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García, M. L., Bó, E. D., da Graça, J. V., Gago-Zachert, S., Hammond, J., Moreno, P., Natsuaki, T., Pallás, V., Navarro, J. A., Reyes, C. A., Luna, G. R., Sasaya, T., Tzanetakis, I. E., Vaira, A. M., Verbeek, M. & ICTV Report Consortium Virus Taxonomy profile: Ophioviridae. J. General Virol. 98 , 1161-1162, (2017) DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.000836

Ophioviridae,The Ophioviridae is a family of filamentous plant viruses, with single-stranded negative, and possibly ambisense, RNA genomes of 11.3–12.5 kb divided into 3–4 segments, each encapsidated separately. Virions are naked filamentous nucleocapsids, forming kinked circles of at least two different contour lengths. The sole genus, Ophiovirus, includes seven species. Four ophioviruses are soil-transmitted and their natural hosts include trees, shrubs, vegetables and bulbous or corm-forming ornamentals, both monocots and dicots. This is a summary of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Report on the taxonomy of the which is available at http://www.ictv.global/report/ophioviridae.

Ziegler, J., Schmidt, S., Strehmel, N., Scheel, D. & Abel, S. Arabidopsis transporter ABCG37/PDR9 contributes primarily highly oxygenated coumarins to root exudation.  Scientific Rep 7, 3704, (2017) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-03250-6

The chemical composition of root exudates strongly impacts the interactions of plants with microorganisms in the rhizosphere and the efficiency of nutrient acquisition. Exudation of metabolites is in part mediated by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. In order to assess the contribution of individual ABC transporters to root exudation, we performed an LC-MS based non-targeted metabolite profiling of semi-polar metabolites accumulating in root exudates of Arabidopsis thaliana plants and mutants deficient in the expression of ABCG36 (PDR8/PEN3), ABCG37 (PDR9) or both transporters. Comparison of the metabolite profiles indicated distinct roles for each ABC transporter in root exudation. Thymidine exudation could be attributed to ABCG36 function, whereas coumarin exudation was strongly reduced only in ABCG37 deficient plants. However, coumarin exudation was compromised in abcg37 mutants only with respect to certain metabolites of this substance class. The specificity of ABCG37 for individual coumarins was further verified by a targeted LC-MS based coumarin profiling method. The response to iron deficiency, which is known to strongly induce coumarin exudation, was also investigated. In either treatment, the distribution of individual coumarins between roots and exudates in the investigated genotypes suggested the involvement of ABCG37 in the exudation specifically of highly oxygenated rather than monohydroxylated coumarins.

Abel, S. Phosphate scouting by root tips. Curr Opin Plant Biol. 39, 168-177, (2017) DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2017.04.016

Chemistry assigns phosphate (Pi) dominant roles in metabolism; however, it also renders the macronutrient a genuinely limiting factor of plant productivity. Pi bioavailability is restricted by low Pi mobility in soil and antagonized by metallic toxicities, which force roots to actively seek and selectively acquire the vital element. During the past few years, a first conceptual outline has emerged of the sensory mechanisms at root tips, which monitor external Pi and transmit the edaphic cue to inform root development. This review highlights new aspects of the Pi acquisition strategy of Arabidopsis roots, as well as a framework of local Pi sensing in the context of antagonistic interactions between Pi and its major associated metallic cations, Fe3+ and Al3+.

Liu, S., Ziegler, J., Zeier, J., Birkenbihl, R. P. & Somssich, I. E. Botrytis cinerea B05.10 promotes disease development in Arabidopsis by suppressing WRKY33-mediated host immunity. Plant, Cell Environ. 40(10), 2189-2206, (2017) DOI: 10.1111/pce.13022

The large WRKY transcription factor family is mainly involved in regulating plant immune responses. Arabidopsis WRKY33 is a key transcriptional regulator of hormonal and metabolic processes towards Botrytis cinerea strain 2100 infection and is essential for resistance. In contrast to B. cinerea strain 2100, the strain B05.10 is virulent on wild-type (WT) Col-0 Arabidopsis plants highlighting the genetic diversity within this pathogen species. We analysed how early WRKY33-dependent responses are affected upon infection with strain B05.10 and found that most of these responses were strongly dampened during this interaction. Ectopic expression of WRKY33 resulted in complete resistance towards this strain indicating that virulence of B05.10, at least partly, depends on suppressing WRKY33 expression/protein accumulation. As a consequence, the expression levels of direct WRKY33 target genes, including those involved in the biosynthesis of camalexin, were also reduced upon infection. Concomitantly, elevated levels of the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) were observed. Molecular and genetic studies revealed that ABA negatively influences defence to B05.10 and effects jasmonic acid/ethylene (JA/ET) and salicylic acid (SA) levels. Susceptibility/resistance was determined by the antagonistic effect of ABA on JA, and this crosstalk required suppressing WRKY33 functions at early infection stages. This indicates that B. cinerea B05.10 promotes disease by suppressing WRKY33-mediated host defences.

Dong, H., Dumenil, J., Lu, F.-H., Na, L., Vanhaeren, H., Naumann, C., Klecker, M., Prior, R., Smith, C., McKenzie, N., Saalbach, G., Chen, L., Xia, T., Gonzalez, N., Seguela, M., Inze, D., Dissmeyer, N., Li, Y. & Bevan, M. W. Ubiquitylation activates a peptidase that promotes cleavage and destabilization of its activating E3 ligases and diverse growth regulatory proteins to limit cell proliferation in Arabidopsis Gen. Dev 31, 197-208, (2017) DOI: 10.1101/gad.292235.116

The characteristic shapes and sizes of organs are established by cell proliferation patterns and final cell sizes, but the underlying molecular mechanisms coordinating these are poorly understood. Here we characterize a ubiquitin-activated peptidase called DA1 that limits the duration of cell proliferation during organ growth in Arabidopsis thaliana. The peptidase is activated by two RING E3 ligases, Big Brother (BB) and DA2, which are subsequently cleaved by the activated peptidase and destabilized. In the case of BB, cleavage leads to destabilization by the RING E3 ligase PROTEOLYSIS 1 (PRT1) of the N-end rule pathway. DA1 peptidase activity also cleaves the deubiquitylase UBP15, which promotes cell proliferation, and the transcription factors TEOSINTE BRANCED 1/CYCLOIDEA/PCF 15 (TCP15) and TCP22, which promote cell proliferation and repress endoreduplication. We propose that DA1 peptidase activity regulates the duration of cell proliferation and the transition to endoreduplication and differentiation during organ formation in plants by coordinating the destabilization of regulatory proteins. 

Möller B., Pöschl Y., Plötner R., Bürstenbinder K. PaCeQuant: A tool for high-throughput quantification of pavement cell shape characteristics. Plant Physiol. 175 (2), 988-1017, (2017) DOI: .org/10.1104/pp.17.00961

Pavement cells (PCs) are the most frequently occurring cell type in the leaf epidermis and play important roles in leaf growth and function. In many plant species, PCs form highly complex jigsaw puzzle shaped cells with interlocking lobes. Understanding of their development is of high interest for plant science research because of their importance for leaf growth and hence for plant fitness and crop yield. Studies of PC development, however, are limited because robust methods are lacking that enable automatic segmentation and quantification of PC shape parameters suitable to reflect their cellular complexity. Here, we present our new ImageJ-based tool, PaCeQuant, which provides a fully automatic image analysis workflow for PC shape quantification. PaCeQuant automatically detects cell boundaries of PCs from confocal input images, and enables manual correction of automatic segmentation results or direct import of manually segmented cells. PaCeQuant simultaneously extracts 27 shape features that include global, contour-based, skeleton-based and PC-specific object descriptors. In addition, we included a method for classification and analysis of lobes at two-cell-junctions and three-cell-junctions, respectively. We provide an R script for graphical visualization and statistical analysis. We validated PaCeQuant by extensive comparative analysis to manual segmentation and existing quantification tools, and demonstrated its usability to analyze PC shape characteristics during development and between different genotypes. PaCeQuant thus provides a platform for robust, efficient and reproducible quantitative analysis of PC shape characteristics that can easily be applied to study PC development in large data sets.

López-Carrasco, A., Ballesteros, C., Sentandreu, V., Delgado, S. Gago-Zachert, S. Flores, R. & Sanjuán, R. Different rates of spontaneous mutation of chloroplastic and nuclear viroids as determined by high-fidelity ultra-deep sequencing.  PLoS Pathog 13(9), e1006547, (2017) DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006547

Mutation rates vary by orders of magnitude across biological systems, being higher for simpler genomes. The simplest known genomes correspond to viroids, subviral plant replicons constituted by circular non-coding RNAs of few hundred bases. Previous work has revealed an extremely high mutation rate for chrysanthemum chlorotic mottle viroid, a chloroplast-replicating viroid. However, whether this is a general feature of viroids remains unclear. Here, we have used high-fidelity ultra-deep sequencing to determine the mutation rate in a common host (eggplant) of two viroids, each representative of one family: the chloroplastic eggplant latent viroid (ELVd, Avsunviroidae) and the nuclear potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd, Pospiviroidae). This revealed higher mutation frequencies in ELVd than in PSTVd, as well as marked differences in the types of mutations produced. Rates of spontaneous mutation, quantified in vivo using the lethal mutation method, ranged from 1/1000 to 1/800 for ELVd and from 1/7000 to 1/3800 for PSTVd depending on sequencing run. These results suggest that extremely high mutability is a common feature of chloroplastic viroids, whereas the mutation rates of PSTVd and potentially other nuclear viroids appear significantly lower and closer to those of some RNA viruses.

Wasternack, C. The Trojan horse coronatine: the COI1–JAZ2–MYC2,3,4–ANAC019,055,072 module in stomata dynamics upon bacterial infection. New Phytol 213, 972-975, (2017) DOI: 10.1111/nph.14417

Coronatine (COR) is a phytotoxin produced by a plasmid-encoded operon of genes in several strains of Pseudomonas syringae (Bender et al., 1999). It is a mimic of the defense-associated phytohormone jasmonic acid isoleucine and delivered by the phytopathogenic bacterium to gain access to host plants through stomatal entry and to repress a specific sector of plant immunity. In this issue of New Phytologist (pp. 1378–1392) Gimenez-Ibanez et al. reveal exciting insights into the transcriptional regulation of COR/jasmonic acid isoleucine-governed transcriptional networks modulating stomatal aperture during bacterial invasion.


Winkler, M., Niemeyer, M., Hellmuth, A., Janitza, P., Christ, G., Samodelov, S. L., Wilde, V., Majovsky, P., Trujillo, M., Zurbriggen, M. D., Hoehenwarter, W., Quint, M. & Calderón Villalobos, L. I. A. Variation in auxin sensing guides AUX/IAA transcriptional repressor ubiquitylation and destruction. Nature Commun. 8, 15706, (2017) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15706

Auxin is a small molecule morphogen that bridges SCFTIR1/AFB-AUX/IAA co-receptor interactions leading to ubiquitylation and proteasome-dependent degradation of AUX/IAA transcriptional repressors. Here, we systematically dissect auxin sensing by SCFTIR1-IAA6 and SCFTIR1-IAA19 co-receptor complexes, and assess IAA6/IAA19 ubiquitylation in vitro and IAA6/IAA19 degradation in vivo. We show that TIR1-IAA19 and TIR1-IAA6 have distinct auxin affinities that correlate with ubiquitylation and turnover dynamics of the AUX/IAA. We establish a system to track AUX/IAA ubiquitylation in IAA6 and IAA19 in vitro and show that it occurs in flexible hotspots in degron-flanking regions adorned with specific Lys residues. We propose that this signature is exploited during auxin-mediated SCFTIR1-AUX/IAA interactions. We present evidence for an evolving AUX/IAA repertoire, typified by the IAA6/IAA19 ohnologues, that discriminates the range of auxin concentrations found in plants. We postulate that the intrinsic flexibility of AUX/IAAs might bias their ubiquitylation and destruction kinetics enabling specific auxin responses.

Balzergue, C., Dartevelle, T., Godon, C., Laugier, E., Meisrimler, C., Teulon, J.-M., Creff, A., Bissler, M., Brouchoud, C., Hagège, A., Müller, J., Chiarenza, S., Javot, H., Becuwe-Linka, N., David, P., Péret, B., Delannoy, E., Thibaud, M.-C., Armengaud, J., Abel, S., Pellequer, J.-L., Nussaume, L. & Desnos, T.  Low phosphate activates STOP1-ALMT1 to rapidly inhibit root cell elongation. Nat. Commun. 8, 15300, (2017) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15300

Environmental cues profoundly modulate cell proliferation and cell elongation to inform and direct plant growth and development. External phosphate (Pi) limitation inhibits primary root growth in many plant species. However, the underlying Pi sensory mechanisms are unknown. Here we genetically uncouple two Pi sensing pathways in the root apex of Arabidopsis thaliana. First, the rapid inhibition of cell elongation in the transition zone is controlled by transcription factor STOP1, by its direct target, ALMT1, encoding a malate channel, and by ferroxidase LPR1, which together mediate Fe and peroxidase-dependent cell wall stiffening. Second, during the subsequent slow inhibition of cell proliferation in the apical meristem, which is mediated by LPR1-dependent, but largely STOP1–ALMT1-independent, Fe and callose accumulate in the stem cell niche, leading to meristem reduction. Our work uncovers STOP1 and ALMT1 as a signalling pathway of low Pi availability and exuded malate as an unexpected apoplastic inhibitor of root cell wall expansion.
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