Rebeca González-Bayón

Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche, Elx, Valencia, Spain

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Publications (7)41.67 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: A number of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants exhibit leaf reticulation, having green veins that stand out against paler interveinal tissues, fewer cells in the interveinal mesophyll, and normal perivascular bundle sheath cells. Here, to examine the basis of leaf reticulation, we analyzed the Arabidopsis RETICULATA-RELATED (RER) gene family, several members of which cause leaf reticulation when mutated. Although transcripts of RE, RER1 and RER3 were mainly detected in the bundle sheath cells of expanded leaves, functional RER3:GFP protein was visualized in the chloroplast membranes of all photosynthetic cells. Leaf reticulation in the re and rer3 loss-of-function mutants occurred along with accumulation of reactive oxygen species, in a photoperiod-dependent manner. A comparison of re and rer3 leaf mRNA expression profiles showed more than two hundred genes were similarly misexpressed in both mutants. In addition, metabolic profiles of mature leaves revealed that several biosynthetic pathways downstream of pyruvate are altered in re and rer3. Double mutant analysis showed that only re rer1 and rer5 rer6 exhibited synergistic phenotypes, indicating functional redundancy. The redundancy between RE and its closest paralog, RER1, was confirmed by overexpressing RER1 in re mutants, which partially suppressed leaf reticulation. Our results show that RER family members can be divided into four functional modules with divergent functions. Moreover, these results provide insights into the origin of the reticulated phenotype, suggesting that the RER proteins functionally interconnect photoperiodic growth, amino acid homeostasis and ROS metabolism during Arabidopsis leaf growth.
    Plant physiology 04/2013; · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Arabidopsis rugosa1 (rug1) mutant has irregularly shaped leaves and reduced growth. In the absence of pathogens, leaves of rug1 plants have spontaneous lesions reminiscent of those seen in lesion-mimic mutants; rug1 plants also express cytological and molecular markers associated with defence against pathogens. These rug1 phenotypes are made stronger by dark/light transitions. The rug1 mutant also has delayed flowering time, upregulation of the floral repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and downregulation of the flowering promoters FT and SOC1/AGL20. Vernalization suppresses the late flowering phenotype of rug1 by repressing FLC. Microarray analysis revealed that 280 nuclear genes are differentially expressed between rug1 and wild type; almost a quarter of these genes are involved in plant defence. In rug1, the auxin response is also affected and several auxin-responsive genes are downregulated. We identified the RUG1 gene by map-based cloning and found that it encodes porphobilinogen deaminase (PBGD), also known as hydroxymethylbilane synthase, an enzyme of the tetrapyrrole biosynthesis pathway, which produces chlorophyll, heme, siroheme and phytochromobilin in plants. PBGD activity is reduced in rug1 plants, which accumulate porphobilinogen. Our results indicate that Arabidopsis PBGD deficiency impairs the porphyrin pathway and triggers constitutive activation of plant defence mechanisms leading to leaf lesions and affecting vegetative and reproductive development.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53378. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Organ growth depends on two distinct, yet integrated, processes: cell proliferation and post-mitotic cell expansion. Although the regulatory networks of plant cell proliferation during organ growth have begun to be unveiled, the mechanisms regulating post-mitotic cell growth remain mostly unknown. Here, we report the characterization of three EXIGUA (EXI) genes that encode different subunits of the cellulose synthase complex specifically required for secondary cell wall formation. Despite this highly specific role of EXI genes, all the cells within the leaf, even those that do not have secondary walls, display small sizes in the exi mutants. In addition, we found a positive correlation between cell size and the DNA ploidy levels in exi mutant leaves, suggesting that both processes share some regulatory components. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the collapsed xylem vessels of the exi mutants hamper water transport throughout the plant, which, in turn, limits the turgor pressure levels required for normal post-mitotic cell expansion during leaf growth.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36500. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Little is known about the mechanisms that control transcription of the mitochondrial and chloroplastic genomes, and their interplay within plant cells. Here, we describe the positional cloning of the Arabidopsis RUG2 gene, which encodes a protein that is dual-targeted to mitochondria and chloroplasts, and is homologous with the metazoan mitochondrial transcription termination factors (mTERFs). In the loss-of-function rug2 mutants, most organs were pale and showed reduced growth, and the leaves exhibited both green and pale sectors, with the latter containing sparsely packed mesophyll cells. Chloroplast and mitochondrion development were strongly perturbed in the rug2-1 mutant, particularly in pale leaf sectors, in which chloroplasts were abnormally shaped and reduced in number, thereby impairing photoautotrophic growth. As expected from the pleiotropic phenotypes caused by its loss-of-function alleles, the RUG2 gene was ubiquitously expressed. In a microarray analysis of the mitochondrial and chloroplastic genomes, 56 genes were differentially expressed between rug2-1 and the wild type: most mitochondrial genes were downregulated, whereas the majority of the chloroplastic genes were upregulated. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses showed that the rug2-1 mutation specifically increases expression of the RpoTp nuclear gene, which encodes chloroplastic RNA polymerase. Therefore, the RUG2 nuclear gene seems to be crucial for the maintenance of the correct levels of transcripts in the mitochondria and chloroplasts, which is essential for optimized functions of these organelles and proper plant development. Our results highlight the complexity of the functional interaction between these two organelles and the nucleus.
    The Plant Journal 09/2011; 68(4):738 - 753. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana reticulate mutants exhibit differential pigmentation of the veinal and interveinal leaf regions, a visible phenotype that often indicates impaired mesophyll development. We performed a metabolomic analysis of one ven6 (venosa6) and three ven3 reticulate mutants that revealed altered levels of arginine precursors, namely increased ornithine and reduced citrulline levels. In addition, the mutants were more sensitive than the wild-type to exogenous ornithine, and leaf reticulation and mesophyll defects of these mutants were completely rescued by exogenous citrulline. Taken together, these results indicate that ven3 and ven6 mutants experience a blockage of the conversion of ornithine into citrulline in the arginine pathway. Consistent with the participation of VEN3 and VEN6 in the same pathway, the morphological phenotype of ven3 ven6 double mutants was synergistic. Map-based cloning showed that the VEN3 and VEN6 genes encode subunits of Arabidopsis carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS), which is assumed to be required for the conversion of ornithine into citrulline in arginine biosynthesis. Heterologous expression of the Arabidopsis VEN3 and VEN6 genes in a CPS-deficient Escherichia coli strain fully restored bacterial growth in minimal medium, demonstrating the enzymatic activity of the VEN3 and VEN6 proteins, and indicating a conserved role for CPS in these distinct and distant species. Detailed study of the reticulate leaf phenotype in the ven3 and ven6 mutants revealed that mesophyll development is highly sensitive to impaired arginine biosynthesis.
    The Plant Journal 02/2011; 65(3):335-45. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cell type-specific gene expression patterns are maintained by the stable inheritance of transcriptional states through mitosis, requiring the action of multiprotein complexes that remodel chromatin structure. Genetic and molecular interactions between chromatin remodeling factors and components of the DNA replication machinery have been identified in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, indicating that some epigenetic marks are replicated simultaneously to DNA with the participation of the DNA replication complexes. This model of epigenetic inheritance might be extended to the plant kingdom, as we report here with the positional cloning and characterization of INCURVATA2 (ICU2), which encodes the putative catalytic subunit of the DNA polymerase alpha of Arabidopsis thaliana. The strong icu2-2 and icu2-3 insertional alleles caused fully penetrant zygotic lethality when homozygous and incompletely penetrant gametophytic lethality, probably because of loss of DNA polymerase activity. The weak icu2-1 allele carried a point mutation and caused early flowering, leaf incurvature, and homeotic transformations of sepals into carpels and of petals into stamens. Further genetic analyses indicated that ICU2 interacts with TERMINAL FLOWER2, the ortholog of HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN1 of animals and yeasts, and with the Polycomb group (PcG) gene CURLY LEAF. Another PcG gene, EMBRYONIC FLOWER2, was found to be epistatic to ICU2. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses indicated that a number of regulatory genes were derepressed in the icu2-1 mutant, including genes associated with flowering time, floral meristem, and floral organ identity.
    The Plant Cell 10/2007; 19(9):2822-38. · 9.25 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A number of mutants have been described in Arabidopsis, whose leaf vascular network can be clearly distinguished as a green reticulation on a paler lamina. One of these reticulate mutants was named reticulata (re) by Rédei in 1964 and has been used for years as a classical genetic marker for linkage analysis. Seven recessive alleles of the RE gene were studied, at least four of which seem to be null. Contrary to many other leaf mutants studied in Arabidopsis, very little pleiotropy was observed in the external morphology of the re mutants, whose only aberration obvious at first sight is the reticulation exhibited by cotyledons and leaves. The re alleles caused a marked reduction in the density of mesophyll cells in interveinal regions of the leaf, which does not result from perturbed plastid development in specific cells, but rather from a dramatic change in internal leaf architecture. Loss of function of the RE gene seems to specifically perturb mesophyll cell division in the early stages of leaf organogenesis. The leaves of re mutants were nearly normal in shape in spite of their extremely reduced mesophyll cell density, suggesting that the epidermis plays a major role in regulating leaf shape in Arabidopsis. The RE gene was positionally cloned and found to be expressed in all the major organs studied. RE encodes a protein of unknown function and is identical to the LCD1 gene, which was identified based on the increased sensitivity to ozone caused by its mutant allele lcd1-1. Double mutant analyses suggest that RE acts in a developmental pathway that involves CUE1 but does not include DOV1.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2006; 57(12):3019-31. · 5.24 Impact Factor