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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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Books and chapters

Doell, S.; Arens, N.; Mock, H. Liquid Chromatography and Liquid Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry of Plants: Techniques and Applications (Meyers, R. A., ed.). (2019) ISBN: 9780470027318 DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9912.pub2

Mass spectrometry coupled with LC (liquid chromatography) separation has developed into a technique routinely applied for targeted as well as for nontargeted analysis of complex biological samples, not only in plant biochemistry. Earlier on, LC‐MS (liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry) was mostly part of the efforts for identification of one or few unknown metabolites of interest as part of a phytochemical study. As a major strategy, unknown compounds had to be purified in sufficient quantities. The purified fractions were then subjected to LC‐MS/MS as part of the structural elucidation, mostly complemented by NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) analysis. With the advance of mass spectrometry instrumentation, LC‐MS is now widely applied for analysis of crude plant extracts and large numbers (100s to 1000s) of samples. It has become an essential part of metabolomic studies (see Metabolomics), aiming at the comprehensive coverage of the metabolite profiles of cells, tissues, or organs. Owing to the huge chemical diversity of small molecules, conditions for the extraction will restrict the subfraction of the metabolome, which can be actually analyzed. The conditions for LC have to be adjusted to allow good separation of the particular metabolites from the respective extract. Major consideration will be the selection of an appropriate column and suitable eluents, the establishment of gradient profiles, temperature conditions, and so on.
Publications

Chen, S.; Wirthmueller, L.; Stauber, J.; Lory, N.; Holtkotte, X.; Leson, L.; Schenkel, C.; Ahmad, M.; Hoecker, U. The functional divergence between SPA1 and SPA2 in Arabidopsis photomorphogenesis maps primarily to the respective N-terminal kinase-like domain BMC Plant Biol 16, 165, (2016) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0854-9

BackgroundPlants have evolved complex mechanisms to adapt growth and development to the light environment. The COP1/SPA complex is a key repressor of photomorphogenesis in dark-grown Arabidopsis plants and acts as an E3 ubiquitin ligase to ubiquitinate transcription factors involved in the light response. In the light, COP1/SPA activity is inhibited by photoreceptors, thereby allowing accumulation of these transcription factors and a subsequent light response. Previous results have shown that the four members of the SPA family exhibit partially divergent functions. In particular, SPA1 and SPA2 strongly differ in their responsiveness to light, while they have indistinguishable activities in darkness. The much higher light-responsiveness of SPA2 is partially explained by the much stronger light-induced degradation of SPA2 when compared to SPA1. Here, we have conducted SPA1/SPA2 domain swap experiments to identify the protein domain(s) responsible for the functional divergence between SPA1 and SPA2.ResultsWe have individually swapped the three domains between SPA1 and SPA2 - the N-terminal kinase-like domain, the coiled-coil domain and the WD-repeat domain - and expressed them in spa mutant Arabidopsis plants. The phenotypes of transgenic seedlings show that the respective N-terminal kinase-like domain is primarily responsible for the respective light-responsiveness of SPA1 and SPA2. Furthermore, the most divergent part of the N-terminal domain was sufficient to confer a SPA1- or SPA2-like activity to the respective SPA protein. The stronger light-induced degradation of SPA2 when compared to SPA1 was also primarily conferred by the SPA2 N-terminal domain. At last, the different affinities of SPA1 and SPA2 for cryptochrome 2 are defined by the N-terminal domain of the respective SPA protein. In contrast, both SPA1 and SPA2 similarly interacted with COP1 in light-grown seedlings.ConclusionsOur results show that the distinct activities and protein stabilities of SPA1 and SPA2 in light-grown seedlings are primarily encoded by their N-terminal kinase-like domains. Similarly, the different affinities of SPA1 and SPA2 for cry2 are explained by their respective N-terminal domain. Hence, after a duplication event during evolution, the N-terminal domains of SPA1 and SPA2 underwent subfunctionalization, possibly to allow optimal adaptation of growth and development to a changing light environment.
Publications

Trempel, F.; Kajiura, H.; Ranf, S.; Grimmer, J.; Westphal, L.; Zipfel, C.; Scheel, D.; Fujiyama, K.; Lee, J. Altered glycosylation of exported proteins, including surface immune receptors, compromises calcium and downstream signaling responses to microbe-associated molecular patterns in Arabidopsis thaliana BMC Plant Biol 16, 31, (2016) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0718-3

BackgroundCalcium, as a second messenger, transduces extracellular signals into cellular reactions. A rise in cytosolic calcium concentration is one of the first plant responses after exposure to microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). We reported previously the isolation of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with a “changed calcium elevation” (cce) response to flg22, a 22-amino-acid MAMP derived from bacterial flagellin.ResultsHere, we characterized the cce2 mutant and its weaker allelic mutant, cce3. Besides flg22, the mutants respond with a reduced calcium elevation to several other MAMPs and a plant endogenous peptide that is proteolytically processed from pre-pro-proteins during wounding. Downstream defense-related events such flg22-induced mitogen-activated protein kinase activation, accumulation of reactive oxygen species and growth arrest are also attenuated in cce2/cce3. By genetic mapping, next-generation sequencing and allelism assay, CCE2/CCE3 was identified to be ALG3 (Asparagine-linked glycosylation 3). This encodes the α-1,3-mannosyltransferase responsible for the first step of core oligosaccharide Glc3Man9GlcNAc2 glycan assembly on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) luminal side. Complementation assays and glycan analysis in yeast alg3 mutant confirmed the reduced enzymatic function of the proteins encoded by the cce2/cce3 alleles – leading to accumulation of M5ER, the immature five mannose-containing oligosaccharide structure found in the ER. Proper protein glycosylation is required for ER/Golgi processing and trafficking of membrane proteins to the plasma membrane. Endoglycosidase H-insensitivity of flg22 receptor, FLS2, in the cce2/cce3 mutants suggests altered glycan structures in the receptor.ConclusionProper glycosylation of MAMP receptors (or other exported proteins) is required for optimal responses to MAMPs and is important for immune signaling of host plants.
Publications

Torriani, S.F.F.; Penselin, D.; Knogge, W.; Felder, M.; Taudien, S.; Platzer, M.; McDonald, B.A.; Brunner, P.C. Comparative analysis of mitochondrial genomes from closely related Rhynchosporium species reveals extensive intron invasion Fungal Gen Biol 62, 34-42, (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.fgb.2013.11.001

We sequenced and annotated the complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes of four closely related Rhynchosporium species that diverged ∼14,000–35,000 years ago. During this time frame, three of the mt genomes expanded significantly due to an invasion of introns into three genes (cox1, cox2, and nad5). The enlarged mt genomes contained ∼40% introns compared to 8.1% in uninvaded relatives. Many intron gains were accompanied by co-conversion of flanking exonic regions. The comparative analysis revealed a highly variable set of non-intronic, free-standing ORFs of unknown function (uORFs). This is consistent with a rapidly evolving accessory compartment in the mt genome of these closely related species. Only one free-standing uORF was shared among all mt genomes analyzed. This uORF had a mutation rate similar to the core mt protein-encoding genes, suggesting conservation of function among the species. The nucleotide composition of the core protein-encoding genes significantly differed from those of introns and uORFs. The mt mutation rate was 77 times higher than the nuclear mutation rate, indicating that the phylogeny inferred from mt genes may better resolve the phylogenetic relationships among closely related Rhynchosporium species than phylogenies inferred from nuclear genes.
Publications

Ranf, S.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Fröhlich, K.; Westphal, L.; Scheel, D.; Lee, J. Microbe-associated molecular pattern-induced calcium signaling requires the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases, PBL1 and BIK1 BMC Plant Biol 14, 374, (2014) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-014-0374-4

BackgroundPlant perception of conserved microbe-derived or damage-derived molecules (so-called microbe- or damage-associated molecular patterns, MAMPs or DAMPs, respectively) triggers cellular signaling cascades to initiate counteracting defence responses. Using MAMP-induced rise in cellular calcium levels as one of the earliest biochemical readouts, we initiated a genetic screen for components involved in early MAMP signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana.ResultsWe characterized here the “changed calcium elevation 5” (cce5) mutant, where five allelic cce5 mutants were isolated. They all show reduced calcium levels after elicitation with peptides representing bacteria-derived MAMPs (flg22 and elf18) and endogenous DAMP (AtPep1), but a normal response to chitin octamers. Mapping, sequencing of the mutated locus and complementation studies revealed CCE5 to encode the receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase (RLCK), avrPphB sensitive 1-like 1 (PBL1). Kinase activities of PBL1 derived from three of the cce5 alleles are abrogated in vivo. Validation with T-DNA mutants revealed that, besides PBL1, another RLCK, Botrytis-induced kinase 1 (BIK1), is also required for MAMP/DAMP-induced calcium elevations.ConclusionsHence, PBL1 and BIK1 (but not two related RLCKs, PBS1 and PBL2) are required for MAMP/DAMP-induced calcium signaling. It remains to be investigated if the many other RLCKs encoded in the Arabidopsis genome affect early calcium signal transduction – perhaps in dependence on the type of MAMP/DAMP ligands. A future challenge would be to identify the substrates of these various RLCKs, in order to elucidate their signaling role between the receptor complexes at the plasma membrane and downstream cellular signaling components.
Books and chapters

Hummel, J.; Strehmel, N.; Bölling, C.; Schmidt, S.; Walther D.; Kopka, J. Mass spectral search and analysis using the Golm metabolome. (Weckwerth, W.; Kahl, G.). 321-343, (2013) ISBN: 978-3-527-32777-5 DOI: 10.1002/9783527669882.ch18

The novel “omics” technologies of the postgenomic era generate large multiplexed phenotyping datasets, which can only inadequately be published in the traditional journal and supplemental formats. For this reason, public databases have been developed that utilize the efficient communication of knowledge through the World Wide Web. This trend also applies to the metabolomics field, which is, after genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics, the fourth major systems-level phenotyping platform. Each different analytical technology used in metabolomics studies requires specific reference data for metabolite identification and optimal data formats for reporting the complex metabolite profiling data features. Therefore, we envision that every technology platform or even each high-throughput metabolomic laboratory will establish dedicated databases, which will communicate between each other and will be integrated by meta-databases and web services. The Golm Metabolome Database (GMD) (http://gmd.mpimp-golm.mpg.de/) is a metabolomic database, maintained by the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, that was initiated around a nucleus of reference data from gas chromatography–mass spectrometry metabolite profiling data and is now developing toward a general mass spectrometry-based repository of reference metabolite profiles for essential plant tissues and typical variations of growth conditions. This chapter describes the mass spectral searches and analyses currently supported by the GMD. We specifically address the searches for the different chemical entities within GMD, namely the metabolites, reference substances, and the chemically derivatized analytes. We report the diverse options for mass spectral analyses and highlight the decision tree-supported prediction of chemical substructures, a feature of GMD that currently appears to be a unique among the many tools for the analysis of gas chromatography–electron ionization mass spectra.
Publications

Rasche, F.; Svatoš, A.; Maddula, R. K.; Böttcher, C.; Böcker, S. Computing Fragmentation Trees from Tandem Mass Spectrometry Data Anal Chem 83, 1243-1251, (2011) DOI: 10.1021/ac101825k

The structural elucidation of organic compounds in complex biofluids and tissues remains a significant analytical challenge. For mass spectrometry, the manual interpretation of collision-induced dissociation (CID) mass spectra is cumbersome and requires expert knowledge, as the fragmentation mechanisms of ions formed from small molecules are not completely understood. The automated identification of compounds is generally limited to searching in spectral libraries. Here, we present a method for interpreting the CID spectra of the organic compound’s protonated ions by computing fragmentation trees that establish not only the molecular formula of the compound and all fragment ions but also the dependencies between fragment ions. This is an important step toward the automated identification of unknowns from the CID spectra of compounds that are not in any database.
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