[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Attempted infection of plants by pathogens elicits a complex defensive response. In many non-host and incompatible host interactions it includes the induction of defence-associated genes and a form of localized cell death (LCD), purportedly designed to restrict pathogen advance, collectively known as the hypersensitive response (HR). It is preceded by an oxidative burst, generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are proposed to cue subsequent deployment of the HR, although neither the origin nor the precise role played by ROS in the execution of this response are completely understood. We used tobacco plants expressing cyanobacterial flavodoxin to address these questions. Flavodoxin is an electron shuttle present in prokaryotes and algae that, when expressed in chloroplasts, specifically prevents ROS formation in plastids during abiotic stress episodes. Infiltration of tobacco wild-type leaves with high titres of Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria (Xcv), a non-host pathogen, resulted in ROS accumulation in chloroplasts, followed by the appearance of localized lesions typical of the HR. In contrast, chloroplast ROS build-up and LCD were significantly reduced in Xcv-inoculated plants expressing plastid-targeted flavodoxin. Metabolic routes normally inhibited by pathogens were protected in the transformants, whereas other aspects of the HR, including the induction of defence-associated genes and synthesis of salicylic and jasmonic acid, proceeded as in inoculated wild-type plants. Therefore, ROS generated in chloroplasts during this non-host interaction are essential for the progress of LCD, but do not contribute to the induction of pathogenesis-related genes or other signalling components of the response.
The Plant Journal 09/2009; 60(6):962-73. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ferredoxin-NADP(H) reductase (FNR) catalyzes the last step of photosynthetic electron transport in chloroplasts, driving electrons from reduced ferredoxin to NADP+. This reaction is rate limiting for photosynthesis under a wide range of illumination conditions, as revealed by analysis of plants transformed with an antisense version of the FNR gene. To investigate whether accumulation of this flavoprotein over wild-type levels could improve photosynthetic efficiency and growth, we generated transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants expressing a pea (Pisum sativum) FNR targeted to chloroplasts. The alien product distributed between the thylakoid membranes and the chloroplast stroma. Transformants grown at 150 or 700 micromol quanta m(-2) s(-1) displayed wild-type phenotypes regardless of FNR content. Thylakoids isolated from plants with a 5-fold FNR increase over the wild type displayed only moderate stimulation (approximately 20%) in the rates of electron transport from water to NADP+. In contrast, when donors of photosystem I were used to drive NADP+ photoreduction, the activity was 3- to 4-fold higher than the wild-type controls. Plants expressing various levels of FNR (from 1- to 3.6-fold over the wild type) failed to show significant differences in CO2 assimilation rates when assayed over a range of light intensities and CO2 concentrations. Transgenic lines exhibited enhanced tolerance to photooxidative damage and redox-cycling herbicides that propagate reactive oxygen species. The results suggest that photosynthetic electron transport has several rate-limiting steps, with FNR catalyzing just one of them.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to investigate the importance of cytosolic phosphorylating glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPC) in potato carbohydrate metabolism. For this purpose, the cytosolic isoform of phosphorylating GAPC was cloned and used for an antisense approach to generate transgenic potato plants that exhibited constitutively decreased GAPDH activity. Potato lines with decreased activities of phosphorylating GAPC exhibited no major changes in either whole-plant or tuber morphology. However, the levels of 3-phosphoglycerate were decreased in leaves of the transformants. A broad metabolic phenotyping of tubers from the transformants revealed an increase in sucrose and UDPglucose content, a decrease in the glycolytic intermediates 3-phosphoglycerate and phosphoenolpyruvate but little change in the levels of other metabolites. Moreover, the transformants displayed no differences in cold sweetening with respect to the wild type. Taken together these data suggest that phosphorylating GAPC plays only a minor role in the regulation of potato metabolism. The results presented here are discussed in relation to current models regarding primary metabolism in the potato tuber parenchyma.
Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2006; 57(10):2363-77. · 5.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to examine the role of sucrose-6-phosphate phosphatase (SPP; EC 188.8.131.52) in photosynthetic carbon partitioning. SPP catalyzes the final step in the pathway of sucrose synthesis; however, until now the importance of this enzyme in plants has not been studied by reversed-genetics approaches. With the intention of conducting such a study, transgenic tobacco plants with reduced SPP levels were produced using an RNA interference (RNAi) strategy. Transformants with less than 10% of wild-type SPP activity displayed a range of phenotypes, including those that showed inhibition of photosynthesis, chlorosis, and reduced growth rates. These plants had strongly reduced levels of sucrose and hexoses but contained 3-5 times more starch than the control specimens. The leaves were unable to export transient starch during extended periods of darkness and as consequence showed a starch- and maltose-excess phenotype. This indicates that no alternative mechanism for carbon export was activated. Inhibition of SPP resulted in an approximately 1,000-fold higher accumulation of sucrose-6-phosphate (Suc6P) compared to wild-type leaves, whereas the content of hexose-phosphates was reduced. Although the massive accumulation of Suc6P in the cytosol of transgenic leaves was assumed to impair phosphate-recycling into the chloroplast, no obvious signs of phosphate-limitation of photosynthesis became apparent. 3-Phosphoglycerate (3-PGA) levels dropped slightly and the ATP/ADP ratio was not reduced in the transgenic lines under investigation. It is proposed that in SPP-deficient plants, long-term compensatory responses give rise to the observed acceleration of starch synthesis, increase in total cellular Pi content, decrease in protein content, and related reduction in photosynthetic activity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To change the hexose-to-sucrose ratio within phloem cells, yeast-derived cytosolic invertase was expressed in transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum cv. Desirée) plants under control of the rolC promoter. Vascular tissue specific expression of the transgene was verified by histochemical detection of invertase activity in tuber cross-sections. Vegetative growth and tuber yield of transgenic plants was unaltered as compared to wild-type plants. However, the sprout growth of stored tubers was much delayed, indicating impaired phloem-transport of sucrose towards the developing bud. Biochemical analysis of growing tubers revealed that, in contrast to sucrose levels, which rapidly declined in growing invertase-expressing tubers, hexose and starch levels remained unchanged as compared to wild-type controls. During storage, sucrose and starch content declined in wild-type tubers, whereas glucose and fructose levels remained unchanged. A similar response was found in transgenic tubers with the exception that starch degradation was accelerated and fructose levels increased slightly. Furthermore, changes in carbohydrate metabolism were accompanied by an elevated level of phosphorylated intermediates, and a stimulated rate of respiration. Considering that sucrose breakdown was restricted to phloem cells it is concluded that, in response to phloem-associated sucrose depletion or hexose elevation, starch degradation and respiration is triggered in parenchyma cells. To study further whether elevated hexose and/or hexose-phosphates or decreased sucrose levels are responsible for the metabolic changes observed, sucrose content was decreased by tuber-specific expression of a bacterial sucrose isomerase. Sucrose isomerase catalyses the reversible conversion of sucrose into palatinose, which is not further metabolizable by plant cells. Tubers harvested from these plants were found to accumulate high levels of palatinose at the expense of sucrose. In addition, starch content decreased slightly, while hexose levels remained unaltered, compared with the wild-type controls. Similar to low sucrose-containing invertase tubers, respiration and starch breakdown were found to be accelerated during storage in palatinose-accumulating potato tubers. In contrast to invertase transgenics, however, no accumulation of phosphorylated intermediates was observed. Therefore, it is concluded that sucrose depletion rather than increased hexose metabolism triggers reserve mobilization and respiration in stored potato tubers.
Journal of Experimental Botany 02/2003; 54(382):477-88. · 5.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transgenic tobacco ( Nicotiana tabacum L.) plants ubiquitously accumulating a single-chain variable-fragment (scFv) antibody against abscisic acid (ABA) to high concentrations in the endoplasmic reticulum (RA plants) show a wilty phenotype. High stomatal conductance and loss of CO(2) and light dependence of stomatal conductance are typical features of these plants. ABA was applied to these plants either via the petioles or by daily spraying over several weeks in order to normalise the phenotype. During the long-term experiments, scFv protein concentrations, total and (calculated) free ABA contents, and stomatal conductance and its dependence on CO(2) concentration and light intensity were monitored. The wilty phenotype of transgenic plants could not be normalised by short-term treatment with ABA via the petioles. Only a daily long-term treatment during plant development normalised the physiological behaviour completely. Scanning electron microscopy of stomata showed morphological changes in RA plants compared with wild-type plants that, for structural reasons, prevented regular stomatal movements. After long-term treatment with ABA this defect could be completely eliminated. Guard-cell-specific expression of the anti-ABA scFv did not cause any changes in physiological behaviour compared to the wild type. In addition, mesophyll-specific expression starting in leaves that were already fully differentiated resulted in normal phenotypes, too. We conclude that changes in distribution and availability of ABA in the cells of developing leaves of RA plants cause the development of structural features in stomata that prevent normal function.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A ferredoxin-NADP+ oxidoreductase (FNR) cDNA from tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum cv. Samsun) was cloned and sequenced. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence revealed high identity to FNR proteins from Capsicum annuum, Pisum sativum, Spinacia oleracea and Vicia faba. Transgenic tobacco plants were generated that constitutively express the FNR cDNA in reverse orientation between the CaMV 35S promoter and the polyadenylation signal of the octopine synthase gene. Plants expressing the FNR antisense gene showed lower levels of FNR mRNA and protein accumulation, which was paralleled by a decrease in FNR activity. As a consequence, NADPH levels declined whereas NADP+ levels increased, leading to an unaltered NADP(H) pool. Growth rates, chlorophyll content and net CO2 uptake rates at high and low irradiances were strongly reduced in FNR antisense tobacco plants. These changes were accompanied by an over-reduced state of P700 as estimated by absorption changes at 820 nm. FNR control coefficients determined for the photosynthetic rate at saturating (C(R) = 0.94) and limiting (C(R) = 0.70) light conditions revealed a prominent role of this reductase in the regulation of photosynthesis.
The Plant Journal 03/2002; 29(3):281-93. · 6.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Potato (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Désirée) plants were transformed to express a single-chain variable-fragment antibody against abscisic acid (ABA), and present in the endoplasmic reticulum at to up to 0.24% of the soluble leaf protein. The resulting transgenic plants were only able to grow normally at 95% humidity and moderate light. Four-week-old plants accumulated ABA to high extent, were retarded in growth and their leaves were smaller than those of control plants. Leaf stomatal conductivity was increased due to larger stomates. The subcellular concentrations of ABA in the chloroplast, cytoplasm and vacuole, and the apoplastic space of leaves were determined. In the 4-week-old transgenic plants the concentration of ABA not bound to the antibody was identical to that of control plants and the stomates were able to close in response to lower humidity of the atmosphere. A detailed analysis of age-dependent changes in plant metabolism showed that leaves of young transformed plants developed in ABA deficiency and leaves of older plants in ABA excess. Phenotypic changes developed in ABA deficiency partly disappeared in older plants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) participates in the control of several important physiological processes in plants such as stomata regulation, seed dormancy and stress tolerance. A new strategy was developed to study these phenomena by blocking abscisic acid with intracellularly expressed specific single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies. Here evidence is presented that the expression of single-chain Fv antibodies against abscisic acid in the endoplasmic reticulum of transgenic tobacco cells leads to a wilty phenotype. Stomatal conductance is increased at high CO2 concentrations dependent on the level of antibody expression in leaves. Symptoms of abscisic acid deficiency were generated in the transformants although they have even higher levels of abscisic acid than wild-type plants.
The Plant Journal 12/1995; 8(5):745-50. · 6.58 Impact Factor