[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Postmortem lignification of xylem tracheary elements (TEs) has been debated for decades. Here, we provide evidence in Zinnia elegans TE cell cultures, using pharmacological inhibitors and in intact Z. elegans plants using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy, that TE lignification occurs postmortem (i.e., after TE programmed cell death). In situ RT-PCR verified expression of the lignin monomer biosynthetic cinnamoyl CoA reductase and cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenase in not only the lignifying TEs but also in the unlignified non-TE cells of Z. elegans TE cell cultures and in living, parenchymatic xylem cells that surround TEs in stems. These cells were also shown to have the capacity to synthesize and transport lignin monomers and reactive oxygen species to the cell walls of dead TEs. Differential gene expression analysis in Z. elegans TE cell cultures and concomitant functional analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in identification of several genes that were expressed in the non-TE cells and that affected lignin chemistry on the basis of pyrolysis-gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis. These data suggest that living, parenchymatic xylem cells contribute to TE lignification in a non-cell-autonomous manner, thus enabling the postmortem lignification of TEs.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leuconostoc gasicomitatum is a psychrotrophic lactic acid bacterium causing spoilage of cold-stored, modified-atmosphere-packaged (MAP), nutrient-rich foods. Its role has been verified by challenge tests in gas and slime formation, development of pungent acidic and buttery off odors, and greening of beef. MAP meats have especially been prone to L. gasicomitatum spoilage. In addition, spoilage of vacuum-packaged vegetable sausages and marinated herring has been reported. The genomic sequencing project of L. gasicomitatum LMG 18811T was prompted by a need to understand the growth and spoilage potentials of L. gasicomitatum, to study its phylogeny, and to be able to knock out and overexpress the genes. Comparative genomic analysis was done within L. gasicomitatum LMG 18811T and the three fully assembled Leuconostoc genomes (those of Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, and Leuconostoc kimchii) available. The genome of L. gasicomitatum LMG 18811T is plasmid-free and contains a 1,954,080-bp circular chromosome with an average GC content of 36.7%. It includes genes for the phosphoketolase pathway and alternative pathways for pyruvate utilization. As interesting features associated with the growth and spoilage potential, LMG 18811T possesses utilization strategies for ribose, external nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleobases and it has a functional electron transport chain requiring only externally supplied heme for respiration. In respect of the documented specific spoilage reactions, the pathways/genes associated with a buttery off odor, meat greening, and slime formation were recognized. Unexpectedly, genes associated with platelet binding and collagen adhesion were detected, but their functionality and role in food spoilage and processing environment contamination need further study.
Applied and environmental microbiology 07/2011; 77(13):4344-51. · 3.69 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus amylovorus is a common member of the beneficial microbiota present in the pig gastrointestinal tract. Here, we report the genome sequence of the surface layer (S-layer) protein-carrying and potentially probiotic strain L. amylovorus GRL1118, which was isolated from porcine ileum and which shows strong adherence to pig intestinal epithelial cells.
Journal of bacteriology 06/2011; 193(12):3147-8. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The saprotrophic fungus Phlebiopsis gigantea has been used for several years as a biocontrol agent against the conifer pathogen Heterobasidion annosum. Although the effectiveness of P. gigantea in biocontrol has been shown empirically, the long-term effect on living conifer trees as well as the mechanism underlying its antagonistic activity is still unknown. An additional concern is the potential of P. gigantea to acquire a necrotrophic habit through adaptation to living wood tissues. By using a combination of histochemical, molecular and transcript profiling (454 sequencing), we investigated under in vitro conditions the necrotrophic capability of P. gigantea and induced localized resistance as a mechanism for its biocontrol action. Pinus sylvestris seedlings (10 years old) were challenged on the xylem surface with P. gigantea or H. annosum. Both fungi provoked strong necrotic lesions, but after prolonged incubation, P. gigantea lesions shrank and ceased to expand further. Tree seedlings pre-treated with P. gigantea further restricted H. annosum-induced necrosis and had more lignified cells. The 454 sequencing revealed elevated transcript levels of genes important for lignification, cell death regulation and jasmonic acid signalling. The results suggest that induced localized resistance is a contributory factor for the biocontrol efficacy of P. gigantea, and it has a limited necrotrophic capability compared with H. annosum.
Tree Physiology 04/2011; 31(4):438-51. · 2.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus amylovorus is a common member of the normal gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota in pigs. Here, we report the genome sequence of L. amylovorus GRL1112, a porcine feces isolate displaying strong adherence to the pig intestinal epithelial cells. The strain is of interest, as it is a potential probiotic bacterium.
Journal of bacteriology 02/2011; 193(3):789-90. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus crispatus is a common member of the beneficial microbiota present in the vertebrate gastrointestinal and human genitourinary tracts. Here, we report the genome sequence of L. crispatus ST1, a chicken isolate displaying strong adherence to vaginal epithelial cells.
Journal of bacteriology 07/2010; 192(13):3547-8. · 3.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To unravel the biological function of the widely used probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, we compared its 3.0-Mbp genome sequence with the similarly sized genome of L. rhamnosus LC705, an adjunct starter culture exhibiting reduced binding to mucus. Both genomes demonstrated high sequence identity and synteny. However, for both strains, genomic islands, 5 in GG and 4 in LC705, punctuated the colinearity. A significant number of strain-specific genes were predicted in these islands (80 in GG and 72 in LC705). The GG-specific islands included genes coding for bacteriophage components, sugar metabolism and transport, and exopolysaccharide biosynthesis. One island only found in L. rhamnosus GG contained genes for 3 secreted LPXTG-like pilins (spaCBA) and a pilin-dedicated sortase. Using anti-SpaC antibodies, the physical presence of cell wall-bound pili was confirmed by immunoblotting. Immunogold electron microscopy showed that the SpaC pilin is located at the pilus tip but also sporadically throughout the structure. Moreover, the adherence of strain GG to human intestinal mucus was blocked by SpaC antiserum and abolished in a mutant carrying an inactivated spaC gene. Similarly, binding to mucus was demonstrated for the purified SpaC protein. We conclude that the presence of SpaC is essential for the mucus interaction of L. rhamnosus GG and likely explains its ability to persist in the human intestinal tract longer than LC705 during an intervention trial. The presence of mucus-binding pili on the surface of a nonpathogenic Gram-positive bacterial strain reveals a previously undescribed mechanism for the interaction of selected probiotic lactobacilli with host tissues.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2009; 106(40):17193-8. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lignin biosynthesis is a major carbon sink in gymnosperms and woody angiosperms. Many of the enzymes involved are encoded for by several genes, some of which are also related to the biosynthesis of other phenylpropanoids. In this study, we aimed at the identification of those gene family members that are responsible for developmental lignification in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). Gene expression across the whole lignin biosynthetic pathway was profiled using EST sequencing and quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Stress-induced lignification during bending stress and Heterobasidion annosum infection was also studied. Altogether 7,189 ESTs were sequenced from a lignin forming tissue culture and developing xylem of spruce, and clustered into 3,831 unigenes. Several paralogous genes were found for both monolignol biosynthetic and polymerisation-related enzymes. Real-time RT-PCR results highlighted the set of monolignol biosynthetic genes that are likely to be responsible for developmental lignification in Norway spruce. Potential genes for monolignol polymerisation were also identified. In compression wood, mostly the same monolignol biosynthetic gene set was expressed, but peroxidase expression differed from the vertically grown control. Pathogen infection in phloem resulted in a general up-regulation of the monolignol biosynthetic pathway, and in an induction of a few new gene family members. Based on the up-regulation under both pathogen attack and in compression wood, PaPAL2, PaPX2 and PaPX3 appeared to have a general stress-induced function.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Development of composite inflorescences in the plant family Asteraceae has features that cannot be studied in the traditional model plants for flower development. In Gerbera hybrida, inflorescences are composed of morphologically different types of flowers tightly packed into a flower head (capitulum). Individual floral organs such as pappus bristles (sepals) are developmentally specialized, stamens are aborted in marginal flowers, petals and anthers are fused structures, and ovaries are located inferior to other floral organs. These specific features have made gerbera a rewarding target of comparative studies. Here we report the analysis of a gerbera EST database containing 16,994 cDNA sequences. Comparison of the sequences with all plant peptide sequences revealed 1656 unique sequences for gerbera not identified elsewhere within the plant kingdom. Based on the EST database, we constructed a cDNA microarray containing 9000 probes and have utilized it in identification of flower-specific genes and abundantly expressed marker genes for flower scape, pappus, stamen, and petal development. Our analysis revealed several regulatory genes with putative functions in flower-organ development. We were also able to associate a number of abundantly and specifically expressed genes with flower-organ differentiation. Gerbera is an outcrossing species, for which genetic approaches to gene discovery are not readily amenable. However, reverse genetics with the help of gene transfer has been very informative. We demonstrate here the usability of the gerbera microarray as a reliable new tool for identifying novel genes related to specific biological questions and for large-scale gene expression analysis.
Genome Research 05/2005; 15(4):475-86. · 14.40 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants growing in their natural habitat represent a valuable resource for elucidating mechanisms of acclimation to environmental constraints. Populus euphratica is a salt-tolerant tree species growing in saline semi-arid areas. To identify genes involved in abiotic stress responses under natural conditions we constructed several normalized and subtracted cDNA libraries from control, stress-exposed and desert-grown P. euphratica trees. In addition, we identified several metabolites in desert-grown P. euphratica trees.
About 14,000 expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences were obtained with a good representation of genes putatively involved in resistance and tolerance to salt and other abiotic stresses. A P. euphratica DNA microarray with a uni-gene set of ESTs representing approximately 6,340 different genes was constructed. The microarray was used to study gene expression in adult P. euphratica trees growing in the desert canyon of Ein Avdat in Israel. In parallel, 22 selected metabolites were profiled in the same trees.
Of the obtained ESTs, 98% were found in the sequenced P. trichocarpa genome and 74% in other Populus EST collections. This implies that the P. euphratica genome does not contain different genes per se, but that regulation of gene expression might be different and that P. euphratica expresses a different set of genes that contribute to adaptation to saline growth conditions. Also, all of the five measured amino acids show increased levels in trees growing in the more saline soil.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lactobacillus amylovorus is a common member of the normal gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota in pigs. Here, we report the genome sequence of L. amylovorus GRL1112, a porcine feces isolate displaying strong adherence to the pig intestinal epithelial cells. The strain is of interest, as it is a potential probiotic bacterium