Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts
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Comparative Analysis of Predicted Plastid-Targeted Proteomes of Sequenced Higher Plant Genomes

Comparative Analysis of Predicted Plastid-Targeted Proteomes of Sequenced Higher Plant Genomes | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it
Plastids are actively involved in numerous plant processes critical to growth, development and adaptation. They play a primary role in photosynthesis, pigment and monoterpene synthesis, gravity sensing, starch and fatty acid synthesis, as well as oil, and protein storage. We applied two complementary methods to analyze the recently published apple genome (Malus × domestica) to identify putative plastid-targeted proteins, the first using TargetP and the second using a custom workflow utilizing a set of predictive programs. Apple shares roughly 40% of its 10,492 putative plastid-targeted proteins with that of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plastid-targeted proteome as identified by the Chloroplast 2010 project and ∼57% of its entire proteome with Arabidopsis. This suggests that the plastid-targeted proteomes between apple and Arabidopsis are different, and interestingly alludes to the presence of differential targeting of homologs between the two species. Co-expression analysis of 2,224 genes encoding putative plastid-targeted apple proteins suggests that they play a role in plant developmental and intermediary metabolism. Further, an inter-specific comparison of Arabidopsis, Prunus persica (Peach), Malus × domestica (Apple), Populus trichocarpa (Black cottonwood), Fragaria vesca (Woodland Strawberry), Solanum lycopersicum (Tomato) and Vitis vinifera (Grapevine) also identified a large number of novel species-specific plastid-targeted proteins. This analysis also revealed the presence of alternatively targeted homologs across species. Two separate analyses revealed that a small subset of proteins, one representing 289 protein clusters and the other 737 unique protein sequences, are conserved between seven plastid-targeted angiosperm proteomes. Majority of the novel proteins were annotated to play roles in stress response, transport, catabolic processes, and cellular component organization. Our results suggest that the current state of knowledge regarding plastid biology, preferentially based on model systems is deficient. New plant genomes are expected to enable the identification of potentially new plastid-targeted proteins that will aid in studying novel roles of plastids.
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GroEL/ES Chaperonin Modulates the Mechanism and Accelerates the Rate of TIM-Barrel Domain Folding: Cell

GroEL/ES Chaperonin Modulates the Mechanism and Accelerates the Rate of TIM-Barrel Domain Folding: Cell | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

The GroEL/ES chaperonin system functions as a protein folding cage. Many obligate substrates of GroEL share the (βα)8 TIM-barrel fold, but how the chaperonin promotes folding of these proteins is not known. Here, we analyzed the folding of DapA at peptide resolution using hydrogen/deuterium exchange and mass spectrometry. During spontaneous folding, all elements of the DapA TIM barrel acquire structure simultaneously in a process associated with a long search time. In contrast, GroEL/ES accelerates folding more than 30-fold by catalyzing segmental structure formation in the TIM barrel. Segmental structure formation is also observed during the fast spontaneous folding of a structural homolog of DapA from a bacterium that lacks GroEL/ES. Thus, chaperonin independence correlates with folding properties otherwise enforced by protein confinement in the GroEL/ES cage. We suggest that folding catalysis by GroEL/ES is required by a set of proteins to reach native state at a biologically relevant timescale, avoiding aggregation or degradation.

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Asian Citrus Psyllid makes push into San Luis Obispo County

Asian Citrus Psyllid makes push into San Luis Obispo County | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it
California’s citrus orchards are threatened by an invasive pest that has the potential to spread an industry damaging disease throughout the state, (Asian Citrus Psyllid makes push into #SLO County http://t.co/iKPwox35yI)...
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PNAS: Host plant peptides elicit a transcriptional response to control the Sinorhizobium meliloti cell cycle during symbiosis (2014)

PNAS: Host plant peptides elicit a transcriptional response to control the Sinorhizobium meliloti cell cycle during symbiosis (2014) | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

The α-proteobacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti establishes a chronic intracellular infection during the symbiosis with its legume hosts. Within specialized host cells, S. meliloti differentiates into highly polyploid, enlarged nitrogen-fixing bacteroids. This differentiation is driven by host cells through the production of defensin-like peptides called “nodule-specific cysteine-rich” (NCR) peptides. Recent research has shown that synthesized NCR peptides exhibit antimicrobial activity at high concentrations but cause bacterial endoreduplication at sublethal concentrations. We leveraged synchronized S. meliloti populations to determine how treatment with a sublethal NCR peptide affects the cell cycle and physiology of bacteria at the molecular level. We found that at sublethal levels a representative NCR peptide specifically blocks cell division and antagonizes Z-ring function. Gene-expression profiling revealed that the cell division block was produced, in part, through the substantial transcriptional response elicited by sublethal NCR treatment that affected ∼15% of the genome. Expression of critical cell-cycle regulators, including ctrA, and cell division genes, including genes required for Z-ring function, were greatly attenuated in NCR-treated cells. In addition, our experiments identified important symbiosis functions and stress responses that are induced by sublethal levels of NCR peptides and other antimicrobial peptides. Several of these stress-response pathways also are found in related α-proteobacterial pathogens and might be used by S. meliloti to sense host cues during infection. Our data suggest a model in which, in addition to provoking stress responses, NCR peptides target intracellular regulatory pathways to drive S. meliloti endoreduplication and differentiation during symbiosis.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Allying with armored snails: the complete genome of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont

Allying with armored snails: the complete genome of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

Deep-sea vents harbor dense populations of various animals that have their specific symbiotic bacteria. Scaly-foot gastropods, which are snails with mineralized scales covering the sides of its foot, have a gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont in their enlarged esophageal glands and diverse epibionts on the surface of their scales. In this study, we report the complete genome sequencing of gammaproteobacterial endosymbiont. The endosymbiont genome displays features consistent with ongoing genome reduction such as large proportions of pseudogenes and insertion elements. The genome encodes functions commonly found in deep-sea vent chemoautotrophs such as sulfur oxidation and carbon fixation. Stable carbon isotope ((13)C)-labeling experiments confirmed the endosymbiont chemoautotrophy. The genome also includes an intact hydrogenase gene cluster that potentially has been horizontally transferred from phylogenetically distant bacteria. Notable findings include the presence and transcription of genes for flagellar assembly, through which proteins are potentially exported from bacterium to the host. Symbionts of snail individuals exhibited extreme genetic homogeneity, showing only two synonymous changes in 19 different genes (13 810 positions in total) determined for 32 individual gastropods collected from a single colony at one time. The extremely low genetic individuality in endosymbionts probably reflects that the stringent symbiont selection by host prevents the random genetic drift in the small population of horizontally transmitted symbiont. This study is the first complete genome analysis of gastropod endosymbiont and offers an opportunity to study genome evolution in a recently evolved endosymbiont.

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Aphids evolved novel secreted proteins for symbiosis with bacterial endosymbiont

Aphids evolved novel secreted proteins for symbiosis with bacterial endosymbiont | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

Aphids evolved novel cells, called bacteriocytes, that differentiate specifically to harbour the obligatory mutualistic endosymbiotic bacteria Buchnera aphidicola. The genome of the host aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum contains many orphan genes that display no similarity with genes found in other sequenced organisms, prompting us to hypothesize that some of these orphan genes are related to lineage-specific traits, such as symbiosis. We conducted deep sequencing of bacteriocytes mRNA followed by whole mountin situ hybridizations of over-represented transcripts encoding aphid-specific orphan proteins. We identified a novel class of genes that encode small proteins with signal peptides, which are often cysteine-rich, that are over-represented in bacteriocytes. These genes are first expressed at a developmental time point coincident with the incorporation of symbionts strictly in the cells that contribute to the bacteriocyte and this bacteriocyte-specific expression is maintained throughout the aphid's life. The expression pattern suggests that recently evolved secretion proteins act within bacteriocytes, perhaps to mediate the symbiosis with beneficial bacterial partners, which is reminiscent of the evolution of novel cysteine-rich secreted proteins of leguminous plants that regulate nitrogen-fixing endosymbionts.


Via Jean-Michel Ané
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Jean-Michel Ané's curator insight, January 22, 2014 8:56 AM

The similarities with the Medicago/Sinorhizobium symbiosis is striking indeed!

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Epichloë Endophytes Alter Inducible Indirect Defences in Host Grasses

Epichloë Endophytes Alter Inducible Indirect Defences in Host Grasses | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

Epichloë endophytes are common symbionts living asymptomatically in pooid grasses and may provide chemical defences against herbivorous insects. While the mechanisms underlying these fungal defences have been well studied, it remains unknown whether endophyte presence affects the host's own defences. We addressed this issue by examining variation in the impact of Epichloë on constitutive and herbivore-induced emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC), a well-known indirect plant defence, between two grass species, Schedonorus phoenix(ex. Festuca arundinacea; tall fescue) and Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue). We found that feeding by a generalist aphid species, Rhopalosiphum padi, induced VOC emissions by uninfected plants of both grass species but to varying extents, while mechanical wounding failed to do so in both species after one day of damage. Interestingly, regardless of damage treatment, Epichloë uncinata-infected F. pratensis emitted significantly lower quantities of VOCs than their uninfected counterparts. In contrast, Epichloë coenophiala-infected S. phoenixdid not differ from their uninfected counterparts in constitutive VOC emissions but tended to increase VOC emissions under intense aphid feeding. A multivariate analysis showed that endophyte status imposed stronger differences in VOC profiles of F. pratensis than damage treatment, while the reverse was true for S. phoenix. Additionally, both endophytes inhibited R. padi population growth as measured by aphid dry biomass, with the inhibition appearing greater in E. uncinata-infected F. pratensis. Our results suggest, not only that Epichloë endophytes may play important roles in mediating host VOC responses to herbivory, but also that the magnitude and direction of such responses may vary with the identity of the Epichloë–grass symbiosis. Whether Epichloë-mediated host VOC responses will eventually translate into effects on higher trophic levels merits future investigation.

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USDA expanding release of parasitic wasp to combat citrus disease

USDA expanding release of parasitic wasp to combat citrus disease | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it
The U.S Department of Agriculture on Tuesday said it would expand efforts to breed and release a tiny parasitic wasp in an attempt to contain the spread of a disease that has killed thousands of citrus trees in Florida and now is threatening California's $2-billion citrus industry.

Via Bradford Condon
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Evidence for a recent horizontal transmission and spatial spread of Wolbachia from endemic Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae) to invasive Rhagoletis cingulata in Europe

The widespread occurrence of Wolbachia in arthropods and nematodes suggests that this intracellular, maternally inherited endosymbiont has the ability to cross species boundaries. However, direct evidence for such a horizontal transmission of Wolbachia in nature is scarce. Here, we compare the well-characterized Wolbachia infection of the European cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cerasi, with that of the North American eastern cherry fruit fly, Rhagoletis cingulata, recently introduced to Europe. Molecular genetic analysis ofWolbachia based on multilocus sequence typing and the Wolbachia surface protein wsp showed that all R. cingulata individuals are infected with wCin2 identical to wCer2 in R. cerasi. In contrast, wCin1, a strain identical to wCer1 in R. cerasi, was present in several European populations of R. cingulata, but not in any individual from the United States. Surveys of R. cingulata from Germany and Hungary indicated that in some populations, the frequency of wCin1 increased significantly in just a few years with at least two independent horizontal transmission events. This is corroborated by the analysis of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II gene that showed association of wCin1 with two distinct haplotypes in Germany, one of which is also infected with wCin1 in Hungary. In summary, our study provides strong evidence for a very recent inter-specific Wolbachia transmission with a subsequent spatial spread in field populations.

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A review of the mechanisms and components that determine the transmission efficiency of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (Geminiviridae; Begomovirus) by its whitefly vector

A review of the mechanisms and components that determine the transmission efficiency of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (Geminiviridae; Begomovirus) by its whitefly vector | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

Begomoviruses are a group of icosahedral single stranded DNA viruses exclusively transmitted by the sweet potato whitefly Bemisia tabaci in a persistent, circulative manner. In this mode of transmission, begomoviruses are acquired by their insect vector as intact virions from the plant phloem, move along the food canal, foregut and esophagus and reach the midgut where they are absorbed into the hemolymph via the filter chamber. The filter chamber is the site where most of the ingested food is filtered, and the first site where the majority of begomoviruses appear to be translocated into the hemolymph via unknown proteins or receptors. Transport from the filter chamber to the hemolymph is aided by a Heat Shock Protein 70. Virus particles not translocated across the filter chamber circulate in the midgut loop but it is not known whether absorption into the hemolymph occurs along this loop. Localization studies have confirmed that begomoviruses are not associated with the hindgut and absorption of virions in this organ is unlikely. In the hemolymph, virions have been shown to interact with a GroEL chaperone produced by the whitefly's endosymbiontic bacteria for ensuring their safe journey to the salivary glands. Virions penetrate the primary salivary glands via unknown proteins or receptors and are transported and secreted outside the whitefly to the plant with salivary secretions. Several recent studies have demonstrated the implications of insect and endosymbiont proteins such as the heat shock protein 70 and the bacterial GroEL protein, in the transmission of begomoviruses by B. tabaci. Additional studies attempting to identify other proteins that aid or interact with begomoviruses along their circulation pathway in the whitefly are reviewed in this paper.

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PLOS Biology: Genome Sequence of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum

PLOS Biology: Genome Sequence of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum | Plants, Vectors, and Endosymbionts | Scoop.it

Abstract

Aphids are important agricultural pests and also biological models for studies of insect-plant interactions, symbiosis, virus vectoring, and the developmental causes of extreme phenotypic plasticity. Here we present the 464 Mb draft genome assembly of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum. This first published whole genome sequence of a basal hemimetabolous insect provides an outgroup to the multiple published genomes of holometabolous insects. Pea aphids are host-plant specialists, they can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and they have coevolved with an obligate bacterial symbiont. Here we highlight findings from whole genome analysis that may be related to these unusual biological features. These findings include discovery of extensive gene duplication in more than 2000 gene families as well as loss of evolutionarily conserved genes. Gene family expansions relative to other published genomes include genes involved in chromatin modification, miRNA synthesis, and sugar transport. Gene losses include genes central to the IMD immune pathway, selenoprotein utilization, purine salvage, and the entire urea cycle. The pea aphid genome reveals that only a limited number of genes have been acquired from bacteria; thus the reduced gene count ofBuchnera does not reflect gene transfer to the host genome. The inventory of metabolic genes in the pea aphid genome suggests that there is extensive metabolite exchange between the aphid and Buchnera, including sharing of amino acid biosynthesis between the aphid andBuchnera. The pea aphid genome provides a foundation for post-genomic studies of fundamental biological questions and applied agricultural problems.

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