[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants monitor and integrate temperature, photoperiod and light quality signals to respond to continuous changes in their environment. The GIGANTEA (GI) protein is central in diverse signaling pathways, including photoperiodic, sugar and light signaling pathways, stress responses and circadian clock regulation. Previously, GI was shown to activate expression of the key floral regulators CONSTANS (CO) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) by facilitating degradation of a family of CYCLING DOF FACTOR (CDF) transcriptional repressors. However, whether CDFs are implicated in other processes affected by GI remains unclear. We investigated the contribution of the GI-CDF module to traits that depend on GI. Transcriptome profiling indicated that mutations in GI and the CDFs have antagonistic effects on expression of a wider set of genes than CO and FT, whilst other genes are regulated by GI independently of the CDFs. Detailed expression studies followed by phenotypic assays showed that the CDFs function downstream of GI influencing responses to freezing temperatures and growth, but are not necessary for proper clock function. Thus GI-mediated regulation of CDFs contributes to several processes in addition to flowering, but is not implicated in all of the traits influenced by GI.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
The Plant Journal 01/2015; 81(5). DOI:10.1111/tpj.12759 · 5.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: While conceptual principles governing plant immunity are becoming clear, its systems-level organization and the evolutionary dynamic of the host-pathogen interface are still obscure. We generated a systematic protein-protein interaction network of virulence effectors from the ascomycete pathogen Golovinomyces orontii and Arabidopsis thaliana host proteins. We combined this data set with corresponding data for the eubacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae and the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis. The resulting network identifies host proteins onto which intraspecies and interspecies pathogen effectors converge. Phenotyping of 124 Arabidopsis effector-interactor mutants revealed a correlation between intraspecies and interspecies convergence and several altered immune response phenotypes. Several effectors and the most heavily targeted host protein colocalized in subnuclear foci. Products of adaptively selected Arabidopsis genes are enriched for interactions with effector targets. Our data suggest the existence of a molecular host-pathogen interface that is conserved across Arabidopsis accessions, while evolutionary adaptation occurs in the immediate network neighborhood of effector targets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants host at the contact zone with soil a distinctive root-associated bacterial microbiota believed to function in plant nutrition and health. We investigated the diversity of the root microbiota within a phylogenetic framework of hosts: three Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes along with its sister species Arabidopsis halleri and Arabidopsis lyrata, as well as Cardamine hirsuta, which diverged from the former ∼35 Mya. We surveyed their microbiota under controlled environmental conditions and of A. thaliana and C. hirsuta in two natural habitats. Deep 16S rRNA gene profiling of root and corresponding soil samples identified a total of 237 quantifiable bacterial ribotypes, of which an average of 73 community members were enriched in roots. The composition of this root microbiota depends more on interactions with the environment than with host species. Interhost species microbiota diversity is largely quantitative and is greater between the three Arabidopsis species than the three A. thaliana ecotypes. Host species-specific microbiota were identified at the levels of individual community members, taxonomic groups, and whole root communities. Most of these signatures were observed in the phylogenetically distant C. hirsuta. However, the branching order of host phylogeny is incongruent with interspecies root microbiota diversity, indicating that host phylogenetic distance alone cannot explain root microbiota diversification. Our work reveals within 35 My of host divergence a largely conserved and taxonomically narrow root microbiota, which comprises stable community members belonging to the Actinomycetales, Burkholderiales, and Flavobacteriales.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2013; 111(2). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1321597111 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The peroxisomal 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase B (ThB) catalyzes the thiolytic cleavage of straigth chain 3-ketoacyl-CoAs. Up to now, the ability of ThB to interfere with lipid metabolism was studied in mice fed a routinely laboratory chow enriched or not with the synthetic agonist Wy14,643, a pharmacological activator of the nuclear hormone receptor PPARα. The aim of the present study was therefore to determine whether ThB could play a role in obesity and lipid metabolism when mice are chronically fed a synthetic High Fat Diet (HFD) or a Low Fat Diet (LFD) as a control diet. To investigate this possibility, wild-type (WT) mice and mice deficient for Thb (Thb-/-) were subjected to either a synthetic LFD or a HFD for 25 weeks, and their responses were compared. First, when fed a normal regulatory laboratory chow, Thb-/- mice displayed growth retardation as well as a severe reduction in the plasma level of growth hormone (GH) and Insulin Growth Factor-I (IGF-I), suggesting alterations in the GH/IGF-1 pathway. When fed the synthetic diets, the corrected energy intake to body mass was significantly higher in Thb-/- mice, yet those mice were protected from HFD-induced adiposity. Importantly, Thb-/- mice also suffered from hypoglycemia, exhibited reduction in liver glycogen stores and circulating insulin levels under the LFD and the HFD. Thb deficiency was also associated with higher levels of plasma HDL (High Density Lipoproteins) cholesterol and increased liver content of cholesterol under both the LFD and the HFD. As shown by the plasma lathosterol to cholesterol ratio, a surrogate marker for cholesterol biosynthesis, whole body cholesterol de novo synthesis was increased in Thb-/- mice. By comparing liver RNA from WT mice and Thb-/- mice using oligonucleotide microarray and RT-qPCR, a coordinated decrease in the expression of critical cholesterol synthesizing genes and an increased expression of genes involved in bile acid synthesis (Cyp7a1 Cyp17a1, Akr1d1) were observed in Thb-/- mice. In parallel, the elevation of the lathosterol to cholesterol ratio as well as the increased expression of cholesterol synthesizing genes were observed in the kidney of Thb-/- mice fed the LFD and the HFD. Overall, the data indicate that ThB is not fully interchangeable with the thiolase A isoform. The present study also reveals that modulating the expression of the peroxisomal ThB enzyme can largely reverberate not only throughout fatty acid metabolism but also cholesterol, bile acid and glucose metabolism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Wheat powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis forma specialis tritici, is a devastating fungal pathogen with a poorly understood evolutionary history. Here we report the draft genome sequence of wheat powdery mildew, the resequencing of three additional isolates from different geographic regions and comparative analyses with the barley powdery mildew genome. Our comparative genomic analyses identified 602 candidate effector genes, with many showing evidence of positive selection. We characterize patterns of genetic diversity and suggest that mildew genomes are mosaics of ancient haplogroups that existed before wheat domestication. The patterns of diversity in modern isolates suggest that there was no pronounced loss of genetic diversity upon formation of the new host bread wheat 10,000 years ago. We conclude that the ready adaptation of B. graminis f.sp. tritici to the new host species was based on a diverse haplotype pool that provided great genetic potential for pathogen variation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Perennial plants live for more than 1 year and flower only after an extended vegetative phase. We used Arabis alpina, a perennial relative of annual Arabidopsis thaliana, to study how increasing age and exposure to winter cold (vernalization) coordinate to establish competence to flower. We show that the APETALA2 transcription factor, a target of microRNA miR172, prevents flowering before vernalization. Additionally, miR156 levels decline as A. alpina ages, causing increased production of SPL (SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE) transcription factors and ensuring that flowering occurs in response to cold. The age at which plants respond to vernalization can be altered by manipulating miR156 levels. Although miR156 and miR172 levels are uncoupled in A. alpina, miR156 abundance represents the timer controlling age-dependent flowering responses to cold.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Barley powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh), is an obligate biotrophic ascomycete fungal pathogen that can grow and reproduce only on living cells of wild or domesticated barley (Hordeum sp.). Domestication and deployment of resistant barley cultivars by humans selected for amplification of Bgh isolates with different virulence combinations. We sequenced the genomes of two European Bgh isolates, A6 and K1, for comparative analysis with the reference genome of isolate DH14. This revealed a mosaic genome structure consisting of large isolate-specific DNA blocks with either high or low SNP densities. Some of the highly polymorphic blocks likely accumulated SNPs for over 10,000 years, well before the domestication of barley. These isolate-specific blocks of alternating monomorphic and polymorphic regions imply an exceptionally large standing genetic variation in the Bgh population and might be generated and maintained by rare outbreeding and frequent clonal reproduction. RNA-sequencing experiments with isolates A6 and K1 during four early stages of compatible and incompatible interactions on leaves of partially immunocompromised Arabidopsis mutants revealed a conserved Bgh transcriptional program during pathogenesis compared with the natural host barley despite ∼200 million years of reproductive isolation of these hosts. Transcripts encoding candidate-secreted effector proteins are massively induced in successive waves. A specific decrease in candidate-secreted effector protein transcript abundance in the incompatible interaction follows extensive transcriptional reprogramming of the host transcriptome and coincides with the onset of localized host cell death, suggesting a host-inducible defense mechanism that targets fungal effector secretion or production.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2013; 110(24). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1306807110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial communities distinct from those in unplanted soil colonize plant-associated microhabitats in the proximity of (rhizosphere), on the surface (rhizoplane), and the interior of roots. These communities of the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana have recently been studied using high resolution pyrosequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene, thereby revealing the taxonomic structure of its root microbiota (Bulgarelli et al., 2012; Lundberg et al., 2012). Arabidopsis roots mainly host soil-derived Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, and Bacteroidetes. Most of the Proteobacteria inside roots also colonize soil-incubated wood indicating that this endophytic subcommunity is not host-specific and might be saprobes. The composition of the endophytic community is largely defined by the soil type and to a limited extent by the Arabidopsis genotype. These replicated experiments under controlled environmental conditions included four soil types on two continents, the utilization of different PCR-primer combinations, but similar sample preparation and computational protocols. Together this provides a foundation for future functional and molecular studies to infer general principles underlying the formation of the Arabidopsis root microbiota.
Molecular Microbial Ecology of the Rhizosphere, 03/2013: pages 243-256; , ISBN: 9781118296172
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants host distinct bacterial communities on and inside various plant organs, of which those associated with roots and the leaf surface are best characterized. The phylogenetic composition of these communities is defined by relatively few bacterial phyla, including Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria. A synthesis of available data suggests a two-step selection process by which the bacterial microbiota of roots is differentiated from the surrounding soil biome. Rhizodeposition appears to fuel an initial substrate-driven community shift in the rhizosphere, which converges with host genotype-dependent fine-tuning of microbiota profiles in the selection of root endophyte assemblages. Substrate-driven selection also underlies the establishment of phyllosphere communities but takes place solely at the immediate leaf surface. Both the leaf and root microbiota contain bacteria that provide indirect pathogen protection, but root microbiota members appear to serve additional host functions through the acquisition of nutrients from soil for plant growth. Thus, the plant microbiota emerges as a fundamental trait that includes mutualism enabled through diverse biochemical mechanisms, as revealed by studies on plant growth-promoting and plant health-promoting bacteria. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology Volume 64 is April 29, 2013. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Protein effectors of pathogenicity are instrumental in modulating host immunity and disease resistance. The powdery mildew pathogen of grasses Blumeria graminis causes one of the most important diseases of cereal crops. B. graminis is an obligate biotrophic pathogen and as such has an absolute requirement to suppress or avoid host immunity if it is to survive and cause disease.
Here we characterise a superfamily predicted to be the full complement of Candidates for Secreted Effector Proteins (CSEPs) in the fungal barley powdery mildew parasite B. graminis f.sp. hordei. The 491 genes encoding these proteins constitute over 7% of this pathogen’s annotated genes and most were grouped into 72 families of up to 59 members. They were predominantly expressed in the intracellular feeding structures called haustoria, and proteins specifically associated with the haustoria were identified by large-scale mass spectrometry-based proteomics. There are two major types of effector families: one comprises shorter proteins (100–150 amino acids), with a high relative expression level in the haustoria and evidence of extensive diversifying selection between paralogs; the second type consists of longer proteins (300–400 amino acids), with lower levels of differential expression and evidence of purifying selection between paralogs. An analysis of the predicted protein structures underscores their overall similarity to known fungal effectors, but also highlights unexpected structural affinities to ribonucleases throughout the entire effector super-family. Candidate effector genes belonging to the same family are loosely clustered in the genome and are associated with repetitive DNA derived from retro-transposons.
We employed the full complement of genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses as well as structural prediction methods to identify and characterize the members of the CSEPs superfamily in B. graminis f.sp. hordei. Based on relative intron position and the distribution of CSEPs with a ribonuclease-like domain in the phylogenetic tree we hypothesize that the associated genes originated from an ancestral gene, encoding a secreted ribonuclease, duplicated successively by repetitive DNA-driven processes and diversified during the evolution of the grass and cereal powdery mildew lineage.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR) family of plant receptors detects pathogen-derived molecules, designated effectors, inside host cells and mediates innate immune responses to pathogenic invaders. Genetic evidence revealed species-specific coevolution of many NLRs with effectors from host-adapted pathogens, suggesting that the specificity of these NLRs is restricted to the host or closely related plant species. However, we report that an NLR immune receptor (MLA1) from monocotyledonous barley is fully functional in partially immunocompromised dicotyledonous Arabidopsis thaliana against the barley powdery mildew fungus, Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei. This implies ∼200 million years of evolutionary conservation of the underlying immune mechanism. A time-course RNA-seq analysis in transgenic Arabidopsis lines detected sustained expression of a large MLA1-dependent gene cluster. This cluster is greatly enriched in genes known to respond to the fungal cell wall-derived microbe-associated molecular pattern chitin. The MLA1-dependent sustained transcript accumulation could define a conserved function of the nuclear pool of MLA1 detected in barley and Arabidopsis. We also found that MLA1-triggered immunity was fully retained in mutant plants that are simultaneously depleted of ethylene, jasmonic acid, and salicylic acid signaling. This points to the existence of an evolutionarily conserved and phytohormone-independent MLA1-mediated resistance mechanism. This also suggests a conserved mechanism for internalization of B. graminis f. sp. hordei effectors into host cells of flowering plants. Furthermore, the deduced connectivity of the NLR to multiple branches of immune signaling pathways likely confers increased robustness against pathogen effector-mediated interception of host immune signaling and could have contributed to the evolutionary preservation of the immune mechanism.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2012; 109(49). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1218059109 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Colletotrichum species are fungal pathogens that devastate crop plants worldwide. Host infection involves the differentiation of specialized cell types that are associated with penetration, growth inside living host cells (biotrophy) and tissue destruction (necrotrophy). We report here genome and transcriptome analyses of Colletotrichum higginsianum infecting Arabidopsis thaliana and Colletotrichum graminicola infecting maize. Comparative genomics showed that both fungi have large sets of pathogenicity-related genes, but families of genes encoding secreted effectors, pectin-degrading enzymes, secondary metabolism enzymes, transporters and peptidases are expanded in C. higginsianum. Genome-wide expression profiling revealed that these genes are transcribed in successive waves that are linked to pathogenic transitions: effectors and secondary metabolism enzymes are induced before penetration and during biotrophy, whereas most hydrolases and transporters are upregulated later, at the switch to necrotrophy. Our findings show that preinvasion perception of plant-derived signals substantially reprograms fungal gene expression and indicate previously unknown functions for particular fungal cell types.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The plant root defines the interface between a multicellular eukaryote and soil, one of the richest microbial ecosystems on Earth. Notably, soil bacteria are able to multiply inside roots as benign endophytes and modulate plant growth and development, with implications ranging from enhanced crop productivity to phytoremediation. Endophytic colonization represents an apparent paradox of plant innate immunity because plant cells can detect an array of microbe-associated molecular patterns (also known as MAMPs) to initiate immune responses to terminate microbial multiplication. Several studies attempted to describe the structure of bacterial root endophytes; however, different sampling protocols and low-resolution profiling methods make it difficult to infer general principles. Here we describe methodology to characterize and compare soil- and root-inhabiting bacterial communities, which reveals not only a function for metabolically active plant cells but also for inert cell-wall features in the selection of soil bacteria for host colonization. We show that the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana, grown in different natural soils under controlled environmental conditions, are preferentially colonized by Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria, and each bacterial phylum is represented by a dominating class or family. Soil type defines the composition of root-inhabiting bacterial communities and host genotype determines their ribotype profiles to a limited extent. The identification of soil-type-specific members within the root-inhabiting assemblies supports our conclusion that these represent soil-derived root endophytes. Surprisingly, plant cell-wall features of other tested plant species seem to provide a sufficient cue for the assembly of approximately 40% of the Arabidopsis bacterial root-inhabiting microbiota, with a bias for Betaproteobacteria. Thus, this root sub-community may not be Arabidopsis-specific but saprophytic bacteria that would naturally be found on any plant root or plant debris in the tested soils. By contrast, colonization of Arabidopsis roots by members of the Actinobacteria depends on other cues from metabolically active host cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Powdery mildews are phytopathogenic ascomycetes that have an obligate biotrophic lifestyle and establish intimate relationships with their plant hosts. A crucial aspect of this plant-fungus interaction is the formation of specialized fungal infection structures termed haustoria. Although located within the cell boundaries of plant epidermal cells, haustoria remain separated from the plant cytoplasm by a host plasma membrane derivative, the extrahaustorial membrane. Haustoria are thought to represent pivotal sites of nutrient uptake and effector protein delivery. We enriched haustorial complexes from Arabidopsis thaliana plants infected with the powdery mildew fungus Golovinomyces orontii and performed in-depth transcriptome analysis by 454-based pyrosequencing of haustorial cDNAs. We assembled 7077 expressed sequence tag (EST) contigs with greater than 5-fold average coverage and analyzed these with regard to the respective predicted protein functions. We found that transcripts coding for gene products with roles in protein turnover, detoxification of reactive oxygen species and fungal pathogenesis are abundant in the haustorial EST contigs, while surprisingly transcripts encoding presumptive nutrient transporters were not highly represented in the haustorial cDNA library. A substantial proportion (∼38%) of transcripts coding for predicted secreted proteins comprises effector candidates. Our data provide valuable insights into the transcriptome of the key infection structure of a model obligate biotrophic phytopathogen.