[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During compatible interactions with their host plants, biotrophic plant-pathogens subvert host metabolism to ensure the sustained provision of nutrient assimilates by the colonized host cells. To investigate, whether common motifs can be revealed in the response of primary carbon and nitrogen metabolism toward colonization with biotrophic fungi in cereal leaves, we have conducted a combined metabolome and transcriptome study of three quite divergent pathosystems, the barley powdery mildew fungus (Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei), the corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis, and the maize anthracnose fungus Colletotrichum graminicola, the latter being a hemibiotroph that only exhibits an initial biotrophic phase during its establishment. Based on the analysis of 42 water-soluble metabolites, we were able to separate early biotrophic from late biotrophic interactions by hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis, irrespective of the plant host. Interestingly, the corresponding transcriptome dataset could not discriminate between these stages of biotrophy, irrespective, of whether transcript data for genes of central metabolism or the entire transcriptome dataset was used. Strong differences in the transcriptional regulation of photosynthesis, glycolysis, the TCA cycle, lipid biosynthesis, and cell wall metabolism were observed between the pathosystems. However, increased contents of Gln, Asn, and glucose as well as diminished contents of PEP and 3-PGA were common to early post-penetration stages of all interactions. On the transcriptional level, genes of the TCA cycle, nucleotide energy metabolism and amino acid biosynthesis exhibited consistent trends among the compared biotrophic interactions, identifying the requirement for metabolic energy and the rearrangement of amino acid pools as common transcriptional motifs during early biotrophy. Both metabolome and transcript data were employed to generate models of leaf primary metabolism during early biotrophy for the three investigated interactions.
Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2011; 2:39. · 3.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metabolic profiles and fingerprints of Arabidopsis thaliana plants with various defects in plastidic sugar metabolism or photosynthesis were analyzed to elucidate if the genetic mutations can be traced by comparing their metabolic status. Using a platform of chromatographic and spectrometric tools data from untargeted full MS scans as well as from selected metabolites including major carbohydrates, phosphorylated intermediates, carboxylates, free amino acids, major antioxidants, and plastidic pigments were evaluated. Our key observations are that by multivariate statistical analysis each mutant can be separated by a unique metabolic signature. Closely related mutants come close. Thus metabolic profiles of sugar mutants are different but more similar than those of photosynthesis mutants. All mutants show pleiotropic responses mirrored in their metabolic status. These pleiotropic responses are typical and can be used for separating and grouping of the mutants. Our findings show that metabolite fingerprints can be taken to classify mutants and hence may be used to sort genes into functional groups.
Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2011; 2:82. · 3.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extensive progress has been made in the last years in unraveling molecular mechanisms of plant-pathogen interactions. Although the main research focus lies on defense and counter-defense mechanisms, some plant-pathogen interactions have been characterized on the physiological level. Only a few studies have focused on the nutrient acquisition strategies of phytopathogens. In a previous study, we analyzed how local infection of maize leaves by the tumor-inducing fungus Ustilago maydis affects whole plant physiology and were able to show that carbon and nitrogen assimilates are rerouted to the tumor. While the sink strength of infected emerging young leaves increases with tumor development, systemic source leaves exhibit elevated export of assimilates and delayed senescence to compensate for the altered sink-source balance. Here we provide new experimental data on the metabolization of these assimilates in the tumor and propose a model on their utilization in the infected tissue.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Corynebacterium glutamicum, a Gram-positive soil bacterium employed in the industrial production of various amino acids, is able to use a number of different nitrogen sources, such as ammonium, urea or creatinine. This study shows that l-glutamine serves as an excellent nitrogen source for C. glutamicum and allows similar growth rates in glucose minimal medium to those in ammonium. A transcriptome comparison revealed that the nitrogen starvation response was elicited when glutamine served as the sole nitrogen source, meaning that the target genes of the global nitrogen regulator AmtR were derepressed. Subsequent growth experiments with a variety of mutants defective in nitrogen metabolism showed that glutamate synthase is crucial for glutamine utilization, while a putative glutaminase is dispensable under the experimental conditions used. The gltBD operon encoding the glutamate synthase is a member of the AmtR regulon. The observation that the nitrogen starvation response was elicited at high intracellular l-glutamine levels has implications for nitrogen sensing. In contrast with other Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Klebsiella pneumoniae, a drop in glutamine concentration obviously does not serve as a nitrogen starvation signal in C. glutamicum.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to assess possible adverse effects of transgene expression in leaves of field-grown barley relative to the influence of genetic background and the effect of plant interaction with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. We conducted transcript profiling, metabolome profiling, and metabolic fingerprinting of wild-type accessions and barley transgenics with seed-specific expression of (1,3-1, 4)-beta-glucanase (GluB) in Baronesse (B) as well as of transgenics in Golden Promise (GP) background with ubiquitous expression of codon-optimized Trichoderma harzianum endochitinase (ChGP). We found more than 1,600 differential transcripts between varieties GP and B, with defense genes being strongly overrepresented in B, indicating a divergent response to subclinical pathogen challenge in the field. In contrast, no statistically significant differences between ChGP and GP could be detected based on transcriptome or metabolome analysis, although 22 genes and 4 metabolites were differentially abundant when comparing GluB and B, leading to the distinction of these two genotypes in principle component analysis. The coregulation of most of these genes in GluB and GP, as well as simple sequence repeat-marker analysis, suggests that the distinctive alleles in GluB are inherited from GP. Thus, the effect of the two investigated transgenes on the global transcript profile is substantially lower than the effect of a minor number of alleles that differ as a consequence of crop breeding. Exposing roots to the spores of the mycorrhizal Glomus sp. had little effect on the leaf transcriptome, but central leaf metabolism was consistently altered in all genotypes.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(14):6198-203. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The basidiomycete Ustilago maydis is the causal agent of corn smut disease and induces tumor formation during biotrophic growth in its host maize (Zea mays). We have conducted a combined metabolome and transcriptome survey of infected leaves between 1 d post infection (dpi) and 8 dpi, representing infected leaf primordia and fully developed tumors, respectively. At 4 and 8 dpi, we observed a substantial increase in contents of the nitrogen-rich amino acids glutamine and asparagine, while the activities of enzymes involved in primary nitrogen assimilation and the content of ammonia and nitrate were reduced by 50% in tumors compared with mock controls. Employing stable isotope labeling, we could demonstrate that U. maydis-induced tumors show a reduced assimilation of soil-derived (15)NO(3)(-) and represent strong sinks for nitrogen. Specific labeling of the free amino acid pool of systemic source leaves with [(15)N]urea revealed an increased import of organic nitrogen from systemic leaves to tumor tissue, indicating that organic nitrogen provision supports the formation of U. maydis-induced tumors. In turn, amino acid export from systemic source leaves was doubled in infected plants. The analysis of the phloem amino acid pool revealed that glutamine and asparagine are not transported to the tumor tissue, although these two amino acids were found to accumulate within the tumor. Photosynthesis was increased and senescence was delayed in systemic source leaves upon tumor development on infected plants, indicating that the elevated sink demand for nitrogen could determine photosynthetic rates in source leaves.