Heat stress (HS) caused by ambient high temperature pose a threat to plants. In the natural and agricultural environment, plants often encounter repeated and changeable HS. Moderate HS primes plants to establishment of a molecular ‘thermomemory’ that enables plants to withstand a later-and possibly more extreme-HS attack. Recent years, brassinosteroids (BRs) have been implicated in HS response whereas little is known about whether BRs signal transduction modulates thermomemory. Here, we uncover the positive role of BRs signaling in thermomemory of Arabidopsis thaliana. Heat priming induces de novo synthesis and nuclear accumulation of BRI1-EMS-SUPPRESSOR (BES1), the key regulator of BRs signaling. BRs promote the accumulation of dephosphorylated BES1 during memory phase, blocking BRs synthesis impairs dephosphorylation. During HS memory, BES1 is required to maintain sustained induction of HS memory genes and directly targets APX2 and HSFA3 for activation. In summary, our results reveal a BES1-required, BRs-enhanced transcriptional control module of thermomemory in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Various root-colonizing bacterial species can promote plant growth and trigger systemic resistance against aboveground leaf pathogens and herbivore insects. To date, the underlying metabolic signatures of these rhizobacteria-induced plant phenotypes are poorly understood. To identify core metabolic pathways that are targeted by growth-promoting rhizobacteria, we used combinations of three plant species and three rhizobacterial species and interrogated plant shoot chemistry by untargeted metabolomics. A substantial part (50-64%) of the metabolites detected in plant shoot tissue was differentially affected by the rhizobacteria. Among others, the phenylpropanoid pathway was targeted by the rhizobacteria in each of the three plant species. Differential regulation of the various branches of the phenylpropanoid pathways showed an association with either plant growth promotion or growth reduction. Overall, suppression of flavonoid biosynthesis was associated with growth promotion, while growth reduction showed elevated levels of flavonoids. Subsequent assays with twelve Arabidopsis flavonoid biosynthetic mutants revealed that the proanthocyanidin branch plays an essential role in rhizobacteria-mediated growth promotion. Our study also showed that a number of pharmaceutically and nutritionally relevant metabolites in the plant shoot were significantly increased by rhizobacterial treatment, providing new avenues to use rhizobacteria to tilt plant metabolism towards the biosynthesis of valuable natural plant products.
Iron (Fe) deficiency restricts crop yields in calcareous soil. Thus, a novel Fe chelator, proline-2′-deoxymugineic acid (PDMA), based on the natural phytosiderophore 2′-deoxymugineic acid (DMA), was developed to solve the Fe deficiency problem. However, the effects and mechanisms of PDMA relevant to the Fe nutrition and yield of dicots grown under field conditions require further exploration. In this study, pot and field experiments with calcareous soil were conducted to investigate the effects of PDMA on the Fe nutrition and yield of peanuts. The results demonstrate that PDMA could dissolve insoluble Fe in the rhizosphere and up-regulate expression of the yellow stripe-like family gene AhYSL1 to improve the Fe nutrition of peanuts. Moreover, the chlorosis and growth inhibition induced by Fe deficiency were significantly diminished. Importantly, under field conditions, the peanut yield and kernel micronutrition were notably promoted by PDMA application. Our results indicate that PDMA promotes the dissolution of insoluble Fe and a rich supply of Fe in the rhizosphere, increasing yields through integrated improvements in soil–plant Fe nutrition at the molecular and ecological levels. In conclusion, the efficacy of PDMA for improving the Fe nutrition and yield of peanut indicates its outstanding potential for agricultural applications.
Water inside plants forms a continuous chain from water in soils to the water evaporating from leaf surfaces. Failures in this chain result in reduced transpiration and photosynthesis and these failures are caused by soil drying and/or cavitation-induced xylem embolism. Xylem embolism and plant hydraulic failure share a number of analogies to “catastrophe theory” in dynamical systems. These catastrophes are often represented in the physiological and ecological literature as tipping points or alternative stable states when control variables exogenous (e.g. soil water potential) or endogenous (e.g. leaf water potential) to the plant are allowed to slowly vary. Here, plant hydraulics viewed from the perspective of catastrophes at multiple spatial scales is considered with attention to bubble expansion (i.e. cavitation), organ-scale vulnerability to embolism, and whole-plant biomass as a proxy for transpiration and hydraulic function. The hydraulic safety-efficiency tradeoff, hydraulic segmentation and maximum plant transpiration are examined using this framework. Underlying mechanisms for hydraulic failure at very fine scales such as pit membranes, intermediate scales such as xylem network properties and at larger scales such as soil-tree hydraulic pathways are discussed. Lacunarity areas in plant hydraulics are also flagged where progress is urgently needed.
The regulation of protein synthesis plays an important role in growth and development in all organisms. Upstream open reading frames (uORFs) are commonly found in eukaryotic mRNA transcripts and typically attenuate the translation of associated downstream main ORFs (mORFs). Conserved peptide uORFs (CPuORFs) are a rare subset of uORFs, some of which have been shown to conditionally regulate translation by ribosome stalling. Here we identify three Arabidopsis CPuORFs of ancient origin that regulate translation of any downstream ORF, in response to agriculturally significant environmental signals: heat stress and water limitation. We provide evidence that different sequence classes of CPuORF stall ribosomes during different phases of translation and show that plant CPuORFs act as environmental sensors that can be utilised as inducible regulators of translation with broad application.
The coordination of plant leaf water potential (ΨL) regulation and xylem vulnerability to embolism is fundamental for understanding the tradeoffs between carbon uptake and risk of hydraulic damage. There is a general consensus that trees with vulnerable xylem regulate ΨL more conservatively than plants with resistant xylem. We evaluated if this paradigm applied to three important eastern US temperate tree species, Quercus alba L., Acer saccharum Marsh., and Liriodendron tulipifera L., by synthesizing 1600 ΨL observations, 122 xylem embolism curves, and xylem anatomical measurements across ten forests spanning pronounced hydroclimatological gradients and ages. We found that, unexpectedly, the species with the most vulnerable xylem (Q. alba) regulated ΨL less strictly than the other species. This relationship was found across all sites, such that coordination among traits was largely unaffected by climate and stand age. Quercus species are perceived to be among the most drought tolerant temperate US forest species; however, our results suggest their relatively loose ΨL regulation in response to hydrologic stress occurs with a substantial hydraulic cost that may expose them to novel risks in a more drought-prone future. We end by discussing mechanisms that allow these species to tolerate and/or recover from hydraulic damage.
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been considered to be important regulators of gene expression in a range of biological processes in plants. A large number of lncRNAs have been identified in plants. However, most of their biological functions still remain to be determined. Here, we identified total 3 004 lncRNAs in cassava under normal or cold-treated conditions from Iso-seq data. We further characterized a lincRNA, CRIR1, as a novel positive regulator of the plant response to cold stress. CRIR1 can be significantly induced by cold treatment. Overexpression of CRIR1 in cassava enhanced the cold tolerance of transgenic plants. Transcriptome analysis demonstrated that CRIR1 regulates a range of cold stress-related genes in a CBF-independent pathway. We further found that CRIR1 RNA can interact with MeCSP5, a homolog of the cold shock protein that acts as RNA chaperones, indicating that CRIR1 may recruit MeCSP5 to improve the translation efficiency of mRNA. In summary, our study greatly extends the repertoire of lncRNAs in plants as well as its responding to cold stress. Moreover, it reveals a sophisticated mechanism by which CRIR1 regulates plant cold stress response by modulating the expression of stress-responsive genes and increasing the translational yield.
Recent results suggest that metabolism-mediated stomatal closure mechanisms are important to regulate differentially the stomatal speediness between ferns and angiosperms. However, evidence directly linking mesophyll metabolism and the slower stomatal conductance (gs) in ferns is missing. Here we investigated the effect of exogenous application of abscisic acid (ABA), sucrose and mannitol on gs kinetics and carried out a metabolic fingerprinting analysis of ferns and angiosperms leaves harvested throughout a diel course. Ferns stomata did not respond to ABA in the time period analysed. No differences in the relative decrease in gs was observed between ferns and the angiosperm following provision of sucrose or mannitol. However, ferns have slower gs responses to these compounds than angiosperms. Metabolomics analysis highlights that ferns have higher accumulation of secondary rather than primary metabolites throughout the diel course, with the opposite being observed in angiosperms. Our results indicate that metabolism-mediated stomatal closure mechanism is conserved among ferns and angiosperms and that the slower stomatal closure in ferns is associated to a reduced capacity to respond to mesophyll-derived sucrose and to a higher carbon allocation toward secondary metabolism, which likely modulates both photosynthesis-stomatal movements and growth-stress tolerance trade-offs.
Similar to other cropping systems, few walnut cultivars are used as scion in commercial production. Germplasm collections can be used to diversify cultivar options and hold potential for improving crop productivity, disease resistance and stress tolerance. In this study we explored the anatomical and biochemical bases of photosynthetic capacity in 11 J. regia accessions in the USDA-ARS National Clonal Germplasm Repository. Net assimilation rate (An) differed significantly among accessions and was greater in those from lower latitudes coincident with increases in stomatal and mesophyll conductance, leaf thickness, mesophyll porosity and gas-phase diffusion, and leaf nitrogen, and lower leaf mass and stomatal density. High CO2-saturated assimilation rates led to increases in An under limiting conditions. Greater An was found in lower latitude accessions native to climates with more frost-free days, greater precipitation seasonality, and lower temperature seasonality. As expected, water stress consistently impaired photosynthesis with the highest % reductions in three lower latitude accessions (A3, A5, and A9), which had the highest An under well-watered conditions. However, An for A3 and A5 remained amongst the highest under dehydration. J. regia accessions, which have leaf structural traits and biochemistry that enhance photosynthesis, could be used as commercial scions or breeding parents to enhance productivity.
Cold acclimation in plants is a complex phenomenon involving numerous stress-responsive transcriptional and metabolic pathways. Existing gene expression studies have primarily addressed cold acclimation responses in herbaceous plants, and few have focused on perennial evergreens, such as conifers, that survive extremely low temperatures during winter. Relative to Arabidopsis leaves, the main transcriptional response of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst) needles exposed to cold was delayed, and this delay was associated with slower development of freezing tolerance. Despite this difference in timing, our results indicate that, similar to herbaceous species, Norway spruce principally utilizes early response transcription factors (TFs) of the APETALA 2/ethylene-responsive element binding factor (AP2/ERF) superfamily and NAM (no apical meristem)/ATAF (Arabidopsis Transcription Factors)/CUC (cup shaped cotyledon) (NACs). The needles and root of Norway spruce showed contrasting results, in keeping with their different metabolic and developmental states. Regulatory network analysis identified conserved TFs, including a root-specific bHLH101 homolog, and other members of the same TF family with a pervasive role in cold regulation, such as homologs of ICE1 and AKS3, and also homologs of the NAC (anac47 and anac28) and AP2/ERF superfamilies (DREB2 and ERF3), providing new functional insights into cold stress response strategies in Norway spruce.
Oxylipins are lipid-derived molecules that are ubiquitous in eukaryotes and whose functions in plant physiology have been widely reported. They appear to play a major role in plant immunity by orchestrating reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hormone-dependent signalling pathways. The present work focuses on the specific case of fatty acid hydroperoxides (HPOs). Although some studies report their potential use as exogenous biocontrol agents for plant protection, evaluation of their efficiency in planta is lacking and no information is available about their mechanism of action. In this work, the potential of 13(S)-hydroperoxyoctadeca-(9Z,11E)-dienoic acid (13-HPOD) and 13(S)-hydroperoxy-(9Z,11E,15Z)-octadecatrienoic acid (13-HPOT), as plant defence elicitors and the underlying mechanism of action are investigated. Arabidopsis thaliana leaf resistance to Botrytis cinerea was observed after root application with HPOs. They also activate early immunity-related defence responses, like ROS. As previous studies have demonstrated their ability to interact with plant plasma membranes (PPM), we have further investigated the effects of HPOs on biomimetic PPM structure using complementary biophysics tools. Results show that HPO insertion into PPM impacts its global structure without solubilizing it. Relationship between biological assays and biophysical analysis suggests that lipid amphiphilic elicitors that directly act on membrane lipids might trigger early plant defence events
Salt stress is a major limiting factor that severely affects the survival and growth of crops. It is important to understand the salt tolerance ability of Brassica napus and explore the underlying related genetic resources. We used a high-throughput phenotyping platform to quantify 2,111 image-based traits (i-traits) of a natural population under 3 different salt stress conditions and an intervarietal substitution line (ISL) population under 9 different stress conditions to monitor and evaluate the salt stress tolerance of B. napus over time. We finally identified 928 high-quality i-traits associated with the salt stress tolerance of B. napus. Moreover, we mapped the salt stress-related loci in the natural population via a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and performed a linkage analysis associated with the ISL population, respectively. The results revealed 234 candidate genes associated with salt stress response, and two novel candidate genes, BnCKX5 and BnERF3, were experimentally verified to regulate the salt stress tolerance of B. napus. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using high-throughput phenotyping-based QTL mapping to accurately and comprehensively quantify i-traits associated with B. napus. The mapped loci could be used for genomics-assisted breeding to genetically improve the salt stress tolerance of B. napus.
Dolichols (Dols), ubiquitous components of living organisms, are indispensable for cell survival. In plants, as well as other eukaryotes, Dols are crucial for posttranslational protein glycosylation, aberration of which leads to fatal metabolic disorders in humans and male sterility in plants. Until now, the mechanisms underlying Dol accumulation remain elusive. In this report, we have analyzed the natural variation of the accumulation of Dols and six other isoprenoids between more than 120 Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. Subsequently, by combining QTL and GWAS approaches, we have identified several candidate genes involved in the accumulation of Dols, polyprenols, plastoquinone, and phytosterols. The role of two genes implicated in the accumulation of major Dols in Arabidopsis – the AT2G17570 gene encoding a long searched for cis-prenyltransferase (CPT3) and the AT1G52460 gene encoding an alpha-beta hydrolase (ABH) – is experimentally confirmed. These data will help to generate Dol-enriched plants which might serve as a remedy for Dol-deficiency in humans.
The concentration and homeostasis of intracellular phosphate (Pi) are crucial for sustaining cell metabolism and growth. During short-term Pi starvation, intracellular Pi is maintained relatively constant at the expense of vacuolar Pi. After the vacuolar stored Pi is exhausted, the plant cells induce the synthesis of intracellular acid phosphatase (APase) to recycle Pi from expendable organic phosphate (Po). In this study, the expression, enzymatic activity and subcellular localization of ACID PHOSPHATASE 1 (OsACP1) were determined. OsACP1 expression is specifically induced in almost all cell types of leaves and roots under Pi stress conditions. OsACP1 encodes an acid phosphatase with broad Po substrates and localizes in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus (GA). Phylogenic analysis demonstrates that OsACP1 has a similar structure with human acid phosphatase PHOSPHO1. Overexpression or mutation of OsACP1 affected Po degradation and utilization, which further influenced plant growth and productivity under both Pi-sufficient and Pi-deficient conditions. Moreover, overexpression of OsACP1 significantly affected intracellular Pi homeostasis and Pi starvation signalling. We concluded that OsACP1 is an active acid phosphatase that regulates rice growth under Pi stress conditions by recycling Pi from Po in the ER and GA.
When grown under cool temperature, winter annuals upregulate photosynthetic capacity as well as freezing tolerance. Here, the role of three cold-induced C-repeat-Binding Factor (CBF1–3) transcription factors in photosynthetic upregulation and freezing tolerance was examined in two Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes originating from Italy (IT) or Sweden (SW), and their corresponding CBF1–3-deficient mutant lines it:cbf123 and sw:cbf123. Photosynthetic, morphological, and freezing-tolerance phenotypes as well as gene expression profiles were characterized in plants grown from seedling stage under different combinations of light level and temperature. Under high light and cool growth temperature (HLC), a greater role of CBF1–3 in IT versus SW was evident from both phenotypic and transcriptomic data, especially with respect to photosynthetic upregulation and freezing tolerance of whole plants. Overall, features of SW were consistent with a different approach to HLC acclimation than seen in IT, and an ability of SW to reach the new homeostasis through involvement of transcriptional controls other than CBF1–3. These results provide tools and direction for further mechanistic analysis of the transcriptional control of approaches to cold acclimation suitable for either persistence through brief cold spells or for maximization of productivity in environments with continuous low temperatures.
To explore diversity in cold hardiness mechanisms, high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to visualize freezing behaviors in wintering flower buds of Daphne kamtschatica var. jezoensis, which have no bud scales surrounding well-developed florets. MRI images showed that anthers remained stably supercooled to -14 ∼ -21°C or lower whilst most other tissues froze by -7°C. Freezing of some anthers detected in MRI images at ∼ -21°C corresponded with numerous low temperature exotherms and also with the “all-or-nothing” type of anther injuries. In ovules/pistils, only embryo sacs remained supercooled at -7°C or lower, but slowly dehydrated during further cooling. Cryomicroscopic observation revealed ice formation in the cavities of calyx tubes and pistils but detected no ice in embryo sacs or in anthers. The distribution of ice nucleation activity in floral tissues corroborated the tissue freezing behaviors. Filaments likely work as the ice blocking barrier that prevents ice intrusion from extracellularly frozen calyx tubes to connecting unfrozen anthers. Unique freezing behaviors were demonstrated in Daphne flower buds: preferential freezing avoidance in male and female gametophytes and their surrounding tissues (by stable supercooling in anthers and by supercooling with slow dehydration in embryo sacs) whilst the remaining tissues tolerate extracellular freezing.
Xylem embolism resistance varies across species influencing drought tolerance, yet little is known about the determinants of the embolism resistance of an individual conduit. Here we conducted an experiment using the optical vulnerability method to test whether individual conduits have a specific water potential threshold for embolism formation and whether pre-existing embolism in neighbouring conduits alters this threshold. Observations were made on a diverse sample of angiosperm and conifer species through a cycle of dehydration, rehydration and subsequent dehydration to death. Upon rehydration after the formation of embolism, no refilling was observed. When little pre-existing embolism was present, xylem conduits had a conserved, individual, embolism resistance threshold that varied across the population of conduits. The consequence of a variable conduit-specific embolism threshold is that a small degree of pre-existing embolism in the xylem results in an apparently more resistant xylem in a subsequent dehydration, particularly in angiosperms with vessels. While our results suggest that pit membranes separating xylem conduits are critical for maintaining a conserved individual embolism threshold for given conduit when little pre-exisiting embolism is present, as the percentage of embolized conduits increases, gas movement, local pressure differences, and connectivity between conduits increasingly contribute to embolism spread.
Xylem is a main road in plant long-distance communication. Through xylem plants transport water, minerals and myriad of signaling molecules. With the onset during early embryogenesis, the development of xylem tissues relays on hormone gradients, activity of unique transcription factors, distribution of mobile miRNAs and receptor-ligand pathways. These regulatory mechanisms are often interconnected and all together contribute to the plasticity of water conducting tissue. Remarkably, root xylem carries water to all above-ground organs and therefore influences all aspects of plant growth. Because of the global warming and increasing water deficit, we need to come up with solutions for the crops of the future. It is clear that structure of water conducting elements directly impacts water transport within the plant. Among plant pathogens- vascular wilts attacking xylem -are the most harmful. Our knowledge about xylem anatomy and rewiring ability could bring the solutions against these diseases. In this review we summarize the recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of xylem formation with a special attention to the cellular changes, and cell wall rearrangements that are necessary to create functional capillaries. We emphasize the impact of abiotic factors and pathogens on xylem plasticity and discuss multidisciplinary approach to model xylem in crops.