Somatic embryogenesis is one of the best examples of the remarkable developmental plasticity of plants, in which committed somatic cells can dedifferentiate and acquire the ability to form an embryo and regenerate an entire plant. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the shoot apices of young seedlings have been reported as an alternative tissue source for somatic embryos (SEs) besides the widely studied zygotic embryos taken from siliques. Although SE induction from shoots demonstrates the plasticity of plants more clearly than the embryo-to-embryo induction system, the underlying developmental and molecular mechanisms involved are unknown. Here we characterized SE formation from shoot apex explants by establishing a system for time-lapse observation of explants during SE induction. We also established a method to distinguish SE-forming and non-SE-forming explants prior to anatomical SE formation, enabling us to identify distinct transcriptome profiles of these two explants at SE initiation. We show that embryonic fate commitment takes place at day 3 of SE induction and the SE arises directly, not through callus formation, from the base of leaf primordia just beside the shoot apical meristem (SAM), where auxin accumulates and shoot-root polarity is formed. The expression domain of a couple of key developmental genes for the SAM transiently expands at this stage. Our data demonstrate that SE-forming and non-SE-forming explants share mostly the same transcripts except for a limited number of embryonic genes and root genes that might trigger the SE-initiation program. Thus, SE-forming explants possess a mixed identity (SAM, root and embryo) at the time of SE specification.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to be important signal molecules that are involved in biotic and abiotic stress responses as well as in growth regulation. However, the molecular mechanisms by which ROS act as a growth regulator, as well as how ROS-dependent growth regulation relates to its roles in stress responses, are not well understood. We performed a time-course microarray analysis of root tips upon treatment with hydrogen peroxide, which we named "ROS-map." Using the ROS-map, we identified an MYB transcription factor, MYB30, which showed a strong response to ROS treatment and is the key regulator of a gene network that leads to the hydrogen peroxide-dependent inhibition of root cell elongation. Intriguingly, this network contained multiple genes involved in very-long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) transport. Finally, we showed that is necessary for root growth regulation during defense responses, thus providing a molecular link between these two ROS-associated processes.
Development of Mitsucal. Recent advances in DNA sequencing technology have facilitated whole-genome sequencing of mutants and variants. However, the analyses of large sequence datasets using a computer remain more difficult than operating a sequencer. Forward genetic approach is powerful even in sexual reproduction to identify key genes. Therefore, we developed the Mitsucal computer system for identifying causal genes of mutants, using whole-genome sequence data. Mitsucal includes a user-friendly web interface to configure analysis variables, such as background and crossed strains. Other than configuration, users are only required to upload short reads. All results are presented through a web interface where users can easily obtain a short list of candidate mutations. In the present study, we present three examples of Arabidopsis mutants defective in sexual reproduction in which Mitsucal is used to identify causal mutation. One mutant was screened from seeds of a transgenic line with a reporter gene to elucidate the mechanisms involved in the regulation of seed oil storage. The identified gene codes for a protein may be involved in mRNA splicing. Other two mutants had defects in the surface walls on pollen termed exine. Both causal genes were identified, and mutants were found to be allele of known mutants. These results show that Mitsucal could facilitate identification of causal genes.
Plants coordinate the timing of flower opening with pollen and gynoecium maturation to achieve successful pollination. However, little is known about how the coordination is executed. We found that flower bud development was paused immediately before flower opening in a jasmonic acid (JA)-insensitive tomato mutant, jai1-1. Phytohormone measurement and RNA analysis in flower buds revealed that newly synthesised JA peaked at two days before flower opening and the expression of a transcription factor gene SlMYB21 delayed in jai1-1. Buds of transgenic tomato plants expressing an artificial repressor, AtMYB24-SRDX, which was expected to impede the function of SlMYB21, aborted flower opening and resembled those of jai1-1. Furthermore, the AtMYB24-SRDX plants produced abnormal pollen grains deficient in germination and pistils that did not support pollen tube elongation. We concluded that JA facilitates the expression of SlMYB21, which coordinates flower opening, pollen maturation, and gynoecium function in tomato.
Floral meristem size is redundantly controlled by CLAVATA3, AGAMOUS , and SUPERMAN in Arabidopsis. The proper regulation of floral meristem activity is key to the formation of optimally sized flowers with a fixed number of organs. In Arabidopsis thaliana, multiple regulators determine this activity. A small secreted peptide, CLAVATA3 (CLV3), functions as an important negative regulator of stem cell activity. Two transcription factors, AGAMOUS (AG) and SUPERMAN (SUP), act in different pathways to regulate the termination of floral meristem activity. Previous research has not addressed the genetic interactions among these three genes. Here, we quantified the floral developmental stage-specific phenotypic consequences of combining mutations of AG, SUP, and CLV3. Our detailed phenotypic and genetic analyses revealed that these three genes act in partially redundant pathways to coordinately modulate floral meristem sizes in a spatial and temporal manner. Analyses of the ag sup clv3 triple mutant, which developed a mass of undifferentiated cells in its flowers, allowed us to identify downstream targets of AG with roles in reproductive development and in the termination of floral meristem activity. Our study highlights the role of AG in repressing genes that are expressed in organ initial cells to control floral meristem activity.
The sexual cycle of the unicellular Chlamydomonas reinhardtii culminates in the formation of diploid zygotes which differentiate into dormant spores that eventually undergo meiosis. Mating between gametes induces rapid cell wall shedding via the enzyme g-lysin; cell fusion is followed by heterodimerization of sex-specific homeobox transcription factors, GSM1 and GSP1, and initiation of zygote-specific gene expression. To investigate the genetic underpinnings of the zygote developmental pathway, we performed comparative transcriptome analysis of both pre- and post-fertilization samples. We identified 253 transcripts specifically enriched in early zygotes, 82% of which were not up-regulated in gsp1 null zygotes. We also found that the GSM1/GSP1 heterodimer negatively regulates the vegetative wall program at the post-transcriptional level, enabling prompt transition from vegetative wall to zygotic wall assembly. Annotation of the g-lysin-induced and early zygote genes reveals distinct vegetative and zygotic wall programs, supported by concerted up-regulation of genes encoding cell wall-modifying enzymes and proteins involved in nucleotide-sugar metabolism. The haploid-to-diploid transition in Chlamydomonas is masterfully controlled by the GSM1/GSP1 heterodimer, translating fertilization and gamete coalescence into a bona fide differentiation program. The fertilization-triggered integration of genes required to make related, but structurally and functionally distinct organelles -- the vegetative vs zygote cell wall -- presents a likely scenario for the evolution of complex developmental gene regulatory networks.
Growth and development are tightly co-ordinated events in the lifetime of living organisms. In temperate bamboo plants, spring is the season when environmental conditions are suitable for the emergence of new shoots. Previous studies demonstrated that bamboo plants undergo an energy-consuming 'fast stem growth' phase. However, the events during the initiation of stem elongation in bamboo are poorly understood. To understand the onset of bamboo stem growth, we performed hormone and transcriptome profiling of tissue regions in newly elongating shoots of the Moso bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. The growth hormones auxins, cytokinins and gibberellins accumulated in the shoot apex, while the stress hormones ABA, salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) are predominantly found in the lower part of the stem. The mature basal part of the stem showed enrichment of transcripts associated with cell wall metabolism and biosynthesis of phenylpropanoid metabolites, such as lignin. In the young upper stem region, expression of cell formation- and DNA synthesis-related genes was enriched. Moreover, the apical region showed enhanced expression of genes involved in meristem maintenance, leaf differentiation and development, abaxial/adaxial polarity and flowering. Our findings integrate the spatial regulation of hormones and transcriptome programs during the initiation of bamboo stem growth.
In angiosperms, pollen tubes carry two sperm cells toward the egg and central cells to complete double fertilization. In animals, not only sperm but also seminal plasma is required for proper fertilization. However, little is known regarding the function of pollen tube content (PTC), which is analogous to seminal plasma. We report that the PTC plays a vital role in the prefertilization state and causes an enlargement of ovules without fertilization. We termed this phenomenon as pollen tube-dependent ovule enlargement morphology and placed it between pollen tube guidance and double fertilization. Additionally, PTC increases endosperm nuclei without fertilization when combined with autonomous endosperm mutants. This finding could be applied in agriculture, particularly in enhancing seed formation without fertilization in important crops.
The phosphorylation of proteins by protein kinases controls many cellular and physiological processes, which include intracellular signal transduction. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of such controls and numerous substrates of protein kinases remain to be characterized. The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is of particular importance in a variety of extracellular and intracellular signaling processes. In plant cells, the progression of cytokinesis is an excellent example of an intracellular phenomenon that requires the MAPK cascade. However, the way in which MAPKs control downstream processes during cytokinesis in plant cells remains to be fully determined. We show here that comparisons, by two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis, of phosphorylated proteins from wild-type Arabidopsis thaliana and mutant plants defective in a MAPK cascade allow identification of substrates of a specific MAPK. Using this method, we identified the PATELLIN2 (PATL2) protein, which has a SEC14 domain, as a substrate of MPK4 MAP kinase. PATL2 was concentrated at the cell division plane, as is MPK4, and had binding affinity for phosphoinositides. This binding affinity was altered after phosphorylation of PATL2 by MPK4, suggesting a role for the MAPK cascade in the formation of cell plates via regeneration of membranes during cytokinesis.
Eukaryotes harbor mitochondria obtained via ancient symbiosis events. The successful evolution of energy production in mitochondria has been dependent on the control of mitochondrial gene expression by the nucleus. In flowering plants, the nuclear-encoded pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) superfamily proteins are widely involved in mitochondrial RNA metabolism. Here, we show that an Arabidopsis nuclear-encoded RNA-binding protein, Restorer-of-fertility-like PPR protein 2 (RFL2), is required for RNA degradation of the mitochondrial orf291 transcript via endonucleolytic cleavage of the transcript in the middle of its reading frame. Both in vivo and in vitro, this RNA cleavage requires the activity of mitochondrial proteinaceous RNase P, which is possibly recruited to the site by RFL2. The site of RNase P cleavage likely forms a tRNA-like structure in the orf291 transcript. This study presents an example of functional collaboration between a PPR protein and an endonuclease in RNA cleavage. Furthermore, we show that the RFL2-binding region within the orf291 gene is hypervariable in the family Brassicaceae, possibly correlated with the rapid evolution of the RNA-recognition interfaces of the RFL proteins.
Progression of cell division is controlled by various mitotic kinases. In animal cells, phosphorylation of histone H3 at Thr3 by the kinase Haspin (haploid germ cell-specific nuclear protein kinase) promotes centromeric Aurora B localization to regulate chromosome segregation. However, less is known about the function of Haspin in regulatory networks in plant cells. Here, we show that inhibition of Haspin with 5-iodotubercidin (5-ITu) in Bright Yellow-2 (BY-2) cells delayed chromosome alignment. Haspin inhibition also prevented the centromeric localization of Aurora3 kinase (AUR3) and disrupted its function. This suggested that Haspin plays a role in the specific positioning of AUR3 on chromosomes in plant cells, a function conserved in animals. The results also indicated that Haspin and AUR3 are involved in the same pathway, which regulates chromosome alignment during prometaphase/metaphase. Remarkably, Haspin inhibition by 5-ITu also led to a severe cytokinesis defect, resulting in binuclear cells with a partially formed cell plate. The 5-ITu treatment did not affect microtubules, AUR1/2 or the NACK-PQR pathway; however, it did alter the distribution of actin filaments on the cell plate. Together, these results suggested that Haspin has several functions in regulating cell division in plant cells: in the localization of AUR3 on centromeres and in regulating late cell plate expansion during cytokinesis.
The mangrove killifish Kryptolebias marmoratus, and its close relative Kryptolebias hermaphroditus, are the only vertebrate species known to reproduce by self-fertilization due to functional ovotestis development. To improve our understanding of their genomes, we constructed a genetic map. First, a single F1 fish was made by artificial fertilization between K. marmoratus and K. hermaphroditus strains. F2 progeny were then obtained by self-fertilization of the F1 fish. We used RAD-seq to query genomic DNAs from the two parental strains, the F1 individual and 49 F2 progeny. Results identified 9904 polymorphic RAD-tags (DNA markers) that mapped to 24 linkage groups, corresponding to the haploid chromosome number of these species. The total length of the map was 1248 cM, indicating that about one recombination occurred for each of the 24 homologous chromosome pairs in each meiosis. Markers were not evenly distributed along the chromosomes: in all chromosomes, many markers (> 8% of the total markers for each chromosome) mapped to chromosome tips. Centromeres suppress recombination, and this uneven distribution is probably due to the species' acrocentric chromosomes. Mapped marker sequences were compared to genomic sequences of medaka and platyfish, the next most closely related species with sequenced genomes that are anchored to genetic maps. Results showed that each mangrove killifish chromosome corresponds to a single chromosome of both platyfish and medaka, suggesting strong conservation of chromosomes over 100 million years of evolution. Our genetic map provides a framework for the K. marmoratus/K. hermaphroditus genome sequence and an important resource for understanding the biology of hermaphroditism.
K(+) /Cl(-) cotransporters (KCCs) are known to be crucial in the control of neuronal electrochemical Cl(-) gradient. However, the role of these proteins in glial cells remains largely unexplored despite a number of studies showing expression of KCC proteins in glial cells of many species. Here, we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans K(+) /Cl(-) cotransporter KCC-3 is expressed in glial-like cells and regulates the thermosensory behavior through modifying temperature-evoked activity of a thermosensory neuron. Mutations in the kcc-3 gene were isolated from a genetic screen for mutants defective in thermotaxis. KCC-3 is expressed and functions in the amphid sheath glia that ensheathes the AFD neuron, a major thermosensory neuron known to be required for thermotaxis. A genetic analysis indicated that the regulation of the thermosensory behavior by KCC-3 is mediated through AFD, and we further show that KCC-3 in the amphid sheath glia regulates the dynamics of the AFD activity. Our results show a novel mechanism by which the glial KCC-3 protein non-cell autonomously modifies the stimulus-evoked activity of a sensory neuron and highlights the functional importance of glial KCC proteins in modulating the dynamics of a neural circuitry to control an animal behavior.
The circadian clock is a biological timekeeping system that provides organisms with the ability to adapt to day-night cycles. Timing of the expression of four members of the Arabidopsis thaliana PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR(PRR) family is crucial for proper clock function, and transcriptional control of PRRs remains incompletely defined. Here, we demonstrate that direct regulation of PRR5 by CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED1 (CCA1) determines the repression state of PRR5 in the morning. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) analyses indicated that CCA1 associates with three separate regions upstream of PRR5 CCA1 and its homolog LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY) suppressed PRR5 promoter activity in a transient assay. The regions bound by CCA1 in the PRR5 promoter gave rhythmic patterns with troughs in the morning, when CCA1 and LHY are at high levels. Furthermore,ChIP-seq revealed that CCA1 associates with at least 449 loci with 863 adjacent genes. Importantly, this gene set contains genes that are repressed but upregulated incca1 lhy double mutants in the morning. This study shows that direct binding by CCA1 in the morning provides strong repression of PRR5, and repression by CCA1 also temporally regulates an evening-expressed gene set that includes PRR5.
Understanding the molecular mechanisms that convey salt tolerance in plants is a crucial issue for increasing crop yield. The ice plant (Mesembryanthemum crystallinum) is a halophyte that is capable of growing under high salt conditions. For example, the roots of ice plant seedlings continue to grow in 140 mM NaCl, a salt concentration that completely inhibits Arabidopsis thaliana root growth. Identifying the molecular mechanisms responsible for this high level of salt tolerance in a halophyte has the potential of revealing tolerance mechanisms that have been evolutionarily successful. In the present study, deep sequencing (RNAseq) was used to examine gene expression in ice plant roots treated with various concentrations of NaCl. Sequencing resulted in the identification of 53,516 contigs, 10,818 of which were orthologs of Arabidopsis genes. In addition to the expression analysis, a web-based ice plant database was constructed that allows broad public access to the data. The results obtained from an analysis of the RNAseq data were confirmed by RT-qPCR. Novel patterns of gene expression in response to high salinity within 24 hours were identified in the ice plant when the RNAseq data from the ice plant was compared to gene expression data obtained from Arabidopsis plants exposed to high salt. Although ABA responsive genes and a sodium transporter protein (HKT1), are up-regulated and down-regulated respectively in both Arabidopsis and the ice plant; peroxidase genes exhibit opposite responses. The results of this study provide an important first step towards analyzing environmental tolerance mechanisms in a non-model organism and provide a useful dataset for predicting novel gene functions.
There is a growing awareness that secreted pemediate organ-to-organ communication in higher plants. Xylem sap peptidomics is an effective but challenging approach for identifying long-distance mobile peptides. In this study we developed a simple, gel-free purification system that combines o-chlorophenol extraction with HPLC separation. Using this system, we successfully identified seven oligopeptides from soybean xylem sap exudate that had one or more post-transcriptional modifications: glycosylation, sulfation and/or hydroxylation. RNA sequencing and quantitative PCR analyses showed that the peptide-encoding genes are expressed in multiple tissues. We further analyzed the long-distance translocation of four of the seven peptides using gene-encoding peptides with single amino acid substitutions, and identified these four peptides as potential root-to-shoot mobile oligopeptides. Promoter-GUS analysis showed that all four peptide-encoding genes were expressed in the inner tissues of the root endodermis. Moreover, we found that some of these peptide-encoding genes responded to biotic and/or abiotic factors. These results indicate that our purification system provides a comprehensive approach for effectively identifying endogenous small peptides and reinforce the concept that higher plants employ various peptides in root-to-shoot signaling.
Physarum polycephalum is a well-studied microbial eukaryote with unique experimental attributes relative to other experimental model organisms. It has a sophisticated life cycle with several distinct stages including amoebal, flagellated, and plasmodial cells. It is unusual in switching between open and closed mitosis according to specific life-cycle stages. Here we present the analysis of the genome of this enigmatic and important model organism and compare it with closely related species. The genome is littered with simple and complex repeats and the coding regions are frequently interrupted by introns with a mean size of 100 bases. Complemented with extensive transcriptome data, we define approximately 31,000 gene loci, providing unexpected insights into early eukaryote evolution. We describe extensive use of histidine kinase-based two-component systems and tyrosine kinase signaling, the presence of bacterial and plant type photoreceptors (phytochromes, cryptochrome, and phototropin) and of plant-type pentatricopeptide repeat proteins, as well as metabolic pathways, and a cell cycle control system typically found in more complex eukaryotes. Our analysis characterizes P. polycephalum as a prototypical eukaryote with features attributed to the last common ancestor of Amorphea, that is, the Amoebozoa and Opisthokonts. Specifically, the presence of tyrosine kinases in Acanthamoeba and Physarum as representatives of two distantly related subdivisions of Amoebozoa argues against the later emergence of tyrosine kinase signaling in the opisthokont lineage and also against the acquisition by horizontal gene transfer.
In multicellular organisms, temporal and spatial regulation of cell proliferation is central for generating organs with defined sizes and morphologies. For establishing and maintaining the post-mitotic quiescent state during cell differentiation, it is important to repress genes with mitotic functions. We found that three of the Arabidopsis MYB3R transcription factors synergistically maintain G2/M-specific genes repressed in post-mitotic cells and restrict the time window of mitotic gene expression in proliferating cells. The combined mutants of the three repressor-type MYB3R genes displayed long roots, enlarged leaves, embryos, and seeds. Genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that MYB3R3 binds to the promoters of G2/M-specific genes and to E2F target genes. MYB3R3 associates with the repressor-type E2F, E2FC, and the RETINOBLASTOMA RELATED proteins. In contrast, the activator MYB3R4 was in complex with E2FB in proliferating cells. With mass spectrometry and pairwise interaction assays, we identified some of the other conserved components of the multiprotein complexes, known as DREAM/dREAM in human and flies. In plants, these repressor complexes are important for periodic expression during cell cycle and to establish a post-mitotic quiescent state determining organ size.
Phloem is a conductive tissue that allocates nutrients from mature source leaves to sinks such as young developing tissues. Phloem also delivers proteins and RNA species, such as small RNAs and mRNAs. Intensive studies on plant systemic signaling revealed the essential roles of proteins and RNA species. However, many of their functions are still largely unknown, with the roles of transported mRNAs being particularly poorly understood. A major difficulty is the absence of an accurate and comprehensive list of mobile transcripts. In this study, we used a hetero-graft system with Nicotiana benthamiana as the recipient scion and Arabidopsis as the donor stock, to identify transcripts that moved long distances across the graft union. We identified 138 Arabidopsis transcripts as mobile mRNAs, which we collectively termed the mRNA mobilome. Reverse transcription-PCR, quantitative real-time PCR and droplet digital PCR analyses confirmed the mobility. The transcripts included potential signaling factors and, unexpectedly, more general factors. In our investigations, we found no preferred transcript length, no previously known sequence motifs in promoter or transcript sequences and no similarities between the level of the transcripts and that in the source leaves. Grafting experiments regarding the function of ERECTA, an identified transcript, showed that no function of the transcript mobilized. To our knowledge, this is the first report identifying transcripts that move over long distances using a hetero-graft system between different plant taxa.
Grain weight is an important crop yield component; however, its underlying regulatory mechanisms are largely unknown. Here, we identify a grain-weight quantitative trait locus (QTL) encoding a new-type GNAT-like protein that harbors intrinsic histone acetyltransferase activity (OsglHAT1). Our genetic and molecular evidences pinpointed the QTL-OsglHAT1's allelic variations to a 1.2-kb region upstream of the gene body, which is consistent with its function as a positive regulator of the traits. Elevated OsglHAT1 expression enhances grain weight and yield by enlarging spikelet hulls via increasing cell number and accelerating grain filling, and increases global acetylation levels of histone H4. OsglHAT1 localizes to the nucleus, where it likely functions through the regulation of transcription. Despite its positive agronomical effects on grain weight, yield, and plant biomass, the rare allele elevating OsglHAT1 expression has so far escaped human selection. Our findings reveal the first example, to our knowledge, of a QTL for a yield component trait being due to a chromatin modifier that has the potential to improve crop high-yield breeding.
The whole-genome sequence of carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) cv. 'Francesco' was determined using a combination of different new-generation multiplex sequencing platforms. The total length of the non-redundant sequences was 568,887,315 bp, consisting of 45,088 scaffolds, which covered 91% of the 622 Mb carnation genome estimated by k-mer analysis. The N50 values of contigs and scaffolds were 16,644 bp and 60,737 bp, respectively, and the longest scaffold was 1,287,144 bp. The average GC content of the contig sequences was 36%. A total of 1050, 13, 92 and 143 genes for tRNAs, rRNAs, snoRNA and miRNA, respectively, were identified in the assembled genomic sequences. For protein-encoding genes, 43 266 complete and partial gene structures excluding those in transposable elements were deduced. Gene coverage was ∼ 98%, as deduced from the coverage of the core eukaryotic genes. Intensive characterization of the assigned carnation genes and comparison with those of other plant species revealed characteristic features of the carnation genome. The results of this study will serve as a valuable resource for fundamental and applied research of carnation, especially for breeding new carnation varieties. Further information on the genomic sequences is available at http://carnation.kazusa.or.jp.
Pollen tube guidance is controlled by multiple complex interactions with the female tissues. Here, we show that pollen tubes of Torenia fournieri are regulated by a stylar tissue in a length-dependent manner to receive and respond to attractant LURE peptides secreted from synergid cells. We developed an immunostaining method to visualize LURE peptides bound at the plasma membrane of the tip region of the pollen tube. Using this method, we found that LURE peptides bound specifically to pollen tubes growing through a cut style. The peptides also bound to pollen tubes growing through a shorter style, which were not competent to respond to these peptides. These observations suggested a possibility that acquisition of the LURE peptide reception ability and acquisition of full competency are separable processes. RNA-Seq suggested that the transcription profile of pollen tubes was affected by both the length of the style and the cultivation period, consistently with physiological changes in binding activity and LURE response ability. The database generated from de novo RNA-Seq of Torenia pollen tubes was shown to be useful to identify pollen tube proteins by mass spectrometry. Our studies provide insight and an effective platform for protein identification to understand pollen tube guidance.
Small proteins secreted to the extracellular matrix in plants regulate many physiological activities, including pathogen response, material transport, and morphogenesis, but the functions of most small secreted proteins have not been elucidated except for some well-known small secreted proteins. To predict the functions and physiological roles of unidentified small secreted proteins, information on their expression patterns is valuable. Here, we report expression analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana small secreted protein (ATSP) genes that encode proteins possessing a signal peptide at N-terminal, and protein sizes were less than 100 amino acid residues. By promoter:reporter experiments, we examined the expression of 122 ATSPs, including 47 unannotated ATSPs that do not have any discernable motifs, in tissues and at the cellular level in Arabidopsis seedlings, and floral organs. As a result, 79 ATSP genes were expressed in various regions of the seedlings, and 37 ATSP genes were specifically expressed.
The circadian clock is an endogenous time-keeping mechanism that enables organisms to adapt to external daily cycles. The clock coordinates biological activities with these cycles, mainly through genome-wide gene expression. However, the exact mechanism underlying regulation of circadian gene expression is poorly understood. Here we demonstrated that an Arabidopsis PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 5 (PRR5), which acts in the clock genetic circuit, directly regulates expression timing of key transcription factors involved in clock-output pathways. A transient expression assay and ChIP-quantitative PCR assay using mutated PRR5 indicated that PRR5 associates with target DNA through binding at the CCT motif in vivo. ChIP followed by deep sequencing coupled with genome-wide expression profiling revealed the direct-target genes of PRR5. PRR5 direct-targets include genes encoding transcription factors involved in flowering-time regulation, hypocotyl elongation, and cold-stress responses. PRR5-target gene expression followed a circadian rhythm pattern with low, basal expression from noon until midnight, when PRR9, PRR7, and PRR5 were expressed. ChIP-quantitative PCR assays indicated that PRR7 and PRR9 bind to the direct-targets of PRR5. Genome-wide expression profiling using a prr9 prr7 prr5 triple mutant suggests that PRR5, PRR7, and PRR9 repress these targets. Taken together, our results illustrate a genetic network in which PRR5, PRR7, and PRR9 directly regulate expression timing of key transcription factors to coordinate physiological processes with daily cycles.
R1R2R3-Myb proteins represent an evolutionarily conserved class of Myb family proteins important for cell cycle regulation and differentiation in eukaryotic cells. In plants, this class of Myb proteins are believed to regulate the transcription of G2/M phase-specific genes by binding to common cis-elements, called mitosis-specific activator (MSA) elements. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), MYB3R1 and MYB3R4 act as transcriptional activators and positively regulate cytokinesis by activating the transcription of KNOLLE, which encodes a cytokinesis-specific syntaxin. Here, we show that the double mutation myb3r1 myb3r4 causes pleiotropic developmental defects, some of which are due to deficiency of KNOLLE whereas other are not, suggesting that multiple target genes are involved. Consistently, microarray analysis of the double mutant revealed altered expression of many genes, among which G2/M-specific genes showed significant overrepresentation of the MSA motif and a strong tendency to be down-regulated by the double mutation. Our results demonstrate, on a genome-wide level, the importance of the MYB3R-MSA pathway for regulating G2/M-specific transcription. In addition, MYB3R1 and MYB3R4 may have diverse roles during plant development by regulating G2/M-specific genes with various functions as well as genes possibly unrelated to the cell cycle.
In all eukaryotes, C/D small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins (C/D snoRNPs) are essential for methylation and processing of ribosomal RNAs. They consist of a box C/D small nucleolar RNA (C/D snoRNA) associated with four highly conserved nucleolar proteins. Recent data in HeLa cells and yeast have revealed that assembly of these snoRNPs is directed by NUFIP protein and other auxiliary factors. Nevertheless, the precise function and biological importance of NUFIP and the other assembly factors remains unknown. In plants, few studies have focused on RNA methylation and snoRNP biogenesis. Here, we identify and characterise the AtNUFIP gene that directs assembly of C/D snoRNP. To elucidate the function of AtNUFIP in planta, we characterized atnufip mutants. These mutants are viable but have severe developmental phenotypes. Northern blot analysis of snoRNA accumulation in atnufip mutants revealed a specific degradation of C/D snoRNAs and this situation is correlated with a reduction in rRNA methylation. Remarkably, the impact of AtNUFIP depends on the structure of snoRNA genes: it is essential for the accumulation of those C/D snoRNAs encoded by polycistronic genes, but not by monocistronic or tsnoRNA genes. We propose that AtNUFIP controls the kinetics of C/D snoRNP assembly on nascent precursors to overcome snoRNA degradation of aberrant RNPs. Finally, we show that AtNUFIP has broader RNP targets, controlling the accumulation of scaRNAs that direct methylation of spliceosomal snRNA in Cajal bodies.
Persimmon (Diospyros kaki Thunb.) is an important fruit in Asian countries, where it is eaten as a fresh fruit and is also used for many other purposes. To understand the molecular mechanism of fruit development and ripening in persimmon, we generated a total of 9,952 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from randomly selected clones of two different cDNA libraries. One cDNA library was derived from fruit of "Saijo" persimmon at an early stage of development, and the other from ripening fruit. These ESTs were clustered into 6,700 non-redundant sequences. Of the 6,700 non-redundant sequences evaluated, the deduced amino acid sequences of 4,356 (65%) showed significant homology to known proteins, and 2,344 (35%) showed no significant similarity to any known proteins in Arabidopsis databases. We report comparison of genes identified in the two cDNA libraries and describe some putative genes involved in proanthocyanidin and carotenoid synthesis. This study provides the first global overview of a set of genes that are expressed during fruit development and ripening in persimmon.
We developed a new series of Gateway binary vectors, R4pGWBs, that are plant transformation vectors designed for one-step construction of chimeric genes between any promoter and any cDNA. The structure of R4pGWBs is almost the same as the promoterless type of improved pGWBs (ImpGWBs), except that the attR1 site is replaced with attR4, which enables tripartite recombination of these vectors with promoter- and cDNA-entry clones. While ImpGWBs are suitable for promoter analysis and constitutive expression of cDNAs in higher plants, R4pGWBs have a great advantage in expressing a cDNA under the regulation of desired promoters.
We made a series of improved Gateway binary vectors (pGWBs) for plant transformation. Fifteen different reporters and tags, sGFP, GUS, LUC, EYFP, ECFP, G3GFP, mRFP, 6xHis, FLAG, 3xHA, 4xMyc, 10xMyc, GST, T7, and TAP, were employed. Some vectors carry the 2x35S-Omega promoter for higher-level expression. The kanamycin- and hygromycin-resistant markers are independently available for each of the 43 types of vectors, thus an additional transformation of once-transformed plants can be carried out easily. Their small size and high-copy number in Escherichia coli make possible easier handling at plasmid preparation and sequencing. Improved pGWBs should be a powerful tool for transgenic research in plants.
Animal and yeast nucleolin function as global regulators of ribosome synthesis, and their expression is tightly linked to cell proliferation. Although Arabidopsis contains two genes for nucleolin, AtNuc-L1 is the predominant if not only form of the protein found in most tissues, and GFP-AtNuc-L1 fusion proteins were targeted to the nucleolus. Expression of AtNuc-L1 was strongly induced by sucrose or glucose but not by non-metabolizable mannitol or 2-deoxyglucose. Sucrose also caused enhanced expression of genes for subunits of C/D and H/ACA small nucleolar ribonucleoproteins, as well as a large number of genes for ribosomal proteins (RPs), suggesting that carbohydrate availability regulates de novo ribosome synthesis. In sugar-starved cells, induction of AtNuc-L1 occurred with 10 mM glucose, which seemed to be a prerequisite for resumption of growth. Disruption of AtNuc-L1 caused an increased steady-state level of pre-rRNA relative to mature 25S rRNA, and resulted in various phenotypes that overlap those reported for several RP gene mutants, including a reduced growth rate, prolonged lifetime, bushy growth, pointed leaf, and defective vascular patterns and pod development. These results suggest that the rate of ribosome synthesis in the meristem has a strong impact not only on the growth but also the structure of plants. The AtNuc-L1 disruptant exhibited significantly reduced sugar-induced expression of RP genes, suggesting that AtNuc-L1 is involved in the sugar-inducible expression of RP genes.
In plant meristems, each cell divides and differentiates in a spatially and temporally regulated manner, and continuous organogenesis occurs using cells derived from the meristem. We report the identification of the Arabidopsis thaliana TEBICHI (TEB) gene, which is required for regulated cell division and differentiation in meristems. The teb mutants show morphological defects, such as short roots, serrated leaves, and fasciation, as well as defective patterns of cell division and differentiation in the meristem. The TEB gene encodes a homolog of Drosophila MUS308 and mammalian DNA polymerase theta, which prevent spontaneous or DNA damage-induced production of DNA double strand breaks. As expected from the function of animal homologs, teb mutants show constitutively activated DNA damage responses. Unlike other fasciation mutants with activated DNA damage responses, however, teb mutants do not activate transcriptionally silenced genes. teb shows an accumulation of cells expressing cyclinB1;1:GUS in meristems, suggesting that constitutively activated DNA damage responses in teb lead to a defect in G2/M cell cycle progression. Furthermore, other fasciation mutants, such as fasciata2 and tonsoku/mgoun3/brushy1, also show an accumulation of cells expressing cyclinB1;1:GUS in meristems. These results suggest that cell cycle progression at G2/M is important for the regulation of the pattern of cell division and of differentiation during plant development.
TONSOKU(TSK)/MGOUN3/BRUSHY1 from Arabidopsis thaliana, which plays an important role in the maintenance of meristem organization, contains an LGN repeat motif similar to that found in animal proteins involved in asymmetric cell division. One protein that interacts with the LGN motif of TSK in a yeast two-hybrid screen, TSK-associating protein 1 (TSA1), contains a 10-fold repeat of a unique 41 amino acid sequence. The repeat sequence, with a glutamic acid-phenylalanine-glutamic acid (EFE) conserved core sequence, is enriched with acidic amino acids. TSA1 also contains an N-terminal putative signal peptide and it interacts with the LGN motif of TSK through a C-terminal region separated from the EFE repeats by a putative membrane-spanning region. The recombinant protein consisting of EFE repeats was rich in alpha-helical structure and possessed Ca2+-binding activity. Unlike nuclear localization of TSK, the TSA1 fused with green fluorescent protein (GFP) expressed in tobacco BY-2 cells was localized in small cytoplasmic vesicles during interphase. However, cellular localization of both TSA1-GFP and GFP-TSK changed dynamically during mitosis. In particular, both GFP-TSK and TSA1-GFP were concentrated in limited areas that are close to the ends of spindle microtubules ahead of separating chromatids. These results are discussed in terms of the possible involvement of TSK and TSA1 in mitosis.
TONSOKU(TSK)/MGOUN3/BRUSHY1 of Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a nuclear leucine-glycine-aspargine (LGN) domain protein implicated to be involved in genome maintenance, and mutants with defects in TSK show a fasciated stem with disorganized meristem structures. We identified a homolog of TSK from tobacco BY-2 cells (NtTSK), which showed high sequence conservation both in the LGN domain and in leucine-rich repeats with AtTSK. The NtTSK gene was expressed during S phase of the cell cycle in tobacco BY-2 cells highly synchronized for cell division. The tsk mutants of Arabidopsis contained an increased proportion of cells with 4C nuclei and cells expressing cyclin B1 compared with the wild type. These results suggest that TSK is required during the cell cycle and defects of TSK cause the arrest of cell cycle progression at G2/M phase.
Root apical meristem (RAM) and shoot apical meristem (SAM) are vital for the correct development of the plant. The direction, frequency, and timing of cell division must be tightly controlled in meristems. Here, we isolated new Arabidopsis mutants with shorter roots and fasciated stems. In the tonsoku (tsk) mutant, disorganized RAM and SAM formation resulted from the frequent loss of proper alignment of the cell division plane. Irregular cell division also occurred in the tsk embryo, and the size of cells in meristems and embryo in tsk mutant was larger than in the wild type. In the enlarged SAM of the tsk mutant, multiple centers of cells expressing WUSCHEL (WUS) were observed. In addition, expression of SCARECROW (SCR) in the quiescent center (QC) disappeared in the disorganized RAM of tsk mutant. These results suggest that disorganized cell arrangements in the tsk mutants result in disturbed positional information required for the determination of cell identity. The TSK gene was found to encode a protein with 1311 amino acids that possesses two types of protein-protein interaction motif, leucine-glycine-asparagine (LGN) repeats and leucine-rich repeats (LRRs). LGN repeats are present in animal proteins involved in asymmetric cell division, suggesting the possible involvement of TSK in cytokinesis. On the other hand, the localization of the TSK-GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion protein in nuclei of tobacco BY-2 cells and phenotypic similarity of tsk mutants to other fasciated mutants suggest that the tsk mutation may cause disorganized cell arrangements through defects in genome maintenance.
Wound-induced cellular reprogramming in Arabidopsis
Molecular identification of a quinone receptor in Arabidopsis
Dual RNA-sequencing of root-knot nematodes and their host plants reveals plant immune responses and nematode virulent effectors
AT-HOOK MOTIF NUCLEAR LOCALIZED (AHL) transcription factors antagonize PIF activity in petioles
Analysis of novel transcription factors that activate the gene under drought stress conditions in
ChIP-seq of LNK1, transcriptional activator of circadian clock
Non canonical splicing depending on DROL1 is required for the repression of seed maturation genes after germination in Arabidopsis
Genome-Wide Analysis of Gene Expression Regulated by Internal Nitrate in Arabidopsis thaliana
Identification of a quinone receptor in Arabidopsis
Plant immunity against Root-knot nematode
Identification and molecular characterization of SHABONDAMA1 gene responsible for stomatal mutant in Arabidopsis thaliana
Structure and function of xylan blocks involved in exine formation in Arabidopsis developing pollen grains