[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Arabidopsis thaliana, XIPOTL1 encodes a phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase with a central role in phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis via the methylation pathway. To gain further insights into the mechanisms that regulate XIPOTL1 expression, the effect of upstream open reading frame 30 (uORF30) on the translation of the major ORF (mORF) in the presence or absence of endogenous choline (Cho) or phosphocholine (PCho) was analysed in Arabidopsis seedlings. Dose-response assays with Cho or PCho revealed that both metabolites at physiological concentrations are able to induce the translational repression of a mORF located downstream of the intact uORF30, without significantly altering its mRNA levels. PCho profiles showed a correlation between increased endogenous PCho levels and translation efficiency of a uORF30-containing mORF, while no correlation was detectable with Cho levels. Enhanced expression of a uORF30-containing mORF and decreased PCho levels were observed in the xipotl1 mutant background relative to wild type, suggesting that PCho is the true mediator of uORF30-driven translational repression. In Arabidopsis, endogenous PCho content increases during plant development and affects root meristem size, cell division, and cell elongation. Because XIPOTL1 is preferentially expressed in Arabidopsis root tips, higher PCho levels are found in roots than shoots, and there is a higher sensitivity of this tissue to translational uORF30-mediated control, it is proposed that root tips are the main site for PCho biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.
Journal of Experimental Botany 07/2012; 63(14):5203-21. · 5.24 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cucurbita moschata, a cucurbit species responsive to inductive short-day (SD) photoperiods, and Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) were used to test whether long-distance movement of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) mRNA or FT is required for floral induction. Ectopic expression of FT by ZYMV was highly effective in mediating floral induction of long-day (LD)-treated plants. Moreover, the infection zone of ZYMV was far removed from floral meristems, suggesting that FT transcripts do not function as the florigenic signal in this system. Heterografting demonstrated efficient transmission of a florigenic signal from flowering Cucurbita maxima stocks to LD-grown C. moschata scions. Real-time RT-PCR performed on phloem sap collected from C. maxima stocks detected no FT transcripts, whereas mass spectrometry of phloem sap proteins revealed the presence of Cm-FTL1 and Cm-FTL2. Importantly, studies on LD- and SD-treated C. moschata plants established that Cmo-FTL1 and Cmo-FTL2 are regulated by photoperiod at the level of movement into the phloem and not by transcription. Finally, mass spectrometry of florally induced heterografted C. moschata scions revealed that C. maxima FT, but not FT mRNA, crossed the graft union in the phloem translocation stream. Collectively, these studies are consistent with FT functioning as a component of the florigenic signaling system in the cucurbits.
The Plant Cell 06/2007; 19(5):1488-506. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequence analysis of left and right border integration sites of independent, single-copy T-DNA inserts in Arabidopsis thaliana revealed three previously unrecognized concomitants of T-DNA integration. First, genomic pre-insertion sites shared sequence similarity not only with the T-DNA left and right border regions, as was previously reported, but also at high frequency with the inverted complement of the T-DNA right border region. Second, palindromic sequences were frequently found to overlap or lie adjacent to genomic target sites, suggesting a high recombinogenic potential for palindromic elements during T-DNA integration and a possible role during the primary contact between the T-DNA and the target DNA. Third, "filler" DNA sequences between genomic pre-insertion site DNA and T-DNA often derive from sequences in the T-DNA left and right border regions that are clustered around palindromic sequences in these T-DNA regions, suggesting that these palindromic elements are "hot spots" for filler DNA formation. The discovery of inverted sequence similarities at the right border suggests a previously unrecognized mode of T-DNA integration that involves heteroduplex formation at both T-DNA borders and with opposite strands of the target DNA. Scanning for sequence similarities in both direct and inverted orientation may increase the probability and/or effectiveness of anchoring the T-DNA to the target DNA. Variations on this scheme may also account for inversion events at the target site of T-DNA integration and inverted T-DNA repeat formation, common sequence organization patterns associated with T-DNA integration.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) can mediate translational control over the largest, or major ORF (mORF) in response to starvation, polyamine concentrations, and sucrose concentrations. One plant uORF with conserved peptide sequences has been shown to exert this control in an amino acid sequence-dependent manner but generally it is not clear what kinds of genes are regulated, or how extensively this mechanism is invoked in a given genome.
By comparing full-length cDNA sequences from Arabidopsis and rice we identified 26 distinct homology groups of conserved peptide uORFs, only three of which have been reported previously. Pairwise Ka/Ks analysis showed that purifying selection had acted on nearly all conserved peptide uORFs and their associated mORFs. Functions of predicted mORF proteins could be inferred for 16 homology groups and many of these proteins appear to have a regulatory function, including 6 transcription factors, 5 signal transduction factors, 3 developmental signal molecules, a homolog of translation initiation factor eIF5, and a RING finger protein. Transcription factors are clearly overrepresented in this data set when compared to the frequency calculated for the entire genome (p = 1.2 x 10(-7)). Duplicate gene pairs arising from a whole genome duplication (ohnologs) with a conserved uORF are much more likely to have been retained in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) than are ohnologs of other genes (39% vs 14% of ancestral genes, p = 5 x 10(-3)). Two uORF groups were found in animals, indicating an ancient origin of these putative regulatory elements.
Conservation of uORF amino acid sequence, association with homologous mORFs over long evolutionary time periods, preferential retention after whole genome duplications, and preferential association with mORFs coding for transcription factors suggest that the conserved peptide uORFs identified in this study are strong candidates for translational controllers of regulatory genes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the draft genome of the black cottonwood tree, Populus trichocarpa. Integration of shotgun sequence assembly with genetic mapping enabled chromosome-scale reconstruction of the genome. More than 45,000 putative protein-coding genes were identified. Analysis of the assembled genome revealed a whole-genome duplication event; about 8000 pairs of duplicated genes from that event survived in the Populus genome. A second, older duplication event is indistinguishably coincident with the divergence of the Populus and Arabidopsis lineages. Nucleotide substitution, tandem gene duplication, and gross chromosomal rearrangement appear to proceed substantially more slowly in Populus than in Arabidopsis. Populus has more protein-coding genes than Arabidopsis, ranging on average from 1.4 to 1.6 putative Populus homologs for each Arabidopsis gene. However, the relative frequency of protein domains in the two genomes is similar. Overrepresented exceptions in Populus include genes associated with lignocellulosic wall biosynthesis, meristem development, disease resistance, and metabolite transport.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodesmata are intercellular organelles in plants that allow the passage of molecules between plant cells. Movement through plasmodesmata may allow transcription factors expressed in one cell to move into adjacent cells, thereby regulating gene expression non-cell autonomously. The two animations illustrate (i) movement of a protein through an individual plasmodesma and (ii) an experiment to detect the movement of the transcription factor through plasmodesmata from the L1 layer of a plant meristem into the L2 and L3 layers. These two animations would be useful in teaching plant biology or plant development or a cell biology class discussing mechanisms of intercellular transport.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe features of RNA silencing and associated epigenetic imprints that illustrate potential roles for RNA interference (RNAi) in maintenance and transmission of epigenetic states between cells, throughout a plant, and perhaps even across sexual generations. Three types of transgenes can trigger RNAi of homologous endogenous plant genes: (1) "sense" transgenes that overexpress translatable transcripts, (2) inverted repeat (IR) transgenes that produce double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), and (3) antisense transgenes. Each mode of RNAi produces a different characteristic developmental silencing pattern. Single-copy transgenes are sufficient for sense-RNAi and antisense-RNAi, but not inverted repeat-RNAi. A single premature termination codon dramatically attenuates sense-RNAi, but it has no effect on antisense or inverted repeat-RNAi. We report here that antisense transgenes altered by removal of nonsense codons generate silencing patterns characteristic of sense-RNAi. Duplication of a sense overexpression transgene results in two types of epigenetic events: (1) complete loss of silencing and (2) altered developmental pattern of silencing. We also report that duplicating only the transgene promoter results in complete loss of silencing, whereas duplicating only transcribed sequences produces the second class, which are vein-based patterns. We infer that the latter class is due to systemic RNA silencing signals that interact with certain epigenetic states of the transgene to imprint it with information generated at a distance elsewhere in the plant.
Cold Spring Harbor Symposia on Quantitative Biology 02/2006; 71:481-5.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Errors are prevalent in cDNA sequences but the extent to which sequence collections differ in frequencies and types of errors has not been investigated systematically. cDNA quality control, or cQC, was developed to evaluate the quality of cDNA sequence collections and to revise those sequences that differ from a higher quality genomic sequence. After removing rRNA, vector, bacterial insertion sequence and chimeric cDNA contaminants, small-scale nucleotide discrepancies were found in 51% of cDNA sequences from one Arabidopsis cDNA collection, 89% from a second Arabidopsis collection and 75% from a rice collection. These errors created premature termination codons in 4 and 42% of cDNA sequences in the respective Arabidopsis collections and in 7% of the rice cDNA sequences.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) can be used to study gene function by effecting degradation of the targeted transcript. However, the effectiveness of transgene-induced RNAi among multiple target genes has not been compared systematically. To this end, we developed a relative quantitative RT-PCR protocol that allows use of a single internal standard over a wide range of target gene expression levels. Using this method in an analysis of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana RNAi lines targeting 25 different endogenes revealed that independent, homozygous, single-copy (sc) T4 lines targeting the same gene generally reduce transcript levels to the same extent, whereas multi-copy RNAi lines differed in the degree of target reduction and never exceeded the effect of sc transgenes. The maximal reduction of target transcript levels varied among targets. These observations suggest that each target sequence possesses an inherent degree of susceptibility to dsRNA-mediated degradation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sequence similarity and profile searching tools were used to analyze the genome sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Caenorhabditis elegans and Drosophila melanogaster for genes encoding three families of histone deacetylase (HDAC) proteins and three families of histone acetyltransferase (HAT) proteins. Plants, animals and fungi were found to have a single member of each of three subfamilies of the GNAT family of HATs, suggesting conservation of these functions. However, major differences were found with respect to sizes of gene families and multi-domain protein structures within other families of HATs and HDACs, indicating substantial evolutionary diversification. Phylogenetic analysis identified a new class of HDACs within the RPD3/HDA1 family that is represented only in plants and animals. A similar analysis of the plant-specific HD2 family of HDACs suggests a duplication event early in dicot evolution, followed by further diversification in the lineage leading to Arabidopsis. Of three major classes of SIR2-type HDACs that are found in animals, fungi have representatives only in one class, whereas plants have representatives only in the other two. Plants possess five CREB-binding protein (CBP)-type HATs compared with one to two in animals and none in fungi. Domain and phylogenetic analyses of the CBP family proteins showed that this family has evolved three distinct types of CBPs in plants. The domain architecture of CBP and TAF(II)250 families of HATs show significant differences between plants and animals, most notably with respect to bromodomain occurrence and their number. Bromodomain-containing proteins in Arabidopsis differ strikingly from animal bromodomain proteins with respect to the numbers of bromodomains and the other types of domains that are present. The substantial diversification of HATs and HDACs that has occurred since the divergence of plants, animals and fungi suggests a surprising degree of evolutionary plasticity and functional diversification in these core chromatin components.
Nucleic Acids Research 01/2003; 30(23):5036-55. · 8.28 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant transgenes may participate in two types of homology-based gene silencing. One requires transcript homology, is post-transcriptional, and is referred to as cosuppression; the other requires promoter homology, is transcriptional, and is similar to paramutation. This paper uses flower color transgenes to address the hierarchical operation of both mechanisms in plants carrying two transgene copies. It is shown that cosuppression of homologous, endogenous flower color genes by single-copy transgenes requires that the transgene be driven by a strong promoter and that the degree of cosuppression is highly sensitive to increasing transgene dosage. Together, these observations suggest that cosuppression should be a sensitive reporter of epigenetic changes in transgene transcription, such as might be caused by paramutation-like interactions between transgene loci. Intercrosses bringing together two homologous transgene loci, one a known epimutable reporter and the other a transgene inverted repeat, result in complete loss of cosuppression in some outcross progeny and a qualitative change in morphology-based patterns of cosuppression in other outcross progeny. This paramutation-like behavior suggests that the transgenes may be altered at the transcriptional level, eliminating cosuppression altogether or changing the spatial pattern of transgene transcription to produce a new pattern of cosuppression.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SummaryA single-copy sense Chalcone synthase (Chs) transgene driven by a strong promoter and producing a fully translatable transcript was converted to an allelic antisense Chs transgene by Cre-lox-mediated DNA recombination in petunia. The sense Chs allele suppressed flower pigmentation in a simple pattern determined by cells at the junctions between adjacent petals, as is typical of single-copy sense Chs transgenes of this type, whereas the antisense Chs allele produced a different pattern of Chs suppression with white petal edges and reduced pigmentation throughout the petal limbs, as is typical of antisense Chs transgenes. In plants carrying a lox-flanked Chs transgene, the presence of Cre protein can cause both sense-specific and antisense-specific patterns to be superimposed in the same flower, suggesting that sense and antisense suppression by single-copy transgenes are mediated by different mechanisms or occur in different cellular or developmental compartments. The presence of Cre also causes the production of numerous, non-clonal white spots, suggesting that the turnover state is not cell-autonomous.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By comparing the effects of strong and weak promoters that drive sense chalcone synthase (Chs) transgenes in large populations of independently transformed plants, we show here that a strong transgene promoter is required for high-frequency cosuppression of Chs genes and for production of the full range of cosuppression phenotypes. In addition, sense Chs transgenes driven by a cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter possessing a single copy of the upstream activator region (UAR) were found to produce a significantly lower degree of cosuppression than they did when the transgene promoter possessed two or four copies of the UAR. It has been shown elsewhere that 35S promoter strength increases with increasing UAR copy number. Frameshift mutations producing early nonsense codons in the Chs transgene were found to reduce the frequency and the degree of cosuppression. These results suggest that promoter strength and transcript stability determine the degree of cosuppression, supporting the hypothesis that sense cosuppression is a response to the accumulation of transcripts at high concentrations. This conclusion was shown to apply to single-copy transgenes but not necessarily to inversely repeated transgenes. The results presented here also have significance for efficient engineering of cosuppression phenotypes for use in research and agriculture.
The Plant Cell 09/1997; 9(8):1357-1368. · 9.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flower pigmentation patterns were scored in 185 sense Chalcone synthase (Chs) transgenotes and 85 antisense Chs transgenotes; upon first flowering, 139 (75%) of sense transgenotes were found to be phenotypically altered, as were 70 (82%) of the antisense transgenotes. The observed patterns document the range of phenotypic variations that occur, as well as confirm and extend the finding that sense Chs constructs produce several types of morphology-based flower pigmentation patterns that antisense Chs constructs do not. Long-term monitoring for epigenetic variations in one population of 44 sense Chs transgenotes showed that 43 (98%) were capable of producing a cosuppression phenotype. The primary determinant of sense-specific patterns of cosuppression of Chs was found to be the repetitiveness and organization pattern of the transgene, not 'position effects' by, or 'readthrough' from, flanking plant DNA sequences. The degree of cosuppression observed in progeny of transgenotes carrying multiple, dispersed copies as compared to that observed with a single copy of the transgene suggests that sense cosuppression of Chs is subject to a transgene dosage effect.