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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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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.
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.

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.

Brunner, F.; Rosahl, S.; Lee, J.; Rudd, J.J.; Geiler, C.; Kauppinen, S.; Rasmussen, G.; Scheel, D.; Nürnberger, T. Pep-13, a plant defense-inducing pathogen-associated pattern from <em>Phytophthora transglutaminases</em> EMBO J 21, 6681-6688, (2002)

Innate immunity, an ancient form of defense against microbial infection, is well described for animals and is also suggested to be important for plants. Discrimination from self is achieved through receptors that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) not found in the host. PAMPs are evolutionarily conserved structures which are functionally important and, thus, not subject to frequent mutation. Here we report that the previously described peptide elicitor of defense responses in parsley, Pep-13, constitutes a surface-exposed fragment within a novel calcium-dependent cell wall transglutaminase (TGase) from Phytophthora sojae. TGase transcripts and TGase activity are detectable in all Phytophthora species analyzed, among which are some of the most destructive plant pathogens. Mutational analysis within Pep-13 identified the same amino acids indispensable for both TGase and defense-eliciting activity. Pep-13, conserved among Phytophthora TGases, activates defense in parsley and potato, suggesting its function as a genus-specific recognition determinant for the activation of plant defense in host and non-host plants. In summary, plants may recognize PAMPs with characteristics resembling those known to trigger innate immune responses in animals.
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