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vegetative function [keywords]
- The floral transcriptome of Eucalyptus grandis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- New Phytol 2014 Oct 29.
As a step toward functional annotation of genes required for floral initiation and development within the Eucalyptus genome, we used short read sequencing to analyze transcriptomes of floral buds from early and late developmental stages, and compared these with transcriptomes of diverse vegetative tissues, including leaves, roots, and stems. A subset of 4807 genes (13% of protein-coding genes) were differentially expressed between floral buds of either stage and vegetative tissues. A similar proportion of genes were differentially expressed among all tissues. A total of 479 genes were differentially expressed between early and late stages of floral development. Gene function enrichment identified 158 gene ontology classes that were overrepresented in floral tissues, including 'pollen development' and 'aromatic compound biosynthetic process'. At least 40 floral-dominant genes lacked functional annotations and thus may be novel floral transcripts. We analyzed several genes and gene families in depth, including 49 putative biomarkers of floral development, the MADS-box transcription factors, 'S-domain'-receptor-like kinases, and selected gene family members with phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein domains. Expanded MADS-box gene subfamilies in Eucalyptus grandis included SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CO 1 (SOC1), SEPALLATA (SEP) and SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE (SVP) Arabidopsis thaliana homologs. These data provide a rich resource for functional and evolutionary analysis of genes controlling eucalypt floral development, and new tools for breeding and biotechnology.
- Trace concentrations of imazethapyr (IM) affect floral organs development and reproduction in Arabidopsis thaliana: IM-induced inhibition of key genes regulating anther and pollen biosynthesis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Ecotoxicology 2014 Oct 28.
Understanding how herbicides affect plant reproduction and growth is critical to develop herbicide toxicity model and refine herbicide risk assessment. Although our knowledge of herbicides toxicity mechanisms at the physiological and molecular level in plant vegetative phase has increased substantially in the last decades, few studies have addressed the herbicide toxicity problematic on plant reproduction. Here, we determined the long-term (4-8 weeks) effect of a chiral herbicide, imazethapyr (IM), which has been increasingly used in plant crops, on floral organ development and reproduction in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. More specifically, we followed the effect of two IM enantiomers (R- and S-IM) on floral organ structure, seed production, pollen viability and the transcription of key genes involved in anther and pollen development. The results showed that IM strongly inhibited the transcripts of genes regulating A. thaliana tapetum development (DYT1: DYSFUNCTIONAL TAPETUM 1), tapetal differentiation and function (TDF1: TAPETAL DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION1), and pollen wall formation and developments (AMS: ABORTED MICROSPORES, MYB103: MYB DOMAIN PROTEIN 103, MS1: MALE STERILITY 1, MS2: MALE STERILITY 2). Since DYT1 positively regulates 33 genes involved in cell-wall modification (such as, TDF1, AMS, MYB103, MS1, MS2) that can catalyze the breakdown of polysaccharides to facilitate anther dehiscence, the consistent decrease in the transcription of these genes after IM exposure should hamper anther opening as observed under scanning electron microscopy. The toxicity of IM on anther opening further lead to a decrease in pollen production and pollen viability. Furthermore, long-term IM exposure increased the number of apurinic/apyrimidinic sites (AP sites) in the DNA of A. thaliana and also altered the DNA of A. thaliana offspring grown in IM-free soils. Toxicity of IM on floral organs development and reproduction was generally higher in the presence of the R-IM enantiomer than of the S-IM enantiomer. This study unraveled several IM toxicity targets and mechanisms at the molecular and structural level linked to the toxicity of IM trace concentrations on A. thaliana reproduction.
- Anthocyanin leaf markings are regulated by a family of R2R3-MYB genes in the genus Trifolium. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- New Phytol 2014 Oct 20.
Anthocyanin pigments accumulate to form spatially restricted patterns in plants, particularly in flowers, but also occur in vegetative tissues. Spatially restricted anthocyanin leaf markings are poorly characterised in plants, but are common in forage legumes. We hypothesised that the molecular basis for anthocyanin leaf markings in Trifolium spp. is due to the activity of a family of R2R3-MYB genes. R2R3-MYB genes were identified that are associated with the two classic pigmentation loci in T. repens. The R locus patterns 'red leaf', 'red midrib' and 'red fleck' are conditioned by a single MYB gene, RED LEAF. The 'diffuse red leaf' trait is regulated by the RED LEAF DIFFUSE MYB gene. The V locus was identified through mapping two V-linked traits, 'V-broken yellow' (Vby) and 'red leaflet' (Vrl). Two highly similar R2R3-MYB genes, RED V-a and RED V-b, mapped to the V locus and co-segregated with the RED V pigmentation pattern. Functional characterisation of RED LEAF and RED V was performed, confirming their function as anthocyanin regulators and identifying a C-terminal region necessary for transactivation. The mechanisms responsible for generating anthocyanin leaf markings in T. repens provide a valuable system to compare with mechanisms that regulate complex floral pigmentation.
- Spectral signatures of reorganised brain networks in disorders of consciousness. [Journal Article]
- PLoS Comput Biol 2014 Oct; 10(10):e1003887.
Theoretical advances in the science of consciousness have proposed that it is concomitant with balanced cortical integration and differentiation, enabled by efficient networks of information transfer across multiple scales. Here, we apply graph theory to compare key signatures of such networks in high-density electroencephalographic data from 32 patients with chronic disorders of consciousness, against normative data from healthy controls. Based on connectivity within canonical frequency bands, we found that patient networks had reduced local and global efficiency, and fewer hubs in the alpha band. We devised a novel topographical metric, termed modular span, which showed that the alpha network modules in patients were also spatially circumscribed, lacking the structured long-distance interactions commonly observed in the healthy controls. Importantly however, these differences between graph-theoretic metrics were partially reversed in delta and theta band networks, which were also significantly more similar to each other in patients than controls. Going further, we found that metrics of alpha network efficiency also correlated with the degree of behavioural awareness. Intriguingly, some patients in behaviourally unresponsive vegetative states who demonstrated evidence of covert awareness with functional neuroimaging stood out from this trend: they had alpha networks that were remarkably well preserved and similar to those observed in the controls. Taken together, our findings inform current understanding of disorders of consciousness by highlighting the distinctive brain networks that characterise them. In the significant minority of vegetative patients who follow commands in neuroimaging tests, they point to putative network mechanisms that could support cognitive function and consciousness despite profound behavioural impairment.
- Molecular evolution and transcriptional regulation of the oilseed rape proline dehydrogenase genes suggest distinct roles of proline catabolism during development. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Planta 2014 Oct 19.
Six BnaProDH1 and two BnaProDH2 genes were identified in Brassica napus genome. The BnaProDH1 genes are mainly expressed in pollen and roots' organs while BnaProDH2 gene expression is associated with leaf vascular tissues at senescence. Proline dehydrogenase (ProDH) catalyzes the first step in the catabolism of proline. The ProDH gene family in oilseed rape (Brassica napus) was characterized and compared to other Brassicaceae ProDH sequences to establish the phylogenetic relationships between genes. Six BnaProDH1 genes and two BnaProDH2 genes were identified in the B. napus genome. Expression of the three paralogous pairs of BnaProDH1 genes and the two homoeologous BnaProDH2 genes was measured by real-time quantitative RT-PCR in plants at vegetative and reproductive stages. The BnaProDH2 genes are specifically expressed in vasculature in an age-dependent manner, while BnaProDH1 genes are strongly expressed in pollen grains and roots. Compared to the abundant expression of BnaProDH1, the overall expression of BnaProDH2 is low except in roots and senescent leaves. The BnaProDH1 paralogs showed different levels of expression with BnaA&C.ProDH1.a the most strongly expressed and BnaA&C.ProDH1.c the least. The promoters of two BnaProDH1 and two BnaProDH2 genes were fused with uidA reporter gene (GUS) to characterize organ and tissue expression profiles in transformed B. napus plants. The transformants with promoters from different genes showed contrasting patterns of GUS activity, which corresponded to the spatial expression of their respective transcripts. ProDHs probably have non-redundant functions in different organs and at different phenological stages. In terms of molecular evolution, all BnaProDH sequences appear to have undergone strong purifying selection and some copies are becoming subfunctionalized. This detailed description of oilseed rape ProDH genes provides new elements to investigate the function of proline metabolism in plant development.
- The relative and absolute frequencies of angiosperm sexual systems: Dioecy, monoecy, gynodioecy, and an updated online database. [Journal Article]
- Am J Bot 2014 Oct; 101(10):1588-96.
•Separating sexual function between different individuals carries risks, especially for sedentary organisms. Nevertheless, many land plants have unisexual gametophytes or sporophytes. This study brings together data and theoretical insights from research over the past 20 yr on the occurrence and frequency of plant sexual systems, focusing on the flowering plants.•A list of genera with dioecious species, along with other information, is made available (http://www.umsl.edu/∼renners/). Frequencies of other sexual systems are tabulated, and data on the genetic regulation, ecological context, and theoretical benefits of dioecy reviewed.•There are 15600 dioecious angiosperms in 987 genera and 175 families, or 5-6% of the total species (7% of genera, 43% of families), with somewhere between 871 to 5000 independent origins of dioecy. Some 43% of all dioecious angiosperms are in just 34 entirely dioecious clades, arguing against a consistent negative influence of dioecy on diversification. About 31.6% of the dioecious species are wind-pollinated, compared with 5.5-6.4% of nondioecious angiosperms. Also, 1.4% of all angiosperm genera contain dioecious and monoecious species, while 0.4% contain dioecious and gynodioecious species. All remaining angiosperm sexual systems are rare. Chromosomal sex determination is known from 40 species; environmentally modulated sex allocation is common. Few phylogenetic studies have focused on the evolution of dioecy.•The current focus is on the genetic mechanisms underlying unisexual flowers and individuals. Mixed strategies of sexual and vegetative dispersal, together with plants' sedentary life style, may often favor polygamous systems in which sexually inconstant individuals can persist. Nevertheless, there are huge entirely dioecious clades of tropical woody plants.
- Persistence and toxin production by Clostridium difficile within human intestinal organoids results in disruption of epithelial paracellular barrier function. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Infect Immun 2014 Oct 13.
Clostridium difficile is the leading cause of infectious nosocomial diarrhea. The pathogenesis of C. difficile infection (CDI) results from the interactions between the pathogen, the intestinal epithelium, host immune system and the gastrointestinal microbiota. Previous studies of the host-pathogen interaction in CDI have utilized either simple cell monolayers or in vivo models. While much has been learned utilizing these approaches, little is known about the direct interaction of the bacterium with a complex host epithelium. Here, we asked if human intestinal organoids (HIOs), which are derived from pluripotent stem cells and demonstrate small intestinal morphology and physiology, could be used to study the pathogenesis of the obligate anaerobe C. difficile. Vegetative C. difficile, microinjected into the lumen of HIOs, persisted in a viable state for up to twelve hours. Upon colonization with C. difficile VPI 10463 the HIO epithelium is markedly disrupted, resulting in loss of paracellular barrier function. Since similar effects were not observed when HIOs were colonized with the nontoxigenic C. difficile strain F200, we directly tested the role of toxin using TcdA and TcdB purified from VPI 10463. We show that injection of TcdA replicates the disruption of the epithelial barrier function and structure observed in HIOs colonized with the viable C. difficile.
- Dynamic expression of a Hydra FGF at boundaries and termini. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Dev Genes Evol 2014 Oct 14.
Guidance of cells and tissue sheets is an essential function in developing and differentiating animal tissues. In Hydra, where cells and tissue move dynamically due to constant cell proliferation towards the termini or into lateral, vegetative buds, factors essential for guidance are still unknown. Good candidates to take over this function are fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). We present the phylogeny of several Hydra FGFs and analysis of their expression patterns. One of the FGFs is expressed in all terminal regions targeted by tissue movement and at boundaries crossed by moving tissue and cells with an expression pattern slightly differing in two Hydra strains. A model addressing an involvement of this FGF in cell movement and morphogenesis is proposed: Hydra FGFf-expressing cells might serve as sources to attract tissue and cells towards the termini of the body column and across morphological boundaries. Moreover, a function in morphogenesis and/or differentiation of cells and tissue is suggested.
- A SNP in OsMCA1 responding for a plant architecture defect by deactivation of bioactive GA in rice. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Plant Mol Biol 2014 Oct 12.
Plant architecture directly affects biomass in higher plants, especially grain yields in agricultural crops. In this study, we characterized a recessive mutant, plant architecture determinant (pad), derived from the Oryza sativa ssp. indica cultivar MH86. The mutant exhibited severe dwarf phenotypes, including shorter and stunted leaves, fewer secondary branches during both the vegetative and reproductive growth stages. Cytological studies revealed that pad mutant growth defects are primarily due to the inhibition of cell expansion. The PAD gene was isolated using a map-based cloning strategy. It encodes a plasma membrane protein OsMCA1 and a SNP responsible for a single amino acid change was found in the mutant. PAD was universally expressed in rice tissues from the vegetative to reproductive growth stages, especially in seedlings, nodes and rachillae. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the most of the genes responding to gibberellin (GA) metabolism were up-regulated in pad mutant internodes. The endogenous GA content measurement revealed that the levels of GA1 were significantly decreased in the third internode of pad mutants. Moreover, a GA response assay suggested that OsMCA1/PAD might be involved in the regulation of GA metabolism and signal transduction. Our results revealed the pad is a loss-of-function mutant of the OsMCA1/PAD, leading to upregulation of genes related to GA deactivation, which decreased bioactive GA levels.
- Tetrahymena Pot2 is a developmentally regulated paralog of Pot1 that localizes to chromosome breakage sites but not to telomeres. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Eukaryot Cell 2014 Oct 10.
Tetrahymena telomeres are protected by a protein complex composed of Pot1, Tpt1, Pat1 and Pat2. Pot1 binds the 3' overhang and serves multiple roles in telomere maintenance. Here we describe Pot2, a paralog of Pot1, which has evolved a novel function during Tetrahymena sexual reproduction. Pot2 is unnecessary for telomere maintenance during vegetative growth as telomere structure is unaffected by POT2 macronuclear gene disruption. Pot2 is expressed only in mated cells where it accumulates in developing macronuclei around the time of two chromosome processing events: Internal Eliminated Sequence (IES) excision and chromosome breakage. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) demonstrated Pot2 localization to regions of chromosome breakage but not to telomeres or IESs. Pot2 association with Chromosome Breakage Sites (CBSs) occurs slightly before chromosome breakage. Pot2 did not bind CBS or telomeric DNA in vitro suggesting that it is recruited to CBSs by another factor. The telomere proteins Pot1, Pat1 and Tpt1 and the IES binding factor Pdd1 fail to co-localize with Pot2. Thus, Pot2 is the first protein found to associate specifically with CBSs. The selective association of Pot2 versus Pdd1 with CBSs or IESs indicates a mechanistic difference between the chromosome processing events at these two sites. Moreover, ChIP revealed that histone marks characteristic of IES processing, H3K9me3 and H3K27me3, are absent from CBSs. Thus, the mechanisms of chromosome breakage and IES excision must be fundamentally different. Our results lead to a model where Pot2 directs chromosome breakage by recruiting telomerase and/or the endonuclease responsible for DNA cleavage to CBSs.