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Publikation

Anwer, M. U.; Davis, A.; Davis, S. J.; Quint, M. Photoperiod sensing of the circadian clock is controlled by EARLY FLOWERING 3 and GIGANTEA Plant J 101, 1397-1410, (2020) DOI: 10.1111/tpj.14604

ELF3 and GI are two important components of the Arabidopsis circadian clock. They are not only essential for the oscillator function but are also pivotal in mediating light inputs to the oscillator. Lack of either results in a defective oscillator causing severely compromised output pathways, such as photoperiodic flowering and hypocotyl elongation. Although single loss of function mutants of ELF3 and GI have been well‐studied, their genetic interaction remains unclear. We generated an elf3 gi double mutant to study their genetic relationship in clock‐controlled growth and phase transition phenotypes. We found that ELF3 and GI repress growth differentially during the night and the day, respectively. Circadian clock assays revealed that ELF3 and GI are essential Zeitnehmers that enable the oscillator to synchronize the endogenous cellular mechanisms to external environmental signals. In their absence, the circadian oscillator fails to synchronize to the light‐dark cycles even under diurnal conditions. Consequently, clock‐mediated photoperiod‐responsive growth and development are completely lost in plants lacking both genes, suggesting that ELF3 and GI together convey photoperiod sensing to the central oscillator. Since ELF3 and GI are conserved across flowering plants and represent important breeding and domestication targets, our data highlight the possibility of developing photoperiod‐insensitive crops by adjusting the allelic combination of these two key genes.
Publikation

Hussain, H.; Ziegler, J.; Hause, G.; Wohlrab, J.; Neubert, R. H. H. Quantitative Analysis of Free Amino Acids and Urea Derived from Isolated Corneocytes of Healthy Young, Healthy Aged, and Diseased Skin Skin Pharmacol Physiol 32, 94-100, (2019) DOI: 10.1159/000495992

Background/Aims: Free amino acids (FAAs) and urea, present inside the corneocytes, can be important indicators of skin condition. However, due to the lack of a standard extraction protocol for FAAs from corneocytes, conflicting research results have been reported. Therefore, the purpose of this study was (1) to standardize the extraction protocol and (2) to investigate FAA profiles in healthy young and healthy old volunteers, as well as in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis patients. Methods: Skin samples were collected from four groups (healthy young, healthy old, and psoriasis and atopic dermatitis patients) with 5 volunteers per group. Corneocytes were isolated and examined microscopically. FAAs and urea were extracted from the isolated corneocytes, and their amounts were quantified using LC-ESI/MS/MS (after derivatization with Fmoc-Cl) and colorimetric methods, respectively. Results: The micrographs of the corneocytes showed no morphological features attributable to age or disease conditions. The highest and lowest concentrations of total FAAs and urea were observed in the healthy old group and the healthy young group, respectively. Unlike the other FAAs and urea, citrulline was found at a higher level in the healthy young group than in the disease groups. Conclusion: This study suggests that the levels of FAAs and urea in the skin are affected by age and skin conditions (healthy/diseased). However, further studies are needed to show the effects of different skin conditions on the levels of FAAs and urea.
Publikation

Naumann, C.; Müller, J.; Sakhonwasee, S.; Wieghaus, A.; Hause, G.; Heisters, M.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Abel, S. The Local Phosphate Deficiency Response Activates Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Dependent Autophagy Plant Physiol 179, 460-476, (2019) DOI: 10.1104/pp.18.01379

Inorganic phosphate (Pi) is often a limiting plant nutrient. In members of the Brassicaceae family, such as Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), Pi deprivation reshapes root system architecture to favor topsoil foraging. It does so by inhibiting primary root extension and stimulating lateral root formation. Root growth inhibition from phosphate (Pi) deficiency is triggered by iron-stimulated, apoplastic reactive oxygen species generation and cell wall modifications, which impair cell-to-cell communication and meristem maintenance. These processes require LOW PHOSPHATE RESPONSE1 (LPR1), a cell wall-targeted ferroxidase, and PHOSPHATE DEFICIENCY RESPONSE2 (PDR2), the single endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident P5-type ATPase (AtP5A), which is thought to control LPR1 secretion or activity. Autophagy is a conserved process involving the vacuolar degradation of cellular components. While the function of autophagy is well established under nutrient starvation (C, N, or S), it remains to be explored under Pi deprivation. Because AtP5A/PDR2 likely functions in the ER stress response, we analyzed the effect of Pi limitation on autophagy. Our comparative study of mutants defective in the local Pi deficiency response, ER stress response, and autophagy demonstrated that ER stress-dependent autophagy is rapidly activated as part of the developmental root response to Pi limitation and requires the genetic PDR2-LPR1 module. We conclude that Pi-dependent activation of autophagy in the root apex is a consequence of local Pi sensing and the associated ER stress response, rather than a means for systemic recycling of the macronutrient.
Preprints

Anwer, M. U.; Davis, A.; Davis, S. J.; Quint, M. Photoperiod sensing of the circadian clock is controlled by EARLY FLOWERING 3 and GIGANTEA bioRxiv (2018) DOI: 10.1101/321794

ELF3 and GI are two important components of the Arabidopsis circadian clock. They are not only essential for the oscillator function but are also pivotal in mediating light inputs to the oscillator. Lack of either results in a defective oscillator causing severely compromised output pathways, such as photoperiodic flowering and hypocotyl elongation. Although single loss of function mutants of ELF3 and GI have been well-studied, their genetic interaction remains unclear. We generated an elf3 gi double mutant to study their genetic relationship in clock-controlled growth and phase transition phenotypes. We found that ELF3 and GI repress growth differentially during the night and the day, respectively. Circadian clock assays revealed that ELF3 and GI are essential Zeitnehmers that enable the oscillator to synchronize the endogenous cellular mechanisms to external environmental signals. In their absence, the circadian oscillator fails to synchronize to the light-dark cycles even under diurnal conditions. Consequently, clock-mediated photoperiod-responsive growth and development is completely lost in plants lacking both genes, suggesting that ELF3 and GI together convey photoperiod sensing to the central oscillator. Since ELF3 and GI are conserved across flowering plants and represent important breeding and domestication targets, our data highlight the possibility of developing photoperiod-insensitive crops by adjusting the allelic combination of these two key genes.
Publikation

Balzergue, C.; Dartevelle, T.; Godon, C.; Laugier, E.; Meisrimler, C.; Teulon, J.-M.; Creff, A.; Bissler, M.; Brouchoud, C.; Hagège, A.; Müller, J.; Chiarenza, S.; Javot, H.; Becuwe-Linka, N.; David, P.; Péret, B.; Delannoy, E.; Thibaud, M.-C.; Armengaud, J.; Abel, S.; Pellequer, J.-L.; Nussaume, L.; Desnos, T. Low phosphate activates STOP1-ALMT1 to rapidly inhibit root cell elongation Nat Commun 8, 15300, (2017) DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15300

Environmental cues profoundly modulate cell proliferation and cell elongation to inform and direct plant growth and development. External phosphate (Pi) limitation inhibits primary root growth in many plant species. However, the underlying Pi sensory mechanisms are unknown. Here we genetically uncouple two Pi sensing pathways in the root apex of Arabidopsis thaliana. First, the rapid inhibition of cell elongation in the transition zone is controlled by transcription factor STOP1, by its direct target, ALMT1, encoding a malate channel, and by ferroxidase LPR1, which together mediate Fe and peroxidase-dependent cell wall stiffening. Second, during the subsequent slow inhibition of cell proliferation in the apical meristem, which is mediated by LPR1-dependent, but largely STOP1–ALMT1-independent, Fe and callose accumulate in the stem cell niche, leading to meristem reduction. Our work uncovers STOP1 and ALMT1 as a signalling pathway of low Pi availability and exuded malate as an unexpected apoplastic inhibitor of root cell wall expansion.
Publikation

Bürstenbinder, K.; Möller, B.; Plötner; R.; Stamm, G.; Hause, G.; Mitra, D.; Abel, S. The IQD family of calmodulin-binding proteins links calcium signaling to microtubules, membrane subdomains, and the nucleus. Plant Physiol 173, 1692-1708, (2017) DOI: 10.1104/pp.16.01743

Calcium (Ca2+) signaling and dynamic reorganization of the cytoskeleton are essential processes for the coordination and control of plant cell shape and cell growth. Calmodulin (CaM) and closely related CaM-like polypeptides (CML) are principal sensors of Ca2+ signals. CaM/CMLs decode and relay information encrypted by the second messenger via differential interactions with a wide spectrum of targets to modulate their diverse biochemical activities. The plant-specific IQ67-DOMAIN (IQD) family emerged as the possibly largest class of CaM interacting proteins with undefined molecular functions and biological roles. Here, we show that the 33 members of the IQD family in Arabidopsis thaliana differentially localize, using GFP-tagged proteins, to multiple and distinct subcellular sites, including microtubule (MT) arrays, plasma membrane microdomains, and nuclear compartments. Intriguingly, the various IQD-specific localization patterns coincide with the subcellular patterns of IQD-dependent recruitment of CaM, suggesting that the diverse IQD members sequester Ca2+-CaM signaling modules to specific subcellular sites for precise regulation of Ca2+-dependent processes. Because MT localization is a hallmark of most IQD family members, we quantitatively analyzed GFP-labeled MT arrays in tobacco cells transiently expressing GFP-IQD fusions and observed IQD-specific MT patterns, which point to a role of IQDs in MT organization and dynamics. Indeed, stable overexpression of select IQD proteins in Arabidopsis altered cellular MT orientation, cell shape, and organ morphology. Because IQDs share biochemical properties with scaffold proteins, we propose that IQD families provide an assortment of platform proteins for integrating CaM-dependent Ca2+ signaling at multiple cellular sites to regulate cell function, shape, and growth. 
Publikation

Ziegler, J.; Schmidt, S.; Chutia, R.; Müller, J.; Böttcher, C.; Strehmel, N.; Scheel, D.; Abel, S. Non-targeted profiling of semi-polar metabolites in Arabidopsis root exudates uncovers a role for coumarin secretion and lignification during the local response to phosphate limitation J Exp Bot 67, 1421-1432, (2016) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erv539

Plants have evolved two major strategies to cope with phosphate (Pi) limitation. The systemic response, mainly comprising increased Pi uptake and metabolic adjustments for more efficient Pi use, and the local response, enabling plants to explore Pi-rich soil patches by reorganization of the root system architecture. Unlike previous reports, this study focused on root exudation controlled by the local response to Pi deficiency. To approach this, a hydroponic system separating the local and systemic responses was developed. Arabidopsis thaliana genotypes exhibiting distinct sensitivities to Pi deficiency could be clearly distinguished by their root exudate composition as determined by non-targeted reversed-phase ultraperformance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry metabolite profiling. Compared with wild-type plants or insensitive low phosphate root 1 and 2 (lpr1 lpr2) double mutant plants, the hypersensitive phosphate deficiency response 2 (pdr2) mutant exhibited a reduced number of differential features in root exudates after Pi starvation, suggesting the involvement of PDR2-encoded P5-type ATPase in root exudation. Identification and analysis of coumarins revealed common and antagonistic regulatory pathways between Pi and Fe deficiency-induced coumarin secretion. The accumulation of oligolignols in root exudates after Pi deficiency was inversely correlated with Pi starvation-induced lignification at the root tips. The strongest oligolignol accumulation in root exudates was observed for the insensitive lpr1 lpr2 double mutant, which was accompanied by the absence of Pi deficiency-induced lignin deposition, suggesting a role of LPR ferroxidases in lignin polymerization during Pi starvation. 
Publikation

Hoehenwarter, W.; Mönchgesang, S.; Neumann, S.; Majovsky, P.; Abel, S.; Müller, J. Comparative expression profiling reveals a role of the root apoplast in local phosphate response BMC Plant Biol 16 , 106, (2016) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0790-8

BackgroundPlant adaptation to limited phosphate availability comprises a wide range of responses to conserve and remobilize internal phosphate sources and to enhance phosphate acquisition. Vigorous restructuring of root system architecture provides a developmental strategy for topsoil exploration and phosphate scavenging. Changes in external phosphate availability are locally sensed at root tips and adjust root growth by modulating cell expansion and cell division. The functionally interacting Arabidopsis genes, LOW PHOSPHATE RESPONSE 1 and 2 (LPR1/LPR2) and PHOSPHATE DEFICIENCY RESPONSE 2 (PDR2), are key components of root phosphate sensing. We recently demonstrated that the LOW PHOSPHATE RESPONSE 1 - PHOSPHATE DEFICIENCY RESPONSE 2 (LPR1-PDR2) module mediates apoplastic deposition of ferric iron (Fe3+) in the growing root tip during phosphate limitation. Iron deposition coincides with sites of reactive oxygen species generation and triggers cell wall thickening and callose accumulation, which interfere with cell-to-cell communication and inhibit root growth.ResultsWe took advantage of the opposite phosphate-conditional root phenotype of the phosphate deficiency response 2 mutant (hypersensitive) and low phosphate response 1 and 2 double mutant (insensitive) to investigate the phosphate dependent regulation of gene and protein expression in roots using genome-wide transcriptome and proteome analysis. We observed an overrepresentation of genes and proteins that are involved in the regulation of iron homeostasis, cell wall remodeling and reactive oxygen species formation, and we highlight a number of candidate genes with a potential function in root adaptation to limited phosphate availability. Our experiments reveal that FERRIC REDUCTASE DEFECTIVE 3 mediated, apoplastic iron redistribution, but not intracellular iron uptake and iron storage, triggers phosphate-dependent root growth modulation. We further highlight expressional changes of several cell wall-modifying enzymes and provide evidence for adjustment of the pectin network at sites of iron accumulation in the root.ConclusionOur study reveals new aspects of the elaborate interplay between phosphate starvation responses and changes in iron homeostasis. The results emphasize the importance of apoplastic iron redistribution to mediate phosphate-dependent root growth adjustment and suggest an important role for citrate in phosphate-dependent apoplastic iron transport. We further demonstrate that root growth modulation correlates with an altered expression of cell wall modifying enzymes and changes in the pectin network of the phosphate-deprived root tip, supporting the hypothesis that pectins are involved in iron binding and/or phosphate mobilization.
Publikation

Raschke, A.; Ibañez, C.; Ullrich, K. K.; Anwer, M. U.; Becker, S.; Glöckner, A.; Trenner, J.; Denk, K.; Saal, B.; Sun, X.; Ni, M.; Davis, S. J.; Delker, C.; Quint, M. Natural variants of ELF3 affect thermomorphogenesis by transcriptionally modulating PIF4-dependent auxin response genes BMC Plant Biol. 15, 197, (2015) DOI: 10.1186/s12870-015-0566-6

BackgroundPerception and transduction of temperature changes result in altered growth enabling plants to adapt to increased ambient temperature. While PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) has been identified as a major ambient temperature signaling hub, its upstream regulation seems complex and is poorly understood. Here, we exploited natural variation for thermo-responsive growth in Arabidopsis thaliana using quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis.ResultsWe identified GIRAFFE2.1, a major QTL explaining ~18 % of the phenotypic variation for temperature-induced hypocotyl elongation in the Bay-0 x Sha recombinant inbred line population. Transgenic complementation demonstrated that allelic variation in the circadian clock regulator EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3) is underlying this QTL. The source of variation could be allocated to a single nucleotide polymorphism in the ELF3 coding region, resulting in differential expression of PIF4 and its target genes, likely causing the observed natural variation in thermo-responsive growth.ConclusionsIn combination with other recent studies, this work establishes the role of ELF3 in the ambient temperature signaling network. Natural variation of ELF3-mediated gating of PIF4 expression during nightly growing periods seems to be affected by a coding sequence quantitative trait nucleotide that confers a selective advantage in certain environments. In addition, natural ELF3 alleles seem to differentially integrate temperature and photoperiod information to induce architectural changes. Thus, ELF3 emerges as an essential coordinator of growth and development in response to diverse environmental cues and implicates ELF3 as an important target of adaptation. 
Publikation

Müller, J.; Toev, T.; Heisters, M.; Teller, J.; Moore, K. L.; Hause, G.; Dinesh, D. C.; Bürstenbinder, K.; Abel, S. Iron-Dependent Callose Deposition Adjusts Root Meristem Maintenance to Phosphate Availability Devel Cell 33, 216–230, (2015) DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.02.007

Plant root development is informed by numerous edaphic cues. Phosphate (Pi) availability impacts the root system architecture by adjusting meristem activity. However, the sensory mechanisms monitoring external Pi status are elusive. Two functionally interacting Arabidopsis genes, LPR1 (ferroxidase) and PDR2 (P5-type ATPase), are key players in root Pi sensing, which is modified by iron (Fe) availability. We show that the LPR1-PDR2 module facilitates, upon Pi limitation, cell-specific apoplastic Fe and callose deposition in the meristem and elongation zone of primary roots. Expression of cell-wall-targeted LPR1 determines the sites of Fe accumulation as well as callose production, which interferes with symplastic communication in the stem cell niche, as demonstrated by impaired SHORT-ROOT movement. Antagonistic interactions of Pi and Fe availability control primary root growth via meristem-specific callose formation, likely triggered by LPR1-dependent redox signaling. Our results link callose-regulated cell-to-cell signaling in root meristems to the perception of an abiotic cue
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