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Wasternack, C. A plant's balance of growth and defense - revisited New Phytol 215, 1291-1294, (2017) DOI: 10.1111/nph.14720

This article is a Commentary on Major et al., 215: 1533–1547.

Wasternack, C.; Song, S. Jasmonates: biosynthesis, metabolism, and signaling by proteins activating and repressing transciption J Exp Bot 68, 1303-1321, (2017) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erw443

The lipid-derived phytohormone jasmonate (JA) regulates plant growth, development, secondary metabolism, defense against insect attack and pathogen infection, and tolerance to abiotic stresses such as wounding, UV light, salt, and drought. JA was first identified in 1962, and since the 1980s many studies have analyzed the physiological functions, biosynthesis, distribution, metabolism, perception, signaling, and crosstalk of JA, greatly expanding our knowledge of the hormone’s action. In response to fluctuating environmental cues and transient endogenous signals, the occurrence of multilayered organization of biosynthesis and inactivation of JA, and activation and repression of the COI1–JAZ-based perception and signaling contributes to the fine-tuning of JA responses. This review describes the JA biosynthetic enzymes in terms of gene families, enzymatic activity, location and regulation, substrate specificity and products, the metabolic pathways in converting JA to activate or inactivate compounds, JA signaling in perception, and the co-existence of signaling activators and repressors

López-Carrasco, A.; Ballesteros, C.; Sentandreu, V.; Delgado, S.; Gago-Zachert, S.; Flores, R.; Sanjuán, R. Different rates of spontaneous mutation of chloroplastic and nuclear viroids as determined by high-fidelity ultra-deep sequencing PLOS Pathog 13, e1006547, (2017) DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006547

Mutation rates vary by orders of magnitude across biological systems, being higher for simpler genomes. The simplest known genomes correspond to viroids, subviral plant replicons constituted by circular non-coding RNAs of few hundred bases. Previous work has revealed an extremely high mutation rate for chrysanthemum chlorotic mottle viroid, a chloroplast-replicating viroid. However, whether this is a general feature of viroids remains unclear. Here, we have used high-fidelity ultra-deep sequencing to determine the mutation rate in a common host (eggplant) of two viroids, each representative of one family: the chloroplastic eggplant latent viroid (ELVd, Avsunviroidae) and the nuclear potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd, Pospiviroidae). This revealed higher mutation frequencies in ELVd than in PSTVd, as well as marked differences in the types of mutations produced. Rates of spontaneous mutation, quantified in vivo using the lethal mutation method, ranged from 1/1000 to 1/800 for ELVd and from 1/7000 to 1/3800 for PSTVd depending on sequencing run. These results suggest that extremely high mutability is a common feature of chloroplastic viroids, whereas the mutation rates of PSTVd and potentially other nuclear viroids appear significantly lower and closer to those of some RNA viruses.

Wasternack, C. The Trojan horse coronatine: the COI1–JAZ2–MYC2,3,4–ANAC019,055,072 module in stomata dynamics upon bacterial infection. New Phytol 213, 972-975, (2017) DOI: 10.1111/nph.14417

Coronatine (COR) is a phytotoxin produced by a plasmid-encoded operon of genes in several strains of Pseudomonas syringae (Bender et al., 1999). It is a mimic of the defense-associated phytohormone jasmonic acid isoleucine and delivered by the phytopathogenic bacterium to gain access to host plants through stomatal entry and to repress a specific sector of plant immunity. In this issue of New Phytologist (pp. 1378–1392) Gimenez-Ibanez et al. reveal exciting insights into the transcriptional regulation of COR/jasmonic acid isoleucine-governed transcriptional networks modulating stomatal aperture during bacterial invasion.

Stumpe, M.; Göbel, C.; Faltin, B.; Beike, A. K.; Hause, B.; Himmelsbach, K.; Bode, J.; Kramell, R.; Wasternack, C.; Frank, W.; Reski, R.; Feussner, I. The moss Physcomitrella patens contains cyclopentenones but no jasmonates: mutations in allene oxide cyclase lead to reduced fertility and altered sporophyte morphology New Phytol 188 (3), 740-749, (2010) DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03406.x

Two cDNAs encoding allene oxide cyclases (PpAOC1, PpAOC2), key enzymes in the formation of jasmonic acid (JA) and its precursor (9S,13S)‐12‐oxo‐phytodienoic acid (cis‐(+)‐OPDA), were isolated from the moss Physcomitrella patens.Recombinant PpAOC1 and PpAOC2 show substrate specificity against the allene oxide derived from 13‐hydroperoxy linolenic acid (13‐HPOTE); PpAOC2 also shows substrate specificity against the allene oxide derived from 12‐hydroperoxy arachidonic acid (12‐HPETE).In protonema and gametophores the occurrence of cis‐(+)‐OPDA, but neither JA nor the isoleucine conjugate of JA nor that of cis‐(+)‐OPDA was detected.Targeted knockout mutants for PpAOC1 and for PpAOC2 were generated, while double mutants could not be obtained. The ΔPpAOC1 and ΔPpAOC2 mutants showed reduced fertility, aberrant sporophyte morphology and interrupted sporogenesis.

Wasternack, C.; Kombrink, E. Jasmonates: Structural Requirements for Lipid-Derived Signals Active in Plant Stress Responses and Development ACS Chem Biol 5, 63-77, (2010) DOI: 10.1021/cb900269u

Jasmonates are lipid-derived signals that mediate plant stress responses and development processes. Enzymes participating in biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) (1, 2) and components of JA signaling have been extensively characterized by biochemical and molecular-genetic tools. Mutants of Arabidopsis and tomato have helped to define the pathway for synthesis of jasmonoyl-isoleucine (JA-Ile), the active form of JA, and to identify the F-box protein COI1 as central regulatory unit. However, details of the molecular mechanism of JA signaling have only recently been unraveled by the discovery of JAZ proteins that function in transcriptional repression. The emerging picture of JA perception and signaling cascade implies the SCFCOI1 complex operating as E3 ubiquitin ligase that upon binding of JA-Ile targets JAZ repressors for degradation by the 26S-proteasome pathway, thereby allowing the transcription factor MYC2 to activate gene expression. The fact that only one particular stereoisomer, (+)-7-iso-JA-l-Ile (4), shows high biological activity suggests that epimerization between active and inactive diastereomers could be a mechanism for turning JA signaling on or off. The recent demonstration that COI1 directly binds (+)-7-iso-JA-l-Ile (4) and thus functions as JA receptor revealed that formation of the ternary complex COI1-JA-Ile-JAZ is an ordered process. The pronounced differences in biological activity of JA stereoisomers also imply strict stereospecific control of product formation along the JA biosynthetic pathway. The pathway of JA biosynthesis has been unraveled, and most of the participating enzymes are well-characterized. For key enzymes of JA biosynthesis the crystal structures have been established, allowing insight into the mechanisms of catalysis and modes of substrate binding that lead to formation of stereospecific products.

Wasternack, C.; Xie, D. The genuine ligand of a jasmonic acid receptor: Improved analysis of jasmonates is now required. Plant Signal Behav 5, 337-340, (2010) DOI: 10.4161/psb.5.4.11574

Jasmonic acid (JA), its metabolites, such as the methyl ester or amino acid conjugates as well as its precursor 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA) are lipid-derived signals. JA, OPDA and JA-amino acid conjugates are known to function as signals in plant stress responses and development. More recently, formation of JA-amino acid conjugates and high biological activity of JA-Isoleucine (JA-Ile) were found to be essential in JA signaling. A breakthrough was the identification of JAZ proteins which interact with the F-box protein COI1 if JA-Ile is bound. This interaction leads to proteasomal degradation of JAZs being negative regulators of JA-induced transcription. Surprisingly, a distinct stereoisomer of JA-Ile, the (+)-7-iso-JA-Ile [(3R,7S) form] is most active. Coronatine, a bacterial phytotoxine with an identical stereochemistry at the cyclopentanone ring, has a similar bioactivity. This was explained by the recent identification of COI1 as the JA receptor and accords well with molecular modeling studies. Whereas over the last two decades JA was quantified to describe any JA dependent process, now we have to take into account a distinct stereoisomer of JA-Ile. Until recently a quantitative analysis of (+)-7-iso-JA-Ile was missing presumable due to its equilibration to (−)-JA-Ile. Now such an analysis was achieved. These aspects will be discussed based on our new knowledge on JA perception and signaling.

Robson, F.; Okamoto, H.; Patrick, E.; Harris, S.-R.; Wasternack, C.; Brearley, C.; Turner, J. G. Jasmonate and Phytochrome A Signaling in Arabidopsis Wound and Shade Responses Are Integrated through JAZ1 Stability Plant Cell 22, 1143-1160, (2010) DOI: 10.1105/tpc.109.067728

Jasmonate (JA) activates plant defense, promotes pollen maturation, and suppresses plant growth. An emerging theme in JA biology is its involvement in light responses; here, we examine the interdependence of the JA- and light-signaling pathways in Arabidopsis thaliana. We demonstrate that mutants deficient in JA biosynthesis and signaling are deficient in a subset of high irradiance responses in far-red (FR) light. These mutants display exaggerated shade responses to low, but not high, R/FR ratio light, suggesting a role for JA in phytochrome A (phyA) signaling. Additionally, we demonstrate that the FR lightinduced expression of transcription factor genes is dependent on CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1), a central component of JA signaling, and is suppressed by JA. phyA mutants had reduced JA-regulated growth inhibition and VSP expression and increased content of cis-(+)-12-oxophytodienoic acid, an intermediate in JA biosynthesis. Significantly, COI1-mediated degradation of JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN1-b-glucuronidase (JAZ1-GUS) in response to mechanical wounding and JA treatment required phyA, and ectopic expression of JAZ1-GUS resulted in exaggerated shade responses.Together, these results indicate that JA and phyA signaling are integrated through degradation of the JAZ1 protein, and both are required for plant responses to light and stress.
Bücher und Buchkapitel

Wasternack, C. Jasmonates in Stress, Growth, and Development (H. Hirt). WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim 91 - 118, (2010) ISBN: 978-3-527-32290-9 DOI: 10.1002/9783527628964.ch5


Leon-Reyes, A.; Van der Does, D.; De Lange, E. S.; Delker, C.; Wasternack, C.; Van Wees, S. C. M.; Ritsema, T.; Pieterse, C. M. J. Salicylate-mediated suppression of jasmonate-responsive gene expression in Arabidopsis is targeted downstream of the jasmonate biosynthesis pathway Planta 232, 1423-1432, (2010) DOI: 10.1007/s00425-010-1265-z

Jasmonates (JAs) and salicylic acid (SA) are plant hormones that play pivotal roles in the regulation of induced defenses against microbial pathogens and insect herbivores. Their signaling pathways cross-communicate providing the plant with a regulatory potential to finely tune its defense response to the attacker(s) encountered. In Arabidopsis thaliana, SA strongly antagonizes the jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway, resulting in the downregulation of a large set of JA-responsive genes, including the marker genes PDF1.2 and VSP2. Induction of JA-responsive marker gene expression by different JA derivatives was equally sensitive to SA-mediated suppression. Activation of genes encoding key enzymes in the JA biosynthesis pathway, such as LOX2, AOS, AOC2, and OPR3 was also repressed by SA, suggesting that the JA biosynthesis pathway may be a target for SA-mediated antagonism. To test this, we made use of the mutant aos/dde2, which is completely blocked in its ability to produce JAs because of a mutation in the ALLENE OXIDE SYNTHASE gene. Mutant aos/dde2 plants did not express the JA-responsive marker genes PDF1.2 or VSP2 in response to infection with the necrotrophic fungus Alternaria brassicicola or the herbivorous insect Pieris rapae. Bypassing JA biosynthesis by exogenous application of methyl jasmonate (MeJA) rescued this JA-responsive phenotype in aos/dde2. Application of SA suppressed MeJA-induced PDF1.2 expression to the same level in the aos/dde2 mutant as in wild-type Col-0 plants, indicating that SA-mediated suppression of JAresponsive gene expression is targeted at a position downstream of the JA biosynthesis pathway.
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