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TEMPO AND MODE IN PLANT BREEDING SYSTEM EVOLUTION - Goldberg - 2012 - Evolution - Wiley Online Library

TEMPO AND MODE IN PLANT BREEDING SYSTEM EVOLUTION - Goldberg - 2012 - Evolution - Wiley Online Library | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it

Classic questions about trait evolution—including the directionality of character change and its interactions with lineage diversification—intersect in the study of plant breeding systems. Transitions from self-incompatibility to self-compatibility are frequent, and they may proceed within a species (“anagenetic” mode of breeding system change) or in conjunction with speciation events (“cladogenetic” mode of change). We apply a recently developed phylogenetic model to the nightshade family Solanaceae, quantifying the relative contributions of these two modes of evolution along with the tempo of breeding system change, speciation, and extinction. We find that self-incompatibility, a genetic mechanism that prevents self-fertilization, is lost largely by the cladogenetic mode. Self-compatible species are thus more likely to arise from the isolation of a newly self-compatible population than from species-wide fixation of self-compatible mutants. Shared polymorphism at the locus that governs self-incompatibility shows it to be ancestral and not regained within this family. We demonstrate that failing to account for cladogenetic character change misleads phylogenetic tests of evolutionary irreversibility, both for breeding system in Solanaceae and on simulated trees.

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Enabling plant synthetic biology through genome engineering

Enabling plant synthetic biology through genome engineering | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Synthetic biology seeks to create new biological systems, including user-designed plants and plant cells. These systems can be employed for a variety of purposes, ranging from producing compounds of industrial or therapeutic value, to reducing crop losses by altering cellular responses to pathogens or climate change. To realize the full potential of plant synthetic biology, techniques are required that provide control over the genetic code – enabling targeted modifications to DNA sequences within living plant cells. Such control is now within reach owing to recent advances in the use of sequence-specific nucleases to precisely engineer genomes. We discuss here the enormous potential provided by genome engineering for plant synthetic biology.
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Synthetic biology seeks to create new biological systems, including user-designed plants and plant cells. These systems can be employed for a variety of purposes, ranging from producing compounds of industrial or therapeutic value, to reducing crop losses by altering cellular responses to pathogens or climate change. To realize the full potential of plant synthetic biology, techniques are required that provide control over the genetic code – enabling targeted modifications to DNA sequences within living plant cells. Such control is now within reach owing to recent advances in the use of sequence-specific nucleases to precisely engineer genomes. We discuss here the enormous potential provided by genome engineering for plant synthetic biology.

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Tissue-specific clocks in Arabidopsis show asymmetric coupling

Tissue-specific clocks in Arabidopsis show asymmetric coupling | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
tissues
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Many organisms rely on a circadian clock system to adapt to daily and seasonal environmental changes. The mammalian circadian clock consists of a central clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus that has tightly coupled neurons and synchronizes other clocks in peripheral tissues1, 2. Plants also have a circadian clock, but plant circadian clock function has long been assumed to be uncoupled3. Only a few studies have been able to show weak, local coupling among cells4, 5, 6, 7. Here, by implementing two novel techniques, we have performed a comprehensive tissue-specific analysis of leaf tissues, and show that the vasculature and mesophyll clocks asymmetrically regulate each other in Arabidopsis. The circadian clock in the vasculature has characteristics distinct from other tissues, cycles robustly without environmental cues, and affects circadian clock regulation in other tissues. Furthermore, we found that vasculature-enriched genes that are rhythmically expressed are preferentially expressed in the evening, whereas rhythmic mesophyll-enriched genes tend to be expressed in the morning. Our results set the stage for a deeper understanding of how the vasculature circadian clock in plants regulates key physiological responses such as flowering time.

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A Y-chromosome–encoded small RNA acts as a sex determinant in persimmons

In plants, multiple lineages have evolved sex chromosomes independently, providing a powerful comparative framework, but few specific determinants controlling the expression of a specific sex have been identified. We investigated sex determinants in the Caucasian persimmon, Diospyros lotus, a dioecious plant with heterogametic males (XY). Male-specific short nucleotide sequences were used to define a male-determining region. A combination of transcriptomics and evolutionary approaches detected a Y-specific sex-determinant candidate, OGI, that displays male-specific conservation among Diospyros species. OGI encodes a small RNA targeting the autosomal MeGI gene, a homeodomain transcription factor regulating anther fertility in a dosage-dependent fashion. This identification of a feminizing gene suppressed by a Y-chromosome–encoded small RNA contributes to our understanding of the evolution of sex chromosome systems in higher plants.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

In plants, multiple lineages have evolved sex chromosomes independently, providing a powerful comparative framework, but few specific determinants controlling the expression of a specific sex have been identified. We investigated sex determinants in the Caucasian persimmon, Diospyros lotus, a dioecious plant with heterogametic males (XY). Male-specific short nucleotide sequences were used to define a male-determining region. A combination of transcriptomics and evolutionary approaches detected a Y-specific sex-determinant candidate, OGI, that displays male-specific conservation among Diospyros species. OGI encodes a small RNA targeting the autosomal MeGI gene, a homeodomain transcription factor regulating anther fertility in a dosage-dependent fashion. This identification of a feminizing gene suppressed by a Y-chromosome–encoded small RNA contributes to our understanding of the evolution of sex chromosome systems in higher plants.

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A comparative study on genetic effects of artificial and natural habitat fragmentation on Loropetalum chinense (Hamamelidaceae) in Southeast China

An official journal of the Genetics Society, Heredity publishes high-quality articles describing original research and theoretical insights in all areas of genetics. Research papers are complimented by News & Commentary articles and reviews, keeping researchers and students abreast of hot topics in the field.
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Elucidating the demographic and landscape features that determine the genetic effects of habitat fragmentation has become fundamental to research in conservation and evolutionary biology. Land-bridge islands provide ideal study areas for investigating the genetic effects of habitat fragmentation at different temporal and spatial scales. In this context, we compared patterns of nuclear microsatellite variation between insular populations of a shrub of evergreen broad-leaved forest, Loropetalum chinense, from the artificially created Thousand-Island Lake (TIL) and the Holocene-dated Zhoushan Archipelago of Southeast China. Populations from the TIL region harboured higher levels of genetic diversity than those from the Zhoushan Archipelago, but these differences were not significant. There was no correlation between genetic diversity and most island features, excepting a negative effect of mainland–island distance on allelic richness and expected heterozygosity in the Zhoushan Archipelago. In general, levels of gene flow among island populations were moderate to high, and tests of alternative models of population history strongly favoured a gene flow-drift model over a pure drift model in each region. In sum, our results showed no obvious genetic effects of habitat fragmentation due to recent (artificial) or past (natural) island formation. Rather, they highlight the importance of gene flow (most likely via seed) in maintaining genetic variation and preventing inter-population differentiation in the face of habitat ‘insularization’ at different temporal and spatial scales.

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A Widespread Glutamine-Sensing Mechanism in the Plant Kingdom

A Widespread Glutamine-Sensing Mechanism in the Plant Kingdom | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
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Glutamine is the primary metabolite of nitrogen assimilation from inorganic nitrogen sources in microorganisms and plants. The ability to monitor cellular nitrogen status is pivotal for maintaining metabolic homeostasis and sustaining growth. The present study identifies a glutamine-sensing mechanism common in the entire plant kingdom except Brassicaceae. The plastid-localized PII signaling protein controls, in a glutamine-dependent manner, the key enzyme of the ornithine synthesis pathway, N-acetyl-l-glutamate kinase (NAGK), that leads to arginine and polyamine formation. Crystal structures reveal that the plant-specific C-terminal extension of PII, which we term the Q loop, forms a low-affinity glutamine-binding site. Glutamine binding alters PII conformation, promoting interaction and activation of NAGK. The binding motif is highly conserved in plants except Brassicaceae. A functional Q loop restores glutamine sensing in a recombinant Arabidopsis thaliana PII protein, demonstrating the modular concept of the glutamine-sensing mechanism adopted by PII proteins during the evolution of plant chloroplasts.

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Chrysanthemyl Diphosphate Synthase Operates in Planta as a Bifunctional Enzyme with Chrysanthemol Synthase Activity

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Chrysanthemyl diphosphate synthase (CDS) is the first pathway-specific enzyme in the biosynthesis of pyrethrins, the most widely used plant-derived pesticide. CDS catalyzes c1′-2-3 cyclopropanation reactions of two molecules of dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) to yield chrysanthemyl diphosphate (CPP). Three proteins are known to catalyze this cyclopropanation reaction of terpene precursors. Two of them, phytoene and squalene synthase, are bifunctional enzymes with both prenyltransferase and terpene synthase activity. CDS, the other member, has been reported to perform only the prenyltransferase step. Here we show that the NDXXD catalytic motif of CDS, under the lower substrate conditions prevalent in plants, also catalyzes the next step, converting CPP into chrysanthemol by hydrolyzing the diphosphate moiety. The enzymatic hydrolysis reaction followed conventional Michaelis-Menten kinetics, with a Km value for CPP of 196 μm. For the chrysanthemol synthase activity, DMAPP competed with CPP as substrate. The DMAPP concentration required for half-maximal activity to produce chrysanthemol was ∼100 μm, and significant substrate inhibition was observed at elevated DMAPP concentrations. The N-terminal peptide of CDS was identified as a plastid-targeting peptide. Transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing CDS emitted chrysanthemol at a rate of 0.12–0.16 μg h−1 g−1 fresh weight. We propose that CDS should be renamed a chrysanthemol synthase utilizing DMAPP as substrate.

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Plant genomics: High-throughput phenotyping of rice growth traits

A high-throughput phenotyping tool enables the study of rice traits during the growth period and after harvest. Yang et al. combined imaging techniques with a yield traits scorer to automatically screen for 15 agronomic traits, including two newly defined traits — plant compactness and grain-projected area — that cannot be identified by…
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A high-throughput phenotyping tool enables the study of rice traits during the growth period and after harvest. Yang et al. combined imaging techniques with a yield traits scorer to automatically screen for 15 agronomic traits, including two newly defined traits — plant compactness and grain-projected area — that cannot be identified by…

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Cell walls: Cellulose snakes along

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Cellulose polymers found in plant cell walls are synthesized by cellulose synthase complexes (CESA), but the mechanism for conversion of individual polymers into microfibrils remains unclear. COBRA is coexpressed with CESA, and mutations of COBRA are linked to changes in cellulose, but its specific function is unknown.…

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Gene duplication of type-B ARR transcription factors systematically extends transcriptional regulatory structures in Arabidopsis

Gene duplication of type-B ARR transcription factors systematically extends transcriptional regulatory structures in Arabidopsis | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Many of duplicated genes are enriched in signaling pathways. Recently, gene duplication of kinases has been shown to provide genetic buffering and functional diversification in cellular signaling. Transcription factors (TFs) are also often duplicated. However, how duplication of TFs affects their regulatory structures and functions of target genes has not been explored at the systems level. Here, we examined regulatory and functional roles of duplication of three major ARR TFs (ARR1, 10, and 12) in Arabidopsis cytokinin signaling using wild-type and single, double, and triple deletion mutants of the TFs. Comparative analysis of gene expression profiles obtained from Arabidopsis roots in wild-type and these mutants showed that duplication of ARR TFs systematically extended their transcriptional regulatory structures, leading to enhanced robustness and diversification in functions of target genes, as well as in regulation of cellular networks of target genes. Therefore, our results suggest that duplication of TFs contributes to robustness and diversification in functions of target genes by extending transcriptional regulatory structures.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Many of duplicated genes are enriched in signaling pathways. Recently, gene duplication of kinases has been shown to provide genetic buffering and functional diversification in cellular signaling. Transcription factors (TFs) are also often duplicated. However, how duplication of TFs affects their regulatory structures and functions of target genes has not been explored at the systems level. Here, we examined regulatory and functional roles of duplication of three major ARR TFs (ARR1, 10, and 12) in Arabidopsis cytokinin signaling using wild-type and single, double, and triple deletion mutants of the TFs. Comparative analysis of gene expression profiles obtained from Arabidopsis roots in wild-type and these mutants showed that duplication of ARR TFs systematically extended their transcriptional regulatory structures, leading to enhanced robustness and diversification in functions of target genes, as well as in regulation of cellular networks of target genes. Therefore, our results suggest that duplication of TFs contributes to robustness and diversification in functions of target genes by extending transcriptional regulatory structures.

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A gene cluster encoding lectin receptor kinases confers broad-spectrum and durable insect resistance in rice

The brown planthopper (BPH) is the most destructive pest of rice (Oryza sativa) and a substantial threat to rice production, causing losses of billions of dollars annually1, 2. Breeding of resistant cultivars is currently hampered by the rapid breakdown of BPH resistance2. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify…
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The brown planthopper (BPH) is the most destructive pest of rice (Oryza sativa) and a substantial threat to rice production, causing losses of billions of dollars annually1, 2. Breeding of resistant cultivars is currently hampered by the rapid breakdown of BPH resistance2. Thus, there is an urgent need to identify…

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The phytoplasmal virulence factor TENGU causes plant sterility by downregulating of the jasmonic acid and auxin pathways

The phytoplasmal virulence factor TENGU causes plant sterility by downregulating of the jasmonic acid and auxin pathways | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Despite plants infected by pathogens are often unable to produce offspring, it remains unclear how sterility is induced in host plants. In this study, we demonstrate that TENGU, a phytoplasmal virulence peptide known as a dwarfism inducer, acts as an inducer of sterility. Transgenic expression of TENGU induced both male and female sterility in Arabidopsis thaliana flowers similar to those observed in double knockout mutants of auxin response factor 6 (ARF6) and ARF8, which are known to regulate floral development in a jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent manner. Transcripts of ARF6 and ARF8 were significantly decreased in both tengu-transgenic and phytoplasma-infected plants. Furthermore, JA and auxin levels were actually decreased in tengu-transgenic buds, suggesting that TENGU reduces the endogenous levels of phytohormones by repressing ARF6 and ARF8, resulting in impaired flower maturation. TENGU is the first virulence factor with the effects on plant reproduction by perturbation of phytohormone signaling.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Despite plants infected by pathogens are often unable to produce offspring, it remains unclear how sterility is induced in host plants. In this study, we demonstrate that TENGU, a phytoplasmal virulence peptide known as a dwarfism inducer, acts as an inducer of sterility. Transgenic expression of TENGU induced both male and female sterility in Arabidopsis thaliana flowers similar to those observed in double knockout mutants of auxin response factor 6 (ARF6) and ARF8, which are known to regulate floral development in a jasmonic acid (JA)-dependent manner. Transcripts of ARF6 and ARF8 were significantly decreased in both tengu-transgenic and phytoplasma-infected plants. Furthermore, JA and auxin levels were actually decreased in tengu-transgenic buds, suggesting that TENGU reduces the endogenous levels of phytohormones by repressing ARF6 and ARF8, resulting in impaired flower maturation. TENGU is the first virulence factor with the effects on plant reproduction by perturbation of phytohormone signaling.

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Analysis of a Plant Complex Resistance Gene Locus Underlying Immune-Related Hybrid Incompatibility and Its Occurrence in Nature

Analysis of a Plant Complex Resistance Gene Locus Underlying Immune-Related Hybrid Incompatibility and Its Occurrence in Nature | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Mechanisms underlying speciation in plants include detrimental (incompatible) genetic interactions between parental alleles that incur a fitness cost in hybrids. We reported on recessive hybrid incompatibility between an Arabidopsis thaliana strain from Poland, Landsberg erecta (Ler), and many Central Asian A. thaliana strains. The incompatible interaction is determined by a polymorphic cluster of Toll/interleukin-1 receptor-nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (TNL) RPP1 (Recognition of Peronospora parasitica1)-like genes in Ler and alleles of the receptor-like kinase Strubbelig Receptor Family 3 (SRF3) in Central Asian strains Kas-2 or Kond, causing temperature-dependent autoimmunity and loss of growth and reproductive fitness. Here, we genetically dissected the RPP1-like Ler locus to determine contributions of individual RPP1-like Ler (R1–R8) genes to the incompatibility. In a neutral background, expression of most RPP1-like Ler genes, except R3, has no effect on growth or pathogen resistance. Incompatibility involves increased R3 expression and engineered R3 overexpression in a neutral background induces dwarfism and sterility. However, no individual RPP1-like Ler gene is sufficient for incompatibility between Ler and Kas-2 or Kond, suggesting that co-action of at least two RPP1-like members underlies this epistatic interaction. We find that the RPP1-like Ler haplotype is frequent and occurs with other Ler RPP1-like alleles in a local population in Gorzów Wielkopolski (Poland). Only Gorzów individuals carrying the RPP1-like Ler haplotype are incompatible with Kas-2 and Kond, whereas other RPP1-like alleles in the population are compatible. Therefore, the RPP1-like Ler haplotype has been maintained in genetically different individuals at a single site, allowing exploration of forces shaping the evolution of RPP1-like genes at local and regional population scales.

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Metabolic and co-expression network-based analyses associated with nitrate response in rice

Understanding gene expression and metabolic re-programming that occur in response to limiting nitrogen (N) conditions in crop plants is crucial for the ongoing progress towards the development of varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). To unravel new details on the molecular and metabolic responses to N availability in a major food crop, we conducted analyses on a weighted gene co-expression network and metabolic profile data obtained from leaves and roots of rice plants adapted to sufficient and limiting N as well as after shifting them to limiting (reduction) and sufficient (induction) N conditions.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Understanding gene expression and metabolic re-programming that occur in response to limiting nitrogen (N) conditions in crop plants is crucial for the ongoing progress towards the development of varieties with improved nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). To unravel new details on the molecular and metabolic responses to N availability in a major food crop, we conducted analyses on a weighted gene co-expression network and metabolic profile data obtained from leaves and roots of rice plants adapted to sufficient and limiting N as well as after shifting them to limiting (reduction) and sufficient (induction) N conditions.

Results

A gene co-expression network representing clusters of rice genes with similar expression patterns across four nitrogen conditions and two tissue types was generated. The resulting 18 clusters were analyzed for enrichment of significant gene ontology (GO) terms. Four clusters exhibited significant correlation with limiting and reducing nitrate treatments. Among the identified enriched GO terms, those related to nucleoside/nucleotide, purine and ATP binding, defense response, sugar/carbohydrate binding, protein kinase activities, cell-death and cell wall enzymatic activity are enriched. Although a subset of functional categories are more broadly associated with the response of rice organs to limiting N and N reduction, our analyses suggest that N reduction elicits a response distinguishable from that to adaptation to limiting N, particularly in leaves. This observation is further supported by metabolic profiling which shows that several compounds in leaves change proportionally to the nitrate level (i.e. higher in sufficient N vs. imitimg N) and respond with even higher levels when the nitrate level is reduced. Notably, these compounds are directly involved in N assimilation, transport, and storage (glutamine, asparagine, glutamate and allantoin) and extend to most amino acids. Based on these data, we hypothesize that plants respond by rapidly mobilizing stored vacuolar nitrate when N deficit is perceived, and that the response likely involves phosphorylation signal cascades and transcriptional regulation.

Conclusions

The co-expression network analysis and metabolic profiling performed in rice pinpoint the relevance of signal transduction components and regulation of N mobilization in response to limiting N conditions and deepen our understanding of N responses and N use in crops.

 
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A faster Rubisco with potential to increase photosynthesis in crops

A faster Rubisco with potential to increase photosynthesis in crops | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
In photosynthetic organisms, d-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is the major enzyme assimilating atmospheric CO2 into the biosphere1. Owing to the wasteful oxygenase activity and slow turnover of Rubisco, the enzyme is among the most important targets for improving the photosynthetic efficiency of vascular plants2, 3. It has been anticipated that introducing the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) from cyanobacteria into plants could enhance crop yield4, 5, 6. However, the complex nature of Rubisco’s assembly has made manipulation of the enzyme extremely challenging, and attempts to replace it in plants with the enzymes from cyanobacteria and red algae have not been successful7, 8. Here we report two transplastomic tobacco lines with functional Rubisco from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 (Se7942). We knocked out the native tobacco gene encoding the large subunit of Rubisco by inserting the large and small subunit genes of the Se7942 enzyme, in combination with either the corresponding Se7942 assembly chaperone, RbcX, or an internal carboxysomal protein, CcmM35, which incorporates three small subunit-like domains9, 10. Se7942 Rubisco and CcmM35 formed macromolecular complexes within the chloroplast stroma, mirroring an early step in the biogenesis of cyanobacterial β-carboxysomes11, 12. Both transformed lines were photosynthetically competent, supporting autotrophic growth, and their respective forms of Rubisco had higher rates of CO2 fixation per unit of enzyme than the tobacco control. These transplastomic tobacco lines represent an important step towards improved photosynthesis in plants and will be valuable hosts for future addition of the remaining components of the cyanobacterial CCM, such as inorganic carbon transporters and the β-carboxysome shell proteins4, 5, 6.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

In photosynthetic organisms, d-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) is the major enzyme assimilating atmospheric CO2 into the biosphere1. Owing to the wasteful oxygenase activity and slow turnover of Rubisco, the enzyme is among the most important targets for improving the photosynthetic efficiency of vascular plants2, 3. It has been anticipated that introducing the CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) from cyanobacteria into plants could enhance crop yield4, 5, 6. However, the complex nature of Rubisco’s assembly has made manipulation of the enzyme extremely challenging, and attempts to replace it in plants with the enzymes from cyanobacteria and red algae have not been successful7, 8. Here we report two transplastomic tobacco lines with functional Rubisco from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus PCC7942 (Se7942). We knocked out the native tobacco gene encoding the large subunit of Rubisco by inserting the large and small subunit genes of the Se7942 enzyme, in combination with either the corresponding Se7942 assembly chaperone, RbcX, or an internal carboxysomal protein, CcmM35, which incorporates three small subunit-like domains9, 10. Se7942 Rubisco and CcmM35 formed macromolecular complexes within the chloroplast stroma, mirroring an early step in the biogenesis of cyanobacterial β-carboxysomes11, 12. Both transformed lines were photosynthetically competent, supporting autotrophic growth, and their respective forms of Rubisco had higher rates of CO2 fixation per unit of enzyme than the tobacco control. These transplastomic tobacco lines represent an important step towards improved photosynthesis in plants and will be valuable hosts for future addition of the remaining components of the cyanobacterial CCM, such as inorganic carbon transporters and the β-carboxysome shell proteins4, 5, 6.

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Development of a general method for detection and quantification of the P35S promoter based on assessment of existing methods

Development of a general method for detection and quantification of the P35S promoter based on assessment of existing methods | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
The Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter (P35S) is a commonly used target for detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There are currently 24 reported detection methods, targeting different regions of the P35S promoter. Initial assessment revealed that due to the absence of primer binding sites in the P35S sequence, 19 of the 24 reported methods failed to detect P35S in MON88913 cotton, and the other two methods could only be applied to certain GMOs. The rest three reported methods were not suitable for measurement of P35S in some testing events, because SNPs in binding sites of the primer/probe would result in abnormal amplification plots and poor linear regression parameters. In this study, we discovered a conserved region in the P35S sequence through sequencing of P35S promoters from multiple transgenic events, and developed new qualitative and quantitative detection systems targeting this conserved region. The qualitative PCR could detect the P35S promoter in 23 unique GMO events with high specificity and sensitivity. The quantitative method was suitable for measurement of P35S promoter, exhibiting good agreement between the amount of template and Ct values for each testing event. This study provides a general P35S screening method, with greater coverage than existing methods.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

The Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter (P35S) is a commonly used target for detection of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). There are currently 24 reported detection methods, targeting different regions of the P35S promoter. Initial assessment revealed that due to the absence of primer binding sites in the P35S sequence, 19 of the 24 reported methods failed to detect P35S in MON88913 cotton, and the other two methods could only be applied to certain GMOs. The rest three reported methods were not suitable for measurement of P35S in some testing events, because SNPs in binding sites of the primer/probe would result in abnormal amplification plots and poor linear regression parameters. In this study, we discovered a conserved region in the P35S sequence through sequencing of P35S promoters from multiple transgenic events, and developed new qualitative and quantitative detection systems targeting this conserved region. The qualitative PCR could detect the P35S promoter in 23 unique GMO events with high specificity and sensitivity. The quantitative method was suitable for measurement of P35S promoter, exhibiting good agreement between the amount of template and Ct values for each testing event. This study provides a general P35S screening method, with greater coverage than existing methods.

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BcRISP1, isolated from non-heading Chinese cabbage, decreases the seed set of transgenic Arabidopsis

BcRISP1, isolated from non-heading Chinese cabbage, decreases the seed set of transgenic Arabidopsis | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Horticulture Research, Published online: 10 December 2014; | doi:10.1038/hortres.2014.62
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Mitochondria are the energy sources of plant cells and are involved in regulating cell development. Ubiquinol–cytochrome c reductase iron-sulfur protein, which is necessary for mitochondrial respiration, is a subunit of mitochondrial electron transport chain multimeric enzyme complexes. To better understand the biological function of the ubiquinol–cytochrome c reductase iron–sulfur protein, the full-length cDNA of BcRISP1 was cloned; it was found to contain 810 base pairs and encode 269 amino acids. Unusually, high expression of the BcRISP1 gene in the archesporial cell stages was determined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis of cytoplasmic male sterile lines and maintainer lines. The seed set was affected by the overexpression of BcRISP1, and shorter siliques with lower seed sets were observed in 35S::BcRISP1 Arabidopsis plants. These characteristics may have resulted from the reduced formation of pollen and impaired pollen tube growth. qRT-PCR results revealed that in 35S::BcRISP1 plants, the expression levels of the mitochondrial respiratory chain-related genes, COX10 and RIP1, were enhanced, whereas the expression levels of QCR7 and SDH2-1 were reduced. This result implies that overexpression of BcRISP1 in transgenic Arabidopsis plants may disrupt the mitochondrial electron transport chain by affecting the expression of mitochondrial respiratory chain-related genes and therefore, reducing the seed set.

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A maize wall-associated kinase confers quantitative resistance to head smut

A maize wall-associated kinase confers quantitative resistance to head smut | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Mingliang Xu and colleagues show that a wall-associated kinase, ZmWAK, confers resistance to maize head smut, a systemic fungal disease in maize.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Head smut is a systemic disease in maize caused by the soil-borne fungus Sporisorium reilianum that poses a grave threat to maize production worldwide. A major head smut quantitative resistance locus, qHSR1, has been detected on maize chromosome bin2.09. Here we report the map-based cloning of qHSR1 and the molecular mechanism of qHSR1-mediated resistance. Sequential fine mapping and transgenic complementation demonstrated that ZmWAK is the gene within qHSR1 conferring quantitative resistance to maize head smut. ZmWAK spans the plasma membrane, potentially serving as a receptor-like kinase to perceive and transduce extracellular signals. ZmWAK was highly expressed in the mesocotyl of seedlings where it arrested biotrophic growth of the endophytic S. reilianum. Impaired expression in the mesocotyl compromised ZmWAK-mediated resistance. Deletion of the ZmWAK locus appears to have occurred after domestication and spread among maize germplasm, and the ZmWAK kinase domain underwent functional constraints during maize evolution.

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The inheritance of resistance to bacterial leaf spot of lettuce caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians in three lettuce cultivars

The inheritance of resistance to bacterial leaf spot of lettuce caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians in three lettuce cultivars | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Horticulture Research, Published online: 24 December 2014; | doi:10.1038/hortres.2014.66
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Lettuce yields can be reduced by the disease bacterial leaf spot (BLS) caused by the pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. vitians (Xcv) and host resistance is the most feasible method to reduce disease losses. The cultivars La Brillante, Pavane and Little Gem express an incompatible host–pathogen interaction as a hypersensitive response (HR) to California strains of Xcv resulting in resistance. Little was known about the inheritance of resistance; however, resistance to other lettuce pathogens is often determined by resistance gene candidates (RGCs) encoding nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins. Therefore, we determined the inheritance of BLS resistance in the cultivars La Brillante, Little Gem and Pavane and mapped it relative to RGCs. The reaction to Xcv was analyzed in nine F1, F2 and recombinant inbred line populations of lettuce from HR×compatible or HR×HR crosses. The HR in La Brillante, Pavane and Little Gem is conditioned by single dominant genes, which are either allelic or closely linked genes. The resistance gene in La Brillante was designated Xanthomonas resistance 1 (Xar1) and mapped to lettuce linkage group 2. Xar1 is present in a genomic region that contains numerous NB-LRR encoding RGCs and functional pathogen resistance loci in the RGC2 family. The Xar1 gene confers a high level of BLS resistance in the greenhouse and field that can be introgressed into commercial lettuce cultivars to reduce BLS losses using molecular markers.

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Fast sampling method for mammalian cell metabolic analyses using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry

Metabolomics has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing biological questions. Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is widely used for metabolic characterization, including targeted and untargeted approaches. Despite recent innovations, a crucial aspect of this technique is the sample preparation for accurate data analyses. In this protocol, we present a robust and adaptable workflow for metabolic analyses of mammalian cells from adherent cell cultures, which is particularly suited for qualitative and quantitative central metabolite characterization by LC-MS. Each sample consists of 600,000 mammalian cells grown on cover glasses, allowing for fast and complete transfer of the cells for metabolite extraction or medium exchange, e.g., for labeling experiments. The sampling procedure includes a fast and efficient washing step in liquid flow in water, which reduces cross-contamination and matrix effects while minimizing perturbation of the metabolic steady state of the cells; it is followed by quenching cell metabolism. The latter is achieved by using a −20 °C cold methanol acetonitrile mixture acidified with formic acid, followed by freeze drying, metabolite extraction and LC-MS. The protocol requires 2 s for cell sampling until quenching, and the entire protocol takes a total of 1.5 h per sample when the provided nanoscale LC-MS method is applied.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Metabolomics has emerged as a powerful tool for addressing biological questions. Liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is widely used for metabolic characterization, including targeted and untargeted approaches. Despite recent innovations, a crucial aspect of this technique is the sample preparation for accurate data analyses. In this protocol, we present a robust and adaptable workflow for metabolic analyses of mammalian cells from adherent cell cultures, which is particularly suited for qualitative and quantitative central metabolite characterization by LC-MS. Each sample consists of 600,000 mammalian cells grown on cover glasses, allowing for fast and complete transfer of the cells for metabolite extraction or medium exchange, e.g., for labeling experiments. The sampling procedure includes a fast and efficient washing step in liquid flow in water, which reduces cross-contamination and matrix effects while minimizing perturbation of the metabolic steady state of the cells; it is followed by quenching cell metabolism. The latter is achieved by using a −20 °C cold methanol acetonitrile mixture acidified with formic acid, followed by freeze drying, metabolite extraction and LC-MS. The protocol requires 2 s for cell sampling until quenching, and the entire protocol takes a total of 1.5 h per sample when the provided nanoscale LC-MS method is applied.

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Biomass conversion: Lignin up for break-down

Lignin is an abundant renewable resource, but its intrinsic recalcitrant nature has so far hampered its conversion into higher value chemicals. Now, a two-step strategy, oxidation followed by bond cleavage, has been shown to deconstruct lignin into high yields of low-molecular-weight aromatics.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Lignin is an abundant renewable resource, but its intrinsic recalcitrant nature has so far hampered its conversion into higher value chemicals. Now, a two-step strategy, oxidation followed by bond cleavage, has been shown to deconstruct lignin into high yields of low-molecular-weight aromatics.

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Wheat rescued from fungal disease

Knockout of all six alleles of a gene in the large wheat genome confers resistance to powdery mildew.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Knockout of all six alleles of a gene in the large wheat genome confers resistance to powdery mildew.

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The beet Y locus encodes an anthocyanin MYB-like protein that activates the betalain red pigment pathway

The beet Y locus encodes an anthocyanin MYB-like protein that activates the betalain red pigment pathway | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Alan Lloyd and colleagues identify a MYB gene in beet that acts as a key regulator of the betalain red pigmentation pathway. They further show that this gene resides at the classical Y pigmentation locus and shares homology with MYB genes that encode positive regulators of the anthocyanin pigmentation pathway in other species.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Nearly all flowering plants produce red/violet anthocyanin pigments. Caryophyllales is the only order containing families that replace anthocyanins with unrelated red and yellow betalain pigments1, 2. Close biological correlation of pigmentation patterns suggested that betalains might be regulated by a conserved anthocyanin-regulating transcription factor complex consisting of a MYB, a bHLH and a WD repeat–containing protein (the MBW complex)3. Here we show that a previously uncharacterized anthocyanin MYB-like protein, Beta vulgaris MYB1 (BvMYB1), regulates the betalain pathway in beets. Silencing BvMYB1 downregulates betalain biosynthetic genes and pigmentation, and overexpressing BvMYB1 upregulates them. However, unlike anthocyanin MYBs, BvMYB1 will not interact with bHLH members of heterologous anthocyanin MBW complexes because of identified nonconserved residues. BvMYB1 resides at the historic beet pigment-patterning locus, Y, required for red-fleshed beets4. We show that Y and y express different levels of BvMYB1 transcripts. The co-option of a transcription factor regulating anthocyanin biosynthesis would be an important evolutionary event allowing betalains to largely functionally replace anthocyanins.

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Acetylation serves as a protective group in noscapine biosynthesis in opium poppy

Characterization of four enzymes involved in biosynthesis of the plant metabolite and anticancer agent noscapine completes this pathway and identifies an unusual acetyl protecting group strategy that defines the order of enzymatic steps.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

We have characterized four sequential enzymes that transform 1-hydroxy-N-methylcanadine to narcotoline hemiacetal, completing our elucidation of noscapine biosynthesis in opium poppy. Two cytochromes P450 catalyze hydroxylations at C13 and C8 on the protoberberine scaffold, the latter step inducing ring opening and the formation of an aldehyde moiety. Acetylation at C13 before C8 hydroxylation introduces a protective group subsequently hydrolyzed by a carboxylesterase, which triggers rearrangement to a cyclic hemiacetal.

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A U-system approach for predicting metabolic behaviors and responses based on an alleged metabolic reaction network

rifugation usi
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Background

Progress in systems biology offers sophisticated approaches toward a comprehensive understanding of biological systems. Yet, computational analyses are held back due to difficulties in determining suitable model parameter values from experimental data which naturally are subject to biological fluctuations. The data may also be corrupted by experimental uncertainties and sometimes do not contain all information regarding variables that cannot be measured for technical reasons.

Results

We show here a streamlined approach for the construction of a coarse model that allows us to set up dynamic models with minimal input information. The approach uses a hybrid between a pure mass action system and a generalized mass action (GMA) system in the framework of biochemical systems theory (BST) with rate constants of 1, normal kinetic orders of 1, and -0.5 and 0.5 for inhibitory and activating effects, named Unity (U)-system. The U-system model does not necessarily fit all data well but is often sufficient for predicting metabolic behavior of metabolites which cannot be simultaneously measured, identifying inconsistencies between experimental data and the assumed underlying pathway structure, as well as predicting system responses to a modification of gene or enzyme. The U-system approach was validated with small, generic systems and implemented to model a large-scale metabolic reaction network of a higher plant, Arabidopsis. The dynamic behaviors obtained by predictive simulations agreed with actually available metabolomic time-series data, identified probable errors in the experimental datasets, and estimated probable behavior of unmeasurable metabolites in a qualitative manner. The model could also predict metabolic responses of Arabidopsis with altered network structures due to genetic modification.

Conclusions

The U-system approach can effectively predict metabolic behaviors and responses based on structures of an alleged metabolic reaction network. Thus, it can be a useful first-line tool of data analysis, model diagnostics and aid the design of next-step experiments.

 
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Global Analysis of Photosynthesis Transcriptional Regulatory Networks

Global Analysis of Photosynthesis Transcriptional Regulatory Networks | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Photosynthesis is a crucial biological process that depends on the interplay of many components. This work analyzed the gene targets for 4 transcription factors: FnrL, PrrA, CrpK and MppG (RSP_2888), which are known or predicted to control photosynthesis in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) identified 52 operons under direct control of FnrL, illustrating its regulatory role in photosynthesis, iron homeostasis, nitrogen metabolism and regulation of sRNA synthesis. Using global gene expression analysis combined with ChIP-seq, we mapped the regulons of PrrA, CrpK and MppG. PrrA regulates ~34 operons encoding mainly photosynthesis and electron transport functions, while CrpK, a previously uncharacterized Crp-family protein, regulates genes involved in photosynthesis and maintenance of iron homeostasis. Furthermore, CrpK and FnrL share similar DNA binding determinants, possibly explaining our observation of the ability of CrpK to partially compensate for the growth defects of a ΔFnrL mutant. We show that the Rrf2 family protein, MppG, plays an important role in photopigment biosynthesis, as part of an incoherent feed-forward loop with PrrA. Our results reveal a previously unrealized, high degree of combinatorial regulation of photosynthetic genes and significant cross-talk between their transcriptional regulators, while illustrating previously unidentified links between photosynthesis and the maintenance of iron homeostasis.

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