[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To restrict pathogen entry, plants close stomata as an integral part of innate immunity. To counteract this defense, Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato produces coronatine (COR), which mimics jasmonic acid (JA), to reopen stomata for bacterial entry. It is believed that abscisic acid (ABA) plays a central role in regulating bacteria-triggered stomatal closure and that stomatal reopening requires the JA/COR pathway, but the downstream signaling events remain unclear. We studied the stomatal immunity of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and report here the distinct roles of two homologous NAC (for NAM, ATAF1,2, and CUC2) transcription factors, JA2 (for jasmonic acid2) and JA2L (for JA2-like), in regulating pathogen-triggered stomatal movement. ABA activates JA2 expression, and genetic manipulation of JA2 revealed its positive role in ABA-mediated stomatal closure. We show that JA2 exerts this effect by regulating the expression of an ABA biosynthetic gene. By contrast, JA and COR activate JA2L expression, and genetic manipulation of JA2L revealed its positive role in JA/COR-mediated stomatal reopening. We show that JA2L executes this effect by regulating the expression of genes involved in the metabolism of salicylic acid. Thus, these closely related NAC proteins differentially regulate pathogen-induced stomatal closure and reopening through distinct mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plant cytochrome P450 has diverse roles in developmental processes and in the response to environmental cues. Here, we characterized the rice (Oryza sativa L ssp. indica cultivar 3037) semi-dwarf mutant sd37, in which the gene CYP96B4 (Cytochrome P450 96B subfamily) was identified and confirmed as the target by map-based cloning and a complementation test. A point mutation in the SRS2 domain of CYP96B4 resulted in a threonine to lysine substitution in the sd37 mutant. Examination of the subcellular localization of the protein revealed that SD37 was ER-localized protein. And SD37 was predominantly expressed in the shoot apical meristem and developing leaf and root maturation zone but not in the root apical meristem. The sd37 leaves, panicles, and seeds were smaller than those of the wild type. Histological analysis further revealed that a decrease in cell number in the mutant, specifically in the shoots, was the main cause of the dwarf phenotype. Microarray analysis demonstrated that the expression of several cell division-related genes was disturbed in the sd37 mutant. In addition, mutation or strongly overexpression of SD37 results in dwarf plants but moderate overexpression increases plant height. These data suggest that CYP96B4 may be an important regulator of plant growth that affects plant height in rice.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In response to insect attack and mechanical wounding, plants activate the expression of genes involved in various defense-related processes. A fascinating feature of these inducible defenses is their occurrence both locally at the wounding site and systemically in undamaged leaves throughout the plant. Wound-inducible proteinase inhibitors (PIs) in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) provide an attractive model to understand the signal transduction events leading from localized injury to the systemic expression of defense-related genes. Among the identified intercellular molecules in regulating systemic wound response of tomato are the peptide signal systemin and the oxylipin signal jasmonic acid (JA). The systemin/JA signaling pathway provides a unique opportunity to investigate, in a single experimental system, the mechanism by which peptide and oxylipin signals interact to coordinate plant systemic immunity. Here we describe the characterization of the tomato suppressor of prosystemin-mediated responses8 (spr8) mutant, which was isolated as a suppressor of (pro)systemin-mediated signaling. spr8 plants exhibit a series of JA-dependent immune deficiencies, including the inability to express wound-responsive genes, abnormal development of glandular trichomes, and severely compromised resistance to cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) and Botrytis cinerea. Map-based cloning studies demonstrate that the spr8 mutant phenotype results from a point mutation in the catalytic domain of TomLoxD, a chloroplast-localized lipoxygenase involved in JA biosynthesis. We present evidence that overexpression of TomLoxD leads to elevated wound-induced JA biosynthesis, increased expression of wound-responsive genes and, therefore, enhanced resistance to insect herbivory attack and necrotrophic pathogen infection. These results indicate that TomLoxD is involved in wound-induced JA biosynthesis and highlight the application potential of this gene for crop protection against insects and pathogens.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phytohormone cytokinin (CK) positively regulates the activity and function of the shoot apical meristem (SAM), which is a major parameter determining seed production. The rice (Oryza sativa L.) Gn1a/OsCKX2 (Grain number 1a/Cytokinin oxidase 2) gene, which encodes a cytokinin oxidase, has been identified as a major quantitative trait locus contributing to grain number improvement in rice breeding practice. However, the molecular mechanism of how the expression of OsCKX2 is regulated in planta remains elusive. Here, we report that the zinc finger transcription factor DROUGHT AND SALT TOLERANCE (DST) directly regulates OsCKX2 expression in the reproductive meristem. DST-directed expression of OsCKX2 regulates CK accumulation in the SAM and, therefore, controls the number of the reproductive organs. We identify that DST(reg1), a semidominant allele of the DST gene, perturbs DST-directed regulation of OsCKX2 expression and elevates CK levels in the reproductive SAM, leading to increased meristem activity, enhanced panicle branching, and a consequent increase of grain number. Importantly, the DST(reg1) allele provides an approach to pyramid the Gn1a-dependent and Gn1a-independent effects on grain production. Our study reveals that, as a unique regulator of reproductive meristem activity, DST may be explored to facilitate the genetic enhancement of grain production in rice and other small grain cereals.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The subcellular distribution of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) family of auxin transporters plays a critical role in auxin gradient-mediated developmental processes, including lateral root formation and gravitropic growth. Here, we report two distinct aspects of CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (COI1)- and AUXIN RESISTANT 1 (AXR1)-dependent methyl jasmonate (MeJA) effects on PIN2 subcellular distribution: at lower concentration (5 μM), MeJA inhibits PIN2 endocytosis, whereas, at higher concentration (50 μM), MeJA reduces PIN2 accumulation in the plasma membrane. We show that mutations of ASA1 (ANTHRANILATE SYNTHASE a1) and the TIR1/AFBs (TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE 1/AUXIN-SIGNALING F-BOX PROTEINs) auxin receptor genes impair the inhibitory effect of 5 μM MeJA on PIN2 endocytosis, suggesting that a lower concentration of jasmonate inhibits PIN2 endocytosis through interaction with the auxin pathway. In contrast, mutations of ASA1 and the TIR1/AFBs auxin receptor genes enhance, rather than impair, the reduction effect of 50 μM MeJA on the plasma membrane accumulation of PIN2, suggesting that this action of jasmonate is independent of the auxin pathway. In addition to the MeJA effects on PIN2 endocytosis and plasma membrane residence, we also show that MeJA alters lateral auxin redistribution on gravi-stimulation, and therefore impairs the root gravitropic response. Our results highlight the importance of jasmonate-auxin interaction in the coordination of plant growth and the adaptation response.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Messenger RNA (mRNA) turnover in eukaryotic cells begins with shortening of the poly (A) tail at the 3' end, a process called deadenylation. In yeast, the deadenylation reaction is predominantly mediated by CCR4 and CCR4-associated factor 1 (CAF1), two components of the well-characterised protein complex named CCR4-NOT. We report here that AtCAF1a and AtCAF1b, putative Arabidopsis homologs of the yeast CAF1 gene, partially complement the growth defect of the yeast caf1 mutant in the presence of caffeine or at high temperatures. The expression of AtCAF1a and AtCAF1b is induced by multiple stress-related hormones and stimuli. Both AtCAF1a and AtCAF1b show deadenylation activity in vitro and point mutations in the predicted active sites disrupt this activity. T-DNA insertion mutants disrupting the expression of AtCAF1a and/or AtCAF1b are defective in deadenylation of stress-related mRNAs, indicating that the two AtCAF1 proteins are involved in regulated mRNA deadenylation in vivo. Interestingly, the single and double mutants of AtCAF1a and AtCAF1b show reduced expression of pathogenesis-related (PR) genes PR1 and PR2 and are more susceptible to Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000 (Pst DC3000) infection, whereas transgenic plants over-expressing AtCAF1a show elevated expression of PR1 and PR2 and increased resistance to the same pathogen. Our results suggest roles of the AtCAF1 proteins in regulated mRNA deadenylation and defence responses to pathogen infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The size and shape of the plant leaf is an important agronomic trait. To understand the molecular mechanism governing plant leaf shape, we characterized a classic rice (Oryza sativa) dwarf mutant named narrow leaf1 (nal1), which exhibits a characteristic phenotype of narrow leaves. In accordance with reduced leaf blade width, leaves of nal1 contain a decreased number of longitudinal veins. Anatomical investigations revealed that the culms of nal1 also show a defective vascular system, in which the number and distribution pattern of vascular bundles are altered. Map-based cloning and genetic complementation analyses demonstrated that Nal1 encodes a plant-specific protein with unknown biochemical function. We provide evidence showing that Nal1 is richly expressed in vascular tissues and that mutation of this gene leads to significantly reduced polar auxin transport capacity. These results indicate that Nal1 affects polar auxin transport as well as the vascular patterns of rice plants and plays an important role in the control of lateral leaf growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bestatin, a potent inhibitor of some aminopeptidases, was shown previously to be a powerful inducer of wound-response genes in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). Here, we present several lines of evidence showing that bestatin specifically activates jasmonic acid (JA) signaling in plants. First, bestatin specifically activates the expression of JA-inducible genes in tomato and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Second, the induction of JA-responsive genes by bestatin requires the COI1-dependent JA-signaling pathway, but does not depend strictly on JA biosynthesis. Third, microarray analysis using Arabidopsis whole-genome chip demonstrates that the gene expression profile of bestatin-treated plants is similar to that of JA-treated plants. Fourth, bestatin promotes a series of JA-related developmental phenotypes. Taken together, the unique action mode of bestatin in regulating JA-signaled processes leads us to the hypothesis that bestatin exerts its effects through the modulation of some key regulators in JA signaling. We have employed bestatin as an experimental tool to dissect JA signaling through a chemical genetic screening, which yielded a collection of Arabidopsis bestatin-resistant (ber) mutants that are insensitive to the inhibitory effects of bestatin on root elongation. Further characterization efforts demonstrate that some ber mutants are defective in various JA-induced responses, which allowed us to classify the ber mutants into three phenotypic groups: JA-insensitive ber mutants, JA-hypersensitive ber mutants, and mutants insensitive to bestatin but showing normal response to JA. Genetic and phenotypic analyses of the ber mutants with altered JA responses indicate that we have identified several novel loci involved in JA signaling.