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Wasternack, C. Action of jasmonates in plant stress responses and development — Applied aspects Biotechnol Adv 32 , 31-39, (2014) DOI: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2013.09.009

Jasmonates (JAs) are lipid-derived compounds acting as key signaling compounds in plant stress responses and development. The JA co-receptor complex and several enzymes of JA biosynthesis have been crystallized, and various JA signal transduction pathways including cross-talk to most of the plant hormones have been intensively studied. Defense to herbivores and necrotrophic pathogens are mediated by JA. Other environmental cues mediated by JA are light, seasonal and circadian rhythms, cold stress, desiccation stress, salt stress and UV stress. During development growth inhibition of roots, shoots and leaves occur by JA, whereas seed germination and flower development are partially affected by its precursor 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). Based on these numerous JA mediated signal transduction pathways active in plant stress responses and development, there is an increasing interest in horticultural and biotechnological applications. Intercropping, the mixed growth of two or more crops, mycorrhization of plants, establishment of induced resistance, priming of plants for enhanced insect resistance as well as pre- and post-harvest application of JA are few examples. Additional sources for horticultural improvement, where JAs might be involved, are defense against nematodes, biocontrol by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, altered composition of rhizosphere bacterial community, sustained balance between growth and defense, and improved plant immunity in intercropping systems. Finally, biotechnological application for JA-induced production of pharmaceuticals and application of JAs as anti-cancer agents were intensively studied.

Abel, S. Phosphate sensing in root development Curr Opin Plant Biol 14, 303-309, (2011) DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2011.04.007

Phosphate (Pi) and its anhydrides constitute major nodes in metabolism. Thus, plant performance depends directly on Pi nutrition. Inadequate Pi availability in the rhizosphere is a common challenge to plants, which activate metabolic and developmental responses to maximize Pi usage and acquisition. The sensory mechanisms that monitor environmental Pi and transmit the nutritional signal to adjust root development have increasingly come into focus. Recent transcriptomic analyses and genetic approaches have highlighted complex antagonistic interactions between external Pi and Fe bioavailability and have implicated the stem cell niche as a target of Pi sensing to regulate root meristem activity.

De Nardi, B.; Dreos, R.; Del Terra, L.; Martellossi, C.; Asquini, E.; Tornincasa, P.; Gasperini, D.; Pacchioni, B.; Rathinavelu, R.; Pallavicini, A.; Graziosi, G. Differential responses of Coffea arabica L. leaves and roots to chemically induced systemic acquired resistance Genome 49, 1594-1605, (2006) DOI: 10.1139/g06-125

Coffea arabica is susceptible to several pests and diseases, some of which affect the leaves and roots. Systemic acquired resistance (SAR) is the main defence mechanism activated in plants in response to pathogen attack. Here, we report the effects of benzo(1,2,3)thiadiazole-7-carbothioic acid-s-methyl ester (BTH), a SAR chemical inducer, on the expression profile of C. arabica. Two cDNA libraries were constructed from the mRNA isolated from leaves and embryonic roots to create 1587 nonredundant expressed sequence tags (ESTs). We developed a cDNA microarray containing 1506 ESTs from the leaves and embryonic roots, and 48 NBS-LRR (nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeat) gene fragments derived from 2 specific genomic libraries. Competitive hybridization between untreated and BTH-treated leaves resulted in 55 genes that were significantly overexpressed and 16 genes that were significantly underexpressed. In the roots, 37 and 42 genes were over and underexpressed, respectively. A general shift in metabolism from housekeeping to defence occurred in the leaves and roots after BTH treatment. We observed a systemic increase in pathogenesis-related protein synthesis, in the oxidative burst, and in the cell wall strengthening processes. Moreover, responses in the roots and leaves varied significantly.

Quint, M.; Gray, W.M. Auxin signaling Curr Opin Plant Biol 9, 448-453, (2006) DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2006.07.006

Auxin regulates a host of plant developmental and physiological processes, including embryogenesis, vascular differentiation, organogenesis, tropic growth, and root and shoot architecture. Genetic and biochemical studies carried out over the past decade have revealed that much of this regulation involves the SCFTIR1/AFB-mediated proteolysis of the Aux/IAA family of transcriptional regulators. With the recent finding that the TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE1 (TIR1)/AUXIN SIGNALING F-BOX (AFB) proteins also function as auxin receptors, a potentially complete, and surprisingly simple, signaling pathway from perception to transcriptional response is now before us. However, understanding how this seemingly simple pathway controls the myriad of specific auxin responses remains a daunting challenge, and compelling evidence exists for SCFTIR1/AFB-independent auxin signaling pathways.

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.

Schilling, S.; Hoffmann, T.; Rosche, F.; Manhart, S.; Wasternack, C.; Demuth, H.-U. Heterologous expression and characterization of human glutaminyl cyclase: evidence for a disulfide bond with importance for catalytic activity Biochemistry 41, 10849-10857, (2002)

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