Bochnia, M.; Sander, J.; Ziegler, J.; Terhardt, M.; Sander, S.; Janzen, N.; Cavalleri, J.-M. V.; Zuraw, A.; Wensch-Dorendorf, M.; Zeyner, A.; Detection of MCPG metabolites in horses with atypical myopathy PLOS ONE 14, e0211698, (2019) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211698
Atypical myopathy (AM) in horses is caused by ingestion of seeds of the Acer species (Sapindaceae family). Methylenecyclopropylacetyl-CoA (MCPA-CoA), derived from hypoglycin A (HGA), is currently the only active toxin in Acer pseudoplatanus or Acer negundo seeds related to AM outbreaks. However, seeds or arils of various Sapindaceae (e.g., ackee, lychee, mamoncillo, longan fruit) also contain methylenecyclopropylglycine (MCPG), which is a structural analogue of HGA that can cause hypoglycaemic encephalopathy in humans. The active poison formed from MCPG is methylenecyclopropylformyl-CoA (MCPF-CoA). MCPF-CoA and MCPA-CoA strongly inhibit enzymes that participate in β-oxidation and energy production from fat. The aim of our study was to investigate if MCPG is involved in Acer seed poisoning in horses. MCPG, as well as glycine and carnitine conjugates (MCPF-glycine, MCPF-carnitine), were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry of serum and urine from horses that had ingested Acer pseudoplatanus seeds and developed typical AM symptoms. The results were compared to those of healthy control horses. For comparison, HGA and its glycine and carnitine derivatives were also measured. Additionally, to assess the degree of enzyme inhibition of β-oxidation, several acyl glycines and acyl carnitines were included in the analysis. In addition to HGA and the specific toxic metabolites (MCPA-carnitine and MCPA-glycine), MCPG, MCPF-glycine and MCPF-carnitine were detected in the serum and urine of affected horses. Strong inhibition of β-oxidation was demonstrated by elevated concentrations of all acyl glycines and carnitines, but the highest correlations were observed between MCPF-carnitine and isobutyryl-carnitine (r = 0.93) as well as between MCPA- (and MCPF-) glycine and valeryl-glycine with r = 0.96 (and r = 0.87). As shown here, for biochemical analysis of atypical myopathy of horses, it is necessary to take MCPG and the corresponding metabolites into consideration.
Buhtz, A.; Witzel, K.; Strehmel, N.; Ziegler, J.; Abel, S.; Grosch, R.; Perturbations in the Primary Metabolism of Tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana Plants Infected with the Soil-Borne Fungus Verticillium dahliae PLOS ONE 10, e0138242, (2015) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0138242
The hemibiotrophic soil-borne fungus Verticillium dahliae is a major pathogen of a number of economically important crop species. Here, the metabolic response of both tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana to V. dahliae infection was analysed by first using non-targeted GC-MS profiling. The leaf content of both major cell wall components glucuronic acid and xylose was reduced in the presence of the pathogen in tomato but enhanced in A. thaliana. The leaf content of the two tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates fumaric acid and succinic acid was increased in the leaf of both species, reflecting a likely higher demand for reducing equivalents required for defence responses. A prominent group of affected compounds was amino acids and based on the targeted analysis in the root, it was shown that the level of 12 and four free amino acids was enhanced by the infection in, respectively, tomato and A. thaliana, with leucine and histidine being represented in both host species. The leaf content of six free amino acids was reduced in the leaf tissue of diseased A. thaliana plants, while that of two free amino acids was raised in the tomato plants. This study emphasizes the role of primary plant metabolites in adaptive responses when the fungus has colonized the plant.
Bochnia, M.; Ziegler, J.; Sander, J.; Uhlig, A.; Schaefer, S.; Vollstedt, S.; Glatter, M.; Abel, S.; Recknagel, S.; Schusser, G. F.; Wensch-Dorendorf, M.; Zeyner, A.; Hypoglycin A Content in Blood and Urine Discriminates Horses with Atypical Myopathy from Clinically Normal Horses Grazing on the Same Pasture PLOS ONE 10, e0136785, (2015) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0136785
Hypoglycin A (HGA) in seeds of Acer spp. is suspected to cause seasonal pasture myopathy in North America and equine atypical myopathy (AM) in Europe, fatal diseases in horses on pasture. In previous studies, this suspicion was substantiated by the correlation of seed HGA content with the concentrations of toxic metabolites in urine and serum (MCPA-conjugates) of affected horses. However, seed sampling was conducted after rather than during an outbreak of the disease. The aim of this study was to further confirm the causality between HGA occurrence and disease outbreak by seed sampling during an outbreak and the determination of i) HGA in seeds and of ii) HGA and MCPA-conjugates in urine and serum of diseased horses. Furthermore, cograzing healthy horses, which were present on AM affected pastures, were also investigated. AM-pastures in Germany were visited to identify seeds of Acer pseudoplatanus and serum (n = 8) as well as urine (n = 6) from a total of 16 diseased horses were analyzed for amino acid composition by LC-ESI-MS/MS, with a special focus on the content of HGA. Additionally, the content of its toxic metabolite was measured in its conjugated form in body fluids (UPLC-MS/MS). The seeds contained 1.7–319.8 μg HGA/g seed. The content of HGA in serum of affected horses ranged from 387.8–8493.8 μg/L (controls < 10 μg/L), and in urine from 143.8–926.4 μg/L (controls < 10 μg/L), respectively. Healthy cograzing horses on AM-pastures showed higher serum (108.8 ± 83.76 μg/L) and urine concentrations (26.9 ± 7.39 μg/L) compared to control horses, but lower concentrations compared to diseased horses. The range of MCPA-carnitine and creatinine concentrations found in diseased horses in serum and urine were 0.17–0.65 mmol/L (controls < 0.01), and 0.34–2.05 μmol/mmoL (controls < 0.001), respectively. MCPA-glycine levels in urine of cograzing horses were higher compared to controls. Thus, the causal link between HGA intoxication and disease outbreak could be further substantiated, and the early detection of HGA in cograzing horses, which are clinically normal, might be a promising step in prophylaxis.
Jayaweera, T.; Siriwardana, C.; Dharmasiri, S.; Quint, M.; Gray, W. M.; Dharmasiri, N.; Alternative Splicing of Arabidopsis IBR5 Pre-mRNA Generates Two IBR5 Isoforms with Distinct and Overlapping Functions PLOS ONE 9, e102301, (2014) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102301
The INDOLE-3-BUTYRIC ACID RESPONSE5 (IBR5) gene encodes a dual specificity phosphatase that regulates plant auxin responses. IBR5 has been predicted to generate two transcripts through alternative splicing, but alternative splicing of IBR5 has not been confirmed experimentally. The previously characterized ibr5-1 null mutant exhibits many auxin related defects such as auxin insensitive primary root growth, defective vascular development, short stature and reduced lateral root development. However, whether all these defects are caused by the lack of phosphatase activity is not clear. Here we describe two new auxin insensitive IBR5 alleles, ibr5-4, a catalytic site mutant, and ibr5-5, a splice site mutant. Characterization of these new mutants indicates that IBR5 is post-transcriptionally regulated to generate two transcripts, AT2G04550.1 and AT2G04550.3, and consequently two IBR5 isoforms, IBR5.1 and IBR5.3. The IBR5.1 isoform exhibits phosphatase catalytic activity that is required for both proper degradation of Aux/IAA proteins and auxin-induced gene expression. These two processes are independently regulated by IBR5.1. Comparison of new mutant alleles with ibr5-1 indicates that all three mutant alleles share many phenotypes. However, each allele also confers distinct defects implicating IBR5 isoform specific functions. Some of these functions are independent of IBR5.1 catalytic activity. Additionally, analysis of these new mutant alleles suggests that IBR5 may link ABP1 and SCFTIR1/AFBs auxin signaling pathways.
Budiharjo, A.; Chowdhury, S. P.; Dietel, K.; Beator, B.; Dolgova, O.; Fan, B.; Bleiss, W.; Ziegler, J.; Schmid, M.; Hartmann, A.; Borriss, R.; Transposon Mutagenesis of the Plant-Associated Bacillus amyloliquefaciens ssp. plantarum FZB42 Revealed That the nfrA and RBAM17410 Genes Are Involved in Plant-Microbe-Interactions PLOS ONE 9, e98267, (2014) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0098267
Bacillus amyloliquefaciens ssp. plantarum FZB42 represents the prototype of Gram-positive plant growth promoting and biocontrol bacteria. In this study, we applied transposon mutagenesis to generate a transposon library, which was screened for genes involved in multicellular behavior and biofilm formation on roots as a prerequisite of plant growth promoting activity. Transposon insertion sites were determined by rescue-cloning followed by DNA sequencing. As in B. subtilis, the global transcriptional regulator DegU was identified as an activator of genes necessary for swarming and biofilm formation, and the DegU-mutant of FZB42 was found impaired in efficient root colonization. Direct screening of 3,000 transposon insertion mutants for plant-growth-promotion revealed the gene products of nfrA and RBAM_017140 to be essential for beneficial effects exerted by FZB42 on plants. We analyzed the performance of GFP-labeled wild-type and transposon mutants in the colonization of lettuce roots using confocal laser scanning microscopy. While the wild-type strain heavily colonized root surfaces, the nfrA mutant did not colonize lettuce roots, although it was not impaired in growth in laboratory cultures, biofilm formation and swarming motility on agar plates. The RBAM17410 gene, occurring in only a few members of the B. subtilis species complex, was directly involved in plant growth promotion. None of the mutant strains were affected in producing the plant growth hormone auxin. We hypothesize that the nfrA gene product is essential for overcoming the stress caused by plant response towards bacterial root colonization.
Poeschl, Y.; Delker, C.; Trenner, J.; Ullrich, K. K.; Quint, M.; Grosse, I.; Optimized Probe Masking for Comparative Transcriptomics of Closely Related Species PLOS ONE 8, e78497, (2013) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078497
Microarrays are commonly applied to study the transcriptome of specific species. However, many available microarrays are restricted to model organisms, and the design of custom microarrays for other species is often not feasible. Hence, transcriptomics approaches of non-model organisms as well as comparative transcriptomics studies among two or more species often make use of cost-intensive RNAseq studies or, alternatively, by hybridizing transcripts of a query species to a microarray of a closely related species. When analyzing these cross-species microarray expression data, differences in the transcriptome of the query species can cause problems, such as the following: (i) lower hybridization accuracy of probes due to mismatches or deletions, (ii) probes binding multiple transcripts of different genes, and (iii) probes binding transcripts of non-orthologous genes. So far, methods for (i) exist, but these neglect (ii) and (iii). Here, we propose an approach for comparative transcriptomics addressing problems (i) to (iii), which retains only transcript-specific probes binding transcripts of orthologous genes. We apply this approach to an Arabidopsis lyrata expression data set measured on a microarray designed for Arabidopsis thaliana, and compare it to two alternative approaches, a sequence-based approach and a genomic DNA hybridization-based approach. We investigate the number of retained probe sets, and we validate the resulting expression responses by qRT-PCR. We find that the proposed approach combines the benefit of sequence-based stringency and accuracy while allowing the expression analysis of much more genes than the alternative sequence-based approach. As an added benefit, the proposed approach requires probes to detect transcripts of orthologous genes only, which provides a superior base for biological interpretation of the measured expression responses.
Navarro-Quezada, A.; Schumann, N.; Quint, M.; Plant F-Box Protein Evolution Is Determined by Lineage-Specific Timing of Major Gene Family Expansion Waves PLOS ONE 8, e68672, (2013) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068672
F-box proteins (FBPs) represent one of the largest and fastest evolving gene/protein families in the plant kingdom. The FBP superfamily can be divided in several subfamilies characterized by different C-terminal protein-protein interaction domains that recruit targets for proteasomal degradation. Hence, a clear picture of their phylogeny and molecular evolution is of special interest for the general understanding of evolutionary histories of multi-domain and/or large protein families in plants. In an effort to further understand the molecular evolution of F-box family proteins, we asked whether the largest subfamily in Arabidopsis thaliana, which carries a C-terminal F-box associated domain (FBA proteins) shares evolutionary patterns and signatures of selection with other FBPs. To address this question, we applied phylogenetic and molecular evolution analyses in combination with the evaluation of transcriptional profiles. Based on the 2219 FBA proteins we de novo identified in 34 completely sequenced plant genomes, we compared their evolutionary patterns to a previously analyzed large subfamily carrying C-terminal kelch repeats. We found that these two large FBP subfamilies generally tend to evolve by massive waves of duplication, followed by sequence conservation of the F-box domain and sequence diversification of the target recruiting domain. We conclude that the earlier in evolutionary time a major wave of expansion occurred, the more pronounced these selection signatures are. As a consequence, when performing cross species comparisons among FBP subfamilies, significant differences will be observed in the selective signatures of protein-protein interaction domains. Depending on the species, the investigated subfamilies comprise up to 45% of the complete superfamily, indicating that other subfamilies possibly follow similar modes of evolution.
Huang, H.; Quint, M.; Gray, W. M.; The eta7/csn3-3 Auxin Response Mutant of Arabidopsis Defines a Novel Function for the CSN3 Subunit of the COP9 Signalosome PLOS ONE 8, e66578, (2013) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066578
The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is an eight subunit protein complex conserved in all higher eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the CSN regulates auxin response by removing the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8/RUB1 from the CUL1 subunit of the SCFTIR1/AFB ubiquitin-ligase (deneddylation). Previously described null mutations in any CSN subunit result in the pleiotropic cop/det/fus phenotype and cause seedling lethality, hampering the study of CSN functions in plant development. In a genetic screen to identify enhancers of the auxin response defects conferred by the tir1-1 mutation, we identified a viable csn mutant of subunit 3 (CSN3), designated eta7/csn3-3. In addition to enhancing tir1-1 mutant phenotypes, the csn3-3 mutation alone confers several phenotypes indicative of impaired auxin signaling including auxin resistant root growth and diminished auxin responsive gene expression. Unexpectedly however, csn3-3 plants are not defective in either the CSN-mediated deneddylation of CUL1 or in SCFTIR1-mediated degradation of Aux/IAA proteins. These findings suggest that csn3-3 is an atypical csn mutant that defines a novel CSN or CSN3-specific function. Consistent with this possibility, we observe dramatic differences in double mutant interactions between csn3-3 and other auxin signaling mutants compared to another weak csn mutant, csn1-10. Lastly, unlike other csn mutants, assembly of the CSN holocomplex is unaffected in csn3-3 plants. However, we detected a small CSN3-containing protein complex that is altered in csn3-3 plants. We hypothesize that in addition to its role in the CSN as a cullin deneddylase, CSN3 functions in a distinct protein complex that is required for proper auxin signaling.