A specific function for peroxisomal ?-oxidation in inflorescence development in Arabidopsis thaliana is suggested by the mutation of the ABNORMAL INFLORESCENCE MERISTEM 1 gene, which encodes one of two peroxisomal multifunctional proteins. Therefore, it should be possible to identify other ?-oxidation mutants that recapitulate the aim1 phenotype. Three genes encode peroxisomal 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase (KAT) in Arabidopsis. KAT2 and KAT5 are present throughout angiosperms whereas KAT1 is a Brassicaceae-specific duplication of KAT2 expressed at low levels in Arabidopsis. KAT2 plays a dominant role in all known aspects of peroxisomal ?-oxidation, including that of fatty acids, pro-auxins, jasmonate precursor oxophytodienoic acid, and trans-cinnamic acid. The functions of KAT1 and KAT5 are unknown. Since KAT5 is conserved throughout vascular plants and expressed strongly in flowers, kat2 kat5 double mutants were generated. These were slow growing, had abnormally branched inflorescences, and ectopic organ growth. They made viable pollen, but produced no seed indicating that infertility was due to defective gynaecium function. These phenotypes are strikingly similar to those of aim1. KAT5 in the Brassicaceae encodes both cytosolic and peroxisomal proteins and kat2 kat5 defects could be complemented by the re-introduction of peroxisomal (but not cytosolic) KAT5. It is concluded that peroxisomal KAT2 and KAT5 have partially redundant functions and operate downstream of AIM1 to provide ?-oxidation functions essential for inflorescence development and fertility.
The plant hormone auxin plays a central role in adventitious rooting and is routinely used with many economically important, vegetatively propagated plant species to promote adventitious root initiation and development on cuttings. Nevertheless the molecular mechanisms through which it acts are only starting to emerge. The Arabidopsis superroot2-1 (sur2-1) mutant overproduces auxin and, as a consequence, develops excessive adventitious roots in the hypocotyl. In order to increase the knowledge of adventitious rooting and of auxin signalling pathways and crosstalk, this study performed a screen for suppressors of superroot2-1 phenotype. These suppressors provide a new resource for discovery of genetic players involved in auxin signalling pathways or at the crosstalk of auxin and other hormones or environmental signals. This study reports the identification and characterization of 26 sur2-1 suppressor mutants, several of which were identified as mutations in candidate genes involved in either auxin biosynthesis or signalling. In addition to confirming the role of auxin as a central regulator of adventitious rooting, superroot2 suppressors indicated possible crosstalk with ethylene signalling in this process.
Secondary metabolites derived from benzoic acid (BA) are of central importance in the interactions of plants with pests, pathogens and symbionts, and potentially important in plant development. Peroxisomal ?-oxidation has recently been shown to contribute to BA biosynthesis in plants, but not all of the enzymes involved have been defined. In this report, we demonstrate that the peroxisomal ABC transporter COMATOSE (CTS) is required for accumulation of benzoylated secondary metabolites in Arabidopsis seeds, including benzoylated glucosinolates and substituted hydroxybenzoylcholines. The ABNORMAL INFLORESCENCE MERISTEM (AIM1) protein, one of two multifunctional proteins encoded by Arabidopsis, is essential for accumulation of these compounds, and MFP2 contributes to synthesis of substituted hydroxybenzoylcholines. Of the two major 3-ketoacyl CoA thiolases, KAT2 plays the primary role in BA synthesis. Thus BA biosynthesis in Arabidopsis employs the same core set of ?-oxidation enzymes as in the synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid from indole-3-butyric acid.
An increasingly important practical application of the analysis of spatial genetic structure within plant species is to help define the extent of local provenance seed collection zones that minimize negative impacts in ecological restoration programs. Here, we derive seed sourcing guidelines from a novel range-wide assessment of spatial genetic structure of 24 populations of Banksia menziesii (Proteaceae), a widely distributed Western Australian tree of significance in local ecological restoration programs. An analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of 100 amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers revealed significant genetic differentiation among populations (?PT = 0.18). Pairwise population genetic dissimilarity was correlated with geographic distance, but not environmental distance derived from 15 climate variables, suggesting overall neutrality of these markers with regard to these climate variables. Nevertheless, Bayesian outlier analysis identified four markers potentially under selection, although these were not correlated with the climate variables. We calculated a global R-statistic using analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) to test the statistical significance of population differentiation and to infer a threshold seed collection zone distance of ?60 km (all markers) and 100 km (outlier markers) when genetic distance was regressed against geographic distance. Population pairs separated by >60 km were, on average, twice as likely to be significantly genetically differentiated than population pairs separated by <60 km, suggesting that habitat-matched sites within a 30-km radius around a restoration site genetically defines a local provenance seed collection zone for B. menziesii. Our approach is a novel probability-based practical solution for the delineation of a local seed collection zone to minimize negative genetic impacts in ecological restoration.
Sugar metabolism and the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway (OPPP) are strongly implicated in N assimilation, although the relationship between them and the roles of the plastidial and cytosolic OPPP have not been established genetically. We studied a knock-down mutant of the plastid-localized OPPP enzyme 6-phosphogluconolactonase 3 (PGL3). pgl3-1 plants exhibited relatively greater resource allocation to roots but were smaller than the wild type. They had a lower content of amino acids and free NO3 - in leaves than the wild type, despite exhibiting comparable photosynthetic rates and efficiency, and normal levels of many other primary metabolites. When N-deprived plants were fed via the roots with 15NO3 -, pgl3-1 exhibited normal induction of OPPP and nitrate assimilation genes in roots, and amino acids in roots and shoots were labeled with (15) N at least as rapidly as in the wild type. However, when N-replete plants were fed via the roots with sucrose, expression of specific OPPP and N assimilation genes in roots increased in the wild type but not in pgl3-1. Thus, sugar-dependent expression of N assimilation genes requires OPPP activity and the specificity of the effect of the pgl3-1 mutation on N assimilation genes establishes that it is not the result of general energy deficiency or accumulation of toxic intermediates. We conclude that expression of specific nitrate assimilation genes in the nucleus of root cells is positively regulated by a signal emanating from OPPP activity in the plastid.
Arabidopsis plants accumulate maltose from starch breakdown during cold acclimation. The Arabidopsis mutant, maltose excess1-1, accumulates large amounts of maltose in the plastid even in the warm, due to a deficient plastid envelope maltose transporter. We therefore investigated whether the elevated maltose level in mex1-1 in the warm could result in changes in metabolism and physiology typical of WT plants grown in the cold.
The analytical depth of investigation of the peroxisomal proteome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has not yet reached that of other major cellular organelles such as chloroplasts or mitochondria. This is primarily due to the difficulties associated with isolating and obtaining purified samples of peroxisomes from Arabidopsis. So far only a handful of research groups have been successful in obtaining such fractions. To make things worse, enriched peroxisome fractions frequently suffer from significant organellar contamination, lowering confidence in localization assignment of the identified proteins. As with other cellular compartments, identification of peroxisomal proteins forms the basis for investigations of the dynamics of the peroxisomal proteome. It is therefore not surprising that, in terms of functional analyses by proteomic means, peroxisomes are lagging considerably behind chloroplasts or mitochondria. Alternative strategies are needed to overcome the obstacle of hard-to-obtain organellar fractions. This will help to close the knowledge gap between peroxisomes and other organelles and provide a full picture of the physiological pathways shared between organelles. In this review, we briefly summarize the status quo and discuss some of the methodological alternatives to classic organelle proteomic approaches.
The ability to acclimate to stresses enables plants to grow and develop under adverse environmental conditions. Regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) triggered by endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress mediates some forms of stress signaling. Brassinosteroids (BRs) have been implicated in plant adaptation to stress, but no mechanisms for activation have been discovered. Here, we reveal a connection between ER stress signaling and BR-mediated growth and stress acclimation. Arabidopsis transcription factors bZIP17 and bZIP28 were translocated from the ER through the Golgi, where they were proteolytically cleaved by site 2 protease and released to translocate into the nucleus. Stresses, including heat and inhibition of protein glycosylation, increased translocation of these two bZIPs to the nucleus. These nuclear-localized bZIPs not only activated ER chaperone genes but also activated BR signaling, which was required for stress acclimation and growth. Thus, these bZIPs link ER stress and BR signaling, which may be a mechanism by which plant growth and stress responses can be integrated.
Plants respond to cold by transcriptional and metabolic responses which underlie tolerance and acclimation mechanisms, but details at the molecular level are incomplete. Here we describe KOLD SENSITIV-1 (KOS1), a new gene required for responses to cold. KOS1 protein is predicted to have coiled-coil, Structural Maintenance of Chromosomes and nuclear-targeting domains. GFP-labeled KOS1 localizes to the nucleus. Null mutants could not be isolated but two independent knockdown T-DNA mutants were obtained. Growth and development of kos1 knockdown mutant plants was comparable to wild type when grown at 21°C. However, when grown at 4°C these mutants exhibited accelerated leaf yellowing and smaller rosette size than wild type. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that in the cold kos1 mutants had reduced expression of cold-responsive transcripts COR15A, COR15B, BAM3 and AMY3. Metabolite profiling revealed that ascorbate levels were lower in the mutants in the cold relative to wild type. KOS1 therefore represents a new gene that influences the regulation of transcript and metabolite levels in response to prolonged chilling temperatures.
The development of shoot-borne roots, or adventitious roots, is indispensable for mass propagation of elite genotypes. It is a complex genetic trait with a high phenotypic plasticity due to multiple endogenous and environmental regulatory factors. We demonstrate here that a subtle balance of activator and repressor AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR (ARF) transcripts controls adventitious root initiation. Moreover, microRNA activity appears to be required for fine-tuning of this process. Thus, ARF17, a target of miR160, is a negative regulator, and ARF6 and ARF8, targets of miR167, are positive regulators of adventitious rooting. The three ARFs display overlapping expression domains, interact genetically, and regulate each others expression at both transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels by modulating miR160 and miR167 availability. This complex regulatory network includes an unexpected feedback regulation of microRNA homeostasis by direct and nondirect target transcription factors. These results provide evidence of microRNA control of phenotypic variability and are a significant step forward in understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating adventitious rooting.
Indole-3-butyric acid (IBA) and 2,4-dichlorophenoxybutyric acid (2,4-DB) are metabolised by peroxisomal beta-oxidation to active auxins that inhibit root growth. We screened Arabidopsis mutants for resistance to IBA and 2,4-DB and identified two new 2,4-DB resistant mutants. The mutant genes encode a putative oxidoreductase (SDRa) and a putative acyl-activating enzyme (AAE18). Both proteins are localised to peroxisomes. SDRa is coexpressed with core beta-oxidation genes, but germination, seedling growth and the fatty acid profile of sdra seedlings are indistinguishable from wild type. The sdra mutant is also resistant to IBA, but aae18 is not. AAE18 is the first example of a gene required for response to 2,4-DB but not IBA. The closest relative of AAE18 is AAE17. AAE17 is predicted to be peroxisomal, but an aae17 aae18 double mutant responded similarly to aae18 for all assays. We propose that AAE18 is capable of activating 2,4-DB but IBA activating enzymes remain to be discovered. We present an updated model for peroxisomal pro-auxin metabolism in Arabidopsis that includes SDRa and AAE18.
Arabidopsis thaliana has three genes encoding type I 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolases (KAT1, KAT2, and KAT5), one of which (KAT5) is alternatively transcribed to produce both peroxisomal and cytosolic proteins. To evaluate the potential importance of these four gene products, their evolutionary history in plants and their expression patterns in Arabidopsis were investigated. Land plants as a whole have gene lineages corresponding to KAT2 and KAT5, implying conservation of distinct functions for these two genes. By contrast, analysis of synteny shows that KAT1 arose by duplication of the KAT2 locus. KAT1 is found in the Brassicaceae family, including in the genera Arabidopsis, Capsella, Thellungiella (=Eutrema) and Brassica, but not in the more distantly related Caricaceae (order Brassicales), or other plants. Gene expression analysis using qRT-PCR and ?-glucuronidase reporter genes showed strong expression of KAT2 during germination and in many plant tissues throughout the life cycle, consistent with its observed dominant function in fatty acid ?-oxidation. KAT1 was expressed very weakly while KAT5 was most strongly expressed during flower development and in seedlings after germination. Isoform-specific qRT-PCR analysis and promoter ?-glucuronidase reporters revealed that the two splicing variants of KAT5 have similar expression profiles. Alternative splicing of KAT5 to produce cytosolic and peroxisomal proteins is specific to and ubiquitous in the Brassicaceae, and possibly had an earlier origin in the order Brassicales. This implies that an additional function for KAT5 arose between 43 and 115 mybp. We speculate that this KAT5 mutation was recruited for a cytosolic function in secondary metabolism.
Strigolactones (SLs) are carotenoid-derived plant hormones that regulate shoot branching, secondary growth, root development, and responses to soil phosphate. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), SL biosynthesis requires the sequential action of two carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases, MORE AXILLARY GROWTH3 (MAX3) and MAX4, followed by a cytochrome P450, MAX1. In rice (Oryza sativa), the plastid-localized protein DWARF27 (OsD27) is also necessary for SL biosynthesis, but the equivalent gene in Arabidopsis has not been identified. Here, we use phylogenetic analysis of D27-like sequences from photosynthetic organisms to identify AtD27, the likely Arabidopsis ortholog of OsD27. Using reverse genetics, we show that AtD27 is required for the inhibition of secondary bud outgrowth and that exogenous application of the synthetic SL GR24 can rescue the increased branching phenotype of an Atd27 mutant. Furthermore, we use grafting to demonstrate that AtD27 operates on a nonmobile precursor upstream of MAX1 in the SL biosynthesis pathway. Consistent with the plastid localization of OsD27, we also show that AtD27 possesses a functional plastid transit peptide. We demonstrate that AtD27 transcripts are subject to both local feedback and auxin-dependent signals, albeit to a lesser extent than MAX3 and MAX4, suggesting that early steps in SL biosynthesis are coregulated at the transcriptional level. By identifying an additional component of the canonical SL biosynthesis pathway in Arabidopsis, we provide a new tool to investigate the regulation of shoot branching and other SL-dependent developmental processes.
The availability of a comprehensive set of resources including an entire annotated reference genome, sequenced alternative accessions, and a multitude of marker systems makes Arabidopsis thaliana an ideal platform for genetic mapping. PCR markers based on INsertions/DELetions (INDELs) are currently the most frequently used polymorphisms. For the most commonly used mapping combination, Columbia×Landsberg erecta (Col-0×Ler-0), the Cereon polymorphism database is a valuable resource for the generation of polymorphic markers. However, because the number of markers available in public databases for accessions other than Col-0 and Ler-0 is extremely low, mapping using other accessions is far from straightforward. This issue arose while cloning mutations in the Wassilewskija (Ws-4) background. In this work, approaches are described for marker generation in Ws-4 x Col-0. Complementary strategies were employed to generate 229 INDEL markers. Firstly, existing Col-0/Ler-0 Cereon predicted polymorphisms were mined for transferability to Ws-4. Secondly, Ws-0 ecotype Illumina sequence data were analyzed to identify INDELs that could be used for the development of PCR-based markers for Col-0 and Ws-4. Finally, shotgun sequencing allowed the identification of INDELs directly between Col-0 and Ws-4. The polymorphism of the 229 markers was assessed in seven widely used Arabidopsis accessions, and PCR markers that allow a clear distinction between the diverged Ws-0 and Ws-4 accessions are detailed. The utility of the markers was demonstrated by mapping more than 35 mutations in a Col-0×Ws-4 combination, an example of which is presented here. The potential contribution of next generation sequencing technologies to more traditional map-based cloning is discussed.
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