Wim Van den Ende

Wim Van den Ende
KU Leuven | ku leuven · Department of Biology

Professor

About

200
Publications
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Publications

Publications (200)
Article
Carbohydrates such as fructans are naturally derived molecules that can be implemented in priming or defence stimulation, providing new strategies for crop protection against biotic stress. Chicory is a model plant for fructan research and a crop with many known health benefits. Using the chicory-Botrytis cinerea pathosystem, we tested the effectiv...
Article
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New strategies are required for crop protection against biotic stress. Naturally derived molecules, including carbohydrates such as fructans, can be used in priming or defense stimulation. Rocket (Eruca sativa) is an important leafy vegetable and a good source of antioxidants. Here, we tested the efficacy of fructan-induced immunity in the Botrytis...
Article
Fructan metabolism in bacteria and plants relies on fructosyltransferases and fructanases. Plant fructanases only hydrolyse terminal Fru residues (fructan exohydrolase, FEH). Levan (β-2,6 linkages) is the most abundant fructan type in bacteria. Dicot fructan accumulators, such as chicory (Cichorium intybus), accumulate inulin (β-2,1 linkages), harb...
Article
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Plant development represents a continuous process in which the plant undergoes morphological, (epi)genetic and metabolic changes. Starting from pollination, seed maturation and germination, the plant continues to grow and develops specialized organs to survive, thrive and generate offspring. The development of plants and the interplay with its envi...
Article
Full-text available
Fructans are fructose-based (poly)saccharides with inulin and levan being the best-known ones. Thanks to their health-related benefits, inulin-type fructans have been under the focus of scientific and industrial communities, though mostly represented by plant-based inulins, and rarely by microbial ones. Recently, it was discovered that some extreme...
Article
In plants with crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), it has been proposed that the requirement for nocturnal provision of phosphoenolpyruvate as a substrate for CO2 uptake has resulted in a re-routing of chloroplastic starch degradation from the amylolytic route to the phosphorolytic route. To test this hypothesis, we generated and characterized four...
Article
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Polyamines (PAs) are ubiquitous small aliphatic polycations important for growth, development, and environmental stress responses in plants. Here, we demonstrate that exogenous application of spermine (Spm) and spermidine (Spd) induced cell death at high concentrations, but primed resistance against the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea in Arabi...
Article
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Upon stress, a trade-off between plant growth and defense responses defines the capacity for survival. Stress can result in accumulation of misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and other organelles. To cope with these proteotoxic effects, plants rely on the unfolded protein response (UPR). The involvement of reactive oxygen species...
Article
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Stomata, the microscopic pores surrounded by a pair of guard cells on the surfaces of leaves and stems, play an essential role in regulating the gas exchange between a plant and the surrounding atmosphere. Stomatal development and opening are significantly influenced by environmental conditions, both in the short and long term. The rapid rate of cu...
Article
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The stress-inducible non-proteinogenic amino acid γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is known to alleviate several (a)biotic stresses in plants. GABA forms an important link between carbon and nitrogen metabolism and has been proposed as a signalling molecule in plants. Here, we set out to establish GABA as a priming compound against Botrytis cinerea in Ar...
Article
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In plant tissues, sugar levels are determined by the balance between sugar import, export, and sugar synthesis. So far, water soluble carbohydrate (WSC) dynamics have not been investigated in a diurnal context in wheat stems as compared to the dynamics in flag leaves during the terminal phases of grain filling. Here, we filled this research gap and...
Article
Full-text available
Naturally derived molecules can be used as priming or defense stimulatory agents to protect against biotic stress. Fructans have gained strong interest due to their ability to induce resistance in a number of crop species. In this study, we set out to establish the role of fructan-induced immunity against the fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea in Ara...
Article
Full-text available
There is an urgent need for novel, efficient and environmentally friendly strategies to control apple scab (Venturia inaequalis), for the purpose of reducing overall pesticide use. Fructans are recently emerging as promising "priming" compounds, standing out for their safety and low production costs. The objective of this work was to test a fructan...
Article
The reactivity of a range of Keggin and Wells‐Dawson type heteropolyacids (HPAs): H3PW12O40 H4SiW12O40, H3PMo12O40, K6P2W18O62, and NaH2W12O4, towards the heavily glycosylated α‐1‐acid glycoprotein (AGP) is reported. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS‐PAGE) and high‐performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed a...
Article
To understand the growth response to drought, we performed a proteomics study in the leaf growth zone of maize (Zea mays L.) seedlings and functionally characterized the role of starch biosynthesis in the regulation of growth, photosynthesis and antioxidant capacity, using the shrunken‐2 mutant (sh2 ), defective in ADP‐glucose pyrophosphorylase. Dr...
Chapter
Fructans are fructose-based oligo- and polysaccharides synthesized using sucrose as substrate. Depending on the glycosidic bonds in their structure, they are classified as inulin and levan types or a mixture of these, namely graminans and agavins. Fructans constitute one of the most widespread functional biomolecules in nature and they occur in mic...
Article
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The metabolism of sucrose is of crucial importance for life on Earth. In plants, enzymes called invertases split sucrose into glucose and fructose, contributing to the regulation of metabolic fluxes. Invertases differ in their localization and pH optimum. Acidic invertases present in plant cell walls and vacuoles belong to glycoside hydrolase famil...
Article
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Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is one of the three photosynthetic pathways in higher plants and is characterized by high water use efficiency. This mainly relies on major nocturnal CO2 fixation sustained by degradation of storage carbohydrate such as starch to provide phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and energy. In contrast to C3 plants where starch i...
Poster
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Abstract On the one hand, fructans, fructose-based oligo- and polysaccharides, are well-known multifunctional carbohydrates that show prebiotic, immunodulatory and antioxidant effects. On the other hand, Echinacea preparations are used on a wide scale in a preventive way, stimulating native immunity. Here we demonstrate that 5 commercially availabl...
Article
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Throughout history, medicinal purposes of plants have been studied, documented, and acknowledged as an integral part of human healthcare systems. The development of modern medicine still relies largely on this historical knowledge of the use and preparation of plants and their extracts. Further research into the human microbiome highlights the inte...
Article
The presence of yeasts in pollen and floral nectar is rather the norm than the exception. Due to the metabolic activities of yeasts, sugar and amino acid composition of nectar often drastically change and may negatively impact the nutritional value of nectar for pollinators and hence insect fitness. On the other hand, the presence of yeasts in flor...
Article
Full-text available
Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a specialized mode of photosynthesis characterized by improved water use efficiency mediated by major nocturnal CO2 fixation. Due to its inherent metabolic plasticity CAM represents a successful physiological strategy for plant adaptation to abiotic stress. The present study reports on the impact of drought str...
Article
Full-text available
Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) is a major adaptation of photosynthesis that involves temporally separated phases of CO2 fixation and accumulation of organic acids at night, followed by decarboxylation and refixation of CO2 by the classical C3 pathway during the day. Transitory reserves such as soluble sugars or starch are degraded at night to p...
Article
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Glycation can be defined as an array of non-enzymatic post-translational modifications of proteins formed by their interaction with reducing carbohydrates and carbonyl products of their degradation. Initial steps of this process rely on reducing sugars and result in the formation of early glycation products—Amadori and Heyns compounds via Schiff ba...
Article
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Background and aims: The attractiveness of nectar rewards depends both on the quantity of nectar produced and on its chemical composition. It is known that nectar quantity and chemical composition can differ in plant species depending on the main pollinator associated with the species. The main aims of this study were to test formally whether nect...
Article
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The concept of “Sweet Immunity” postulates that sugar metabolism and signaling influence plant immune networks. In this study, we tested the potential of commercially available inulin-type fructans to limit disease symptoms caused by Botrytis cinerea in lettuce. Spraying mature lettuce leaves, with inulin-type fructans derived from burdock or chico...
Article
Autophagy is a process in which cellular components are delivered to lytic vacuoles to be recycled and has been demonstrated to promote abiotic/biotic stress tolerance. Here, we review how the responses triggered by stress conditions can affect autophagy and its signaling pathways. Besides the role of SNF-related kinase 1 (SnRK1) and TOR kinases in...
Article
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Autophagy is a major pathway that recycles cellular components in eukaryotic cells both under stressed and non-stressed conditions. Sugars participate both metabolically and as signaling molecules in development and response to various environmental and nutritional conditions. It is therefore essential to maintain metabolic homeostasis of sugars du...
Chapter
Pathogenesis of microorganisms mostly relies on quorum sensing, a plethora of population density-dependent chemical signaling molecules. Plants interact with pathogenic and symbiotic microorganisms via the recognition of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) such as chitin, lipopolysaccharides or fructans but they can also detect bacterial...
Article
Full-text available
Fructans, homopolymers of fructose produced by fructosyltransferases (FTs), are emerging as intriguing components in halophiles since they are thought to be associated with osmotic stress tolerance and overall fitness of microorganisms and plants under high-salinity conditions. Here, we report on the full characterization of the first halophilic FT...
Data
Fructan profiles in T (A) and BE/S (B) in Jerusalem artichokes grown in the field (72 DAP). DAP, days after planting; F, fructose; G, glucose; S, sucrose; 1-K, 1-kestose; N 1, 1-nystose; 1F-N, 1F-fructofuranosylnystose.
Data
Average temperature in Nanjing from January to April in 2017. (source: http://tianqi.eastday.com/).
Data
Photographs of Jerusalem artichokes grown indoors (A) and in the field (B). For the indoor experiment, samples were collected at 0, 2, 4, and 5 DAP. For the field experiment, samples were collected at 0, 14, 28, 40, 45, 61 and 72 DAP. Horizontal bar represents 1 cm.
Data
Fructan profiles in T (A) and BE/S (B) in Jerusalem artichokes grown indoors (5 DAP). DAP: days after planting. F, fructose; G, glucose; S, sucrose; 1-K, 1-kestose; N 1, 1-nystose; 1F-N, 1F-fructofuranosylnystose.
Data
Primers used for qPCR analysis.
Article
Full-text available
The inulin-type fructans in Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L.) tubers exhibit different degrees of polymerization and are critical for germination. We aimed to characterize the sugar metabolism dynamics in the tubers without bud eyes or shoots (T) and BE/S of indoor- and field-grown Jerusalem artichokes during germination. Ht1-FEH II and...
Article
Full-text available
Floral nectar is commonly inhabited by microorganisms, mostly yeasts and bacteria, which can have a strong impact on nectar chemistry and scent. Yet, little is known about the effects of nectar microbes on the behavior and survival of insects belonging to the third trophic level such as parasitoids. Here, we used five nectar-inhabiting yeast specie...
Article
Full-text available
The amount of carbohydrate accumulation and remobilization in the wheat stem can be estimated by monitoring changes in stem dry matter. Eighty-one wheat cultivars were examined in the Moghan region of Iran during the 2010–2011 and 2013–2014 growing seasons. Pre- and post-anthesis dry matter remobilization was quantified in the tested cultivars and...
Article
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This perspective paper focuses on the most recent results suggesting a potential role for UDP-Glucose as a signaling molecule in plants. In animals, UDP-Glucose is well-established as an extracellular signaling molecule that is sensed by G-protein coupled receptors, activating several downstream defense mechanisms. Recent studies have shown that ab...
Article
CAZypedia was initiated in 2007 to create a comprehensive, living encyclopedia of the carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) and associated carbohydrate-binding modules involved in the synthesis, modification and degradation of complex carbohydrates. CAZypedia is closely connected with the actively curated CAZy database, which provides a sequence-ba...
Article
Background and aims: The high productivity of Miscanthus × giganteus has been at least partly ascribed to its high chilling tolerance compared with related C4 crops, allowing for a longer productive growing season in temperate climates. However, the chilling tolerance of M. × giganteus has been predominantly studied under controlled environmental...
Conference Paper
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Floral nectar is a sugar-rich, nutritional reward offered by many plant species to recruit flower-visiting insects for their ecological services such as pollination and plant protection. Owing to its high concentration of sugars, floral nectar is a typical habitat for many nectarivorous microbes, most often nectar-inhabiting yeasts (NIYs) and bacte...
Article
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As the first organ in plants to sense water-deficit in the soil, roots have important roles for improving crop adaption to water limited environments. Stem water soluble carbohydrates (WSC) are a major carbon source for grain filling under drought conditions. The contributions of root WSC during grain filling under drought has not been revealed. Wh...
Chapter
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The concept of ‘sweet immunity’ or ‘sugar-enhanced defence’ is based on the accumulating evidence that sweet, endogenous saccharides might act as signalling molecules that are activated by exposure to stress and hence initiate signal amplification and lead to more rapid and robust activation of defence, immunity and stress tolerance. Sugars such as...
Article
Full-text available
from raffinose family oligosaccharide to fructan metabolism in leaves of boxtree (Buxus sempervirens) Wim Van den Ende1,* Marlies Coopman1, Rudy Vergauwen1, André Van Laere1 1 KU Leuven, Laboratory of Molecular Plant Biology, Institute of Botany and Microbiology, Kasteelpark Arenberg 31, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium * Correspondence: Wim Van den Ende, La...
Article
A long growing season, mediated by the ability to grow at low temperatures early in the season, can result in higher yields in the biomass crop Miscanthus. In this paper, the chilling tolerance of two highly productive Miscanthus genotypes, the widely planted Miscanthus × giganteus and the Miscanthus sinensis genotype “Goliath”, was studied. Measur...
Article
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Success of biological control programs that rely on predatory insects and parasitoids to control pest insects is often dependent on non-prey food availability because most of these insects depend in their adult stage on carbohydrate-rich food to fulfil their nutritional requirements. Therefore, nectar-producing plants are increasingly used in agroe...
Article
Full-text available
Fructans are important vacuolar reserve carbohydrates with drought, cold, ROS and general abiotic stress mediating properties. They occur in 15% of all flowering plants and are believed to display health benefits as a prebiotic and dietary fiber. Fructans are synthesized by specific fructosyltransferases and classified based on the linkage type bet...
Article
Full-text available
In wheat, stem water soluble carbohydrates (WSC), composed mainly of fructans, are the major carbon sources for grain filling during periods of decreasing photosynthesis or under drought stress after anthesis. Here, in a field drought experiment, WSC levels and associated enzyme activities were followed in different stem segments (peduncle, penulti...
Article
Floral traits evolved to maximize reproductive success by attracting pollinators and facilitating pollination. Highly attractive floral traits may, however, also increase the degree of self-pollination, which could become detrimental for plant fitness through inbreeding depression. Floral nectar is a trait that is known to strongly mediate pollinat...
Article
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The water-soluble carbohydrates (WSC) glucose, fructose and sucrose are well-known to the great public, but fructan represents another type of WSC that deserves more attention given their prebiotic and immunomodulatory properties in the food context. Although the occurrence of inulin-type fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) was proposed in the fruit of s...
Article
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1. The aphid Aphis fabae (Scopoli) is facultatively tended by Lasius niger (Linnaeus) ants. Previously, we found that A. fabae colonies can be made up of several clones, and that clones display significant differences in the composition of their honeydew sugars, especially in the amount of the ant attractant sugar melezitose that they produce.2. Th...
Article
Fructans are fructose-based oligo-and polysaccharides of natural origin. Fructan and fructose species are sometimes confused by the great public, although they clearly have different biochemical and physiological properties. This review discusses aspects of the use of fructose and fructans in foods in the context of human health, with possible diff...
Article
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Substantial reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation is inevitable in aerobic life forms. Due to their extremely high reactivity and short lifetime, hydroxyl radicals form a special case, because cells have not been able to develop enzymes to detoxify these most dangerous ROS. Thus, scavenging of hydroxyl radicals can only occur by an accumulation o...
Article
Full-text available
In their natural habitat, plants are continuously challenged by adverse environmental conditions. Among them, cold stress (CS) is a major environmental factor limiting agricultural productivity and geographic distribution (Chinnusamy et al., 2007). In this respect, chilling (15-0°C) and freezing (<0°C) stress should be distinguished (Thomashow, 201...