[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trehalose 6-phosphate (Tre6P), the intermediate of trehalose biosynthesis, has a profound influence on plant metabolism, growth, and development. It has been proposed that Tre6P acts as a signal of sugar availability and is possibly specific for sucrose status. Short-term sugar-feeding experiments were carried out with carbon-starved Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings grown in axenic shaking liquid cultures. Tre6P increased when seedlings were exogenously supplied with sucrose, or with hexoses that can be metabolized to sucrose, such as glucose and fructose. Conditional correlation analysis and inhibitor experiments indicated that the hexose-induced increase in Tre6P was an indirect response dependent on conversion of the hexose sugars to sucrose. Tre6P content was affected by changes in nitrogen status, but this response was also attributable to parallel changes in sucrose. The sucrose-induced rise in Tre6P was unaffected by cordycepin but almost completely blocked by cycloheximide, indicating that de novo protein synthesis is necessary for the response. There was a strong correlation between Tre6P and sucrose even in lines that constitutively express heterologous trehalose-phosphate synthase or trehalose-phosphate phosphatase, although the Tre6P:sucrose ratio was shifted higher or lower, respectively. It is proposed that the Tre6P:sucrose ratio is a critical parameter for the plant and forms part of a homeostatic mechanism to maintain sucrose levels within a range that is appropriate for the cell type and developmental stage of the plant.
Journal of Experimental Botany 01/2014; · 5.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In short photoperiods plants accumulate starch more rapidly in the light and degrade it more slowly at night, ensuring that their starch reserves last until dawn. To investigate the accompanying changes in the timing of growth, Arabidopsis was grown in a range of photoperiods and analysed for rosette biomass, photosynthesis, respiration, ribosome abundance, polysome loading, starch, and over 40 metabolites at dawn and dusk. The dataset was used to model growth rates in the daytime and night, and to identify metabolites that correlate with growth. Modelled growth rates and polysome loading were high in the daytime and at night in long photoperiods, but decreased at night in short photoperiods. Ribosome abundance was similar in all photoperiods. It is discussed how the amount of starch accumulated in the light period, the length of the night and maintenance costs interact to constrain growth at night in short photoperiods, and alter the strategy for optimising ribosome use. Significant correlations were found in the daytime and the night between growth rates and the levels of the sugar-signal trehalose 6-phosphate and the amino acid biosynthesis intermediate shikimate, identifying these metabolites as hubs in a network that coordinates growth with diurnal changes in the carbon supply.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many plants accumulate substantial starch reserves in their leaves during the day, and remobilise them at night to provide carbon and energy for maintenance and growth. In this paper we explore the role of a sugar signalling metabolite, trehalose-6-phosphate (Tre6P), in regulating the accumulation and turnover of transitory starch in Arabidopsis leaves. Ethanol-induced overexpression of trehalose-phosphate synthase (TPS) during the day increased Tre6P levels up to 11-fold. There was a transient increase in the rate of starch accumulation in the middle of the day, but this was not linked to reductive activation of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. A 2 to 3-fold increase in Tre6P during the night led to significant inhibition of starch degradation. Maltose and maltotriose did not accumulate, suggesting that Tre6P affects an early step in the pathway of starch degradation in the chloroplasts. Starch granules isolated from induced plants had a higher Pi content than granules from non-induced control plants, consistent with either disruption of the phosphorylation-dephosphorylation cycle that is essential for efficient starch breakdown, or with inhibition of starch hydrolysis by β-amylase. Non-aqueous fractionation of leaves showed that Tre6P is predominantly located in the cytosol, with estimated in vivo Tre6P concentrations of 4-7 µM in the cytosol, 0.2-0.5 µM in the chloroplasts and 0.05 µM in the vacuole. It is proposed that Tre6P is a component in a signalling pathway that mediates feedback regulation of starch breakdown by sucrose, potentially linking starch turnover to demand for sucrose by growing sink organs at night.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana mutants lacking the SS4 isoform of starch synthase have strongly reduced numbers of starch granules per chloroplast, suggesting that SS4 is necessary for the normal generation of starch granules. To establish whether it plays a direct role in this process, we investigated the circumstances in which granules are formed in ss4 mutants. Starch granule numbers and distribution and the accumulation of starch synthase substrates and products were investigated during ss4 leaf development, and in ss4 mutants carrying mutations or transgenes that affect starch turnover or chloroplast volume. We found that immature ss4 leaves have no starch granules, but accumulate high concentrations of the starch synthase substrate ADPglucose. Granule numbers are partially restored by elevating the capacity for glucan synthesis (via expression of bacterial glycogen synthase) or by increasing the volumes of individual chloroplasts (via introduction of arc mutations). However, these granules are abnormal in distribution, size and shape. SS4 is an essential component of a mechanism that coordinates granule formation with chloroplast division during leaf expansion and determines the abundance and the flattened, discoid shape of leaf starch granules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Starch synthase 4 (SS4) is required for proper starch granule initiation in Arabidopsis thaliana, although starch synthase 3 (SS3) can partially replace its function. Unlike other starch deficient mutants, ss4 and ss3/ss4 mutants grow poorly even under long-day conditions. They have less chlorophyll and carotenoids than wild type (WT) and lower maximal rates of photosynthesis. There is evidence of photo-oxidative damage of the photosynthetic apparatus in the mutants from chlorophyll a fluorescence parameters and their high levels of malondialdehyde. Metabolite profiling revealed that ss3/ss4 accumulates over 170 times more ADP-glucose than WT plants. Restricting ADP-glucose synthesis, by introducing mutations in the plastidial phosphoglucomutase (pgm1) or the small subunit of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (aps1), largely restored photosynthetic capacity and growth in pgm1/ss3/ss4 and aps1/ss3/ss4 triple mutants. It is proposed that the accumulation of ADP-glucose in the ss3/ss4 mutant sequesters a large part of the plastidial pools of adenine nucleotides, which limits photophosphorylation leading to photo-oxidative stress, causing the chlorotic and stunted growth phenotypes of the plants.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Full text URL: http://www.plantmethods.com/content/9/1/21
Trehalose is a non-reducing disaccharide that is used as an osmolyte, transport sugar, carbon reserve and stress protectant in a wide range of organisms. In plants, trehalose 6-phosphate (Tre6P), the intermediate of trehalose biosynthesis, is thought to be a signal of sucrose status. Trehalose itself may play a role in pathogenic and symbiotic plant-microbe interactions, in responses to abiotic stress and in developmental signalling, but its precise functions are unknown. A major obstacle to investigating its function is the technical difficulty of measuring the very low levels of trehalose usually found in plant tissues, as most of the established trehalose assays lack sufficient specificity and/or sensitivity.
A kinetic assay for trehalose was established using recombinant Escherichia coli cytoplasmic trehalase (treF), which was shown to be highly specific for trehalose. Hydrolysis of trehalose to glucose is monitored fluorometrically and the trehalose content of the tissue extract is determined from an internal calibration curve. The assay is linear for 0.2-40 pmol trehalose, and recoveries of trehalose were >=88%. A. thaliana Col-0 rosettes contain about 20--30 nmol g-1FW of trehalose, increasing to about 50--60 nmol g-1FW in plants grown at 8[degree sign]C. Trehalose is not correlated with sucrose content, whereas a strong correlation between Tre6P and sucrose was confirmed. The trehalose contents of ear inflorescence primordia from the maize ramosa3 mutant and wild type plants were 6.6+/-2.6 nmol g-1FW and 19.0+/-12.7 nmol g-1FW, respectively. The trehalose:Tre6P ratios in the ramosa3 and wild-type primordia were 2.43+/-0.85 and 6.16+/-3.45, respectively.
The fluorometric assay is highly specific for trehalose and sensitive enough to measure the trehalose content of very small amounts of plant tissue. Chilling induced a 2-fold accumulation of trehalose in A. thaliana rosettes, but the levels were too low to make a substantial quantitative contribution to osmoregulation. Trehalose is unlikely to function as a signal of sucrose status. The abnormal inflorescence branching phenotype of the maize ramosa3 mutant might be linked to a decrease in trehalose levels in the inflorescence primordia or a downward shift in the trehalose:Tre6P ratio.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth is driven by newly fixed carbon in the light, but depends at night on reserves, like starch, that are laid down in the light. Unless plants coordinate their growth with diurnal changes in the carbon supply, they will experience acute carbon starvation during the night. Protein synthesis represents a major component of cellular growth. Polysome loading was investigated during the diurnal cycle, an extended night and low CO2 in Arabidopsis Col-0 and in the starchless pgm mutant. In Col-0, polysome loading was 60-70% in the light, 40-45% for much of the night and <20% in an extended night, whilst in pgm it fell to <25% early in the night. Quantification of rRNA species using qRT-PCR revealed that polysome loading remained high for much of the night in the cytosol, was strongly light-dependent in the plastid, and was always high in mitochondria. The rosette sucrose content correlated with overall and with cytosolic polysome loading. Ribosome abundance did not show significant diurnal changes. However, compared to Col-0, pgm had decreased and increased abundance of plastidic and mitochondrial ribosomes, respectively. Incorporation of label from 13CO2 into protein confirmed that protein synthesis continues at a diminished rate in the dark. Modelling revealed that a decrease in polysome loading at night is required to balance protein synthesis with the availability of carbon from starch breakdown. Costs are also reduced by using amino acids that accumulated in previous light period. These results uncover a tight coordination of protein synthesis with the momentary supply of carbon.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photosynthesis is the basis for life, and its optimization is a key biotechnological aim given the problems of population explosion and environmental deterioration. We describe a method to resolve intracellular fluxes in intact Arabidopsis thaliana rosettes based on time-dependent labeling patterns in the metabolome. Plants photosynthesizing under limiting irradiance and ambient CO(2) in a custom-built chamber were transferred into a (13)CO(2)-enriched environment. The isotope labeling patterns of 40 metabolites were obtained using liquid or gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Labeling kinetics revealed striking differences between metabolites. At a qualitative level, they matched expectations in terms of pathway topology and stoichiometry, but some unexpected features point to the complexity of subcellular and cellular compartmentation. To achieve quantitative insights, the data set was used for estimating fluxes in the framework of kinetic flux profiling. We benchmarked flux estimates to four classically determined flux signatures of photosynthesis and assessed the robustness of the estimates with respect to different features of the underlying metabolic model and the time-resolved data set.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The timing of the induction of flowering determines to a large extent the reproductive success of plants. Plants integrate diverse environmental and endogenous signals to ensure the timely transition from vegetative growth to flowering. Carbohydrates are thought to play a crucial role in the regulation of flowering, and trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) has been suggested to function as a proxy for carbohydrate status in plants. The loss of TREHALOSE-6-PHOSPHATE SYNTHASE 1 (TPS1) causes Arabidopsis thaliana to flower extremely late, even under otherwise inductive environmental conditions. This suggests that TPS1 is required for the timely initiation of flowering. We show that the T6P pathway affects flowering both in the leaves and at the shoot meristem, and integrate TPS1 into the existing genetic framework of flowering-time control.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Changes in carbohydrate metabolism during grape berry development play a central role in shaping the final composition of the fruit. The present work aimed to identify metabolic switches during grape development and to provide insights into the timing of developmental regulation of carbohydrate metabolism. Metabolites from central carbon metabolism were measured using high-pressure anion-exchange chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry and enzymatic assays during the development of grape berries from either field-grown vines or fruiting cuttings grown in the greenhouse. Principal component analysis readily discriminated the various stages of berry development, with similar trajectories for field-grown and greenhouse samples. This showed that each stage of fruit development had a characteristic metabolic profile and provided compelling evidence that the fruit-bearing cuttings are a useful model system to investigate regulation of central carbon metabolism in grape berry. The metabolites measured showed tight coordination within their respective pathways, clustering into sugars and sugar-phosphate metabolism, glycolysis, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. In addition, there was a pronounced shift in metabolism around veraison, characterized by rapidly increasing sugar levels and decreasing organic acids. In contrast, glycolytic intermediates and sugar phosphates declined before veraison but remained fairly stable post-veraison. In summary, these detailed and comprehensive metabolite analyses revealed the timing of important switches in primary carbohydrate metabolism, which could be related to transcriptional and developmental changes within the berry to achieve an integrated understanding of grape berry development. The results are discussed in a meta-analysis comparing metabolic changes in climacteric versus non-climacteric fleshy fruits.
Journal of Experimental Botany 01/2013; · 5.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction of microbial trehalose biosynthesis enzymes has been reported to enhance abiotic stress resistance in plants, but also resulted in undesirable traits. Here we present an approach for engineering drought stress tolerance by modifying the endogenous trehalase activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. AtTRE1 encodes the Arabidopsis trehalase, the only enzyme known in this species to specifically hydrolyze trehalose into glucose. AtTRE1 over-expressing and Attre1 mutant lines were constructed and tested for their performance in drought stress assays. AtTRE1 over-expressing plants had decreased trehalose levels and recovered better after drought stress, whereas Attre1 mutants had elevated trehalose contents and exhibited a drought susceptible phenotype. Leaf detachment assays showed that Attre1 mutants lose water faster than wild type plants, whereas AtTRE1 over-expressing plants have a better water retaining capacity. In vitro studies revealed that ABA-mediated closure of stomata is impaired in Attre1 lines, whereas the AtTRE1 over-expressors are more sensitive towards ABA-dependent stomatal closure. This observation is further supported by the altered leaf temperatures seen in trehalase modified plantlets during in vivo drought stress studies. Our results show that over-expression of plant trehalase improves drought stress tolerance in Arabidopsis and that trehalase plays a role in the regulation of stomatal closure in plant drought stress response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The crucial role of carbohydrate in plant growth and morphogenesis is widely recognized. In this study we describe the characterization of nana, a dwarf Arabidopsis thaliana mutant impaired in carbohydrate metabolism. We show that the nana dwarf phenotype was accompanied by altered leaf morphology and a delayed flowering time. Our genetic and molecular data indicate that the mutation in nana is due to a T-DNA insertion in the promoter region of a gene encoding a chloroplast-located aspartyl protease that alters its pattern of expression. Overexpression of the gene (oxNANA) phenocopies the mutation. Both nana and oxNANA display alterations in carbohydrate content, and the extent of these changes varies depending on growth light intensity. In particular, in low light soluble sugars levels are lower and do not show the daily fluctuations observed in wild type plants. Moreover, nana and oxNANA are defective in expression of some genes implicated in sugar metabolism and photosynthetic light harvesting. Interestingly, some chloroplast-encoded genes as well as genes, whose products seem to be involved in the retrograde signaling, appear to be down-regulated. These findings suggest that the NANA aspartic protease has an important regulatory function in chloroplasts that not only influences photosynthetic carbon metabolism but also plastid and nuclear gene expression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Trehalose is a nonreducing sugar used as a reserve carbohydrate and stress protectant in a variety of organisms. While higher plants typically do not accumulate high levels of trehalose, they encode large families of putative trehalose biosynthesis genes. Trehalose biosynthesis in plants involves a two-step reaction in which trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) is synthesized from UDP-glucose and glucose-6-phosphate (catalyzed by T6P synthase [TPS]), and subsequently dephosphorylated to produce the disaccharide trehalose (catalyzed by T6P phosphatase [TPP]). In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), 11 genes encode proteins with both TPS- and TPP-like domains but only one of these (AtTPS1) appears to be an active (TPS) enzyme. In addition, plants contain a large family of smaller proteins with a conserved TPP domain. Here, we present an in-depth analysis of the 10 TPP genes and gene products in Arabidopsis (TPPA-TPPJ). Collinearity analysis revealed that all of these genes originate from whole-genome duplication events. Heterologous expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) showed that all encode active TPP enzymes with an essential role for some conserved residues in the catalytic domain. These results suggest that the TPP genes function in the regulation of T6P levels, with T6P emerging as a novel key regulator of growth and development in higher plants. Extensive gene expression analyses using a complete set of promoter-β-glucuronidase/green fluorescent protein reporter lines further uncovered cell- and tissue-specific expression patterns, conferring spatiotemporal control of trehalose metabolism. Consistently, phenotypic characterization of knockdown and overexpression lines of a single TPP, AtTPPG, points to unique properties of individual TPPs in Arabidopsis, and underlines the intimate connection between trehalose metabolism and abscisic acid signaling.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent rapid advances in next generation RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq)-based provide researchers with unprecedentedly large data sets and open new perspectives in transcriptomics. Furthermore, RNA-Seq-based transcript profiling can be applied to non-model and newly discovered organisms because it does not require a predefined measuring platform (like e.g. microarrays). However, these novel technologies pose new challenges: the raw data need to be rigorously quality checked and filtered prior to analysis, and proper statistical methods have to be applied to extract biologically relevant information. Given the sheer volume of data, this is no trivial task and requires a combination of considerable technical resources along with bioinformatics expertise. To aid the individual researcher, we have developed RobiNA as an integrated solution that consolidates all steps of RNA-Seq-based differential gene-expression analysis in one user-friendly cross-platform application featuring a rich graphical user interface. RobiNA accepts raw FastQ files, SAM/BAM alignment files and counts tables as input. It supports quality checking, flexible filtering and statistical analysis of differential gene expression based on state-of-the art biostatistical methods developed in the R/Bioconductor projects. In-line help and a step-by-step manual guide users through the analysis. Installer packages for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux are available under the LGPL licence from http://mapman.gabipd.org/web/guest/robin.
Nucleic Acids Research 06/2012; 40(Web Server issue):W622-7. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the last decade, there has been growing interest in the role of trehalose metabolism in tolerance to abiotic stress in higher plants, especially cold stress. So far, this metabolism has not yet been studied in Vitis vinifera L., despite the economic importance of this crop. The goal of this paper was to investigate the involvement of trehalose metabolism in the response of grapevine to chilling stress, and to compare the response in plants bacterised with Burkholderia phytofirmans strain PsJN, a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium that confers grapevine chilling tolerance, with mock-inoculated plants. In silico analysis revealed that the V. vinifera L. genome contains genes encoding the enzymes responsible for trehalose synthesis and degradation. Transcript analysis showed that these genes were differentially expressed in various plant organs, and we also characterised their response to chilling. Both trehalose and trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) were present in grapevine tissues and showed a distinct pattern of accumulation upon chilling. Our results suggest a role for T6P as the main active molecule in the metabolism upon chilling, with a possible link with sucrose metabolism. Furthermore, plants colonised by B. phytofirmans and cultivated at 26°C accumulated T6P and trehalose in stems and leaves at concentrations similar to non-bacterised plants exposed to chilling temperatures for 1 day. Overall, our data suggest that T6P and trehalose accumulate upon chilling stress in grapevine and might participate in the resistance to chilling stress conferred by B. phytofirmans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many plants, including Arabidopsis thaliana, retain a substantial portion of their photosynthate in leaves in the form of starch, which is remobilized to support metabolism and growth at night. ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) catalyses the first committed step in the pathway of starch synthesis, the production of ADP-glucose. The enzyme is redox-activated in the light and in response to sucrose accumulation, via reversible breakage of an intermolecular cysteine bridge between the two small (APS1) subunits. The biological function of this regulatory mechanism was investigated by complementing an aps1 null mutant (adg1) with a series of constructs containing a full-length APS1 gene encoding either the wild-type APS1 protein or mutated forms in which one of the five cysteine residues was replaced by serine. Substitution of Cys81 by serine prevented APS1 dimerization, whereas mutation of the other cysteines had no effect. Thus, Cys81 is both necessary and sufficient for dimerization of APS1. Compared to control plants, the adg1/APS1C81S lines had higher levels of ADP-glucose and maltose, and either increased rates of starch synthesis or a starch-excess phenotype, depending on the daylength. APS1 protein levels were five- to tenfold lower in adg1/APS1C81S lines than in control plants. These results show that redox modulation of AGPase contributes to the diurnal regulation of starch turnover, with inappropriate regulation of the enzyme having an unexpected impact on starch breakdown, and that Cys81 may play an important role in the regulation of AGPase turnover.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seedling establishment is a crucial phase during plant development when the germinating heterotrophic embryo switches to autotrophic growth and development. Positive regulators of embryonic development need to be turned off, while the cell cycle machinery is activated to allow cell cycle entry and organ primordia initiation. However, it is not yet understood how the molecular mechanisms responsible for the onset of cell division, metabolism changes and cell differentiation are coordinated during this transition. Here, we demonstrate that the Arabidopsis thaliana RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED protein (RBR) ortholog of the animal tumor suppressor retinoblastoma (pRB) not only controls the expression of cell cycle-related genes, but is also required for persistent shut-down of late embryonic genes by increasing their histone H3K27 trimethylation. Seedlings with reduced RBR function arrest development after germination, and stimulation with low amounts of sucrose induces transcription of late embryonic genes and causes ectopic cell division. Our results suggest a model in which RBR acts antagonistically to sucrose by negatively regulating the cell cycle and repressing embryonic genes. Thus, RBR is a positive regulator of the developmental switch from embryonic heterotrophic growth to autotrophic growth. This establishes RBR as a new integrator of metabolic and developmental decisions.
Development 07/2011; 138(14):2977-86. · 6.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seed metabolism is dynamically adjusted to oxygen availability. Processes underlying this auto-regulatory mechanism control the metabolic efficiency under changing environmental conditions/stress and thus, are of relevance for biotechnology. Non-symbiotic hemoglobins have been shown to be involved in scavenging of nitric oxide (NO) molecules, which play a key role in oxygen sensing/balancing in plants and animals. Steady state levels of NO are suggested to act as an integrator of energy and carbon metabolism and subsequently, influence energy-demanding growth processes in plants.
We aimed to manipulate oxygen stress perception in Arabidopsis seeds by overexpression of the non-symbiotic hemoglobin AtHb1 under the control of the seed-specific LeB4 promoter. Seeds of transgenic AtHb1 plants did not accumulate NO under transient hypoxic stress treatment, showed higher respiratory activity and energy status compared to the wild type. Global transcript profiling of seeds/siliques from wild type and transgenic plants under transient hypoxic and standard conditions using Affymetrix ATH1 chips revealed a rearrangement of transcriptional networks by AtHb1 overexpression under non-stress conditions, which included the induction of transcripts related to ABA synthesis and signaling, receptor-like kinase- and MAP kinase-mediated signaling pathways, WRKY transcription factors and ROS metabolism. Overexpression of AtHb1 shifted seed metabolism to an energy-saving mode with the most prominent alterations occurring in cell wall metabolism. In combination with metabolite and physiological measurements, these data demonstrate that AtHb1 overexpression improves oxidative stress tolerance compared to the wild type where a strong transcriptional and metabolic reconfiguration was observed in the hypoxic response.
AtHb1 overexpression mediates a pre-adaptation to hypoxic stress. Under transient stress conditions transgenic seeds were able to keep low levels of endogenous NO and to maintain a high energy status, in contrast to wild type. Higher weight of mature transgenic seeds demonstrated the beneficial effects of seed-specific overexpression of AtHb1.