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Akaberi, S., Wang, H., Claudel, P., Riemann, M., Hause, B., Hugueney, P. & Nick, P. Grapevine fatty acid hydroperoxide lyase generates actin-disrupting volatiles and promotes defence-related cell death J Exp Bot 69, 2883-2896, (2018) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ery133

Fatty acid hydroperoxides can generate short-chained volatile aldehydes that may participate in plant defence. A grapevine hydroperoxide lyase (VvHPL1) clustering to the CYP74B class was functionally characterized with respect to a role in defence. In grapevine leaves, transcripts of this gene accumulated rapidly to high abundance in response to wounding. Cellular functions of VvHPL1 were investigated upon heterologous expression in tobacco BY-2 cells. A C-terminal green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion of VvHPL1 was located in plastids. The overexpression lines were found to respond to salinity stress or the bacterial elicitor harpin by increasing cell death. This signal-dependent mortality response was mitigated either by addition of exogenous jasmonic acid or by treatment with diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), an inhibitor of NADPH oxidases. By feeding different substrates to recombinantly expressed enzyme, VvHPL1 could also be functionally classified as true 13-HPL. The cognate products generated by this 13-HPL were cis-3-hexenal and trans-2-hexenal. Using a GFP-tagged actin marker line, one of these isomeric products, cis-3-hexenal, was found specifically to elicit a rapid disintegration of actin filaments. This response was not only observed in the heterologous system (tobacco BY-2), but also in a grapevine cell strain expressing this marker, as well as in leaf discs from an actin marker grape used as a homologous system. These results are discussed in the context of a role for VvHPL1 in a lipoxygenase-dependent signalling pathway triggering cell death-related defence that bifurcates from jasmonate-dependent basal immunity.

Wasternack, C. & Hause, B. A Bypass in Jasmonate Biosynthesis – the OPR3-independent Formation Trends Plant Sci 23, 276-279, (2018) DOI: 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.02.011

For the first time in 25 years, a new pathway for biosynthesis of jasmonic acid (JA) has been identified. JA production takes place via 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA) including reduction by OPDA reductases (OPRs). A loss-of-function allele, opr3-3, revealed an OPR3-independent pathway converting OPDA to JA.

Gelová, Z., ten Hoopen, P., Novák, O., Motyka, V., Pernisová, M., Dabravolski, S., Didi, V., Tillack, I., Oklešťková, J., Strnad, M., Hause, B., Haruštiaková, D., Conrad, U., Janda, L. & Hejátko, J. Antibody-mediated modulation of cytokinins in tobacco: organ-specific changes in cytokinin homeostasis. J Exp Bot 69, 441-454, (2018) DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erx426

Cytokinins comprise a group of phytohormones with an organ-specific mode of action. Although the mechanisms controlling the complex networks of cytokinin metabolism are partially known, the role of individual cytokinin types in the maintenance of cytokinin homeostasis remains unclear. Utilizing the overproduction of single-chain Fv antibodies selected for their ability to bind trans-zeatin riboside and targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum, we post-synthetically modulated cytokinin ribosides, the proposed transport forms of cytokinins. We observed asymmetric activity of cytokinin biosynthetic genes and cytokinin distribution in wild-type tobacco seedlings with higher cytokinin abundance in the root than in the shoot. Antibody-mediated modulation of cytokinin ribosides further enhanced the relative cytokinin abundance in the roots and induced cytokinin-related phenotypes in an organ-specific manner. The activity of cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase in the roots was strongly up-regulated in response to antibody-mediated formation of the cytokinin pool in the endoplasmic reticulum. However, we only detected a slight decrease in the root cytokinin levels. In contrast, a significant decrease of cytokinins occurred in the shoot. We suggest the roots as the main site of cytokinin biosynthesis in tobacco seedlings. Conversely, cytokinin levels in the shoot seem to depend largely on long-range transport of cytokinin ribosides from the root and their subsequent metabolic activation.


Dreher, D., Yadav, H., Zander, S. & Hause, B. Is there genetic variation in mycorrhization of Medicago truncatula?  PeerJ 5, e3713, (2017) DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3713

Differences in the plant’s response among ecotypes or accessions are often used to identify molecular markers for the respective process. In order to analyze genetic diversity of Medicago truncatula in respect to interaction with the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus Rhizophagus irregularis, mycorrhizal colonization was evaluated in 32 lines of the nested core collection representing the genetic diversity of the SARDI collection. All studied lines and the reference line Jemalong A17 were inoculated with R. irregularis and the mycorrhization rate was determined at three time points after inoculation. There were, however, no reliable and consistent differences in mycorrhization rates among all lines. To circumvent possible overlay of potential differences by use of the highly effective inoculum, native sandy soil was used in an independent experiment. Here, significant differences in mycorrhization rates among few of the lines were detectable, but the overall high variability in the mycorrhization rate hindered clear conclusions. To narrow down the number of lines to be tested in more detail, root system architecture (RSA) of in vitro-grown seedlings of all lines under two different phosphate (Pi) supply condition was determined in terms of primary root length and number of lateral roots. Under high Pi supply (100 µM), only minor differences were observed, whereas in response to Pi-limitation (3 µM) several lines exhibited a drastically changed number of lateral roots. Five lines showing the highest alterations or deviations in RSA were selected and inoculated with R. irregularis using two different Pi-fertilization regimes with either 13 mM or 3 mM Pi. Mycorrhization rate of these lines was checked in detail by molecular markers, such as transcript levels of RiTubulin and MtPT4. Under high phosphate supply, the ecotypes L000368 and L000555 exhibited slightly increased fungal colonization and more functional arbuscules, respectively. To address the question, whether capability for mycorrhizal colonization might be correlated to general invasion by microorganisms, selected lines were checked for infection by the root rot causing pathogen, Aphanoymces euteiches. The mycorrhizal colonization phenotype, however, did not correlate with the resistance phenotype upon infection with two strains of A. euteiches as L000368 showed partial resistance and L000555 exhibited high susceptibility as determined by quantification of A. euteiches rRNA within infected roots. Although there is genetic diversity in respect to pathogen infection, genetic diversity in mycorrhizal colonization of M. truncatula is rather low and it will be rather difficult to use it as a trait to access genetic markers. 

Janik, K., Mithöfer, A., Raffeiner, M., Stellmach, H., Hause, B. & Schlink, K. An effector of apple proliferation phytoplasma targets TCP transcription factors—a generalized virulence strategy of phytoplasma? Mol Plant Pathol 18, 435-442, (2017) DOI: 10.1111/mpp.12409

The plant pathogen Candidatus Phytoplasma mali (P. mali) is the causative agent of apple proliferation, a disease of increasing importance in apple-growing areas within Europe. Despite its economic importance, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of disease manifestation within apple trees. In this study, we identified two TCP (TEOSINTE BRANCHED/CYCLOIDEA/PROLIFERATING CELL FACTOR) transcription factors of Malus x domestica as binding partners of the P. mali SAP11-like effector ATP_00189. Phytohormone analyses revealed an effect of P. mali infection on jasmonates, salicylic acid and abscisic acid levels, showing that P. mali affects phytohormonal levels in apple trees, which is in line with the functions of the effector assumed from its binding to TCP transcription factors. To our knowledge, this is the first characterization of the molecular targets of a P. mali effector and thus provides the basis to better understand symptom development and disease progress during apple proliferation. As SAP11 homologues are found in several Phytoplasma species infecting a broad range of different plants, SAP11-like proteins seem to be key players in phytoplasmal infection.

Dhakarey, R., Raorane, M. L., Treumann, A., Peethambaran, P. K., Schendel, R. R., Sahi, V. P., Hause, B., Bunzel, M., Henry, A., Kohli, A. & Riemann, M. Physiological and proteomic analysis of the rice mutant cpm2 suggests a negative regulatory role of Jasmonic acid in drought tolerance. Front Plant Sci 8, 1903, (2017) DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.01903

It is widely known that numerous adaptive responses of drought-stressed plants are stimulated by chemical messengers known as phytohormones. Jasmonic acid (JA) is one such phytohormone. But there are very few reports revealing its direct implication in drought related responses or its cross-talk with other phytohormones. In this study, we compared the morpho-physiological traits and the root proteome of a wild type (WT) rice plant with its JA biosynthesis mutant coleoptile photomorphogenesis 2 (cpm2), disrupted in the allene oxide cyclase (AOC) gene, for insights into the role of JA under drought. The mutant had higher stomatal conductance, higher water use efficiency and higher shoot ABA levels under severe drought as compared to the WT. Notably, roots of cpm2 were better developed compared to the WT under both, control and drought stress conditions. Root proteome was analyzed using the Tandem Mass Tag strategy to better understand this difference at the molecular level. Expectedly, AOC was unique but notably highly abundant under drought in the WT. Identification of other differentially abundant proteins (DAPs) suggested increased energy metabolism (i.e., increased mobilization of resources) and reactive oxygen species scavenging in cpm2 under drought. Additionally, various proteins involved in secondary metabolism, cell growth and cell wall synthesis were also more abundant in cpm2 roots. Proteome-guided transcript, metabolite, and histological analyses provided further insights into the favorable adaptations and responses, most likely orchestrated by the lack of JA, in the cpm2 roots. Our results in cpm2 are discussed in the light of JA crosstalk to other phytohormones. These results together pave the path for understanding the precise role of JA during drought stress in rice.

Klopotek, Y., Franken, P., Klaering, H.-P., Fischer, K., Hause, B., Hajirezaei, M.-R. & Druege, U. A higher sink competitiveness of the rooting zone and invertases are involved in dark stimulation of adventitious root formation in Petunia hybrida cuttings Plant Sci. 243, 10-22, (2016) DOI: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2015.11.001

AbstractThe contribution of carbon assimilation and allocation and of invertases to the stimulation of adventitious root formation in response to a dark pre-exposure of petunia cuttings was investigated, considering the rooting zone (stem base) and the shoot apex as competing sinks. Dark exposure had no effect on photosynthesis and dark respiration during the subsequent light period, but promoted dry matter partitioning to the roots. Under darkness, higher activities of cytosolic and vacuolar invertases were maintained in both tissues when compared to cuttings under light. This was partially associated with higher RNA levels of respective genes. However, activity of cell wall invertases and transcript levels of one cell wall invertase isogene increased specifically in the stem base during the first two days after cutting excision under both light and darkness. During five days after excision, RNA accumulation of four invertase genes indicated preferential expression in the stem base compared to the apex. Darkness shifted the balance of expression of one cytosolic and two vacuolar invertase genes towards the stem base. The results indicate that dark exposure before planting enhances the carbon sink competitiveness of the rooting zone and that expression and activity of invertases contribute to the shift in carbon allocation.


Wasternack, C. & Hause, B. OPDA-Ile – a new JA-Ile-independent signal? Plant Signaling & Behavior 11, e125364600, (2016) DOI: 10.1080/15592324.2016.1253646

AbstractExpression takes place for most of the jasmonic acid (JA)-induced genes in a COI1- dependent manner via perception of its conjugate JA-Ile in the SCFCOI1-JAZ co-receptor complex. There are, however, numerous genes and processes, which are preferentially induced COI1-independently by the precursor of JA, 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). After recent identification of the Ile-conjugate of OPDA, OPDA-Ile, biological activity of this compound could be unequivocally proven in terms of gene expression. Any interference of OPDA, JA, or JA-Ile in OPDA-Ile-induced gene expression could be excluded by using different genetic background. The data suggest individual signaling properties of OPDA-Ile. Future studies for analysis of an SCFCOI1-JAZ co-receptor-independent route of signaling are proposed.


Pedranzani, H., Rodríguez-Rivera, M., Gutiérrez, M., Porcel, R., Hause, B. & Ruiz-Lozano, J. M. Arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis regulates physiology and performance of Digitaria eriantha plants subjected to abiotic stresses by modulating antioxidant and jasmonate levels. Mycorrhiza 26 , 141-152, (2016) DOI: 10.1007/s00572-015-0653-4

This study evaluates antioxidant responses and jasmonate regulation in Digitaria eriantha cv. Sudafricana plants inoculated (AM) and non-inoculated (non-AM) with Rhizophagus irregularis and subjected to drought, cold, or salinity. Stomatal conductance, photosynthetic efficiency, biomass production, hydrogen peroxide accumulation, lipid peroxidation, antioxidants enzymes activities, and jasmonate levels were determined. Stomatal conductance and photosynthetic efficiency decreased in AM and non-AM plants under all stress conditions. However, AM plants subjected to drought, salinity, or non-stress conditions showed significantly higher stomatal conductance values. AM plants subjected to drought or non-stress conditions increased their shoot/root biomass ratios, whereas salinity and cold caused a decrease in these ratios. Hydrogen peroxide accumulation, which was high in non-AM plant roots under all treatments, increased significantly in non-AM plant shoots under cold stress and in AM plants under non-stress and drought conditions. Lipid peroxidation increased in the roots of all plants under drought conditions. In shoots, although lipid peroxidation decreased in AM plants under non-stress and cold conditions, it increased under drought and salinity. AM plants consistently showed high catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activity under all treatments. By contrast, the glutathione reductase (GR) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity of AM roots was lower than that of non-AM plants and increased in shoots. The endogenous levels of cis-12-oxophytodienoc acid (OPDA), jasmonic acid (JA), and 12-OH-JA showed a significant increase in AM plants as compared to non-AM plants. 11-OH-JA content only increased in AM plants subjected to drought. Results show that D. eriantha is sensitive to drought, salinity, and cold stresses and that inoculation with AM fungi regulates its physiology and performance under such conditions, with antioxidants and jasmonates being involved in this process


Hazmana, M., Hause, B., Eiche, E., Riemann, M. & Nick, P. Different forms of osmotic stress evoke qualitatively different responses in rice J PLANT PHYSIOL 202, 45–56, (2016) DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2016.05.027

Drought, salinity and alkalinity are distinct forms of osmotic stress with serious impacts on rice productivity. We investigated, for a salt-sensitive rice cultivar, the response to osmotically equivalent doses of these stresses. Drought, experimentally mimicked by mannitol (single factor: osmotic stress), salinity (two factors: osmotic stress and ion toxicity), and alkalinity (three factors: osmotic stress, ion toxicity, and depletion of nutrients and protons) produced different profiles of adaptive and damage responses, both locally (in the root) as well as systemically (in the shoot). The combination of several stress factors was not necessarily additive, and we even observed cases of mitigation, when two (salinity), or three stressors (alkalinity) were compared to the single stressor (drought). The response to combinations of individual stress factors is therefore not a mere addition of the partial stress responses, but rather represents a new quality of response. We interpret this finding in a model, where the output to signaling molecules is not determined by their abundance per se, but qualitatively depends on their adequate integration into an adaptive signaling network. This output generates a systemic signal that will determine the quality of the shoot response to local concentrations of ions.

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