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Publications - Molecular Signal Processing

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Publications

Bellstaedt, J.; Trenner, J.; Lippmann, R.; Poeschl, Y.; Zhang, X.; Friml, J.; Quint, M.; Delker, C.; A Mobile Auxin Signal Connects Temperature Sensing in Cotyledons with Growth Responses in Hypocotyls Plant Physiol. 180, 757-766, (2019) DOI: 10.1104/pp.18.01377

Plants have a remarkable capacity to adjust their growth and development to elevated ambient temperatures. Increased elongation growth of roots, hypocotyls, and petioles in warm temperatures are hallmarks of seedling thermomorphogenesis. In the last decade, significant progress has been made to identify the molecular signaling components regulating these growth responses. Increased ambient temperature utilizes diverse components of the light sensing and signal transduction network to trigger growth adjustments. However, it remains unknown whether temperature sensing and responses are universal processes that occur uniformly in all plant organs. Alternatively, temperature sensing may be confined to specific tissues or organs, which would require a systemic signal that mediates responses in distal parts of the plant. Here, we show that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seedlings show organ-specific transcriptome responses to elevated temperatures and that thermomorphogenesis involves both autonomous and organ-interdependent temperature sensing and signaling. Seedling roots can sense and respond to temperature in a shoot-independent manner, whereas shoot temperature responses require both local and systemic processes. The induction of cell elongation in hypocotyls requires temperature sensing in cotyledons, followed by the generation of a mobile auxin signal. Subsequently, auxin travels to the hypocotyl, where it triggers local brassinosteroid-induced cell elongation in seedling stems, which depends upon a distinct, permissive temperature sensor in the hypocotyl.
Publications

Ryan, P. T.; Ó’Maoiléidigh, D. S.; Drost, H.-G.; Kwaśniewska, K.; Gabel, A.; Grosse, I.; Graciet, E.; Quint, M.; Wellmer, F.; Patterns of gene expression during Arabidopsis flower development from the time of initiation to maturation BMC Genomics 16, 488, (2015) DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1699-6

BackgroundThe formation of flowers is one of the main model systems to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that control developmental processes in plants. Although several studies have explored gene expression during flower development in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana on a genome-wide scale, a continuous series of expression data from the earliest floral stages until maturation has been lacking. Here, we used a floral induction system to close this information gap and to generate a reference dataset for stage-specific gene expression during flower formation.ResultsUsing a floral induction system, we collected floral buds at 14 different stages from the time of initiation until maturation. Using whole-genome microarray analysis, we identified 7,405 genes that exhibit rapid expression changes during flower development. These genes comprise many known floral regulators and we found that the expression profiles for these regulators match their known expression patterns, thus validating the dataset. We analyzed groups of co-expressed genes for over-represented cellular and developmental functions through Gene Ontology analysis and found that they could be assigned specific patterns of activities, which are in agreement with the progression of flower development. Furthermore, by mapping binding sites of floral organ identity factors onto our dataset, we were able to identify gene groups that are likely predominantly under control of these transcriptional regulators. We further found that the distribution of paralogs among groups of co-expressed genes varies considerably, with genes expressed predominantly at early and intermediate stages of flower development showing the highest proportion of such genes.ConclusionsOur results highlight and describe the dynamic expression changes undergone by a large number of genes during flower development. They further provide a comprehensive reference dataset for temporal gene expression during flower formation and we demonstrate that it can be used to integrate data from other genomics approaches such as genome-wide localization studies of transcription factor binding sites.
Publications

Dekkers, B. J.; Pearce, S.; van Bolderen-Veldkamp, R.; Marshall, A.; Widera, P.; Gilbert, J.; Drost, H.-G.; Bassel, G. W.; Müller, K.; King, J. R.; Wood, A. T.; Grosse, I.; Quint, M.; Krasnogor, N.; Leubner-Metzger, G.; Holdsworth, M. J.; Bentsink, L.; Transcriptional Dynamics of Two Seed Compartments with Opposing Roles in Arabidopsis Seed Germination Plant Physiol. 163, 205-215, (2013) DOI: 10.1104/pp.113.223511

Seed germination is a critical stage in the plant life cycle and the first step toward successful plant establishment. Therefore, understanding germination is of important ecological and agronomical relevance. Previous research revealed that different seed compartments (testa, endosperm, and embryo) control germination, but little is known about the underlying spatial and temporal transcriptome changes that lead to seed germination. We analyzed genome-wide expression in germinating Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seeds with both temporal and spatial detail and provide Web-accessible visualizations of the data reported (vseed.nottingham.ac.uk). We show the potential of this high-resolution data set for the construction of meaningful coexpression networks, which provide insight into the genetic control of germination. The data set reveals two transcriptional phases during germination that are separated by testa rupture. The first phase is marked by large transcriptome changes as the seed switches from a dry, quiescent state to a hydrated and active state. At the end of this first transcriptional phase, the number of differentially expressed genes between consecutive time points drops. This increases again at testa rupture, the start of the second transcriptional phase. Transcriptome data indicate a role for mechano-induced signaling at this stage and subsequently highlight the fates of the endosperm and radicle: senescence and growth, respectively. Finally, using a phylotranscriptomic approach, we show that expression levels of evolutionarily young genes drop during the first transcriptional phase and increase during the second phase. Evolutionarily old genes show an opposite pattern, suggesting a more conserved transcriptome prior to the completion of germination.
Publications

Schumann, N.; Navarro-Quezada, A.; Ullrich, K.; Kuhl, C.; Quint, M.; Molecular Evolution and Selection Patterns of Plant F-Box Proteins with C-Terminal Kelch Repeats Plant Physiol. 155, 835-850, (2011) DOI: 10.1104/pp.110.166579

The F-box protein superfamily represents one of the largest families in the plant kingdom. F-box proteins phylogenetically organize into numerous subfamilies characterized by their carboxyl (C)-terminal protein-protein interaction domain. Among the largest F-box protein subfamilies in plant genomes are those with C-terminal kelch repeats. In this study, we analyzed the phylogeny and evolution of F-box kelch proteins/genes (FBKs) in seven completely sequenced land plant genomes including a bryophyte, a lycophyte, monocots, and eudicots. While absent in prokaryotes, F-box kelch proteins are widespread in eukaryotes. Nonplant eukaryotes usually contain only a single FBK gene. In land plant genomes, however, FBKs expanded dramatically. Arabidopsis thaliana, for example, contains at least 103 F-box genes with well-conserved C-terminal kelch repeats. The construction of a phylogenetic tree based on the full-length amino acid sequences of the FBKs that we identified in the seven species enabled us to classify FBK genes into unstable/stable/superstable categories. In contrast to superstable genes, which are conserved across all seven species, kelch domains of unstable genes, which are defined as lineage specific, showed strong signatures of positive selection, indicating adaptational potential. We found evidence for conserved protein features such as binding affinities toward A. thaliana SKP1-like adaptor proteins and subcellular localization among closely related FBKs. Pseudogenization seems to occur only rarely, but differential transcriptional regulation of close relatives may result in subfunctionalization.
Publications

Quint, M.; Barkawi, L. S.; Fan, K.-T.; Cohen, J. D.; Gray, W. M.; Arabidopsis IAR4 Modulates Auxin Response by Regulating Auxin Homeostasis Plant Physiol. 150, 748-758, (2009) DOI: 10.1104/pp.109.136671

In a screen for enhancers of tir1-1 auxin resistance, we identified two novel alleles of the putative mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase E1α-subunit, IAA-Alanine Resistant4 (IAR4). In addition to enhancing the auxin response defects of tir1-1, iar4 single mutants exhibit numerous auxin-related phenotypes including auxin-resistant root growth and reduced lateral root development, as well as defects in primary root growth, root hair initiation, and root hair elongation. Remarkably, all of these iar4 mutant phenotypes were rescued when endogenous indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) levels were increased by growth at high temperature or overexpression of the YUCCA1 IAA biosynthetic enzyme, suggesting that iar4 mutations may alter IAA homeostasis rather than auxin response. Consistent with this possibility, iar4 mutants exhibit increased Aux/IAA stability compared to wild type under basal conditions, but not in response to an auxin treatment. Measurements of free IAA levels detected no significant difference between iar4-3 and wild-type controls. However, we consistently observed significantly higher levels of IAA-amino acid conjugates in the iar4-3 mutant. Furthermore, using stable isotope-labeled IAA precursors, we observed a significant increase in the relative utilization of the Trp-independent IAA biosynthetic pathway in iar4-3. We therefore suggest that the auxin phenotypes of iar4 mutants are the result of altered IAA homeostasis.
Publications

Mur, L. A.; Kenton, P.; Atzorn, R.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; The Outcomes of Concentration-Specific Interactions between Salicylate and Jasmonate Signaling Include Synergy, Antagonism, and Oxidative Stress Leading to Cell Death Plant Physiol. 140, 249-262, (2006) DOI: 10.1104/pp.105.072348

Salicylic acid (SA) has been proposed to antagonize jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and signaling. We report, however, that in salicylate hydroxylase-expressing tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants, where SA levels were reduced, JA levels were not elevated during a hypersensitive response elicited by Pseudomonas syringae pv phaseolicola. The effects of cotreatment with various concentrations of SA and JA were assessed in tobacco and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). These suggested that there was a transient synergistic enhancement in the expression of genes associated with either JA (PDF1.2 [defensin] and Thi1.2 [thionin]) or SA (PR1 [PR1a-β-glucuronidase in tobacco]) signaling when both signals were applied at low (typically 10–100 μm) concentrations. Antagonism was observed at more prolonged treatment times or at higher concentrations. Similar results were also observed when adding the JA precursor, α-linolenic acid with SA. Synergic effects on gene expression and plant stress were NPR1- and COI1-dependent, SA- and JA-signaling components, respectively. Electrolyte leakage and Evans blue staining indicated that application of higher concentrations of SA + JA induced plant stress or death and elicited the generation of apoplastic reactive oxygen species. This was indicated by enhancement of hydrogen peroxide-responsive AoPR10-β-glucuronidase expression, suppression of plant stress/death using catalase, and direct hydrogen peroxide measurements. Our data suggests that the outcomes of JA-SA interactions could be tailored to pathogen/pest attack by the relative concentration of each hormone.
Publications

Kramell, R.; Miersch, O.; Atzorn, R.; Parthier, B.; Wasternack, C.; Octadecanoid-Derived Alteration of Gene Expression and the “Oxylipin Signature” in Stressed Barley Leaves. Implications for Different Signaling Pathways Plant Physiol. 123, 177-188, (2000) DOI: 10.1104/pp.123.1.177

Stress-induced gene expression in barley (Hordeum vulgare cv Salome) leaves has been correlated with temporally changing levels of octadecanoids and jasmonates, quantified by means of gas chromatography/mass spectrometry-single ion monitoring. Application of sorbitol-induced stress led to a low and transient rise of jasmonic acid (JA), its precursor 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA), and the methyl esters JAME and OPDAME, respectively, followed by a large increase in their levels. JA and JAME peaked between 12 and 16 h, about 4 h before OPDA and OPDAME. However, OPDA accumulated up to a 2.5-fold higher level than the other compounds. Dihomo-JA and 9,13-didehydro-OPDA were identified as minor components. Kinetic analyses revealed that a transient threshold of jasmonates or octadecanoids is necessary and sufficient to initiate JA-responsive gene expression. Although OPDA and OPDAME applied exogenously were metabolized to JA in considerable amounts, both of them can induce gene expression, as evidenced by those genes that did not respond to endogenously formed JA. Also, coronatine induces JA-responsive genes independently from endogenous JA. Application of deuterated JA showed that endogenous synthesis of JA is not induced by JA treatment. The data are discussed in terms of distinct signaling pathways.
Publications

Herde, O.; Atzorn, R.; Fisahn, J.; Wasternack, C.; Willmitzer, L.; Pena-Cortes, H.; Localized Wounding by Heat Initiates the Accumulation of Proteinase Inhibitor II in Abscisic Acid-Deficient Plants by Triggering Jasmonic Acid Biosynthesis Plant Physiol. 112, 853-860, (1996) DOI: 10.1104/pp.112.2.853

To test whether the response to electrical current and heat treatment is due to the same signaling pathway that mediates mechanical wounding, we analyzed the effect of electric-current application and localized burning on proteinase inhibitor II (Pin2) gene expression in both wild-type and abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) and potato (Solanum phureja) plants. Electric-current application and localized burning led to the accumulation of Pin2 mRNA in potato and tomato wild-type plants. Among the treatments tested, only localized burning of the leaves led to an accumulation of Pin2 mRNA in the ABA-deficient plants. Electric-current application, like mechanical injury, was able to initiate ABA and jasmonic acid (JA) accumulation in wild-type but not in ABA-deficient plants. In contrast, heat treatment led to an accumulation of JA in both wild-type and ABA-deficient plants. Inhibition of JA biosynthesis by aspirin blocked the heat-induced Pin2 gene expression in tomato wild-type leaves. These results suggest that electric current, similar to mechanical wounding, requires the presence of ABA to induce Pin2 gene expression. Conversely, burning of the leaves activates Pin2 gene expression by directly triggering the biosynthesis of JA by an alternative pathway that is independent of endogenous ABA levels.
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