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Publications - Molecular Signal Processing

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Preprints

Zang, J.; Klemm, S.; Pain, C.; Duckney, P.; Bao, Z.; Stamm, G.; Kriechbaumer, V.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Hussey, P. J.; Wang, P. A Novel Plant Actin-Microtubule Bridging Complex Regulates Cytoskeletal and ER Structure at Endoplasmic Reticulum-Plasma Membrane Contact Sites (EPCS) SSRN Electronic Journal (2020) DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.3581370

In plants, the cortical ER network is connected to the plasma membrane through the ER-PM contact sites (EPCS), whose structures are maintained by EPCS resident proteins and the cytoskeleton. Strong co-alignment between EPCS and the cytoskeleton is observed in plants, but little is known of how the cytoskeleton is maintained and regulated at the EPCS. Here we have used a yeast-two-hybrid screen and subsequent in vivo interaction studies in plants by FRET-FLIM analysis, to identify two microtubule binding proteins, KLCR1 (Kinesin Light Chain Related protein 1) and IQD2 (IQ67-Domain 2) that interact with the actin binding protein NET3C and form a component of plant EPCS, that mediates the link between the actin and microtubule networks. The NET3C-KLCR1-IQD2 module, acting as an actin-microtubule bridging complex, has a direct influence on ER morphology. Their loss of function mutants, net3a/NET3C RNAi, 0klcr1 or iqd2, exhibit defects in pavement cell morphology which we suggest is linked to the disorganization of both actin filaments and microtubules. In conclusion, our results reveal a novel cytoskeletal associated complex, which is essential for the maintenance and organization of both cytoskeletal structure and ER morphology at the EPCS, and for normal plant cell morphogenesis.
Printed publications

Poeschl, Y.; Möller, B.; Müller, L.; Bürstenbinder, K. User-friendly assessment of pavement cell shape features with PaCeQuant: Novel functions and tools Methods Cell Biol (2020) DOI: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2020.04.010

Leaf epidermis pavement cells develop complex jigsaw puzzle-like shapes in many plant species, including the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Due to their complex morphology, pavement cells have become a popular model system to study shape formation and coordination of growth in the context of mechanically coupled cells at the tissue level. To facilitate robust assessment and analysis of pavement cell shape characteristics in a high-throughput fashion, we have developed PaCeQuant and a collection of supplemental tools. The ImageJ-based MiToBo plugin PaCeQuant supports fully automatic segmentation of cell contours from microscopy images and the extraction of 28 shape features for each detected cell. These features now also include the Largest Empty Circle criterion as a proxy for mechanical stress. In addition, PaCeQuant provides a set of eight features for individual lobes, including the categorization as type I and type II lobes at two- and three-cell junctions, respectively. The segmentation and feature extraction results of PaCeQuant depend on the quality of input images. To allow for corrections in case of local segmentation errors, the LabelImageEditor is provided for user-friendly manual postprocessing of segmentation results. For statistical analysis and visualization, PaCeQuant is supplemented with the R package PaCeQuantAna, which provides statistical analysis functions and supports the generation of publication-ready plots in ready-to-use R workflows. In addition, we recently released the FeatureColorMapper tool which overlays feature values over cell regions for user-friendly visual exploration of selected features in a set of analyzed cells.
Books and chapters

Möller, B.; Bürstenbinder, K. Semi-Automatic Cell Segmentation from Noisy Image Data for Quantification of Microtubule Organization on Single Cell Level 199-203, (2019) ISBN: 978-1-5386-3640-4 DOI: 10.1109/ISBI.2019.8759145

The structure of the microtubule cytoskeleton provides valuable information related to morphogenesis of cells. The cytoskeleton organizes into diverse patterns that vary in cells of different types and tissues, but also within a single tissue. To assess differences in cytoskeleton organization methods are needed that quantify cytoskeleton patterns within a complete cell and which are suitable for large data sets. A major bottleneck in most approaches, however, is a lack of techniques for automatic extraction of cell contours. Here, we present a semi-automatic pipeline for cell segmentation and quantification of microtubule organization. Automatic methods are applied to extract major parts of the contours and a handy image editor is provided to manually add missing information efficiently. Experimental results prove that our approach yields high-quality contour data with minimal user intervention and serves a suitable basis for subsequent quantitative studies.
Books and chapters

Möller, B.; Zergiebel, L.; Bürstenbinder, K. Quantitative and Comparative Analysis of Global Patterns of (Microtubule) Cytoskeleton Organization with CytoskeletonAnalyzer2D (Cvrčková, F. & Žárský, V., eds.). Methods Mol Biol 1992, 151-171, (2019) ISBN: 978-1-4939-9469-4 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9469-4_10

The microtubule cytoskeleton plays important roles in cell morphogenesis. To investigate the mechanisms of cytoskeletal organization, for example, during growth or development, in genetic studies, or in response to environmental stimuli, image analysis tools for quantitative assessment are needed. Here, we present a method for texture measure-based quantification and comparative analysis of global microtubule cytoskeleton patterns and subsequent visualization of output data. In contrast to other approaches that focus on the extraction of individual cytoskeletal fibers and analysis of their orientation relative to the growth axis, CytoskeletonAnalyzer2D quantifies cytoskeletal organization based on the analysis of local binary patterns. CytoskeletonAnalyzer2D thus is particularly well suited to study cytoskeletal organization in cells where individual fibers are difficult to extract or which lack a clearly defined growth axis, such as leaf epidermal pavement cells. The tool is available as ImageJ plugin and can be combined with publicly available software and tools, such as R and Cytoscape, to visualize similarity networks of cytoskeletal patterns.
Books and chapters

Möller, B.; Poeschl, Y.; Klemm, S.; Bürstenbinder, K. Morphological Analysis of Leaf Epidermis Pavement Cells with PaCeQuant (Cvrčková, F. & Žárský, V., eds.). Methods Mol Biol 1992, 329-349, (2019) ISBN: 978-1-4939-9469-4 DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9469-4_22

Morphological analysis of cell shapes requires segmentation of cell contours from input images and subsequent extraction of meaningful shape descriptors that provide the basis for qualitative and quantitative assessment of shape characteristics. Here, we describe the publicly available ImageJ plugin PaCeQuant and its associated R package PaCeQuantAna, which provides a pipeline for fully automatic segmentation, feature extraction, statistical analysis, and graphical visualization of cell shape properties. PaCeQuant is specifically well suited for analysis of jigsaw puzzle-like leaf epidermis pavement cells from 2D input images and supports the quantification of global, contour-based, skeleton-based, and pavement cell-specific shape descriptors.
Publications

Naumann, C.; Müller, J.; Sakhonwasee, S.; Wieghaus, A.; Hause, G.; Heisters, M.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Abel, S. The Local Phosphate Deficiency Response Activates Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Dependent Autophagy Plant Physiol 179, 460-476, (2019) DOI: 10.1104/pp.18.01379

Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is often a limiting plant nutrient. In members of the Brassicaceae family, such as Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), Pi deprivation reshapes root system architecture to favor topsoil foraging. It does so by inhibiting primary root extension and stimulating lateral root formation. Root growth inhibition from phosphate (Pi) deficiency is triggered by iron-stimulated, apoplastic reactive oxygen species generation and cell wall modifications, which impair cell-to-cell communication and meristem maintenance. These processes require LOW PHOSPHATE RESPONSE1 (LPR1), a cell wall-targeted ferroxidase, and PHOSPHATE DEFICIENCY RESPONSE2 (PDR2), the single endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident P5-type ATPase (AtP5A), which is thought to control LPR1 secretion or activity. Autophagy is a conserved process involving the vacuolar degradation of cellular components. While the function of autophagy is well established under nutrient starvation (C, N, or S), it remains to be explored under Pi deprivation. Because AtP5A/PDR2 likely functions in the ER stress response, we analyzed the effect of Pi limitation on autophagy. Our comparative study of mutants defective in the local Pi deficiency response, ER stress response, and autophagy demonstrated that ER stress-dependent autophagy is rapidly activated as part of the developmental root response to Pi limitation and requires the genetic PDR2-LPR1 module. We conclude that Pi-dependent activation of autophagy in the root apex is a consequence of local Pi sensing and the associated ER stress response, rather than a means for systemic recycling of the macronutrient.
Publications

Kölling, M.; Kumari, P.; Bürstenbinder, K. Calcium- and calmodulin-regulated microtubule-associated proteins as signal-integration hubs at the plasma membrane–cytoskeleton nexus J Exp Bot 70, 387-396, (2019) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ery397

Plant growth and development are a genetically predetermined series of events but can change dramatically in response to environmental stimuli, involving perpetual pattern formation and reprogramming of development. The rate of growth is determined by cell division and subsequent cell expansion, which are restricted and controlled by the cell wall–plasma membrane–cytoskeleton continuum, and are coordinated by intricate networks that facilitate intra- and intercellular communication. An essential role in cellular signaling is played by calcium ions, which act as universal second messengers that transduce, integrate, and multiply incoming signals during numerous plant growth processes, in part by regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton. In this review, we highlight recent advances in the understanding of calcium-mediated regulation of microtubule-associated proteins, their function at the microtubule cytoskeleton, and their potential role as hubs in crosstalk with other signaling pathways.
Publications

Mitra, D.; Klemm, S.; Kumari, P.; Quegwer, J.; Möller, B.; Poeschl, Y.; Pflug, P.; Stamm, G.; Abel, S.; Bürstenbinder, K. Microtubule-associated protein IQ67 DOMAIN5 regulates morphogenesis of leaf pavement cells in Arabidopsis thaliana J Exp Bot 70, 529-543, (2019) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ery395

Plant microtubules form a highly dynamic intracellular network with important roles for regulating cell division, cell proliferation and cell morphology. Its organization and dynamics are coordinated by various microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that integrate environmental and developmental stimuli to fine-tune and adjust cytoskeletal arrays. IQ67 DOMAIN (IQD) proteins recently emerged as a class of plant-specific MAPs with largely unknown functions. Here, using a reverse genetics approach, we characterize Arabidopsis IQD5 in terms of its expression domains, subcellular localization and biological functions. We show that IQD5 is expressed mostly in vegetative tissues, where it localizes to cortical microtubule arrays. Our phenotypic analysis of iqd5 loss-of-function lines reveals functions of IQD5 in pavement cell (PC) shape morphogenesis. Histochemical analysis of cell wall composition further suggests reduced rates of cellulose deposition in anticlinal cell walls, which correlate with reduced anisotropic expansion. Lastly, we demonstrate IQD5-dependent recruitment of calmodulin calcium sensors to cortical microtubule arrays and provide first evidence for important roles of calcium in regulation of PC morphogenesis. Our work thus identifies IQD5 as a novel player in PC shape regulation, and, for the first time, links calcium signaling to developmental processes that regulate anisotropic growth in PCs.
Publications

Gantner, J.; Ordon, J.; Ilse, T.; Kretschmer, C.; Gruetzner, R.; Löfke, C.; Dagdas, Y.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Marillonnet, S.; Stuttmann, J. Peripheral infrastructure vectors and an extended set of plant parts for the Modular Cloning system PLoS ONE 13, e0197185, (2018) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0197185

Standardized DNA assembly strategies facilitate the generation of multigene constructs from collections of building blocks in plant synthetic biology. A common syntax for hierarchical DNA assembly following the Golden Gate principle employing Type IIs restriction endonucleases was recently developed, and underlies the Modular Cloning and GoldenBraid systems. In these systems, transcriptional units and/or multigene constructs are assembled from libraries of standardized building blocks, also referred to as phytobricks, in several hierarchical levels and by iterative Golden Gate reactions. Here, a toolkit containing further modules for the novel DNA assembly standards was developed. Intended for use with Modular Cloning, most modules are also compatible with GoldenBraid. Firstly, a collection of approximately 80 additional phytobricks is provided, comprising e.g. modules for inducible expression systems, promoters or epitope tags. Furthermore, DNA modules were developed for connecting Modular Cloning and Gateway cloning, either for toggling between systems or for standardized Gateway destination vector assembly. Finally, first instances of a “peripheral infrastructure” around Modular Cloning are presented: While available toolkits are designed for the assembly of plant transformation constructs, vectors were created to also use coding sequence-containing phytobricks directly in yeast two hybrid interaction or bacterial infection assays. The presented material will further enhance versatility of hierarchical DNA assembly strategies.
Publications

Ibañez, C.; Delker, C.; Martinez, C.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Janitza, P.; Lippmann, R.; Ludwig, W.; Sun, H.; James, G. V.; Klecker, M.; Grossjohann, A.; Schneeberger, K.; Prat, S.; Quint, M. Brassinosteroids Dominate Hormonal Regulation of Plant Thermomorphogenesis via BZR1 Curr Biol 28, 303-310.e3, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.11.077

Thermomorphogenesis is defined as the suite of morphological changes that together are likely to contribute to adaptive growth acclimation to usually elevated ambient temperature [ 1, 2 ]. While many details of warmth-induced signal transduction are still elusive, parallels to light signaling recently became obvious (reviewed in [ 3 ]). It involves photoreceptors that can also sense changes in ambient temperature [ 3–5 ] and act, for example, by repressing protein activity of the central integrator of temperature information PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 4 (PIF4 [ 6 ]). In addition, PIF4 transcript accumulation is tightly controlled by the evening complex member EARLY FLOWERING 3 [ 7, 8 ]. According to the current understanding, PIF4 activates growth-promoting genes directly but also via inducing auxin biosynthesis and signaling, resulting in cell elongation. Based on a mutagenesis screen in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana for mutants with defects in temperature-induced hypocotyl elongation, we show here that both PIF4 and auxin function depend on brassinosteroids. Genetic and pharmacological analyses place brassinosteroids downstream of PIF4 and auxin. We found that brassinosteroids act via the transcription factor BRASSINAZOLE RESISTANT 1 (BZR1), which accumulates in the nucleus at high temperature, where it induces expression of growth-promoting genes. Furthermore, we show that at elevated temperature BZR1 binds to the promoter of PIF4, inducing its expression. These findings suggest that BZR1 functions in an amplifying feedforward loop involved in PIF4 activation. Although numerous negative regulators of PIF4 have been described, we identify BZR1 here as a true temperature-dependent positive regulator of PIF4, acting as a major growth coordinator.
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