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Publications - Molecular Signal Processing

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Books and chapters

Tissier, A.; Ziegler, J.; Vogt, T. Specialized Plant Metabolites: Diversity and Biosynthesis (Krauss, G.-J. & Nies, D. H., eds.). 14-37, (2015) ISBN: 978-3-527-31650-2 DOI: 10.1002/9783527686063.ch2

Plant secondary metabolites, also termed specialized plant metabolites, currently comprise more than 200 000 natural products that are all based on a few biosynthetic pathways and key primary metabolites. Some pathways like flavonoid and terpenoid biosynthesis are universally distributed in the plant kingdom, whereas others like alkaloid or cyanogenic glycoside biosynthesis are restricted to a limited set of taxa. Diversification is achieved by an array of mechanisms at the genetic and enzymatic level including gene duplications, substrate promiscuity of enzymes, cell‐specific regulatory systems, together with modularity and combinatorial aspects. Specialized metabolites reflect adaptations to a specific environment. The observed diversity illustrates the heterogeneity and multitude of ecological habitats and niches that plants have colonized so far and constitutes a reservoir of potential new metabolites that may provide adaptive advantage in the face of environmental changes. The code that connects the observed chemical diversity to this ecological diversity is largely unknown. One way to apprehend this diversity is to realize its tremendous plasticity and evolutionary potential. This chapter presents an overview of the most widespread and popular secondary metabolites, which provide a definite advantage to adapt to or to colonize a particular environment, making the boundary between the “primary” and the “secondary” old fashioned and blurry.
Publications

Rekik, I.; Drira, N.; Grubb, C. D.; Elleuch, A. Molecular characterization and evolution studies of a SERK like gene transcriptionally induced during somatic embryogenesis in Phoenix Dactylifera L v Deglet Nour Genetika 47, 323-337, (2015) DOI: 10.2298/GENSR1501323R

A somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase like (SERKL) cDNA, designated PhSERKL, was isolated from date palm (Phoenix Dactylifera L) using RACE PCR. PhSERKL protein shared all the characteristic domains of the SERK family, including five leucine-rich repeats, one proline-rich region motif, a transmembrane domain, and kinase domains. Phylogenetic analyses using PHYLIP and Notung 2.7 programs suggest that the SERK proteins of some plant species resulted from relatively ancient duplication events. We predict an ancestor protein of monocots and dicots SERK using FASTML program. Somatic embryogenic cultures of date palm were established following transfer of callus cultures to medium containing 2, 4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. The role of PhSERKL gene during establishment of somatic embryogenesis in culture was investigated using quantitative real-time PCR. PhSERKL gene was highly expressed during embryogenic competence acquisition and globular embryo formation in culture. Overall, levels of expression of PhSERKL gene were lower in nonembryogenic tissues and organs than in embryogenic callus.
Publications

Rekik, I.; Chaabene, Z.; Grubb, C. D.; Drira, N.; Cheour, F.; Elleuch, A. In silico characterization and Molecular modeling of double-strand break repair protein MRE11 from Phoenix dactylifera v deglet nour Theor Biol Med Model 12, 23, (2015) DOI: 10.1186/s12976-015-0013-2

BackgroundDNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are highly cytotoxic and mutagenic. MRE11 plays an essential role in repairing DNA by cleaving broken ends through its 3′ to 5′ exonuclease and single-stranded DNA endonuclease activities.MethodsThe present study aimed to in silico characterization and molecular modeling of MRE11 from Phoenix dactylifera L cv deglet nour (DnMRE11) by various bioinformatic approaches. To identify DnMRE11 cDNA, assembled contigs from our cDNA libraries were analysed using the Blast2GO2.8 program.ResultsThe DnMRE11 protein length was 726 amino acids. The results of HUMMER show that DnMRE11 is formed by three domains: the N-terminal core domain containing the nuclease and capping domains, the C-terminal half containing the DNA binding and coiled coil region. The structure of DnMRE11 is predicted using the Swiss-Model server, which contains the nuclease and capping domains. The obtained model was verified with the structure validation programs such as ProSA and QMEAN servers for reliability. Ligand binding studies using COACH indicated the interaction of DnMRE11 protein with two Mn2+ ions and dAMP. The ConSurf server predicted that residues of the active site and Nbs binding site have high conservation scores between plant species.ConclusionsA model structure of DnMRE11 was constructed and validated with various bioinformatics programs which suggested the predicted model to be satisfactory. Further validation studies were conducted by COACH analysis for active site ligand prediction, and revealed the presence of six ligands binding sites and two ligands (2 Mn2+ and dAMP).
Publications

Zayneb, C.; Bassem, K.; Zeineb, K.; Grubb, C. D.; Noureddine, D.; Hafedh, M.; Amine, E. Physiological responses of fenugreek seedlings and plants treated with cadmium Environ Sci Pollut Res 22, 10679-10689, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s11356-015-4270-8

The bioaccumulation efficiency of cadmium (Cd) by fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) was examined using different concentrations of CdCl2. The germination rate was similar to control except at 10 mM Cd. However, early seedling growth was quite sensitive to the metal from the lowest Cd level. Accordingly, amylase activity was reduced substantially on treatment of seeds with 0.5, 1, and 10 mM Cd. Cadmium also affected various other plant growth parameters. Its accumulation was markedly lower in shoots as compared to roots, reducing root biomass by almost 50 %. Plants treated with 1 and 5 mM Cd presented chlorosis due to a significant reduction in chlorophyll b especially. Furthermore, at Cd concentrations greater than 0.1 mM, plants showed several signs of oxidative stress; an enhancement in root hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) level and in shoot malondialdehyde (MDA) content was observed. Conversely, antioxidant enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase (SOD), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), and catalase (CAT)) increased in various plant parts. Likewise, total phenolic and flavonoid contents reached their highest values in the 0.5 mM Cd treatment, consistent with their roles in quenching low concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Consequently, maintaining oxidant and antioxidant balance may permit fenugreek to hyperaccumulate Cd and allow it to be employed in extremely Cd polluted soils for detoxification purposes.
Publications

Hamdi, I.; Elleuch, A.; Bessaies, N.; Grubb, C. D.; Fakhfakh, H. First report of Citrus viroid V in North Africa J Gen Plant Pathol 81, 87-91, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s10327-014-0556-9

We tested citrus samples from Tunisia using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and for the first time, Citrus viroid V (CVd-V) was reported in North Africa. Fourteen of 38 tested citrus trees were infected by CVd-V including the majority of varieties grown in Tunisia. Some RT-PCR results were also supported by biological indexing. After sequencing the RT-PCR products, three new CVd-V variants were identified, showing 80–91 % nucleotide sequence identity with those reported previously. Based on phylogenetic analysis using all CVd-V sequences in GenBank, two main CVd-V groups were identified. Furthermore, construction of a genetic network of the detected haplotypes using the same sequences shows a clear geographical structuring of Tunisian CVd-V variants.
Publications

García, M. L.; Bó, E. D.; da Graça, J. V.; Gago-Zachert, S.; Hammond, J.; Moreno, P.; Natsuaki, T.; Pallás, V.; Navarro, J. A.; Reyes, C. A.; Luna, G. R.; Sasaya, T.; Tzanetakis, I. E.; Vaira, A. M.; Verbeek, M.; ICTV Report Consortium Corrigendum: ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profile: Ophioviridae J Gen Virol 99, 949-949, (2018) DOI: 10.1099/jgv.0.001093

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Publications

Zayneb, C.; Lamia, K.; Olfa, E.; Naïma, J.; Grubb, C. D.; Bassem, K.; Hafedh, M.; Amine, E. Morphological, Physiological and Biochemical Impact of Ink Industry Effluent on Germination of Maize (Zea mays), Barley (Hordeum vulgare) and Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95, 687-693, (2015) DOI: 10.1007/s00128-015-1600-y

The present study focuses on effects of untreated and treated ink industry wastewater on germination of maize, barley and sorghum. Wastewater had a high chemical oxygen demand (COD) and metal content compared to treated effluent. Germination decreased with increasing COD concentration. Speed of germination also followed the same trend, except for maize seeds exposed to untreated effluent (E), which germinated slightly faster than controls. These alterations of seedling development were mirrored by changes in soluble protein content. E exerted a positive effect on soluble protein content and maximum levels occurred after 10 days with treated effluent using coagulation/flocculation (TEc/f) process and treated effluent using combined process (coagulation/flocculation/biosorption) (TEc/f/b). Likewise, activity of α-amylase was influenced by effluent composition. Its expression depended on the species, exposure time and applied treatment. Nevertheless, current results indicated TEc/f/b had no observable toxic effects on germination and could be a beneficial alternative resource to irrigation water.
Publications

Liu, S.; Kracher, B.; Ziegler, J.; Birkenbihl, R. P.; Somssich, I. E. Negative regulation of ABA signaling by WRKY33 is critical for Arabidopsis immunity towards Botrytis cinerea 2100 eLife 4, e07295, (2015) DOI: 10.7554/eLife.07295

The Arabidopsis mutant wrky33 is highly susceptible to Botrytis cinerea. We identified >1680 Botrytis-induced WRKY33 binding sites associated with 1576 Arabidopsis genes. Transcriptional profiling defined 318 functional direct target genes at 14 hr post inoculation. Comparative analyses revealed that WRKY33 possesses dual functionality acting either as a repressor or as an activator in a promoter-context dependent manner. We confirmed known WRKY33 targets involved in hormone signaling and phytoalexin biosynthesis, but also uncovered a novel negative role of abscisic acid (ABA) in resistance towards B. cinerea 2100. The ABA biosynthesis genes NCED3 and NCED5 were identified as direct targets required for WRKY33-mediated resistance. Loss-of-WRKY33 function resulted in elevated ABA levels and genetic studies confirmed that WRKY33 acts upstream of NCED3/NCED5 to negatively regulate ABA biosynthesis. This study provides the first detailed view of the genome-wide contribution of a specific plant transcription factor in modulating the transcriptional network associated with plant immunity.
Publications

Nishiyama, T.; Sakayama, H.; de Vries, J.; Buschmann, H.; Saint-Marcoux, D.; Ullrich, K. K.; Haas, F. B.; Vanderstraeten, L.; Becker, D.; Lang, D.; Vosolsobě, S.; Rombauts, S.; Wilhelmsson, P. K. I.; Janitza, P.; Kern, R.; Heyl, A.; Rümpler, F; Calderón Villalobos, L. I. A.; Clay, J. M.; Skokan, R.; Toyoda, A.; Suzuki, Y.; Kagoshima, H.; Schijlen, E.; Tajeshwar, N.; Catarino, B.; Hetherington, A. J.; Saltykova, A.; Bonnot, C.; Breuninger, H.; Symeonidi, A.; Radhakrishnan, G. V.; Van Nieuwerburgh, F.; Deforce, D.; Chang, C.; Karol, K. G.; Hedrich, R.; Ulvskov, P.; Glöckner, G.; Delwiche, C. F.; Petrášek, J.; Van de Peer, Y.; Friml, J.; Beilby, M.; Dolan, L.; Kohara, Y.; Sugano, S.; Fujiyama, A.; Delaux, P.-M.; Quint, M.; Theißen, G.; Hagemann, M.; Harholt, J.; Dunand, C.; Zachgo, S.; Langdale, J.; Maumus, F.; Van Der Straeten, D.; Gould, S. B.; Rensing, S. A. The Chara Genome: Secondary Complexity and Implications for Plant Terrestrialization Cell 174, 448-464.e24, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2018.06.033

Land plants evolved from charophytic algae, among which Charophyceae possess the most complex body plans. We present the genome of Chara braunii; comparison of the genome to those of land plants identified evolutionary novelties for plant terrestrialization and land plant heritage genes. C. braunii employs unique xylan synthases for cell wall biosynthesis, a phragmoplast (cell separation) mechanism similar to that of land plants, and many phytohormones. C. braunii plastids are controlled via land-plant-like retrograde signaling, and transcriptional regulation is more elaborate than in other algae. The morphological complexity of this organism may result from expanded gene families, with three cases of particular note: genes effecting tolerance to reactive oxygen species (ROS), LysM receptor-like kinases, and transcription factors (TFs). Transcriptomic analysis of sexual reproductive structures reveals intricate control by TFs, activity of the ROS gene network, and the ancestral use of plant-like storage and stress protection proteins in the zygote.
Publications

Müller, J.; Toev, T.; Heisters, M.; Teller, J.; Moore, K. L.; Hause, G.; Dinesh, D. C.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Abel, S. Iron-Dependent Callose Deposition Adjusts Root Meristem Maintenance to Phosphate Availability Devel Cell 33, 216–230, (2015) DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.02.007

Plant root development is informed by numerous edaphic cues. Phosphate (Pi) availability impacts the root system architecture by adjusting meristem activity. However, the sensory mechanisms monitoring external Pi status are elusive. Two functionally interacting Arabidopsis genes, LPR1 (ferroxidase) and PDR2 (P5-type ATPase), are key players in root Pi sensing, which is modified by iron (Fe) availability. We show that the LPR1-PDR2 module facilitates, upon Pi limitation, cell-specific apoplastic Fe and callose deposition in the meristem and elongation zone of primary roots. Expression of cell-wall-targeted LPR1 determines the sites of Fe accumulation as well as callose production, which interferes with symplastic communication in the stem cell niche, as demonstrated by impaired SHORT-ROOT movement. Antagonistic interactions of Pi and Fe availability control primary root growth via meristem-specific callose formation, likely triggered by LPR1-dependent redox signaling. Our results link callose-regulated cell-to-cell signaling in root meristems to the perception of an abiotic cue
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