ResearchPad - plant-cell-biology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The <i>G123</i> rice mutant, carrying a mutation in <i>SE13</i>, presents alterations in the expression patterns of photosynthetic and major flowering regulatory genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15737 Day length is a determinant of flowering time in rice. Phytochromes participate in flowering regulation by measuring the number of daylight hours to which the plant is exposed. Here we describe G123, a rice mutant generated by irradiation, which displays insensitivity to the photoperiod and early flowering under both long day and short day conditions. To detect the mutation responsible for the early flowering phenotype exhibited by G123, we generated an F2 population, derived from crossing with the wild-type, and used a pipeline to detect genomic structural variation, initially developed for human genomes. We detected a deletion in the G123 genome that affects the PHOTOPERIOD SENSITIVITY13 (SE13) gene, which encodes a phytochromobilin synthase, an enzyme implicated in phytochrome chromophore biosynthesis. The transcriptomic analysis, performed by RNA-seq, in the G123 plants indicated an alteration in photosynthesis and other processes related to response to light. The expression patterns of the main flowering regulatory genes, such as Ghd7, Ghd8 and PRR37, were altered in the plants grown under both long day and short day conditions. These findings indicate that phytochromes are also involved in the regulation of these genes under short day conditions, and extend the role of phytochromes in flowering regulation in rice.

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<![CDATA[Response of cytokinins and nitrogen metabolism in the fronds of <i>Pteris</i> sp. under arsenic stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14748 Given the close relationship between cytokinins (CKs), photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism, this study assessed the effect of arsenic (As) contamination on these metabolic components in the As-hyperaccumulators Pteris cretica L. var. Albo-lineata (Pc-A) and var. Parkerii (Pc-P) as well as the As-non-hyperaccumulator Pteris straminea Mett. ex Baker (Ps). The ferns were cultivated in a pot experiment for 23 weeks in soil spiked with As at the levels 20 and 100 mg·kg-1. For the purpose of this study, the CKs were placed into five functionally different groups according to their structure and physiological roles: bioactive forms (bCKs; CK free bases); inactive or weakly active forms (dCKs; CK N-glucosides); transport forms (tCKs; CK ribosides); storage forms (sCKs; O-glucosides); and primary products of CK biosynthesis (ppbCKs; CK nucleotides). An important finding was higher CKs total content, accumulation of sCKs and reduction of dCKs in As-hyperaccumulators in contrast to non-hyperaccumulator ferns. A significant depletion of C resources was confirmed in ferns, especially Ps, which was determined by measuring the photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll fluorescence. A fluorescence decrease signified a reduction in the C/N ratio, inducing an increase of bioactive CKs forms in Pc-P and Ps. The impact of As on N utilization was significant in As-hyperaccumulators. The glutamic acid/glutamine ratio, an indicator of primary N assimilation, diminished in all ferns with increased As level in the soil. In conclusion, the results indicate a large phenotypic diversity of Pteris species to As and suggest that the CKs composition and the glutamic acid/glutamine ratio can be used as a tool to diagnose As stress in plants.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analysis of plastid genomes within the Campanulaceae and phylogenetic implications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14639 The conflicts exist between the phylogeny of Campanulaceae based on nuclear ITS sequence and plastid markers, particularly in the subdivision of Cyanantheae (Campanulaceae). Besides, various and complicated plastid genome structures can be found in species of the Campanulaceae. However, limited availability of genomic information largely hinders the studies of molecular evolution and phylogeny of Campanulaceae. We reported the complete plastid genomes of three Cyanantheae species, compared them to eight published Campanulaceae plastomes, and shed light on a deeper understanding of the applicability of plastomes. We found that there were obvious differences among gene order, GC content, gene compositions and IR junctions of LSC/IRa. Almost all protein-coding genes and amino acid sequences showed obvious codon preferences. We identified 14 genes with highly positively selected sites and branch-site model displayed 96 sites under potentially positive selection on the three lineages of phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Cyananthus was more closely related to Codonopsis compared with Cyclocodon and also clearly illustrated the relationship among the Cyanantheae species. We also found six coding regions having high nucleotide divergence value. Hotpot regions were considered to be useful molecular markers for resolving phylogenetic relationships and species authentication of Campanulaceae.

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<![CDATA[Terminal drought and heat stress alter physiological and biochemical attributes in flag leaf of bread wheat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14475 Heat stress along with low water availability at reproductive stage (terminal growth phase of wheat crop) is major contributing factor towards less wheat production in tropics and sub-tropics. Flag leaf plays a pivotal role in assimilate partitioning and stress tolerance of wheat during terminal growth phase. However, limited is known about biochemical response of flag leaf to combined and individual heat and drought stress during terminal growth phase. Therefore, current study investigated combined and individual effect of terminal drought and heat stress on water relations, photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes accumulation and antioxidants defense mechanism in flag leaf of bread wheat. Experimental treatments comprised of control, terminal drought stress alone (50% field capacity during reproductive phase), terminal heat stress alone (wheat grown inside plastic tunnel during reproductive phase) and terminal drought stress + terminal heat stress. Individual and combined imposition of drought and heat stresses significantly (p≤0.05) altered water relations, osmolyte contents, soluble proteins and sugars along with activated antioxidant defensive system in terms of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Turgor potential, POD and APX activities were lowest under individual heat stress; however, these were improved when drought stress was combined with heat stress. It is concluded that combined effect of drought and heat stress was more detrimental than individual stresses. The interactive effect of both stresses was hypo-additive in nature, but for some traits (like turgor potential and APX) effect of one stress neutralized the other. To best of our knowledge, this is the first report on physiological and biochemical response of flag leaf of wheat to combine heat and drought stress. These results will help future studies dealing with improved stress tolerance in wheat. However, detailed studies are needed to fully understand the genetic mechanisms behind these physiological and biochemical changes in flag leaf in response to combined heat and drought stress.

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<![CDATA[Chloroplast genomes of Rubiaceae: Comparative genomics and molecular phylogeny in subfamily Ixoroideae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11231 In Rubiaceae phylogenetics, the number of markers often proved a limitation with authors failing to provide well-supported trees at tribal and generic levels. A robust phylogeny is a prerequisite to study the evolutionary patterns of traits at different taxonomic levels. Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized biology by providing, at reduced cost, huge amounts of data for an increased number of species. Due to their highly conserved structure, generally recombination-free, and mostly uniparental inheritance, chloroplast DNA sequences have long been used as choice markers for plant phylogeny reconstruction. The main objectives of this study are: 1) to gain insight in chloroplast genome evolution in the Rubiaceae (Ixoroideae) through efficient methodology for de novo assembly of plastid genomes; and, 2) to test the efficiency of mining SNPs in the nuclear genome of Ixoroideae based on the use of a coffee reference genome to produce well-supported nuclear trees. We assembled whole chloroplast genome sequences for 27 species of the Rubiaceae subfamily Ixoroideae using next-generation sequences. Analysis of the plastid genome structure reveals a relatively good conservation of gene content and order. Generally, low variation was observed between taxa in the boundary regions with the exception of the inverted repeat at both the large and short single copy junctions for some taxa. An average of 79% of the SNP determined in the Coffea genus are transferable to Ixoroideae, with variation ranging from 35% to 96%. In general, the plastid and the nuclear genome phylogenies are congruent with each other. They are well-resolved with well-supported branches. Generally, the tribes form well-identified clades but the tribe Sherbournieae is shown to be polyphyletic. The results are discussed relative to the methodology used and the chloroplast genome features in Rubiaceae and compared to previous Rubiaceae phylogenies.

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<![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of <i>Bacillus cereus</i> and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11229 Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

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<![CDATA[The draft mitochondrial genome of Magnolia biondii and mitochondrial phylogenomics of angiosperms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1f661d3e-d0c0-407e-92c0-bb72cd78029d

The mitochondrial genomes of flowering plants are well known for their large size, variable coding-gene set and fluid genome structure. The available mitochondrial genomes of the early angiosperms show extreme genetic diversity in genome size, structure, and sequences, such as rampant HGTs in Amborella mt genome, numerous repeated sequences in Nymphaea mt genome, and conserved gene evolution in Liriodendron mt genome. However, currently available early angiosperm mt genomes are still limited, hampering us from obtaining an overall picture of the mitogenomic evolution in angiosperms. Here we sequenced and assembled the draft mitochondrial genome of Magnolia biondii Pamp. from Magnoliaceae (magnoliids) using Oxford Nanopore sequencing technology. We recovered a single linear mitochondrial contig of 967,100 bp with an average read coverage of 122 × and a GC content of 46.6%. This draft mitochondrial genome contains a rich 64-gene set, similar to those of Liriodendron and Nymphaea, including 41 protein-coding genes, 20 tRNAs, and 3 rRNAs. Twenty cis-spliced and five trans-spliced introns break ten protein-coding genes in the Magnolia mt genome. Repeated sequences account for 27% of the draft genome, with 17 out of the 1,145 repeats showing recombination evidence. Although partially assembled, the approximately 1-Mb mt genome of Magnolia is still among the largest in angiosperms, which is possibly due to the expansion of repeated sequences, retention of ancestral mtDNAs, and the incorporation of nuclear genome sequences. Mitochondrial phylogenomic analysis of the concatenated datasets of 38 conserved protein-coding genes from 91 representatives of angiosperm species supports the sister relationship of magnoliids with monocots and eudicots, which is congruent with plastid evidence.

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<![CDATA[Increasing atmospheric CO2 and canopy temperature induces anatomical and physiological changes in leaves of the C4 forage species Panicum maximum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac6cd5eed0c484d08750

Changes in leaf anatomy and ultrastructure are associated with physiological performance in the context of plant adaptations to climate change. In this study, we investigated the isolated and combined effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) up to 600 μmol mol-1 (eC) and elevated temperature (eT) to 2°C more than the ambient canopy temperature on the ultrastructure, leaf anatomy, and physiology of Panicum maximum Jacq. grown under field conditions using combined free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) and temperature free-air controlled enhancement (T-FACE) systems. Plants grown under eC showed reduced stomatal density, stomatal index, stomatal conductance (gs), and leaf transpiration rate (E), increased soil-water content (SWC) conservation and adaxial epidermis thickness were also observed. The net photosynthesis rate (A) and intrinsic water-use efficiency (iWUE) were enhanced by 25% and 71%, respectively, with a concomitant increase in the size of starch grains in bundle sheath cells. Under air warming, we observed an increase in the thickness of the adaxial cuticle and a decrease in the leaf thickness, size of vascular bundles and bulliform cells, and starch content. Under eCeT, air warming offset the eC effects on SWC and E, and no interactions between [CO2] and temperature for leaf anatomy were observed. Elevated [CO2] exerted more effects on external characteristics, such as the epidermis anatomy and leaf gas exchange, while air warming affected mainly the leaf structure. We conclude that differential anatomical and physiological adjustments contributed to the acclimation of P. maximum growing under elevated [CO2] and air warming, improving the leaf biomass production under these conditions.

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<![CDATA[Comprehensive genome-wide analysis of the pear (Pyrus bretschneideri) laccase gene (PbLAC) family and functional identification of PbLAC1 involved in lignin biosynthesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75c6d5eed0c4843d0173

The content and size of stone cell clusters affects the quality of pear fruit, and monolignol polymerization and deposition in the cell walls constitute a required step for stone cell formation. Laccase (LAC) is the key enzyme responsible for the polymerization of monolignols. However, there are no reports on the LAC family in pear (Pyrus bretschneideri), and the identity of the members responsible for lignin synthesis has not been clarified. Here, 41 LACs were identified in the whole genome of pear. All Pyrus bretschneideri LACs (PbLACs) were distributed on 13 chromosomes and divided into four phylogenetic groups (I-IV). In addition, 16 segmental duplication events were found, implying that segmental duplication was a primary reason for the expansion of the PbLAC family. LACs from the genomes of three Rosaceae species (Prunus mummer, Prunus persica, and Fragaria vesca) were also identified, and an interspecies collinearity analysis was performed. The phylogenetic analysis, sequence alignments and spatiotemporal expression pattern analysis suggested that PbLAC1, 5, 6, 29, 36 and 38 were likely associated with lignin synthesis and stone cell formation in fruit. The two target genes of Pyr-miR1890 (a microRNA identified from pear fruit that is associated with lignin and stone cell accumulation), PbLAC1 and PbLAC14, were selected for genetic transformation. Interfamily transfer of PbLAC1 into Arabidopsis resulted in a significant increase (approximately 17%) in the lignin content and thicker cell walls in interfascicular fibre and xylem cells, which demonstrated that PbLAC1 is involved in lignin biosynthesis and cell wall development. However, the lignin content and cell wall thickness were not changed significantly in the PbLAC14-overexpressing transgenic Arabidopsis plants. This study revealed the function of PbLAC1 in lignin synthesis and provides important insights into the characteristics and evolution of the PbLAC family.

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<![CDATA[Solanum lycopersicum GOLDEN 2-LIKE 2 transcription factor affects fruit quality in a light- and auxin-dependent manner]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75a8d5eed0c4843cff97

Plastids are organelles responsible for essential aspects of plant development, including carbon fixation and synthesis of several secondary metabolites. Chloroplast differentiation and activity are highly regulated by light, and several proteins involved in these processes have been characterised. Such is the case of the GOLDEN 2-LIKE (GLK) transcription factors, which induces the expression of genes related to chloroplast differentiation and photosynthesis. The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genome harbours two copies of this gene, SlGLK1 and SlGLK2, each with distinct expression patterns. While the former predominates in leaves, the latter is mainly expressed in fruits, precisely at the pedicel region. During tomato domestication, the selection of fruits with uniform ripening fixed the mutation Slglk2, nowadays present in most cultivated varieties, what penalised fruit metabolic composition. In this study, we investigated how SlGLK2 is regulated by light, auxin and cytokinin and determined the effect of SlGLK2 on tocopherol (vitamin E) and sugar metabolism, which are components of the fruit nutritional and industrial quality. To achieve this, transcriptional profiling and biochemical analysis were performed throughout fruit development and ripening from SlGLK2, Slglk2, SlGLK2-overexpressing genotypes, as well as from phytochrome and hormonal deficient mutants. The results revealed that SlGLK2 expression is regulated by phytochrome-mediated light perception, yet this gene can induce chloroplast differentiation even in a phytochrome-independent manner. Moreover, auxin was found to be a negative regulator of SlGLK2 expression, while SlGLK2 enhances cytokinin responsiveness. Additionally, SlGLK2 enhanced chlorophyll content in immature green fruits, leading to an increment in tocopherol level in ripe fruits. Finally, SlGLK2 overexpression resulted in higher total soluble solid content, possibly by the regulation of sugar metabolism enzyme-encoding genes. The results obtained here shed light on the regulatory network that interconnects SlGLK2, phytohormones and light signal, promoting the plastidial activity and consequently, influencing the quality of tomato fruit.

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<![CDATA[Inferring statistical properties of 3D cell geometry from 2D slices]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df30ad5eed0c484580bba

Although cell shape can reflect the mechanical and biochemical properties of the cell and its environment, quantification of 3D cell shapes within 3D tissues remains difficult, typically requiring digital reconstruction from a stack of 2D images. We investigate a simple alternative technique to extract information about the 3D shapes of cells in a tissue; this technique connects the ensemble of 3D shapes in the tissue with the distribution of 2D shapes observed in independent 2D slices. Using cell vertex model geometries, we find that the distribution of 2D shapes allows clear determination of the mean value of a 3D shape index. We analyze the errors that may arise in practice in the estimation of the mean 3D shape index from 2D imagery and find that typically only a few dozen cells in 2D imagery are required to reduce uncertainty below 2%. Even though we developed the method for isotropic animal tissues, we demonstrate it on an anisotropic plant tissue. This framework could also be naturally extended to estimate additional 3D geometric features and quantify their uncertainty in other materials.

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<![CDATA[High-resolution imagery acquired from an unmanned platform to estimate biophysical and geometrical parameters of olive trees under different irrigation regimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c493d5eed0c4845e895b

The experiments were conducted in a fully-productive olive orchard (cv. Frantoio) at the experimental farm of University of Pisa at Venturina (Italy) in 2015 to assess the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with RGB-NIR cameras to estimate leaf area index (LAI), tree height, canopy diameter and canopy volume of olive trees that were either irrigated or rainfed. Irrigated trees received water 4–5 days a week (1348 m3 ha-1), whereas the rainfed ones received a single irrigation of 19 m3 ha-1 to relieve the extreme stress. The flight altitude was 70 m above ground level (AGL), except for one flight (50 m AGL). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated by means of the map algebra technique. Canopy volume, canopy height and diameter were obtained from the digital surface model (DSM) obtained through automatic aerial triangulation, bundle block adjustment and camera calibration methods. The NDVI estimated on the day of the year (DOY) 130 was linearly correlated with both LAI and leaf chlorophyll measured on the same date (R2 = 0.78 and 0.80, respectively). The correlation between the on ground measured canopy volumes and the ones by the UAV-RGB camera techniques yielded an R2 of 0.71–0.86. The monthly canopy volume increment estimated from UAV surveys between (DOY) 130 and 244 was highly correlated with the daily water stress integral of rainfed trees (R2 = 0.99). The effect of water stress on the seasonal pattern of canopy growth was detected by these techniques in correspondence of the maximum level of stress experienced by the rainfed trees. The highest level of accuracy (RMSE = 0.16 m) in canopy height estimation was obtained when the flight altitude was 50 m AGL, yielding an R2 value of 0.87 and an almost 1:1 ratio of measured versus estimated canopy height.

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<![CDATA[Integrating ecosystem services considerations within a GIS-based habitat suitability index for oyster restoration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e667d5eed0c484ef3039

Geospatial habitat suitability index (HSI) models have emerged as powerful tools that integrate pertinent spatial information to guide habitat restoration efforts, but have rarely accounted for spatial variation in ecosystem service provision. In this study, we utilized satellite-derived chlorophyll a concentrations for Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA in conjunction with data on water flow velocities and dissolved oxygen concentrations to identify potential restoration locations that would maximize the oyster reef-associated ecosystem service of water filtration. We integrated these novel factors associated with oyster water filtration ecosystem services within an existing, ‘Metapopulation Persistence’ focused GIS-based, HSI model containing biophysical (e.g., salinity, oyster larval connectivity) and logistical (e.g., distance to nearest restoration material stockpile site) factors to identify suitable locations for oyster restoration that maximize long-term persistence of restored oyster populations and water filtration ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, we compared the ‘Water Filtration’ optimized HSI with the HSI optimized for ‘Metapopulation Persistence,’ as well as a hybrid model that optimized for both water filtration and metapopulation persistence. Optimal restoration locations (i.e., locations corresponding to the top 1% of suitability scores) were identified that were consistent among the three HSI scenarios (i.e., “win-win” locations), as well as optimal locations unique to a given HSI scenario (i.e., “tradeoff” locations). The modeling framework utilized in this study can provide guidance to restoration practitioners to maximize the cost-efficiency and ecosystem services value of habitat restoration efforts. Furthermore, the functional relationships between oyster water filtration and chlorophyll a concentrations, water flow velocities, and dissolved oxygen applied in this study can guide field- and lab-testing of hypotheses related to optimal conditions for oyster reef restoration to maximize water quality enhancement benefits.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of the response of alternative oxidase and uncoupling proteins to bacterial elicitor induced oxidative burst]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f80fd5eed0c484386f5b

Plant UCPs are proved to take part in the fine-tuning of mitochondrial ROS generation. It has emerged that mitochondrion can be an important early source of intracellular ROS during plant-pathogen interaction thus plant UCPs must also play key role in this redox fine-tuning during the early phase of plant–pathogen interaction. On the contrary of this well-established assumption, the expression of plant UCPs and their activity has not been investigated in elicitor induced oxidative burst. Thus, the level of plant UCPs both at RNA and protein level and their activity was investigated and compared to AOX as a reference in Arabidopsis thaliana cells due to bacterial harpin treatments. Similar to the expression and activity of AOX, the transcript level of UCP4, UCP5 and the UCP activity increased due to harpin treatment and the consequential oxidative burst. The expression of UCP4 and UCP5 elevated 15-18-fold after 1 h of treatment, then the activity of UCP reached its maximal value at 4h of treatment. The quite rapid activation of UCP due to harpin treatment gives another possibility to fine tune the redox balance of plant cell, furthermore explains the earlier observed rapid decrease of mitochondrial membrane potential and consequent decrease of ATP synthesis after harpin treatment.

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<![CDATA[The brown algal mode of tip growth: Keeping stress under control]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466523d5eed0c4845179cd

Tip growth has been studied in pollen tubes, root hairs, and fungal and oomycete hyphae and is the most widely distributed unidirectional growth process on the planet. It ensures spatial colonization, nutrient predation, fertilization, and symbiosis with growth speeds of up to 800 μm h−1. Although turgor-driven growth is intuitively conceivable, a closer examination of the physical processes at work in tip growth raises a paradox: growth occurs where biophysical forces are low, because of the increase in curvature in the tip. All tip-growing cells studied so far rely on the modulation of cell wall extensibility via the polarized excretion of cell wall–loosening compounds at the tip. Here, we used a series of quantitative measurements at the cellular level and a biophysical simulation approach to show that the brown alga Ectocarpus has an original tip-growth mechanism. In this alga, the establishment of a steep gradient in cell wall thickness can compensate for the variation in tip curvature, thereby modulating wall stress within the tip cell. Bootstrap analyses support the robustness of the process, and experiments with fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) confirmed the active vesicle trafficking in the shanks of the apical cell, as inferred from the model. In response to auxin, biophysical measurements change in agreement with the model. Although we cannot strictly exclude the involvement of a gradient in mechanical properties in Ectocarpus morphogenesis, the viscoplastic model of cell wall mechanics strongly suggests that brown algae have evolved an alternative strategy of tip growth. This strategy is largely based on the control of cell wall thickness rather than fluctuations in cell wall mechanical properties.

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<![CDATA[Regulation of pollen lipid body biogenesis by MAP kinases and downstream WRKY transcription factors in Arabidopsis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c2d2eb5d5eed0c484d9b346

Signaling pathways that control the activities in non-photosynthetic plastids, important sites of plant metabolism, are largely unknown. Previously, we demonstrated that WRKY2 and WRKY34 transcription factors play an essential role in pollen development downstream of mitogen-activated protein kinase 3 (MPK3) and MPK6 in Arabidopsis. Here, we report that GLUCOSE-6-PHOSPHATE/PHOSPHATE TRANSLOCATOR 1 (GPT1) is a key target gene of WRKY2/WRKY34. GPT1 transports glucose-6-phosphate (Glc6P) into plastids for starch and/or fatty acid biosynthesis depending on the plant species. Loss of function of WRKY2/WRKY34 results in reduced GPT1 expression, and concomitantly, reduced accumulation of lipid bodies in mature pollen, which leads to compromised pollen viability, germination, pollen tube growth, and male transmission in Arabidopsis. Pollen-specific overexpression of GPT1 rescues the pollen defects of wrky2 wrky34 double mutant. Furthermore, gain-of-function activation of MPK3/MPK6 enhances GPT1 expression; whereas GPT1 expression is reduced in mkk4 mkk5 double mutant. Together, this study revealed a cytoplasmic/nuclear signaling pathway capable of coordinating the metabolic activities in plastids. High-level expression of GPT1 at late stages of pollen development drives Glc6P from cytosol into plastids, where Glc6P is used for fatty acid biosynthesis, an important step of lipid body biogenesis. The accumulation of lipid bodies during pollen maturation is essential to pollen fitness and successful reproduction.

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<![CDATA[Production of santalenes and bergamotene in Nicotiana tabacum plants]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bcad5eed0c48491e5a0

Terpenes play an important role in plant–insect relationships, and these relationships can potentially be modified by altering the profile of terpenes emitted from plants using metabolic engineering methods. Transgenic plants generated by employing such methods offer the prospect of low-cost sustainable pest management; in this regard, we used chloroplast targeting and cytosolic mevalonic acid pathway enhancement in this study to investigate the interaction of santalenes and bergamotene with insects. The santalene- and bergamotene-emitting transgenic tobacco plants thus generated were utilized to study host preference in the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae (Sulzer)). The results showed that co-expression of either 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) or truncated HMGR with santalene synthase led to the production of higher amounts of santalenes and bergamotene in transgenic tobacco plants, and that these santalene- and bergamotene-emitting plants were attractive to green peach aphids. We accordingly propose that such transgenic plants may have potential application in pest management as a trap crop to prevent green peach aphid infestation of wild-type tobacco plants.

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<![CDATA[Unique photosynthetic electron transport tuning and excitation distribution in heterokont algae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa591d5eed0c484ca5e0e

Heterokont algae are significant contributors to marine primary productivity. These algae have a photosynthetic machinery that shares many common features with that of Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). Here we demonstrate, however, that the photosynthetic machinery of heterokont algae responds to light fundamentally differently than that of Viridiplantae. While exposure to high light leads to electron accumulation within the photosynthetic electron transport chain in Viridiplantae, this is not the case in heterokont algae. We use this insight to manipulate the photosynthetic electron transport chain and demonstrate that heterokont algae can dynamically distribute excitation energy between the two types of photosystems. We suggest that the reported electron transport and excitation distribution features are adaptations to the marine light environment.

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<![CDATA[Genome-scale characterization of the vacuole nitrate transporter Chloride Channel (CLC) genes and their transcriptional responses to diverse nutrient stresses in allotetraploid rapeseed]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254561d5eed0c48442c648

The Chloride Channel (CLC) gene family is reported to be involved in vacuolar nitrate (NO3-) transport. Nitrate distribution to the cytoplasm is beneficial for enhancing NO3- assimilation and plays an important role in the regulation of nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE). In this study, genomic information, high-throughput transcriptional profiles, and gene co-expression analysis were integrated to identify the CLCs (BnaCLCs) in Brassica napus. The decreased NO3- concentration in the clca-2 mutant up-regulated the activities of nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase, contributing to increase N assimilation and higher NUE in Arabidopsis thaliana. The genome-wide identification of 22BnaCLC genes experienced strong purifying selection. Segmental duplication was the major driving force in the expansion of the BnaCLC gene family. The most abundant cis-acting regulatory elements in the gene promoters, including DNA-binding One Zinc Finger, W-box, MYB, and GATA-box, might be involved in the transcriptional regulation of BnaCLCs expression. High-throughput transcriptional profiles and quantitative real-time PCR results showed that BnaCLCs responded differentially to distinct NO3- regimes. Transcriptomics-assisted gene co-expression network analysis identified BnaA7.CLCa-3 as the core member of the BnaCLC family, and this gene might play a central role in vacuolar NO3- transport in crops. The BnaCLC members also showed distinct expression patterns under phosphate depletion and cadmium toxicity. Taken together, our results provide comprehensive insights into the vacuolar BnaCLCs and establish baseline information for future studies on BnaCLCs-mediated vacuolar NO3- storage and its effect on NUE.

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<![CDATA[Coral-dwelling fish moderate bleaching susceptibility of coral hosts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5bd2d5eed0c4846ecafb

Global environmental change has the potential to disrupt well established species interactions, with impacts on nutrient cycling and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, fish living within the branches of coral colonies can promote coral performance, and it has been hypothesized that the enhanced water flow and nutrients provided by fish to corals could ameliorate coral bleaching. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of small, aggregating damselfish on the health of their host corals (physiology, recovery, and survival) before, during, and after a thermal-bleaching event. When comparing coral colonies with and without fish, those with resident fish exhibited higher Symbiodinium densities and chlorophyll in both field and experimentally-induced bleaching conditions, and higher protein concentrations in field colonies. Additionally, colonies with damselfish in aquaria exhibited both higher photosynthetic efficiency (FV/FM) during bleaching stress and post-bleaching recovery, compared to uninhabited colonies. These results demonstrate that symbiotic damselfishes, and the services they provide, translate into measureable impacts on coral tissue, and can influence coral bleaching susceptibility/resilience and recovery. By mediating how external abiotic stressors influence coral colony health, damselfish can affect the functional responses of these interspecific interactions in a warming ocean.

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