The WRKY family of transcription factors orchestrate the reprogrammed expression of the complex network of defense genes at various biotic and abiotic stresses. Within the last 96 million years, three rounds of Musa polyploidization events had occurred from selective pressure causing duplication of MusaWRKYs with new activities. Here, we identified a total of 153 WRKY transcription factors available from the DH Pahang genome. Based on their phylogenetic relationship, the MusaWRKYs available with complete gene sequence were classified into the seven common WRKY sub-groups. Synteny analyses data revealed paralogous relationships, with 17 MusaWRKY gene pairs originating from the duplication events that had occurred within the Musa lineage. We also found 15 other MusaWRKY gene pairs originating from much older duplication events that had occurred along Arecales and Poales lineage of commelinids. Based on the synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates, the fate of duplicated MusaWRKY genes was predicted to have undergone sub-functionalization in which the duplicated gene copies retain a subset of the ancestral gene function. Also, to understand the regulatory roles of MusaWRKY during a biotic stress, Illumina sequencing was performed on resistant and susceptible cultivars during the infection of root lesion nematode, Pratylenchus coffeae. The differential WRKY gene expression analysis in nematode resistant and susceptible cultivars during challenged and unchallenged conditions had distinguished: 1) MusaWRKYs participating in general banana defense mechanism against P.coffeae common to both susceptible and resistant cultivars, 2) MusaWRKYs that may aid in the pathogen survival as suppressors of plant triggered immunity, 3) MusaWRKYs that may aid in the host defense as activators of plant triggered immunity and 4) cultivar specific MusaWRKY regulation. Mainly, MusaWRKY52, -69 and -92 are found to be P.coffeae specific and can act as activators or repressors in a defense pathway. Overall, this preliminary study in Musa provides the basis for understanding the evolution and regulatory mechanism of MusaWRKY during nematode stress.
Vanda Mimi Palmer (VMP), an orchid hybrid of Vanda tesselata and Vanda Tan Chay Yan is a highly scented tropical orchid which blooms all year round. Previous studies revealed that VMP produces a variety of isoprenoid volatiles during daylight. Isoprenoids are well known to contribute significantly to the scent of most fragrant plants. They are a large group of secondary metabolites which may possess valuable characteristics such as flavor, fragrance and toxicity and are produced via two pathways, the mevalonate (MVA) pathway or/and the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate (MEP) pathway. In this study, a sesquiterpene synthase gene denoted VMPSTS, previously isolated from a floral cDNA library of VMP was cloned and expressed in Lactococcus lactis to characterize the functionality of the protein. L. lactis, a food grade bacterium which utilizes the mevalonate pathway for isoprenoid production was found to be a suitable host for the characterization of plant terpene synthases. Through recombinant expression of VMPSTS, it was revealed that VMPSTS produced multiple sesquiterpenes and germacrene D dominates its profile.
Pathophysiology of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with aberrant lipid and oxygen metabolism. In particular, under oxidative stress, PUFAs are prone to autocatalytic degradation via peroxidation, leading to formation of reactive aldehydes with numerous potentially harmful effects. However, the pathological and compensatory mechanisms induced by lipid peroxidation are very complex and not sufficiently understood. In our study, we have used yeast capable of endogenous PUFA synthesis in order to understand the effects triggered by PUFA accumulation on cellular physiology of a eukaryotic organism. The mechanisms induced by PUFA accumulation in S. cerevisiae expressing Hevea brasiliensis Δ12-fatty acid desaturase include down-regulation of components of electron transport chain in mitochondria as well as up-regulation of pentose-phosphate pathway and fatty acid β-oxidation at the transcriptional level. Interestingly, while no changes were observed at the transcriptional level, activities of two important enzymatic antioxidants, catalase and glutathione-S-transferase, were altered in response to PUFA accumulation. Increased intracellular glutathione levels further suggest an endogenous oxidative stress and activation of antioxidative defense mechanisms under conditions of PUFA accumulation. Finally, our data suggest that PUFA in cell membrane causes metabolic changes which in turn lead to adaptation to endogenous oxidative stress.
Mango is a highly perishable seasonal fruit and large quantities are wasted during the peak season as a result of poor postharvest handling procedures. Processing surplus mango fruits into flour to be used as a functional ingredient appears to be a good preservation method to ensure its extended consumption.