For biofuel applications, synthetic endoglucanase E1 and xylanase (Xyn10A) derived from Acidothermus cellulolyticus were transiently expressed in detached whole sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) leaves using vacuum infiltration. Three different expression systems were tested, including the constitutive CaMV 35S-driven, CMVar (Cucumber mosaic virus advanced replicating), and TRBO (Tobacco mosaic virus RNA-Based Overexpression Vector) systems. For 6-day leaf incubations, codon-optimized E1 and xylanase driven by the CaMV 35S promoter were successfully expressed in sunflower leaves. The two viral expression vectors, CMVar and TRBO, were not successful although we found high expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves previously for other recombinant proteins. To further enhance transient expression, we demonstrated two novel methods: using the plant hormone methyl jasmonic acid in the agroinfiltration buffer and two-phase optimization of the leaf incubation temperature. When methyl jasmonic acid was added to Agrobacterium tumefaciens cell suspensions and infiltrated into plant leaves, the functional enzyme production increased 4.6-fold. Production also increased up to 4.2-fold when the leaf incubation temperature was elevated above the typical temperature, 20C, to 30C in the late incubation phase, presumably due to enhanced rate of protein synthesis in plant cells. Finally, we demonstrated co-expression of E1 and xylanase in detached sunflower leaves. To our knowledge, this is the first report of (co)expression of heterologous plant cell wall-degrading enzymes in sunflower.
To survive environmental challenges, plants have evolved tightly regulated response networks, including a rapid and transient general stress response (GSR), followed by well-studied stress-specific responses. The mechanisms underpinning the GSR have remained elusive, but a functional cis-element, the rapid stress response element (RSRE), is known to confer transcription of GSR genes rapidly (5 min) and transiently (peaking 90-120 min after stress) in vivo. To investigate signal transduction events in the GSR, we used a 4xRSRE:LUCIFERASE reporter in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), employing complementary approaches of forward and chemical genetic screens, and identified components regulating peak time versus amplitude of RSRE activity. Specifically, we identified a mutant in CALMODULIN-BINDING TRANSCRIPTIONAL ACTIVATOR3 (CAMTA3) with reduced RSRE activation, verifying this transcription factor's role in activation of the RSRE-mediated GSR. Furthermore, we isolated a mutant in MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASE (MAPK) KINASE KINASE1 (mekk1-5), which displays increased basal and an approximately 60-min earlier peak of wound-induced RSRE activation. The double mekk1/camta3 mutant positioned CAMTA3 downstream of MEKK1 and verified their distinct roles in GSR regulation. mekk1-5 displays programmed cell death and overaccumulates reactive oxygen species and salicylic acid, hallmarks of the hypersensitive response, suggesting that the hypersensitive response may play a role in the RSRE phenotype in this mutant. In addition, chemical inhibition studies suggest that the MAPK network is required for the rapid peak of the RSRE response, distinguishing the impact of chronic (mekk1-5) from transient (chemical inhibition) loss of MAPK signaling. Collectively, these results reveal underlying regulatory components of the plant GSR and further define their distinct roles in the regulation of this key biological process.
The viability of the multibillion dollar global citrus industry is threatened by the "green menace", citrus greening disease (Huanglongbing, HLB), caused by the bacterial pathogen Candidatus Liberibacter. The long asymptomatic stage of HLB makes it challenging to detect emerging regional infections early to limit disease spread. We have established a novel method of disease detection based on chemical analysis of released volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that emanate from infected trees. We found that the biomarkers "fingerprint" is specific to the causal pathogen and could be interpreted using analytical methods such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) and gas chromatography/differential mobility spectrometry (GC/DMS). This VOC-based disease detection method has a high accuracy of ?90% throughout the year, approaching 100% under optimal testing conditions, even at very early stages of infection where other methods are not adequate. Detecting early infection based on VOCs precedes visual symptoms and DNA-based detection techniques (real-time polymerase chain reaction, RT-PCR) and can be performed at a substantially lower cost and with rapid field deployment.
A systems-level analysis reveals details of molecular mechanisms underlying puffing disorder in Citrus fruit. Flavedo, albedo and juice sac tissues of normal fruits and fruits displaying symptoms of puffing disorder were studied using metabolomics at three developmental stages. Microarrays were used to compare normal and puffed fruits for each of the three tissues. A protein-protein interaction network inferred from previous work on Arabidopsis identified hub proteins whose transcripts show significant changes in expression. Glycolysis, the backbone of primary metabolism, appeared to be severely affected by the disorder, based on both transcriptomic and metabolomic results. Significantly less citric acid was observed consistently in puffed fruits. Gene set enrichment analysis suggested that glycolysis and carbohydrate metabolism were significantly altered in puffed samples in both albedo and flavedo. Expression of invertases and genes for sucrose export, amylose-starch and starch-maltose conversion was higher in puffed fruits. These changes may significantly alter source-sink communications. Genes associated with gibberellin and cytokinin signaling were downregulated in symptomatic albedo tissues, suggesting that these hormones play key roles in the disorder. Findings may be applied toward the development of early diagnostic methods based on host response genes and metabolites (i.e. citric acid), and toward therapeutics based on hormones.
The enzyme polyphenol oxidase (PPO) catalyzes the oxidation of phenolic compounds into highly reactive quinones. Polymerization of PPO-derived quinones causes the postharvest browning of cut or bruised fruit, but the native physiological functions of PPOs in undamaged, intact plant cells are not well understood. Walnut (Juglans regia) produces a rich array of phenolic compounds and possesses a single PPO enzyme, rendering it an ideal model to study PPO. We generated a series of PPO-silenced transgenic walnut lines that display less than 5% of wild-type PPO activity. Strikingly, the PPO-silenced plants developed spontaneous necrotic lesions on their leaves in the absence of pathogen challenge (i.e. a lesion mimic phenotype). To gain a clearer perspective on the potential functions of PPO and its possible connection to cell death, we compared the leaf transcriptomes and metabolomes of wild-type and PPO-silenced plants. Silencing of PPO caused major alterations in the metabolism of phenolic compounds and their derivatives (e.g. coumaric acid and catechin) and in the expression of phenylpropanoid pathway genes. Several observed metabolic changes point to a direct role for PPO in the metabolism of tyrosine and in the biosynthesis of the hydroxycoumarin esculetin in vivo. In addition, PPO-silenced plants displayed massive (9-fold) increases in the tyrosine-derived metabolite tyramine, whose exogenous application elicits cell death in walnut and several other plant species. Overall, these results suggest that PPO plays a novel and fundamental role in secondary metabolism and acts as an indirect regulator of cell death in walnut.
Alpha helices (AH) are peptide fragments characterized by regular patterns of hydrogen bonding between the carbonyl oxygen and amino nitrogen of residues regularly spaced in sequence, resulting in spiral conformations. Their preponderance in protein structures underlines their importance. Interestingly, they are invariably present in all anti-microbial peptides. For example, the cecropin component of the chimeric anti-microbial protein designed previously by our group comprises of two AHs linked by a short stretch of random coil. These anti-microbial peptides are often amphipathic (quantified by a hydrophobic moment), aligning hydrophobic residues on one surface and charged residues on the others. In the current work, we reproduce previously described computational methods to compute the hydrophobic moment of AHs - and provide open access to the source code (PAGAL). We simultaneously generated input files for TikZ (a package for creating high resolution graphics programmatically) to obtain the Edmundson wheel and showing the direction and magnitude of the hydrophobic moment, and Pymol scripts to generate color coded protein surfaces. Additionally, we have observed an empirical structural property of AHs: the distance between the C? atoms of the ith and (i+4)th residue is equal to the distance between the carbonyl oxygens of the ith and (i+4)th residue. We validated this using 100 non-homologous high resolution structures from the PISCES database. The source code and manual is available at http://github.com/sanchak/pagal and on http://dx.doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.11136.
Peach fruits subjected for long periods of cold storage are primed to develop chilling injury once fruits are shelf ripened at room temperature. Very little is known about the molecular changes occurring in fruits during cold exposure. To get some insight into this process a transcript profiling analyses was performed on fruits from a PopDG population segregating for chilling injury CI responses. A bulked segregant gene expression analysis based on groups of fruits showing extreme CI responses indicated that the transcriptome of peach fruits was modified already during cold storage consistently with eventual CI development. Most peach cold-responsive genes have orthologs in Arabidopsis that participate in cold acclimation and other stresses responses, while some of them showed expression patterns that differs in fruits according to their susceptibility to develop mealiness. Members of ICE1, CBF1/3 and HOS9 regulons seem to have a prominent role in differential cold responses between low and high sensitive fruits. In high sensitive fruits, an alternative cold response program is detected. This program is probably associated with dehydration/osmotic stress and regulated by ABA, auxins and ethylene. In addition, the observation that tolerant siblings showed a series of genes encoding for stress protective activities with higher expression both at harvest and during cold treatment, suggests that preprogrammed mechanisms could shape fruit ability to tolerate postharvest cold-induced stress. A number of genes differentially expressed were validated and extended to individual genotypes by medium-throughput RT-qPCR. Analyses presented here provide a global view of the responses of peach fruits to cold storage and highlights new peach genes that probably play important roles in the tolerance/sensitivity to cold storage. Our results provide a roadmap for further experiments and would help to develop new postharvest protocols and gene directed breeding strategies to better cope with chilling injury.
Crown gall (CG) (Agrobacterium tumefaciens) and the root lesion nematodes (RLNs) (Pratylenchus vulnus) are major challenges faced by the California walnut industry, reducing productivity and increasing the cost of establishing and maintaining orchards. Current nematode control strategies include nematicides, crop rotation, and tolerant cultivars, but these methods have limits. Developing genetic resistance through novel approaches like RNA interference (RNAi) can address these problems. RNAi-mediated silencing of CG disease in walnut (Juglans regia L.) has been achieved previously. We sought to place both CG and nematode resistance into a single walnut rootstock genotype using co-transformation to stack the resistance genes. A. tumefaciens, carrying self-complimentary iaaM and ipt transgenes, and Agrobacterium rhizogenes, carrying a self-complimentary Pv010 gene from P. vulnus, were used as co-transformation vectors. RolABC genes were introduced by the resident T-DNA in the A. rhizogenes Ri-plasmid used as a vector for plant transformation. Pv010 and Pv194 (transgenic control) genes were also transferred separately using A. tumefaciens. To test for resistance, transformed walnut roots were challenged with P. vulnus and microshoots were challenged with a virulent strain of A. tumefaciens.
Rosaceae fruit trees use sorbitol and sucrose as translocating sugars and the sorbitol-to-sucrose ratio in source leaves determines apple fruit quality. Here, we investigate the effects of sugars on the expression of genes encoding key photosynthetic enzymes, including sorbitol-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (S6PDH, EC 126.96.36.199), sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS, EC 188.8.131.52), and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (ADPGPPase, EC 184.108.40.206) to understand the sugar-signaling mechanism in Rosaceae fruit trees. Mature leaf-petiole cuttings of loquat (Eriobotrya japonica Lindl. cv. Mogi) were supplied with a water, sorbitol or sucrose solution for 2?days at 20°C. The relative levels of the transcripts were analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). S6PDH transcription was decreased by sorbitol but drastically increased by sucrose. SPS and ADPGPPase large subunit transcription were decreased by sucrose and sorbitol. The simultaneous application of sorbitol and sucrose revealed that S6PDH transcription increased in a dose-dependent manner with sucrose. These results show that both sorbitol and sucrose work as signaling molecules in source organs of Rosaceae fruit trees. These trees have mechanisms to positively keep sorbitol as the dominant translocating sugar, suggesting that sorbitol plays an important role in their survival strategy. Effects of various sugars on S6PDH expression were investigated. Palatinose, a sucrose analog, increased S6PDH transcription much more drastically than sucrose. Mannose and 3-O-methylglucose, glucose analogs, also increased S6PDH transcription; however, glucose did not. Models of sugar signaling in source organs of Rosaceae fruit trees are discussed.
Error-prone PCR, DNA shuffling, and saturation mutagenesis are techniques used by protein engineers to mimic the natural "evolutionary walk" that conjures new enzymes. Rational design is often critical in efforts to accelerate this "random walk" into a "resolute sprint." Previous work by our group established a computational method for detecting active sites (CLASP) based on spatial and electrostatic properties of catalytic residues, and a method to quantify promiscuous activities in a wide range of proteins (PROMISE). Here, we describe a rational design flow (DECAAF) based on the PROMISE methodology to choose a protein which, when subjected to minimal mutations, is most likely to mirror the scaffold of a desired enzymatic function. Modeling the diversity in catalytic sites and providing precise user control to guide the search is a key goal of our implementation. The flow details have been worked out in a real-life example to select a plant protein to substitute for human neutrophil elastase in a chimeric antimicrobial enzyme designed to bolster the innate immune defense system in plants.
Conventional protein secretion is mediated by the endomembrane system. Secreted proteins are inserted into the endomembrane system through a N-terminal signal peptide and follow the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi trafficking pathway en route to the plasma membrane or the extracellular apoplastic space. In mammalian and yeast cells, unconventional secretion has been identified and relatively well studied. Also in plants, evidence of unconventional secretion mechanisms is accumulating. The ever-increasing number of leaderless proteins identified in proteomic studies indicates the importance of unconventional protein secretion in plants. Novel approaches, such as chemical genomics and vesicle proteomics might be able to provide new insights into unconventional protein secretion in plants.
Next-generation sequencing was exploited to gain deeper insight into the response to infection by Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (CaLas), especially the immune disregulation and metabolic dysfunction caused by source-sink disruption. Previous fruit transcriptome data were compared with additional RNA-Seq data in three tissues: immature fruit, and young and mature leaves. Four categories of orchard trees were studied: symptomatic, asymptomatic, apparently healthy, and healthy. Principal component analysis found distinct expression patterns between immature and mature fruits and leaf samples for all four categories of trees. A predicted protein - protein interaction network identified HLB-regulated genes for sugar transporters playing key roles in the overall plant responses. Gene set and pathway enrichment analyses highlight the role of sucrose and starch metabolism in disease symptom development in all tissues. HLB-regulated genes (glucose-phosphate-transporter, invertase, starch-related genes) would likely determine the source-sink relationship disruption. In infected leaves, transcriptomic changes were observed for light reactions genes (downregulation), sucrose metabolism (upregulation), and starch biosynthesis (upregulation). In parallel, symptomatic fruits over-expressed genes involved in photosynthesis, sucrose and raffinose metabolism, and downregulated starch biosynthesis. We visualized gene networks between tissues inducing a source-sink shift. CaLas alters the hormone crosstalk, resulting in weak and ineffective tissue-specific plant immune responses necessary for bacterial clearance. Accordingly, expression of WRKYs (including WRKY70) was higher in fruits than in leaves. Systemic acquired responses were inadequately activated in young leaves, generally considered the sites where most new infections occur.
Proteolytic enzymes have evolved several mechanisms to cleave peptide bonds. These distinct types have been systematically categorized in the MEROPS database. While a BLAST search on these proteases identifies homologous proteins, sequence alignment methods often fail to identify relationships arising from convergent evolution, exon shuffling, and modular reuse of catalytic units. We have previously established a computational method to detect functions in proteins based on the spatial and electrostatic properties of the catalytic residues (CLASP). CLASP identified a promiscuous serine protease scaffold in alkaline phosphatases (AP) and a scaffold recognizing a ?-lactam (imipenem) in a cold-active Vibrio AP. Subsequently, we defined a methodology to quantify promiscuous activities in a wide range of proteins. Here, we assemble a module which encapsulates the multifarious motifs used by protease families listed in the MEROPS database. Since APs and proteases are an integral component of outer membrane vesicles (OMV), we sought to query other OMV proteins, like phospholipase C (PLC), using this search module. Our analysis indicated that phosphoinositide-specific PLC from Bacillus cereus is a serine protease. This was validated by protease assays, mass spectrometry and by inhibition of the native phospholipase activity of PI-PLC by the well-known serine protease inhibitor AEBSF (IC50 = 0.018 mM). Edman degradation analysis linked the specificity of the protease activity to a proline in the amino terminal, suggesting that the PI-PLC is a prolyl peptidase. Thus, we propose a computational method of extending protein families based on the spatial and electrostatic congruence of active site residues.
The plant hormone ethylene regulates fruit ripening, other developmental processes, and a subset of defense responses. Here, we show that 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS)-silenced apple (Malus domestica) fruit that express a sense construct of ACS were more susceptible to Botrytis cinerea than untransformed apple, demonstrating that ethylene strengthens fruit resistance to B. cinerea infection. Because ethylene response factors (ERFs) are known to contribute to resistance against B. cinerea via the ethylene-signaling pathway, we cloned four ERF cDNAs from fruit of M. domestica: MdERF3, -4, -5, and -6. Expression of all four MdERF mRNAs was ethylene dependent and induced by wounding or by B. cinerea infection. B. cinerea infection suppressed rapid induction of wound-related MdERF expression. MdERF3 was the only mRNA induced by wounding and B. cinerea infection in ACS-suppressed apple fruit, although its induction was reduced compared with wild-type apple. Promoter regions of all four MdERF genes were cloned and putative cis-elements were identified in each promoter. Transient expression of MdERF3 in tobacco increased expression of the GCC-box containing gene chitinase 48.
Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.) is an economically important tree for its nut crop and timber. To gain insight into the structure and evolution of the walnut genome, we constructed two bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries, containing a total of 129,024 clones, from in vitro-grown shoots of J. regia cv. Chandler using the HindIII and MboI cloning sites. A total of 48,218 high-quality BAC end sequences (BESs) were generated, with an accumulated sequence length of 31.2 Mb, representing approximately 5.1% of the walnut genome. Analysis of repeat DNA content in BESs revealed that approximately 15.42% of the genome consists of known repetitive DNA, while walnut-unique repetitive DNA identified in this study constitutes 13.5% of the genome. Among the walnut-unique repetitive DNA, Julia SINE and JrTRIM elements represent the first identified walnut short interspersed element (SINE) and terminal-repeat retrotransposon in miniature (TRIM) element, respectively; both types of elements are abundant in the genome. As in other species, these SINEs and TRIM elements could be exploited for developing repeat DNA-based molecular markers in walnut. Simple sequence repeats (SSR) from BESs were analyzed and found to be more abundant in BESs than in expressed sequence tags. The density of SSR in the walnut genome analyzed was also slightly higher than that in poplar and papaya. Sequence analysis of BESs indicated that approximately 11.5% of the walnut genome represents a coding sequence. This study is an initial characterization of the walnut genome and provides the largest genomic resource currently available; as such, it will be a valuable tool in studies aimed at genetically improving walnut.
Gallic acid (GA), a key intermediate in the synthesis of plant hydrolysable tannins, is also a primary anti-inflammatory, cardio-protective agent found in wine, tea, and cocoa. In this publication, we reveal the identity of a gene and encoded protein essential for GA synthesis. Although it has long been recognized that plants, bacteria, and fungi synthesize and accumulate GA, the pathway leading to its synthesis was largely unknown. Here we provide evidence that shikimate dehydrogenase (SDH), a shikimate pathway enzyme essential for aromatic amino acid synthesis, is also required for GA production. Escherichia coli (E. coli) aroE mutants lacking a functional SDH can be complemented with the plant enzyme such that they grew on media lacking aromatic amino acids and produced GA in vitro. Transgenic Nicotiana tabacum lines expressing a Juglans regia SDH exhibited a 500% increase in GA accumulation. The J. regia and E. coli SDH was purified via overexpression in E. coli and used to measure substrate and cofactor kinetics, following reduction of NADP(+) to NADPH. Reversed-phase liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray mass spectrometry (RP-LC/ESI-MS) was used to quantify and validate GA production through dehydrogenation of 3-dehydroshikimate (3-DHS) by purified E. coli and J. regia SDH when shikimic acid (SA) or 3-DHS were used as substrates and NADP(+) as cofactor. Finally, we show that purified E. coli and J. regia SDH produced GA in vitro.
The rapid and unabated spread of vector-borne diseases within US specialty crops threatens our agriculture, our economy, and the livelihood of growers and farm workers. Early detection of vector-borne pathogens is an essential step for the accurate surveillance and management of vector-borne diseases of specialty crops. Currently, we lack the tools that would detect the infectious agent at early (primary) stages of infection with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity. In this paper, we outline a strategy for developing an integrated suite of platform technologies to enable rapid, early disease detection and diagnosis of huanglongbing (HLB), the most destructive citrus disease. The research has two anticipated outcomes: i) identification of very early, disease-specific biomarkers using a knowledge base of translational genomic information on host and pathogen responses associated with early (asymptomatic) disease development; and ii) development and deployment of novel sensors that capture these and other related biomarkers and aid in presymptomatic disease detection. By combining these two distinct approaches, it should be possible to identify and defend the crop by interdicting pathogen spread prior to the rapid expansion phase of the disease. We believe that similar strategies can also be developed for the surveillance and management of diseases affecting other economically important specialty crops.
Parthenocarpy is potentially a desirable trait for many commercially grown fruits if undesirable changes to structure, flavour, or nutrition can be avoided. Parthenocarpic transgenic tomato plants (cv MicroTom) were obtained by the regulation of genes for auxin synthesis (iaaM) or responsiveness (rolB) driven by DefH9 or the INNER NO OUTER (INO) promoter from Arabidopsis thaliana. Fruits at a breaker stage were analysed at a transcriptomic and metabolomic level using microarrays, real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and a Pegasus III TOF (time of flight) mass spectrometer. Although differences were observed in the shape of fully ripe fruits, no clear correlation could be made between the number of seeds, transgene, and fruit size. Expression of auxin synthesis or responsiveness genes by both of these promoters produced seedless parthenocarpic fruits. Eighty-three percent of the genes measured showed no significant differences in expression due to parthenocarpy. The remaining 17% with significant variation (P <0.05) (1748 genes) were studied by assigning a predicted function (when known) based on BLAST to the TAIR database. Among them several genes belong to cell wall, hormone metabolism and response (auxin in particular), and metabolism of sugars and lipids. Up-regulation of lipid transfer proteins and differential expression of several indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)- and ethylene-associated genes were observed in transgenic parthenocarpic fruits. Despite differences in several fatty acids, amino acids, and other metabolites, the fundamental metabolic profile remains unchanged. This work showed that parthenocarpy with ovule-specific alteration of auxin synthesis or response driven by the INO promoter could be effectively applied where such changes are commercially desirable.
Previously we described Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) vectors, which retained their capsid protein gene and were engineered with magnesium chelatase (ChlH) and phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene sequences from Nicotiana benthamiana. Upon plant infection, these vectors eventually lost the inserted sequences, presumably as a result of recombination. Here, we modified the same vectors to also contain the plant miR171 or miR159 target sequences immediately 3 of the silencing inserts. We inoculated N. benthamiana plants and sequenced recombinant RNAs recovered from noninoculated upper leaves. We found that while some of the recombinant RNAs retained the microRNA (miRNA) target sites, most retained only the 3 10 and 13 nucleotides of the two original plant miRNA target sequences, indicating in planta miRNA-guided RNA-induced silencing complex cleavage of the recombinant TBSV RNAs. In addition, recovered RNAs also contained various fragments of the original sequence (ChlH and PDS) upstream of the miRNA cleavage site, suggesting that the 3 portion of the miRNA-cleaved TBSV RNAs served as a template for negative-strand RNA synthesis by the TBSV RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), followed by template switching by the RdRp and continued RNA synthesis resulting in loss of nonessential nucleotides.
Use of transient expression for the rapid, large-scale production of recombinant proteins in plants requires optimization of existing methods to facilitate scale-up of the process. We have demonstrated that the techniques used for agroinfiltration and induction greatly impact transient production levels of heterologous protein. A Cucumber mosaic virus inducible viral amplicon (CMViva) expression system was used to transiently produce recombinant alpha-1-antitrypsin (rAAT) by co-infiltrating harvested Nicotiana benthamiana leaves with two Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains, one containing the CMViva expression cassette carrying the AAT gene and the other containing a binary vector carrying the gene silencing suppressor p19. Harvested leaves were both infiltrated and induced by either pressure or vacuum infiltration. Using the vacuum technique for both processes, maximum levels of functional and total rAAT were elevated by (190 +/- 8.7)% and (290 +/- 7.5)%, respectively, over levels achieved when using the pressure technique for both processes. The bioprocessing conditions for vacuum infiltration and induction were optimized and resulted in maximum rAAT production when using an A. tumefaciens concentration at OD(600) of 0.5 and a 0.25-min vacuum infiltration, and multiple 1-min vacuum inductions further increased production 25% and resulted in maximum levels of functional and total rAAT at (2.6 +/- 0.09)% and (4.1 +/- 0.29)% of the total soluble protein, respectively, or (90 +/- 1.7) and (140 +/- 10) mg per kg fresh weight leaf tissue at 6 days post-induction. Use of harvested plant tissue with vacuum infiltration and induction demonstrates a bioprocessing route that is fully amenable to scale-up.
The plant hormone ethylene regulates climacteric fruit ripening and plays a major role in the development of superficial scald in apple fruits during cold storage. The effect of cold storage at 0 degrees C on development of superficial scald and bitter pit (BP) in transgenic Greensleeves (GS) apples suppressed for ethylene biosynthesis was investigated. Four apple lines were used: untransformed GS; line 68G, suppressed for 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase (ACO); and lines 103Yand 130Y, suppressed for ACC synthase (ACS). Fruits from the transformed lines 68G, 103Y, and 130Y produced very little ethylene during 3 months of cold storage at 0 degrees C and after subsequent transfer to 20 degrees C, whereas untransformed fruits produced significant ethylene during cold storage, which increased dramatically at 20 degrees C. Respiration, expressed as CO(2) production, was similar in all four apple lines. After 2 months at 0 degrees C, all apple lines showed some BP symptoms, but lines 68G and 103Y were more affected than untransformed GS or line 130Y. Both transformed and untransformed apples produced alpha-farnesene, but concentrations were lower in yellow fruit than in green fruit in all lines but 68G. Line 68G produced the most alpha-farnesene after 2 months at 0 degrees C, including both (E,E) alpha-farnesene and (Z,E) alpha-farnesene. Concentrations of (E,E) alpha-farnesene were 100 times greater than those of (Z,E) alpha-farnesene in all lines. After 4 months at 0 degrees C plus 1 week at 20 degrees C, untransformed GS apples exhibited the most superficial scald, whereas fruits from lines 68G and 103Y were less affected and line 130Y had no scald. Superficial scald severity was higher in green fruit than in yellow fruit in all affected lines. These lines also exhibited significant production of 6-methyl-5-hepten-2-one (MHO), a major oxidation product of (E,E) alpha-farnesene. Line 130Y neither exhibited superficial scald nor produced MHO. It is shown here that even transgenic apples suppressed for ethylene biosynthesis genes can produce alpha-farnesene, which in turn can oxidize to free radicals and MHO, leading to scald development.
This study introduces two-dimensional (2-D) wavelet analysis to the classification of gas chromatogram differential mobility spectrometry (GC/DMS) data which are composed of retention time, compensation voltage, and corresponding intensities. One reported method to process such large data sets is to convert 2-D signals to 1-D signals by summing intensities either across retention time or compensation voltage, but it can lose important signal information in one data dimension. A 2-D wavelet analysis approach keeps the 2-D structure of original signals, while significantly reducing data size. We applied this feature extraction method to 2-D GC/DMS signals measured from control and disordered fruit and then employed two typical classification algorithms to testify the effects of the resultant features on chemical pattern recognition. Yielding a 93.3% accuracy of separating data from control and disordered fruit samples, 2-D wavelet analysis not only proves its feasibility to extract feature from original 2-D signals but also shows its superiority over the conventional feature extraction methods including converting 2-D to 1-D and selecting distinguishable pixels from training set. Furthermore, this process does not require coupling with specific pattern recognition methods, which may help ensure wide applications of this method to 2-D spectrometry data.
Plant cell culture production of recombinant products offers a number of advantages over traditional eukaryotic expression systems, particularly if the product can be targeted to and purified from the cell culture broth. However, one of the main obstacles is product degradation by proteases that are produced during cell culture, and/or the loss of biological activity of secreted (extracellular) products as a result of alteration in the protein conformation. Because proteolysis activity and target protein stability can be significantly influenced by culture conditions, it is important to evaluate bioprocess conditions that minimize these effects. In this study, a bioreactor strategy using a protocol involving pH adjustment and medium exchange during plant cell culture is proposed for improving the production of functional recombinant alpha(1)-antitrypsin (rAAT), a human blood protein, produced using several alternative expression systems, including a Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S constitutive promoter expression system, a chemically inducible, estrogen receptor-based promoter (XVE) expression system, and a novel Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) inducible viral amplicon (CMViva) expression system developed by our group. We have demonstrated that higher medium pH help reduce protease activity derived from cell cultures and improve the inherent stability of human AAT protein as well. This strategy resulted in a fourfold increase in the productivity of extracellular functional rAAT (100 microg/L) and a twofold increase in the ratio of functional rAAT to total rAAT (48%) in transgenic N. benthamiana cell cultures using a chemically inducible viral amplicon expression system.
A genome-wide set of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is a valuable resource in genetic research and breeding and is usually developed by re-sequencing a genome. If a genome sequence is not available, an alternative strategy must be used. We previously reported the development of a pipeline (AGSNP) for genome-wide SNP discovery in coding sequences and other single-copy DNA without a complete genome sequence in self-pollinating (autogamous) plants. Here we updated this pipeline for SNP discovery in outcrossing (allogamous) species and demonstrated its efficacy in SNP discovery in walnut (Juglans regia L.).
Huanglongbing (HLB) or "citrus greening" is the most destructive citrus disease worldwide. In this work, we studied host responses of citrus to infection with Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus (CaLas) using next-generation sequencing technologies. A deep mRNA profile was obtained from peel of healthy and HLB-affected fruit. It was followed by pathway and protein-protein network analysis and quantitative real time PCR analysis of highly regulated genes. We identified differentially regulated pathways and constructed networks that provide a deep insight into the metabolism of affected fruit. Data mining revealed that HLB enhanced transcription of genes involved in the light reactions of photosynthesis and in ATP synthesis. Activation of protein degradation and misfolding processes were observed at the transcriptomic level. Transcripts for heat shock proteins were down-regulated at all disease stages, resulting in further protein misfolding. HLB strongly affected pathways involved in source-sink communication, including sucrose and starch metabolism and hormone synthesis and signaling. Transcription of several genes involved in the synthesis and signal transduction of cytokinins and gibberellins was repressed while that of genes involved in ethylene pathways was induced. CaLas infection triggered a response via both the salicylic acid and jasmonic acid pathways and increased the transcript abundance of several members of the WRKY family of transcription factors. Findings focused on the fruit provide valuable insight to understanding the mechanisms of the HLB-induced fruit disorder and eventually developing methods based on small molecule applications to mitigate its devastating effects on fruit production.
We postulated that a synergistic combination of two innate immune functions, pathogen surface recognition and lysis, in a protein chimera would lead to a robust class of engineered antimicrobial therapeutics for protection against pathogens. In support of our hypothesis, we have engineered such a chimera to protect against the gram-negative Xylella fastidiosa (Xf), which causes diseases in multiple plants of economic importance. Here we report the design and delivery of this chimera to target the Xf subspecies fastidiosa (Xff), which causes Pierce disease in grapevines and poses a great threat to the wine-growing regions of California. One domain of this chimera is an elastase that recognizes and cleaves MopB, a conserved outer membrane protein of Xff. The second domain is a lytic peptide, cecropin B, which targets conserved lipid moieties and creates pores in the Xff outer membrane. A flexible linker joins the recognition and lysis domains, thereby ensuring correct folding of the individual domains and synergistic combination of their functions. The chimera transgene is fused with an amino-terminal signal sequence to facilitate delivery of the chimera to the plant xylem, the site of Xff colonization. We demonstrate that the protein chimera expressed in the xylem is able to directly target Xff, suppress its growth, and significantly decrease the leaf scorching and xylem clogging commonly associated with Pierce disease in grapevines. We believe that similar strategies involving protein chimeras can be developed to protect against many diseases caused by human and plant pathogens.
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Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.