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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (7)
Articles by Alisdair R. Fernie in JoVE
Annotation of Plant Gene Function via Combined Genomics, Metabolomics and Informatics
Takayuki Tohge, Alisdair R. Fernie
Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Max-Planck-Institut
Combination of genomics, co-expression gene analysis and the identification of target compounds via metabolism give gene functional annotation.
Other articles by Alisdair R. Fernie on PubMed
Two Arabidopsis Threonine Aldolases Are Nonredundant and Compete with Threonine Deaminase for a Common Substrate Pool
The Plant Cell. Dec, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17172352
Amino acids are not only fundamental protein constituents but also serve as precursors for many essential plant metabolites. Although amino acid biosynthetic pathways in plants have been identified, pathway regulation, catabolism, and downstream metabolite partitioning remain relatively uninvestigated. Conversion of Thr to Gly and acetaldehyde by Thr aldolase (EC 220.127.116.11) was only recently shown to play a role in plant amino acid metabolism. Whereas one Arabidopsis thaliana Thr aldolase (THA1) is expressed primarily in seeds and seedlings, the other (THA2) is expressed in vascular tissue throughout the plant. Metabolite profiling of tha1 mutants identified a >50-fold increase in the seed Thr content, a 50% decrease in seedling Gly content, and few other significant metabolic changes. By contrast, homozygous tha2 mutations cause a lethal albino phenotype. Rescue of tha2 mutants and tha1 tha2 double mutants by overproduction of feedback-insensitive Thr deaminase (OMR1) shows that Gly formation by THA1 and THA2 is not essential in Arabidopsis. Seed-specific expression of feedback-insensitive Thr deaminase in both tha1 and tha2 Thr aldolase mutants greatly increases seed Ile content, suggesting that these two Thr catabolic enzymes compete for a common substrate pool.
Integrated Analysis of Metabolite and Transcript Levels Reveals the Metabolic Shifts That Underlie Tomato Fruit Development and Highlight Regulatory Aspects of Metabolic Network Behavior
Plant Physiology. Dec, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 17071647
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a well-studied model of fleshy fruit development and ripening. Tomato fruit development is well understood from a hormonal-regulatory perspective, and developmental changes in pigment and cell wall metabolism are also well characterized. However, more general aspects of metabolic change during fruit development have not been studied despite the importance of metabolism in the context of final composition of the ripe fruit. In this study, we quantified the abundance of a broad range of metabolites by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, analyzed a number of the principal metabolic fluxes, and in parallel analyzed transcriptomic changes during tomato fruit development. Metabolic profiling revealed pronounced shifts in the abundance of metabolites of both primary and secondary metabolism during development. The metabolite changes were reflected in the flux analysis that revealed a general decrease in metabolic activity during ripening. However, there were several distinct patterns of metabolite profile, and statistical analysis demonstrated that metabolites in the same (or closely related) pathways changed in abundance in a coordinated manner, indicating a tight regulation of metabolic activity. The metabolite data alone allowed investigations of likely routes through the metabolic network, and, as an example, we analyze the operational feasibility of different pathways of ascorbate synthesis. When combined with the transcriptomic data, several aspects of the regulation of metabolism during fruit ripening were revealed. First, it was apparent that transcript abundance was less strictly coordinated by functional group than metabolite abundance, suggesting that posttranslational mechanisms dominate metabolic regulation. Nevertheless, there were some correlations between specific transcripts and metabolites, and several novel associations were identified that could provide potential targets for manipulation of fruit compositional traits. Finally, there was a strong relationship between ripening-associated transcripts and specific metabolite groups, such as TCA-cycle organic acids and sugar phosphates, underlining the importance of the respective metabolic pathways during fruit development.
Regulatory Features Underlying Pollination-dependent and -independent Tomato Fruit Set Revealed by Transcript and Primary Metabolite Profiling
The Plant Cell. May, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19435935
Indole Acetic Acid 9 (IAA9) is a negative auxin response regulator belonging to the Aux/IAA transcription factor gene family whose downregulation triggers fruit set before pollination, thus giving rise to parthenocarpy. In situ hybridization experiments revealed that a tissue-specific gradient of IAA9 expression is established during flower development, the release of which upon pollination triggers the initiation of fruit development. Comparative transcriptome and targeted metabolome analysis uncovered important features of the molecular events underlying pollination-induced and pollination-independent fruit set. Comprehensive transcriptomic profiling identified a high number of genes common to both types of fruit set, among which only a small subset are dependent on IAA9 regulation. The fine-tuning of Aux/IAA and ARF genes and the downregulation of TAG1 and TAGL6 MADS box genes are instrumental in triggering the fruit set program. Auxin and ethylene emerged as the most active signaling hormones involved in the flower-to-fruit transition. However, while these hormones affected only a small number of transcriptional events, dramatic shifts were observed at the metabolic and developmental levels. The activation of photosynthesis and sucrose metabolism-related genes is an integral regulatory component of fruit set process. The combined results allow a far greater comprehension of the regulatory and metabolic events controlling early fruit development both in the presence and absence of pollination/fertilization.
Abnormal Physiological and Molecular Mutant Phenotypes Link Chloroplast Polynucleotide Phosphorylase to the Phosphorus Deprivation Response in Arabidopsis
Plant Physiology. Oct, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19710229
A prominent enzyme in organellar RNA metabolism is the exoribonuclease polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPase), whose reversible activity is governed by the nucleotide diphosphate-inorganic phosphate ratio. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, PNPase regulates chloroplast transcript accumulation in response to phosphorus (P) starvation, and PNPase expression is repressed by the response regulator PSR1 (for PHOSPHORUS STARVATION RESPONSE1) under these conditions. Here, we investigated the role of PNPase in the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) P deprivation response by comparing wild-type and pnp mutant plants with respect to their morphology, metabolite profiles, and transcriptomes. We found that P-deprived pnp mutants develop aborted clusters of lateral roots, which are characterized by decreased auxin responsiveness and cell division, and exhibit cell death at the root tips. Electron microscopy revealed that the collapse of root organelles is enhanced in the pnp mutant under P deprivation and occurred with low frequency under P-replete conditions. Global analyses of metabolites and transcripts were carried out to understand the molecular bases of these altered P deprivation responses. We found that the pnp mutant expresses some elements of the deprivation response even when grown on a full nutrient medium, including altered transcript accumulation, although its total and inorganic P contents are not reduced. The pnp mutation also confers P status-independent responses, including but not limited to stress responses. Taken together, our data support the hypothesis that the activity of the chloroplast PNPase is involved in plant acclimation to P availability and that it may help maintain an appropriate balance of P metabolites even under normal growth conditions.
Pleiotropic Physiological Consequences of Feedback-insensitive Phenylalanine Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis Thaliana
The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20598094
A large proportion of plant carbon flow passes through the shikimate pathway to phenylalanine, which serves as a precursor for numerous secondary metabolites. To identify new regulatory mechanisms affecting phenylalanine metabolism, we isolated Arabidopsis thaliana mutants that are resistant to the phytotoxic amino acid m-tyrosine, a structural analog of phenylalanine. Map-based cloning identified adt2-1D, a dominant point mutation causing a predicted serine to alanine change in the regulatory domain of ADT2 (arogenate dehydratase 2). Relaxed feedback inhibition and increased expression of the mutant enzyme caused up to 160-fold higher accumulation of free phenylalanine in rosette leaves, as well as altered accumulation of several other primary and secondary metabolites. In particular, abundance of 2-phenylethylglucosinolate, which is normally almost undetectable in leaves of the A. thaliana Columbia-0 accession, is increased more than 30-fold. Other observed phenotypes of the adt2-1D mutant include abnormal leaf development, resistance to 5-methyltryptophan, reduced growth of the generalist lepidopteran herbivore Trichoplusia ni (cabbage looper) and increased salt tolerance.
Tissue- and Cell-type Specific Transcriptome Profiling of Expanding Tomato Fruit Provides Insights into Metabolic and Regulatory Specialization and Cuticle Formation
The Plant Cell. Nov, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 22045915
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is the primary model for the study of fleshy fruits, and research in this species has elucidated many aspects of fruit physiology, development, and metabolism. However, most of these studies have involved homogenization of the fruit pericarp, with its many constituent cell types. Here, we describe the coupling of pyrosequencing technology with laser capture microdissection to characterize the transcriptomes of the five principal tissues of the pericarp from tomato fruits (outer and inner epidermal layers, collenchyma, parenchyma, and vascular tissues) at their maximal growth phase. A total of 20,976 high-quality expressed unigenes were identified, of which more than half were ubiquitous in their expression, while others were cell type specific or showed distinct expression patterns in specific tissues. The data provide new insights into the spatial distribution of many classes of regulatory and structural genes, including those involved in energy metabolism, source-sink relationships, secondary metabolite production, cell wall biology, and cuticle biogenesis. Finally, patterns of similar gene expression between tissues led to the characterization of a cuticle on the inner surface of the pericarp, demonstrating the utility of this approach as a platform for biological discovery.
Two Alanine Aminotranferases Link Mitochondrial Glycolate Oxidation to the Major Photorespiratory Pathway in Arabidopsis and Rice
Journal of Experimental Botany. Jan, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 22268146
The major photorespiratory pathway in higher plants is distributed over chloroplasts, mitochondria, and peroxisomes. In this pathway, glycolate oxidation takes place in peroxisomes. It was previously suggested that a mitochondrial glycolate dehydrogenase (GlcDH) that was conserved from green algae lacking leaf-type peroxisomes contributes to photorespiration in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, the identification of two Arabidopsis mitochondrial alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferases (ALAATs) that link glycolate oxidation to glycine formation are described. By this reaction, the mitochondrial side pathway produces glycine from glyoxylate that can be used in the glycine decarboxylase (GCD) reaction of the major pathway. RNA interference (RNAi) suppression of mitochondrial ALAAT did not result in major changes in metabolite pools under standard conditions or enhanced photorespiratroy flux, respectively. However, RNAi lines showed reduced photorespiratory CO(2) release and a lower CO(2) compensation point. Mitochondria isolated from RNAi lines are incapable of converting glycolate to CO(2), whereas simultaneous overexpression of GlcDH and ALAATs in transiently transformed tobacco leaves enhances glycolate conversion. Furthermore, analyses of rice mitochondria suggest that the side pathway for glycolate oxidation and glycine formation is conserved in monocotyledoneous plants. It is concluded that the photorespiratory pathway from green algae has been functionally conserved in higher plants.