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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.

Pienkny, S.; Brandt, W.; Schmidt, J.; Kramell, R.; Ziegler, J.; Functional characterization of a novel benzylisoquinoline O-methyltransferase suggests its involvement in papaverine biosynthesis in opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L) Plant J. 60, 56-67, (2009) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.03937.x

The benzylisoquinoline alkaloids are a highly diverse group of about 2500 compounds which accumulate in a species‐specific manner. Despite the numerous compounds which could be identified, the biosynthetic pathways and the participating enzymes or cDNAs could be characterized only for a few selected members, whereas the biosynthesis of the majority of the compounds is still largely unknown. In an attempt to characterize additional biosynthetic steps at the molecular level, integration of alkaloid and transcript profiling across Papaver species was performed. This analysis showed high expression of an expressed sequence tag (EST) of unknown function only in Papaver somniferum varieties. After full‐length cloning of the open reading frame and sequence analysis, this EST could be classified as a member of the class II type O ‐methyltransferase protein family. It was related to O ‐methyltransferases from benzylisoquinoline biosynthesis, and the amino acid sequence showed 68% identical residues to norcoclaurine 6‐O ‐methyltransferase. However, rather than methylating norcoclaurine, the recombinant protein methylated norreticuline at position seven with a K m of 44 μm using S ‐adenosyl‐l ‐methionine as a cofactor. Of all substrates tested, only norreticuline was converted. Even minor changes in the benzylisoquinoline backbone were not tolerated by the enzyme. Accordingly, the enzyme was named norreticuline 7–O ‐methyltransferase (N7OMT). This enzyme represents a novel O ‐methyltransferase in benzylisoquinoline metabolism. Expression analysis showed slightly increased expression of N7OMT in P. somniferum varieties containing papaverine, suggesting its involvement in the partially unknown biosynthesis of this pharmaceutically important compound.

Ziegler, J.; Voigtländer, S.; Schmidt, J.; Kramell, R.; Miersch, O.; Ammer, C.; Gesell, A.; Kutchan, T. M.; Comparative transcript and alkaloid profiling in Papaver species identifies a short chain dehydrogenase/reductase involved in morphine biosynthesis Plant J. 48, 177-192, (2006) DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02860.x

Plants of the order Ranunculales, especially members of the species Papaver , accumulate a large variety of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids with about 2500 structures, but only the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum ) and Papaver setigerum are able to produce the analgesic and narcotic morphine and the antitussive codeine. In this study, we investigated the molecular basis for this exceptional biosynthetic capability by comparison of alkaloid profiles with gene expression profiles between 16 different Papaver species. Out of 2000 expressed sequence tags obtained from P. somniferum , 69 show increased expression in morphinan alkaloid‐containing species. One of these cDNAs, exhibiting an expression pattern very similar to previously isolated cDNAs coding for enzymes in benzylisoquinoline biosynthesis, showed the highest amino acid identity to reductases in menthol biosynthesis. After overexpression, the protein encoded by this cDNA reduced the keto group of salutaridine yielding salutaridinol, an intermediate in morphine biosynthesis. The stereoisomer 7‐epi ‐salutaridinol was not formed. Based on its similarities to a previously purified protein from P. somniferum with respect to the high substrate specificity, molecular mass and kinetic data, the recombinant protein was identified as salutaridine reductase (SalR; EC Unlike codeinone reductase, an enzyme acting later in the pathway that catalyses the reduction of a keto group and which belongs to the family of the aldo‐keto reductases, the cDNA identified in this study as SalR belongs to the family of short chain dehydrogenases/reductases and is related to reductases in monoterpene metabolism.

Stenzel, I.; Hause, B.; Maucher, H.; Pitzschke, A.; Miersch, O.; Ziegler, J.; Ryan, C. A.; Wasternack, C.; Allene oxide cyclase dependence of the wound response and vascular bundle-specific generation of jasmonates in tomato - amplification in wound signalling Plant J. 33, 577-589, (2003) DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313X.2003.01647.x

The allene oxide cyclase (AOC)‐catalyzed step in jasmonate (JA) biosynthesis is important in the wound response of tomato. As shown by treatments with systemin and its inactive analog, and by analysis of 35S::prosysteminsense and 35S::prosysteminantisense plants, the AOC seems to be activated by systemin (and JA) leading to elevated formation of JA. Data are presented on the local wound response following activation of AOC and generation of JA, both in vascular bundles. The tissue‐specific occurrence of AOC protein and generation of JA is kept upon wounding or other stresses, but is compromised in 35S::AOCsense plants, whereas 35S::AOCantisense plants exhibited residual AOC expression, a less than 10% rise in JA, and no detectable expression of wound response genes. The (i) activation of systemin‐dependent AOC and JA biosynthesis occurring only upon substrate generation, (ii) the tissue‐specific occurrence of AOC in vascular bundles, where the prosystemin gene is expressed, and (iii) the tissue‐specific generation of JA suggest an amplification in the wound response of tomato leaves allowing local and rapid defense responses.

Maucher, H.; Hause, B.; Feussner, I.; Ziegler, J.; Wasternack, C.; Allene oxide synthases of barley (Hordeum vulgare cv. Salome): tissue specific regulation in seedling development Plant J. 21, 199-213, (2000) DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2000.00669.x

Allene oxide synthase (AOS) is the first enzyme in the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathway which leads to formation of jasmonic acid (JA). Two full‐length cDNAs of AOS designated as AOS1 and AOS2, respectively, were isolated from barley (H. vulgare cv. Salome) leaves, which represent the first AOS clones from a monocotyledonous species. For AOS1, the open reading frame encompasses 1461 bp encoding a polypeptide of 487 amino acids with calculated molecular mass of 53.4 kDa and an isoelectric point of 9.3, whereas the corresponding data of AOS2 are 1443 bp, 480 amino acids, 52.7 kDa and 7.9. Southern blot analysis revealed at least two genes. Despite the lack of a putative chloroplast signal peptide in both sequences, the protein co‐purified with chloroplasts and was localized within chloroplasts by immunocytochemical analysis. The barley AOSs, expressed in bacteria as active enzymes, catalyze the dehydration of LOX‐derived 9‐ as well as 13‐hydroperoxides of polyenoic fatty acids to the unstable allene oxides. In leaves, AOS mRNA accumulated upon treatment with jasmonates, octadecanoids and metabolizable carbohydrates, but not upon floating on abscisic acid, NaCl, Na‐salicylate or infection with powdery mildew. In developing seedlings, AOS mRNA strongly accumulated in the scutellar nodule, but less in the leaf base. Both tissues exhibited elevated JA levels. In situ hybridizations revealed the preferential occurrence of AOS mRNA in parenchymatic cells surrounding the vascular bundles of the scutellar nodule and in the young convoluted leaves as well as within the first internode. The properties of both barley AOSs, their up‐regulation of their mRNAs and their tissue specific expression suggest a role during seedling development and jasmonate biosynthesis.

Hause, B.; Stenzel, I.; Miersch, O.; Maucher, H.; Kramell, R.; Ziegler, J.; Wasternack, C.; Tissue-specific oxylipin signature of tomato flowers: allene oxide cyclase is highly expressed in distinct flower organs and vascular bundles Plant J. 24, 113-126, (2000) DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.2000.00861.x

A crucial step in the biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) is the formation of its correct stereoisomeric precursor, cis (+)12‐oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA). This step is catalysed by allene oxide cyclase (AOC), which has been recently cloned from tomato . In stems, young leaves and young flowers, AOC mRNA accumulates to a low level , contrasting with a high accumulation in flower buds, flower stalks and roots. The high levels of AOC mRNA and AOC protein in distinct flower organs correlate with high AOC activity, and with elevated levels of JA, OPDA and JA isoleucine conjugate. These compounds accumulate in flowers to levels of about 20 nmol g−1 fresh weight, which is two orders of magnitude higher than in leaves. In pistils, the level of OPDA is much higher than that of JA, whereas in flower stalks, the level of JA exceeds that of OPDA. In other flower tissues, the ratios among JA, OPDA and JA isoleucine conjugate differ remarkably, suggesting a tissue‐specific oxylipin signature. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed the specific occurrence of the AOC protein in ovules, the transmission tissue of the style and in vascular bundles of receptacles, flower stalks, stems, petioles and roots. Based on the tissue‐specific AOC expression and formation of JA, OPDA and JA amino acid conjugates, a possible role for these compounds in flower development is discussed in terms of their effect on sink–source relationships and plant defence reactions. Furthermore, the AOC expression in vascular bundles might play a role in the systemin‐mediated wound response of tomato.

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.

Vignutelli, A.; Wasternack, C.; Apel, K.; Bohlmann, H.; Systemic and local induction of an Arabidopsis thionin gene by wounding and pathogens Plant J. 14, 285-295, (1998) DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-313X.1998.00117.x

The Arabidopsis Thi2.1 thionin gene was cloned and sequenced. The promoter was fused to the uidA gene and stably transformed into Arabidopsis to study its regulation. GUS expression levels correlated with the steady‐state levels of Thi2.1 mRNA, thus demonstrating that the promoter is sufficient for the regulation of the Thi2.1 gene. The sensitivity of the Thi2.1 gene to methyl jasmonate was found to be developmentally determined. Systemic and local expression could be induced by wounding and inoculation with Fusarium oxysporum f sp. matthiolae . A deletion analysis of the promoter identified a fragment of 325 bp upstream of the start codon, which appears to contain all the elements necessary for the regulation of the Thi2.1 gene. These results support the view that thionins are defence proteins, and indicate the possibility that resistance of Arabidopsis plants to necrotrophic fungal pathogens is mediated through the octadecanoid pathway.

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.

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.
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