Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology
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Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology
A science editor's take on what's new and interesting in the plant kingdom.
Curated by Jennifer Mach
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A chemical genetic roadmap to improved tomato flavor

A chemical genetic roadmap to improved tomato flavor | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Commercially available tomatoes are renowned these days for sturdiness, but perhaps not for flavor. Heirloom varieties, on the other hand, maintain the richer flavors and sweeter tomatoes of years past. Tieman et al. combined tasting panels with chemical and genomic analyses of nearly 400 varieties of tomatoes. They identified some of the flavorful components that have been lost over time. Identification of the genes that have also gone missing provides a path forward for reinstating flavor to commercially grown tomatoes.

Science , this issue p. [391][1]

[1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aal1556
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Challenges and opportunities for improving food quality and nutrition through plant biotechnology (2017) 

Challenges and opportunities for improving food quality and nutrition through plant biotechnology (2017)  | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Plant biotechnology has been around since the advent of humankind, resulting in tremendous improvements in plant cultivation through crop domestication, breeding and selection. The emergence of transgenic approaches involving the introduction of defined DNA sequences into plants by humans has rapidly changed the surface of our planet by further expanding the gene pool used by plant breeders for plant improvement. 


Transgenic approaches in food plants have raised concerns on the merits, social implications, ecological risks and true benefits of plant biotechnology. The recently acquired ability to precisely edit plant genomes by modifying native genes without introducing new genetic material offers new opportunities to rapidly exploit natural variation, create new variation and incorporate changes with the goal to generate more productive and nutritious plants... 


Agriculture faces significant challenges in the light of climate change, emerging pests and pathogens, and a rapidly growing and wealthier population. We are at an exciting and revolutionary time for plant genetic improvement with new tools to meet these challenges. 


For most crops, reference genomes exist. In addition, there are thousands of non-crop genomes available, providing abundant opportunities to discover new allelic variation and facilitate genomic-based breeding. Biotechnology in the broad sense offers a powerful set of research tools to address basic questions in plant science related to food production. 


GMO technologies and genome editing provide opportunities to create new variation rapidly, and this variation has the ability to solve real world problems. Many of the products from basic research may also find a commercial home. Recent success stories in biofortification provide a template for future success. For the potential of biotechnology to be realized, research needs to consider a complex milieu of issues from regulation, intellectual property, cultural preferences, local conditions, and existing market standards


http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.copbio.2016.11.009




Via Alexander J. Stein, Loïc Lepiniec
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A peptide hormone required for Casparian strip diffusion barrier formation in Arabidopsis roots

A peptide hormone required for Casparian strip diffusion barrier formation in Arabidopsis roots | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Plants achieve mineral ion homeostasis by means of a hydrophobic barrier on endodermal cells called the Casparian strip, which restricts lateral diffusion of ions between the root vascular bundles and the soil. We identified a family of sulfated peptides required for contiguous Casparian strip formation in Arabidopsis roots. These peptide hormones, which we named Casparian strip integrity factor 1 (CIF1) and CIF2, are expressed in the root stele and specifically bind the endodermis-expressed leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase GASSHO1 (GSO1)/SCHENGEN3 and its homolog, GSO2. A mutant devoid of CIF peptides is defective in ion homeostasis in the xylem. CIF genes are environmentally responsive. Casparian strip regulation is not merely a passive process driven by root developmental cues; it also serves as an active strategy to cope with adverse soil conditions.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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Induced systemic resistance and symbiotic performance of peanut plants challenged with fungal pathogens and co-inoculated with the biocontrol agent Bacillus sp. CHEP5 and Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA6144

Induced systemic resistance and symbiotic performance of peanut plants challenged with fungal pathogens and co-inoculated with the biocontrol agent Bacillus sp. CHEP5 and Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA6144 | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Synergism between beneficial rhizobacteria and fungal pathogens is poorly understood. Therefore, evaluation of co-inoculation of bacteria that promote plant growth by different mechanisms in pathogen challenged plants would contribute to increase the knowledge about how plants manage interactions with different microorganisms. The goals of this work were a) to elucidate, in greenhouse experiments, the effect of co-inoculation of peanut with Bradyrhizobium sp SEMIA6144 and the biocontrol agent Bacillus sp CHEP5 on growth and symbiotic performance of Sclerotium rolfsii challenged plants, and b) to evaluate field performance of these bacteria in co-inoculated peanut plants. The capacity of Bacillus sp. CHEP5 to induce systemic resistance against S. rolfsii was not affected by the inoculation of Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA6144. This microsymbiont, protected peanut plants from the S. rolfsii detrimental effect, reducing the stem wilt incidence. However, disease incidence in plants inoculated with the isogenic mutant Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA6144 V2 (unable to produce Nod factors) was as high as in pathogen challenged plants. Therefore, Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA6144 Nod factors play a role in the systemic resistance against S.rolfsii. Bacillus sp. CHEP5 enhanced Bradyrhizobium sp. SEMIA6144 root surface colonization and improved its symbiotic behavior, even in S. rolfsii challenged plants. Results of field trials confirmed the Bacillus sp. CHEP5 ability to protect against fungal pathogens and to improve the yield of extra-large peanut seeds from 2.15% (in Río Cuarto) to 16.69% (in Las Vertientes), indicating that co-inoculation of beneficial rhizobacteria could be a useful strategy for the peanut production under sustainable agriculture system.

Via Jonathan Plett
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MATRILINEAL, a sperm-specific phospholipase, triggers maize haploid induction

MATRILINEAL, a sperm-specific phospholipase, triggers maize haploid induction | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Sexual reproduction in flowering plants involves double fertilization, the union of two sperm from pollen with two sex cells in the female embryo sac. Modern plant breeders increasingly seek to circumvent this process to produce doubled haploid individuals, which derive from the chromosome-doubled cells of the haploid gametophyte. Doubled haploid production fixes recombinant haploid genomes in inbred lines, shaving years off the breeding process1. Costly, genotype-dependent tissue culture methods are used in many crops2, while seed-based in vivo doubled haploid systems are rare in nature3 and difficult to manage in breeding programmes4. The multi-billion-dollar maize hybrid seed business, however, is supported by industrial doubled haploid pipelines using intraspecific crosses to in vivo haploid inducer males derived from Stock 6, first reported in 1959 (ref. 5), followed by colchicine treatment. Despite decades of use, the mode of action remains controversial6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Here we establish, through fine mapping, genome sequencing, genetic complementation, and gene editing, that haploid induction in maize (Zea mays) is triggered by a frame-shift mutation in MATRILINEAL (MTL), a pollen-specific phospholipase, and that novel edits in MTL lead to a 6.7% haploid induction rate (the percentage of haploid progeny versus total progeny). Wild-type MTL protein localizes exclusively to sperm cytoplasm, and pollen RNA-sequence profiling identifies a suite of pollen-specific genes overexpressed during haploid induction, some of which may mediate the formation of haploid seed11, 12, 13, 14, 15. These findings highlight the importance of male gamete cytoplasmic components to reproductive success and male genome transmittance. Given the conservation of MTL in the cereals, this discovery may enable development of in vivo haploid induction systems to accelerate breeding in crop plants.

Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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IN BRIEF: A Tale of Two CENPCs: Centromere Localization of KINETOCHORE NULL 2 and CENP-C

IN BRIEF: A Tale of Two CENPCs: Centromere Localization of KINETOCHORE NULL 2 and CENP-C | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

A Tale of Two CENPCs: Centromere Localization of KINETOCHORE NULL 2 and CENP-C

Jennifer Mach

Plant Cell 2017 tpc.17.00035; Advance Publication January 13, 2017; doi:10.1105/tpc.17.00035 OPEN


Via Mary Williams
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Root diffusion barrier control by a vasculature-derived peptide binding to the SGN3 receptor

Root diffusion barrier control by a vasculature-derived peptide binding to the SGN3 receptor | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
The Casparian strip provides a waterproofing function to plant roots, protecting them against unregulated influxes of water and minerals. The integrity of the Casparian strip depends on a receptor-like kinase. Doblas et al. and Nakayama et al. now identify the peptide ligands in the core of the root (the stele) that help regulate Casparian strip formation. The receptor is expressed on the outward-facing surface of the root endodermal cells that surround the stele. When the endodermal layer is sealed by the Casparian strip, the peptide ligands cannot reach their receptors. When the endodermal layer is breached, whether by damage or during development, the peptides reach their receptors and activate signaling that encourages lignin deposition, shoring up the strips.

Science , this issue p. [280][1], p. [284][2]

[1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aaj1562
[2]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aai9057

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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The receptor kinase FER is a RALF-regulated scaffold controlling plant immune signaling

The receptor kinase FER is a RALF-regulated scaffold controlling plant immune signaling | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
In plants, perception of invading pathogens involves cell-surface immune receptor kinases. Here, we report that the Arabidopsis SITE-1 PROTEASE (S1P) cleaves endogenous RAPID ALKALINIZATION FACTOR (RALF) propeptides to inhibit plant immunity. This inhibition is mediated by the malectin-like receptor kinase FERONIA (FER), which otherwise facilitates the ligand-induced complex formation of the immune receptor kinases EF-TU RECEPTOR (EFR) and FLAGELLIN-SENSING 2 (FLS2) with their co-receptor BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1–ASSOCIATED KINASE 1 (BAK1) to initiate immune signaling. We show that FER acts as a RALF-regulated scaffold that modulates receptor kinase complex assembly. A similar scaffolding mechanism may underlie FER function in other signaling pathways.

Via Suayib Üstün, Jim Alfano
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Chasing unicorns: Nodulation origins and the paradox of novelty

Chasing unicorns: Nodulation origins and the paradox of novelty | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
“ A radio series on the history of music called “Composers Datebook” ends each vignette by reminding listeners that “All music was once new.” Well, in evolutionary terms, every tissue and every organ was once an innovation, assembled de novo or from bits and pieces of pre-existing parts. How novelty arises is a fundamental question in the field of developmental evolution. In plants, the legume nodule is a fascinating system for studying the process by which a novel structure evolves and is modified in diverse lineages. ”
Via Jean-Michel Ané, IvanOresnik, Xiefang lab
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, November 26, 2016 12:21 PM

Great review. I love it.

Rescooped by Jennifer Mach from Plants and Microbes
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Science: A paralogous decoy protects Phytophthora sojae apoplastic effector PsXEG1 from a host inhibitor (2017)

Science: A paralogous decoy protects Phytophthora sojae apoplastic effector PsXEG1 from a host inhibitor (2017) | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

The extracellular space (apoplast) of plant tissue represents a critical battleground between plants and attacking microbes. Here we show that a pathogen-secreted apoplastic Xyloglucan-specific EndoGlucanase PsXEG1 is a focus of this struggle in the Phytophthora sojae-soybean interaction. We show that soybean produces an apoplastic Glucanase Inhibitor Protein, (GmGIP1), that binds to PsXEG1 to block its contribution to virulence. P. sojae however, secretes a paralogous PsXEG1-Like Protein (PsXLP1) that has lost enzyme activity but binds to GmGIP1 more tightly than does PsXEG1, thus freeing PsXEG1 to support P. sojae infection. The PsXEG1 and PsXLP1gene pair is conserved in many Phytophthora species, and the P. parasitica orthologs PpXEG1 and PpXLP1 have similar functions. Thus this apoplastic decoy strategy maybe widely employed in Phytophthora pathosystems.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Elucidating rhizosphere processes by mass spectrometry – A review

Elucidating rhizosphere processes by mass spectrometry – A review | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
The presented review discusses state-of-the-art mass spectrometric methods, which have been developed and applied for investigation of chemical processes in the soil-root interface, the so-called rhizosphere. Rhizosphere soil's physical and chemical characteristics are to a great extent influenced by a complex mixture of compounds released from plant roots, i.e. root exudates, which have a high impact on nutrient and trace element dynamics in the soil-root interface as well as on microbial activities or soil physico-chemical characteristics. Chemical characterization as well as accurate quantification of the compounds present in the rhizosphere is a major prerequisite for a better understanding of rhizosphere processes and requires the development and application of advanced sampling procedures in combination with highly selective and sensitive analytical techniques. During the last years, targeted and non-targeted mass spectrometry-based methods have emerged and their combination with specific separation methods for various elements and compounds of a wide polarity range have been successfully applied in several studies. With this review we critically discuss the work that has been conducted within the last decade in the context of rhizosphere research and elemental or molecular mass spectrometry emphasizing different separation techniques as GC, LC and CE. Moreover, selected applications such as metal detoxification or nutrient acquisition will be discussed regarding the mass spectrometric techniques applied in studies of root exudates in plant-bacteria interactions. Additionally, a more recent isotope probing technique as novel mass spectrometry based application is highlighted.


Via Jean-Michel Ané, Christophe Jacquet
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Time-resolved dual root-microbe transcriptomics reveals early induced Nicotiana benthamiana genes and conserved infection-promoting Phytophthora palmivora effectors

Time-resolved dual root-microbe transcriptomics reveals early induced Nicotiana benthamiana genes and conserved infection-promoting Phytophthora palmivora effectors | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Background. Plant-pathogenic oomycetes are responsible for economically important losses on crops worldwide. Phytophthora palmivora, a broad-host-range tropical relative of the potato late blight pathogen, causes rotting diseases in many important tropical crops including papaya, cocoa, oil palm, black pepper, rubber, coconut, durian, mango, cassava and citrus. Transcriptomics have helped to identify repertoires of host-translocated microbial effector proteins which counteract defenses and reprogram the host in support of infection. As such, these studies have helped understanding of how pathogens cause diseases. Despite the importance of P. palmivora diseases, genetic resources to allow for disease resistance breeding and identification of microbial effectors are scarce. Results. We employed the model plant Nicotiana benthamiana to study the P. palmivora root infections at the cellular and molecular level. Time-resolved dual transcriptomics revealed different pathogen and host transcriptome dynamics. De novo assembly of P. palmivora transcriptome and semi-automated prediction and annotation of the secretome enabled robust identification of conserved infection-promoting effectors. We show that one of them, REX3, suppresses plant secretion processes. In a survey for early transcriptionally activated plant genes we identified a N. benthamiana gene specifically induced at infected root tips that encodes a peptide with danger-associated molecular features. Conclusions. These results constitute a major advance in our understanding of P. palmivora diseases and establish extensive resources for P. palmivora pathogenomics, effector-aided resistance breeding and the generation of induced resistance to Phytophthora root infections. Furthermore, our approach to find infection relevant secreted genes is transferable to other pathogen-host interactions and not restricted to plants.


Via Giannis Stringlis
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New CRISPR–Cas systems from uncultivated microbes (Nature)

New CRISPR–Cas systems from uncultivated microbes (Nature) | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
"Notably, all required functional components were identified by metagenomics, enabling validation of robust in vivo RNA-guided DNA interference activity in E. coli. Interrogation of environmental microbial communities combined with in vivo experiments allows access to an unprecedented diversity of genomes whose content will expand the repertoire of microbe-based biotechnologies"...

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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Brassinosteroid signaling directs formative cell divisions and protophloem differentiation in Arabidopsis root meristems

Brassinosteroid signaling directs formative cell divisions and protophloem differentiation in Arabidopsis root meristems | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Brassinosteroids (BRs) trigger an intracellular signaling cascade through its receptors BR INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), BRI1-LIKE 1 (BRL1) and BRL3. Recent studies suggest that BR-independent inputs related to vascular differentiation, for instance root protophloem development, modulate downstream BR signaling components. Here, we report that protophloem sieve element differentiation is indeed impaired in bri1 brl1 brl3 mutants, although this effect might not be mediated by canonical downstream BR signaling components. We also found that their small meristem size is entirely explained by reduced cell elongation, which is, however, accompanied by supernumerary formative cell divisions in the radial dimension. Thus, reduced cell expansion in conjunction with growth retardation, because of the need to accommodate supernumerary formative divisions, can account for the overall short root phenotype of BR signaling mutants. Tissue-specific re-addition of BRI1 activity partially rescued subsets of these defects through partly cell-autonomous, partly non-cell-autonomous effects. However, protophloem-specific BRI1 expression essentially rescued all major bri1 brl1 brl3 root meristem phenotypes. Our data suggest that BR perception in the protophloem is sufficient to systemically convey BR action in the root meristem context.
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PLOS Pathogens: The Rice Dynamin-Related Protein OsDRP1E Negatively Regulates Programmed Cell Death by Controlling the Release of Cytochrome c from Mitochondria (2017)

PLOS Pathogens: The Rice Dynamin-Related Protein OsDRP1E Negatively Regulates Programmed Cell Death by Controlling the Release of Cytochrome c from Mitochondria (2017) | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Programmed cell death (PCD) mediated by mitochondrial processes has emerged as an important mechanism for plant development and responses to abiotic and biotic stress. However, the role of translocation of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol during PCD remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the rice dynamin-related protein 1E (OsDRP1E) negatively regulates PCD by controlling mitochondrial structure and cytochrome c release. We used a map-based cloning strategy to isolate OsDRP1E from the lesion mimic mutant dj-lm and confirmed that the E409V mutation in OsDRP1E causes spontaneous cell death in rice. Pathogen inoculation showed that dj-lm significantly enhances resistance to fungal and bacterial pathogens. Functional analysis of the E409V mutation showed that the mutant protein impairs OsDRP1E self-association and formation of a higher-order complex; this in turn reduces the GTPase activity of OsDRP1E. Furthermore, confocal microscopy showed that the E409V mutation impairs localization of OsDRP1E to the mitochondria. The E409V mutation significantly affects the morphogenesis of cristae in the mitochondria and causes the abnormal release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria into the cytoplasm. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the mitochondria-localized protein OsDRP1E functions as a negative regulator of cytochrome c release and PCD in plants.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Plant Cell: OsCUL3a Negatively Regulates Cell Death and Immunity by Degrading OsNPR1 in Rice (2017)

Plant Cell: OsCUL3a Negatively Regulates Cell Death and Immunity by Degrading OsNPR1 in Rice (2017) | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Cullin3-based RING E3 ubiquitin ligases (CRL3), composed of Cullin3 (CUL3), RBX1, and BTB proteins, are involved in plant immunity but the function of CUL3 in the process is largely unknown. Here, we show that rice OsCUL3a is important for the regulation of cell death and immunity. The rice lesion mimic mutant oscul3a displays a significant increase in the accumulation of flg22- and chitin-induced reactive oxygen species, and in pathogenesis-related gene expression as well as resistance to Magnaporthe oryzae and Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. We cloned the OsCUL3a gene via a map-based strategy and found that the lesion mimic phenotype of oscul3a is associated with the early termination of OsCUL3a protein. Interaction assays showed that OsCUL3a interacts with both OsRBX1a and OsRBX1b to form a multi-subunit CRL in rice. Strikingly, OsCUL3a interacts with and degrades OsNPR1, which acts as a positive regulator of cell death in rice. Accumulation of OsNPR1 protein is greater in the oscul3a mutant than in the wild type. Furthermore, the oscul3a osnpr1 double mutant does not exhibit the lesion mimic phenotype of the oscul3a mutant. Our data demonstrate that OsCUL3a negatively regulates cell death and immunity by degrading OsNPR1 in rice.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Jim Alfano
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Frontiers | New Insights on Plant Salt Tolerance Mechanisms and Their Potential Use for Breeding | Crop Science and Horticulture

Frontiers | New Insights on Plant Salt Tolerance Mechanisms and Their Potential Use for Breeding | Crop Science and Horticulture | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Soil salinization is a major threat to agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions, where water scarcity and inadequate drainage of irrigated lands severely reduce crop yield. Salt accumulation inhibits plant growth and reduces the ability to uptake water and nutrients, leading to osmotic or water-deficit stress. Salt is also causing injury of the young photosynthetic leaves and acceleration of their senescence, as the Na+ cation is toxic when accumulating in cell cytosol resulting in ionic imbalance and toxicity of transpiring leaves. To cope with salt stress, plants have evolved mainly two types of tolerance mechanisms based on either limiting the entry of salt by the roots, or controlling its concentration and distribution. Understanding the overall control of Na+ accumulation and functional studies of genes involved in transport processes, will provide a new opportunity to improve the salinity tolerance of plants relevant to food security in arid regions. A better understanding of these tolerance mechanisms can be used to breed crops with improved yield performance under salinity stress. Moreover, associations of cultures with nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi could serve as an alternative and sustainable strategy to increase crop yields in salt-affected fields.

Via Andres Zurita
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Industrial biomanufacturing: The future of chemical production

Industrial biomanufacturing: The future of chemical production | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Producing mass quantities of chemicals has its roots in the industrial revolution. But industrial synthesis leads to sizeable sustainability and socioeconomic challenges. The rapid advances in biotechnology suggest that biological manufacturing may soon be a feasible alternative, but can it produce chemicals at scale? Clomburg et al. review the progress made in industrial biomanufacturing, including the tradeoffs between highly tunable biocatalysts and units of scale. The biological conversion of single-carbon compounds such as methane, for example, has served as a testbed for more sustainable, decentralized production of desirable compounds.

Science , this issue p. [10.1126/science.aag0804][1]

[1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.aag0804
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IN BRIEF: Fine-tuning plant growth in the face of drought

IN BRIEF: Fine-tuning plant growth in the face of drought | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Fine-tuning plant growth in the face of drought

Kathleen L Farquharson

Plant Cell 2017 tpc.17.00038; Advance Publication January 18, 2017; doi:10.1105/tpc.17.00038 OPEN


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The Sexual Advantage of Looking, Smelling, and Tasting Good: The Metabolic Network that Produces Signals for Pollinators

The Sexual Advantage of Looking, Smelling, and Tasting Good: The Metabolic Network that Produces Signals for Pollinators | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

 A striking feature of the angiosperms that use animals as pollen carriers to sexuallyreproduce is the great diversity of their flowers with regard to morphology and traits such as color, odor, and nectar. These traits are underpinned by the synthesis of secondary metabolites such as pigments and volatiles, as well as carbohydrates and amino acids, which are used by plants to lure and reward animal pollinators. We review here the knowledge of the metabolic network that supports the biosynthesis of these compounds and the behavioral responses that these molecules elicit in the animal pollinators.


Via Loïc Lepiniec
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Plant Cell: Recognition of the Magnaporthe oryzae effector AVR-Pia by the decoy domain of the rice NLR immune receptor RGA5 (2017)

Plant Cell: Recognition of the Magnaporthe oryzae effector AVR-Pia by the decoy domain of the rice NLR immune receptor RGA5 (2017) | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat proteins (NLRs) are important receptors in plant immunity that allow recognition of pathogen effectors. The rice NLR RGA5 recognizes the Magnaporthe oryzae effector AVR-Pia through direct interaction. Here, we gained detailed insights into the molecular and structural bases of AVR-Pia-RGA5 interaction and the role of the RATX1 decoy domain of RGA5. NMR titration combined with in vitro and in vivo protein-protein interaction analyses identified the AVR-Pia interaction surface that binds to the RATX1 domain. Structure-informed AVR-Pia mutants showed that, although AVR-Pia associates with additional sites in RGA5, binding to the RATX1 domain is necessary for pathogen recognition, but can be of moderate affinity. Therefore, RGA5-mediated resistance is highly resilient to mutations in the effector. We propose a model that explains such robust effector recognition as a consequence, and an advantage, of the combination of integrated decoy domains with additional independent effector-NLR interactions.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B: Emerging oomycete threats to plants and animals (2016)

Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B: Emerging oomycete threats to plants and animals (2016) | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

Oomycetes, or water moulds, are fungal-like organisms phylogenetically related to algae. They cause devastating diseases in both plants and animals. Here, we describe seven oomycete species that are emerging or re-emerging threats to agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture and natural ecosystems. They include the plant pathogens Phytophthora infestans , Phytophthora palmivora , Phytophthora ramorum , Plasmopara obducens , and the animal pathogens Aphanomyces invadans , Saprolegnia parasitica and Halioticida noduliformans . For each species, we describe its pathology, importance and impact, discuss why it is an emerging threat and briefly review current research activities.

This article is part of the themed issue ‘Tackling emerging fungal threats to animal health, food security and ecosystem resilience’.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Plastomes on the edge: the evolutionary breakdown of mycoheterotroph plastid genomes

Plastomes on the edge: the evolutionary breakdown of mycoheterotroph plastid genomes | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it

We examine recent evidence for ratchet-like genome degradation in mycoheterotrophs, plants that obtain nutrition from fungi. Initial loss of the NADH dehydrogenase-like (NDH) complex may often set off an irreversible evolutionary cascade of photosynthetic gene losses. Genes for plastid-encoded subunits of RNA polymerase and photosynthetic enzymes with secondary functions (Rubisco and ATP synthase) can persist initially, with nonsynchronous and quite broad windows in the relative timing of their loss. Delayed losses of five core nonbioenergetic genes (especially trnE and accD, which respectively code for glutamyl tRNA and a subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase) probably explain long-term persistence of heterotrophic plastomes. The observed range of changes of mycoheterotroph plastomes is similar to that of holoparasites, although greater diversity of both probably remains to be discovered. These patterns of gene loss/retention can inform research programs on plastome function.

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The PLETHORA Gene Regulatory Network Guides Growth and Cell Differentiation in Arabidopsis Roots[OPEN]

The PLETHORA Gene Regulatory Network Guides Growth and Cell Differentiation in Arabidopsis Roots[OPEN] | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Abstract 

 Organ formation in animals and plants relies on precise control of cell state transitions to turn stem cell daughters into fully differentiated cells. In plants, cells cannot rearrange due to shared cell walls. Thus, differentiation progression and the accompanying cell expansion must be tightly coordinated across tissues. PLETHORA (PLT) transcription factor gradients are unique in their ability to guide the progression of cell differentiation at different positions in the growing Arabidopsis thaliana root, which contrasts with well-described transcription factor gradients in animals specifying distinct cell fates within an essentially static context. To understand the output of the PLT gradient, we studied the gene set transcriptionally controlled by PLTs. Our work reveals how the PLT gradient can regulate cell state by region-specific induction of cell proliferation genes and repression of differentiation. Moreover, PLT targets include major patterning genes and autoregulatory feedback components, enforcing their role as master regulators of organ development.

Via Kevin Bellande , Christophe Jacquet
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Cell Research - Viral effector protein manipulates host hormone signaling to attract insect vectors

Cell Research - Viral effector protein manipulates host hormone signaling to attract insect vectors | Emerging Research in Plant Cell Biology | Scoop.it
Cell death and differentiation is a monthly research journal focused on the exciting field of programmed cell death and apoptosis. It provides a single accessible source of information for both scientists and clinicians, keeping them up-to-date with advances in the field. It encompasses programmed cell death, cell death induced by toxic agents, differentiation and the interrelation of these with cell proliferation.
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