Journal of Experimental Botany

Published by Oxford University Press (OUP)
Online ISSN: 1460-2431
Publications
Article
Wheat is one of the founder crops of Western agriculture. This study reconstructs agronomic conditions, potential yields, and kernel weight in the beginnings of cultivation of domesticated free-threshing wheat, c. 8000 BC. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope compositions and the dimensions of fossil grains of naked wheat (Triticum aestivum/durum) were analysed. Samples were collected in Tell Halula and Akarçay Tepe, two Neolithic archaeological sites from the Middle Euphrates (the claimed core area for wheat domestication). The samples analysed include the oldest reported remains of naked wheat. Consistently wetter conditions but lower kernel weights were found in the Neolithic compared with the present day. Besides, the estimated yields were clearly beyond what is expected from the gathering of wild stands of cereals. Patterns of phenotypic adaptation achieved by wheat after its diffusion through the Mediterranean were also assessed. On the one hand, the study looked at variation in morphophysiological traits as related to local climate in a set of 68 durum wheat landraces from the Middle Euphrates. On the other hand, an assessment was made of regional adaptation around the Mediterranean Basin in a set of 90 landraces, traditional varieties, and modern cultivars from different origins by characterizing agronomic and morphophysiological variability. Significant relationships were observed between phenotypic variation among landraces from the Middle Euphrates and both minimum temperatures and the ratio of precipitation to potential evapotranspiration of the sites of origin. In addition, consistent differences in grain yield, plant structure, and water status were found among genotypes following both north-south and east-west gradients across the Mediterranean. These differences are associated with contrasting environmental and selection pressures.
 
Article
Carnivory has evolved independently at least six times in five angiosperm orders. In spite of these independent origins, there is a remarkable morphological convergence of carnivorous plant traps and physiological convergence of mechanisms for digesting and assimilating prey. These convergent traits have made carnivorous plants model systems for addressing questions in plant molecular genetics, physiology, and evolutionary ecology. New data show that carnivorous plant genera with morphologically complex traps have higher relative rates of gene substitutions than do those with simple sticky traps. This observation suggests two alternative mechanisms for the evolution and diversification of carnivorous plant lineages. The 'energetics hypothesis' posits rapid morphological evolution resulting from a few changes in regulatory genes responsible for meeting the high energetic demands of active traps. The 'predictable prey capture hypothesis' further posits that complex traps yield more predictable and frequent prey captures. To evaluate these hypotheses, available data on the tempo and mode of carnivorous plant evolution were reviewed; patterns of prey capture by carnivorous plants were analysed; and the energetic costs and benefits of botanical carnivory were re-evaluated. Collectively, the data are more supportive of the energetics hypothesis than the predictable prey capture hypothesis. The energetics hypothesis is consistent with a phenomenological cost-benefit model for the evolution of botanical carnivory, and also accounts for data suggesting that carnivorous plants have leaf construction costs and scaling relationships among leaf traits that are substantially different from those of non-carnivorous plants.
 
Article
Laminarin‐hydrolysing activity developed in the endosperm of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) seeds following germination. The enzyme was basic (pI>10) and the apparent molecular mass was estimated to be 35 kDa by SDS‐PAGE. It was specific for linear β‐1,3‐glucan substrates. Laminarin was hydrolysed by the enzyme to yield a mixture of oligoglucosides, indicating that the enzyme had an endo‐action pattern. Thus, the enzyme was identified as β‐1,3‐ endoglucanase (EC 3.2.1.39). The activity of the enzyme developed in the endosperm after radicle protrusion (germination) had occurred and the enzyme activity was localized exclusively in the micropylar region of the endosperm where the radicle had penetrated. When the lateral endosperm region, where no induction of the enzyme occurred, was wounded (cut or punctured), there was a marked enhancement of β‐1,3‐glucanase activity. Thus the post‐germinative β‐1,3‐glucanase activity in the micropylar endosperm portion might be brought about by wounding resulting from endosperm rupture by radicle penetration.
 
Article
Phytoparasitic nematodes secrete an array of effector proteins to modify selected recipient plant cells into elaborate and essential feeding sites. The biological function of the novel 30C02 effector protein of the soybean cyst nematode, Heterodera glycines, was studied using Arabidopsis thaliana as host and the beet cyst nematode, Heterodera schachtii, which contains a homologue of the 30C02 gene. Expression of Hg30C02 in Arabidopsis did not affect plant growth and development but increased plant susceptibility to infection by H. schachtii. The 30C02 protein interacted with a specific (AT4G16260) host plant β-1,3-endoglucanase in both yeast and plant cells, possibly to interfere with its role as a plant pathogenesis-related protein. Interestingly, the peak expression of 30C02 in the nematode and peak expression of At4g16260 in plant roots coincided at around 3–5 d after root infection by the nematode, after which the relative expression of At4g16260 declined significantly. An Arabidopsis At4g16260 T-DNA mutant showed increased susceptibility to cyst nematode infection, and plants that overexpressed At4g16260 were reduced in nematode susceptibility, suggesting a potential role of host β-1,3-endoglucanase in the defence response against H. schachtii infection. Arabidopsis plants that expressed dsRNA and its processed small interfering RNA complementary to the Hg30C02 sequence were not phenotypically different from non-transformed plants, but they exhibited a strong RNA interference-mediated resistance to infection by H. schachtii. The collective results suggest that, as with other pathogens, active suppression of host defence is a critical component for successful parasitism by nematodes and a vulnerable target to disrupt the parasitic cycle.
 
Article
Cellodextrins (CD), water-soluble derivatives of cellulose composed of β-1,4 glucoside residues, have been shown to induce a variety of defence responses in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) cells. The larger oligomers of CD rapidly induced transient generation of H2O2 and elevation in free cytosolic calcium, followed by a differential expression of genes encoding key enzymes of the phenylpropanoid pathway and pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins as well as stimulation of chitinase and β-1,3 glucanase activities. Most of these defence reactions were also induced by linear β-1,3 glucans (βGlu) and α-1,4 oligogalacturonides (OGA) of different degree of polymerization (DP), but the intensity of some reactions induced by CD was different when compared with βGlu and OGA effects. Moreover, desensitization assays using H2O2 production showed that cells treated with CD remained fully responsive to a second application of OGA, suggesting a different mode of perception of these oligosaccharides by grape cells. None of CD, βGlu, or OGA induced HSR gene expression nor did they induce cell death. In accordance with elicitor activity in grapevine cells, CD-incubated leaves challenged with Botrytis cinerea also resulted in a significant reduction of the disease. Data suggest that CD could operate via other distinct reaction pathways than βGlu and OGA. They also highlight the requirement of a specific DP for each oligosaccharide to induce the defence response.
 
Article
Root holoparasitic angiosperms, like Orobanche spp, completely lack chlorophyll and totally depend on their host for their supply of nutrients. O. crenata is a severe constraint to the cultivation of legumes and breeding for resistance remains the most economical, feasible, and environmentally friendly method of control. Due to the lack of resistance in commercial pea cultivars, the use of wild relatives for breeding is necessary, and an understanding of the mechanisms underlying host resistance is needed in order to improve screening for resistance in breeding programmes. Compatible and incompatible interactions between O. crenata and pea have been studied using cytochemical procedures. The parasite was stopped in the host cortex before reaching the central cylinder, and accumulation of H2O2, peroxidases, and callose were detected in neighbouring cells. Protein cross-linking in the host cell walls appears as the mechanism of defence, halting penetration of the parasite. In situ hybridization studies have also shown that a peroxidase and a β-glucanase are differently expressed in cells of the resistant host (Pf651) near the penetration point. The role of these proteins in the resistance to O. crenata is discussed.
 
Article
The leaf surface of a very large number of plant species are covered by trichomes. Non-glandular trichomes are specialized unicellular or multicellular structures that occur in many different plant species and function in xenobiotic detoxification and protecting the plant against pest attack. By analysing the susceptibility of trichome mutants, evidence is provided that indicates the influence of leaf trichomes on foliar fungal infections in Arabidopsis thaliana, probably by facilitating the adhesion of the fungal spores/hyphae to the leaf surface. A decreased trichome number in the hairless Arabidopsis mutant gl1 enhances tolerance against the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea. By contrast, the try mutant shows an increased susceptibility to both fungal infection and accumulation. Trichome density does not influence infection by the soil-borne pathogen Rhizoctonia solani. In addition, the influence of trichomes on foliar infection is supported by targeting the high-level expression of the Trichoderma harzianum α-1,3-glucanase protein to the specialized cell structures. Trichome expression of this anti-fungal hydrolase shows a significant resistance to infection by the foliar pathogen Botrytis cinerea. Resistance to this fungus is not dependent on the constitutive induction of the salicylic or jasmonic defence signalling pathways, but the presence of the α-1,3-glucanase protein in trichomes.
 
The effect of antisense bGLU I transformation on the timecourse of bGLU I induction during germination of after-ripened homozygous seed. (A) The incidence of testa rupture expressed as a percentage scored with time after the start of imbibition in continuous light in control medium. Homozygous, monogenic S 2 seed populations of independent bGLU I-antisense lines TGAG2-24 (bGLU I promoter) and TKAG4-31 (Cat1 promoter) and of empty-vector line TCIB1-2 were used. (B) The incidence of endosperm rupture. (C) The accumulation of bGLU enzyme activities expressed in pkat mg À1 protein. (D) The accumulation of the 1.6 kb bGLU I mRNA expressed as arbitrary PhosphoImager units per seed. The signals detected and quantified by RNA-blot hybridization using additional seed samples from the experiment described in (A) are corrected for RNA loading based on the 18S ribosomal RNA signals. (A-C) Mean values "SE of two samples each with 100-150 seeds are presented (30 h one sample); SE-values F2.0% and F0.01 pkat mg À1 protein are not drawn.
Effect of after-ripening on endosperm rupture and photodormancy of sense and antisense bGLU I seeds
Schematic representation of antisense class I β‐1,3‐glucanase (βGLU I) expression vectors used for tobacco transformation. Transcriptional fusions of the castor bean Cat1 promoter (PCat1), the tobacco βGLU I B gene (Glb) full length promoter (1.7 kb PGlb), and the truncated proximal Glb promoter (0.5 kb PGlb) with a 1.3 kb βGLU I cDNA in reverse orientation and the CaMV 35S terminator (T35S) constitute the antisense βGLU I constructs of pKAG4, pGAG2 and pGAG3, respectively. The empty‐vector pCIB200 was used to generate control transformants. The chimeric neomycin phosphotransferase gene (NPTII) confers kanamycin resistance and is under the control of the nopaline synthase promoter (PNOS) and terminator (TNOS). The right (RB) and left (LB) T‐DNA borders are indicated.
Article
Little is known about the molecular basis for seed dormancy, after‐ripening, and radicle emergence through the covering layers during germination. In tobacco, endosperm rupture occurs after testa rupture and is the limiting step in seed germination. Class I β‐1,3‐glucanase (βGLU I), which is induced in the micropylar endosperm just prior to its penetration by the radicle, is believed to help weaken the endosperm wall. Evidence is pesented here for a second site of βGLU I action during after‐ripening. Tobacco plants were transformed with antisense βGLU I constructs with promoters thought to direct endosperm‐specific expression. Unexpectedly, these transformants were unaffected in endosperm rupture and did not exhibit reduced βGLU I expression during germination. Nevertheless, antisense βGLU I transformation delayed the onset of testa rupture in light‐imbibed, after‐ripened seeds and inhibited the after‐ripening‐mediated release of photodormancy. It is proposed that βGLU I expression in the dry seed contributes to the after‐ripening‐mediated release of seed dormancy.
 
Article
The accumulation of the pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins beta-1,3-glucanase and chitinase and structural defence responses were studied in leaves of wheat either resistant or susceptible to the hemibiotrophic pathogen Septoria tritici. Resistance was associated with an early accumulation of beta-1,3-glucanase and chitinase transcripts followed by a subsequent reduction in level. Resistance was also associated with high activity of beta-1,3-glucanase, especially in the apoplastic fluid, in accordance with the biotrophic/endophytic lifestyle of the pathogen in the apoplastic spaces, thus showing the highly localized accumulation of defence proteins in the vicinity of the pathogen. Isoform analysis of beta-1,3-glucanase from the apoplastic fluid revealed that resistance was associated with the accumulation of an endo-beta-1,3-glucanase, previously implicated in defence against pathogens, and a protein with identity to ADPG pyrophosphatase (92%) and germin-like proteins (93%), which may be involved in cell wall reinforcement. In accordance with this, glycoproteins like extensin were released into the apoplast and callose accumulated to a greater extent in cell walls, whereas lignin and polyphenolics were not found to correlate with defence. Treatment of a susceptible wheat cultivar with purified beta-1,3-glucan fragments from cell walls of S. tritici gave complete protection against disease and this was accompanied by increased gene expression of beta-1,3-glucanase and the deposition of callose. Collectively, these data indicate that resistance is dependent on a fast, initial recognition of the pathogen, probably due to beta-1,3-glucan in the fungal cell walls, and this results in the accumulation of beta-1,3-glucanase and structural defence responses, which may directly inhibit the pathogen and protect the host against fungal enzymes and toxins.
 
Article
(1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans (mixed-linkage glucans) are found in tissues of members of the Poaceae (grasses), and are particularly high in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grains. The present study describes the isolation of three independent (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucanless (betaglucanless; bgl) mutants of barley which completely lack (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan in all the tissues tested. The bgl phenotype cosegregates with the cellulose synthase like HvCslF6 gene on chromosome arm 7HL. Each of the bgl mutants has a single nucleotide substitution in the coding region of the HvCslF6 gene resulting in a change of a highly conserved amino acid residue of the HvCslF6 protein. Microsomal membranes isolated from developing endosperm of the bgl mutants lack detectable (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan synthase activity indicating that the HvCslF6 protein is inactive. This was confirmed by transient expression of the HvCslF6 cDNAs in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. The wild-type HvCslF6 gene directed the synthesis of high levels of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans, whereas the mutant HvCslF6 proteins completely lack the ability to synthesize (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans. The fine structure of the (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucan produced in the tobacco leaf was also very different from that found in cereals having an extremely low DP3/DP4 ratio. These results demonstrate that, among the seven CslF and one CslH genes present in the barley genome, HvCslF6 has a unique role and is the key determinant controlling the biosynthesis of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans. Natural allelic variation in the HvCslF6 gene was found predominantly within introns among 29 barley accessions studied. Genetic manipulation of the HvCslF6 gene could enable control of (1,3;1,4)-β-D-glucans in accordance with the purposes of use.
 
The PpEG4 gene. (A) Restriction map and structure of the PpEG4 gene. The sequence encompassing the EGase protein consists of nine exons (numbers over solid blocks) and eight introns (connecting line between blocks). In blue are indicated the exons coding for the part of the protein corresponding to the ‘classical’ 53–57 kDa EGases while in green are indicated the c . 110 aa corresponding to the C-ter extra peptide containing the CBD (depicted in purple). 5 9 and 3 9 untranslated regions (UTR) are represented by the horizontal open arrows. The five light blue blocks in the 5 9 untranscribed region represent regions of high homology with the promoter of the strawberry FaEG3 gene. The green oval on the same level represents a putative ERE (E4 type). Some common restriction enzyme sites are indicated above the gene structure over a ruler which shows the size, in base pairs, of the sequenced fragment of peach genomic DNA which contains PpEG4 . (B) Structure of the PpEG4-30 promoter deletion construct, fused to the GUS-INT reporter gene, used for the PpEG4 promoter analysis in tomato. The length is calculated from the starting ATG. (C) Alignment of the deduced amino acid sequences of 12 cellulose-binding domains (CBD): 11 putative CBDs from higher-plant EGases (PpEG4, strawberry FaEG3, pear PC-EG2, tomato cel8, three arabidopsis and four rice proteins deduced from genomic sequences), and one CBD from a microbial protein (i.e. the Dictyostelium discoideum celB). Dashes in the sequences have been introduced by the program ClustalW to optimize the alignment. Black boxes show the conserved tryptophans while shaded boxes and white boxes indicate conserved and identical amino acid residues, respectively. The 578 Y residue of OS_CAE03241.2 is red-highlighted because it is in the position of an otherwise conserved W. A conserved potential Asn glycosylation site (N-X-S/T) in the plant CBDs is shown by a red box. 
Expression analyses of the PpEG4 gene during fruit development and ripening (stages S1 to S4). The expression of PpEG4 is compared with that of the ACO-1 gene to show its increase in the preclimacteric phase (late S3, here S3II) followed by a decrease during the ripening phase (S4I and S4II), that is when high amounts of ethylene are produced by the fruit. Arabic numerals on the top indicate days after full bloom. In each lane 10 l g of total RNA have been loaded. The panel at the bottom of the figure shows ethidium bromide staining of RNA used to check equal loading in each lane. 
Effect of hormone treatments on the expression of PpEG4 in fruits at different stages of development and ripening. RNA (10 l g lane ÿ 1 ) has been extracted from fruits frozen either immediately after harvest or after treating them with either ethylene or an auxin analogue (NAA) or leaving them in air for 48 h. In the middle part of the figure the expression of a peach PG gene is shown as a well-characterized example of expression of an ethylene- inducible gene. The panel at the bottom of the figure shows ethidium bromide staining of RNA used to check equal loading in each lane. 
Involvement of PpEG4 in the abscission process. Abscission zones of leaves (AZ) have been collected either in early autumn (left panels, to investigate PpEG4 expression during natural abscission) or early summer (middle panels, to investigate PpEG4 expression during ethylene-induced abscission). Autumn AZs have been sampled either from non-abscising (NA) or from abscising (A) leaves while summer AZs have either been activated to abscise with ethylene (ET) or not (C, control). The expression of PpEG4 in abscission zones of fruits (AZ3) at the S3 stage has been monitored in AZ3s of explants treated either with ethylene (ET) or NAA, or left in air (Air) for 48 h. The basal expression in AZ3s of fruits at harvest time is shown in the control sample (C). The expression of PpEG4 is compared with that of PpEG1 , already described as the EGase mainly involved in the abscission process in peach. An RNA sample from fruits at the S3II stage has been loaded to allow a comparison of the PpEG4 expression in the two cell separation processes. The panel at the bottom of the figure shows ethidium bromide staining of RNA used to check equal loading in each lane. 
Histochemical analysis of tomato plants transformed with the PpEG4-30 promoter fragment. (A) Fruit at the immature green. (B) Fruit at the breaker stage. (C) Fruit at the breaker stage + 8 d stage (red fruit). 
Article
In peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch.) the degradation of the pectic compounds of the cell wall is considered to be the principal component responsible for fruit softening. Many genes encoding enzymes acting on the different polymers of the pectic matrix have been shown to be highly expressed during the late phases of softening, with polygalacturonase being the most important. Nevertheless, it is known that softening starts well before the ethylene climacteric rise which occurs concomitant with the maximal expression of the pectolytic enzymes. The cloning and characterization of PpEG4, an endo-β-1,4-glucanase (EGase) gene preferentially expressed in preclimacteric fruits, are presented here. PpEG4 belongs to the group of EGases containing, at their carboxy-terminus, a peptide similar to the cellulose binding domain of microbial origin. This EGase is also expressed during abscission of both leaves and fruits. The effect of exogenous ethylene treatments on PpEG4 transcription is null in young fruits and negative in preclimacteric ones, while it is positive in abscission zones. Thus, the expression of PpEG4 seems to be more dependent on the type of separation process rather than being influenced by a direct hormone action. The ability of the PpEG4 regulatory sequences to drive transcription in cells undergoing separation events is also maintained in tomato, where about 3 kb of the gene promoter could drive the expression of gusA in preclimacteric fruits and in the fruit abscission zones.
 
GUS activity measured in protein extracts obtained from strawberries transformed at the pink stage with constructs harbouring different promoter deletions of FaEG1 (top) and FaEG3 (bottom). The different promoter fragments used in each construct are depicted on the left; the indicated bp length is meant from the starting ATG. Also putative cis elements are marked (G-box; AGL3: box recognized by Agamous-like proteins; Dof1 and Dof2: box recognized by Dof transcription factors). In the various experiments the GUS activity (expressed as nmol MU min ±1 m g ±1 protein) was normalized to the luciferase activity (expressed as pmol of luciferase in 1 m g of protein) measured in the same protein extract. The activities measured with the strawberry promoter fragments were expressed as a percentage of the activity obtained with the CaMV 35S promoter, set arbitrarily to 100%. EA: endogenous activity (i.e. GUS activity measured in fruits transformed only with a luciferase gene). All values are the average of four independent experiments. Bars represent standard errors. 
GUS 
GUS activity measured in proteins extracted from strawberries transformed at the white stage with different constructs (i.e. pEG1-30 and pEG3-30, respectively). The GUS activity (expressed as nmolMU min ±1 m g ±1 protein) was normalized to luciferase activity (expressed as 
Article
Two endo‐β‐1,4‐glucanase (EGase; EC 3.2.1.4.) genes, highly expressed during ripening of the non‐climacteric strawberries (Fragaria×ananassa Duch. cv. Chandler), were isolated. Serial promoter deletions of both genes (i.e. FaEG1 and FaEG3) fused to GUS were transiently assayed in strawberry fruits by using a technique recently developed in this laboratory. Although differences were observed with the short fragments, GUS activity became comparable with the largest fragments of both promoters. The apparently similar strength of the two largest promoter fragments was in contrast with previous results of Northern analyses which demonstrated different transcripts amounts for the two genes. The inclusion of the 3′ flanking region of both genes in the transient assays showed that, in the case of FaEG3, the 3′ region had a down‐regulating effect on the expression of GUS, and this might account for the lower amount of FaEG3 mRNA usually observed in ripe fruits compared to that of FaEG1. Downstream instability elements might be involved in such down‐regulation.
 
Article
The last step of ascorbic acid (AA) biosynthesis is catalysed by the enzyme l-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase (GalLDH, EC 1.3.2.3), located on the inner mitochondrial membrane. The enzyme converts l-galactono-1,4-lactone to ascorbic acid (AA). In this work, the cloning and characterization of a GalLDH full-length cDNA from melon (Cucumis melo L.) are described. Melon genomic DNA Southern analysis indicated that CmGalLDH was encoded by a single gene. CmGalLDH mRNA accumulation was detected in all tissues studied, but differentially expressed during fruit development and seed germination. It is hypothesized that induction of CmGalLDH gene expression in ripening melon fruit contributes to parallel increases in the AA content and so playing a role in the oxidative ripening process. Higher CmGalLDH message abundance in light-grown seedlings compared with those raised in the dark suggests that CmGalLDH expression is regulated by light. Finally, various stresses and growth regulators resulted in no significant change in steady state levels of CmGalLDH mRNA in 20-d-old melon seedlings. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of GalLDH transcript induction in seed germination and differential gene expression during fruit ripening.
 
Article
Germinating seeds of Euphorbia heterophylla L. contain endo‐1,4‐β‐glucanases which degrade carboxymethylcellulose (CMC). The activity decreased approximately 66% in extracts of endosperm containing isopropanol or ethanol. The endoglucanases were isolated from endosperm extracts using ammonium sulphate fractionation followed by Sephacryl S‐100‐HR chromatography resulting in two main peaks: I and II. Peak I endoglucanase was further purified about 15‐fold on DEAE‐Sephadex A50 and then by affinity chromatography (CF11‐cellulose). Peak II endoglucanases were further purified 10‐fold on CM‐cellulose chromatography. The results indicated the occurrence of a 66 kDa endoglucanase (fractionated by SDS‐PAGE and visualized by activity staining using Congo Red). Several acidic (pI 3.0 to 5.7) and basic (pI 8.5 to 10.0) forms from both peaks which differed in their capacities for degrading CMC or xyloglucans from Copaifera langsdorffii or Hymenaea courbaril were detected.
 
Article
The phosphoinositol pathway is one of the major eukaryotic signalling pathways. The metabolite of the phosphoinositol pathway, inositol- (1,4,5) trisphosphate (InsP3), is a regulator of plant responses to a wide variety of stresses, including light, drought, cold, and salinity. It was found that the expression of InsP 5-ptase, the enzyme that hydrolyses InsP3, also dramatically affects the levels of inositol phosphate metabolites and the secondary metabolites in transgenic tomato plants. Tomato plants expressing InsP 5-ptase exhibited a reduction in the levels of several important inositol phosphates, including InsP1, InsP2, InsP3, and InsP4. Reduced levels of inositol phosphates accompanied an increase in the accumulation of phenylpropanoids (rutin, chlorogenic acid) and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in the transgenic fruits of tomato plants. The enhanced accumulation of these metabolites in transgenic tomato plants was in direct correspondence with the observed up-regulation of the genes that express the key enzymes of ascorbic acid metabolism (myo-inositol oxygenase, MIOX; L-galactono-γ-lactone dehydrogenase, GLDH) and phenylpropanoid metabolism (chalcone synthase, CHS1; cinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate transferase, HCT). To understand the molecular links between the activation of different branches of plant metabolism and InsP3 reduction in tomato fruits, the expression of transcription factors known to be involved in light signalling was analysed by real-time RT-PCR. The expression of LeHY5, SIMYB12, and LeELIP was found to be higher in fruits expressing InsP 5-ptase. These results suggest possible interconnections between phosphoinositol metabolism, light signalling, and secondary metabolism in plants. Our study also revealed the biotechnological potential for the genetic improvement of crop plants by the manipulation of the phosphoinositol pathway.
 
Article
Despite being the number one fruit crop in the world, very little is known about the phylogeny and molecular biology of banana (Musa spp.). Six banana rbcS gene families encoding the small subunit of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase from six different Musa spp. are presented. For a comprehensive phylogenetic study using Musa rbcS genes, a total of 57 distinct rbcS sequences was isolated from six accessions that contained different combinations of the A and B ancestral/parental genomes. As a result, five of the six members of the rbcS gene family could be affiliated with the A and/or B Musa genomes and at least three of the six gene families most likely existed before Musa A and B genomes separated. By combining sequence data with quantitative real-time PCR it was determined that the different Musa rbcS gene family members are also often multiply represented in each genome, with the highest copy numbers in the B genome. Expression of some of the rbcS genes varied in intensity and in different tissues indicating differences in regulation. To analyse and compare regulatory sequences of Musa rbcS genes, promoter and terminator regions were cloned for three Musa rbcS genes. Transient transformation assays using promoter–reporter–terminator constructs in maize, wheat, and sugarcane demonstrated that the rbcS-Ma1, rbcS-Ma3, and rbcS-Ma5 promoters could be useful for transgene expression in heterologous expression systems. Furthermore, the rbcS-Ma1 terminator resulted in a 2-fold increase of transgene expression when directly compared with the widely used Nos terminator.
 
Article
The Calvin cycle is the initial pathway of photosynthetic carbon fixation, and several of its reaction steps are suggested to exert rate-limiting influence on the growth of higher plants. Plastid fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (aldolase, EC 4.1.2.13) is one of the nonregulated enzymes comprising the Calvin cycle and is predicted to have the potential to control photosynthetic carbon flux through the cycle. In order to investigate the effect of overexpression of aldolase, this study generated transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv Xanthi) expressing Arabidopsis plastid aldolase. Resultant transgenic plants with 1.4–1.9-fold higher aldolase activities than those of wild-type plants showed enhanced growth, culminating in increased biomass, particularly under high CO2 concentration (700 ppm) where the increase reached 2.2-fold relative to wild-type plants. This increase was associated with a 1.5-fold elevation of photosynthetic CO2 fixation in the transgenic plants. The increased plastid aldolase resulted in a decrease in 3-phosphoglycerate and an increase in ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate and its immediate precursors in the Calvin cycle, but no significant changes in the activities of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) or other major enzymes of carbon assimilation. Taken together, these results suggest that aldolase overexpression stimulates ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate regeneration and promotes CO2 fixation. It was concluded that increased photosynthetic rate was responsible for enhanced growth and biomass yields of aldolase-overexpressing plants.
 
FBPase expression in wild type (ws) and A. thaliana transformants. Expression was determined by RT-PCR (bottom panel) and the signals were quantified and normalized using UBQ10 expression as a control (top panel, arbitrary units). PCR products were visualized in the agarose gel by ethidium bromide staining. Results are the means of five individual plants. 
Carbohydrate content of the whole rosette of untransformed control and anti-FBPase plants grown in air
Carbohydrate content in whole Arabidopsis thaliana rosette. Levels of sucrose (A) and ratio sucrose/starch (B) were determined 3 h after the beginning of the light period. Results are means of five individual plants.
Article
The pea chloroplastic fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) antisense construct reduced the endogenous level of expression of the corresponding Arabidopsis thaliana gene. The reduction of foliar FBPase activity in the transformants T2 and T3 generation ranged from 20% to 42%, and correlated with lower levels of FBPase protein. FBPase antisense plants displayed different phenotypes with a clear increase in leaf fresh weight. Measurements of photosynthesis revealed a higher carbon-assimilation rate. Decreased FBPase activity boosted the foliar carbohydrate contents, with a shift in the sucrose:starch ratio, which reached a maximum of 0.99 when the activity loss was 41%. Nitrate reductase activity decreased simultaneously with an increase in glutamine synthetase activity, which could be explained in terms of ammonium assimilation regulation by sugar content. These results suggest the role of FBPase as a key enzyme in CO2 assimilation, and also in co-ordinating carbon and nitrogen metabolism.
 
RT-PCR determination of specific mRNAs for FBPase (a),
FBPase (a), NADP-MDH (b), Trx f (c), Trx m (d ) and total
FBPase (a), NADP-MDH (b),Trx f (c), Trx m (d ), and total protein (e), as well as FBPase (f, g) and NADP-MDH (h) activities of upper petioled leaflets of pea plants grown for 10 d under normal Fig. 4. RT-PCR determination of specific mRNAs for FBPase (a), temperature (25/20 °C day/night gradient) and low light (100 mmol m−2 s−1 PAR) (NTLL), normal temperature and high light NADP-MDH (b), Trx f (c), and Trx m (d) in upper petioled leaflets of pea plants grown for 10 d under normal temperature (25/20 °C (2500 mmol m−2 s−1 PAR) (NTHL), high temperature (35/30 °C day/night gradient) and low light (HTLL), high temperature and high day/night gradient) and low light (100 mmol m−2 s−1 PAR) (NTLL), normal temperature and high light (2500 mmol m−2 s−1 PAR) (NTHL), light (HTHL), low temperature (15/10 °C day/night gradient) and low light (LTLL), and low temperature and high light (LTHL). (a-d) were high temperature (35/30 °C day/night gradient) and low light (HTLL), high temperature and high light (HTHL), low temperature (15/10 °C measured by ELISA with the corresponding specific antibodies, and (e) by Bradford. FBPase activity was determined at pH 8.8 under nonday/night gradient) and low light (LTLL), and low temperature and high light (LTHL). Bars represent percentages in relation to the highest reducing conditions (f ) or at pH 7.9 in the presence of DTT (g), whereas DTT-dependent NADP-MDH activity (h) was measured at value (on fresh weight basis), and are the means (±SE ) of two measures on each of two independent experiments. Top insets are alkaline pH 8.0, as stated in the Materials and methods. Bars represent percentages in relation to the highest value (on a fresh weight basis), phosphatase stains of one of the agarose electrophoresis transfers on nylon membranes of digoxygenin-labelled PCR-amplified specific and are the means (±SE) of two measures on each of two independent experiments. DNAs.
Electron micrograph of ultrathin sections of upper-leaf mesophyll from 10-d-old pea plants grown under normal conditions
Article
Thioredoxins (Trxs) f and m, as well as their targets chloroplast fructose‐1,6‐bisphosphatase (FBPase) and NADP+‐malate dehydrogenase (NADP‐MDH), displayed transcriptional expression in both photosynthetic and non‐photosynthetic organs of pea plants (Pisum sativum L. cv. Lincoln) grown for 50 d under normal irradiance. However, whereas Trx m and both target enzymes were poorly expressed in non‐photosynthetic tissues, the content of the precursor form of the Trx f‐specific mRNA was high in pea roots. In contrast, the translational expression of Trx f was low in this organ. The high FBPase activity in immature seeds, and the low activity of leaves, must be related to high starch synthesis in the first, and with high sucrose formation in the second. The transcriptional expression of FBPase and NADP+‐MDH, and to a lesser extent that of Trxs f and m, was inhibited under low irradiance in plants grown under both normal and high temperatures. Pea plants grown at low temperature displayed a high level of mRNAs for Trxs and their targets, especially when the growth was carried out at low light. To a lesser extent, similar behaviour was observed at the protein level. Chloroplasts of mesophyll leaf cells of pea plants grown under saturating light, or under sub‐saturating continuous irradiance, showed broken envelopes, distorted structural elements and disorganized starch grains, as a consequence of a photobleaching process and high starch accumulation.
 
Root clumps of the two NILs families (no. 1 and no. 4) grown under water-stressed (WS) conditons. 
Main sources of variation in the ANOVA of trials concerning NILs per se and NILs crosses
NILs per se: mean values of the three trials across the two families for the investigated traits
Article
A previous study on maize F2:3 families derived from Lo964×Lo1016 highlighted one QTL in bin 1.06 (hereafter named root-yield-1.06) affecting root and agronomic traits of plants grown in well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) conditions. Starting from different F4 families, two pairs of near isogenic lines (NILs) were developed at root-yield-1.06. The objective of this study was to evaluate root-yield-1.06 effects across different water regimes, genetic backgrounds, and inbreeding levels. The NILs per se and their crosses with Lo1016 and Lo964 were tested in 2008 and 2009 near to Bologna, with the well-watered (WW) and water-stressed (WS) treatments providing, on average, 70 mm and 35 mm of water, respectively. For NILs per se, the interactions QTL×water regime and QTL×family were negligible in most cases; the QTL additive effects across families were significant for several traits, especially root clump weight. For NILs crosses, analogously to NILs per se, the interactions were generally negligible and the additive effects across water regimes and families were significant for most traits, especially grain yield. A meta-analysis carried out considering the QTLs described in this and previous studies inferred one single locus as responsible for the effects on roots and agronomic traits. Our results show that root-yield-1.06 has a major constitutive effect on root traits, plant vigour and productivity across water regimes, genetic backgrounds, and inbreeding levels. These features suggest that root-yield-1.06 is a valuable candidate for cloning the sequence underlying its effects and for marker-assisted selection to improve yield stability in maize.
 
Relatedness of DddD proteins. The tree was derived from BLAST pairwise alignments at the NCBI BLAST website. The groupings of the different bacterial species and strains in the three branches, ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ are discussed in the text.
Location of genes in the dddD regions of different Ddd + 
Article
This paper describes the ddd genes that are involved in the production of the gas dimethyl sulphide from the substrate dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP), an abundant molecule that is a stress protectant in many marine algae and a few genera of angiosperms. What is known of the arrangement of the ddd genes in different bacteria that can undertake this reaction is reviewed here, stressing the fact that these genes are probably subject to horizontal gene transfer and that the same functions (e.g. DMSP transport) may be accomplished by very different mechanisms. A surprising number of DMS-emitting bacteria are associated with the roots of higher plants, these including strains of Rhizobium and some rhizosphere bacteria in the genus Burkholderia. One newly identified strain that is predicted to make DMS is B. phymatum which is a highly unusual β-proteobacterium that forms N2-fixing nodules on some tropical legumes, in this case, the tree Machaerium lunatum, which inhabits mangroves. The importance of DMSP catabolism and DMS production is discussed, not only in terms of nutritional acquisition by the bacteria but also in a speculative scheme (the ‘messy eater’ model) in which the bacteria may make DMS as an info-chemical to attract other organisms, including invertebrates and other plankton.
 
The relationship between the accumulation of 109Cd in roots and shoots in different genotypes of diploid, tetraploid and hexaploid wheats grown for 9 d in nutrient solution. Radiolabelled Cd was applied when the plants were 7‐d‐old, and continued for a 42 h period. Data represent mean of five replicates.
Article
Uptake and retranslocation of leaf‐applied radiolabelled cadmium (109Cd) was studied in three diploid (Triticum monococcum, AA), four tetraploid (Triticum turgidum, BBAA) and two hexaploid (Triticum aestivum, BBAADD) wheat genotypes grown for 9 d under controlled environmental conditions in nutrient solution. Among the tetraploid wheats, two genotypes were primitive (ssp. dicoccum) and two genotypes modern wheats (ssp. durum). Radiolabelled Cd was applied by immersing the tips (3 cm) of mature leaf into a 109Cd radiolabelled solution. There was a substantial variation in the uptake and export of 109Cd among and within wheat species. On average, diploid wheats (AA) absorbed and translocated more 109Cd than other wheats. The largest variation in 109Cd uptake was found within tetraploid wheats (BBAA). Primitive tetraploid wheats (ssp. dicoccum) had a greater uptake capacity for 109Cd than modern tetraploid wheats (ssp. durum). In all wheats studied, the amount of the 109Cd exported from the treated leaf into the roots and the remainder of the shoots was poorly related to the total absorption. For example, bread wheat cultivars were more or less similar in total absorption, but differed greatly in the amount of 109Cd retranslocated. The diploid wheat genotype ‘FAL‐43’ absorbed the lowest amount of 109Cd, but retranslocated the greatest amount of 109Cd in roots and remainder of shoots. The results indicate the existence of substantial genotypic variation in the uptake and retranslocation of leaf‐applied 109Cd. This variation is discussed in terms of potential genotypic differences in binding of Cd to cell walls and the composition of phloem sap ligands possibly affecting Cd transport into sink organs.
 
Article
Intrinsic water use efficiency (WUE(intr)), the ratio of photosynthesis to stomatal conductance to water, is often used as an index for crop water use in breeding projects. However, WUE(intr) conflates variation in these two processes, and thus may be less useful as a selection trait than knowledge of both components. The goal of the present study was to determine whether the contribution of photosynthetic capacity and stomatal conductance to WUE(intr) varied independently between soybean genotypes and whether this pattern was interactive with mild drought. Photosynthetic capacity was defined as the variation in WUE(intr) that would occur if genotypes of interest had the same stomatal conductance as a reference genotype and only differed in photosynthesis; similarly, the contribution of stomatal conductance to WUE(intr) was calculated assuming a constant photosynthetic capacity across genotypes. Genotypic differences in stomatal conductance had the greatest effect on WUE(intr) (26% variation when well watered), and was uncorrelated with the effect of photosynthetic capacity on WUE(intr). Thus, photosynthetic advantages of 8.3% were maintained under drought. The maximal rate of Rubisco carboxylation, generally the limiting photosynthetic process for soybeans, was correlated with photosynthetic capacity. As this trait was not interactive with leaf temperature, and photosynthetic capacity differences were maintained under mild drought, the observed patterns of photosynthetic advantage for particular genotypes are likely to be consistent across a range of environmental conditions. This suggests that it is possible to employ a selection strategy of breeding water-saving soybeans with high photosynthetic capacities to compensate for otherwise reduced photosynthesis in genotypes with lower stomatal conductance.
 
Northern blot of total RNA (15 l g) from soybean roots. Treatments are designed as NI, non-inoculated controls; Br, Bradyrhizobium japonicum ; Gm, Glomus mosseae ; Gm+Br, G. mosseae plus B. japonicum ; Gi, Glomus intraradices ; Gi+Br, G. intraradices plus B. japonicum . Plants were either well-watered (ww) or drought-stressed (ds) for 10 d. The lower panel shows a representative example of the amount of 26S rRNA loaded for each treatment (methylene blue staining). Histogram shows the relative gene expression (after normalization to rRNA) presented as a percentage of the value for droughted non-inoculated plants. 
Northern blot of total RNA (15 l g) from soybean roots. Plants were harvested 5, 12, 20, or 35 d after inoculation (dai). Treatments are designed as NI, non-inoculated controls; Br, Bradyrhizobium japonicum ; Gm+Br, G. mosseae plus B. japonicum . Plants were either well-watered (ww) or drought-stressed (ds) for 10 d. The lower panel shows a representative example of the amount of 26S rRNA loaded for each treatment (methylene blue staining). Histogram shows the relative gene expression (after normalization to rRNA) presented as a percentage of the value for droughted non-inoculated plants. 
Northern blot of total RNA (10 l g) from soybean nodules. Treatments are designed as Br, Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Gm+Br, G. mosseae plus B. japonicum . Plants were either well-watered (ww) or drought-stressed (ds) for 10 d. The lower panel shows the amount of 26S rRNA loaded for each treatment (methylene blue staining). Histogram shows the relative gene expression (after normalization to rRNA) presented as a percentage of the value for droughted non-inoculated plants. 
Northern blot of total RNA (15 l g) from lettuce roots. Treatments are designed as NI, non-inoculated controls; Gm, Glomus mosseae ; Gi, Glomus intraradices ; Plants were either well-watered (ww) or drought-stressed (ds) for 10 d. The lower panel shows the amount of 26S rRNA loaded for each treatment (methylene blue staining). Histogram shows the relative gene expression (after normalization to rRNA) presented as a percentage of the value for droughted non-inoculated plants. 
Article
In this study, it has been determined whether the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis is able to alter the pattern of dehydrin (LEA D-11 group) transcript accumulation under drought stress, and whether such a possible alteration functions in the protection of the host plants against drought. Two dehydrin-encoding genes have been cloned from Glycine max (gmlea 8 and gmlea 10) and one from Lactuca sativa (lslea 1) and they have been analysed for their contribution to the response against drought in mycorrhizal soybean and lettuce plants. Results with soybean plants showed that most of the treatments did not show LEA gene expression under well-watered conditions. The higher gene expression was found in non-inoculated plants subjected to drought. Only plants singly inoculated with Bradyrhizobium japonicum showed an important level of LEA gene expression under well-watered conditions and a reduced level under drought-stress conditions. The same results were confirmed in subsequent experiments and at the latest stage of a time-course experiment. In lettuce, the lslea 1 gene was also induced by drought stress in all treatments. However, the level of induction was clearly higher in roots from non-inoculated plants than in roots from the two AM treatments assayed. The overall results demonstrated that the levels of lea transcript accumulation in mycorrhizal treatments subjected to drought were considerably lower than in the corresponding non-mycorrhizal plants, indicating that the accumulation of LEA proteins is not a mechanism by which the AM symbiosis protects their host plant.
 
Article
The hybrid Richter-110 (Vitis berlandierixVitis rupestris) has the reputation of being a genotype strongly adapted to drought. A study was performed with plants of R-110 subjected to sustained water-withholding to induce acclimation to two different levels of water stress, followed by rewatering to induce recovery. The goal was to analyse how photosynthesis is regulated during acclimation to water stress and recovery. In particular, the regulation of stomatal conductance (g(s)), mesophyll conductance to CO(2) (g(m)), leaf photochemistry (chlorophyll fluorescence and thermoluminescence), and biochemistry (V(c,max)) were assessed. During water stress, g(s) declined to 0.1 and less than 0.05 mol CO(2) m(-2) s(-1) in moderately and severely water-stressed plants, respectively, and was kept quite constant during an acclimation period of 1-week. Leaf photochemistry proved to be very resistant to the applied water-stress conditions. By contrast, g(m) and V(c,max) were affected by water stress, but they were not kept constant during the acclimation period. g(m) was initially unaffected by water stress, and V(c,max) even increased above control values. However, after several days of acclimation to water stress, both parameters declined below (g(m)) or at (V(c,max)) control values. For the latter two parameters there seemed to be an interaction between water stress and cumulative irradiance, since both recovered to control values after several cloudy days despite water stress. A photosynthesis limitation analysis revealed that diffusional limitations and not biochemical limitations accounted for the observed decline in photosynthesis during water stress and slow recovery after rewatering, both in moderately and severely stressed plants. However, the relative contribution of stomatal (SL) and mesophyll conductance (MCL) limitations changes during acclimation to water stress, from predominant SL early during water stress to similar SL and MCL after acclimation. Finally, photosynthesis recovery after rewatering was mostly limited by SL, since stomatal closure recovered much more slowly than g(m).
 
Sequence characteristics of Vitis Richter-110 MIP members 
Article
The nucleotide sequences of eight cDNAs encoding putative aquaporins obtained from a leaf Vitis hybrid Richter-110 cDNA library are reported. They encode proteins ranging from 249 to 287 amino acids with characteristic sequences that clearly include them within the MIP family. According to available database sequence homologies, they can be classified into four groups belonging to two subfamilies: PIP (PIP1 and PIP2) and TIP (gamma-TIP and delta-TIP). In order to elucidate the expression patterns of these putative aquaporins in the plant, specific probes were developed and tissue specific differential expression was tested by reverse Northern and compared with two reference genes (malic enzyme and glutamate dehydrogenase). Clearly, most of the putative aquaporins had higher expression in roots, whereas expression in shoot and leaves was generally weaker than the reference genes.
 
Article
Endoribonuclease E (RNase E) is a regulator of global gene expression in Escherichia coli and is the best studied member of the RNase E/G ribonuclease family. Homologues are present in other bacteria but the roles of plant RNase E/G-like proteins are not known. Arabidopsis thaliana contains a single nuclear gene (At2g04270) encoding a product with the conserved catalytic domain of RNase E/G-like proteins. At2g04270 and the adjacent At2g04280 gene form converging transcription units with a ∼40 base overlap at their 3’ ends. Several translation products were predicted from the analyses of At2g04270 cDNAs. An antibody raised against a recombinant A. thaliana RNase E/G-like protein recognized a 125 kDa protein band in purified chloroplast preparations fractionated by SDS-PAGE. The 125 kDa RNase E/G-like protein was detected in cotyledons, rosette and cauline leaves. T-DNA insertions in exon 6 or intron 11 of At2g04270 result in loss of the 125 kDa band or truncation to a 110 kDa band. Loss of At2g04270 function resulted in the arrest of chloroplast development, loss of autotrophic growth, and reduced plastid ribosomal, psbA and rbcL RNA levels. Homozygous mutant plants were pale-green, contained smaller plastids with fewer thylakoids and shorter granal stacks than wild-type chloroplasts, and required sucrose at all growth stages following germination right up to flowering and setting seeds. Recombinant A. thaliana RNase E/G-like proteins rescued an E. coli RNase E mutant and cleaved an rbcL RNA substrate. Expression of At2g04270 was highly correlated with genes encoding plastid polyribonucleotide phosphorylase, S1 RNA-binding, and CRS1/YhbY domain proteins.
 
Article
The relative contribution of glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) and the aminotransferase activity to mitochondrial glutamate metabolism was investigated in dilute suspensions of purified mitochondria from potato (Solanum tuberosum) tubers. Measurements of glutamate‐dependent oxygen consumption by mitochondria in different metabolic states were complemented by novel in situ NMR assays of specific enzymes that metabolize glutamate. First, a new assay for aminotransferase activity, based on the exchange of deuterium between deuterated water and glutamate, provided a method for establishing the effectiveness of the aminotransferase inhibitor amino‐oxyacetate in situ, and thus allowed the contribution of the aminotransferase activity to glutamate oxidation to be assessed unambiguously. Secondly, the activity of GDH in the mitochondria was monitored in a coupled assay in which glutamine synthetase was used to trap the ammonium released by the oxidative deamination of glutamate. Thirdly, the reversibility of the GDH reaction was investigated by monitoring the isotopic exchange between glutamate and [15N]ammonium. These novel approaches show that the oxidative deamination of glutamate can make a significant contribution to mitochondrial glutamate metabolism and that GDH can support the aminotransferases in funnelling carbon from glutamate into the TCA cycle.
 
Article
Most plant oxylipins, a large class of diverse oxygenated polyunsaturated fatty acids and their derivatives, are produced through the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway. Recent progress in dicots has highlighted the biological roles of oxylipins in plant defence responses to pathogens and pests. By contrast, the physiological function of LOXs and their metabolites in monocots is poorly understood. Two maize LOXs, ZmLOX10 and ZmLOX11 that share >90% amino acid sequence identity but are localized on different chromosomes, were cloned and characterized. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that ZmLOX10 and ZmLOX11 cluster together with well-characterized plastidic type 2 linoleate 13-LOXs from diverse plant species. Regio-specificity analysis of recombinant ZmLOX10 protein overexpressed in Escherichia coli proved it to be a linoleate 13-LOX with a pH optimum at approximately pH 8.0. Both predicted proteins contain putative transit peptides for chloroplast import. ZmLOX10 was preferentially expressed in leaves and was induced in response to wounding, cold stress, defence-related hormones jasmonic acid (JA), salicylic acid (SA), and abscisic acid (ABA), and inoculation with an avirulent strain of Cochliobolus carbonum. These data suggested a role for this gene in maize adaptation to abiotic stresses and defence responses against pathogens and pests. ZmLOX11 was preferentially expressed in silks and was induced in leaves only by ABA, indicating its possible involvement in responses to osmotic stress. In leaves, mRNA accumulation of ZmLOX10 is strictly regulated by a circadian rhythm, with maximal expression coinciding temporally with the highest photosynthetic activity. This study reveals the evolutionary divergence of physiological roles for relatively recently duplicated genes. Possible physiological functions of these 13-LOXs are suggested.
 
Article
Mesophyll conductance (gm) is now recognized as an important limiting process for photosynthesis, as it results in a significant decrease of CO2 diffusion from substomatal cavities where water evaporation occurs, to chloroplast stroma. Over the past decade, an increasing number of studies proposed that gm can vary in the short term (e.g. minutes), but these variations are still controversial, especially those potentially induced by changing CO2 and irradiance. In this study, gm data estimated with online 13C discrimination recorded with a tunable diode laser absorption spectrometer (TDL-AS) during leaf gas exchange measurements, and based on the single point method, are presented. The data were obtained with three Eucalyptus species. A 50% decrease in gm was observed when the CO2 mole fraction was increased from 300 μmol mol−1 to 900 μmol mol−1, and a 60% increase when irradiance was increased from 200 μmol mol−1 to 1100 μmol mol−1 photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD). The relative contribution of respiration and photorespiration to overall 13C discrimination was also estimated. Not taking this contribution into account may lead to a 50% underestimation of gm but had little effect on the CO2- and irradiance-induced changes. In conclusion, (i) the observed responses of gm to CO2 and irradiance were not artefactual; (ii) the respiratory term is important to assess absolute values of gm but has no impact on the responses to CO2 and PPFD; and (iii) increasing irradiance and reducing the CO2 mole fraction results in rapid increases in gm in Eucalyptus seedlings.
 
Article
C5 volatile compounds, derived from fatty acids, are among the most important contributors to consumer liking of fresh tomatoes. Despite their important roles in flavour, the genes responsible for C5 volatile synthesis have yet to be identified. This work shows that their synthesis is catalysed in part by a 13-lipoxygenase (LOX), TomloxC, the same enzyme responsible for synthesis of C6 volatiles. C5 synthesis is independent of hydroperoxide lyase (HPL); moreover, HPL knockdown significantly increased C5 volatile synthesis. This LOX-dependent, HPL-independent pathway functions in both fruits and leaves. Synthesis of C5 volatiles increases in leaves following mechanical wounding but does not increase in response to infection with Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria. Large reductions in C5 and C6 volatiles in antisense TomloxC knockdown plants were observed but those reductions did not alter the development of disease symptoms, indicating that these volatiles do not have an important defensive function against this bacterial pathogen.
 
Article
Understanding of the control of metabolic pathways in plants requires direct measurement of the metabolic turnover rate. Sugar phosphate metabolism, including the Calvin cycle, is the primary pathway in C3 photosynthesis, the dynamic status of which has not been assessed quantitatively in the leaves of higher plants. Since the flux of photosynthetic carbon metabolism is affected by the CO2 fixation rate in leaves, a novel in vivo 13C-labelling system was developed with 13CO2 for the kinetic determination of metabolic turnover that was the time-course of the 13C-labelling ratio in each metabolite. The system is equipped with a gas-exchange chamber that enables real-time monitoring of the CO2 fixation rate and a freeze-clamp that excises a labelled leaf concurrently with quenching the metabolic reactions by liquid nitrogen within the photosynthesis chamber. Kinetic measurements were performed by detecting mass isotopomer abundance with capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry. The multiple reaction monitoring method was optimized for the determination of each compound for sensitive detection because the amount of some sugar phosphates in plant cells is extremely small. Our analytical system enabled the in vivo turnover of sugar phosphates to be monitored in fresh tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) leaves, which revealed that the turnover rate of glucose-1-phosphate (G1P) was significantly lower than that of other sugar phosphates, including glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). The pool size of G1P is 12 times lower than that of G6P. These results indicate that the conversion of G6P to G1P is one of the rate-limiting steps in the sugar phosphate pathway.
 
Representative proton-decoupled in vitro 13C-NMR spectrum of G. montanum leaves (PCA extract). This spectrum, recorded at 20 °C, is the result of 3600 transients with a 6 s repetition time (6 h). The PCA extract was prepared from adult (1-month-old) G. montanum leaves harvested during the first week of July at the Lautaret pass (2100 m asl) at 10.00 h, according to the procedure described in the Materials and methods. Insets, expanded scales (magnification, ×2) showing two of the seven resonance peaks of MeG, corresponding to the methyl group (58.00 ppm), and to the C-1 (104.00 ppm). The positions of the other MeG resonance peaks are indicated by solid circles. Peak assignments are as follows: MeG, methyl-β-D-glucopyranoside; s, sucrose; g, glucose; f, fructose; mal, malate; n.i., not identified; ref, reference (100 μmol maleate).
Representative proton-decoupled in vitro 13C-NMR spectra (expanded scales centred around 58 ppm and 104 ppm) showing the synthesis of MeG in G. montanum leaf fragments (A), and suspension-cultured sycamore cells (B) after labelling with 99% [13C]methanol or 99% [1-13C]glucose, or both. PCA extract preparation and NMR acquisition parameters were as described in the Material and methods; number of transients, 225 (22.5 min). Tissue fragments and cells were incubated for 1 d in the presence of: 5 mM [13C]methanol and 10 mM [U-12C]glucose (A2, B2); 5 mM [12C]methanol and 10 mM [1-13C]glucose (A3, B3); 5 mM [13C]methanol and 10 mM [1-13C]glucose (A4, B4). A1 and B1, reference spectra at time zero (no added substrate). Peak assignments are as in Fig. 1.
Representative proton-decoupled in vitro 13C-NMR spectra (scale from 34 ppm to 66 ppm) of sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus L.) cells and their purified vacuoles showing that MeG accumulated in vacuoles. Sycamore cells were first incubated over 2 d in the presence of 5 mM [13C]methanol. 10 g of cells were utilized directly for PCA extraction (sample A), and 12 g for the preparation of vacuoles as described in the Materials and methods. According to the measurement of malate or citrate taken as a vacuolar marker (Gout et al., 1993), the rate of vacuole extraction was about 80% after purification. The cytoplasmic contaminants were estimated to less than 5% according to the measurement of the remnant alcohol dehydrogenase, fumarase, and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase activities. Cold (0 °C) perchloric acid (300 μl) was added to the suspension of vacuoles (3 ml in buffer A containing 0.7 M mannitol) for PCA extraction (sample B). NMR acquisition parameters were as described in the Materials and methods; number of transients, 900 (90 min). Peak assignments are as follows: MeG, methyl-β-D-glucopyranoside; mnt, mannitol; s, sucrose; cit, citrate; mal, malate; scn, succinate.
Representative proton-decoupled in vitro 13C-NMR spectra (expanded scales centred around 58 ppm and 104 ppm) of suspension-cultured sycamore cells showing that MeG was not synthesized in the vacuole. Cells were first incubated for 1 d in the presence of 10 mM [1-13C]glucose, then rinsed three times with water, and subsequently incubated in the presence of [13C]methanol either in a carbohydrate-free nutrient medium (A) or in a nutrient medium containing 10 mM [U-12C]glucose (B). PCA extract preparation and NMR acquisition parameters were as described in the Materials and methods; number of transients, 225 (22.5 min). Peak assignments are as in Fig. 1.
Article
Using 13C-NMR, methyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (MeG) was characterized as a major compound in the leaves of the alpine herb Geum montanum L. MeG continuously accumulated during the life span of G. montanum leaves, and accounted for up to 20% of the soluble carbohydrates in aged overwintering leaves, without being reallocated during senescence. Incubating intact plant tissues, culture cells, and purified organelles with 13C-labelled substrates showed that MeG was synthesized in the cytosol of cells, directly from glucose and methanol molecules. There was no contribution of the C-1 pathway. MeG was subsequently stored in the vacuole without being re-exported to the cytoplasm. All the dicots tested contained the enzymatic machinery permitting MeG synthesis from methanol and glucose, but the plants accumulating this compound at concentrations higher than 1 μmol g−1 wet wt were mainly members of the Rosaceae family belonging to the Rosoideae subfamily. It is suggested that the synthesis of MeG may contribute to reduce the accumulation in the cytoplasm of methanol and its derived compounds.
 
Means (±95% confidence intervals, based on N) in the two phenotypes ‘low Δ’ (open columns) and ‘high Δ’ (closed columns) of: (a) carbon isotope discrimination (N=12) recorded in bulk matter of leaves from the second (Δ13Cb2) and the third (Δ13Cb3) growth-flush, in wood (Δ13Cw), and in the cellulose extracted from the wood (Δ13Cc); (b) transpiration efficiency (TE; N=6); (c) intrinsic water use efficiency (N=9) calculated as net CO2 assimilation over stomatal conductance from light-saturated leaf gas exchange (Wsat) for leaves from the second and the third growth-flush. Asterisks indicate significant differences between phenotypes (P
Net CO 2 assimilation rate (A sat ) versus stomatal conductance for water vapour (g sat ) under ambient CO 2 and saturating irradiance. Open and closed symbols: 'low D' and 'high D' phenotype, respectively. Values from 2nd and the 3rd growth-flushes are represented with circles and squares, respectively. Each point represents an individual value of A sat and g sat. A non-rectangular hyperbola: A sat ¼{19+1043g sat À[(19+1043g sat ) 2 À2.831931043g sat ] ½ }/1.4, R 2 ¼0.78 was adjusted.
Example of a daily course of (a) stomatal conductance for water vapour (gs), (b) net CO2 assimilation rate (A), and (c) intrinsic water use efficiency (Wi) computed as the ratio A/gs, in ‘low Δ’ (open symbols) and ‘high Δ’ individuals (closed symbols). Measurements were made during 31 July 2005 on leaves of the 3rd growth-flush. Each point is the average for each phenotype (N=3) ±standard deviation. The dashed line represents the daily course of global irradiance in the greenhouse.
Leaf ERECTA transcript levels, expressed relative to expression of the control gene, for ‘low Δ’ (open columns) and ‘high Δ’ (closed columns) phenotypes. For each phenotype of each block, ERECTA expression was estimated from the extraction of a pool of the three genotypes and of several leaves per genotype. Error bars represent standard deviations (N=3).
Article
13C discrimination in organic matter with respect to atmospheric CO2 (Δ13C) is under tight genetic control in many plant species, including the pedunculate oak (Quercus robur L.) full-sib progeny used in this study. Δ13C is expected to reflect intrinsic water use efficiency, but this assumption requires confirmation due to potential interferences with mesophyll conductance to CO2, or post-photosynthetic discrimination. In order to dissect the observed Δ13C variability in this progeny, six genotypes that have previously been found to display extreme phenotypic values of Δ13C [either very high (‘high Δ’) or low (‘low Δ’) phenotype] were selected, and transpiration efficiency (TE; accumulated biomass/transpired water), net CO2 assimilation rate (A), stomatal conductance for water vapour (gs), and intrinsic water use efficiency (Wi=A/gs) were compared with Δ13C in bulk leaf matter, wood, and cellulose in wood. As expected, ‘high Δ’ displayed higher values of Δ13C not only in bulk leaf matter, but also in wood and cellulose. This confirmed the stability of the genotypic differences in Δ13C recorded earlier. ‘High Δ’ also displayed lower TE, lower Wi, and higher gs. A small difference was detected in photosynthetic capacity but none in mesophyll conductance to CO2. ‘High Δ’ and ‘low Δ’ displayed very similar leaf anatomy, except for higher stomatal density in ‘high Δ’. Finally, diurnal courses of leaf gas exchange revealed a higher gs in ‘high Δ’ in the morning than in the afternoon when the difference decreased. The gene ERECTA, involved in the control of water use efficiency, leaf differentiation, and stomatal density, displayed higher expression levels in ‘low Δ’. In this progeny, the variability of Δ13C correlated closely with that of Wi and TE. Genetic differences of Δ13C and Wi can be ascribed to differences in stomatal conductance and stomatal density but not in photosynthetic capacity.
 
Bulk leaf carbon isotopic signature (δ13Cleaf, black column), leaf soluble carbon (δ13Csol, dark grey column), leaf ‘sugars’ (δ13Csug, light grey column), and phloem sap (δ13Cphl, white column) expressed as difference from control δ13Cleaf. 12-month-old E. globulus plants were either well watered or subject to water deficit or flooding for a period of 2 weeks (7≤n≤9). Error bars represent the standard error of mean values and are shown together with the significance of differences from control values (0) calculated using Tukey's honestly significant difference post-hoc test mean values where *P=0.05–0.01, ***P
Sugars and sugar alcohols measured in leaves and phloem sap obtained from 12-month-old E. globulus plants subjected for 2 weeks to water deficit (black columns) and flood (grey columns) treatments (7≤n≤9). Average differences from control plants are presented. Error bars representing the standard error of mean values are shown together with the significance of differences from control values (0) calculated using Tukey's honestly significant difference post-hoc test mean values where *P=0.05–0.01, **P=0.01–0.001, ***P
Amino acid composition (% of total), of phloem sap for well-watered, water-deficit, and flooded E. globulus (7≤n≤9). Asterisks represent significant differences in abundance compared to well-watered plants (P
δ13Cphl versus the growth of leaves, stems, roots, and total biomass over the treatment period for well-watered (circles), water-deficit-treated (squares), and flooded (triangles) E. globulus (7≤n≤9). Treatments were imposed for a period of 2 weeks. Error bars represent the standard error of mean values. Regressions were calculated using a general linear model.
Article
Phloem is a central conduit for the distribution of photoassimilate, nutrients, and signals among plant organs. A revised technique was used to collect phloem sap from small woody plants in order to assess changes in composition induced by water deficit and flooding. Bled phloem sap δ13C and sugar concentrations were compared to δ13C of bulk material, soluble carbon extracts, and the neutral sugar fraction from leaves. Amino acid composition and inorganic ions of the phloem sap was also analysed. Quantitative, systematic changes were detected in phloem sap composition and δ13C in response to altered water availability. Phloem sap δ13C was more sensitive to changes of water availability than the δ13C of bulk leaf, the soluble carbon fraction, and the neutral soluble fraction of leaves. Changes in water availability also resulted in significant changes in phloem sugar (sucrose and raffinose), inorganic nutrient (potassium), and amino acid (phenylalanine) concentrations with important implications for the maintenance of phloem function and biomass partitioning. The differences in carbohydrate and amino acid composition as well as the δ13C in the phloem, along with a new model system for phloem research, offer an improved understanding of the phloem-mediated signal, nutrient, and photoassimilate transduction in relation to water availability.
 
Article
Xyloglucans (XG) with different mobilities were identified in the primary cell walls of mung beans (Vigna radiata L.) by solid‐state 13C‐NMR spectroscopy. To improve the signal:noise ratios compared with unlabelled controls, Glc labelled at either C‐1 or C‐4 with 13C‐isotope was incorporated into the cell‐wall polysaccharides of mung bean hypocotyls. Using cell walls from seedlings labelled with d‐[1‐13C]glucose and, by exploiting the differences in rotating‐frame and spin‐spin proton relaxation, a small signal was detected which was assigned to Xyl of XGs with rigid glucan backbones. After labelling seedlings with d‐[4‐13C]glucose and using a novel combination of spin‐echo spectroscopy with proton spin relaxation‐editing, signals were detected that had 13C‐spin relaxations and chemical shifts which were assigned to partly‐rigid XGs surrounded by mobile non‐cellulosic polysaccharides. Although quantification of these two mobility types of XG was difficult, the results indicated that the partly‐rigid XGs were predominant in the cell walls. The results lend support to the postulated new cell‐wall models in which only a small proportion of the total surface area of the cellulose microfibrils has XG adsorbed on to it. In these new models, the partly‐rigid XGs form cross‐links between adjacent cellulose microfibrils and/or between cellulose microfibrils and other non‐cellulosic polysaccharides, such as pectic polysaccharides.
 
Daily courses of (a) photosynthesis (A), (b) quantum yield of PSII (Φ PSII ), (c) stomatal conductance (g s ), (d) NPQ, (e) intrinsic water use efficiency (A/g s ) and (f) the ratio ETR/A. The measurements were done on 14 August (one week after veraison). Values are means ± s.e.
Article
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of deficit irrigation on intrinsic water use efficiency (A/g(s)) and carbon isotope composition (delta13C) of two grapevine cultivars (Moscatel and Castelão), growing in a commercial vineyard in SW Portugal. The study was done in two consecutive years (2001 and 2002). The treatments were full irrigation (FI), corresponding to 100% of crop evapotranspiration (ETc), rain-fed (no irrigation, NI), and two types of deficit irrigation (50% ETc): (i) by supplying the water either to one side of the root system or to the other, which is partial rootzone drying (PRD), or (ii) dividing the same amount of water by the two sides of the root system, the normal deficit irrigation (DI). The water supplied to the PRD treatment alternated sides approximately every 15 d. The values of predawn leaf water potential (Psi(pd)) and the cumulative integral of Psi(pd) (S(Psi)) during the season were lower in 2001 than in the 2002 growing season. Whereas differences in Psi(pd) and S(Psi) between PRD and DI were not significantly different in 2001, in 2002 (a dryer year) both cultivars showed lower values of S(Psi) in the PRD treatment as compared with the DI treatment. This suggests that partial rootzone drying may have a positive effect on water use under dryer conditions, either as a result of better stomatal control and/or reduced vigour. The effects of the water treatments on delta13C were more pronounced in whole grape berries and pulp than in leaves. The delta13C of pulp showed the best correlation with intrinsic water use efficiency (A/g(s)) as well as with S(Psi). In spite of the better water status observed in PRD compared with DI in the two cultivars in 2002, no statistical differences between the two treatments were observed in A/g(s) and delta13C. On the other hand, they showed a higher delta13C compared with FI. In conclusion, it is apparent that the response to deficit irrigation varies with the environmental conditions of the particular year, the driest conditions exacerbating the differences among treatments. The highest values of delta13C found in the pulp of NI vines in Castelão compared with Moscatel suggest different sensitivities to water deficits in the two cultivars, as was empirically observed.
 
Article
Mesophyll conductance to CO2 (gm) limits carbon assimilation and influences carbon isotope discrimination (Δ) under most environmental conditions. Current work is elucidating the environmental regulation of gm, but the influence of gm on model predictions of Δ remains poorly understood. In this study, field measurements of Δ and gm were obtained using a tunable diode laser spectroscope coupled to portable photosynthesis systems. These data were used to test the importance of gm in predicting Δ using the comprehensive Farquhar model of Δ (Δcomp), where gm was parameterized using three methods based on: (i) mean gm; (ii) the relationship between stomatal conductance (gs) and gm; and (iii) the relationship between time of day (TOD) and gm. Incorporating mean gm, gs-based gm, and TOD-based gm did not consistently improve Δcomp predictions of field-grown juniper compared with the simple model of Δ (Δsimple) that omits fractionation factors associated with gm and decarboxylation. Sensitivity tests suggest that b, the fractionation due to carboxylation, was lower (25‰) than the value commonly used in Δcomp (29‰) and Δsimple (27‰). These results demonstrate the limits of all tested models in predicting observed juniper Δ, largely due to unexplained offsets between predicted and observed values that were not reconciled in sensitivity tests of variability in gm, b, or e, the day respiratory fractionation.
 
Summary analyses of variance of the measured characters of the H. spontaneum genotypes (Geno.) in the three treatments (Trt.)
Mean shoot–root differences in δ15N of control (▪), droughted (○) and N starved (▵) H. spontaneum genotypes. Genotypes are ranked in order of increasing shoot–root δ15N of controls. Code numbers (Table 1) of genotypes which responded significantly (P
Absolute differences in shoot–root δ15N between control and N‐starved plants in relation to those between control and droughted plants. Genotype numbers (Table 1) are shown against each symbol. The regression y=2.43–0.679x is significant at P
Mean whole‐plant δ15N values under (a) drought and (b) N starvation in relation to the stress index (SI ) for those treatments. Genotype numbers (Table 1) are shown against each symbol. Genotypes were those which, when unstressed, grew at least as fast as the slowest‐growing genotype which responded to stress (see Fig. 1). For (a), the regression y=1.17+1.14x is significant (r=0.47, P
Article
To integrate the complex physiological responses of plants to stress, natural abundances (δ) of the stable isotope pairs 15N/14N and 13C/12C were measured in 30 genotypes of wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum C. Koch.). These accessions, originating from ecologically diverse sites, were grown in a controlled environment and subjected to mild, short‐term drought or N‐starvation. Increases in total dry weight were paralleled by less negative δ13C in shoots and, in unstressed and droughted plants, by less negative whole‐plant δ13C. Root δ15N was correlated negatively with total dry weight, whereas shoot and whole‐plant δ15N were not correlated with dry weight. The difference in δ15N between shoot and root varied with stress in all genotypes. Shoot–root δ15N may be a more sensitive indicator of stress response than shoot, root or whole‐plant δ15N alone. Among the potentially most productive genotypes, the most stress‐tolerant had the most negative whole‐plant δ15N, whether the stress was drought or N‐starvation. In common, controlled experiments, genotypic differences in whole‐plant δ15N may reflect the extent to which N can be retained within plants when stressed.
 
The influence of gibberellin (GA3+4) application on cell number (A) and cell length (B) of the mesocarp, and core diameter (C) along the equatorial region of Japanese pear fruit cv. ‘Kousui’. Vertical bars represent standard deviations. ns, Non-significant; * P
Article
In Japanese pear, the application of GA3+4 during the period of rapid fruit growth resulted in a marked increase in pedicel diameter and bigger fruit at harvest. To elucidate the relationship between pedicel capacity and fruit growth and to determine the main factor responsible for larger fruit size at harvest, fruit growth and pedicel vascularization after GA application were examined and the carbohydrate fluxes were monitored in a spur unit by non-invasive techniques using 13C tracer. Histological studies of fruit revealed that GA increased the cell size of the mesocarp but not the cell number and core size. The investigation of carbon partitioning showed that an increase in the specific rate of carbohydrate accumulation in fruit or the strength of fruit should be responsible for an increase of fruit weight in GA-treated trees. Observation of pedicel vascularization showed that an increase in pedicel cross-sectional area (CSA) by GA application mainly resulted from phloem and xylem CSA, but it is unlikely that an increase in the transport system is the direct factor for larger fruit size. Therefore, it can be concluded that larger fruit size resulting from GA application during the period of rapid fruit growth caused an increase in the cell size of the mesocarp and increased carbon partitioning to the fruit. Although GA is closely involved with pedicel vascularization, it seems that photosynthate accumulation in fruit is limited by the sink strength of fruit rather than by the transport capacity of the pedicel.
 
Article
The role of fructans from leaf sheaths for the refoliation of Lolium perenne after severe defoliation was assessed by following the fate of 13C‐fructose supplied to leaf sheaths at the time of defoliation. At the end of the 4 h labelling period on defoliated plants, 77% of the 13C incorporated was still located in leaf sheaths. Only 4% and 0.9% were, respectively, allocated to stem and roots, while 18% was imported by the growing leaves where 13C was allocated first to the proximal part of the leaf growth zone (0–10 mm). In all tissues, the most highly 13C‐labelled carbohydrates was not fructose but sucrose. In leaf sheaths, 13C‐loliose was produced. In the leaf growth zone (0–20 mm), fructans were simultanously synthesized from 13C entering the leaves and degraded. The export of 13C from leaf sheaths continued during the first day of regrowth but stopped afterwards. There was no net loss of C from 13C‐fructose over the first 2 d of regrowth. The role of fructans and loliose is discussed as well as the physiological mechanisms contributing to defoliation tolerance in L. perenne.
 
Article
High-resolution 13C MAS NMR spectroscopy was used to profile a range of primary and secondary metabolites in vivo in intact whole seeds of eight different conifer species native to North America, including six of the Pinaceae family and two of the Cupressaceae family. In vivo 13C NMR provided information on the total seed oil content and fatty acid composition of the major storage lipids in a non-destructive manner. In addition, a number of monoterpenes were identified in the 13C NMR spectra of conifer seeds containing oleoresin; these compounds showed marked variability in individual seeds of Pacific silver fir within the same seed lot. In imbibed conifer seeds, the 13C NMR spectra showed the presence of considerable amounts of dissolved sucrose presumed to play a protective role in the desiccation-tolerance of seeds. The free amino acids arginine and asparagine, generated as a result of storage protein mobilization, were detected in vivo during seed germination and early seedling growth. The potential for NMR to profile metabolites in a non-destructive manner in single conifer seeds and seed populations is discussed. It is a powerful tool to evaluate seed quality because of its ability to assess reserve accumulation during seed development or at seed maturity; it can also be used to monitor reserve mobilization, which is critical for seedling emergence.
 
Article
In ongoing investigations of the role of the signal transduction pathway in tree–pathogen interactions, four complete and two partial 14‐3‐3 cDNAs have been isolated which are members of a gene family. Comparisons of DNA sequences reveal a high degree of identity among the cDNAs, and, in some cases, higher than 75% sequence similarity with previously published sequences. Sequence analysis at the amino acid level uncovered potential phosphorylation sites, some of which were identical among the proteins, and some of which varied. Treatment of trees with chitosan, jasmonates or by wounding of leaves, caused increases in the levels of 14‐3‐3 mRNA transcripts. Since jasmonates and chitosan are signal transducers of defence reactions in plants, these results suggest a possible role for 14‐3‐3 proteins in the pathogen defence response of deciduous trees. Effects of elicitors on transcription of the pal gene were also monitored. Pal is a well‐characterized, pathogen response‐related gene.
 
Article
Proteins of the 14-3-3 family regulate a divergent set of signalling pathways in all eukaryotic organisms. In this study, several cDNAs encoding 14-3-3 proteins were isolated from a cotton fibre cDNA library. The Gh14-3-3 genes share high sequence homology at the nucleotide level in the coding region and at the amino acid level. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR analysis indicated that the expression of these Gh14-3-3 genes is developmentally regulated in fibres, and reached their peak at the stage of rapid cell elongation of fibre development. Furthermore, overexpression of Gh14-3-3a, Gh14-3-3e, and Gh14-3-3L in fission yeast promoted atypical longitudinal growth of the host cells. Yeast two-hybrid analysis revealed that the interaction between cotton 14-3-3 proteins is isoform selective. Through yeast two-hybrid screening, 38 novel interaction partners of the six 14-3-3 proteins (Gh14-3-3a, Gh14-3-3e, Gh14-3-3f, Gh14-3-3g, Gh14-3-3h, and Gh14-3-3L), which are involved in plant development, metabolism, signalling transduction, and other cellular processes, were identified in cotton fibres. Taking these data together, it is proposed that the Gh14-3-3 proteins may participate in regulation of fibre cell elongation. Thus, the results of this study provide novel insights into the 14-3-3 signalling related to fibre development of cotton.
 
Article
The members of the 14-3-3 isoform family have been shown to be developmentally regulated during animal embryogenesis, where they take part in cell differentiation processes. 14-3-3 isoform-specific expression patterns were studied in plant embryogenic processes, using barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) microspore embryogenesis as a model system. After embryogenesis induction by stress, microspores with enlarged morphology showed higher viability than non-enlarged ones. Following microspore culture, cell division was only observed among the enlarged microspores. Western blot and immunolocalization of three barley 14-3-3 isoforms, 14-3-3A, 14-3-3B and 14-3-3C were carried out using isoform-specific antibodies. The level of 14-3-3C protein was higher in enlarged microspores than in non-enlarged ones. A processed form of 14-3-3A was associated with the death pathway of the non-enlarged microspores. In the early embryogenesis stage, 14-3-3 subcellular localization differed among dividing and non-dividing microspores and the microspore-derived multicellular structures showed a polarized expression pattern of 14-3-3C and a higher 14-3-3A signal in epidermis primordia. In the late embryogenesis stage, 14-3-3C was specifically expressed underneath the L(1) layer of the shoot apical meristem and in the scutellum of embryo-like structures (ELSs). 14-3-3C was also expressed in the scutellum and underneath the L(1) layer of the shoot apical meristem of 21 d after pollination (DAP) zygotic embryos. These results reveal that 14-3-3A processing and 14-3-3C isoform tissue-specific expression are closely related to cell fate and initiation of specific cell type differentiation, providing a new insight into the study of 14-3-3 proteins in plant embryogenesis.
 
Article
Protein phosphorylation is key to the regulation of many proteins. Altered protein activity often requires the interaction of the phosphorylated protein with a class of ‘adapters’ known as 14‐3‐3 proteins. This review will cover aspects of 14‐3‐3 interaction with key proteins of carbon and nitrogen metabolism such as nitrate reductase, glutamine synthetase and sucrose‐phosphate synthase. It will also address 14‐3‐3 involvement in signal transduction pathways with emphasis on the regulation of plant metabolism. To date, 14‐3‐3 proteins have been identified and studied in many diverse systems, yielding a plethora of data, requiring careful analysis and interpretation. Problems such as these are not uncommon when dealing with multigene families. The number of isoforms makes the question of redundancy versus specificity of 14‐3‐3 proteins a crucial one. This issue is discussed in relation to structure, function and expression of 14‐3‐3 proteins.
 
Article
The vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) is a key enzyme that controls the electrochemical proton potential across endomembranes. Although evidence suggests that V-ATPase is important for photo-morphogenesis, little is known about short-term regulation of V-ATPase upon initiation of the photo-morphogenetic programme by exposure of dark-grown plants to light. In this study, etiolated coleoptiles were given a short blue light treatment and V-ATPase characteristics were determined. The effectiveness of the light treatment was assessed by means of fusicoccin binding to the plasma membrane; this increased 5-fold. The short light treatment also induced a 2-fold to 3-fold increase in the hydrolytic activity of V-ATPase. Members of the 14-3-3 protein family are involved in both blue light perception and the subsequent activation of the P-type ATPase. We provide evidence that 14-3-3 proteins specifically interact with the catalytic A-subunit of the V-ATPase. First, the isolated V1-part of the V-ATPase co-purifies with 14-3-3 on a gel filtration column. Secondly, in an overlay experiment, 14-3-3 interacts with a 68 kDa band that was identified as the V1 A-subunit by mass spectrometry. Thirdly, in 14-3-3 affinity chromatography, both A- and B-subunits of the catalytic moiety of the V-ATPase were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization tandem time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF/TOF MS) as 14-3-3-interacting proteins. It was shown that the A-subunit can be phosphorylated in vitro by a tonoplast-bound kinase, whose properties are affected by blue light. Taken together, the data show that besides the P- and F-type H(+)-ATPases, the V-type H(+)-ATPase also interacts with 14-3-3 proteins.
 
Article
To monitor site‐specific phosphorylation of spinach leaf nitrate reductase (NR) and binding of the enzyme to 14‐3‐3 proteins, serum antibodies were raised that select for either serine 543 phospho‐ or dephospho‐NR. The dephospho‐specific antibodies blocked NR phosphorylation on serine 543. The phospho‐specific antibodies prevented NR binding to 14‐3‐3s, NR inhibition by 14‐3‐3s, NR dephosphorylation on serine 543, and did not precipitate 14‐3‐3s together with NR. Together, this confirms that 14‐3‐3s bind to NR at hinge 1 after it has been phosphorylated on serine 543. The amounts of individual NR forms were determined in leaf extracts by immunoblotting and immunoprecipitation. The phosphorylation state of NR on serine 543 increased 2–3‐fold in leaves upon a light/ dark transition. Before the transition, one‐third of NR was already phosphorylated on serine 543 but was not bound to 14‐3‐3s. Phosphorylation of serine 543 seems not to be enough to bind to 14‐3‐3s in leaves.
 
Article
The 14-3-3 proteins specifically bind a number of client proteins to influence important pathways, including flowering timing via the photosensory system. For instance, 14-3-3 proteins influence the photosensory system through interactions with Constans (CO) protein. 14-3-3 associations with the photosensory system were further studied in this investigation using 14-3-3 T-DNA insertion mutants to study root and chloroplast development. The 14-3-3 μ T-DNA insertion mutant, 14-3-3μ-1, had shorter roots than the wild type and the difference in root length could be influenced by light intensity. The 14-3-3 ν T-DNA insertion mutants also had shorter roots, but only when grown under narrow-bandwidth red light. Five-day-old 14-3-3 T-DNA insertion and co mutants all had increased root greening compared with the wild type, which was influenced by light wavelength and intensity. However, beyond 10 d of growth, 14-3-3μ-1 roots did not increase in greening as much as wild-type roots. This study reveals new developmental roles of 14-3-3 proteins in roots and chloroplasts, probably via association with the photosensory system.
 
In vivo 31P-NMR spectrum of roots of 3-week-old Norway spruce seedlings grown with 10 mM (NH4)2SO4 as nitrogen source. (1) Methylene diphosphonic acid (standard). (2) Sugar phosphates. (3) Vacuolar Pi. (4) Cytoplasmic Pi.
1H-coupled in vivo 14N-NMR spectra of roots, stems, and needles of 3-week-old Norway spruce seedlings growing with 10 mM (NH4)2SO4 as nitrogen source. 14N-NMR spectra pH standards (25 mM ammonium acetate) at pH 3.04, 3.35, 3.59, and 3.82.
Article
14N-NMR and 31P-NMR have been used to monitor the in vivo pH in roots, stems, and needles from seedlings of Norway spruce, a typical ammonium-tolerant plant. The vacuolar and cytoplasmic pH measured by 31P-NMR was found to be c. pH 4.8 and 7.0, respectively, with no significant difference between plants growing with ammonium or nitrate as the N-source. The 1H-coupled 14 resonance is pH-sensitive: at alkaline pH it is a narrow singlet line and below pH 4 it is an increasing multiplet line with five signals. The pH values in ammonium-containing compartments measured by 14N-NMR ranged from 3.7 to 3.9, notably lower than the estimated pH values of the Pi pools. This suggests that, in seedlings of Norway spruce, ammonium is stored in vacuoles with low pH possibly to protect the seedlings against the toxic effects of ammonium () or ammonia (NH3). It was also found that concentrations of malate were 3–6 times higher in stems than in roots and needles, with nitrate-grown plants containing more malate than plants grown with ammonium.
 
Top-cited authors
Jaume Flexas
  • University of the Balearic Islands
Martin A J Parry
  • Lancaster University
Matthew Reynolds
  • Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Jianhua Zhang
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Sergey Shabala
  • University of Tasmania