Truncation of Arabidopsis thaliana and Selaginella lepidophylla trehalose-6-phosphate synthase unlocks high catalytic activity and supports high trehalose levels on expression in yeast. (1/10)

Plants, such as Arabidopsis thaliana and Selaginella lepidophylla, contain genes homologous with the trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) genes of bacteria and fungi. Most plants do not accumulate trehalose with the desert resurrection plant S. lepidophylla, being a notable exception. Overexpression of the plant genes in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae tps1 mutant results in very low TPS-catalytic activity and trehalose accumulation. We show that truncation of the plant-specific N-terminal extension in the A. thaliana AtTPS1 and S. lepidophylla SlTPS1 homologues results in 10-40-fold higher TPS activity and 20-40-fold higher trehalose accumulation on expression in yeast. These results show that the plant TPS enzymes possess a high-potential catalytic activity. The growth defect of the tps1 strain on glucose was restored, however, the proper homoeostasis of glycolytic flux was not restored, indicating that the plant enzymes were unable to substitute for the yeast enzyme in the regulation of hexokinase activity. Further analysis of the N-terminus led to the identification of two conserved residues, which after mutagenesis result in strongly enhanced trehalose accumulation upon expression in yeast. The plant-specific N-terminal region may act as an inhibitory domain allowing modulation of TPS activity.  (+info)

Wettable and unsinkable: the hydrodynamics of saccate pollen grains in relation to the pollination mechanism in the two New Zealand species of Prumnopitys Phil. (Podocarpaceae). (2/10)

The pollination mechanism of most genera of the Podocarpaceae involves inverted ovules, a pollination drop and bisaccate pollen grains. Saccate grains have sometimes been referred to as 'non-wettable' due to their buoyant properties, while non-saccate pollen grains have been described as 'wettable'. The hydrodynamic properties of saccate pollen grains of seven podocarp species in five genera, Dacrydium Sol. ex G. Forst., Dacrycarpus (Endl.) de Laub., Manoao Molloy, Podocarpus L'Her. ex Pers. and Prumnopitys Phil. have been tested in water, together with saccate and non-saccate pollen of four other conifer genera, Cedrus Trew (Pinaceae), Cephalotaxus Siebold & Zucc. ex Endl. (Cephalotaxaceae), Cupressus L. (Cupressaceae) and Phyllocladus Rich. ex Mirb. (Phyllocladaceae), and spores of three fern species and one lycopod species. All four spore types studied were non-wettable, whereas the bisaccate and trisaccate pollen types, like all other conifer pollen types, were wettable, enabling the grains to cross the surface tension barrier of water. Once past this barrier, grain behaviour was governed by presence or absence of sacci. Non-saccate and vestigially saccate grains sank, whereas saccate grains behaved like air bubbles, floating up to the highest point. In addition, the grains were observed to float in water with sacci uppermost, consistent with the suggestion that distally placed sacci serve to orientate the germinal furrow of the pollen grain towards the nucellus of an inverted ovule. Observations of pollen grains in the pollen chambers of naturally pollinated Prumnopitvs ovules confirmed this. The combination of buoyancy and wettability in saccate pollen has implications for the efficiency of the typical podocarp pollination mechanism.  (+info)

Low atmospheric CO(2) levels during the Permo- Carboniferous glaciation inferred from fossil lycopsids. (3/10)

Earth history was punctuated during the Permo-Carboniferous [300-250 million years (Myr) ago] by the longest and most severe glaciation of the entire Phanerozoic Eon. But significant uncertainty surrounds the concentration of CO(2) in the atmosphere through this time interval and therefore its role in the evolution of this major prePleistocene glaciation. Here, I derive 24 Late Paleozoic CO(2) estimates from the fossil cuticle record of arborsecent lycopsids of the equatorial Carboniferous and Permian swamp communities. Quantitative calibration of Late Carboniferous (330-300 Myr ago) and Permian (270-260 Myr ago) lycopsid stomatal indices yield average atmospheric CO(2) concentrations of 344 ppm and 313 ppm, respectively. The reconstructions show a high degree of self-consistency and a degree of precision an order of magnitude greater than other approaches. Low CO(2) levels during the Permo-Carboniferous glaciation are in agreement with glaciological evidence for the presence of continental ice and coupled models of climate and ice-sheet growth on Pangea. Moreover, the Permian data indicate atmospheric CO(2) levels were low 260 Myr ago, by which time continental deglaciation was already underway. Positive biotic feedbacks on climate, and geotectonic events, therefore are implicated as mechanisms underlying deglaciation.  (+info)

Occurrence of the primary cell wall polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan II in pteridophytes, lycophytes, and bryophytes. Implications for the evolution of vascular plants. (4/10)

Borate ester cross-linking of the cell wall pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan II (RG-II) is required for the growth and development of angiosperms and gymnosperms. Here, we report that the amounts of borate cross-linked RG-II present in the sporophyte primary walls of members of the most primitive extant vascular plant groups (Lycopsida, Filicopsida, Equisetopsida, and Psilopsida) are comparable with the amounts of RG-II in the primary walls of angiosperms. By contrast, the gametophyte generation of members of the avascular bryophytes (Bryopsida, Hepaticopsida, and Anthocerotopsida) have primary walls that contain small amounts (approximately 1% of the amounts of RG-II present in angiosperm walls) of an RG-II-like polysaccharide. The glycosyl sequence of RG-II is conserved in vascular plants, but these RG-IIs are not identical because the non-reducing L-rhamnosyl residue present on the aceric acid-containing side chain of RG-II of all previously studied plants is replaced by a 3-O-methyl rhamnosyl residue in the RG-IIs isolated from Lycopodium tristachyum, Ceratopteris thalictroides, Platycerium bifurcatum, and Psilotum nudum. Our data indicate that the amount of RG-II incorporated into the walls of plants increased during the evolution of vascular plants from their bryophyte-like ancestors. Thus, the acquisition of a boron-dependent growth habit may be correlated with the ability of vascular plants to maintain upright growth and to form lignified secondary walls. The conserved structures of pteridophyte, lycophyte, and angiosperm RG-IIs suggests that the genes and proteins responsible for the biosynthesis of this polysaccharide appeared early in land plant evolution and that RG-II has a fundamental role in wall structure.  (+info)

Metabolic, genomic, and biochemical analyses of glandular trichomes from the wild tomato species Lycopersicon hirsutum identify a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of methylketones. (5/10)

Medium-length methylketones (C7-C15) are highly effective in protecting plants from numerous pests. We used a biochemical genomics approach to elucidate the pathway leading to synthesis of methylketones in the glandular trichomes of the wild tomato Lycopersicon hirsutum f glabratum (accession PI126449). A comparison of gland EST databases from accession PI126449 and a second L. hirsutum accession, LA1777, whose glands do not contain methylketones, showed that the expression of genes for fatty acid biosynthesis is elevated in PI126449 glands, suggesting de novo biosynthesis of methylketones. A cDNA abundant in the PI126449 gland EST database but rare in the LA1777 database was similar in sequence to plant esterases. This cDNA, designated Methylketone Synthase 1 (MKS1), was expressed in Escherichia coli and the purified protein used to catalyze in vitro reactions in which C12, C14, and C16 beta-ketoacyl-acyl-carrier-proteins (intermediates in fatty acid biosynthesis) were hydrolyzed and decarboxylated to give C11, C13, and C15 methylketones, respectively. Although MKS1 does not contain a classical transit peptide, in vitro import assays showed that it was targeted to the stroma of plastids, where fatty acid biosynthesis occurs. Levels of MKS1 transcript, protein, and enzymatic activity were correlated with levels of methylketones and gland density in a variety of tomato accessions and in different plant organs.  (+info)

Record of the genus Lycopodites in the Lower Permian of Parana Basin, Brazil. (6/10)

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Serratene triterpenoids from Palhinhaea cernua var. sikkimensis. (7/10)

Seven new serratene triterpenoids, 3alpha,21beta,29-trihydroxy-16-oxoserrat-14-en-24-oic acid (1), 3beta,21beta,29-trihydroxy-16-oxoserrat-14-en-24-oic acid (2), 3beta,21beta,29-trihydroxyserrat-14-en-24-oic acid 3beta-(4-hydroxybenzoate) (3), 3beta,21beta,29-trihydroxyserrat-14-en-24-oic acid 3beta-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzoate) (4), 3beta,14alpha,15alpha,21beta,29-pentahydroxyserrat-14-en-24-oic acid 3beta-(4-hydroxybenzoate) (5), 3alpha,21beta,24,29-tetrahydroxyserrat-14-en-16-one (6), 3alpha,21beta,30-trihydroxyserrat-14-en-16-one (7) were isolated from Palhinhaea cernua var. sikkimensis, together with twelve known compounds (8-19). Their chemical structures were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic evidence and comparison with literature values.  (+info)

Complete plastome sequences of Equisetum arvense and Isoetes flaccida: implications for phylogeny and plastid genome evolution of early land plant lineages. (8/10)

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