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vegetative function [keywords]
- Efficient plant male fertility depends on vegetative nuclear movement mediated by two families of plant outer nuclear membrane proteins. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2014 Jul 29.
Increasing evidence suggests that nuclear migration is important for eukaryotic development. Although nuclear migration is conserved in plants, its importance for plant development has not yet been established. The most extraordinary plant nuclear migration events involve plant fertilization, which is starkly different from that of animals. Instead of evolving self-propelled sperm cells (SCs), plants use pollen tubes to deliver SCs, in which the pollen vegetative nucleus (VN) and the SCs migrate as a unit toward the ovules, a fundamental but barely understood process. Here, we report that WPP domain-interacting proteins (WIPs) and their binding partners the WPP domain-interacting tail-anchored proteins (WITs) are essential for pollen nuclear migration. Loss-of-function mutations in WIT and/or WIP gene families resulted in impaired VN movement, inefficient SC delivery, and defects in pollen tube reception. WIPs are Klarsicht/ANC-1/Syne-1 Homology (KASH) analogs in plants. KASH proteins are key players in animal nuclear migration. Thus, this study not only reveals an important nuclear migration mechanism in plant fertilization but also, suggests that similar nuclear migration machinery is conserved between plants and animals.
- Music in disorders of consciousness. [Journal Article, Review]
- Front Neurosci 2014.:190.
This review presents an overview of the use of music therapy in neurological early rehabilitation of patients with coma and other disorders of consciousness (DOC) such as unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) or minimally conscious state (MCS). There is evidence that patients suffering from UWS show emotional processing of auditory information, such as listening to speech. Thus, it seems reasonable to believe that music listening-as part of an enriched environment setting-may be of therapeutic value in these patients. There is, however, a considerable lack of evidence. The authors strongly encourage further studies to evaluate the efficacy of music listening in patients with DOC in neurological early rehabilitation. These studies should consider a precise clinical definition and homogeneity of the patient cohort with respect to the quality (coma vs. UWS vs. MCS), duration (rather weeks to months than days) and cause (traumatic vs. non-traumatic) of DOC, a standardized intervention protocol, valid clinical outcome parameters over a longer observation period (weeks to months), monitoring of neurophysiological and vegetative parameters and, if available, neuroimaging to confirm diagnosis and to demonstrate responses and functional changes in the patients' brains.
- The PSI family of nuclear proteins is required for growth in arabidopsis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plant Mol Biol 2014 Jul 26.
PSI1 was identified as a gene that is co-expressed with the phytosulfokine (PSK) receptor genes PSKR1 and PSKR2 in Arabidopsis thaliana. It represents a plant-specific protein family of unknown function with six members in two clades. Clade 1 members PSI1, PSI2 and PSI3 were characterized in this study. All three are nuclear localized. A predicted N-terminal myristoylation site was functionally analyzed. psi1-1 seedlings have shorter roots and hypocotyls. This growth-retarded phenotype was restored by expression of either wildtype PSI1 or PSI1 G2A with a mutated myristate attachment site in the psi1-1 background suggesting that myristate attachment was not essential for PSI1 function. psi2-1 and psi3-1 seedlings have a wildtype phenotype but overexpression of PSI1 or PSI2 promoted seedling growth. PSI2 activity appears to be linked to PSK signaling as psi2-1 and psi2-1 psi3-1 roots are unresponsive to PSK. PSI3 functions in vegetative plant growth synergistic with PSI2. psi3-1 and particularly psi2-1 psi3-1 rosettes are small. Overexpression of PSI3 promoted plant growth indicating that PSI3 is limiting at the vegetative stage. Severe dwarfism of psi2-1 psi3-1 plants results from reduced cell growth and proliferation and premature leaf growth arrest. Plants further display reduced fertility and premature senescence revealing a crucial function of PSI proteins in vegetative growth and reproduction. Psi single and double knock-out plants have less and PSI3ox plants have more starch compared to wt and growth retardation is partially rescued by sucrose. Our studies reveal a crucial function of the nuclear-localized PSI proteins in growth possibly through metabolic control.
- Transcriptional dynamics of developmental genes assessed with an FMN-dependent fluorophore in mature heterocysts of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Microbiology 2014 Jul 24.
Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is a filamentous cyanobacterium that differentiates nitrogen-fixing heterocysts when available combined nitrogen is limiting. Growth under diazotrophic conditions results in a mixture of "new" (recently differentiated) and "old" (mature) heterocysts. The microoxic environment present in heterocysts makes the interpretation of gene expression using oxygen-dependent fluorophores, including the green fluorescent protein (GFP), difficult. The work presented here evaluates the transcriptional dynamics of three developmental genes in mature heterocysts utilizing EcFbFP, an FMN-dependent fluorophore, as the reporter. Expression of both GFP and EcFbFP from the heterologous petE promoter showed that, although GFP and EcFbFP fluoresced in both vegetative cells and new heterocysts, only EcFbFP fluoresced in old heterocysts. A transcriptional fusion of EcFbFP to the late-stage heterocyst-specific nifB promoter displayed continued expression beyond the cessation of GFP fluorescence in heterocysts. Promoter fusions of the master regulator of differentiation, hetR, and its inhibitors, patS and hetN, to GFP and EcFbFP were visualized to determine their role(s) in heterocyst function after morphogenesis. The expression of hetR and hetN was found to persist beyond the completion of development in most heterocysts, whereas patS expression ceased. These data are consistent with a model of heterocyst patterning in which patS is involved in de novo pattern formation, hetN is required for pattern maintenance, and hetR is needed for all stages of development.
- Phenology of plants in relation to ambient environment in a subalpine forest of Uttarakhand, western Himalaya. [Journal Article]
- Physiol Mol Biol Plants 2014 Jul; 20(3):399-403.
Observations on phenology of some representative trees, shrubs, under-shrubs and herbs in a subalpine forest of Uttarakhand, western Himalaya were recorded. With the commencement of favorable growth season in April, occurrence of leaf fall was indicatory growth phenomenon in Quercus semecarpifolia, Q. floribunda and Abies spectabilis. However, active vegetative growth in herbaceous species starts onward April and fruit maturation and seed dehiscence are completed from mid of September to October. In general, vegetative growth and reproductive stages in majority of the studied species seems to be dependent on adequate moisture content and also flowering and fruiting in subalpine plants correlate ambient temperature.
- Herbivores influence the growth, reproduction, and morphology of a widespread arctic willow. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(7):e101716.
Shrubs have expanded in Arctic ecosystems over the past century, resulting in significant changes to albedo, ecosystem function, and plant community composition. Willow and rock ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus, L. muta) and moose (Alces alces) extensively browse Arctic shrubs, and may influence their architecture, growth, and reproduction. Furthermore, these herbivores may alter forage plants in such a way as to increase the quantity and accessibility of their own food source. We estimated the effect of winter browsing by ptarmigan and moose on an abundant, early-successional willow (Salix alaxensis) in northern Alaska by comparing browsed to unbrowsed branches. Ptarmigan browsed 82-89% of willows and removed 30-39% of buds, depending on study area and year. Moose browsed 17-44% of willows and browsed 39-55% of shoots. Browsing inhibited apical dominance and activated axillary and adventitious buds to produce new vegetative shoots. Ptarmigan- and moose-browsed willow branches produced twice the volume of shoot growth but significantly fewer catkins the following summer compared with unbrowsed willow branches. Shoots on browsed willows were larger and produced 40-60% more buds compared to unbrowsed shoots. This process of shoot production at basal parts of the branch is the mechanism by which willows develop a highly complex "broomed" architecture after several years of browsing. Broomed willows were shorter and more likely to be re-browsed by ptarmigan, but not moose. Ptarmigan likely benefit from the greater quantity and accessibility of buds on previously browsed willows and may increase the carrying capacity of their own habitat. Despite the observed tolerance of willows to browsing, their vertical growth and reproduction were strongly inhibited by moose and ptarmigan. Browsing by these herbivores therefore needs to be considered in future models of shrub expansion in the Arctic.
- Extreme environments. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Acta Physiol (Oxf) 2014 Jul 14.
- The EAR Motif Controls the Early Flowering and Senescence Phenotype Mediated by Over-Expression of SlERF36 and Is Partly Responsible for Changes in Stomatal Density and Photosynthesis. [Journal Article]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(7):e101995.
The EAR motif is a small seven amino acid motif associated with active repression of several target genes. We had previously identified SlERF36 as an EAR motif containing gene from tomato and shown that its over-expression results in early flowering and senescence and a 25-35% reduction of stomatal density, photosynthesis and stomatal conductance in transgenic tobacco. In order to understand the role of the EAR motif in governing the phenotypes, we have expressed the full-length SlERF36 and a truncated form, lacking the EAR motif under the CaMV35S promoter, in transgenic Arabidopsis. Plants over-expressing the full-length SlERF36 show prominent early flowering under long day as well as short day conditions. The early flowering leads to an earlier onset of senescence in these transgenic plants which in turn reduces vegetative growth, affecting rosette, flower and silique sizes. Stomatal number is reduced by 38-39% while photosynthesis and stomatal conductance decrease by about 30-40%. Transgenic plants over-expressing the truncated version of SlERF36 (lacking the C-terminal EAR motif), show phenotypes largely matching the control with normal flowering and senescence indicating that the early flowering and senescence is governed by the EAR motif. On the other hand, photosynthetic rates and stomatal number were also reduced in plants expressing SlERF36ΔEAR although to a lesser degree compared to the full- length version indicating that these are partly controlled by the EAR motif. These studies show that the major phenotypic changes in plant growth caused by over-expression of SlERF36 are actually mediated by the EAR motif.
- Transport of Boron by the tassel-less1 Aquaporin Is Critical for Vegetative and Reproductive Development in Maize. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plant Cell 2014 Jul 17.
The element boron (B) is an essential plant micronutrient, and B deficiency results in significant crop losses worldwide. The maize (Zea mays) tassel-less1 (tls1) mutant has defects in vegetative and inflorescence development, comparable to the effects of B deficiency. Positional cloning revealed that tls1 encodes a protein in the aquaporin family co-orthologous to known B channel proteins in other species. Transport assays show that the TLS1 protein facilitates the movement of B and water into Xenopus laevis oocytes. B content is reduced in tls1 mutants, and application of B rescues the mutant phenotype, indicating that the TLS1 protein facilitates the movement of B in planta. B is required to cross-link the pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan II (RG-II) in the cell wall, and the percentage of RG-II dimers is reduced in tls1 inflorescences, indicating that the defects may result from altered cell wall properties. Plants heterozygous for both tls1 and rotten ear (rte), the proposed B efflux transporter, exhibit a dosage-dependent defect in inflorescence development under B-limited conditions, indicating that both TLS1 and RTE function in the same biological processes. Together, our data provide evidence that TLS1 is a B transport facilitator in maize, highlighting the importance of B homeostasis in meristem function.
- There's more than one way to skin a fruit: formation and functions of fruit cuticles. [REVIEW]
- J Exp Bot 2014 Jul 15.
As with all aerial plant organs, fleshy fruits are encased in a hydrophobic cuticle that must fulfil multiple functions, including limiting desiccation and preventing microbial infection, which in the case of fruits maintains palatability and promotes seed dispersal. Fruit cuticles have many features in common with those of vegetative organs, but also have unique characteristics, including the fact that they are often astomatous, thicker than those of most leaves, and can be relatively easily isolated. These attributes provide a valuable experimental system to address questions related to cuticle structure, function, and the relationships between composition, architecture, permeability, and biomechanical properties. Here we provide an overview of insights into cuticle biology that have resulted from studies of those of fleshy fruits, as well as the diversity and dynamic nature of fruit cuticle composition and architecture, the environmental factors that influence those features, and the roles that they play in fruit ontogeny.