[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many plant species in temperate climate regions require vernalization over winter to initiate flowering. Flowering Locus C (FLC) and FLC-like genes are key regulators of vernalization requirement and growth habit in winter-annual and perennial Brassicaceae. In the biennial crop species Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris in the evolutionarily distant Caryophyllales clade of core eudicots growth habit and bolting time are controlled by the vernalization and photoperiod response gene BTC1 and the downstream BvFT1-BvFT2 module. B. vulgaris also contains a vernalization-responsive FLC homolog (BvFL1). Here, to further elucidate the regulation of vernalization response and growth habit in beet, we functionally characterized BvFL1 by RNAi and over-expression in transgenic plants. BvFL1 RNAi neither eliminated the requirement for vernalization of biennial beets nor had a major effect on bolting time after vernalization. Over-expression of BvFL1 resulted in a moderate late-bolting phenotype, with bolting after vernalization being delayed by approximately 1 week. By contrast, RNAi-induced down-regulation of the BvFT1-BvFT2 module led to a strong delay in bolting after vernalization by several weeks. The data demonstrate for the first time that an FLC homolog does not play a major role in the control of vernalization response in a dicot species outside the Brassicaceae.
Frontiers in Plant Science 01/2014; 5:146. · 3.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant infection by poleroviruses is restricted to phloem tissues, preventing any classical leaf rub inoculation with viral RNA or virions. Efficient virus inoculation to plants is achieved by viruliferous aphids that acquire the virus by feeding on infected plants. The use of promoter-driven infectious cDNA is an alternative means to infect plants and allows reverse genetic studies to be performed. Using Beet mild yellowing virus isolate 2ITB (BMYV-2ITB), we produced a full-length infectious cDNA clone of the virus (named BMYV-EK) placed under the control of the T7 RNA polymerase and the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoters. Infectivity of the engineered BMYV-EK virus was assayed in different plant species and compared with that of the original virus. We showed that in vitro- or in planta-derived transcripts were infectious in protoplasts and in whole plants. Importantly, the natural aphid vector Myzus persicae efficiently transmitted the viral progeny produced in infected plants. By comparing agroinoculation and aphid infection in a host range assay, we showed that the engineered BMYV-EK virus displayed a similar host range to BMYV-2ITB, except for Nicotiana benthamiana, which proved to be resistant to systemic infection with BMYV-EK. Finally, both the BMYV-EK P0 and the full-length clone were able to strongly interfere with post-transcriptional gene silencing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris altissima) is a biennial root crop with an absolute requirement for cold exposure to bolt and flower, a process called vernalization. Global DNA methylation variations have been reported during vernalization in several plants. However, few genes targeted by DNA methylation during vernalization have been described. The objectives of this study were to identify differentially methylated regions and to study their involvement in bolting induction and tolerance. Restriction landmark genome scanning was applied to DNA from shoot apical meristems of sugar beet genotypes, providing a direct quantitative epigenetic assessment of several CG methylated genes without prior knowledge of gene sequence. Several differentially methylated regions exhibiting variations of gene-body DNA methylation and expression during cold exposure and/or between genotypes were identified, including an AROGENATE DEHYDRATASE and two RNA METHYLCYTOSINE TRANSFERASE sequences. One RNA METHYLCYTOSINE TRANSFERASE sequence displayed gene-body hypermethylation and activation of expression, while the other was hypomethylated and inhibited by cold exposure. Global RNA methylation and phenolic compound levels changed during cold exposure in a genotype-dependent way. The use of methyl RNA immunoprecipitation of total RNA and reverse transcription-PCR analysis revealed mRNA methylation in a vernalized bolting-resistant genotype for the FLOWERING LOCUS 1 gene, a repressor of flowering. Finally, Arabidopsis mutants for RNA METHYLCYTOSINE TRANSFERASE and AROGENATE DEHYDRATASE were shown to exhibit, under different environmental conditions, early or late bolting phenotypes, respectively. Overall, the data identified functional targets of DNA methylation during vernalization in sugar beet, and it is proposed that RNA methylation and phenolic compounds play a role in the floral transition.
Journal of Experimental Botany 01/2013; 64(2):651-63. · 5.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During differentiation, in vitro organogenesis calls for the adjustment of the gene expression program toward a new fate. The role of epigenetic mechanisms including DNA methylation is suggested but little is known about the loci affected by DNA methylation changes, particularly in agronomic plants for witch in vitro technologies are useful such as sugar beet. Here, three pairs of organogenic and non-organogenic in vitro cell lines originating from different sugar beet (Beta vulgaris altissima) cultivars were used to assess the dynamics of DNA methylation at the global or genic levels during shoot or root regeneration. The restriction landmark genome scanning for methylation approach was applied to provide a direct quantitative epigenetic assessment of several CG methylated genes without prior knowledge of gene sequence that is particularly adapted for studies on crop plants without a fully sequenced genome. The cloned sequences had putative roles in cell proliferation, differentiation or unknown functions and displayed organ-specific DNA polymorphism for methylation and changes in expression during in vitro organogenesis. Among them, a potential ubiquitin extension protein 6 (UBI6) was shown, in different cultivars, to exhibit repeatable variations of DNA methylation and gene expression during shoot regeneration. In addition, abnormal development and callogenesis were observed in a T-DNA insertion mutant (ubi6) for a homologous sequence in Arabidopsis. Our data showed that DNA methylation is changed in an organ-specific way for genes exhibiting variations of expression and playing potential role during organogenesis. These epialleles could be conserved between parental lines opening perspectives for molecular markers.
Physiologia Plantarum 04/2012; 146(3):321-35. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The RNA-3-encoded p25 protein was previously characterized as one of the major symptom determinants of the Beet necrotic yellow vein virus. Previous analyses reported the influence of the p25 protein in root proliferation phenotype observed in rhizomania disease on infected sugar beets (Beta vulgaris). A transgenic approach was developed, in which the p25 protein was constitutively expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia (Col-0) ecotype in order to provide new clues as to how the p25 protein might promote alone disease development and symptom expression. Transgenic plants were characterized by Southern blot and independent lines carrying single and multiple copies of the transgene were selected. Mapping of the T-DNA insertion was performed on the monocopy homozygote lines. P25 protein was localized both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm of epidermal and root cells of transgenic plants. Although A. thaliana was not described as a susceptible host for BNYVV infection, abnormal root branching was observed on p25 protein-expressing A. thaliana plants. Moreover, these transgenic plants were more susceptible than wild-type plants to auxin analog treatment (2,4-D) but more resistant to methyl jasmonate (MeJA), abscisic acid (ABA) and to lesser extend to salicylic acid (SA). Hormonal content assays measuring plant levels of auxin (IAA), jasmonate (JA) and ethylene precursor (ACC) revealed major hormonal changes. Global transcript profiling analyses on roots displayed differential gene expressions that could corroborate root branching phenotype and stress signaling modifications.
Transgenic Research 06/2011; 20(3):443-66. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An epigenetic control of vernalization has been demonstrated in annual plants such as Arabidopsis and cereals, but the situation remains unclear in biennial plants such as sugar beet that has an absolute requirement for vernalization. The role of DNA methylation in flowering induction and the identification of corresponding target loci also need to be clarified. In this context, sugar beet (Beta vulgaris altissima) genotypes differing in bolting tolerance were submitted to various bolting conditions such as different temperatures and/or methylating drugs. DNA hypomethylating treatment was not sufficient to induce bolting while DNA hypermethylation treatment inhibits and delays bolting. Vernalizing and devernalizing temperatures were shown to affect bolting as well as DNA methylation levels in the shoot apical meristem. In addition, a negative correlation was established between bolting and DNA methylation. Genotypes considered as resistant or sensitive to bolting could also be distinguished by their DNA methylation levels. Finally, sugar beet homologues of the Arabidopsis vernalization genes FLC and VIN3 exhibited distinct DNA methylation marks during vernalization independently to the variations of global DNA methylation. These vernalization genes also displayed differences in mRNA accumulation and methylation profiles between genotypes resistant or sensitive to bolting. Taken together, the data suggest that the time course and amplitude of DNA methylation variations are critical points for the induction of sugar beet bolting and represent an epigenetic component of the genotypic bolting tolerance, opening up new perspectives for sugar beet breeding.
Journal of Experimental Botany 01/2011; 62(8):2585-97. · 5.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rhizomania, caused by beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), is a major disease of sugar beet world-wide. The 'Holly' resistance gene (Rz1) confers strong resistance to several BNYVV isolates and has been incorporated into most major sugar beet breeding lines. However, the threat presented by resistance-breaking isolates of BNYVV, to which the Holly gene does not confer adequate resistance, underscores the need for novel sources of Rhizomaniaresistant germplasm. The Tandem sugar beet variety combines resistances to BNYVV from two sources: the Rz1 gene and a proprietary Beta maritima-derived source. Beets from Tandem, Holly-mediated resistant, and susceptible non-Rz lines were harvested from replicated microplots with heavy Rhizomania disease pressure in the Red River Valley (Minnesota and North Dakota, U.S.), and were analyzed for virus accumulation, root yield, sugar content and juice purity parameters. BNYVV titers were significantly and uniformly lower in samples from Tandem or Holly than those from the susceptible controls.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rhizomania is one of the most devastating sugar beet diseases. It is caused by Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), which induces abnormal rootlet proliferation. To understand better the physiological and molecular basis of the disorder, transcriptome analysis was performed by restriction fragment differential display polymerase chain reaction (RFDD-PCR), which provided differential gene expression profiles between non-infected and infected sugar beet roots. Two distinct viral isolates were used to detect specific or general virus-induced genes. Differentially expressed genes were selected and identified by sequence analysis, followed by reverse Northern and reverse transcriptase PCR experiments. These latter analyses of different plants (Beta vulgaris and Beta macrocarpa) infected under distinct standardized conditions revealed specific and variable expressions. Candidate genes were linked to cell development, metabolism, defence signalling and oxidative stress. In addition, the expression of already characterized genes linked to defence response (pathogenesis-related protein genes), auxin signalling and cell elongation was also studied to further examine some aspects of the disease. Differential expression was retrieved in both B. vulgaris and B. macrocarpa. However, some candidate genes were found to be deregulated in only one plant species, suggesting differential response to BNYVV or specific responses to the BNYVV vector.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The consumption of fructans as a low caloric food ingredient or dietary fibre is rapidly increasing due to health benefits. Presently, the most important fructan source is chicory, but these fructans have a simple linear structure and are prone to degradation. Additional sources of high-quality tailor-made fructans would provide novel opportunities for their use as food ingredients. Sugar beet is a highly productive crop that does not normally synthesize fructans. We have introduced specific onion fructosyltransferases into sugar beet. This resulted in an efficient conversion of sucrose into complex, onion-type fructans, without the loss of storage carbohydrate content.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Point mutations were introduced into the genes encoding the triple gene bock movement proteins P13 and P15 of beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV). Mutations which disabled viral cell-to-cell movement in Chenopodium quinoa were then tested for their ability to act as dominant negative inhibiters of movement of wild-type BNYVV when expressed from a co-inoculated BNYVV RNA 3-based replicon. For P13, three types of mutation inhibited the movement function: non-synomynous mutations in the N- and C-terminal hydrophobic domains, a mutation at the boundary between the N-terminal hydrophobic domain and the central hydrophilic domain (mutant P13-A12), and mutations in the conserved sequence motif in the central hydrophilic domain. However, only the 'boundary' mutant P13-A12 strongly inhibited movement of wild-type virus when expressed from the co-inoculated replicon. Similar experiments with P15 detected four movement-defective mutants which strongly inhibited cell-to-cell movement of wild-type BNYVV when the mutants were expressed from a co-inoculated replicon. Beta vulgaris transformed with two of these P15 mutants were highly resistant to fungus-mediated infection with BNYVV.
Transgenic Research 09/2001; 10(4):293-302. · 2.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been successfully demonstrated, using epidermis explants of sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), that stomatal guard cells retain full totipotent capacity. Despite having one of the highest degrees of morphological adaptation and a unique physiological specialization, it is possible to induce a re-expression of full (embryogenic) genetic potential in these cells in situ by reversing their highly differentiated nature to produce regenerated plants via a callus stage. The importance of these findings both to stomatal research and to our understanding of cytodifferentiation in plants is discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A highly-efficient protocol for the large-scale isolation of guard cell protoplasts from sugar beet ( Beta vulgaris L.) has been developed. Optimization of conditions for culturing these protoplasts resulted in extensive cell division and colony formation, at frequencies exceeding 50%. Plants can subsequently be regenerated from these guard cell-derived colonies. This provides definitive confirmation that, in sugar beet leaf protoplast populations, only guard cells are the source of totipotent protoplasts. These findings are the outcome of a directed, non-empirical approach to overcoming plant cell recalcitrance which was initiated by exploiting computer-assisted microscopy to couple in vitro response to cell origin. The results reaffirm the conclusion that, in plants, extreme degrees of cytodifferentiation need not entail terminal specialization. The responsive nature of this system can be ascribed to the unique use of cultures essentially comprising a single in vivo cell type. A uniform model system has thus been created with potential for widespread application. Their distinct morphological (and mechanical) features make guard cells a valuable choice for studying various fundamental aspects, not only of stomatal physiology, but also of plant cell (de)differentiation, differential gene expression etc. Furthermore, an applied value for such a system can also be envisaged. Results indicate that these cells are highly amenable to genetic manipulation techniques. The importance of these observations to our understanding of plant cell function and behaviour is discussed.