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1.  The Nicotiana attenuata GLA1 lipase controls the accumulation of Phytophthora parasitica-induced oxylipins and defensive secondary metabolites 
Plant, cell & environment  2014;37(7):1703-1715.
Nicotiana attenuata plants silenced in the expression of GLYCEROLIPASE A1 (ir-gla1 plants) are compromised in the herbivore- and wound-induced accumulation of jasmonic acid (JA). However, these plants accumulate wild-type (WT) levels of JA and divinyl-ethers (DVE) during Phytophthora parasitica infection (Bonaventure et al., 2011). By profiling oxylipin-enriched fractions with targeted and untargeted LC-QTOF approaches, we demonstrate that the accumulation of 9-hydroxy-10E,12Z-octadecadienoic acid (9-OH-18:2) and additional C18 and C19 oxylipins is reduced by ca. 20-fold in P. parasitica infected ir-gla1 leaves compared to WT. This reduced accumulation of oxylipins was accompanied by a reduced accumulation of unsaturated free fatty acids and specific lysolipid species. Untargeted metabolic profiling of total leaf extracts showed that 87 metabolites accumulated differentially in leaves of P. parasitica-infected ir-gla1 plants with glycerolipids, hydroxylated-diterpene glycosides and phenylpropanoid derivatives accounting together for ca. 20% of these 87 metabolites. Thus, P. parasitica-induced oxylipins may participate in the regulation of metabolic changes during infection. Together, the results demonstrate that GLA1 plays a distinct role in the production of oxylipins during biotic stress responses, supplying substrates for 9-OH-18:2 and additional C18 and C19 oxylipin formation during P. parasitica infection whereas supplying substrates for the biogenesis of JA during herbivory and mechanical wounding.
PMCID: PMC4190502  PMID: 24450863
Phytophthora; lipase; oxylipin; divinyl-ethers; jasmonic acid; infection; resistance; defense; metabolism; lipid
2.  Isolating Fungal Pathogens from a Dynamic Disease Outbreak in a Native Plant Population to Establish Plant-Pathogen Bioassays for the Ecological Model Plant Nicotiana attenuata 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e102915.
The wild tobacco species Nicotiana attenuata has been intensively used as a model plant to study its interaction with insect herbivores and pollinators in nature, however very little is known about its native pathogen community. We describe a fungal disease outbreak in a native N. attenuata population comprising 873 plants growing in an area of about 1500 m2. The population was divided into 14 subpopulations and disease symptom development in the subpopulations was monitored for 16 days, revealing a waxing and waning of visible disease symptoms with some diseased plants recovering fully. Native fungal N. attenuata pathogens were isolated from diseased plants, characterized genetically, chemotaxonomically and morphologically, revealing several isolates of the ascomycete genera Fusarium and Alternaria, that differed in the type and strength of the disease symptoms they caused in bioassays on either detached leaves or intact soil-grown plants. These isolates and the bioassays will empower the study of N. attenuata-pathogen interactions in a realistic ecological context.
PMCID: PMC4103856  PMID: 25036191
3.  HSPRO acts via SnRK1-mediated signaling in the regulation of Nicotiana attenuata seedling growth promoted by Piriformospora indica 
Plant Signaling & Behavior  2013;8(4):e23537.
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.
PMCID: PMC3829923  PMID: 23333980
Nicotiana attenuata; Piriformospora indica; HSPRO; SnRK1; plant growth promotion; signaling
4.  SuperSAGE analysis of the Nicotiana attenuata transcriptome after fatty acid-amino acid elicitation (FAC): identification of early mediators of insect responses 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:66.
Plants trigger and tailor defense responses after perception of the oral secretions (OS) of attacking specialist lepidopteran larvae. Fatty acid-amino acid conjugates (FACs) in the OS of the Manduca sexta larvae are necessary and sufficient to elicit the herbivory-specific responses in Nicotiana attenuata, an annual wild tobacco species. How FACs are perceived and activate signal transduction mechanisms is unknown.
We used SuperSAGE combined with 454 sequencing to quantify the early transcriptional changes elicited by the FAC N-linolenoyl-glutamic acid (18:3-Glu) and virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) to examine the function of candidate genes in the M. sexta-N. attenuata interaction. The analysis targeted mRNAs encoding regulatory components: rare transcripts with very rapid FAC-elicited kinetics (increases within 60 and declines within 120 min). From 12,744 unique Tag sequences identified (UniTags), 430 and 117 were significantly up- and down-regulated ≥ 2.5-fold, respectively, after 18:3-Glu elicitation compared to wounding. Based on gene ontology classification, more than 25% of the annotated UniTags corresponded to putative regulatory components, including 30 transcriptional regulators and 22 protein kinases. Quantitative PCR analysis was used to analyze the FAC-dependent regulation of a subset of 27 of these UniTags and for most of them a rapid and transient induction was confirmed. Six FAC-regulated genes were functionally characterized by VIGS and two, a putative lipid phosphate phosphatase (LPP) and a protein of unknown function, were identified as important mediators of the M. sexta-N. attenuata interaction.
The analysis of the early changes in the transcriptome of N. attenuata after FAC elicitation using SuperSAGE/454 has identified regulatory genes involved in insect-specific mediated responses in plants. Moreover, it has provided a foundation for the identification of additional novel regulators associated with this process.
PMCID: PMC3095340  PMID: 20398280

Results 1-4 (4)