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Publikation

Gharsallah, C.; Fakhfakh, H.; Grubb, D.; Gorsane, F. Effect of salt stress on ion concentration, proline content, antioxidant enzyme activities and gene expression in tomato cultivars AoB PLANTS 8, plw055, (2016) DOI: 10.1093/aobpla/plw055

Salinity is a constraint limiting plant growth and productivity of crops throughout the world. Understanding the mechanism underlying plant response to salinity provides new insights into the improvement of salt tolerance-crops of importance. In the present study, we report on the responses of twenty cultivars of tomato. We have clustered genotypes into scale classes according to their response to increased NaCl levels. Three local tomato genotypes, representative of different saline scale classes, were selected for further investigation. During early (0 h, 6 h and 12 h) and later (7 days) stages of the response to salt treatment, ion concentrations (Na + , K +  and Ca 2+ ), proline content, enzyme activities (catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and guiacol peroxidase) were recorded. qPCR analysis of candidate genes WRKY (8, 31and 39), ERF (9, 16 and 80), LeNHX (1, 3 and 4) and HKT (class I) were performed. A high K + , Ca 2 + and proline accumulation as well as a decrease of Na +  concentration-mediated salt tolerance. Concomitant with a pattern of high-antioxidant enzyme activities, tolerant genotypes also displayed differential patterns of gene expression during the response to salt stress.
Publikation

Ludwig-Müller, J.; Denk, K.; Cohen, J. D.; Quint, M. An Inhibitor of Tryptophan-Dependent Biosynthesis of Indole-3-Acetic Acid Alters Seedling Development in Arabidopsis J Plant Growth Regul 29, 242-248, (2010) DOI: 10.1007/s00344-009-9128-1

Although polar transport and the TIR1-dependent signaling pathway of the plant hormone auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) are well characterized, understanding of the biosynthetic pathway(s) leading to the production of IAA is still limited. Genetic dissection of IAA biosynthetic pathways has been complicated by the metabolic redundancy caused by the apparent existence of several parallel biosynthetic routes leading to IAA production. Valuable complementary tools for genetic as well as biochemical analysis of auxin biosynthesis would be molecular inhibitors capable of acting in vivo on specific or general components of the pathway(s), which unfortunately have been lacking. Several indole derivatives have been previously identified to inhibit tryptophan-dependent IAA biosynthesis in an in vitro system from maize endosperm. We examined the effect of one of them, 6-fluoroindole, on seedling development of Arabidopsis thaliana and tested its ability to inhibit IAA biosynthesis in feeding experiments in vivo. We demonstrated a correlation of severe developmental defects or growth retardation caused by 6-fluoroindole with significant downregulation of de novo synthesized IAA levels, derived from the stable isotope-labeled tryptophan pool, upon treatment. Hence, 6-fluoroindole shows important features of an inhibitor of tryptophan-dependent IAA biosynthesis both in vitro and in vivo and thus may find use as a promising molecular tool for the identification of novel components of the auxin biosynthetic pathway(s).
Publikation

Abel, S.; Savchenko, T.; Levy, M. Genome-wide comparative analysis of the <em>IQD</em> gene families in <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em> and Oryza sativa BMC Evolutionary Biology 5, 72 (1-25), (2005)

We identified and analyzed 33 and 29 IQD1-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, respectively. The encoded IQD proteins contain a plant-specific domain of 67 conserved amino acid residues, referred to as the IQ67 domain, which is characterized by a unique and repetitive arrangement of three different calmodulin recruitment motifs, known as the IQ, 1-5-10, and 1-8-14 motifs. We demonstrated calmodulin binding for IQD20, the smallest IQD protein in Arabidopsis, which consists of a C-terminal IQ67 domain and a short N-terminal extension. A striking feature of IQD proteins is the high isoelectric point (~10.3) and frequency of serine residues (~11%). We compared the Arabidopsis and rice IQD gene families in terms of gene structure, chromosome location, predicted protein properties and motifs, phylogenetic relationships, and evolutionary history. The existence of an IQD-like gene in bryophytes suggests that IQD proteins are an ancient family of calmodulin-binding proteins and arose during the early evolution of land plants. Comparative phylogenetic analyses indicate that the major IQD gene lineages originated before the monocot-eudicot divergence. The extant IQD loci in Arabidopsis primarily resulted from segmental duplication and reflect preferential retention of paralogous genes, which is characteristic for proteins with regulatory functions. Interaction of IQD1 and IQD20 with calmodulin and the presence of predicted calmodulin binding sites in all IQD family members suggest that IQD proteins are a new class of calmodulin targets. The basic isoelectric point of IQD proteins and their frequently predicted nuclear localization suggest that IQD proteins link calcium signaling pathways to the regulation of gene expression. Our comparative genomics analysis of IQD genes and encoded proteins in two model plant species provides the first step towards the functional dissection of this emerging family of putative calmodulin targets.
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