Jekyll encodes a novel protein involved in the sexual reproduction of barley.

Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung, D-06466 Gatersleben, Germany.
The Plant Cell (Impact Factor: 9.25). 08/2006; 18(7):1652-66. DOI: 10.1105/tpc.106.041335
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cereal seed development depends on the intimate interaction of filial and maternal tissues, ensuring nourishment of the new generation. The gene jekyll, which was identified in barley (Hordeum vulgare), is preferentially expressed in the nurse tissues. JEKYLL shares partial similarity with the scorpion Cn4 toxin and is toxic when ectopically expressed in Escherichia coli and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). In barley, jekyll is upregulated in cells destined for autolysis. The gene generates a gradient of expression in the nucellar projection, which mediates the maternal-filial interaction during seed filling. Downregulation of jekyll by the RNA interference technique in barley decelerates autolysis and cell differentiation within the nurse tissues. Flower development and seed filling are thereby extended, and the nucellar projection no longer functions as the main transport route for assimilates. A slowing down in the proliferation of endosperm nuclei and a severely impaired ability to accumulate starch in the endosperm leads to the formation of irregular and small-sized seeds at maturity. Overall, JEKYLL plays a decisive role in the differentiation of the nucellar projection and drives the programmed cell death necessary for its proper function. We further suggest that cell autolysis during the differentiation of the nucellar projection allows the optimal provision of basic nutrients for biosynthesis in endosperm and embryo.

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    ABSTRACT: Programmed cell death is essential part of development and cell homeostasis of any multicellular organism. We have analyzed programmed cell death in developing barley caryopsis at histological, biochemical and molecular level. Caspase-1, -3, -4, -6 and -8-like activities increased with aging of pericarp coinciding with abundance of TUNEL positive nuclei and expression of HvVPE4 and HvPhS2 genes in the tissue. TUNEL-positive nuclei were also detected in nucellus and nucellar projection as well as in embryo surrounding region during early caryopsis development. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of micro-dissected grain tissues revealed the expression of HvVPE2a, HvVPE2b, HvVPE2d, HvPhS2 and HvPhS3 genes exclusively in the nucellus/nucellar projection. The first increase in cascade of caspase-1, -3, -4, -6 and -8-like activities in the endosperm fraction may be related to programmed cell death in the nucellus and nucellar projection. The second increase of all above caspase-like activities including of caspase-9-like was detected in the maturating endosperm and coincided with expression of HvVPE1 and HvPhS1 genes as well as with degeneration of nuclei in starchy endosperm and transfer cells. The distribution of the TUNEL-positive nuclei, tissues-specific expression of genes encoding proteases with potential caspase activities and cascades of caspase-like activities suggest that each seed tissue follows individual pattern of development and disintegration, which however harmonizes with growth of the other tissues in order to achieve proper caryopsis development. Copyright: ß 2014 Tran et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability: The authors confirm that all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction. All relevant data are within the paper and its Supporting Information files. Funding: This work was supported in part by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG grants WE1608/2-1 for Volodymyr Radchuk and RA2061/3-1 for Ruslana Radchuk) and a grant of Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training for Van Tran. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.
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    ABSTRACT: The life cycle of cereal seeds can be divided into two phases, development and germination, separated by a quiescent period. Seed development and germination require the growth and differentiation of new tissues, but also the ordered disappearance of cells, which takes place by a process of programmed cell death (PCD). For this reason, cereal seeds have become excellent model systems for the study of developmental PCD in plants. At early stages of seed development, maternal tissues such as the nucellus, the pericarp, and the nucellar projections undergo a progressive degeneration by PCD, which allows the remobilization of their cellular contents for nourishing new filial tissues such as the embryo and the endosperm. At a later stage, during seed maturation, the endosperm undergoes PCD, but these cells remain intact in the mature grain and their contents will not be remobilized until germination. Thus, the only tissues that remain alive when seed development is completed are the embryo axis, the scutellum and the aleurone layer. In germinating seeds, both the scutellum and the aleurone layer play essential roles in producing the hydrolytic enzymes for the mobilization of the storage compounds of the starchy endosperm, which serve to support early seedling growth. Once this function is completed, scutellum and aleurone cells undergo PCD; their contents being used to support the growth of the germinated embryo. PCD occurs with tightly controlled spatial-temporal patterns allowing coordinated fluxes of nutrients between the different seed tissues. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge of the tissues undergoing PCD in developing and germinating cereal seeds, focussing on the biochemical features of the process. The effect of hormones and redox regulation on PCD control will be discussed.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:366. · 3.60 Impact Factor
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    Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:510. · 3.60 Impact Factor

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