Ion channel-forming alamethicin is a potent elicitor of volatile biosynthesis and tendril coiling. Cross talk between jasmonate and salicylate signaling in lima bean. (1/396)

Alamethicin (ALA), a voltage-gated, ion channel-forming peptide mixture from Trichoderma viride, is a potent elicitor of the biosynthesis of volatile compounds in lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus). Unlike elicitation with jasmonic acid or herbivore damage, the blend of substances emitted comprises only the two homoterpenes, 4,11-dimethylnona-1,3,7-triene and 4,8,12-trimethyltrideca-1,3,7,11-tetraene, and methyl salicylate. Inhibition of octadecanoid signaling by aristolochic acid and phenidone as well as mass spectrometric analysis of endogenous jasmonate demonstrate that ALA induces the biosynthesis of volatile compounds principally via the octadecanoid-signaling pathway (20-fold increase of jasmonic acid). ALA also up-regulates salicylate biosynthesis, and the time course of the production of endogenous salicylate correlates well with the appearance of the methyl ester in the gas phase. The massive up-regulation of the SA-pathway (90-fold) interferes with steps in the biosynthetic pathway downstream of 12-oxophytodienoic acid and thereby reduces the pattern of emitted volatiles to compounds previously shown to be induced by early octadecanoids. ALA also induces tendril coiling in various species like Pisum, Lathyrus, and Bryonia, but the response appears to be independent from octadecanoid biosynthesis, because inhibitors of lipoxygenase and phospholipase A(2) do not prevent the coiling reaction.  (+info)

Cell biological changes of outer cortical root cells in early determinate nodulation. (2/396)

In the symbiosis of leguminous plants and Rhizobium bacteria, nodule primordia develop in the root cortex. This can be either in the inner cortex (indeterminate-type of nodulation) or outer cortex (determinate-type of nodulation), depending upon the host plant. We studied and compared early nodulation stages in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and Lotus japonicus, both known as determinate-type nodulation plants. Special attention was paid to the occurrence of cytoplasmic bridges, the influence of rhizobial Nod factors (lipochitin oligosaccharides [LCOs]) on this phenomenon, and sensitivity of the nodulation process to ethylene. Our results show that i) both plant species form initially broad, matrix-rich infection threads; ii) cytoplasmic bridges occur in L. japonicus but not in bean; iii) formation of these bridges is induced by rhizobial LCOs; iv) formation of primordia starts in L. japonicus in the middle root cortex and in bean in the outer root cortex; and v) in the presence of the ethylene-biosynthesis inhibitor aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG), nodulation of L. japonicus is stimulated when the roots are grown in the light, which is consistent with the role of cytoplasmic bridges during nodulation of L. japonicus.  (+info)

Two starch-branching-enzyme isoforms occur in different fractions of developing seeds of kidney bean. (3/396)

The nature and enzymic properties of starch-branching enzyme (SBE) are two of the dominant factors influencing the fine structure of starch. To understand the role of this enzyme's activity in the formation of starch in kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), a study was undertaken to identify the major SBE sequences expressed during seed development and to characterize the enzymic properties of the coded recombinant enzymes. Two SBE cDNA species (designated pvsbe2 and pvsbe1) that displayed significant similarity (more than 70%) to other family A and B SBEs respectively were isolated. Northern blot analysis revealed that pvsbe1 and pvsbe2 were differentially expressed during seed development. pvsbe2 showed maximum steady-state transcript levels at the mid-stage of seed maturation, whereas pvsbe1 reached peak levels at a later stage. Western blot analysis with antisera raised against both recombinant proteins (rPvSBE1 and rPvSBE2) showed that these two SBEs were located in different amyloplast fractions of developing seeds of kidney bean. PvSBE2 was present in the soluble fraction, whereas PvSBE1 was associated with the starch granule fraction. The differences in location suggest that these two SBE isoenzymes have different roles in amylopectin synthesis in kidney bean seeds. rPvSBE1 and rPvSBE2 were purified from Escherichia coli and their kinetic properties were determined. The affinity of rPvSBE2 for amylose (K(m) 1.27 mg/ml) was lower than that of rPvSBE1 (0.46 mg/ml). The activity of rPvSBE2 was stimulated more than 3-fold in the presence of 0.3 M citrate, whereas rPvSBE1 activity was not affected. The implications of the enzymic properties and the distribution of SBEs and amylopectin structure are discussed.  (+info)

How the roots contribute to the ability of Phaseolus vulgaris L. to cope with chilling-induced water stress. (4/396)

Intact plants and stem-girdled plants of Phaseolus vulgaris grown hydroponically were exposed to 5 degrees C for up to 4 d; stem girdling was used to inhibit the phloem transport from the leaves to the roots. After initial water stress, stomatal closure and an amelioration of root water transport properties allowed the plants to rehydrate and regain turgor. Chilling augmented the concentration of abscisic acid (ABA) content in leaves, roots and xylem sap. In intact plants stomatal closure and leaf ABA accumulation were preceded by a slight alkalinization of xylem sap, but they occurred earlier than any increase in xylem ABA concentration could be detected. Stem girdling did not affect the influence of chilling on plant water relations and leaf ABA content, but it reduced slightly the alkalinization of xylem sap and, principally, prevented the massive ABA accumulation in root tissues and the associated transport in the xylem that was observed in non-girdled plants. When the plants were defoliated just prior to chilling or after 10 h at 5 degrees C, root and xylem sap ABA concentration remained unchanged throughout the whole stress period. When the plants were chilled under conditions preventing the occurrence of leaf water deficit (i.e. at 100% relative humidity), there were no significant variations in endogenous ABA levels. The increase in root hydraulic conductance in chilled plants was a response neither to root ABA accretion, nor to some leaf-borne chemical signal transported downwards in the phloem, nor to low temperature per se, as indicated by the results of the experiments with defoliated or girdled plants and with plants chilled at 100% relative humidity. It was concluded that the root system contributed substantially to the bean's ability to cope with chilling-induced water stress, but not in an ABA-dependent manner.  (+info)

Canatoxin, a toxic protein from jack beans (Canavalia ensiformis), is a variant form of urease (EC biological effects of urease independent of its ureolytic activity. (5/396)

Canatoxin is a toxic protein from Canavalia ensiformis seeds, lethal to mice (LD(50)=2 mg/kg) and insects. Further characterization of canatoxin showed that its main native form (184 kDa) is a non-covalently linked dimer of a 95 kDa polypeptide containing zinc and nickel. Partial sequencing of internal peptides indicated homology with urease (EC from the same seed. Canatoxin has approx. 30% of urease's activity for urea, and K(m) of 2-7 mM. The proteins differ in their affinities for metal ions and were separated by affinity chromatography on a Zn(2+) matrix. Similar to canatoxin, urease activates blood platelets and interacts with glycoconjugates. In contrast with canatoxin, no lethality was seen in mice injected with urease (10 mg/kg). Pretreatment with p-hydroxymercuribenzoate irreversibly abolished the ureolytic activity of both proteins. On the other hand, p-hydroxymercuribenzoate-treated canatoxin was still lethal to mice, and both treated proteins were fully active in promoting platelet aggregation and binding to glycoconjugates. Taken together, our data indicate that canatoxin is a variant form of urease. Moreover, we show for the first time that these proteins display several biological effects that are unrelated to their enzymic activity for urea.  (+info)

Regional localization of suspensor mRNAs during early embryo development. (6/396)

We investigated gene activity within the giant embryos of the scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) to gain understanding of the processes by which the apical and basal cells become specified to follow different developmental pathways after division of the zygote. We identified two mRNAs, designated G564 and C541, that accumulate specifically within the suspensor of globular-stage embryos. G564 mRNA accumulates uniformly throughout the suspensor, whereas C541 mRNA accumulates to a higher level within the large basal cells of the suspensor that anchor the embryo to the surrounding seed tissue. Both G564 and C541 mRNAs begin to accumulate shortly after fertilization and are present within the two basal cells of embryos at the four-cell stage. In contrast, at the same stage, these mRNAs are not detectable within the two descendants of the apical cell. Nor are they detectable within cells of the embryo sac before fertilization, including the egg cell. We used a G564/beta-glucuronidase reporter gene to show that the G564 promoter is activated specifically within the basal region and suspensor of preglobular tobacco embryos. Analysis of the G564 promoter identified a sequence domain required for transcription within the suspensor that contains several copies of a conserved motif. These results show that derivatives of the apical and basal cells transcribe different genes as early as the four-cell stage of embryo development and suggest that the apical and basal cells are specified at the molecular level after division of the zygote.  (+info)

Sucrose phosphate synthase activity rises in correlation with high-rate cellulose synthesis in three heterotrophic systems. (7/396)

Based on work with cotton fibers, a particulate form of sucrose (Suc) synthase was proposed to support secondary wall cellulose synthesis by degrading Suc to fructose and UDP-glucose. The model proposed that UDP-glucose was then channeled to cellulose synthase in the plasma membrane, and it implies that Suc availability in cellulose sink cells would affect the rate of cellulose synthesis. Therefore, if cellulose sink cells could synthesize Suc and/or had the capacity to recycle the fructose released by Suc synthase back to Suc, cellulose synthesis might be supported. The capacity of cellulose sink cells to synthesize Suc was tested by analyzing the Suc phosphate synthase (SPS) activity of three heterotrophic systems with cellulose-rich secondary walls. SPS is a primary regulator of the Suc synthesis rate in leaves and some Suc-storing, heterotrophic organs, but its activity has not been previously correlated with cellulose synthesis. Two systems analyzed, cultured mesophyll cells of Zinnia elegans L. var. Envy and etiolated hypocotyls of kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), contained differentiating tracheary elements. Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L. cv Acala SJ-1) fibers were also analyzed during primary and secondary wall synthesis. SPS activity rose in all three systems during periods of maximum cellulose deposition within secondary walls. The Z. elegans culture system was manipulated to establish a tight linkage between the timing of tracheary element differentiation and rising SPS activity and to show that SPS activity did not depend on the availability of starch for degradation. The significance of these findings in regard to directing metabolic flux toward cellulose will be discussed.  (+info)

Regulation of gene expression in response to oxygen in Rhizobium etli: role of FnrN in fixNOQP expression and in symbiotic nitrogen fixation. (8/396)

Previously, we reported finding duplicated fixNOQP operons in Rhizobium etli CFN42. One of these duplicated operons is located in the symbiotic plasmid (fixNOQPd), while the other is located in a cryptic plasmid (fixNOQPf). Although a novel FixL-FixKf regulatory cascade participates in microaerobic expression of both fixNOQP duplicated operons, we found that a mutation in fixL eliminates fixNOQPf expression but has only a moderate effect on expression of fixNOQPd. This suggests that there are differential regulatory controls. Interestingly, only the fixNOQPd operon was essential for symbiotic nitrogen fixation (L. Girard, S. Brom, A. Davalos, O. Lopez, M. Soberon, and D. Romero, Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 13:1283-1292, 2000). Searching for potential candidates responsible for the differential expression, we characterized two fnrN homologs (encoding transcriptional activators of the cyclic AMP receptor protein [CRP]-Fnr family) in R. etli CFN42. One of these genes (fnrNd) is located on the symbiotic plasmid, while the other (fnrNchr) is located on the chromosome. Analysis of the expression of the fnrN genes using transcriptional fusions with lacZ showed that the two fnrN genes are differentially regulated, since only fnrNd is expressed in microaerobic cultures of the wild-type strain while fnrNchr is negatively controlled by FixL. Mutagenesis of the two fnrN genes showed that both genes participate, in conjunction with FixL-FixKf, in the microaerobic induction of the fixNOQPd operon. Participation of these genes is also seen during the symbiotic process, in which mutations in fnrNd and fnrNchr, either singly or in combination, lead to reductions in nitrogen fixation. Therefore, R. etli employs a regulatory circuit for induction of the fixNOQPd operon that involves at least three transcriptional regulators of the CRP-Fnr family. This regulatory circuit may be important for ensuring optimal production of the cbb(3), terminal oxidase during symbiosis.  (+info)