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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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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.

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.

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.

Schön, M.; Töller, A.; Diezel, C.; Roth, C.; Westphal, L.; Wiermer, M.; Somssich, I. E. Analyses of wrky18 wrky40 Plants Reveal Critical Roles of SA/EDS1 Signaling and Indole-Glucosinolate Biosynthesis for Golovinomyces orontii Resistance and a Loss-of Resistance Towards Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato AvrRPS4 Mol Plant Microbe Interact 26, 758-767, (2013) DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-11-12-0265-R

Simultaneous mutation of two WRKY-type transcription factors, WRKY18 and WRKY40, renders otherwise susceptible wild-type Arabidopsis plants resistant towards the biotrophic powdery mildew fungus Golovinomyces orontii. Resistance in wrky18 wrky40 double mutant plants is accompanied by massive transcriptional reprogramming, imbalance in salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signaling, altered ENHANCED DISEASE SUSCEPTIBILITY1 (EDS1) expression, and accumulation of the phytoalexin camalexin. Genetic analyses identified SA biosynthesis and EDS1 signaling as well as biosynthesis of the indole-glucosinolate 4MI3G as essential components required for loss-of-WRKY18 WRKY40–mediated resistance towards G. orontii. The analysis of wrky18 wrky40 pad3 mutant plants impaired in camalexin biosynthesis revealed an uncoupling of pre- from postinvasive resistance against G. orontii. Comprehensive infection studies demonstrated the specificity of wrky18 wrky40–mediated G. orontii resistance. Interestingly, WRKY18 and WRKY40 act as positive regulators in effector-triggered immunity, as the wrky18 wrky40 double mutant was found to be strongly susceptible towards the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae DC3000 expressing the effector AvrRPS4 but not against other tested Pseudomonas strains. We hypothesize that G. orontii depends on the function of WRKY18 and WRKY40 to successfully infect Arabidopsis wild-type plants while, in the interaction with P. syringae AvrRPS4, they are required to mediate effector-triggered immunity.

Bethke, G.; Pecher, P.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Tsuda, K.; Katagiri, F.; Glazebrook, J.; Scheel, D.; Lee, J. Activation of the Arabidopsis thaliana mitogen-activated protein kinase MPK11 by the flagellin-derived elicitor peptide, flg22 Mol Plant Microbe Interact 25, 471-480, (2012) DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-11-11-0281

Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) mediate cellular signal transduction during stress responses, as well as diverse growth and developmental processes in eukaryotes. Pathogen infection or treatments with conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) such as the bacterial flagellin-derived flg22 peptide are known to activate three Arabidopsis thaliana MAPKs, MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6. Several stresses, including flg22 treatment, are known to increase MPK11 expression but activation of MPK11 has not been shown. Here, we show that MPK11 activity can indeed be increased through flg22 elicitation. A small-scale microarray for profiling defense-related genes revealed that cinnamyl alcohol dehyrogenase 5 (CAD5) requires MPK11 for full flg22-induced expression. An mpk11 mutant showed increased flg22-mediated growth inhibition but no altered susceptibility to Pseudomonas syringae, Botrytis cinerea or Alternaria brassicicola. In mpk3, mpk6, or mpk4 backgrounds, MPK11 is required for embryo/seed development or general viability. Although this developmental deficiency in double mutants and the lack of or only subtle mpk11 phenotypes suggest functional MAPK redundancies, comparison to the paralogous MPK4 reveals distinct functions. Taken together, future investigations of MAPK roles in stress signalling should include MPK11 as a fourth PAMP-activated MAPK.

Kirsten, S.; Navarro-Quezada, A.; Penselin, D.; Wenzel, C.; Matern, A.; Leitner, A.; Baum, T.; Seiffert, U.; Knogge, W. Necrosis-Inducing Proteins of Rhynchosporium commune, Effectors in Quantitative Disease Resistance Mol Plant Microbe Interact 25, 1314-1325, (2012) DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-03-12-0065-R

The barley pathogen Rhynchosporium commune secretes necrosis-inducing proteins NIP1, NIP2, and NIP3. Expression analysis revealed that NIP1 transcripts appear to be present in fungal spores already, whereas NIP2 and NIP3 are synthesized after inoculation of host plants. To assess the contribution of the three effector proteins to disease development, deletion mutants were generated. The development of these fungal mutants on four barley cultivars was quantified in comparison with that of the parent wild-type strain and with two fungal strains failing to secrete an “active” NIP1 avirulence protein, using quantitative polymerase chain reaction as well as microscopic imaging after fungal green fluorescent protein tagging. The impact of the three deletions varied quantitatively depending on the host genotype, suggesting that the activities of the fungal effectors add up to produce stronger growth patterns and symptom development. Alternatively, recognition events of differing intensities may be converted into defense gene expression in a quantitative manner.

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.

Eschen-Lippold, L.; Altmann, S.; Rosahl, S. DL-β-Aminobutyric Acid–Induced Resistance of Potato Against Phytophthora infestans Requires Salicylic Acid but Not Oxylipins Mol Plant Microbe Interact 23, 585-592, (2010) DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-23-5-0585

Inducing systemic resistance responses in crop plants is a promising alternative way of disease management. To understand the underlying signaling events leading to induced resistance, functional analyses of plants defective in defined signaling pathway steps are required. We used potato, one of the economically most-important crop plants worldwide, to examine systemic resistance against the devastating late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans, induced by treatment with dl-β-aminobutyric acid (BABA). Transgenic plants impaired in either the 9-lipoxygenase pathway, which produces defense-related compounds, or the 13-lipoxygenase pathway, which generates jasmonic acid–derived signals, expressed wild-type levels of BABA-induced resistance. Plants incapable of accumulating salicylic acid (SA), on the other hand, failed to mount this type of induced resistance. Consistently, treatment of these plants with the SA analog 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid restored BABA-induced resistance. Together, these results demonstrate the indispensability of a functional SA pathway for systemic resistance in potato induced by BABA.
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