Nitrogen deficiency as well as phosphorus deficiency in sorghum promotes the production and exudation of 5-deoxystrigol, the host recognition signal for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and root parasites.
ABSTRACT Strigolactones released from plant roots induce hyphal branching of symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and germination of root parasitic weeds, Striga and Orobanche spp. We already demonstrated that, in red clover plants (Trifolium pratense L.), a host for both AM fungi and the root holoparasitic plant Orobanche minor Sm., reduced supply of phosphorus (P) but not of other elements examined (N, K, Ca, Mg) in the culture medium significantly promoted the secretion of a strigolactone, orobanchol, by the roots of this plant. Here we show that in the case of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], a host of both the root hemiparasitic plant Striga hermonthica and AM fungi, N deficiency as well as P deficiency markedly enhanced the secretion of a strigolactone, 5-deoxystrigol. The 5-deoxystrigol content in sorghum root tissues also increased under both N deficiency and P deficiency, comparable to the increase in the root exudates. These results suggest that strigolactones may be rapidly released after their production in the roots. Unlike the situation in the roots, neither N nor P deficiency affected the low content of 5-deoxystrigol in sorghum shoot tissues.
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ABSTRACT: The signaling molecules strigolactone (SL) and karrikin are involved in seed germination, development of axillary meristems, senescence of leaves, and interactions with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. The signal transduction pathways for both SLs and karrikins require the same F-box protein (MAX2) and closely related α/β hydrolase fold proteins (DAD2 and KAI2). The crystal structure of DAD2 has been solved revealing an α/β hydrolase fold protein with an internal cavity capable of accommodating SLs. DAD2 responds to the SL analog GR24 by changing conformation and binding to MAX2 in a GR24 concentration-dependent manner. DAD2 can also catalyze hydrolysis of GR24. Structure activity relationships of analogs indicate that the butenolide ring common to both SLs and karrikins is essential for biological activity, but the remainder of the molecules can be significantly modified without loss of activity. The combination of data from the study of DAD2, KAI2, and chemical analogs of SLs and karrikins suggests a model for binding that requires nucleophilic attack by the active site serine of the hydrolase at the carbonyl atom of the butenolide ring. A conformational change occurs in the hydrolase that results in interaction with the F-box protein MAX2. Downstream signal transduction is then likely to occur via SCF (Skp-Cullin-F-box) complex-mediated ubiquitination of target proteins and their subsequent degradation. The role of the catalytic activity of the hydrolase is unclear but it may be integral in binding as well as possibly allowing the signal to be cleared from the receptor. The α/β hydrolase fold family consists mostly of active enzymes, with a few notable exceptions. We suggest that DAD2 and KAI2 represent an intermediate stage where some catalytic activity is retained at the same time as a receptor role has evolved.Frontiers in plant science. 01/2012; 3:296.
Article: Interactions between Co-Habitating fungi Elicit Synthesis of Taxol from an Endophytic Fungus in Host Taxus Plants.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Within a plant, there can exist an ecosystem of pathogens and endophytes, the latter described as bacterial and fungal inhabitants that thrive without causing disease to the host. Interactions between microbial inhabitants represent a novel area of study for natural products research. Here we analyzed the interactions between the fungal endophytes of Taxus (yew) trees. Fungal endophytes of Taxus have been proposed to produce the terpenoid secondary metabolite, Taxol, an anti-cancer drug. It is widely reported that plant extracts stimulate endophytic fungal Taxol production, but the underlying mechanism is not understood. Here, Taxus bark extracts stimulated fungal Taxol production 30-fold compared to a 10-fold induction with wood extracts. However, candidate plant-derived defense compounds (i.e., salicylic acid, benzoic acid) were found to act only as modest elicitors of fungal Taxol production from the endophytic fungus Paraconiothyrium SSM001, consistent with previous studies. We hypothesized the Taxus plant extracts may contain elicitors derived from other microbes inhabiting these tissues. We investigated the effects of co-culturing SSM001 with other fungi observed to inhabit Taxus bark, but not wood. Surprisingly, co-culture of SSM001 with a bark fungus (Alternaria) caused a ∼threefold increase in Taxol production. When SSM001 was pyramided with both the Alternaria endophyte along with another fungus (Phomopsis) observed to inhabit Taxus, there was an ∼eightfold increase in fungal Taxol production from SSM001. These results suggest that resident fungi within a host plant interact with one another to stimulate Taxol biosynthesis, either directly or through their metabolites. More generally, our results suggest that endophyte secondary metabolism should be studied in the context of its native ecosystem.Frontiers in microbiology. 01/2013; 4:3.
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ABSTRACT: The developmental plasticity of organisms is a natural consequence of adaptation. Classical approaches targeting developmental processes usually focus on genetics as the essential factor underlying phenotypic differences. However, such differences are often based on the inherent plasticity of developmental programs. Due to their dependence on environmental stimuli, plants represent ideal experimental systems in which to dissect the contribution of genetic and environmental variation to phenotypic plasticity. An evident example is the vast repertoire of growth forms observed in plant shoot systems. A fundamental factor underlying the broadness of this repertoire is the activity of secondary meristems, namely the axillary meristems that give rise to side shoots, and the cambium essential for stem thickening. Differential activities of both meristem types are crucial to the tremendous variation seen in higher plant architecture. In this review, we discuss the role of secondary meristems in the adaptation of plant growth forms, and the ways in which they integrate environmental input. In particular, we explore potential approaches for dissecting the degree to which this flexibility and its consequences for plant architecture is genetically predetermined and how much it represents an adaptive value.Mechanisms of development 06/2012; · 2.83 Impact Factor