PlantBioInnovation
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PlantBioInnovation
Discovery and Invention Aspects of Plant Biology That Are Interesting, Innovative and Novel !
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Scooped by Biswapriya Biswavas Misra
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The histone variant H2A.W defines heterochromatin and promotes chromatin condensation in Arabidopsis.

Histone variants play crucial roles in gene expression, genome integrity, and chromosome segregation. We report that the four H2A variants in Arabidopsis define different genomic features, contributing to overall genomic organization. The histone variant H2A.W marks heterochromatin specifically and acts in synergy with heterochromatic marks H3K9me2 and DNA methylation to maintain transposon silencing. In vitro, H2A.W enhances chromatin condensation by promoting fiber-to-fiber interactions via its conserved C-terminal motif. In vivo, H2A.W is required for heterochromatin condensation, demonstrating that H2A.W plays critical roles in heterochromatin organization. Similarities in conserved motifs between H2A.W and another H2A variant in metazoans suggest that plants and animals share common mechanisms for heterochromatin condensation.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Histone variants play crucial roles in gene expression, genome integrity, and chromosome segregation. We report that the four H2A variants in Arabidopsis define different genomic features, contributing to overall genomic organization. The histone variant H2A.W marks heterochromatin specifically and acts in synergy with heterochromatic marks H3K9me2 and DNA methylation to maintain transposon silencing. In vitro, H2A.W enhances chromatin condensation by promoting fiber-to-fiber interactions via its conserved C-terminal motif. In vivo, H2A.W is required for heterochromatin condensation, demonstrating that H2A.W plays critical roles in heterochromatin organization. Similarities in conserved motifs between H2A.W and another H2A variant in metazoans suggest that plants and animals share common mechanisms for heterochromatin condensation.

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To grow or defend? Low red : far-red ratios reduce jasmonate sensitivity in Arabidopsis seedlings by promoting DELLA degradation and increasing JAZ10 stability

To grow or defend? Low red : far-red ratios reduce jasmonate sensitivity in Arabidopsis seedlings by promoting DELLA degradation and increasing JAZ10 stability | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
How plants balance resource allocation between growth and defense under conditions of competitive stress is a key question in plant biology. Low red : far-red (R : FR) ratios, which signal a high risk of competition in plant canopies, repress jasmonate-induced defense responses. The mechanism of this repression is not well understood. We addressed this problem in Arabidopsis by investigating the role of DELLA and JASMONATE ZIM domain (JAZ) proteins.
We showed that a quintuple della mutant and a phyB mutant were insensitive to jasmonate for several physiological readouts. Inactivation of the photoreceptor phyB by low R : FR ratios rapidly reduced DELLA protein abundance, and the inhibitory effect of FR on jasmonate signaling was missing in the gai-1 mutant, which encodes a stable version of the GAI DELLA protein.
We also demonstrated that low R : FR ratios and the phyB mutation stabilized the protein JAZ10. Furthermore, we demonstrated that JAZ10 was required for the inhibitory effect of low R : FR on jasmonate responses, and that the jaz10 mutation restored jasmonate sensitivity to the phyB mutant.
We conclude that, under conditions of competition for light, plants redirect resource allocation from defense to rapid elongation by promoting DELLA degradation and enhancing JAZ10 stability.

Via Francis Martin
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Century-scale methylome stability in a recently diverged Arabidopsis thaliana lineage

Century-scale methylome stability in a recently diverged Arabidopsis thaliana lineage | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
There has been much excitement about the possibility that exposure to specific environments can induce an ecological memory in the form of whole-sale, genome-wide epigenetic changes that are maintained over many generations. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, numerous heritable DNA methylation differences have been identified in greenhouse-grown isogenic lines, but it remains unknown how natural, highly variable environments affect the rate and spectrum of such changes. Here we present detailed methylome analyses in a geographically dispersed A. thaliana population that constitutes a collection of near-isogenic lines, diverged for at least a century from a common ancestor. We observed little DNA methylation divergence whole-genome wide. Nonetheless, methylome variation largely reflected genetic distance, and was in many aspects similar to that of lines raised in uniform conditions. Thus, even when plants are grown in varying and diverse natural sites, genome-wide epigenetic variation accumulates in a clock-like manner, and epigenetic divergence thus parallels the pattern of genome-wide DNA sequence divergence.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

There has been much excitement about the possibility that exposure to specific environments can induce an ecological memory in the form of whole-sale, genome-wide epigenetic changes that are maintained over many generations. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, numerous heritable DNA methylation differences have been identified in greenhouse-grown isogenic lines, but it remains unknown how natural, highly variable environments affect the rate and spectrum of such changes. Here we present detailed methylome analyses in a geographically dispersed A. thaliana population that constitutes a collection of near-isogenic lines, diverged for at least a century from a common ancestor. We observed little DNA methylation divergence whole-genome wide. Nonetheless, methylome variation largely reflected genetic distance, and was in many aspects similar to that of lines raised in uniform conditions. Thus, even when plants are grown in varying and diverse natural sites, genome-wide epigenetic variation accumulates in a clock-like manner, and epigenetic divergence thus parallels the pattern of genome-wide DNA sequence divergence.

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Interact to Survive: Phyllobacterium brassicacearum Improves Arabidopsis Tolerance to Severe Water Deficit and Growth Recovery

Interact to Survive: Phyllobacterium brassicacearum Improves Arabidopsis Tolerance to Severe Water Deficit and Growth Recovery | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it

Mutualistic bacteria can alter plant phenotypes and confer new abilities to plants. Some plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are known to improve both plant growth and tolerance to multiple stresses, including drought, but reports on their effects on plant survival under severe water deficits are scarce. We investigated the effect of Phyllobacterium brassicacearum STM196 strain, a PGPR isolated from the rhizosphere of oilseed rape, on survival, growth and physiological responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to severe water deficits combining destructive and non-destructive high-throughput phenotyping. Soil inoculation with STM196 greatly increased the survival rate of A. thaliana under several scenarios of severe water deficit. Photosystem II efficiency, assessed at the whole-plant level by high-throughput fluorescence imaging (Fv/Fm), was related to the probability of survival and revealed that STM196 delayed plant mortality. Inoculated surviving plants tolerated more damages to the photosynthetic tissues through a delayed dehydration and a better tolerance to low water status. Importantly, STM196 allowed a better recovery of plant growth after rewatering and stressed plants reached a similar biomass at flowering than non-stressed plants. Our results highlight the importance of plant-bacteria interactions in plant responses to severe drought and provide a new avenue of investigations to improve drought tolerance in agriculture.


Via Christophe Jacquet
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Functional analysis of the Landsberg erecta allele FRIGIDA

Most of the natural variation in flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana can be attributed to allelic variation at the gene FRIGIDA (FRI, AT4G00650), which activates expression of the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC, AT5G10140). Usually, late-flowering accessions carry functional FRI alleles (FRI-wt), whereas early flowering accessions contain non-functional alleles. The two most frequent alleles found in early flowering accessions are the ones present in the commonly used lab strains Columbia (FRI-Col) and Landsberg erecta (FRI-Ler), which contain a premature stop codon and a deletion of the start codon respectively.
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AbstractBackground

Most of the natural variation in flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana can be attributed to allelic variation at the gene FRIGIDA (FRI, AT4G00650), which activates expression of the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC, AT5G10140). Usually, late-flowering accessions carry functional FRI alleles (FRI-wt), whereas early flowering accessions contain non-functional alleles. The two most frequent alleles found in early flowering accessions are the ones present in the commonly used lab strains Columbia (FRI-Col) and Landsberg erecta (FRI-Ler), which contain a premature stop codon and a deletion of the start codon respectively.

Results

Analysis of flowering time data from various Arabidopsis natural accessions indicated that the FRI-Ler allele retains some functionality. We generated transgenic lines carrying the FRI-Col or FRI-Ler allele in order to compare their effect on flowering time, vernalization response and FLC expression in the same genetic background. We characterize their modes of regulation through allele-specific expression and their relevance in nature through re-analysis of published datasets. We demonstrate that the FRI-Ler allele induces FLC expression, delays flowering time and confers sensitivity to vernalization in contrast to the true null FRI-Col allele. Nevertheless, the FRI-Ler allele revealed a weaker effect when compared to the fully functional FRI-wt allele, mainly due to reduced expression.

Conclusions

The present study defines for the first time the existence of a new class of Arabidopsis accessions with an intermediate phenotype between slow and rapid cycling types. Although using available data from a common garden experiment we cannot observe fitness differences between accessions carrying the FRI-Ler or the FRI-Col allele, the phenotypic changes observed in the lab suggest that variation in these alleles could play a role in adaptation to specific natural environments.

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Integration of growth and patterning during vascular tissue formation in Arabidopsis

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Coordination of cell division and pattern formation is central to tissue and organ development, particularly in plants where walls prevent cell migration. Auxin and cytokinin are both critical for division and patterning, but it is unknown how these hormones converge upon tissue development. We identify a genetic network that reinforces an early embryonic bias in auxin distribution to create a local, nonresponding cytokinin source within the root vascular tissue. Experimental and theoretical evidence shows that these cells act as a tissue organizer by positioning the domain of oriented cell divisions. We further demonstrate that the auxin-cytokinin interaction acts as a spatial incoherent feed-forward loop, which is essential to generate distinct hormonal response zones, thus establishing a stable pattern within a growing vascular tissue.

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Development of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) on pollen from Bt-transgenic and conventional maize

Development of Chrysoperla carnea (Stephens) (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) on pollen from Bt-transgenic and conventional maize | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Maize (Zea mays) pollen is highly nutritious and can be used by predatory arthropods to supplement or replace a carnivorous diet. We demonstrate that maize pollen can be utilized by larvae of the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) under laboratory conditions. Complete development on maize pollen was not possible, but 25% of neonates reached the third instar. When only one instar was fed with pollen and the other two instars with eggs of Ephestia kuehniella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), 58-87% of the larvae reached the pupal stage. The experiments included pollen produced by nine cultivars: three genetically modified (GM) cultivars expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis proteins Cry1Ab or Cry3Bb1, their corresponding non-transformed near-isolines, and three conventional cultivars. Maize cultivars were grown in two batches in a glasshouse. Their pollen differed by up to 59% in total protein content, 25% in C:N ratio, and 14% in grain diameter, but the differences were inconsistent and depended on the batch. Lacewing performance was not affected by maize cultivar. For environmental risk assessment of GM plants, in planta studies must consider the variability among conventional cultivars, individual plants, batches, and environmental conditions when evaluating the ecological significance of differences observed between GM and near-isolines.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Maize (Zea mays) pollen is highly nutritious and can be used by predatory arthropods to supplement or replace a carnivorous diet. We demonstrate that maize pollen can be utilized by larvae of the green lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) under laboratory conditions. Complete development on maize pollen was not possible, but 25% of neonates reached the third instar. When only one instar was fed with pollen and the other two instars with eggs of Ephestia kuehniella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), 58–87% of the larvae reached the pupal stage. The experiments included pollen produced by nine cultivars: three genetically modified (GM) cultivars expressing the Bacillus thuringiensis proteins Cry1Ab or Cry3Bb1, their corresponding non-transformed near-isolines, and three conventional cultivars. Maize cultivars were grown in two batches in a glasshouse. Their pollen differed by up to 59% in total protein content, 25% in C:N ratio, and 14% in grain diameter, but the differences were inconsistent and depended on the batch. Lacewing performance was not affected by maize cultivar. For environmental risk assessment of GM plants, in planta studies must consider the variability among conventional cultivars, individual plants, batches, and environmental conditions when evaluating the ecological significance of differences observed between GM and near-isolines.

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Map-based Cloning and Characterization of a Brown Planthopper Resistance Gene BPH26 from Oryza sativa L. ssp. indica Cultivar ADR52

Map-based Cloning and Characterization of a Brown Planthopper Resistance Gene BPH26 from Oryza sativa L. ssp. indica Cultivar ADR52 | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
The brown planthopper (BPH) is the most serious insect pest of rice in Asia. The indica rice cultivar ADR52 carries two BPH resistance genes, BPH26 (BROWN PLANTHOPPER RESISTANCE 26) and BPH25. Map-based cloning of BPH26 revealed that BPH26 encodes a coiled-coil-nucleotide-binding-site-leucine-rich repeat (CC-NBS-LRR) protein. BPH26 mediated sucking inhibition in the phloem sieve element. BPH26 was identical to BPH2 on the basis of DNA sequence analysis and feeding ability of the BPH2-virulent biotype of BPH. BPH2 was widely incorporated in elite rice cultivars and was well-cultivated in many Asian countries as a favorable gene resource in rice breeding against BPH. However, BPH2 was rendered ineffective by a virulent biotype of BPH in rice fields in Asia. In this study, we suggest that BPH2 can be reused by combining with other BPH resistance genes, such as BPH25, to ensure durable resistance to BPH.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

The brown planthopper (BPH) is the most serious insect pest of rice in Asia. The indica rice cultivar ADR52 carries two BPH resistance genes, BPH26 (BROWN PLANTHOPPER RESISTANCE 26) and BPH25. Map-based cloning of BPH26 revealed that BPH26 encodes a coiled-coil-nucleotide-binding-site–leucine-rich repeat (CC–NBS–LRR) protein. BPH26 mediated sucking inhibition in the phloem sieve element. BPH26 was identical to BPH2 on the basis of DNA sequence analysis and feeding ability of the BPH2-virulent biotype of BPH. BPH2 was widely incorporated in elite rice cultivars and was well-cultivated in many Asian countries as a favorable gene resource in rice breeding against BPH. However, BPH2 was rendered ineffective by a virulent biotype of BPH in rice fields in Asia. In this study, we suggest that BPH2 can be reused by combining with other BPH resistance genes, such as BPH25, to ensure durable resistance to BPH.

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Genome-wide transcriptome and functional analysis of two contrasting genotypes reveals key genes for cadmium tolerance in barley

Cadmium (Cd) is a severe detrimental environmental pollutant. To adapt to Cd-induced deleterious effects, plants have evolved sophisticated defence mechanisms. In this study, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis was performed to identify the mechanisms of Cd tolerance using two barley genotypes with distinct Cd tolerance.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Cadmium (Cd) is a severe detrimental environmental pollutant. To adapt to Cd-induced deleterious effects, plants have evolved sophisticated defence mechanisms. In this study, a genome-wide transcriptome analysis was performed to identify the mechanisms of Cd tolerance using two barley genotypes with distinct Cd tolerance.

Results

Microarray expression profiling revealed that 91 genes were up-regulated by Cd in Cd-tolerant genotype Weisuobuzhi and simultaneously down-regulated or non-changed in Cd-sensitive Dong17, and 692 genes showed no change in Weisuobuzhi but down-regulated in Dong17. Novel genes that may play significant roles in Cd tolerance were mainly via generating protectants such as catalase against reactive oxygen species, Cd compartmentalization (e.g. phytochelatin-synthase and vacuolar ATPase), and defence response and DNA replication (e.g. chitinase and histones). Other 156 up-regulated genes in both genotypes also included those encoding proteins related to stress and defence responses, and metabolism-related genes involved in detoxification pathways. Meanwhile, biochemical and physiological analysis of enzyme (ATPase and chitinase), phytohormone (ethylene), ion distribution and transport (Cd, Na+, K+, Ca2+, ABC transporter) demonstrated that significantly larger Cd-induced increases of those components in Weisuobuzhi than those in Dong17. In addition, Cd-induced DNA damage was more pronounced in Dong17 than that in Weisuobuzhi.

Conclusions

Our findings suggest that combining microarray, physiological and biochemical analysis has provided valuable insights towards a novel integrated molecular mechanism of Cd tolerance in barley. The higher expression genes in Cd tolerant genotype could be used for transgenic overexpression in sensitive genotypes of barley or other cereal crops for elevating tolerance to Cd stress.

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DNA Topoisomerase 1α Promotes Transcriptional Silencing of Transposable Elements through DNA Methylation and Histone Lysine 9 Dimethylation in Arabidopsis

DNA Topoisomerase 1α Promotes Transcriptional Silencing of Transposable Elements through DNA Methylation and Histone Lysine 9 Dimethylation in Arabidopsis | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
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Abstract

RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM) and histone H3 lysine 9 dimethylation (H3K9me2) are related transcriptional silencing mechanisms that target transposable elements (TEs) and repeats to maintain genome stability in plants. RdDM is mediated by small and long noncoding RNAs produced by the plant-specific RNA polymerases Pol IV and Pol V, respectively. Through a chemical genetics screen with a luciferase-based DNA methylation reporter, LUCL, we found that camptothecin, a compound with anti-cancer properties that targets DNA topoisomerase 1α (TOP1α) was able to de-repress LUCL by reducing its DNA methylation and H3K9me2 levels. Further studies with Arabidopsis top1α mutants showed that TOP1α silences endogenous RdDM loci by facilitating the production of Pol V-dependent long non-coding RNAs, AGONAUTE4 recruitment and H3K9me2 deposition at TEs and repeats. This study assigned a new role in epigenetic silencing to an enzyme that affects DNA topology.

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Arabidopsis LIP5, a Positive Regulator of Multivesicular Body Biogenesis, Is a Critical Target of Pathogen-Responsive MAPK Cascade in Plant Basal Defense

Arabidopsis LIP5, a Positive Regulator of Multivesicular Body Biogenesis, Is a Critical Target of Pathogen-Responsive MAPK Cascade in Plant Basal Defense | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
From molecules to physiology
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Abstract

Multivesicular bodies (MVBs) play essential roles in many cellular processes. The MVB pathway requires reversible membrane association of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transports (ESCRTs) for sustained protein trafficking. Membrane dissociation of ESCRTs is catalyzed by the AAA ATPase SKD1, which is stimulated by LYST-INTERACTING PROTEIN 5 (LIP5). We report here that LIP5 is a target of pathogen-responsive mitogen-activated protein kinases (MPKs) and plays a critical role in plant basal resistance. Arabidopsis LIP5 interacts with MPK6 and MPK3 and is phosphorylated in vitro by activated MPK3 and MPK6 and in vivo upon expression of MPK3/6-activating NtMEK2DD and pathogen infection. Disruption of LIP5 has little effects on flg22-, salicylic acid-induced defense responses but compromises basal resistance to Pseudomonas syringae. The critical role of LIP5 in plant basal resistance is dependent on its ability to interact with SKD1. Mutation of MPK phosphorylation sites in LIP5 does not affect interaction with SKD1 but reduces the stability and compromises the ability to complement the lip5 mutant phenotypes. Using the membrane-selective FM1–43 dye and transmission electron microscopy, we demonstrated that pathogen infection increases formation of both intracellular MVBs and exosome-like paramural vesicles situated between the plasma membrane and the cell wall in a largely LIP5-dependent manner. These results indicate that the MVB pathway is positively regulated by pathogen-responsive MPK3/6 through LIP5 phosphorylation and plays a critical role in plant immune system likely through relocalization of defense-related molecules.

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Holobiont–Holobiont Interactions: Redefining Host–Parasite Interactions

Holobiont–Holobiont Interactions: Redefining Host–Parasite Interactions | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
From molecules to physiology
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

The term holobiont (Greek, from holos, whole; bios, life; -ont, to be; whole unit of life) describes a long-term physical association between different living organisms [1]. Theoretically, this definition encompasses all symbiotic associations (along the mutualism–parasitism continuum) spanning all taxa. However, in most cases, the term holobiont is restricted to the host and its associated mutualistic symbionts. The hologenome theory of evolution considers that the holobiont is the unit under natural selection in evolution [2], [3]. I argue that this opens new perspectives on the study of host–parasite interactions. Evidence suggests that all of the diverse microorganisms associated with the host and parasite play a part in the coevolution. This new paradigm has the potential to impact our comprehension of the development and evolution of disease.

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Activation of the Arabidopsis thaliana Immune System by Combinations of Common ACD6 Alleles

Activation of the Arabidopsis thaliana Immune System by Combinations of Common ACD6 Alleles | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Abstract

A fundamental question in biology is how multicellular organisms distinguish self and non-self. The ability to make this distinction allows animals and plants to detect and respond to pathogens without triggering immune reactions directed against their own cells. In plants, inappropriate self-recognition results in the autonomous activation of the immune system, causing affected individuals to grow less well. These plants also suffer from spontaneous cell death, but are at the same time more resistant to pathogens. Known causes for such autonomous activation of the immune system are hyperactive alleles of immune regulators, or epistatic interactions between immune regulators and unlinked genes. We have discovered a third class, in which the Arabidopsis thaliana immune system is activated by interactions between natural alleles at a single locus, ACCELERATED CELL DEATH 6 (ACD6). There are two main types of these interacting alleles, one of which has evolved recently by partial resurrection of a pseudogene, and each type includes multiple functional variants. Most previously studies hybrid necrosis cases involve rare alleles found in geographically unrelated populations. These two types of ACD6 alleles instead occur at low frequency throughout the range of the species, and have risen to high frequency in the Northeast of Spain, suggesting a role in local adaptation. In addition, such hybrids occur in these populations in the wild. The extensive functional variation among ACD6 alleles points to a central role of this locus in fine-tuning pathogen defenses in natural populations.

PLOS Genetics is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract

A fundamental question in biology is how multicellular organisms distinguish self and non-self. The ability to make this distinction allows animals and plants to detect and respond to pathogens without triggering immune reactions directed against their own cells. In plants, inappropriate self-recognition results in the autonomous activation of the immune system, causing affected individuals to grow less well. These plants also suffer from spontaneous cell death, but are at the same time more resistant to pathogens. Known causes for such autonomous activation of the immune system are hyperactive alleles of immune regulators, or epistatic interactions between immune regulators and unlinked genes. We have discovered a third class, in which the Arabidopsis thaliana immune system is activated by interactions between natural alleles at a single locus, ACCELERATED CELL DEATH 6 (ACD6). There are two main types of these interacting alleles, one of which has evolved recently by partial resurrection of a pseudogene, and each type includes multiple functional variants. Most previously studies hybrid necrosis cases involve rare alleles found in geographically unrelated populations. These two types of ACD6 alleles instead occur at low frequency throughout the range of the species, and have risen to high frequency in the Northeast of Spain, suggesting a role in local adaptation. In addition, such hybrids occur in these populations in the wild. The extensive functional variation among ACD6 alleles points to a central role of this locus in fine-tuning pathogen defenses in natural populations.

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DNA demethylases target promoter transposable elements to positively regulate stress responsive genes in Arabidopsis

DNA demethylases regulate DNA methylation levels in eukaryotes. Arabidopsis encodes four DNA demethylases, DEMETER (DME), REPRESSOR OF SILENCING 1 (ROS1), DEMETER-LIKE 2 (DML2) and DML3. While DME is involved in maternal specific gene expression during seed development, the biological function of the remaining DNA demethylases remains unclear.
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Abstract (provisional)

BackgroundDNA demethylases regulate DNA methylation levels in eukaryotes. Arabidopsis encodes four DNA demethylases, DEMETER (DME), REPRESSOR OF SILENCING 1 (ROS1), DEMETER-LIKE 2 (DML2) and DML3. While DME is involved in maternal specific gene expression during seed development, the biological function of the remaining DNA demethylases remains unclear.ResultsWe show that ROS1, DML2 and DML3 play a role in fungal disease resistance in Arabidopsis. A triple DNA demethylase mutant, rdd (ros1 dml2 dml3), shows increased susceptibility to the fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum. We identify 348 genes differentially expressed in rdd relative to wild type, and a significant proportion of these genes are down-regulated in rdd and have functions in stress response, suggesting that DNA demethylases maintain or positively regulate the expression of stress response genes required for F. oxysporum resistance. The rdd-downregulated stress response genes are enriched for short transposable element sequences in their promoters. Many of these transposable elements and their surrounding sequences show localized DNA methylation changes in rdd, and a general reduction in CHH methylation, suggesting that RNA-directed DNA methylation (RdDM), responsible for CHH methylation, may participate in DNA demethylase-mediated regulation of stress response genes. Many of the rdd-downregulated stress response genes are downregulated in the RdDM mutants nrpd1 and nrpe1, and the RdDM mutants nrpe1 and ago4 show enhanced susceptibility to F. oxysporum infection.ConclusionsOur results suggest that a primary function of DNA demethylases in plants is to regulate the expression of stress response genes by targeting promoter transposable element sequences.

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Machine learning for Big Data analytics in plants

Machine learning for Big Data analytics in plants | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
i 71210
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Rapid advances in high-throughput genomic technology have enabled biology to enter the era of ‘Big Data’ (large datasets). The plant science community not only needs to build its own Big-Data-compatible parallel computing and data management infrastructures, but also to seek novel analytical paradigms to extract information from the overwhelming amounts of data. Machine learning offers promising computational and analytical solutions for the integrative analysis of large, heterogeneous and unstructured datasets on the Big-Data scale, and is gradually gaining popularity in biology. This review introduces the basic concepts and procedures of machine-learning applications and envisages how machine learning could interface with Big Data technology to facilitate basic research and biotechnology in the plant sciences.

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Multi-gene silencing in Arabidopsis: a collection of artificial microRNAs targeting groups of paralogs encoding transcription factors

Multi-gene silencing in Arabidopsis: a collection of artificial microRNAs targeting groups of paralogs encoding transcription factors | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Functional redundancy often hampers the analysis of gene families. To overcome this difficulty, we constructed Arabidopsis thaliana lines that expressed artificial microRNAs designed to simultaneously target two to six paralogous genes encoding members of transcription factor families. Of the 576 genes that we chose as targets, only 122 had already been functionally studied at some level. As a simple indicator of the inhibitory effects of our amiRNAs on their targets, we examined the amiRNA-expressing transgenic lines for morphological phenotypes at the rosette stage. Of 338 transgenes tested, 21 caused a visible morphological phenotype in leaves, a proportion that is much higher than that expected as a result of insertional mutagenesis. Also, our collection probably represents many other mutant phenotypes, not just those in leaves. This robust, versatile method enables functional examination of redundant transcription factor paralogs, and is particularly useful for genes that occur in tandem.

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Variation in sulfur and selenium accumulation is controlled by naturally occurring isoforms of the key sulfur assimilation enzyme APR2 across the Arabidopsis thaliana species range

Abstract

Natural variation allows the investigation of both the fundamental functions of genes and their role in local adaptation. As one of the essential macronutrients, sulfur is vital for plant growth and development, and also for crop yield and quality. Selenium and sulfur are assimilated by the same process, and although plants do not require selenium, plant-based selenium is an important source of this essential element for animals. Here, we report the use of linkage mapping in synthetic F2 populations, and complementation to investigate the genetic architecture of variation in total leaf sulfur and selenium concentrations in a diverse set of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. We identify in accessions collected from Sweden and the Czech Republic two variants of the enzyme adenosine 5’-phosphosulfate reductase 2 (APR2) with strongly diminished catalytic capacity. APR2 is a key enzyme in both sulfate and selenate reduction and its reduced activity in the loss-of-function allele apr2-1 and the two A. thaliana accessions Hodonín (Hod) and Shahdara (Sha), leads to a lowering of sulfur flux from sulfate into the reduced sulfur compounds, cysteine and glutathione, and into proteins, concomitant with an increase in the accumulation of sulfate in leaves. We conclude from our observation, and the previously identified weak allele of APR2 from the Sha accession collected in Tadjikistan, that the catalytic capacity of APR2 varies by four orders of magnitude across the A. thaliana species range, driving significant differences in sulfur and selenium metabolism. The selective benefit, if any, of this large variation remains to be explored.


Via Pierre-Marc Delaux
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The RNA Helicases AtMTR4 and HEN2 Target Specific Subsets of Nuclear Transcripts for Degradation by the Nuclear Exosome in Arabidopsis thaliana

The RNA Helicases AtMTR4 and HEN2 Target Specific Subsets of Nuclear Transcripts for Degradation by the Nuclear Exosome in Arabidopsis thaliana | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access (Nice paper on the Arabidopsis exosome from Dominique Gagliardi's lab - new in #PLOSGenetics http://t.co/96ZAm5UpDT)...
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Plant single-cell and single-cell-type metabolomics

Plant single-cell and single-cell-type metabolomics | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

In conjunction with genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, plant metabolomics is providing large data sets that are paving the way towards a comprehensive and holistic understanding of plant growth, development, defense, and productivity. However, dilution effects from organ- and tissue-based sampling of metabolomes have limited our understanding of the intricate regulation of metabolic pathways and networks at the cellular level. Recent advances in metabolomics methodologies, along with the post-genomic expansion of bioinformatics knowledge and functional genomics tools, have allowed the gathering of enriched information on individual cells and single cell types. Here we review progress, current status, opportunities, and challenges presented by single cell-based metabolomics research in plants.

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Effects of cold plasma treatment on seed germination and seedling growth of soybean

Effects of cold plasma treatment on seed germination and seedling growth of soybean | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Effects of cold plasma treatment on soybean (Glycine max L. Merr cv. Zhongdou 40) seed germination and seedling growth were studied. Seeds were pre-treated with 0, 60, 80, 100 and 120[emsp14]W of cold plasma for 15[emsp14]s. Results showed that plasma treatments had positive effects on seed germination and seedling growth, and treatment of 80[emsp14]W had the highest stimulatory effect. Germination and vigor indices significantly increased by 14.66% and 63.33%, respectively. Seed's water uptake improved by 14.03%, and apparent contact angle decreased by 26.19%. Characteristics of seedling growth, including shoot length, shoot dry weight, root length and root dry weight, significantly increased by 13.77%, 21.95%, 21.42% and 27.51%, respectively, compared with control. The seed reserve utilization, including weight of the mobilized seed reserve, seed reserve depletion percentage and seed reserve utilization efficiency significantly improved by cold plasma treatment. In addition, soluble sugar and protein contents were 16.51% and 25.08% higher than those of the control. Compared to a 21.95% increase in shoot weight, the root weight increased by 27.51% after treatment, indicating that plasma treatment had a greater stimulatory effect on plant roots. These results indicated that cold plasma treatment might promote the growth even yield of soybean.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Effects of cold plasma treatment on soybean (Glycine max L. Merr cv. Zhongdou 40) seed germination and seedling growth were studied. Seeds were pre-treated with 0, 60, 80, 100 and 120 W of cold plasma for 15 s. Results showed that plasma treatments had positive effects on seed germination and seedling growth, and treatment of 80 W had the highest stimulatory effect. Germination and vigor indices significantly increased by 14.66% and 63.33%, respectively. Seed's water uptake improved by 14.03%, and apparent contact angle decreased by 26.19%. Characteristics of seedling growth, including shoot length, shoot dry weight, root length and root dry weight, significantly increased by 13.77%, 21.95%, 21.42% and 27.51%, respectively, compared with control. The seed reserve utilization, including weight of the mobilized seed reserve, seed reserve depletion percentage and seed reserve utilization efficiency significantly improved by cold plasma treatment. In addition, soluble sugar and protein contents were 16.51% and 25.08% higher than those of the control. Compared to a 21.95% increase in shoot weight, the root weight increased by 27.51% after treatment, indicating that plasma treatment had a greater stimulatory effect on plant roots. These results indicated that cold plasma treatment might promote the growth even yield of soybean.

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Transcriptome analysis of Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae cultivated in vivo and co-culture with Burkholderia seminalis

Transcriptome analysis of Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae cultivated in vivo and co-culture with Burkholderia seminalis | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
Response of bacterial pathogen to environmental bacteria and its host is critical for understanding of microbial adaption and pathogenesis. Here, we used RNA-Seq to comprehensively and quantitatively assess the transcriptional response of Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae strain RS-1 cultivated in vitro, in vivo and in co-culture with rice rhizobacterium Burkholderia seminalis R456. Results revealed a slight response to other bacteria, but a strong response to host. In particular, a large number of virulence associated genes encoding Type I to VI secretion systems, 118 putative non-coding RNAs, and 7 genomic islands (GIs) were differentially expressed in vivo based on comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses. Furthermore, the loss of virulence for knockout mutants of 11 differentially expressed T6SS genes emphasized the importance of these genes in bacterial pathogenicity. In addition, the reliability of expression data obtained by RNA-Seq was supported by quantitative real-time PCR of the 25 selected T6SS genes. Overall, this study highlighted the role of differentially expressed genes in elucidating bacterial pathogenesis based on combined analysis of RNA-Seq data and knockout of T6SS genes.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Response of bacterial pathogen to environmental bacteria and its host is critical for understanding of microbial adaption and pathogenesis. Here, we used RNA-Seq to comprehensively and quantitatively assess the transcriptional response of Acidovorax avenae subsp. avenae strain RS-1 cultivated in vitro, in vivo and in co-culture with rice rhizobacterium Burkholderia seminalis R456. Results revealed a slight response to other bacteria, but a strong response to host. In particular, a large number of virulence associated genes encoding Type I to VI secretion systems, 118 putative non-coding RNAs, and 7 genomic islands (GIs) were differentially expressed in vivo based on comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses. Furthermore, the loss of virulence for knockout mutants of 11 differentially expressed T6SS genes emphasized the importance of these genes in bacterial pathogenicity. In addition, the reliability of expression data obtained by RNA-Seq was supported by quantitative real-time PCR of the 25 selected T6SS genes. Overall, this study highlighted the role of differentially expressed genes in elucidating bacterial pathogenesis based on combined analysis of RNA-Seq data and knockout of T6SS genes.

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Functional innovations of three chronological mesohexaploid Brassica rapa genomes

The Brassicaceae family is an exemplary model for studying plant polyploidy. The Brassicaceae knowledge-base includes the well-annotated Arabidopsis thaliana reference sequence; well-established evidence for three rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD); and the conservation of genomic structure, with 24 conserved genomic blocks (GBs). The recently released Brassica rapa draft genome provides an ideal opportunity to update our knowledge of the conserved genomic structures in Brassica, and to study evolutionary innovations of the mesohexaploid plant, B. rapa.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

The Brassicaceae family is an exemplary model for studying plant polyploidy. The Brassicaceae knowledge-base includes the well-annotated Arabidopsis thaliana reference sequence; well-established evidence for three rounds of whole genome duplication (WGD); and the conservation of genomic structure, with 24 conserved genomic blocks (GBs). The recently released Brassica rapa draft genome provides an ideal opportunity to update our knowledge of the conserved genomic structures in Brassica, and to study evolutionary innovations of the mesohexaploid plant, B. rapa.

Results

Three chronological B. rapa genomes (recent, young, and old) were reconstructed with sequence divergences, revealing a trace of recursive WGD events. A total of 636 fast evolving genes were unevenly distributed throughout the recent and young genomes. The representative Gene Ontology (GO) terms for these genes were 'stress response' and 'development' both through a change in protein modification or signaling, rather than by enhancing signal recognition. In retention patterns analysis, 98% of B. rapa genes were retained as collinear gene pairs; 77% of those were singly-retained in recent or young genomes resulting from death of the ancestral copies, while others were multi-retained as long retention genes. GO enrichments indicated that single retention genes mainly function in the interpretation of genetic information, whereas, multi-retention genes were biased toward signal response, especially regarding development and defense. In the recent genome, 13,302, 5,790, and 20 gene pairs were multi-retained following Brassica whole genome triplication (WGT) events with 2, 3, and 4 homoeologous copies, respectively. Enriched GO-slim terms from B. rapa homomoelogues imply that a major effect of the B. rapa WGT may have been to acquire environmental adaptability or to change the course of development. These homoeologues seem to more frequently undergo subfunctionalization with spatial expression patterns compared with other possible events including nonfunctionalization and neofunctionalization.

Conclusion

We refined Brassicaceae GB information using the latest genomic resources, and distinguished three chronologically ordered B. rapa genomes. B. rapa genes were categorized into fast evolving, single- and multi-retention genes, and long retention genes by their substitution rates and retention patterns. Representative functions of the categorized genes were elucidated, providing better understanding of B. rapa evolution and the Brassica genus.

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An Immunity-Triggering Effector from the Barley Smut Fungus Ustilago hordei Resides in an Ustilaginaceae-Specific Cluster Bearing Signs of Transposable Element-Assisted Evolution

An Immunity-Triggering Effector from the Barley Smut Fungus Ustilago hordei Resides in an Ustilaginaceae-Specific Cluster Bearing Signs of Transposable Element-Assisted Evolution | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
From molecules to physiology
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract

The basidiomycete smut fungus Ustilago hordei was previously shown to comprise isolates that are avirulent on various barley host cultivars. Through genetic crosses we had revealed that a dominant avirulence locus UhAvr1 which triggers immunity in barley cultivar Hannchen harboring resistance gene Ruh1, resided within an 80-kb region. DNA sequence analysis of this genetically delimited region uncovered the presence of 7 candidate secreted effector proteins. Sequence comparison of their coding sequences among virulent and avirulent parental and field isolates could not distinguish UhAvr1 candidates. Systematic deletion and complementation analyses revealed that UhAvr1 is UHOR_10022 which codes for a small effector protein of 171 amino acids with a predicted 19 amino acid signal peptide. Virulence in the parental isolate is caused by the insertion of a fragment of 5.5 kb with similarity to a common U. hordei transposable element (TE), interrupting the promoter of UhAvr1 and thereby changing expression and hence recognition of UhAVR1p. This rearrangement is likely caused by activities of TEs and variation is seen among isolates. Using GFP-chimeric constructs we show that UhAvr1 is induced only in mated dikaryotic hyphae upon sensing and infecting barley coleoptile cells. When infecting Hannchen, UhAVR1p causes local callose deposition and the production of reactive oxygen species and necrosis indicative of the immune response. UhAvr1 does not contribute significantly to overall virulence. UhAvr1 is located in a cluster of ten effectors with several paralogs and over 50% of TEs. This cluster is syntenous with clusters in closely-related U. maydis and Sporisorium reilianum. In these corn-infecting species, these clusters harbor however more and further diversified homologous effector families but very few TEs. This increased variability may have resulted from past selection pressure by resistance genes since U. maydis is not known to trigger immunity in its corn host.

 
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Biophysical Fitness Landscapes for Transcription Factor Binding Sites

Biophysical Fitness Landscapes for Transcription Factor Binding Sites | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
PLOS Computational Biology is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract

Phenotypic states and evolutionary trajectories available to cell populations are ultimately dictated by complex interactions among DNA, RNA, proteins, and other molecular species. Here we study how evolution of gene regulation in a single-cell eukaryote S. cerevisiae is affected by interactions between transcription factors (TFs) and their cognate DNA sites. Our study is informed by a comprehensive collection of genomic binding sites and high-throughput in vitro measurements of TF-DNA binding interactions. Using an evolutionary model for monomorphic populations evolving on a fitness landscape, we infer fitness as a function of TF-DNA binding to show that the shape of the inferred fitness functions is in broad agreement with a simple functional form inspired by a thermodynamic model of two-state TF-DNA binding. However, the effective parameters of the model are not always consistent with physical values, indicating selection pressures beyond the biophysical constraints imposed by TF-DNA interactions. We find little statistical support for the fitness landscape in which each position in the binding site evolves independently, indicating that epistasis is common in the evolution of gene regulation. Finally, by correlating TF-DNA binding energies with biological properties of the sites or the genes they regulate, we are able to rule out several scenarios of site-specific selection, under which binding sites of the same TF would experience different selection pressures depending on their position in the genome. These findings support the existence of universal fitness landscapes which shape evolution of all sites for a given TF, and whose properties are determined in part by the physics of protein-DNA interactions.

 
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Illuminating Fungal Infections with Bioluminescence

Illuminating Fungal Infections with Bioluminescence | PlantBioInnovation | Scoop.it
From molecules to physiology
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
What Is Bioluminescence Imaging (BLI)?

BLI is a powerful biophotonic imaging technology that allows in vivo visualization of temporal and spatial progression of infections in living organisms. BLI relies on the detection of visible light arising from an enzymatic reaction of oxidation known as bioluminescence. Originally, bioluminescence referred to the light emission of living organisms (e.g., bacteria, fungi, fish, insects, algae, and squid), which results from the oxidation of organic substrates mediated by catalysts named luciferases (Figure 1A) [1]. This fascinating natural phenomenon has been thus diverted to create bioluminescent microorganisms that are currently used in BLI as bioreporters. BLI has the advantages of being highly sensitive with excellent signal-to-noise ratios, and being non-invasive and nontoxic for animals. Such an approach has been applied in the past two decades to study the fate of tumor cells in various therapeutic settings and of several infectious agents including bacteria, viruses, parasitic protozoa, and, more recently, opportunistic fungi [2].

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