[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medicago truncatula has been chosen as a model species for genomic studies. It is closely related to an important legume, alfalfa. Transporters are a large group of membrane-spanning proteins. They deliver essential nutrients, eject waste products, and assist the cell in sensing environmental conditions by forming a complex system of pumps and channels. Although studies have effectively characterized individual M. truncatula transporters in several databases, until now there has been no available systematic database that includes all transporters in M. truncatula.
The M. truncatula transporter database (MTDB) contains comprehensive information on the transporters in M. truncatula. Based on the TransportTP method, we have presented a novel prediction pipeline. A total of 3,665 putative transporters have been annotated based on International Medicago Genome Annotated Group (IMGAG) V3.5 V3 and the M. truncatula Gene Index (MTGI) V10.0 releases and assigned to 162 families according to the transporter classification system. These families were further classified into seven types according to their transport mode and energy coupling mechanism. Extensive annotations referring to each protein were generated, including basic protein function, expressed sequence tag (EST) mapping, genome locus, three-dimensional template prediction, transmembrane segment, and domain annotation. A chromosome distribution map and text-based Basic Local Alignment Search Tools were also created. In addition, we have provided a way to explore the expression of putative M. truncatula transporter genes under stress treatments.
In summary, the MTDB enables the exploration and comparative analysis of putative transporters in M. truncatula. A user-friendly web interface and regular updates make MTDB valuable to researchers in related fields. The MTDB is freely available now to all users at http://bioinformatics.cau.edu.cn/MtTransporter/.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salt stress hinders the growth of plants and reduces crop production worldwide. However, different plant species might possess different adaptive mechanisms to mitigate salt stress. We conducted a detailed pathway analysis of transcriptional dynamics in the roots of Medicago truncatula seedlings under salt stress and selected a transcription factor gene, MtCBF4, for experimental validation.
A microarray experiment was conducted using root samples collected 6, 24, and 48 h after application of 180 mM NaCl. Analysis of 11 statistically significant expression profiles revealed different behaviors between primary and secondary metabolism pathways in response to external stress. Secondary metabolism that helps to maintain osmotic balance was induced. One of the highly induced transcription factor genes was successfully cloned, and was named MtCBF4. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that MtCBF4, which belongs to the AP2-EREBP transcription factor family, is a novel member of the CBF transcription factor in M. truncatula. MtCBF4 is shown to be a nuclear-localized protein. Expression of MtCBF4 in M. truncatula was induced by most of the abiotic stresses, including salt, drought, cold, and abscisic acid, suggesting crosstalk between these abiotic stresses. Transgenic Arabidopsis over-expressing MtCBF4 enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stress, and activated expression of downstream genes that contain DRE elements. Over-expression of MtCBF4 in M. truncatula also enhanced salt tolerance and induced expression level of corresponding downstream genes.
Comprehensive transcriptomic analysis revealed complex mechanisms exist in plants in response to salt stress. The novel transcription factor gene MtCBF4 identified here played an important role in response to abiotic stresses, indicating that it might be a good candidate gene for genetic improvement to produce stress-tolerant plants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: As a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of flavonols, anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins, flavanone-3ß-hydroxylase (F3H) plays very important roles in plant stress response. A putative flavanone-3ß-hydroxylase gene from Medicago truncatula (MtF3H), a model legume species, was identified from a bio-data analysis platform. It was speculated to be induced by salt stress based on the outcomes of the analysis platform. The complementary DNA (cDNA) consists of 1499 bp with an open reading frame (ORF) of 1098 bp, which encodes a putative protein of 365 amino acids with a molecular weight of about 41.36 kDa and an isoelectric point of 5.60. To measure the catalytic activity of the protein, the MtF3H gene was ligated to pYES2 vector and heterologously expressed in yeast. The recombinant protein converted naringen into dihydrokaempferol and displayed different enzymatic efficiencies with other flavanones, confirming that MtF3H coding a functional flavanone-3ß-hydroxylase. The expression pattern of the MtF3H gene was analyzed by comparative quantitative RT-PCR and a higher level of expression was observed in the roots than was observed in stems and leaves. Furthermore, the expression was induced by salt stress in the roots, and to a greater extent in the stems, but the response of the gene activity to salt stress in the stems was slower in the first 12 h following treatment when compared to the roots.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medicago truncatula is a model legume whose genome is currently being sequenced by an international consortium. Abiotic stresses such as salt stress limit plant growth and crop productivity, including those of legumes. We anticipate that studies on M. truncatula will shed light on other economically important legumes across the world. Here, we report the development of a database called MtED that contains gene expression profiles of the roots of M. truncatula based on time-course salt stress experiments using the Affymetrix Medicago GeneChip. Our hope is that MtED will provide information to assist in improving abiotic stress resistance in legumes.
The results of our microarray experiment with roots of M. truncatula under 180 mM sodium chloride were deposited in the MtED database. Additionally, sequence and annotation information regarding microarray probe sets were included. MtED provides functional category analysis based on Gene and GeneBins Ontology, and other Web-based tools for querying and retrieving query results, browsing pathways and transcription factor families, showing metabolic maps, and comparing and visualizing expression profiles. Utilities like mapping probe sets to genome of M. truncatula and In-Silico PCR were implemented by BLAT software suite, which were also available through MtED database.
MtED was built in the PHP script language and as a MySQL relational database system on a Linux server. It has an integrated Web interface, which facilitates ready examination and interpretation of the results of microarray experiments. It is intended to help in selecting gene markers to improve abiotic stress resistance in legumes. MtED is available at http://bioinformatics.cau.edu.cn/MtED/.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNA) are approximately 21 nucleotide-long non-coding small RNAs, which function as post-transcriptional regulators in eukaryotes. miRNAs play essential roles in regulating plant growth and development. In recent years, research into the mechanism and consequences of miRNA action has made great progress. With whole genome sequence available in such plants as Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Populus trichocarpa, Glycine max, etc., it is desirable to develop a plant miRNA database through the integration of large amounts of information about publicly deposited miRNA data. The plant miRNA database (PMRD) integrates available plant miRNA data deposited in public databases, gleaned from the recent literature, and data generated in-house. This database contains sequence information, secondary structure, target genes, expression profiles and a genome browser. In total, there are 8433 miRNAs collected from 121 plant species in PMRD, including model plants and major crops such as Arabidopsis, rice, wheat, soybean, maize, sorghum, barley, etc. For Arabidopsis, rice, poplar, soybean, cotton, medicago and maize, we included the possible target genes for each miRNA with a predicted interaction site in the database. Furthermore, we provided miRNA expression profiles in the PMRD, including our local rice oxidative stress related microarray data (LC Sciences miRPlants_10.1) and the recently published microarray data for poplar, Arabidopsis, tomato, maize and rice. The PMRD database was constructed by open source technology utilizing a user-friendly web interface, and multiple search tools. The PMRD is freely available at http://bioinformatics.cau.edu.cn/PMRD. We expect PMRD to be a useful tool for scientists in the miRNA field in order to study the function of miRNAs and their target genes, especially in model plants and major crops.
Nucleic Acids Research 10/2009; 38(Database issue):D806-13. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zn is an essential micronutrient in plants, and the mechanisms of Zn homeostasis are under intensive study. In this report, we have identified MtMTP1, a Zn transporter of the CDF family in the legume model plant Medicago truncatula. The ORF of the MtMTP1 cDNA encodes a protein consisting of 407 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 45 kDa. Like other metal tolerance proteins (MTPs) in plants, heterologous expression of MtMTP1 can complement the Zn-susceptible zrc1 cot1 yeast double mutant. The expression pattern was studied by quantitative fluorescent PCR. The expression of MtMTP1 was detected in all vegetative organs with the highest level of expression observed in leaves. With Zn supplementation its expression in roots was reduced while its expression in stems was increased in the first 2 days. No obvious changes were detected in leaves. Inoculation with Rhizobium meliloti down-regulated its expression in roots.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 09/2009; 47(11-12):1089-94. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The multifunctional protein helper component proteinase (HC-Pro) is thought to interfere with the activity of the 20S proteasome; however, no sites of interaction have been identified for either protein. Here, we first show that the Potato virus Y (PVY) HC-Pro protein can interact with three Arabidopsis 20S proteasome subunits (PAA, PBB, and PBE), using a yeast two-hybrid system and the bimolecular fluorescence complement assay. In addition, yeast two-hybrid analysis of the interaction between several mutant subunits of the 20S proteasome and PVY HC-Pro confirmed that residues 81 to 140 of PAA, 1 to 80 of PBB, and 160 to 274 of PBE are necessary for binding PAA, PBB, and PBE to PVY HC-Pro, respectively. Deletion mutant analysis of PVY HC-Pro showed that the N terminus (residues 1 to 97) is necessary for its interaction with three Arabidopsis 20S proteasome subunits. The ability of HC-Pro to interact and interfere with the activity of the 20S proteasome may help explain the molecular basis of its multifunctional character.
Journal of Virology 01/2008; 81(23):12881-8. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Potato virus Y (PVY) infections often lead to altered numbers of host plant chloroplasts, as well as changes in morphology and inhibited photosynthesis. The multifunctional protein helper component-proteinase, HC-Pro, has been identified in PVY-infected leaf chloroplasts. We used yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays to demonstrate that HC-Pro can interact with the chloroplast division-related factor NtMinD in yeast and tobacco cells, respectively. In addition, we confirmed that residues 271 to 314 in NtMinD are necessary for its interaction with PVY HC-Pro in a yeast two-hybrid analysis using four NtMinD deletion mutants. These residues are necessary for the dimerization of NtMinD, which plays a vital role in chloroplast division. Thus, PVY HC-Pro may affect NtMinD activity by inhibiting the formation of NtMinD homodimers, and this may interfere with chloroplast division and contribute to changes in the numbers of chloroplast per cell observed in PVY-infected plants.