JA was low in mechanically wounded fronds and these levels were unaffected by the application of oral secretions from both generalist or specialist herbivores. The emission of terpenoids upon JA treatment could be blocked with fosmidomycin and mevinolin, which are inhibitors of the MEP- and MVA pathways, respectively. These results indicate that similar to higher plants, terpenoid VOCs are produced via these pathways in bracken fern and that these pathways are JA-responsive. However, the very low amounts of terpenoids released after herbivory or mechanical damage are in stark contrast to what is known from higher plants. We speculate that S. multifasciata and S. littoralis feeding apparently did not induce the threshold levels of JA required for activating the MEP and MVA pathways and the subsequent volatile emission in bracken fern.
Although bacterial endosymbioses are common among phloeophagous herbivores, little is known regarding the effects of symbionts on herbivore host selection and population dynamics. We tested the hypothesis that plant selection and reproductive performance by a phloem-feeding herbivore (potato psyllid, Bactericera cockerelli) is mediated by infection of plants with a bacterial endosymbiont. We controlled for the effects of herbivory and endosymbiont infection by exposing potato plants (Solanum tuberosum) to psyllids infected with “Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum” or to uninfected psyllids. We used these treatments as a basis to experimentally test plant volatile emissions, herbivore settling and oviposition preferences, and herbivore population growth. Three important findings emerged: (1) plant volatile profiles differed with respect to both herbivory and herbivory plus endosymbiont infection when compared to undamaged control plants; (2) herbivores initially settled on plants exposed to endosymbiont-infected psyllids but later defected and oviposited primarily on plants exposed only to uninfected psyllids; and (3) plant infection status had little effect on herbivore reproduction, though plant flowering was associated with a 39% reduction in herbivore density on average. Our experiments support the hypothesis that plant infection with endosymbionts alters plant volatile profiles, and infected plants initially recruited herbivores but later repelled them. Also, our findings suggest that the endosymbiont may not place negative selection pressure on its host herbivore in this system, but plant flowering phenology appears correlated with psyllid population performance.
Drought stress response is a complex trait regulated at multiple levels. Changes in the epigenetic and miRNA regulatory landscape can dramatically alter the outcome of a stress response. However, little is known about the scope and extent of these regulatory factors on drought related cellular processes and functions. To this end, we selected a list of 5468 drought responsive genes (DRGs) of rice identified in multiple microarray studies and mapped the DNA methylation regions found in a genome wide methylcytosine immunoprecipitation and sequencing (mCIP-Seq) study to their genic and promoter regions, identified the chromatin remodeling genes and the genes that are targets of miRNAs. We found statistically significant enrichment of DNA methylation reads and miRNA target sequences in DRGs compared to a random set of genes. About 75% of the DRGs annotated to be involved in chromatin remodeling were downregulated. We found one-third of the DRGs are targeted by two-thirds of all known/predicted miRNAs in rice which include many transcription factors targeted by more than five miRNAs. Clustering analysis of the DRGs with epigenetic and miRNA features revealed, upregulated cluster was enriched in drought tolerance mechanisms while the downregulated cluster was enriched in drought resistance mechanisms evident by their unique gene ontologies (GOs), protein-protein interactions (PPIs), specific transcription factors, protein domains and metabolic pathways. Further, we analyzed the proteome of two weeks old young rice plants treated with a global demethylating agent, 5-azacytidine (5-azaC), subjected to drought stress and identified 56 protein spots that are differentially expressed. Out of the 56 spots, 35 were differently expressed in the sample with both demethylation and drought stress treatments and 28 (50%) were part of DRGs considered in the bioinformatic analysis.
We examined the extent to which arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi root improved the acquisition of simple organic nitrogen (ON) compounds by their host plants. In a greenhouse-based study, we used quantum dots (fluorescent nanoparticles) to assess uptake of each of the 20 proteinaceous amino acids by AM-colonized versus uncolonized plants. We found that AM colonization increased uptake of phenylalanine, lysine, asparagine, arginine, histidine, methionine, tryptophan, and cysteine; and reduced uptake of aspartic acid. Arbuscular mycorrhizal colonization had the greatest effect on uptake of amino acids that are relatively rare in proteins. In addition, AM fungi facilitated uptake of neutral and positively-charged amino acids more than negatively-charged amino acids. Overall, the AM fungi used in this study appeared to improve access by plants to a number of amino acids, but not necessarily those that are common or negatively-charged.
Virus infection of plants may induce a variety of disease symptoms. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism of systemic symptom development in infected plants. Here we performed the first next-generation sequencing study to identify gene expression changes associated with disease development in tobacco plants (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Xanthi nc) induced by infection with the M strain of Cucumber mosaic virus (M-CMV). Analysis of the tobacco transcriptome by RNA-Seq identified 95,916 unigenes, 34,408 of which were new transcripts by database searches. Deep sequencing was subsequently used to compare the digital gene expression (DGE) profiles of the healthy plants with the infected plants at six sequential disease development stages, including vein clearing, mosaic, severe chlorosis, partial and complete recovery, and secondary mosaic. Thousands of differentially expressed genes were identified, and KEGG pathway analysis of these genes suggested that many biological processes, such as photosynthesis, pigment metabolism and plant-pathogen interaction, were involved in systemic symptom development. Our systematic analysis provides comprehensive transcriptomic information regarding systemic symptom development in virus-infected plants. This information will help further our understanding of the detailed mechanisms of plant responses to viral infection.
In tightly closed human habitats such as space stations, locations near volcano vents and closed culture vessels, atmospheric CO2 concentration may be 10 to 20 times greater than Earth’s current ambient levels. It is known that super-elevated (SE) CO2 (>1,200 µmol mol−1) induces physiological responses different from that of moderately elevated CO2 (up to 1,200 µmol mol−1), but little is known about the molecular responses of plants to supra-optimal [CO2].
To understand the underlying molecular causes for differential physiological responses, metabolite and transcript profiles were analyzed in aerial tissue of Arabidopsis plants, which were grown under ambient atmospheric CO2 (400 µmol mol−1), elevated CO2 (1,200 µmol mol−1) and SE CO2 (4,000 µmol mol−1), at two developmental stages early and late vegetative stage. Transcript and metabolite profiling revealed very different responses to elevated versus SE [CO2]. The transcript profiles of SE CO2 treated plants were closer to that of the control. Development stage had a clear effect on plant molecular response to elevated and SE [CO2]. Photosynthetic acclimation in terms of down-regulation of photosynthetic gene expression was observed in response to elevated [CO2], but not that of SE [CO2] providing the first molecular evidence that there appears to be a fundamental disparity in the way plants respond to elevated and SE [CO2]. Although starch accumulation was induced by both elevated and SE [CO2], the increase was less at the late vegetative stage and accompanied by higher soluble sugar content suggesting an increased starch breakdown to meet sink strength resulting from the rapid growth demand. Furthermore, many of the elevated and SE CO2-responsive genes found in the present study are also regulated by plant hormone and stress.
This study provides new insights into plant acclimation to elevated and SE [CO2] during development and how this relates to stress, sugar and hormone signaling.
Both inter- and intra-specific maps have been developed in eggplant (Solanum melongena L.). The former benefit from an enhanced frequency of marker polymorphism, but their relevance to marker-assisted crop breeding is limited. Combining the restriction-site associated DNA strategy with high throughput sequencing has facilitated the discovery of a large number of functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers discriminating between the two eggplant mapping population parental lines ‘305E40’ and ‘67/3’. A set of 347 de novo SNPs, together with 84 anchoring markers, were applied to the F2 mapping population bred from the cross ‘305E40’ x ‘67/3’ to construct a linkage map. In all, 415 of the 431 markers were assembled into twelve major and one minor linkage group, spanning 1,390 cM, and the inclusion of established markers allowed each linkage group to be assigned to one of the 12 eggplant chromosomes. The map was then used to discover the genetic basis of seven traits associated with anthocyanin content. Each of the traits proved to be controlled by between one and six quantitative trait loci (QTL), of which at least one was a major QTL. Exploitation of syntenic relationships between the eggplant and tomato genomes facilitated the identification of potential candidate genes for the eggplant QTLs related to anthocyanin accumulation. The intra-specific linkage map should have utility for elucidating the genetic basis of other phenotypic traits in eggplant.
Plants release volatiles induced by herbivore feeding that may affect the diversity and composition of plant-associated arthropod communities. However, the specificity and role of plant volatiles induced during the early phase of attack, i.e. egg deposition by herbivorous insects, and their consequences on insects of different trophic levels remain poorly explored. In olfactometer and wind tunnel set-ups, we investigated behavioural responses of a specialist cabbage butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and two of its parasitic wasps (Trichogramma brassicae and Cotesia glomerata) to volatiles of a wild crucifer (Brassica nigra) induced by oviposition of the specialist butterfly and an additional generalist moth (Mamestra brassicae). Gravid butterflies were repelled by volatiles from plants induced by cabbage white butterfly eggs, probably as a means of avoiding competition, whereas both parasitic wasp species were attracted. In contrast, volatiles from plants induced by eggs of the generalist moth did neither repel nor attract any of the tested community members. Analysis of the plant’s volatile metabolomic profile by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and the structure of the plant-egg interface by scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the plant responds differently to egg deposition by the two lepidopteran species. Our findings imply that prior to actual feeding damage, egg deposition can induce specific plant responses that significantly influence various members of higher trophic levels.
Phospholipases D (PLD) are major components of signalling pathways in plant responses to some stresses and hormones. The product of PLD activity is phosphatidic acid (PA). PAs with different acyl chains do not have the same protein targets, so to understand the signalling role of PLD it is essential to analyze the composition of its PA products in the presence and absence of an elicitor.
Potential PLD substrates and products were studied in Arabidopsis thaliana suspension cells treated with or without the hormone salicylic acid (SA). As PA can be produced by enzymes other than PLD, we analyzed phosphatidylbutanol (PBut), which is specifically produced by PLD in the presence of n-butanol. The acyl chain compositions of PBut and the major glycerophospholipids were determined by multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) mass spectrometry. PBut profiles of untreated cells or cells treated with SA show an over-representation of 160/18∶2- and 16∶0/18∶3-species compared to those of phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylethanolamine either from bulk lipid extracts or from purified membrane fractions. When microsomal PLDs were used in in vitro assays, the resulting PBut profile matched exactly that of the substrate provided. Therefore there is a mismatch between the acyl chain compositions of putative substrates and the in vivo products of PLDs that is unlikely to reflect any selectivity of PLDs for the acyl chains of substrates.
MRM mass spectrometry is a reliable technique to analyze PLD products. Our results suggest that PLD action in response to SA is not due to the production of a stress-specific molecular species, but that the level of PLD products per se is important. The over-representation of 160/18∶2- and 16∶0/18∶3-species in PLD products when compared to putative substrates might be related to a regulatory role of the heterogeneous distribution of glycerophospholipids in membrane sub-domains.
Inorganic carbon is the major macronutrient required by organisms utilizing oxygenic photosynthesis for autotrophic growth. Aquatic photoautotrophic organisms are dependent upon a CO2 concentrating mechanism (CCM) to overcome the poor CO2-affinity of the major carbon-fixing enzyme, ribulose-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco). The CCM involves the active transport of inorganic forms of carbon (Ci) into the cell to increase the CO2 concentration around the active site of Rubisco. It employs both bicarbonate transporters and redox-powered CO2-hydration enzymes coupled to membranous NDH-type electron transport complexes that collectively produce Ci concentrations up to a 1000-fold greater in the cytoplasm compared to the external environment. The CCM is regulated: a high affinity CCM comprised of multiple components is induced under limiting external Ci concentrations. The LysR-type transcriptional regulator CcmR has been shown to repress its own expression along with structural genes encoding high affinity Ci transporters distributed throughout the genome of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. While much has been learned about the structural genes of the CCM and the identity of the transcriptional regulators controlling their expression, little is known about the physiological signals that elicit the induction of the high affinity CCM. Here CcmR is studied to identify metabolites that modulate its transcriptional repressor activity. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) αketoglutarate (α-KG) and the oxidized form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP+) have been identified as the co-repressors of CcmR. Additionally, ribulose1,5bisphosphate (RuBP) and 2phosphoglycolate (2PG) have been confirmed as co-activators of CmpR which controls the expression of the ABC-type bicarbonate transporter.
Both resistance and tolerance, which are two strategies that plants use to limit biotic stress, are affected by the abiotic environment including atmospheric CO2 levels. We tested the hypothesis that elevated CO2 would reduce resistance (i.e., the ability to prevent damage) but enhance tolerance (i.e., the ability to regrow and compensate for damage after the damage has occurred) of tomato plants to the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa armigera. The results showed that elevated CO2 reduced resistance by decreasing the jasmonic acid (JA) level and activities of lipoxygenase, proteinase inhibitors, and polyphenol oxidase in wild-type (WT) plants infested with H. armigera. Consequently, the activities of total protease, trypsin-like enzymes, and weak and active alkaline trypsin-like enzymes increased in the midgut of H. armigera when fed on WT plants grown under elevated CO2. Unexpectedly, the tolerance of the WT to H. armigera (in terms of photosynthetic rate, activity of sucrose phosphate synthases, flower number, and plant biomass and height) was also reduced by elevated CO2. Under ambient CO2, the expression of resistance and tolerance to H. armigera was much greater in wild type than in spr2 (a JA-deficient genotype) plants, but elevated CO2 reduced these differences of the resistance and tolerance between WT and spr2 plants. The results suggest that the JA signaling pathway contributes to both plant resistance and tolerance to herbivorous insects and that by suppressing the JA signaling pathway, elevated CO2 will simultaneously reduce the resistance and tolerance of tomato plants.
Evolutionary and reproductive success of angiosperms, the most diverse group of land plants, relies on visual and olfactory cues for pollinator attraction. Previous work has focused on elucidating the developmental regulation of pathways leading to the formation of pollinator-attracting secondary metabolites such as scent compounds and flower pigments. However, to date little is known about how flowers control their entire metabolic network to achieve the highly regulated production of metabolites attracting pollinators. Integrative analysis of transcripts and metabolites in snapdragon sepals and petals over flower development performed in this study revealed a profound developmental remodeling of gene expression and metabolite profiles in petals, but not in sepals. Genes up-regulated during petal development were enriched in functions related to secondary metabolism, fatty acid catabolism, and amino acid transport, whereas down-regulated genes were enriched in processes involved in cell growth, cell wall formation, and fatty acid biosynthesis. The levels of transcripts and metabolites in pathways leading to scent formation were coordinately up-regulated during petal development, implying transcriptional induction of metabolic pathways preceding scent formation. Developmental gene expression patterns in the pathways involved in scent production were different from those of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway, highlighting distinct developmental regulation of secondary metabolism and primary metabolic pathways feeding into it.
The Nicotiana attenuata LECTIN RECEPTOR KINASE 1 (LecRK1) has been recently identified as a component of the mechanism used by plants to suppress the Manduca sexta-triggered accumulation of salicylic acid (SA). The suppression of the SA burst by LecRK1 allows for the unfettered induction of jasmonic acid (JA)-mediated defense responses against M. sexta herbivory. LecRK1 contains a multi-domain extracellular region composed of a G-type Lectin domain and a PAN-AP domain separated by a variable sequence with low similarity to an EGF domain. The LecRK1 intracellular region is composed of a single domain structure with predicted Ser/Thr protein kinase activity. The multi-domain structure of the extracellular region of LecRK1 adds a level of complexity in terms of the potential ligands that this receptor protein could recognize.
defense responses; insect elicitor; jasmonic acid; lectin receptor kinase; plant-insect interactions; salicylic acid