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Ried, M. K.; Banhara, A.; Hwu, F.-Y.; Binder, A.; Gust, A. A.; Höfle, C.; Hückelhoven, R.; Nürnberger, T.; Parniske, M. A set of Arabidopsis genes involved in the accommodation of the downy mildew pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis PLOS Pathog 15, e1007747, (2019) DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1007747

The intracellular accommodation structures formed by plant cells to host arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi and biotrophic hyphal pathogens are cytologically similar. Therefore we investigated whether these interactions build on an overlapping genetic framework. In legumes, the malectin-like domain leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase SYMRK, the cation channel POLLUX and members of the nuclear pore NUP107-160 subcomplex are essential for symbiotic signal transduction and arbuscular mycorrhiza development. We identified members of these three groups in Arabidopsis thaliana and explored their impact on the interaction with the oomycete downy mildew pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa). We report that mutations in the corresponding genes reduced the reproductive success of Hpa as determined by sporangiophore and spore counts. We discovered that a developmental transition of haustorial shape occurred significantly earlier and at higher frequency in the mutants. Analysis of the multiplication of extracellular bacterial pathogens, Hpa-induced cell death or callose accumulation, as well as Hpa- or flg22-induced defence marker gene expression, did not reveal any traces of constitutive or exacerbated defence responses. These findings point towards an overlap between the plant genetic toolboxes involved in the interaction with biotrophic intracellular hyphal symbionts and pathogens in terms of the gene families involved.

Girardin, A.; Wang, T.; Ding, Y.; Keller, J.; Buendia, L.; Gaston, M.; Ribeyre, C.; Gasciolli, V.; Auriac, M.-C.; Vernié, T.; Bendahmane, A.; Ried, M. K.; Parniske, M.; Morel, P.; Vandenbussche, M.; Schorderet, M.; Reinhardt, D.; Delaux, P.-M.; Bono, J.-J.; Lefebvre, B. LCO Receptors Involved in Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Are Functional for Rhizobia Perception in Legumes Curr Biol 29, 4249-4259.e5, (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.11.038

Bacterial lipo-chitooligosaccharides (LCOs) are key mediators of the nitrogen-fixing root nodule symbiosis (RNS) in legumes. The isolation of LCOs from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi suggested that LCOs are also signaling molecules in arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM). However, the corresponding plant receptors have remained uncharacterized. Here we show that petunia and tomato mutants in the LysM receptor-like kinases LYK10 are impaired in AM formation. Petunia and tomato LYK10 proteins have a high affinity for LCOs (Kd in the nM range) comparable to that previously reported for a legume LCO receptor essential for the RNS. Interestingly, the tomato and petunia LYK10 promoters, when introduced into a legume, were active in nodules similarly to the promoter of the legume orthologous gene. Moreover, tomato and petunia LYK10 coding sequences restored nodulation in legumes mutated in their orthologs. This combination of genetic and biochemical data clearly pinpoints Solanaceous LYK10 as part of an ancestral LCO perception system involved in AM establishment, which has been directly recruited during evolution of the RNS in legumes.

Ried, M. K.; Wild, R.; Zhu, J.; Broger, L.; Harmel, R. K.; Hothorn, L. A.; Fiedler, D.; Hothorn, M. Inositol pyrophosphates promote the interaction of SPX domains with the coiled-coil motif of PHR transcription factors to regulate plant phosphate homeostasis bioRxiv (2019) DOI: 10.1101/2019.12.13.875393

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient taken up by organisms in the form of inorganic phosphate (Pi). Eukaryotes have evolved sophisticated Pi sensing and signalling cascades, enabling them to maintain cellular Pi concentrations. Pi homeostasis is regulated by inositol pyrophosphate signalling molecules (PP-InsPs), which are sensed by SPX-domain containing proteins. In plants, PP-InsP bound SPX receptors inactivate Myb coiled-coil (MYB-CC) Pi starvation response transcription factors (PHRs) by an unknown mechanism. Here we report that a InsP8 – SPX complex targets the plant-unique CC domain of PHRs. Crystal structures of the CC domain reveal an unusual four-stranded anti-parallel arrangement. Interface mutations in the CC domain yield monomeric PHR1, which is no longer able to bind DNA with high affinity. Mutation of conserved basic residues located at the surface of the CC domain disrupt interaction with the SPX receptor in vitro and in planta, resulting in constitutive Pi starvation responses. Together, our findings suggest that InsP8 regulates plant Pi homeostasis by controlling the oligomeric state and hence the promoter binding capability of PHRs via their SPX receptors.

Jung, J.-Y.; Ried, M. K.; Hothorn, M.; Poirier, Y. Control of plant phosphate homeostasis by inositol pyrophosphates and the SPX domain Curr Opin Biotech 49, 156-162, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.copbio.2017.08.012

Proteins containing a SPX domain are involved in phosphate (Pi) homeostasis, including Pi transport and adaptation to Pi deficiency. The SPX domain harbors a basic surface binding Pi at low affinity and inositol pyrophosphates (PP-InsPs) at high affinity. Genetic and biochemical studies revealed that PP-InsPs serve as ligands for the SPX domain. Residues in the PHO1 SPX domain involved in PP-InsPs binding are critical for its Pi export activity, and the interaction between SPX proteins and the PHR1 transcription factor, which results in PHR1 inactivation, is promoted by PP-InsPs. Changes in PP-InsPs levels in response to Pi deficiency may thus contribute to the adaptation of plants to stress via the modulation of the activity of SPX-containing proteins and their interactors. Modulating PP-InsP levels or the affinity/specificity of the SPX domain for PP-InsP could potentially be used to engineer crops to maintain high yield under reduced Pi fertilizer input.

Ziegler, J.; Schmidt, S.; Strehmel, N.; Scheel, D.; Abel, S. Arabidopsis Transporter ABCG37/PDR9 contributes primarily highly oxygenated Coumarins to Root Exudation Sci Rep 7, 3704, (2017) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-03250-6

The chemical composition of root exudates strongly impacts the interactions of plants with microorganisms in the rhizosphere and the efficiency of nutrient acquisition. Exudation of metabolites is in part mediated by ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. In order to assess the contribution of individual ABC transporters to root exudation, we performed an LC-MS based non-targeted metabolite profiling of semi-polar metabolites accumulating in root exudates of Arabidopsis thaliana plants and mutants deficient in the expression of ABCG36 (PDR8/PEN3), ABCG37 (PDR9) or both transporters. Comparison of the metabolite profiles indicated distinct roles for each ABC transporter in root exudation. Thymidine exudation could be attributed to ABCG36 function, whereas coumarin exudation was strongly reduced only in ABCG37 deficient plants. However, coumarin exudation was compromised in abcg37 mutants only with respect to certain metabolites of this substance class. The specificity of ABCG37 for individual coumarins was further verified by a targeted LC-MS based coumarin profiling method. The response to iron deficiency, which is known to strongly induce coumarin exudation, was also investigated. In either treatment, the distribution of individual coumarins between roots and exudates in the investigated genotypes suggested the involvement of ABCG37 in the exudation specifically of highly oxygenated rather than monohydroxylated coumarins.

Drost, H.-G.; Bellstädt, J.; Ó'Maoiléidigh, D. S.; Silva, A. T.; Gabel, A.; Weinholdt, C.; Ryan, P. T.; Dekkers, B. J. W.; Bentsink, L.; Hilhorst, H. W. M.; Ligterink, W.; Wellmer, F.; Grosse, I.; Quint, M. Post-embryonic Hourglass Patterns Mark Ontogenetic Transitions in Plant Development Mol Biol Evol 33, 1158-1163, (2016) DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msw039

The historic developmental hourglass concept depicts the convergence of animal embryos to a common form during the phylotypic period. Recently, it has been shown that a transcriptomic hourglass is associated with this morphological pattern, consistent with the idea of underlying selective constraints due to intense molecular interactions during body plan establishment. Although plants do not exhibit a morphological hourglass during embryogenesis, a transcriptomic hourglass has nevertheless been identified in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we investigated whether plant hourglass patterns are also found postembryonically. We found that the two main phase changes during the life cycle of Arabidopsis, from embryonic to vegetative and from vegetative to reproductive development, are associated with transcriptomic hourglass patterns. In contrast, flower development, a process dominated by organ formation, is not. This suggests that plant hourglass patterns are decoupled from organogenesis and body plan establishment. Instead, they may reflect general transitions through organizational checkpoints. 

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. 

Strehmel, N.; Mönchgesang, S.; Herklotz, S.; Krüger, S.; Ziegler, J.; Scheel, D. Piriformospora indica Stimulates Root Metabolism of Arabidopsis thaliana Int J Mol Sci 17, 1091, (2016) DOI: 10.3390/ijms17071091

Piriformospora indica is a root-colonizing fungus, which interacts with a variety of plants including Arabidopsis thaliana. This interaction has been considered as mutualistic leading to growth promotion of the host. So far, only indolic glucosinolates and phytohormones have been identified as key players. In a comprehensive non-targeted metabolite profiling study, we analyzed Arabidopsis thaliana’s roots, root exudates, and leaves of inoculated and non-inoculated plants by ultra performance liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization quadrupole-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/(ESI)-QTOFMS) and gas chromatography/electron ionization quadrupole mass spectrometry (GC/EI-QMS), and identified further biomarkers. Among them, the concentration of nucleosides, dipeptides, oligolignols, and glucosinolate degradation products was affected in the exudates. In the root profiles, nearly all metabolite levels increased upon co-cultivation, like carbohydrates, organic acids, amino acids, glucosinolates, oligolignols, and flavonoids. In the leaf profiles, we detected by far less significant changes. We only observed an increased concentration of organic acids, carbohydrates, ascorbate, glucosinolates and hydroxycinnamic acids, and a decreased concentration of nitrogen-rich amino acids in inoculated plants. These findings contribute to the understanding of symbiotic interactions between plant roots and fungi of the order of Sebacinales and are a valid source for follow-up mechanistic studies, because these symbioses are particular and clearly different from interactions of roots with mycorrhizal fungi or dark septate endophytes 

Ryan,P. T.; Ó’Maoiléidigh, D. S.; Drost, H.-G.; Kwaśniewska, D.; 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

Background:The 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 thalianaon 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 closethis information gap and to generate a reference dataset for stage-specific gene expression during flower formation.Results:Using 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 ofco-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 furtherfound 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.Conclusions:Our results highlight and describe the dynamic expression changes undergone by a large numberof 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.

Drost, H.-G.; Gabel, A.; Grosse, I.; Quint, M. Evidence for Active Maintenance of Phylotranscriptomic Hourglass Patterns in Animal and Plant Embryogenesis Mol Biol Evol 32, 1221-1231, (2015) DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msv012

The developmental hourglass model has been used to describe the morphological transitions of related species throughout embryogenesis. Recently, quantifiable approaches combining transcriptomic and evolutionary information provided novel evidence for the presence of a phylotranscriptomic hourglass pattern across kingdoms. As its biological function is unknown it remains speculative whether this pattern is functional or merely represents a nonfunctional evolutionary relic. The latter would seriously hamper future experimental approaches designed to test hypotheses regarding its function. Here, we address this question by generating transcriptome divergence index (TDI) profiles across embryogenesis of Danio rerio, Drosophila melanogaster, and Arabidopsis thaliana. To enable meaningful evaluation of the resulting patterns, we develop a statistical test that specifically assesses potential hourglass patterns. Based on this objective measure we find that two of these profiles follow a statistically significant hourglass pattern with the most conserved transcriptomes in the phylotypic periods. As the TDI considers only recent evolutionary signals, this indicates that the phylotranscriptomic hourglass pattern is not a rudiment but possibly actively maintained, implicating the existence of some linked biological function associated with embryogenesis in extant species.
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