Anthocyanins and volatile phenylpropenes (isoeugenol and eugenol) in petunia (Petunia hybrida) flowers have the precursor 4-coumaryl coenzyme A (CoA) in common. These phenolics are produced at different stages during flower development. Anthocyanins are synthesized during early stages of flower development and sequestered in vacuoles during the lifespan of the flowers. The production of isoeugenol and eugenol starts when flowers open and peaks after anthesis. To elucidate additional biochemical steps toward (iso)eugenol production, we cloned and characterized a caffeoyl-coenzyme A O-methyltransferase (PhCCoAOMT1) from the petals of the fragrant petunia 'Mitchell'. Recombinant PhCCoAOMT1 indeed catalyzed the methylation of caffeoyl-CoA to produce feruloyl CoA. Silencing of PhCCoAOMT1 resulted in a reduction of eugenol production but not of isoeugenol. Unexpectedly, the transgenic plants had purple-colored leaves and pink flowers, despite the fact that cv Mitchell lacks the functional R2R3-MYB master regulator ANTHOCYANIN2 and has normally white flowers. Our results indicate that down-regulation of PhCCoAOMT1 activated the anthocyanin pathway through the R2R3-MYBs PURPLE HAZE (PHZ) and DEEP PURPLE, with predominantly petunidin accumulating. Feeding cv Mitchell flowers with caffeic acid induced PHZ expression, suggesting that the metabolic perturbation of the phenylpropanoid pathway underlies the activation of the anthocyanin pathway. Our results demonstrate a role for PhCCoAOMT1 in phenylpropene production and reveal a link between PhCCoAOMT1 and anthocyanin production.
Seed storage reserves mainly consist of starch, triacylglycerols, and storage proteins. They not only provide energy for seed germination and seedling establishment, but also supply essential dietary nutrients for human beings and animals. So far, the regulatory networks that govern the accumulation of seed storage reserves in plants are still largely unknown. Here, we show that TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 (TTG1), which encodes a WD40 repeat transcription factor involved in many aspects of plant development, plays an important role in mediating the accumulation of seed storage reserves in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). The dry weight of ttg1-1 embryos significantly increases compared with that of wild-type embryos, which is accompanied by an increase in the contents of starch, total protein, and fatty acids in ttg1-1 seeds. FUSCA3 (FUS3), a master regulator of seed maturation, binds directly to the TTG1 genomic region and suppresses TTG1 expression in developing seeds. TTG1 negatively regulates the accumulation of seed storage proteins partially through transcriptional repression of 2S3, a gene encoding a 2S albumin precursor. TTG1 also indirectly suppresses the expression of genes involved in either seed development or synthesis/modification of fatty acids in developing seeds. In addition, we demonstrate that the maternal allele of the TTG1 gene suppresses the accumulation of storage proteins and fatty acids in seeds. Our results suggest that TTG1 is a direct target of FUS3 in the framework of the regulatory hierarchy controlling seed filling and regulates the accumulation of seed storage proteins and fatty acids during the seed maturation process.
The spontaneous occurrence of resistance to the herbicide glyphosate in weed species has been an extremely infrequent event, despite over 20 years of extensive use. Recently, a glyphosate-resistant biotype of goosegrass (Eleusine indica) was identified in Malaysia exhibiting an LD(50) value approximately 2- to 4-fold greater than the sensitive biotype collected from the same region. A comparison of the inhibition of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) activity by glyphosate in extracts prepared from the resistant (R) and sensitive (S) biotypes revealed an approximately 5-fold higher IC(50)(glyphosate) for the (R) biotype. Sequence comparisons of the predicted EPSPS mature protein coding regions from both biotypes revealed four single-nucleotide differences, two of which result in amino acid changes. One of these changes, a proline to serine substitution at position 106 in the (R) biotype, corresponds to a substitution previously identified in a glyphosate-insensitive EPSPS enzyme from Salmonella typhimurium. Kinetic data generated for the recombinant enzymes suggests that the second substitution identified in the (R) EPSPS does not contribute significantly to its reduced glyphosate sensitivity. Escherichia coli aroA- (EPSPS deficient) strains expressing the mature EPSPS enzyme from the (R) biotype exhibited an approximately 3-fold increase in glyphosate tolerance relative to strains expressing the mature EPSPS from the (S) biotype. These results provide the first evidence for an altered EPSPS enzyme as an underlying component of evolved glyphosate resistance in any plant species.
Eurycoma longifolia Jack. is a treelet that grows in the forests of Southeast Asia and is widely used throughout the region because of its reported medicinal properties. Widespread harvesting of wild-grown trees has led to rapid thinning of natural populations, causing a potential decrease in genetic diversity among E. longifolia. Suitable genetic markers would be very useful for propagation and breeding programs to support conservation of this species, although no such markers currently exist. To meet this need, we have applied a genome complexity reduction strategy to identify a series of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the genomes of several E. longifolia accessions. We have found that the occurrence of these SNPs reflects the geographic origins of individual plants and can distinguish different natural populations. This work demonstrates the rapid development of molecular genetic markers in species for which little or no genomic sequence information is available. The SNP markers that we have developed in this study will also be useful for identifying genetic fingerprints that correlate with other properties of E. longifolia, such as high regenerability or the appearance of bioactive metabolites.
The heat-shock responses of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. cv Hi- malaya) aleurone layers incubated with or without gibberellic acid (GA3) were compared. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed that heat shock blocked the synthesis and secretion of secretory proteins from GA3-treated layers but not untreated layers. This suppression of secretory protein synthesis has been correlated with changes in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes (F.C. Belanger, M. R. Brodl, T.-h.D. Ho  Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 83: 1354-1358; L. Sticher, A.K. Biswas, D.S. Bush, R.L. Jones  Plant Physiol 92: 506-513). Our secretion data suggested that the ER membranes of aleurone layers incubated without GA3 may be more heat shock tolerant. To investigate this, the lipid profiles of membrane extracts in aleurone layers labeled with [14C]glycerol were examined. Heat shock markedly increased [14C]glycerol incorporation into phosphatidylcholine (PC), and gas chromatography revealed an increase in the amount of saturated fatty acids associated with thin layer chromatography-purified PC in GA3-treated layers. In contrast, aleurone layers incubated without GA3 at normal temperature contained PC-associated fatty acids with a greater degree of saturation than GA3-treated layers. Heat shock modestly increased the degree of fatty acid saturation in untreated aleurone layers. This same trend was noted in fatty acids isolated from ER membranes purified by continuous sucrose density centrifugation. We propose that increased fatty acid saturation may help sustain ER membrane function in heat-shocked aleurone layers incubated in the absence of GA3.
Nitrate reductase inhibitor is usually found in the roots of rice plants (Oryza sativa L. cv MR7), but it was also produced in the shoots of aging plants. The inhibitor was inducible in the shoot of rice seedlings by dark, minus-nitrate or plus-ammonium treatments. There appears to be a general involvement of the inhibitor in the control of nitrate assimilation in the plant.
Nitrate simultaneously induced NADH- and NADPH-nitrate reductase activities in rice seedlings. Chloramphenicol, other organic nitro-compounds such as o-nitroaniline and 2,4-dinitrophenol and nitrite also induced nitrate reductase in rice seedlings. The nitrate- or nitrite-induced nitrate reductase could accept electrons more efficiently from NADH than NADPH. However, when this enzyme was induced by organic nitro-compounds, it could accept electrons more efficiently from NADPH than NADH.
Nitrate reduotase is induced by nitrate in excised embryos and germinating intact seedlings of rice (Oryza sativa L.). The enzyme is induced 24 hr after imbibition. The rate of enzyme formation increases with the age of seedlings. There is a lag period of 30 to 40 min between the addition of substrate and the formation of nitrate reductase. Formation of the enzyme is promoted by the presence of ammonium. Chloramphenicol, actinomycin D and cycloheximide effectively inhibit the formation of nitrate reductase.Rice seedlings can assimilate nitrate from the beginning of germination. However, the utilization of nitrate is completely suppressed by the presence of ammonium. As soon as ammonium is depleted from the medium, nitrate utilization is resumed. Ammonium inhibits the first step of nitrate reduction, i.e., NO(-) (3) --> NO(-) (2), but does not inhibit the assimilation of nitrite. This provides an example of feedback inhibition in higher plants.
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a globally important crop with an economic value in the tens of billions of dollars, and a significant supplier of essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals in the human diet. Shelf life is a key quality trait related to alterations in cuticle properties and remodeling of the fruit cell walls. Studies with transgenic tomato plants undertaken over the last 20 years have indicated that a range of pectin-degrading enzymes are involved in cell wall remodeling. These studies usually involved silencing of only a single gene and it has proved difficult to compare the effects of silencing these genes across the different experimental systems. Here we report the generation of CRISPR-based mutants in the ripening-related genes encoding the pectin-degrading enzymes pectate lyase (PL), polygalacturonase 2a (PG2a), and β-galactanase (TBG4). Comparison of the physiochemical properties of the fruits from a range of PL, PG2a, and TBG4 CRISPR lines demonstrated that only mutations in PL resulted in firmer fruits, although mutations in PG2a and TBG4 influenced fruit color and weight. Pectin localization, distribution, and solubility in the pericarp cells of the CRISPR mutant fruits were investigated using the monoclonal antibody probes LM19 to deesterified homogalacturonan, INRA-RU1 to rhamnogalacturonan I, LM5 to β-1,4-galactan, and LM6 to arabinan epitopes, respectively. The data indicate that PL, PG2a, and TBG4 act on separate cell wall domains and the importance of cellulose microfibril-associated pectin is reflected in its increased occurrence in the different mutant lines.
Photosynthetic acclimation (photoacclimation) is the process whereby leaves alter their morphology and/or biochemistry to optimize photosynthetic efficiency and productivity according to long-term changes in the light environment. The three-dimensional architecture of plant canopies imposes complex light dynamics, but the drivers for photoacclimation in such fluctuating environments are poorly understood. A technique for high-resolution three-dimensional reconstruction was combined with ray tracing to simulate a daily time course of radiation profiles for architecturally contrasting field-grown wheat (Triticum aestivum) canopies. An empirical model of photoacclimation was adapted to predict the optimal distribution of photosynthesis according to the fluctuating light patterns throughout the canopies. While the photoacclimation model output showed good correlation with field-measured gas-exchange data at the top of the canopy, it predicted a lower optimal light-saturated rate of photosynthesis at the base. Leaf Rubisco and protein contents were consistent with the measured optimal light-saturated rate of photosynthesis. We conclude that, although the photosynthetic capacity of leaves is high enough to exploit brief periods of high light within the canopy (particularly toward the base), the frequency and duration of such sunflecks are too small to make acclimation a viable strategy in terms of carbon gain. This suboptimal acclimation renders a large portion of residual photosynthetic capacity unused and reduces photosynthetic nitrogen use efficiency at the canopy level, with further implications for photosynthetic productivity. It is argued that (1) this represents an untapped source of photosynthetic potential and (2) canopy nitrogen could be lowered with no detriment to carbon gain or grain protein content.