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Wasternack, C. Sulfation switch in the shade Nat Plants 6, 186-187, (2020) DOI: 10.1038/s41477-020-0620-8

Plants adjust the balance between growth and defence using photoreceptors and jasmonates. Levels of active jasmonates are reduced in a phytochrome B-dependent manner by upregulation of a 12-hydroxyjasmonate sulfotransferase, leading to increase in shade avoidance and decrease in defence.

Wasternack, C.; Strnad, M. Jasmonates are signals in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites — Pathways, transcription factors and applied aspects — A brief review. New Biotechnol 48, 1-11, (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.nbt.2017.09.007

Jasmonates (JAs) are signals in plant stress responses and development. One of the first observed and prominent responses to JAs is the induction of biosynthesis of different groups of secondary compounds. Among them are nicotine, isoquinolines, glucosinolates, anthocyanins, benzophenanthridine alkaloids, artemisinin, and terpenoid indole alkaloids (TIAs), such as vinblastine. This brief review describes modes of action of JAs in the biosynthesis of anthocyanins, nicotine, TIAs, glucosinolates and artemisinin. After introducing JA biosynthesis, the central role of the SCFCOI1-JAZ co-receptor complex in JA perception and MYB-type and MYC-type transcription factors is described. Brief comments are provided on primary metabolites as precursors of secondary compounds. Pathways for the biosynthesis of anthocyanin, nicotine, TIAs, glucosinolates and artemisinin are described with an emphasis on JA-dependent transcription factors, which activate or repress the expression of essential genes encoding enzymes in the biosynthesis of these secondary compounds. Applied aspects are discussed using the biotechnological formation of artemisinin as an example of JA-induced biosynthesis of secondary compounds in plant cell factories.

Wasternack, C.; Hause, B. The missing link in jasmonic acid biosynthesis Nat Plants 5, 776-777, (2019) DOI: 10.1038/s41477-019-0492-y

Jasmonic acid biosynthesis starts in chloroplasts and is finalized in peroxisomes. The required export of a crucial intermediate out of the chloroplast is now shown to be mediated by a protein from the outer envelope called JASSY.

Goetz, S.; Hellwege, A.; Stenzel, I.; Kutter, C.; Hauptmann, V.; Forner, S.; McCaig, B.; Hause, G.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Hause, B. Role of cis-12-oxo-phytodienoic acid in tomato embryo development. Plant Physiol 158, 1715-1727, (2012) DOI: 10.1104/pp.111.192658

Oxylipins including jasmonates are signaling compounds in plant growth, development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) most mutants affected in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis and signaling are male sterile, whereas the JA-insensitive tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) mutant jai1 is female sterile. The diminished seed formation in jai1 together with the ovule-specific accumulation of the JA biosynthesis enzyme allene oxide cyclase (AOC), which correlates with elevated levels of JAs, suggest a role of oxylipins in tomato flower/seed development. Here, we show that 35S::SlAOC-RNAi lines with strongly reduced AOC in ovules exhibited reduced seed set similarly to the jai1 plants. Investigation of embryo development of wild-type tomato plants showed preferential occurrence of AOC promoter activity and AOC protein accumulation in the developing seed coat and the embryo, whereas 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) was the dominant oxylipin occurring nearly exclusively in the seed coat tissues. The OPDA- and JA-deficient mutant spr2 was delayed in embryo development and showed an increased programmed cell death in the developing seed coat and endosperm. In contrast, the mutant acx1a, which accumulates preferentially OPDA and residual amount of JA, developed embryos similar to the wild type, suggesting a role of OPDA in embryo development. Activity of the residual amount of JA in the acx1a mutant is highly improbable since the known reproductive phenotype of the JA-insensitive mutant jai1 could be rescued by wound-induced formation of OPDA. These data suggest a role of OPDA or an OPDA-related compound for proper embryo development possibly by regulating carbohydrate supply and detoxification.

Weigelt, K.; Küster, H.; Rutten, T.; Fait, A.; Fernie, A.R.; Miersch, O.; Wasternack, C.; Emery, R.J.N.; Desel, C.; Hosein, F.; Müller, M.; Saalbach, I.; Weber, H. ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase-deficient pea embryos reveal specific transcriptional and metabolic changes of carbon-nitrogen metabolism and stress responses Plant Physiol 149, 395-411, (2009) DOI: 10.1104/pp.108.129940

We present a comprehensive analysis of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGP)-repressed pea (Pisum sativum) seeds using transcript and metabolite profiling to monitor the effects that reduced carbon flow into starch has on carbon-nitrogen metabolism and related pathways. Changed patterns of transcripts and metabolites suggest that AGP repression causes sugar accumulation and stimulates carbohydrate oxidation via glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and mitochondrial respiration. Enhanced provision of precursors such as acetyl-coenzyme A and organic acids apparently support other pathways and activate amino acid and storage protein biosynthesis as well as pathways fed by cytosolic acetyl-coenzyme A, such as cysteine biosynthesis and fatty acid elongation/metabolism. As a consequence, the resulting higher nitrogen (N) demand depletes transient N storage pools, specifically asparagine and arginine, and leads to N limitation. Moreover, increased sugar accumulation appears to stimulate cytokinin-mediated cell proliferation pathways. In addition, the deregulation of starch biosynthesis resulted in indirect changes, such as increased mitochondrial metabolism and osmotic stress. The combined effect of these changes is an enhanced generation of reactive oxygen species coupled with an up-regulation of energy-dissipating, reactive oxygen species protection, and defense genes. Transcriptional activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways and oxylipin synthesis indicates an additional activation of stress signaling pathways. AGP-repressed embryos contain higher levels of jasmonate derivatives; however, this increase is preferentially in nonactive forms. The results suggest that, although metabolic/osmotic alterations in iAGP pea seeds result in multiple stress responses, pea seeds have effective mechanisms to circumvent stress signaling under conditions in which excessive stress responses and/or cellular damage could prematurely initiate senescence or apoptosis.

Calderón Villalobos, L.I.; Kuhnle, C.; Li, H.; Rosso, M.; Weisshaar, B.; Schwechheimer, C. LucTrap vectors are tools to generate luciferase fusions for the quantification of transcript and protein abundance in vivo Plant Physiol 141(1), 3-14, (2006) DOI: 10.1104/pp.106.078097

Proper plant growth and development strongly rely on the plant's ability to respond dynamically to signals and cues from the intra- and extracellular environment. Whereas many of these responses require specific changes at the level of gene expression, in recent years it has become increasingly clear that many plant responses are at least in part also controlled at the level of protein turnover. It is a challenge for signal transduction research to understand how distinct incoming signals are integrated to generate specific changes at the transcript or protein level. The activity of luciferase (LUC) reporters can be detected in nondestructive qualitative and quantitative assays in vivo. Therefore,z LUC reporters are particularly well suited for the detection of changes at the transcript and protein level. To the best of our knowledge, the number of plant transformation vectors for LUC fusions is very limited. In this article, we describe the LucTrap plant transformation vectors that allow generation of targeted and random transcriptional and translational fusions with the modified firefly LUC reporter LUC+. We demonstrate that LucTrap-based fusions can be used to monitor rapid changes in gene expression and protein abundance in vivo.
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