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ScienceDirect.com - Current Opinion in Plant Biology - Planar polarity, tissue polarity and planar morphogenesis in plants

ScienceDirect.com - Current Opinion in Plant Biology - Planar polarity, tissue polarity and planar morphogenesis in plants | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Plant tissues commonly undergo morphogenesis within a single tissue layer or between associated cells of the same tissue type such as vascular cells. Tissue morphogenesis may rely on an underlying tissue polarity marked by coordinated unidirectional asymmetric localisation of molecules to ends of cells. When observed in the plane of the tissue layer this is referred to as planar polarity and planar morphogenesis. However, planar morphogenesis can also involve multidirectional or differential growth of cells relying on cell–cell communication. Here, we review recent progress towards an understanding of hormonal coordination and molecular mechanisms underlying planar and tissue polarity as well as planar morphogenesis. Furthermore, we discuss the role of physical forces in planar morphogenesis and the contribution of tissue polarity to plant organ shape

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Bending of Protonema Cells in a Plastid Glycolate/Glycerate Transporter Knockout Line of Physcomitrella patens

Bending of Protonema Cells in a Plastid Glycolate/Glycerate Transporter Knockout Line of  Physcomitrella patens | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Arabidopsis LrgB (synonym PLGG1) is a plastid glycolate/glycerate transporter associated with recycling of 2-phosphoglycolate generated via the oxygenase activity of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO). We isolated two homologous genes (PpLrgB1 and B2) from the moss Physcomitrella patens. Phylogenetic tree analysis showed that PpLrgB1 was monophyletic with LrgB proteins of land plants, whereas PpLrgB2 was divergent from the green plant lineage. Experiments with PpLrgB–GFP fusion proteins suggested that both PpLrgB1 and B2 proteins were located in chloroplasts. We generated PpLrgB single (∆B1 and ∆B2) and double (∆B1/∆B2)-knockout lines using gene targeting of P. patens. The ∆B1 plants showed decreases in growth and photosynthetic activity, and their protonema cells were bent and accumulated glycolate. However, because ∆B2 and ∆B1/∆B2 plants showed no obvious phenotypic change relative to the wild-type or ∆B1 plants, respectively, the function of PpLrgB2 remains unclear. Arabidopsis LrgB could complement the ∆B1 phenotype, suggesting that the function of PpLrgB1 is the same as that of AtLrgB. When ∆B1 was grown under high-CO2 conditions, all novel phenotypes were suppressed. Moreover, protonema cells of wild-type plants exhibited a bending phenotype when cultured on media containing glycolate or glycerate, suggesting that accumulation of photorespiratory metabolites caused P. patens cells to bend.
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Nature Biotechnology: Engineering insect-free cereals (2015)

Nature Biotechnology: Engineering insect-free cereals (2015) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

A cluster of three rice lectin receptor kinases confers resistance to planthopper insects.

 

Insect pests reduce yields of crops worldwide through direct damage and because they spread devastating viral diseases. In Asia, the brown planthopper (BPH) decimates rice (Oryza sativa) crops, causing the loss of billions of dollars annually1. In this issue, Liu et al.2 report the cloning of a rice genetic locus that confers broad-spectrum resistance to BPH and at least one other planthopper species (white back planthopper). Introducing this locus into plant genomes is likely to provide an effective means of combating insect pests of rice and of other cereals such as maize.

 

In modern rice agriculture, BPH damage is controlled through breeding and the application of vast amounts of chemical pesticides1. Pesticides are not a sustainable approach, however, owing to high costs, harmful environmental effects and rapid development of resistant insects. Breeding programs have identified more than 20 genetic loci in cultivated or wild rice species that confer BPH resistance1. However, these Bph loci are usually only effective against specific BPH biotypes, and newly evolved BPH populations have rapidly overcome several Bph resistance loci deployed in the field..

 

Of the >20 identified Bph loci, only Bph14 and Bph26 have been cloned. Both of these loci encode coiled-coil, nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat proteins3, 4, the main class of plant intracellular immune receptors5. Bph3 is a resistance locus that was first pinpointed genetically in the Sri Lankan rice indica cultivar Rathu Heenati. Notably, unlike most other Bph loci, including Bph14 and Bph26, Bph3 confers broad-spectrum resistance to many BPH biotypes as well as to the white back planthopper1, 2. The success of Bph3 as a resistance locus might be linked to the fact that it acts against BPH at an early stage of the feeding cycle, before the insect can deploy its arsenal of virulence proteins that circumvent plant defenses.

 

Despite the huge potential of Bph3 for rice agriculture, its molecular identity has been unknown. Liu et al.2 now identify Bph3 through map-based cloning in a cross between the resistant indica cultivar Rathu Heenati and the susceptible japonica cultivar 02428. Bph3 maps to a 79-kb genomic region that contains a cluster of three lectin receptor kinases, OsLecRK1–3 (ref. 2) (Fig. 1). The authors find that single-nucleotide polymorphisms in these genes are associated with BPH resistance in different cultivated rice accessions. They also show that ectopic expression of the OsLecRK1–3 gene cluster in the susceptible japonica Kitaake cultivar confers BPH resistance.

 

See Liu et al. Nature Biotechnology http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v33/n3/full/nbt.3069.html


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL, Francis Martin
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Equality bias impairs collective decision-making across cultures

Equality bias impairs collective decision-making across cultures | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
We tend to think that everyone deserves an equal say in a debate. This seemingly innocuous assumption can be damaging when we make decisions together as part of a group. To make optimal decisions, group members should weight their differing opinions according to how competent they are relative to one another; whenever they differ in competence, an equal weighting is suboptimal. Here, we asked how people deal with individual differences in competence in the context of a collective perceptual decision-making task. We developed a metric for estimating how participants weight their partner’s opinion relative to their own and compared this weighting to an optimal benchmark. Replicated across three countries (Denmark, Iran, and China), we show that participants assigned nearly equal weights to each other’s opinions regardless of true differences in their competence—even when informed by explicit feedback about their competence gap or under monetary incentives to maximize collective accuracy. This equality bias, whereby people behave as if they are as good or as bad as their partner, is particularly costly for a group when a competence gap separates its members.
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Plant phenotyping: from bean weighing to image analysis

Plant phenotyping: from bean weighing to image analysis | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Plant phenotyping refers to a quantitative description of the plant’s anatomical, ontogenetical, physiological and biochemical properties. Today, rapid developments are taking place in the field of non-destructive, image-analysis -based phenotyping that allow for a characterization of plant traits in high-throughput. During the last decade, ‘the field of image-based phenotyping has broadened its focus from the initial characterization of single-plant traits in controlled conditions towards ‘real-life’ applications of robust field techniques in plant plots and canopies. An important component of successful phenotyping approaches is the holistic characterization of plant performance that can be achieved with several methodologies, ranging from multispectral image analyses via thermographical analyses to growth measurements, also taking root phenotypes into account.
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Suspension Culture of Plant Cells Under Phototrophic Conditions - Industrial Scale Suspension Culture of Living Cells - Niederkrüger - Wiley Online Library

Suspension Culture of Plant Cells Under Phototrophic Conditions - Industrial Scale Suspension Culture of Living Cells - Niederkrüger - Wiley Online Library | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
The use of plant (cell) suspension cultures in phototrophic mode on an industrially relevant scale is limited to two systems worldwide. These are the moss-based BryoTechnology™ and the duckweed-based SYNLEX™ production systems being developed by greenovation biotech GmbH and Synthon, respectively. Both production platforms make use of intact plants, rather than isolated cells, which are grown in simple salt media to manufacture recombinant, high value pharmaceutical proteins. They exploit unique features of plants like homogenous N-glycosylation, absolute genetic stability, and pathogen safety to create biopharmaceuticals of outstanding quality. On the equipment side, both processes build on single use, disposable solutions bringing about high flexibility and regulatory safety. Despite sharing all of the above-mentioned aspects, these two systems differ remarkably in several details. Physcomitrella patens, the moss behind BryoTechnology™, is unique in its potential for genetic engineering. Resembling yeast systems in that aspect, it allows for rapid generation of product-tailored production platforms. The SYNLEX™-system on the other hand, with Lemna minor as producing organism has a very basic process setup with few controls and good scale-up potential. This chapter discusses strengths and weaknesses of both systems side-by-side, describes their current technological development status, and gives a short future outlook.
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Rapid generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags to uncovering inflorescence secondary metabolism of Bougainvillea spectabilis ‘Speciosas’ by pyrosequencing - Online First - Springer

Rapid generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags to uncovering inflorescence secondary metabolism of Bougainvillea spectabilis ‘Speciosas’ by pyrosequencing - Online First - Springer | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Bougainvilleas, are one of the unique plant families with an unusual class of pigments, known as betalains replaced the more common anthocyanins. However, little is known on the molecular mechanism on the mutual exclusion of anthocyanins and betalains. In order to explore the unique phenomena in Bougainvilleas, we used open inflorescences of B. spectabilis ‘Speciosas’ for transcriptome analysis by pyrosequencing, which is the first attempt to obtain the transcriptome of this specific plant. In this study, we obtained 111.9 M raw data, after assembling, 17,728 unigenes sequence with average length of 607 bp long were available, the annotation including Gene Ontology, COG/KOG and associated Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomics (KEGG) pathway maps were conducted. Important genes involved in flavonoid/Betalains/anthocyanins motablisms were identified including FLS/F3H, UGT, DFR, DODA, anthocyanidin reductase and Anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase, as well as some transcriptional factors (Myb, YABBY, MADS-box, F-box, WD-40 and bHLH) in this study. The obtained unigenes which will provide a database for discovering genes involved in secondary metabolic synthesis pathway. The discovered genes can be used for future bioengineering of various secondary metabolites for health improvement, pigments, medicine and agricultural production, etc. Specially, these genes such as DFR, anthocyanidin reductase and anthocyanidin 3-O-glucosyltransferase, were detected in betalain-synthesizing plants, which is exciting for researchers. Furthermore, a total of 877 simple sequence repeat motifs (SSRs) were identified, among the perfect SSRs, the most abundant repeat units were mononucleotide repeats (61 %) with (A/T)n and the second one is tri-nucleotide repeats (24 %). The obtained EST-SSRs can be used for marker development which will be beneficial for the studies in the aspects of genetic diversity, evolution and phenotype variation of B. spectabilis ‘Speciosas’ as well as its related species.
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Genetically modified crops: the truth unveiled - Gruissem (2015) - Ag Food Sec

What has long been suspected is true: genetically modified (GM) crops do have real benefits for the environment and for the economic well-being of farmers. A meta-analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles and other literature... reveals that the adoption of GM crops reduces pesticide input and increases crop yields and farmers’ income. The results confirm earlier and smaller studies and therefore are not unexpected. But they are particularly welcome for significantly informing the public debate on GM crops... 

 

Large-scale and chemical-intensive monoculture production is also found for non-GM crops, but this is conveniently ignored by GMO opponents in the debate on GM crops. Changing agriculture to sustainable production does not exclude GM crops because insect- and pathogen-resistant GM crops would also be useful and beneficial in integrated and organic agriculture to reduce pesticide inputs. 

 

The meta-analysis of the impacts of GM crops... confirm and extend earlier and smaller studies that already reported benefits of GM crops based on existing farm-level impact data for GM crops... One can only hope that the collective evidence for the beneficial impacts of GM crops will now enable a more informed and rational debate. Even if opposition and false claims continue to spur public skepticism, farmers must be allowed to choose and grow the crops - GM or non-GM - that improve their economic situation and help them to contribute to global food security.

 

http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40066-015-0022-8

 


Via Alexander J. Stein
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Advanced Search (ACS Publications)

Advanced Search (ACS Publications) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Production of Dihydroxylated Betalains and Dopamine in Cell Suspension Cultures of Celosia argentea var. ... Betalains are plant pigments of hydrophilic nature with demonstrated chemopreventive potential in cancer cell lines and animal models. ... Among the betalains, those containing an aromatic moiety with two free hydroxyl groups possess the strongest antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities. ...
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Lesson from Ebola: Tobacco plant key to developing GMO drugs of the future - Genetic Literacy Project

Lesson from Ebola: Tobacco plant key to developing GMO drugs of the future - Genetic Literacy Project | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Lesson from Ebola: Tobacco plant key to developing GMO drugs of the future | David Warmflash | February 25, 2015 | Genetic Literacy Project

 

With an approach similar to that used for ZMapp, GM tobacco is also being used to develop flu vaccines, while potatoes are being used for vaccines against hepatitis B and noroviruses, another kind of hepatitis B vaccine is being developed from GM corn, and other plants are being considered to host genes for making vaccines against certain rhinoviruses and even immunodeficiency virus (HIV, the virus that causes AIDS). Additionally, chemical compounds taken from spinach are being adapted for immunization against rabies, while enzymes made by carrot cells are being used for treatment of a genetic condition called Gaucher disease. Finally, the gene for human insulin has been transferred into safflower plants to improve diabetes treatment.

We’re at the beginning of a new age, the era of GMO medicine. While it’s moving extremely rapidly and the public may be overwhelmed, the potential benefits are enormous. People will live longer and higher quality lives as a result of the new treatments, and if it’s explained right and the benefits made clear, the public will embrace it. Well, maybe except for a few ideologues at the end of the spectrum.


Via Christophe Jacquet
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Diversity trends in bread wheat in Italy during the 20th century assessed by traditional and multivariate approaches : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

Diversity trends in bread wheat in Italy during the 20th century assessed by traditional and multivariate approaches : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
A collection of 157 Triticum aestivum accessions, representative of wheat breeding in Italy during the 20th century, was assembled to describe the evolutionary trends of cultivated varieties throughout this period. The lines were cultivated in Italy, in two locations, over two growing seasons, and evaluated for several agronomical, morphological and qualitative traits. Analyses were conducted using the most common univariate approach on individual plant traits coupled with a correspondance multivariate approach. ANOVA showed a clear trend from old to new varieties, leading towards earliness, plant height reduction and denser spikes with smaller seeds. The average protein content gradually decreased over time; however this trend did not affect bread-making quality, because it was counterbalanced by a gradual increase of SDS sedimentation volume, achieved by the incorporation of favourable alleles into recent cultivars. Correspondence analysis allowed an overall view of the breeding activity. A clear-cut separation was observed between ancient lines and all the others, matched with a two-step gradient, the first, corresponding roughly to the period 1920–1940, which can be ascribed mostly to genetics, the second, from the 40s onward, which can be ascribed also to the farming practice innovations, such as improvement of mechanical devices and optimised use of fertilizers.
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Copper mediates auxin signalling to control cell differentiation in the copper moss Scopelophila cataractae

Copper mediates auxin signalling to control cell differentiation in the copper moss Scopelophila cataractae | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
The copper (Cu) moss Scopelophila cataractae (Mitt.) Broth. is often found in Cu-enriched environments, but it cannot flourish under normal conditions in nature. Excess Cu is toxic to almost all plants, and therefore how this moss species thrives in regions with high Cu concentration remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the effect of Cu on gemma germination and protonemal development in S. cataractae. A high concentration of Cu (up to 800 µM) did not affect gemma germination. In the protonemal stage, a low concentration of Cu promoted protonemal gemma formation, which is the main strategy adopted by S. cataractae to expand its habitat to new locations. Cu-rich conditions promoted auxin accumulation and induced differentiation of chloronema into caulonema cells, whereas it repressed protonemal gemma formation. Under low-Cu conditions, auxin treatment mimicked the effects of high-Cu conditions. Furthermore, Cu-induced caulonema differentiation was severely inhibited in the presence of the auxin antagonist α-(phenylethyl-2-one)-indole-3-acetic acid, or the auxin biosynthesis inhibitor l-kynurenine. These results suggest that S. cataractae flourishes in Cu-rich environments via auxin-regulated cell differentiation. The copper moss might have acquired this mechanism during the evolutionary process to benefit from its advantageous Cu-tolerance ability.

Via Christophe Jacquet
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RNAi Screening Identifies the Armadillo Repeat-Containing Kinesins Responsible for Microtubule-Dependent Nuclear Positioning in Physcomitrella patens

RNAi Screening Identifies the Armadillo Repeat-Containing Kinesins Responsible for Microtubule-Dependent Nuclear Positioning in Physcomitrella patens | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Proper positioning of the nucleus is critical for the functioning of various cells. Actin and myosin have been shown to be crucial for the localization of the nucleus in plant cells, whereas microtubule (MT)-based mechanisms are commonly utilized in animal and fungal cells. In this study, we combined live cell microscopy with RNA interference (RNAi) screening or drug treatment and showed that MTs and a plant-specific motor protein, armadillo repeat-containing kinesin (kinesin-ARK), are required for nuclear positioning in the moss Physcomitrella patens. In tip-growing protonemal apical cells, the nucleus was translocated to the center of the cell after cell division in an MT-dependent manner. When kinesin-ARKs were knocked down using RNAi, the initial movement of the nucleus towards the center took place normally; however, before reaching the center, the nucleus was moved back to the basal edge of the cell. In intact (control) cells, MT bundles that are associated with kinesin-ARKs were frequently observed around the moving nucleus. In contrast, such MT bundles were not identified after kinesin-ARK down-regulation. An in vitro MT gliding assay showed that kinesin-ARK is a plus-end-directed motor protein. These results indicate that MTs and the MT-based motor drive nuclear migration in the moss cells, thus showing a conservation of the mechanism underlying nuclear localization among plant, animal and fungal cells.
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DEK1; missing piece in puzzle of plant development: Trends in Plant Science

DEK1; missing piece in puzzle of plant development: Trends in Plant Science | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Patterning of land plant bodies is determined by positioning of cell walls. A crucial event in land plant evolution was the ability to utilize spatial information to direct cell wall deposition. Recent studies of DEK1 in Physcomitrella patens support a role for DEK1 in position dependent cell wall orientation.
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Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe : Nature

Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe : Nature | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
We generated genome-wide data from 69 Europeans who lived between 8,000-3,000 years ago by enriching ancient DNA libraries for a target set of almost 400,000 polymorphisms. Enrichment of these positions decreases the sequencing required for genome-wide ancient DNA analysis by a median of around 250-fold, allowing us to study an order of magnitude more individuals than previous studies and to obtain new insights about the past. We show that the populations of Western and Far Eastern Europe followed opposite trajectories between 8,000-5,000 years ago. At the beginning of the Neolithic period in Europe, [sim]8,000-7,000 years ago, closely related groups of early farmers appeared in Germany, Hungary and Spain, different from indigenous hunter-gatherers, whereas Russia was inhabited by a distinctive population of hunter-gatherers with high affinity to a [sim]24,000-year-old Siberian. By [sim]6,000-5,000 years ago, farmers throughout much of Europe had more hunter-gatherer ancestry than their predecessors, but in Russia, the Yamnaya steppe herders of this time were descended not only from the preceding eastern European hunter-gatherers, but also from a population of Near Eastern ancestry. Western and Eastern Europe came into contact [sim]4,500 years ago, as the Late Neolithic Corded Ware people from Germany traced [sim]75% of their ancestry to the Yamnaya, documenting a massive migration into the heartland of Europe from its eastern periphery. This steppe ancestry persisted in all sampled central Europeans until at least [sim]3,000 years ago, and is ubiquitous in present-day Europeans. These results provide support for a steppe origin of at least some of the Indo-European languages of Europe.

Via Francis Martin
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Stomatal Guard Cells Co-opted an Ancient ABA-Dependent Desiccation Survival System to Regulate Stomatal Closure

Stomatal Guard Cells Co-opted an Ancient ABA-Dependent Desiccation Survival System to Regulate Stomatal Closure | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
During the transition from water to land, plants had to cope with the loss of water through transpiration, the inevitable result of photosynthetic CO2 fixation on land [1 and 2]. Control of transpiration became possible through the development of a new cell type: guard cells, which form stomata. In vascular plants, stomatal regulation is mediated by the stress hormone ABA, which triggers the opening of the SnR kinase OST1-activated anion channel SLAC1 [3 and 4]. To understand the evolution of this regulatory circuit, we cloned both ABA-signaling elements, SLAC1 and OST1, from a charophyte alga, a liverwort, and a moss, and functionally analyzed the channel-kinase interactions. We were able to show that the emergence of stomata in the last common ancestor of mosses and vascular plants coincided with the origin of SLAC1-type channels capable of using the ancient ABA drought signaling kinase OST1 for regulation of stomatal closure.
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Plant characterization of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment - Springer

Plant characterization of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, for use in ecological risk assessment - Springer | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
During the development of a genetically modified (GM) crop product, extensive phenotypic and agronomic data are collected to characterize the plant in comparison to a conventional control with a similar genetic background. The data are evaluated for potential differences resulting from the genetic modification process or the GM trait, and the differences—if any—are subsequently considered in the context of contributing to the pest potential of the GM crop. Ultimately, these study results and those of other studies are used in an ecological risk assessment of the GM crop. In the studies reported here, seed germination, vegetative and reproductive growth, and pollen morphology of Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybean, MON 89788, were compared to those of A3244, a conventional control soybean variety with the same genetic background. Any statistically significant differences were considered in the context of the genetic variation known to occur in soybean and were evaluated as indicators of an effect of the genetic modification process and assessed for impact on plant pest (weed) characteristics and adverse ecological impact (ecological risk). The results of these studies revealed no effects attributable to the genetic modification process or to the GM trait in the plant that would result in increased pest potential or adverse ecological impact of MON 89788 compared with A3244. These results and the associated risk assessments obtained from diverse geographic and environmental conditions in the United States and Argentina can be used by regulators in other countries to inform various assessments of ecological risk.
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Tetracyclines Disturb Mitochondrial Function across Eukaryotic Models: A Call for Caution in Biomedical Research: Cell Reports

Tetracyclines Disturb Mitochondrial Function across Eukaryotic Models: A Call for Caution in Biomedical Research: Cell Reports | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

In recent years, tetracyclines, such as doxycycline, have become broadly used to control gene expression by virtue of the Tet-on/Tet-off systems. However, the wide range of direct effects of tetracycline use has not been fully appreciated. We show here that these antibiotics induce a mitonuclear protein imbalance through their effects on mitochondrial translation, an effect that likely reflects the evolutionary relationship between mitochondria and proteobacteria. Even at low concentrations, tetracyclines induce mitochondrial proteotoxic stress, leading to changes in nuclear gene expression and altered mitochondrial dynamics and function in commonly used cell types, as well as worms, flies, mice, and plants. Given that tetracyclines are so widely applied in research, scientists should be aware of their potentially confounding effects on experimental results. Furthermore, these results caution against extensive use of tetracyclines in livestock due to potential downstream impacts on the environment and human health.

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Do leftover tetracyclin affect plants in the real world of agriculture - the question remain open ?

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Farmers Weekly: Cereal disease threat may be worse than in 'horrific' 2014 (2015)

Farmers Weekly: Cereal disease threat may be worse than in 'horrific' 2014 (2015) | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Cereal growers could face a worse disease year this season than the “horrific” 2014 prompted by a mild autumn with plenty of inoculum in fields.

 

Wheat’s most damaging diseases – septoria and yellow rust (pictured) – are being seen earlier than normal while in barley, mildew, rhynchosporium and net blotch are worse than usual.

 

Scottish disease expert Fiona Burnett is warning that 2015 could be more serious than 2014 with lots of early-drilled and forward crops picking up disease in the autumn.

 

“We have forward, thick crops, the right weather and enough inoculum to start the fire,” she tells the Farmers Weekly.

Dr Burnett, crop protection leader at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), adds she is seeing more yellow rust and septoria in crops at this stage than for a long time.

 

Yellow rust crept into East Lothian winter wheat crops by early November, two months ahead of normal, while septoria is being seen in many crops.

“We have only had a little bit of cold weather, what we need is sustained cold weather to kill off disease,” she says.

 

All the signs are that disease could be worse than in 2014 which she describes as a “horrific disease year” largely due to the mild 2013-14 winter.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Genome Biology | Full text | Field pathogenomics reveals the emergence of a diverse wheat yellow rust population

Genome Biology | Full text | Field pathogenomics reveals the emergence of a diverse wheat yellow rust population | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Emerging and re-emerging pathogens imperil public health and global food security. Responding to these threats requires improved surveillance and diagnostic systems. Despite their potential, genomic tools have not been readily applied to emerging or re-emerging plant pathogens such as the wheat yellow (stripe) rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST). This is due largely to the obligate parasitic nature of PST, as culturing PST isolates for DNA extraction remains slow and tedious.
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Interactions between Bacillus anthracis and Plants May Promote Anthrax Transmission

Interactions between  Bacillus anthracis  and Plants May Promote Anthrax Transmission | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Environmental reservoirs are essential in the maintenance and transmission of anthrax but are poorly characterized. The anthrax agent, Bacillus anthracis was long considered an obligate pathogen that is dormant and passively transmitted in the environment. However, a growing number of laboratory studies indicate that, like some of its close relatives, B. anthracis has some activity outside of its vertebrate hosts. Here we show in the field that B. anthracis has significant interactions with a grass that could promote anthrax spore transmission to grazing hosts. Using a local, virulent strain of B. anthracis, we performed a field experiment in an enclosure within a grassland savanna. We found that B. anthracis increased the rate of establishment of a native grass (Enneapogon desvauxii) by 50% and that grass seeds exposed to blood reached heights that were 45% taller than controls. Further we detected significant effects of E. desvauxii, B. anthracis, and their interaction on soil bacterial taxa richness and community composition. We did not find any evidence for multiplication or increased longevity of B. anthracis in bulk soil associated with grass compared to controls. Instead interactions between B. anthracis and plants may result in increased host grazing and subsequently increased transmission to hosts.
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From pond slime to rain forest: the evolution of ABA signalling and the acquisition of dehydration tolerance - Cuming - 2015 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library

From pond slime to rain forest: the evolution of ABA signalling and the acquisition of dehydration tolerance - Cuming - 2015 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Let us cast our minds back half a billion years and look around us. We do not see a green and pleasant land. Instead, we see a barren wasteland. We see a land without plants, the landscape comprising bare rock and its erosion products – at best a mineral sludge. But it was around this time that the first land plants emerged, evolving from pond slime – an aquatic algal ancestor most likely left on the banks of a receding body of water. Unlike today's climax vegetation, the first land plants were simple. They lacked the complex anatomical adaptations characteristic of the modern flora –ramifying root systems scavenging water from deep below the surface, vascular tissues to deliver this to aerial parts of the plant, whence it evaporates via the stomatal apertures of the leaves. The first land plants were not initially equipped for the vagaries of the terrestrial environment, with its rapid fluctuations of temperature, high incident radiation and uncertain availability of water. Directly equilibrating with the atmosphere and unable to prevent water loss, the first land plants must necessarily have possessed molecular and biochemical mechanisms to protect their cellular machinery from the lethal consequences of dehydration. In this issue of New Phytologist, a report from the laboratories of Daisuke Takezawa and Yoichi Sakata (Takezawa et al., pp. 209–219) highlights how osmotic stress in the model moss Physcomitrella patens induces abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis through a long-conserved biochemical pathway, implicating this as a vital early adaptation that enabled plants to conquer the land.
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Horizontal Gene Transfer of Chlamydial-Like tRNA Genes into Early Vascular Plant Mitochondria

Horizontal Gene Transfer of Chlamydial-Like tRNA Genes into Early Vascular Plant Mitochondria | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it
Mitochondrial genomes of lycophytes are surprisingly diverse, including strikingly different transfer RNA (tRNA) gene complements: No mitochondrial tRNA genes are present in the spikemoss Selaginella moellendorffii, whereas 26 tRNAs are encoded in the chondrome of the clubmoss Huperzia squarrosa. Reinvestigating the latter we found that trnL(gag) and trnS(gga) had never before been identified in any other land plant mitochondrial DNA. Sensitive sequence comparisons showed these two tRNAs as well as trnN(guu) and trnS(gcu) to be very similar to their respective counterparts in chlamydial bacteria. We identified homologs of these chlamydial-type tRNAs also in other lycophyte, fern, and gymnosperm DNAs, suggesting horizontal gene transfer (HGT) into mitochondria in the early vascular plant stem lineages. These findings extend plant mitochondrial HGT to affect individual tRNA genes, to include bacterial donors, and suggest that Chlamydiae on top of their recently proposed key role in primary chloroplast establishment may also have participated in early tracheophyte genome evolution.
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Scooped by Jean-Pierre Zryd
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Full crop protection from an insect pest by expression of long double-stranded RNAs in plastids

Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs) targeted against essential genes can trigger a lethal RNA interference (RNAi) response in insect pests. The application of this concept in plant protection is hampered by the presence of an endogenous plant RNAi pathway that processes dsRNAs into short interfering RNAs. We found that long dsRNAs can be stably produced in chloroplasts, a cellular compartment that appears to lack an RNAi machinery. When expressed from the chloroplast genome, dsRNAs accumulated to as much as 0.4% of the total cellular RNA. Transplastomic potato plants producing dsRNAs targeted against the β-actin gene of the Colorado potato beetle, a notorious agricultural pest, were protected from herbivory and were lethal to its larvae. Thus, chloroplast expression of long dsRNAs can provide crop protection without chemical pesticides.
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The Physcomitrella patens unique alpha-dioxygenase participates in both developmental processes and defense responses

The Physcomitrella patens unique alpha-dioxygenase participates in both developmental processes and defense responses | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

Background

Plant α-dioxygenases catalyze the incorporation of molecular oxygen into polyunsaturated fatty acids leading to the formation of oxylipins. In flowering plants, two main groups of α-DOXs have been described. While the α-DOX1 isoforms are mainly involved in defense responses against microbial infection and herbivores, the α-DOX2 isoforms are mostly related to development. To gain insight into the roles played by these enzymes during land plant evolution, we performed biochemical, genetic and molecular analyses to examine the function of the single copy moss Physcomitrella patens α-DOX (Ppα-DOX) in development and defense against pathogens.

Results

Recombinant Ppα-DOX protein catalyzed the conversion of fatty acids into 2-hydroperoxy derivatives with a substrate preference for α-linolenic, linoleic and palmitic acids. Ppα-DOX is expressed during development in tips of young protonemal filaments with maximum expression levels in mitotically active undifferentiated apical cells. In leafy gametophores, Ppα-DOX is expressed in auxin producing tissues, including rhizoid and axillary hairs. Ppα-DOX transcript levels and Ppα-DOX activity increased in moss tissues infected with Botrytis cinerea or treated with Pectobacterium carotovorum elicitors. In B. cinerea infected leaves, Ppα-DOX-GUS proteins accumulated in cells surrounding infected cells, suggesting a protective mechanism. Targeted disruption of Ppα-DOX did not cause a visible developmental alteration and did not compromise the defense response. However, overexpressing Ppα-DOX, or incubating wild-type tissues with Ppα-DOX-derived oxylipins, principally the aldehyde heptadecatrienal, resulted in smaller moss colonies with less protonemal tissues, due to a reduction of caulonemal filament growth and a reduction of chloronemal cell size compared with normal tissues. In addition, Ppα-DOX overexpression and treatments with Ppα-DOX-derived oxylipins reduced cellular damage caused by elicitors of P. carotovorum.

Conclusions

Our study shows that the unique α-DOX of the primitive land plant P. patens, although apparently not crucial, participates both in development and in the defense response against pathogens, suggesting that α-DOXs from flowering plants could have originated by duplication and successive functional diversification after the divergence from bryophytes.


Via Christophe Jacquet
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The Yin-Yang of Hormones: Cytokinin and Auxin Interactions in Plant Development

The Yin-Yang of Hormones: Cytokinin and Auxin Interactions in Plant Development | plant cell genetics | Scoop.it

The phytohormones auxin and cytokinin interact to regulate many plant growth and developmental processes. Elements involved in the biosynthesis, inactivation, transport, perception, and signaling of these hormones have been elucidated, revealing the variety of mechanisms by which signal output from these pathways can be regulated. Recent studies shed light on how these hormones interact with each other to promote and maintain plant growth and development. In this review, we focus on the interaction of auxin and cytokinin in several developmental contexts, including its role in regulating apical meristems, the patterning of the root, the development of the gynoecium and female gametophyte, and organogenesis and phyllotaxy in the shoot.

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