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Publications - Stress and Develop Biology

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Publications

Goslin, K.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Naumann, C.; Linster, E.; Sorel, M.; Klecker, M.; Marchi, R. D.; Kind, A.; Wirtz, M.; Lee, J.; Dissmeyer, N.; Graciet, E. Differential N-end rule degradation of RIN4/NOI fragments generated by the AvrRpt2 effector protease bioRxiv (2019) DOI: 10.1101/583054

The protein RPM1-INTERACTING PROTEIN4 (RIN4) is a central regulator of both layers of plant immunity systems, the so-called pattern-triggered immunity (PTI) and effector-triggered immunity (ETI). RIN4 is targeted by several effectors, including the Pseudomonas syringae protease effector AvrRpt2. Cleavage of RIN4 by AvrRpt2 generates unstable RIN4 fragments, whose degradation leads to the activation of the resistance protein RPS2 (RESISTANT TO P. SYRINGAE2). Hence, identifying the determinants of RIN4 degradation is key to understanding RPS2-mediated ETI, as well as virulence functions of AvrRpt2. In addition to RIN4, AvrRpt2 cleaves host proteins from the nitrate-induced (NOI) domain family. Although cleavage of NOI-domain proteins by AvrRpt2 may contribute to PTI regulation, the (in)stability of these proteolytic fragments and the determinants that regulate their stability have not been examined. Notably, a common feature of RIN4 and of many NOI-domain protein fragments generated by AvrRpt2 cleavage is the exposure of a new N-terminal residue that is destabilizing according to the N-end rule. Using antibodies raised against endogenous RIN4, we show that the destabilization of AvrRpt2-cleaved RIN4 fragments is independent of the N-end rule pathway (recently renamed N-degron pathway). By contrast, several NOI-domain protein fragments are bona fide substrates of the N-degron pathway. The discovery of this novel set of substrates considerably expands the number of proteins targeted for degradation by this ubiquitin-dependent pathway, for which very few physiological substrates are known in plants. Our results also open new avenues of research to understand the role of AvrRpt2 in promoting bacterial virulence.
Publications

Dietz, S.; Herz, K.; Döll, S.; Haider, S.; Jandt, U.; Bruelheide, H.; Scheel, D. Semi‐polar root exudates in natural grassland communities Ecol Evol 9, 5526-5541, (2019) DOI: 10.1002/ece3.5043

In the rhizosphere, plants are exposed to a multitude of different biotic and abiotic factors, to which they respond by exuding a wide range of secondary root metabolites. So far, it has been unknown to which degree root exudate composition is species‐specific and is affected by land use, the local impact and local neighborhood under field conditions. In this study, root exudates of 10 common grassland species were analyzed, each five of forbs and grasses, in the German Biodiversity Exploratories using a combined phytometer and untargeted liquid chromatography‐mass spectrometry (LC‐MS) approach. Redundancy analysis and hierarchical clustering revealed a large set of semi‐polar metabolites common to all species in addition to species‐specific metabolites. Chemical richness and exudate composition revealed that forbs, such as Plantago lanceolata and Galium species, exuded more species‐specific metabolites than grasses. Grasses instead were primarily affected by environmental conditions. In both forbs and grasses, plant functional traits had only a minor impact on plant root exudation patterns. Overall, our results demonstrate the feasibility of obtaining and untargeted profiling of semi‐polar metabolites under field condition and allow a deeper view in the exudation of plants in a natural grassland community.
Publications

Herz, K.; Dietz, S.; Gorzolka, K.; Haider, S.; Jandt, U.; Scheel, D.; Bruelheide, H. Correction: Linking root exudates to functional plant traits PLOS ONE 14, e0213965, (2019) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213965

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Publications

Westphal, L.; Strehmel, N.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Bauer, N.; Westermann, B.; Rosahl, S.; Scheel, D.; Lee, J. pH effects on plant calcium fluxes: lessons from acidification-mediated calcium elevation induced by the γ-glutamyl-leucine dipeptide identified from Phytophthora infestans Sci Rep 9, 4733, (2019) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-41276-0

Cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]cyt) elevation is an early signaling response upon exposure to pathogen-derived molecules (so-called microbe-associated molecular patterns, MAMPs) and has been successfully used as a quantitative read-out in genetic screens to identify MAMP receptors or their associated components. Here, we isolated and identified by mass spectrometry the dipeptide γ-Glu-Leu as a component of a Phytophthora infestans mycelium extract that induces [Ca2+]cyt elevation. Treatment of Arabidopsis seedlings with synthetic γ-Glu-Leu revealed stimulatory effects on defense signaling, including a weak enhancement of the expression of some MAMP-inducible genes or affecting the refractory period to a second MAMP elicitation. However, γ-Glu-Leu is not a classical MAMP since pH adjustment abolished these activities and importantly, the observed effects of γ-Glu-Leu could be recapitulated by mimicking extracellular acidification. Thus, although γ-Glu-Leu can act as a direct agonist of calcium sensing receptors in animal systems, the Ca2+-mobilizing activity in plants reported here is due to acidification. Low pH also shapes the Ca2+ signature of well-studied MAMPs (e.g. flg22) or excitatory amino acids such as glutamate. Overall, this work serves as a cautionary reminder that in defense signaling studies where Ca2+ flux measurements are concerned, it is important to monitor and consider the effects of pH.
Publications

Matern, A.; Böttcher, C.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Westermann, B.; Smolka, U.; Döll, S.; Trempel, F.; Aryal, B.; Scheel, D.; Geisler, M.; Rosahl, S. A substrate of the ABC transporter PEN3 stimulates bacterial flagellin (flg22)-induced callose deposition in Arabidopsis thaliana J Biol Chem 294, 6857-6870, (2019) DOI: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.007676

Nonhost resistance of Arabidopsis thaliana against Phytophthora infestans, a filamentous eukaryotic microbe and the causal agent of potato late blight, is based on a multilayered defense system. Arabidopsis thaliana controls pathogen entry through the penetration-resistance genes PEN2 and PEN3, encoding an atypical myrosinase and an ABC transporter, respectively, required for synthesis and export of unknown indole compounds. To identify pathogen-elicited leaf surface metabolites and further unravel nonhost resistance in Arabidopsis, we performed untargeted metabolite profiling by incubating a P. infestans zoospore suspension on leaves of WT or pen3 mutant Arabidopsis plants. Among the plant-secreted metabolites, 4-methoxyindol-3-yl-methanol and S-(4-methoxy-indol-3-yl-methyl) cysteine were detected in spore suspensions recollected from WT plants, but at reduced levels from the pen3 mutant plants. In both whole-cell and microsome-based assays, 4-methoxyindol-3-yl-methanol was transported in a PEN3-dependent manner, suggesting that this compound is a PEN3 substrate. The syntheses of both compounds were dependent on functional PEN2 and phytochelatin synthase 1. None of these compounds inhibited mycelial growth of P. infestans in vitro. Of note, exogenous application of 4-methoxyindol-3-yl methanol slightly elevated cytosolic Ca2+ levels and enhanced callose deposition in hydathodes of seedlings treated with a bacterial pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP), flagellin (flg22). Loss of flg22-induced callose deposition in leaves of pen3 seedlings was partially reverted by the addition of 4-methoxyindol-3-yl methanol. In conclusion, we have identified a specific indole compound that is a substrate for PEN3 and contributes to the plant defense response against microbial pathogens.
Publications

Ruttkies, C.; Schymanski, E. L.; Strehmel, N.; Hollender, J.; Neumann, S.; Williams, A. J.; Krauss, M. Supporting non-target identification by adding hydrogen deuterium exchange MS/MS capabilities to MetFrag Anal Bioanal Chem 411, 4683-4700, (2019) DOI: 10.1007/s00216-019-01885-0

Liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) is increasingly popular for the non-targeted exploration of complex samples, where tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is used to characterize the structure of unknown compounds. However, mass spectra do not always contain sufficient information to unequivocally identify the correct structure. This study investigated how much additional information can be gained using hydrogen deuterium exchange (HDX) experiments. The exchange of “easily exchangeable” hydrogen atoms (connected to heteroatoms), with predominantly [M+D]+ ions in positive mode and [M-D]− in negative mode was observed. To enable high-throughput processing, new scoring terms were incorporated into the in silico fragmenter MetFrag. These were initially developed on small datasets and then tested on 762 compounds of environmental interest. Pairs of spectra (normal and deuterated) were found for 593 of these substances (506 positive mode, 155 negative mode spectra). The new scoring terms resulted in 29 additional correct identifications (78 vs 49) for positive mode and an increase in top 10 rankings from 80 to 106 in negative mode. Compounds with dual functionality (polar head group, long apolar tail) exhibited dramatic retention time (RT) shifts of up to several minutes, compared with an average 0.04 min RT shift. For a smaller dataset of 80 metabolites, top 10 rankings improved from 13 to 24 (positive mode, 57 spectra) and from 14 to 31 (negative mode, 63 spectra) when including HDX information. The results of standard measurements were confirmed using targets and tentatively identified surfactant species in an environmental sample collected from the river Danube near Novi Sad (Serbia). The changes to MetFrag have been integrated into the command line version available at http://c-ruttkies.github.io/MetFrag and all resulting spectra and compounds are available in online resources and in the Electronic Supplementary Material (ESM).
Publications

Goslin, K.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Naumann, C.; Linster, E.; Sorel, M.; Klecker, M.; de Marchi, R.; Kind, A.; Wirtz, M.; Lee, J.; Dissmeyer, N.; Graciet, E. Differential N-end Rule Degradation of RIN4/NOI Fragments Generated by the AvrRpt2 Effector Protease Plant Physiol 180, 2272-2289, (2019) DOI: 10.1104/pp.19.00251

In plants, the protein RPM1-INTERACTING PROTEIN4 (RIN4) is a central regulator of both pattern-triggered immunity and effector-triggered immunity. RIN4 is targeted by several effectors, including the Pseudomonas syringae protease effector AvrRpt2. Cleavage of RIN4 by AvrRpt2 generates potentially unstable RIN4 fragments, whose degradation leads to the activation of the resistance protein RESISTANT TO P. SYRINGAE2. Hence, identifying the determinants of RIN4 degradation is key to understanding RESISTANT TO P. SYRINGAE2–mediated effector-triggered immunity, as well as virulence functions of AvrRpt2. In addition to RIN4, AvrRpt2 cleaves host proteins from the nitrate-induced (NOI) domain family. Although cleavage of NOI domain proteins by AvrRpt2 may contribute to pattern-triggered immunity regulation, the (in)stability of these proteolytic fragments and the determinants regulating their stability remain unexamined. Notably, a common feature of RIN4, and of many NOI domain protein fragments generated by AvrRpt2 cleavage, is the exposure of a new N-terminal residue that is destabilizing according to the N-end rule. Using antibodies raised against endogenous RIN4, we show that the destabilization of AvrRpt2-cleaved RIN4 fragments is independent of the N-end rule pathway (recently renamed the N-degron pathway). By contrast, several NOI domain protein fragments are genuine substrates of the N-degron pathway. The discovery of this set of substrates considerably expands the number of known proteins targeted for degradation by this ubiquitin-dependent pathway in plants. These results advance our current understanding of the role of AvrRpt2 in promoting bacterial virulence.
Publications

Menzel, W.; Stenzel, I.; Helbig, L.; Krishnamoorthy, P.; Neumann, S.; Eschen‐Lippold, L.; Heilmann, M.; Lee, J.; Heilmann, I. A PAMP‐triggered MAPK cascade inhibits phosphatidylinositol 4,5‐bisphosphate production by PIP5K6 in Arabidopsis thaliana New Phytol 224, 833-847, (2019) DOI: 10.1111/nph.16069

The phosphoinositide kinase PIP5K6 has recently been identified as a target for the mitogen‐activated protein kinase (MAPK) MPK6. Phosphorylation of PIP5K6 inhibited the production of phosphatidylinositol 4,5‐bisphosphate (PtdIns(4,5)P2), impacting membrane trafficking and cell expansion in pollen tubes. Here, we analyzed whether MPK6 regulated PIP5K6 in vegetative Arabidopsis cells in response to the pathogen‐associated molecular pattern (PAMP) flg22.Promoter‐β‐glucuronidase analyses and quantitative real‐time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction data show PIP5K6 expressed throughout Arabidopsis tissues. Upon flg22 treatment of transgenic protoplasts, the PIP5K6 protein was phosphorylated, and this modification was reduced for a PIP5K6 variant lacking MPK6‐targeted residues, or in protoplasts from mpk6 mutants.Upon flg22 treatment of Arabidopsis plants, phosphoinositide levels mildly decreased and a fluorescent reporter for PtdIns(4,5)P2 displayed reduced plasma membrane association, contrasting with phosphoinositide increases reported for abiotic stress responses. Flg22 treatment and chemical induction of the upstream MAPK kinase, MKK5, decreased phosphatidylinositol 4‐phosphate 5‐kinase activity in mesophyll protoplasts, indicating that the flg22‐activated MAPK cascade limited PtdIns(4,5)P2 production. PIP5K6 expression or PIP5K6 protein abundance changed only marginally upon flg22 treatment, consistent with post‐translational control of PIP5K6 activity. PtdIns(4,5)P2‐dependent endocytosis of FM 4‐64, PIN2 and the NADPH‐oxidase RbohD were reduced upon flg22 treatment or MKK5 induction. Reduced RbohD‐endocytosis was correlated with enhanced ROS production.We conclude that MPK6‐mediated phosphorylation of PIP5K6 limits the production of a functional PtdIns(4,5)P2 pool upon PAMP perception.
Publications

Peters, K.; Worrich, A.; Weinhold, A.; Alka, O.; Balcke, G.; Birkemeyer, C.; Bruelheide, H.; Calf, O. W.; Dietz, S.; Dührkop, K.; Gaquerel, E.; Heinig, U.; Kücklich, M.; Macel, M.; Müller, C.; Poeschl, Y.; Pohnert, G.; Ristok, C.; Rodríguez, V. M.; Ruttkies, C.; Schuman, M.; Schweiger, R.; Shahaf, N.; Steinbeck, C.; Tortosa, M.; Treutler, H.; Ueberschaar, N.; Velasco, P.; Weiß, B. M.; Widdig, A.; Neumann, S.; van Dam, N. M. Current Challenges in Plant Eco-Metabolomics Int J Mol Sci 19, 1385, (2018) DOI: 10.3390/ijms19051385

The relatively new research discipline of Eco-Metabolomics is the application of metabolomics techniques to ecology with the aim to characterise biochemical interactions of organisms across different spatial and temporal scales. Metabolomics is an untargeted biochemical approach to measure many thousands of metabolites in different species, including plants and animals. Changes in metabolite concentrations can provide mechanistic evidence for biochemical processes that are relevant at ecological scales. These include physiological, phenotypic and morphological responses of plants and communities to environmental changes and also interactions with other organisms. Traditionally, research in biochemistry and ecology comes from two different directions and is performed at distinct spatiotemporal scales. Biochemical studies most often focus on intrinsic processes in individuals at physiological and cellular scales. Generally, they take a bottom-up approach scaling up cellular processes from spatiotemporally fine to coarser scales. Ecological studies usually focus on extrinsic processes acting upon organisms at population and community scales and typically study top-down and bottom-up processes in combination. Eco-Metabolomics is a transdisciplinary research discipline that links biochemistry and ecology and connects the distinct spatiotemporal scales. In this review, we focus on approaches to study chemical and biochemical interactions of plants at various ecological levels, mainly plant–organismal interactions, and discuss related examples from other domains. We present recent developments and highlight advancements in Eco-Metabolomics over the last decade from various angles. We further address the five key challenges: (1) complex experimental designs and large variation of metabolite profiles; (2) feature extraction; (3) metabolite identification; (4) statistical analyses; and (5) bioinformatics software tools and workflows. The presented solutions to these challenges will advance connecting the distinct spatiotemporal scales and bridging biochemistry and ecology
Publications

Peters, K.; Gorzolka, K.; Bruelheide, H.; Neumann, S. Seasonal variation of secondary metabolites in nine different bryophytes Ecol Evol 8, 9105-9117, (2018) DOI: 10.1002/ece3.4361

Bryophytes occur in almost all land ecosystems and contribute to global biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem functioning, and influence vegetation dynamics. As growth and biochemistry of bryophytes are strongly dependent on the season, we analyzed metabolic variation across seasons with regard to ecological characteristics and phylogeny. Using bioinformatics methods, we present an integrative and reproducible approach to connect ecology with biochemistry. Nine different bryophyte species were collected in three composite samples in four seasons. Untargeted liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC/MS) was performed to obtain metabolite profiles. Redundancy analysis, Pearson's correlation, Shannon diversity, and hierarchical clustering were used to determine relationships among species, seasons, ecological characteristics, and hierarchical clustering. Metabolite profiles of Marchantia polymorpha and Fissidens taxifolius which are species with ruderal life strategy (R‐selected) showed low seasonal variability, while the profiles of the pleurocarpous mosses and Grimmia pulvinata which have characteristics of a competitive strategy (C‐selected) were more variable. Polytrichum strictum and Plagiomnium undulatum had intermediary life strategies. Our study revealed strong species‐specific differences in metabolite profiles between the seasons. Life strategies, growth forms, and indicator values for light and soil were among the most important ecological predictors. We demonstrate that untargeted Eco‐Metabolomics provide useful biochemical insight that improves our understanding of fundamental ecological strategies.
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