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Jablonická, V.; Ziegler, J.; Vatehová, Z.; Lišková, D.; Heilmann, I.; Obložinský, M.; Heilmann, M. Inhibition of phospholipases influences the metabolism of wound-induced benzylisoquinoline alkaloids in Papaver somniferum L. J Plant Physiol 223, 1-8, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2018.01.007

Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs) are important secondary plant metabolites and include medicinally relevant drugs, such as morphine or codeine. As the de novo synthesis of BIA backbones is (still) unfeasible, to date the opium poppy plant Papaver somniferum L. represents the main source of BIAs. The formation of BIAs is induced in poppy plants by stress conditions, such as wounding or salt treatment; however, the details about regulatory processes controlling BIA formation in opium poppy are not well studied. Environmental stresses, such as wounding or salinization, are transduced in plants by phospholipid-based signaling pathways, which involve different classes of phospholipases. Here we investigate whether pharmacological inhibition of phospholipase A2 (PLA2, inhibited by aristolochic acid (AA)) or phospholipase D (PLD; inhibited by 5-fluoro-2-indolyl des-chlorohalopemide (FIPI)) in poppy plants influences wound-induced BIA accumulation and the expression of key biosynthetic genes. We show that inhibition of PLA2 results in increased morphinan biosynthesis concomitant with reduced production of BIAs of the papaverine branch, whereas inhibition of PLD results in increased production of BIAs of the noscapine branch. The data suggest that phospholipid-dependent signaling pathways contribute to the activation of morphine biosynthesis at the expense of the production of other BIAs in poppy plants. A better understanding of the effectors and the principles of regulation of alkaloid biosynthesis might be the basis for the future genetic modification of opium poppy to optimize BIA production.

Erickson, J. l.; Ziegler, J.; Guevara, D.; Abel, S.; Klösgen, R. B.; Mathur, J.; Rothstein, S. J.; Schattat, M.H. Agrobacterium-derived cytokinin influences plastid morphology and starch accumulation inNicotiana benthamiana during transient assays BMC Plant Biol. 14, 127, (2014) DOI: 10.1186/1471-2229-14-127

Background: Agrobacterium tumefaciens-based transient assays have become a common tool for answering questions related to protein localization and gene expression in a cellular context. The use of these assays assumes that the transiently transformed cells are observed under relatively authentic physiological conditions and maintain ‘normal’ sub-cellular behaviour. Although this premise is widely accepted, the question of whether cellular organization andorganelle morphology is altered in Agrobacterium-infiltrated cells has not been examined in detail. The first indications of an altered sub-cellular environment came from our observation that a common laboratory strain, GV3101(pMP90), caused a drastic increase in stromule frequency. Stromules, or ‘stroma-filled-tubules’ emanate fromthe surface of plastids and are sensitive to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses. Starting from this observation, the goal of our experiments was to further characterize the changes to the cell resulting from short-term bacterial infestation, and to identify the factor responsible for eliciting these changes.Results: Using a protocol typical of transient assays we evaluated the impact of GV3101(pMP90) infiltration on chloroplast behaviour and morphology in Nicotiana benthamiana. Our experiments confirmed that GV3101(pMP90) consistently induces stromules and alters plastid position relative to the nucleus. These effects were found to be the result of strain-dependant secretion of cytokinin and its accumulation in the plant tissue. Bacterial production of the hormone was found to be dependant on the presence of a trans-zeatin synthase gene (tzs) located on the Ti plasmidof GV3101(pMP90). Bacteria-derived cytokinins were also correlated with changes to both soluble sugar level and starch accumulation.Conclusion: Although we have chosen to focus on how transient Agrobacterium infestation alters plastid based parameters, these changes to the morphology and position of a single organelle, combined with the measured increases in sugar and starch content, suggest global changes to cell physiology. This indicates that cells visualized during transient assays may not be as ‘normal’ as was previously assumed. Our results suggest that the impact of the bacteria can be minimized by choosing Agrobacterium strains devoid of the tzs gene, but that the alterations to sub-cellular organization and cell carbohydrate status cannot be completely avoided using this strategy.Keywords: Agrobacterium tumefaciens, Nicotiana benthamiana, Transient assays, GV3101(pMP90), LBA4404, Plastid,Stromules, Bacteria-derived, Cytokinin, Trans-zeatin synthase
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