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Publikation

Gago-Zachert, S.; Schuck, J.; Weinholdt, C.; Knoblich, M.; Pantaleo, V.; Grosse, I.; Gursinsky, T.; Behrens, S.-E.; Highly efficacious antiviral protection of plants by small interfering RNAs identified in vitro Nucleic Acids Res. 47, 9343-9357, (2019) DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkz678

In response to a viral infection, the plant’s RNA silencing machinery processes viral RNAs into a huge number of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). However, a very few of these siRNAs actually interfere with viral replication. A reliable approach to identify these immunologically effective siRNAs (esiRNAs) and to define the characteristics underlying their activity has not been available so far. Here, we develop a novel screening approach that enables a rapid functional identification of antiviral esiRNAs. Tests on the efficacy of such identified esiRNAs of a model virus achieved a virtual full protection of plants against a massive subsequent infection in transient applications. We find that the functionality of esiRNAs depends crucially on two properties: the binding affinity to Argonaute proteins and the ability to access the target RNA. The ability to rapidly identify functional esiRNAs could be of great benefit for all RNA silencing-based plant protection measures against viruses and other pathogens.
Publikation

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.
Publikation

Kramell, R.; Miersch, O.; Schneider, G.; Wasternack, C.; Liquid chromatography of jasmonic acid amine conjugates Chromatographia 49, 42-46, (1999) DOI: 10.1007/BF02467185

Racemic jasmonic acid (3R,7R/3S,7S)-(±)-JA) was chemically conjugated with different biogenic amines originating from aliphatic and aromatic α-amino acids by decarboxylation. The resulting isomeric compounds were subjected to reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and to HPLC on the chiral stationary phases Chiralpak AS and Nucleodex β-PM. Under reversed-phase conditions, all the homologous amine derivatives tested could be separated from each other except the JA-conjugates containing 2-phenyl-ethylamine and 3-methylbutylamine. On both chiral supports the (3R,7R)-(−)-JA conjugates eluted earlier than those of the enantiomeric counterpart (3S,7S)-(+)-JA. On Chiralpak AS all the isomers studied could be separated to baseline with a mobile phase containingn-hexane and 2-propanol. The calculated resolution factors were between 1.80 and 4.17. The pairs of isomers were also chromatographed on the cyclodextrin stationary phase Nucleodex β-PM with methanol-triethylammonium acetate buffer as mobile phase. Under these conditions resolution factors were between 0.74 and 1.29. The individual isomers were chiroptically characterized by measurement of their circular dichroism.
Publikation

Kenton, P.; Mur, L. A. J.; Atzorn, R.; Wasternack, C.; Draper, J.; (—)-Jasmonic Acid Accumulation in Tobacco Hypersensitive Response Lesions Mol. Plant Microbe Interact. 12, 74-78, (1999) DOI: 10.1094/MPMI.1999.12.1.74

Tobacco infected with Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola undergoes a hypersensitive response (HR). Jasmonic acid (JA) accumulated within the developing lesion 3 to 9 h after infection and this accumulation preceded protein loss, cell death, and malondialdehyde accumulation. Accumulating JA consisted largely of the (—)-JA stereoisomer and was essentially restricted to the HR lesion.
Publikation

Kramell, R.; Schneider, G.; Miersch, O.; Chiral separation of amide conjugates of jasmonic acid by liquid chromatography Chromatographia 45, 104-108, (1997) DOI: 10.1007/BF02505545

Synthetic amide conjugates of (−)-jasmonic acid and its (+)-enantiomer were resolved by means of chiral liquid chromatography. The diastereomeric pairs prepared by chemical reaction of (±)-jasmonic acid with a series of (S)- or (R)-amino acids and with some (S)-amino acid alcohols were completely separated on Chiralpak AS using a mixture of n-hexane/2-propanal as mobile phase. The retention data indicate that the (−)-jasmonic acid conjugates eluted faster than those of the (+)-enantiomer, independent on the configuration of the bound amino acid. Likewise, enantiomeric derivatives of (±)-jasmonic acid and non-chiral amino acids were completely separated on the chiral stationary phase and showed the same elution sequence. The resolution factors,Rs, were found to range between 1.13 and 6.64. The separated compounds were chiropatically analyzed by measurement of the circular dichroism.
Publikation

Ward, J. L.; Gaskin, P.; Beale, M. H.; Sessions, R.; Koda, Y.; Wasternack, C.; Molecular modelling, synthesis and biological activity of methyl 3-methyljasmonate and related derivatives Tetrahedron 53, 8181-8194, (1997) DOI: 10.1016/S0040-4020(97)00485-7

Methyl 3-methyljasmonate was synthesised from methyl jasmonate via methyl 3,7-dehydrojasmonate. Molecular modelling predicted an increase in the proportion of cis-orientated side-chains for equilibrated 3-methyl-substituted jasmonate. The synthetic 3-methyljasmonate was shown by gc-ms analysis to equilibrate to a 2:1 ratio of isomers, which appeared from the NMR spectra to comprise mainly the cis-isomer. Surprisingly, both 3,7-dehydro- and 3-methyl-derivatives were inactive in four well established jasmonate bioassays. Methyl-2-methyljasmonate was synthesised and also found to be inactive. Methyl 4,5-dehydrojasmonate was prepared, via the 5-diazo derivative. Both of these compounds have low activity. Our results are discussed with reference to previous knowledge of jasmonate structure-activity relationships and indicate that there are stringent steric demands in jasmonate-receptor interactions.
Publikation

Kogel, K.-H.; Ortel, B.; Jarosch, B.; Atzorn, R.; Schiffer, R.; Wasternack, C.; Resistance in barley against the powdery mildew fungus (Erysiphe graminis f.sp.hordei) is not associated with enhanced levels of endogenous jasmonates Eur. J. Plant Pathol. 101, 319-332, (1995) DOI: 10.1007/BF01874788

Onset of acquired resistance of barley (Hordeum vulgare) chemically induced by 2,6-dichloroisonicotinic acid (DCINA) correlated with the accumulation of mRNA homologous to cDNA pHvJ256 which codes for a soluble leaf-thionin with a Mr. of 6 kDa [Wasternacket al., 1994a]. In the present work, we extend this finding by showing that the thionin transcript also accumulated following treatment of barley with the resistance-inducing compounds 3,5-dichlorosalicylic acid (DCSA), salicylic acid (SA), and an extract fromBacillus subtilis. The polypeptide showed antifungal activity against the biotrophic cereal pathogensErysiphe graminis f.sp.hordei andPuccinia graminis f.sp.tritici which may indicate a possible role in the mechanism of acquired resistance in barley. A thionin transcript hybridizing to pHvJ256 accumulated also in response to application of jasmonates, or treatments that elevated endogenous amounts of the plant growth substance, pointing to the possibility that signaling mediating defense responses in barley involves jasmonates. However, a topical spray application of jasmonic acid (JA) or jasmonate methyl ester (JM) did not protect barley leaves against infection byE. graminis. Performing a kinetic analysis by an enzyme immunoassay specific for (−)-JA, (−)-JM, and its amino acid conjugates, accumulation of jasmonates was detected in osmotically stressed barley but not at the onset of chemically induced or genetically based resistance governed by the powdery mildew resistance genesMlg, Mla 12, ormlo 5. Furthermore, the jasmonate-inducible proteins JIP-23 and JIP-60 were strongly induced following JM- but not DCINA-treatment or inoculation withE. graminis. Hence, in barley, no indications were found in favour for the previously proposed model of a lipid-based signaling pathway via jasmonates mediating expression of resistance in plants against pathogens.
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