ResearchPad - plastids https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![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[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[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[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[Impaired Chloroplast Biogenesis in Immutans, an Arabidopsis Variegation Mutant, Modifies Developmental Programming, Cell Wall Composition and Resistance to Pseudomonas syringae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e1ab0ee8fa60b698f3

The immutans (im) variegation mutation of Arabidopsis has green- and white- sectored leaves due to action of a nuclear recessive gene. IM codes for PTOX, a plastoquinol oxidase in plastid membranes. Previous studies have revealed that the green and white sectors develop into sources (green tissues) and sinks (white tissues) early in leaf development. In this report we focus on white sectors, and show that their transformation into effective sinks involves a sharp reduction in plastid number and size. Despite these reductions, cells in the white sectors have near-normal amounts of plastid RNA and protein, and surprisingly, a marked amplification of chloroplast DNA. The maintenance of protein synthesis capacity in the white sectors might poise plastids for their development into other plastid types. The green and white im sectors have different cell wall compositions: whereas cell walls in the green sectors resemble those in wild type, cell walls in the white sectors have reduced lignin and cellulose microfibrils, as well as alterations in galactomannans and the decoration of xyloglucan. These changes promote susceptibility to the pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Enhanced susceptibility can also be explained by repressed expression of some, but not all, defense genes. We suggest that differences in morphology, physiology and biochemistry between the green and white sectors is caused by a reprogramming of leaf development that is coordinated, in part, by mechanisms of retrograde (plastid-to-nucleus) signaling, perhaps mediated by ROS. We conclude that variegation mutants offer a novel system to study leaf developmental programming, cell wall metabolism and host-pathogen interactions.

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<![CDATA[Development of microsatellite markers and assembly of the plastid genome in Cistanthe longiscapa (Montiaceae) based on low-coverage whole genome sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60be0299

Cistanthe longiscapa is an endemic annual herb and characteristic element of the Chilean Atacama Desert. Principal threats are the destruction of its seed deposits by human activities and reduced germination rates due to the decreasing occurrence of precipitation events. To enable population genetic and phylogeographic analyses in this species we performed paired-end shotgun sequencing (2x100 bp) of genomic DNA on the Illumina HiSeq platform and identified microsatellite (SSR) loci in the resulting sequences. From 29 million quality-filtered read pairs we obtained 549,174 contigs (average length 614 bp; N50 = 904). Searching for SSRs revealed 10,336 loci with microsatellite motifs. Initially, we designed primers for 96 loci, which were tested for PCR amplification on three C. longiscapa individuals. Successfully amplifying loci were further tested on eight individuals to screen for length variation in the resulting amplicons, and the alleles were exemplarily sequenced to infer the basis for the observed length variation. Finally we arrived at 26 validated SSR loci for population studies in C. longiscapa, which resulted in 146 bi-allelic SSR markers in our test sample of eight individuals. The genomic sequences were also used to assemble the plastid genome of C. longiscapa, which provides an additional set of maternally inherited genetic markers.

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<![CDATA[Evolutionary transition towards permanent chloroplasts? - Division of kleptochloroplasts in starved cells of two species of Dinophysis (Dinophyceae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5aab0ee8fa60bdf705

Species within the marine toxic dinoflagellate genus Dinophysis are phagotrophic organisms that exploit chloroplasts (kleptochloroplasts) from other protists to perform photosynthesis. Dinophysis spp. acquire the kleptochloroplasts from the ciliate Mesodinium rubrum, which in turn acquires the chloroplasts from a unique clade of cryptophytes. Dinophysis spp. digest the prey nuclei and all other cell organelles upon ingestion (except the kleptochloroplasts) and they are therefore believed to constantly acquire new chloroplasts as the populations grow. Previous studies have, however, indicated that Dinophysis can keep the kleptochloroplasts active during long term starvation and are able to produce photosynthetic pigments when exposed to prey starvation. This indicates a considerable control over the kleptochloroplasts and the ability of Dinophysis to replicate its kleptochloroplasts was therefore re-investigated in detail in this study. The kleptochloroplasts of Dinophysis acuta and Dinophysis acuminata were analyzed using confocal microscopy and 3D bioimaging software during long term starvation experiments. The cell concentrations were monitored to confirm cell divisions and samples were withdrawn each time a doubling had occurred. The results show direct evidence of kleptochloroplastidic division and that the decreases in total kleptochloroplast volume, number of kleptochloroplasts and number of kleptochloroplast centers were not caused by dilution due to cell divisions. This is the first report of division of kleptochloroplasts in any protist without the associated prey nuclei. This indicates that Dinophysis spp. may be in a transitional phase towards possessing permanent chloroplasts, which thereby potentially makes it a key organism to understand the evolution of phototrophic protists.

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<![CDATA[Triticum aestivum WRAB18 functions in plastids and confers abiotic stress tolerance when overexpressed in Escherichia coli and Nicotiania benthamiana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc43e

WRAB18, an ABA-inducible protein belongs to the third family of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins which can be induced by different biotic or abiotic stresses. In the present study, WRAB18 was cloned from the Zhengyin 1 cultivar of Triticum aestivum and overexpressed in Escherichia coli to explore its effects on the growth of E. coli under different abiotic stresses. Results suggested the enhanced exhibition of tolerance of E. coli to these stresses. Meanwhile, the WRAB18-transgenic tobacco plants were obtained to analyze the stress-related enzymatic activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and to quantify the content of malonaldehyde (MDA) under osmotic stress, high salinity, and low and high temperature stress. The activities of APX, POD and SOD in the transgenic tobacco lines were higher while the content of MDA was lower than those of WT lines. Moreover, plastid localization of WRAB18 in Nicotiana benthamiana plasma cells were found fusing with GFP. In addition, purified WRAB18 protein protected LDH (Lactate dehydrogenase) enzyme activity in vitro from various stress conditions. In brief, WRAB18 protein shows protective action behaving as a “molecular shield” in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells under various abiotic stresses, not only during ABA stress.

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<![CDATA[The Formation of Stromules In Vitro from Chloroplasts Isolated from Nicotiana benthamiana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db3bab0ee8fa60bd4bfb

Stromules are stroma-containing tubules that have been observed to emanate from the main plastidic body in vivo. These structures have been shown to require cytoskeletal components for movement. Though numerous studies have shown a close association with the endoplasmic reticulum, nucleus, mitochondria, and other plastids, the mechanism of formation and their overall function remain unknown. A limiting factor in studying these structures has been the lack of a reconstituted system for in vitro stromule formation. In this study, stromule formation was induced in vitro by adding a plant extract fraction that is greater than 100 kDa to a population of isolated chloroplasts. Kinetic measurements show that stromule formation occurs within ~10 seconds after the addition of the plant extract fraction. Heat inactivation and apyrase treatment reveal that the stromule stimulating compound found in the extract fraction is a protein or protein complex 100 kDa or greater. The formation of the stromules in vitro with isolated chloroplasts and a concentrated fraction of cell extract opens an avenue for the biochemical dissection of this process that has heretofore been studied only in vivo.

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<![CDATA[Metabolic flux analysis of heterotrophic growth in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfff9

Despite the wealth of knowledge available for C. reinhardtii, the central metabolic fluxes of growth on acetate have not yet been determined. In this study, 13C-metabolic flux analysis (13C-MFA) was used to determine and quantify the metabolic pathways of primary metabolism in C. reinhardtii cells grown under heterotrophic conditions with acetate as the sole carbon source. Isotopic labeling patterns of compartment specific biomass derived metabolites were used to calculate the fluxes. It was found that acetate is ligated with coenzyme A in the three subcellular compartments (cytosol, mitochondria and plastid) included in the model. Two citrate synthases were found to potentially be involved in acetyl-coA metabolism; one localized in the mitochondria and the other acting outside the mitochondria. Labeling patterns demonstrate that Acetyl-coA synthesized in the plastid is directly incorporated in synthesis of fatty acids. Despite having a complete TCA cycle in the mitochondria, it was also found that a majority of the malate flux is shuttled to the cytosol and plastid where it is converted to oxaloacetate providing reducing equivalents to these compartments. When compared to predictions by flux balance analysis, fluxes measured with 13C-MFA were found to be suboptimal with respect to biomass yield; C. reinhardtii sacrifices biomass yield to produce ATP and reducing equivalents.

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<![CDATA[The Impact of Reconstruction Methods, Phylogenetic Uncertainty and Branch Lengths on Inference of Chromosome Number Evolution in American Daisies (Melampodium, Asteraceae) ]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db15ab0ee8fa60bcd0d3

Chromosome number change (polyploidy and dysploidy) plays an important role in plant diversification and speciation. Investigating chromosome number evolution commonly entails ancestral state reconstruction performed within a phylogenetic framework, which is, however, prone to uncertainty, whose effects on evolutionary inferences are insufficiently understood. Using the chromosomally diverse plant genus Melampodium (Asteraceae) as model group, we assess the impact of reconstruction method (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, Bayesian methods), branch length model (phylograms versus chronograms) and phylogenetic uncertainty (topological and branch length uncertainty) on the inference of chromosome number evolution. We also address the suitability of the maximum clade credibility (MCC) tree as single representative topology for chromosome number reconstruction. Each of the listed factors causes considerable incongruence among chromosome number reconstructions. Discrepancies between inferences on the MCC tree from those made by integrating over a set of trees are moderate for ancestral chromosome numbers, but severe for the difference of chromosome gains and losses, a measure of the directionality of dysploidy. Therefore, reliance on single trees, such as the MCC tree, is strongly discouraged and model averaging, taking both phylogenetic and model uncertainty into account, is recommended. For studying chromosome number evolution, dedicated models implemented in the program ChromEvol and ordered maximum parsimony may be most appropriate. Chromosome number evolution in Melampodium follows a pattern of bidirectional dysploidy (starting from x = 11 to x = 9 and x = 14, respectively) with no prevailing direction.

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<![CDATA[Diversification of Angraecum (Orchidaceae, Vandeae) in Madagascar: Revised Phylogeny Reveals Species Accumulation through Time Rather than Rapid Radiation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da69ab0ee8fa60b92718

Angraecum is the largest genus of subtribe Angraecinae (Orchidaceae) with about 221 species. Madagascar is the center of the diversity for the genus with ca. 142 species, of which 90% are endemic. The great morphological diversity associated with species diversification in the genus on the island of Madagascar offers valuable insights for macroevolutionary studies. Phylogenies of the Angraecinae have been published but a lack of taxon and character sampling and their limited taxonomic resolution limit their uses for macroevolutionary studies. We present a new phylogeny of Angraecum based on chloroplast sequence data (matk, rps16, trnL), nuclear ribosomal (ITS2) and 39 morphological characters from 194 Angraecinae species of which 69 were newly sampled. Using this phylogeny, we evaluated the monophyly of the sections of Angraecum as defined by Garay and investigated the patterns of species diversification within the genus. We used maximum parsimony and bayesian analyses to generate phylogenetic trees and dated divergence times of the phylogeny. We analyzed diversification patterns within Angraecinae and Angraecum with an emphasis on four floral characters (flower color, flower size, labellum position, spur length) using macroevolutionary models to evaluate which characters or character states are associated with speciation rates, and inferred ancestral states of these characters. The phylogenetic analysis showed the polyphyly of Angraecum sensu lato and of all Angraecum sections except sect. Hadrangis, and that morphology can be consistent with the phylogeny. It appeared that the characters (flower color, flower size, spur length) formerly used by many authors to delineate Angraecum groups were insufficient to do so. However, the newly described character, position of the labellum (uppermost and lowermost), was the main character delimiting clades within a monophyletic Angraecum sensu stricto. This character also appeared to be associated with speciation rates in Angraecum. The macroevolutionary model-based phylogeny failed to detect shifts in diversification that could be associated directly with morphological diversification. Diversification in Angraecum resulted from gradual species accumulation through time rather than from rapid radiation, a diversification pattern often encountered in tropical rain forests.

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<![CDATA[Mitochondrial genome evolution in Alismatales: Size reduction and extensive loss of ribosomal protein genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db5cab0ee8fa60bdfe3f

The order Alismatales is a hotspot for evolution of plant mitochondrial genomes characterized by remarkable differences in genome size, substitution rates, RNA editing, retrotranscription, gene loss and intron loss. Here we have sequenced the complete mitogenomes of Zostera marina and Stratiotes aloides, which together with previously sequenced mitogenomes from Butomus and Spirodela, provide new evolutionary evidence of genome size reduction, gene loss and transfer to the nucleus. The Zostera mitogenome includes a large portion of DNA transferred from the plastome, yet it is the smallest known mitogenome from a non-parasitic plant. Using a broad sample of the Alismatales, the evolutionary history of ribosomal protein gene loss is analyzed. In Zostera almost all ribosomal protein genes are lost from the mitogenome, but only some can be found in the nucleus.

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<![CDATA[Complete Plastid Genome of the Recent Holoparasite Lathraea squamaria Reveals Earliest Stages of Plastome Reduction in Orobanchaceae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da1cab0ee8fa60b7d1b3

Plants from the family Orobanchaceae are widely used as a model to study different aspects of parasitic lifestyle including host–parasite interactions and physiological and genomic adaptations. Among the latter, the most prominent are those that occurred due to the loss of photosynthesis; they include the reduction of the photosynthesis-related gene set in both nuclear and plastid genomes. In Orobanchaceae, the transition to non-photosynthetic lifestyle occurred several times independently, but only one lineage has been in the focus of evolutionary studies. These studies included analysis of plastid genomes and transcriptomes and allowed the inference of patterns and mechanisms of genome reduction that are thought to be general for parasitic plants. Here we report the plastid genome of Lathraea squamaria, a holoparasitic plant from Orobanchaceae, clade Rhinantheae. We found that in this plant the degree of plastome reduction is the least among non-photosynthetic plants. Like other parasites, Lathraea possess a plastome with elevated absolute rate of nucleotide substitution. The only gene lost is petL, all other genes typical for the plastid genome are present, but some of them–those encoding photosystem components (22 genes), cytochrome b6/f complex proteins (4 genes), plastid-encoded RNA polymerase subunits (2 genes), ribosomal proteins (2 genes), ccsA and cemA–are pseudogenized. Genes for cytochrome b6/f complex and photosystems I and II that do not carry nonsense or frameshift mutations have an increased ratio of non-synonymous to synonymous substitution rates, indicating the relaxation of purifying selection. Our divergence time estimates showed that transition to holoparasitism in Lathraea lineage occurred relatively recently, whereas the holoparasitic lineage Orobancheae is about two times older.

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<![CDATA[Development of a Heat-Shock Inducible Gene Expression System in the Red Alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db22ab0ee8fa60bcf993

The cell of the unicellular red alga Cyanidioschyzon merolae contains a single chloroplast and mitochondrion, the division of which is tightly synchronized by a light/dark cycle. The genome content is extremely simple, with a low level of genetic redundancy, in photosynthetic eukaryotes. In addition, transient transformation and stable transformation by homologous recombination have been reported. However, for molecular genetic analyses of phenomena that are essential for cellular growth and survival, inducible gene expression/suppression systems are needed. Here, we report the development of a heat-shock inducible gene expression system in C. merolae. CMJ101C, encoding a small heat shock protein, is transcribed only when cells are exposed to an elevated temperature. Using a superfolder GFP as a reporter protein, the 200-bp upstream region of CMJ101C orf was determined to be the optimal promoter for heat-shock induction. The optimal temperature to induce expression is 50°C, at which C. merolae cells are able to proliferate. At least a 30-min heat shock is required for the expression of a protein of interest and a 60-min heat shock yields the maximum level of protein expression. After the heat shock, the mRNA level decreases rapidly. As an example of the system, the expression of a dominant negative form of chloroplast division DRP5B protein, which has a mutation in the GTPase domain, was induced. Expression of the dominant negative DRP5B resulted in the appearance of aberrant-shaped cells in which two daughter chloroplasts and the cells are still connected by a small DRP5B positive tube-like structure. This result suggests that the dominant negative DRP5B inhibited the final scission of the chloroplast division site, but not the earlier stages of division site constriction. It is also suggested that cell cycle progression is not arrested by the impairment of chloroplast division at the final stage.

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<![CDATA[Evolution of the Tetrapyrrole Biosynthetic Pathway in Secondary Algae: Conservation, Redundancy and Replacement]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da08ab0ee8fa60b769a3

Tetrapyrroles such as chlorophyll and heme are indispensable for life because they are involved in energy fixation and consumption, i.e. photosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation. In eukaryotes, the tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway is shaped by past endosymbioses. We investigated the origins and predicted locations of the enzymes of the heme pathway in the chlorarachniophyte Bigelowiella natans, the cryptophyte Guillardia theta, the “green” dinoflagellate Lepidodinium chlorophorum, and three dinoflagellates with diatom endosymbionts (“dinotoms”): Durinskia baltica, Glenodinium foliaceum and Kryptoperidinium foliaceum. Bigelowiella natans appears to contain two separate heme pathways analogous to those found in Euglena gracilis; one is predicted to be mitochondrial-cytosolic, while the second is predicted to be plastid-located. In the remaining algae, only plastid-type tetrapyrrole synthesis is present, with a single remnant of the mitochondrial-cytosolic pathway, a ferrochelatase of G. theta putatively located in the mitochondrion. The green dinoflagellate contains a single pathway composed of mostly rhodophyte-origin enzymes, and the dinotoms hold two heme pathways of apparently plastidal origin. We suggest that heme pathway enzymes in B. natans and L. chlorophorum share a predominantly rhodophytic origin. This implies the ancient presence of a rhodophyte-derived plastid in the chlorarachniophyte alga, analogous to the green dinoflagellate, or an exceptionally massive horizontal gene transfer.

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<![CDATA[Molecular Analysis of Chinese Celastrus and Tripterygium and Implications in Medicinal and Pharmacological Studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daccab0ee8fa60bb48f8

Celastrus and Tripterygium species, which are used in traditional Chinese medicine, have attracted much attention due to their anti-tumor promoting and neuroprotective activities, in addition to their applications in autoimmune disorders. However, systematic relationships between them and among species are unclear, and it may disturb their further medicinal utilization. In the present study, the molecular analysis of combined chloroplast and nuclear markers of all Chinese Celastrus and Tripterygium was performed, and clear inter- and intra-genus relationships were presented. The result suggests that Tripterygium constitute a natural monophyletic clade within Celastrus with strong support value. Fruit and seed type are better than inflorescence in subgeneric classification. Chinese Celastrus are classified for three sections: Sect. Sempervirentes (Maxim.) CY Cheng & TC Kao, Sect. Lunatus XY Mu & ZX Zhang, sect. nov., and Sect. Ellipticus XY Mu & ZX Zhang, sect. nov. The phylogenetic data was consistent with their chemical components reported previously. Owing to the close relationship, several evergreen Celastrus species are recommended for chemical and pharmacological studies. Our results also provide reference for molecular identification of Chinese Celastrus and Tripterygium.

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<![CDATA[Protection of the Photosynthetic Apparatus from Extreme Dehydration and Oxidative Stress in Seedlings of Transgenic Tobacco]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da65ab0ee8fa60b91c3f

A genetic program that in sunflower seeds is activated by Heat Shock transcription Factor A9 (HaHSFA9) has been analyzed in transgenic tobacco seedlings. The ectopic overexpression of the HSFA9 program protected photosynthetic membranes, which resisted extreme dehydration and oxidative stress conditions. In contrast, heat acclimation of seedlings induced thermotolerance but not resistance to the harsh stress conditions employed. The HSFA9 program was found to include the expression of plastidial small Heat Shock Proteins that accumulate only at lower abundance in heat-stressed vegetative organs. Photosystem II (PSII) maximum quantum yield was higher for transgenic seedlings than for non-transgenic seedlings, after either stress treatment. Furthermore, protection of both PSII and Photosystem I (PSI) membrane protein complexes was observed in the transgenic seedlings, leading to their survival after the stress treatments. It was also shown that the plastidial D1 protein, a labile component of the PSII reaction center, and the PSI core protein PsaB were shielded from oxidative damage and degradation. We infer that natural expression of the HSFA9 program during embryogenesis may protect seed pro-plastids from developmental desiccation.

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<![CDATA[Comparison of Intact Arabidopsis thaliana Leaf Transcript Profiles during Treatment with Inhibitors of Mitochondrial Electron Transport and TCA Cycle]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d8ab0ee8fa60b66a79

Plant mitochondria signal to the nucleus leading to altered transcription of nuclear genes by a process called mitochondrial retrograde regulation (MRR). MRR is implicated in metabolic homeostasis and responses to stress conditions. Mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) are a MRR signaling component, but whether all MRR requires ROS is not established. Inhibition of the cytochrome respiratory pathway by antimycin A (AA) or the TCA cycle by monofluoroacetate (MFA), each of which initiates MRR, can increase ROS production in some plant cells. We found that for AA and MFA applied to leaves of soil-grown Arabidopsis thaliana plants, ROS production increased with AA, but not with MFA, allowing comparison of transcript profiles under different ROS conditions during MRR. Variation in transcript accumulation over time for eight nuclear encoded mitochondrial protein genes suggested operation of both common and distinct signaling pathways between the two treatments. Consequences of mitochondrial perturbations for the whole transcriptome were examined by microarray analyses. Expression of 1316 and 606 genes was altered by AA and MFA, respectively. A subset of genes was similarly affected by both treatments, including genes encoding photosynthesis-related proteins. MFA treatment resulted in more down-regulation. Functional gene category (MapMan) and cluster analyses showed that genes with expression levels affected by perturbation from AA or MFA inhibition were most similarly affected by biotic stresses such as pathogens. Overall, the data provide further evidence for the presence of mtROS-independent MRR signaling, and support the proposed involvement of MRR and mitochondrial function in plant responses to biotic stress.

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<![CDATA[Nuclear and Chloroplast DNA Variation Provides Insights into Population Structure and Multiple Origin of Native Aromatic Rices of Odisha, India]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b87f8e

A large number of short grain aromatic rice suited to the agro-climatic conditions and local preferences are grown in niche areas of different parts of India and their diversity is evolved over centuries as a result of selection by traditional farmers. Systematic characterization of these specialty rices has not been attempted. An effort was made to characterize 126 aromatic short grain rice landraces, collected from 19 different districts in the State of Odisha, from eastern India. High level of variation for grain quality and agronomic traits among these aromatic rices was observed and genotypes having desirable phenotypic traits like erect flag leaf, thick culm, compact and dense panicles, short plant stature, early duration, superior yield and grain quality traits were identified. A total of 24 SSR markers corresponding to the hyper variable regions of rice chromosomes were used to understand the genetic diversity and to establish the genetic relationship among the aromatic short grain rice landraces at nuclear genome level. SSR analysis of 126 genotypes from Odisha and 10 genotypes from other states revealed 110 alleles with an average of 4.583 and the Nei’s genetic diversity value (He) was in the range of 0.034–0.880 revealing two sub-populations SP 1 (membership percentage-27.1%) and SP 2 (72.9%). At the organelle genomic level for the C/A repeats in PS1D sequence of chloroplasts, eight different plastid sub types and 33 haplotypes were detected. The japonica (Nipponbare) subtype (6C7A) was detected in 100 genotypes followed by O. rufipogon (KF428978) subtype (6C6A) in 13 genotypes while indica (93–11) sub type (8C8A) was seen in 14 genotypes. The tree constructed based on haplotypes suggests that short grain aromatic landraces might have independent origin of these plastid subtypes. Notably a wide range of diversity was observed among these landraces cultivated in different parts confined to the State of Odisha.

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