The nuclear ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer as a target sequence to study intraspecific diversity of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Hebeloma cylindrosporum directly on pinus root systems.
Polymorphism of the nuclear ribosomal DNA intergenic spacer (IGS) of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Hebeloma cylindrosporum was studied to evaluate whether this sequence could be used in field studies to estimate the diversity of strains forming mycorrhizas on individual Pinus pinaster root systems. This sequence was amplified by PCR from 125 haploid homokaryotic strains collected in 14 P. pinaster stands along the Atlantic coast of France by using conserved oligonucleotide primers. Restriction enzyme digestion of the amplified 3.4-kbp-long IGS allowed us to characterize 24 alleles whose frequencies differed. Nine of these alleles were found only once, whereas about 60% of the strains contained four of the alleles. Local populations could be almost as diverse as the entire population along a 150-km stretch of coastline that was examined; for example, 13 alleles were found in a single forest stand. The IGS from one strain was partially sequenced, and the sequence data were used to design oligonucleotides which allowed separate PCR amplification of three different segments of the IGS. Most polymorphisms observed among the full-length IGS regions resulted from polymorphisms in an internal ca. 1,500-bp-long sequence characterized by length variations that may have resulted from variable numbers of a T2AG3 motif. This internal polymorphic sequence could not be amplified from the genomes of nine other Hebeloma species. Analysis of this internal sequence amplified from the haploid progenies of 10 fruiting bodies collected in a 70-m2 area resulted in identification of six allelic forms and seven distinct diplotypes out of the 21 possible different combinations. Moreover, optimization of the PCR conditions resulted in amplification of this sequence from more than 80% of the DNA samples extracted from individual H. cylindrosporum infected P. pinaster mycorrhizal root tips, thus demonstrating the usefulness of this sequence for studying the below-ground diversity of mycorrhizas formed by genets belonging to the same fungal species. (+info
Polynucleotide probes that target a hypervariable region of 16S rRNA genes to identify bacterial isolates corresponding to bands of community fingerprints.
Temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) is well suited for fingerprinting bacterial communities by separating PCR-amplified fragments of 16S rRNA genes (16S ribosomal DNA [rDNA]). A strategy was developed and was generally applicable for linking 16S rDNA from community fingerprints to pure culture isolates from the same habitat. For this, digoxigenin-labeled polynucleotide probes were generated by PCR, using bands excised from TGGE community fingerprints as a template, and applied in hybridizations with dot blotted 16S rDNA amplified from bacterial isolates. Within 16S rDNA, the hypervariable V6 region, corresponding to positions 984 to 1047 (Escherichia coli 16S rDNA sequence), which is a subset of the region used for TGGE (positions 968 to 1401), best met the criteria of high phylogenetic variability, required for sufficient probe specificity, and closely flanking conserved priming sites for amplification. Removal of flanking conserved bases was necessary to enable the differentiation of closely related species. This was achieved by 5' exonuclease digestion, terminated by phosphorothioate bonds which were synthesized into the primers. The remaining complementary strand was removed by single-strand-specific digestion. Standard hybridization with truncated probes allowed differentiation of bacteria which differed by only two bases within the probe target site and 1.2% within the complete 16S rDNA. However, a truncated probe, derived from an excised TGGE band of a rhizosphere community, hybridized with three phylogenetically related isolates with identical V6 sequences. Only one of the isolates comigrated with the excised band in TGGE, which was shown to be due to identical sequences, demonstrating the utility of a combined TGGE and V6 probe approach. (+info
A simple hydroponic culture method for the development of a highly viable root system in Arabidopsis thaliana.
In the studies of nutritional absorption and metal toxicity in the root, it is important to grow plants without technical damage. We established a simple hydroponic culture system for Arabidopsis thaliana to obtain a healthy plant having a well-developed root system with many lateral roots. The phytotoxic effects of Cr, Cu, and Al ions were examined by FDA-PI staining using this culture system. The pattern of root inhibition varied with the ion, suggesting the usefulness of this culture system. (+info
Novel genes induced during an arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis formed between Medicago truncatula and Glomus versiforme.
Many terrestrial plant species are able to form symbiotic associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Here we have identified three cDNA clones representing genes whose expression is induced during the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis formed between Medicago truncatula and an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus, Glomus versiforme. The three clones represent M. truncatula genes and encode novel proteins: a xyloglucan endotransglycosylase-related protein, a putative arabinogalactan protein (AGP), and a putative homologue of the mammalian p110 subunit of initiation factor 3 (eIF3). These genes show little or no expression in M. truncatula roots prior to formation of the symbiosis and are significantly induced following colonization by G. versiforme. The genes are not induced in roots in response to increases in phosphate. This suggests that induction of expression during the symbiosis is due to the interaction with the fungus and is not a secondary effect of improved phosphate nutrition. In situ hybridization revealed that the putative AGP is expressed specifically in cortical cells containing arbuscules. The identification of two mycorrhiza-induced genes encoding proteins predicted to be involved in cell wall structure is consistent with previous electron microscopy data that indicated major alterations in the extracellular matrix of the cortical cells following colonization by mycorrhizal fungi. (+info
The auxin-insensitive bodenlos mutation affects primary root formation and apical-basal patterning in the Arabidopsis embryo.
In Arabidopsis embryogenesis, the primary root meristem originates from descendants of both the apical and the basal daughter cell of the zygote. We have isolated a mutant of a new gene named BODENLOS (BDL) in which the primary root meristem is not formed whereas post-embryonic roots develop and bdl seedlings give rise to fertile adult plants. Some bdl seedlings lacked not only the root but also the hypocotyl, thus resembling monopteros (mp) seedlings. In addition, bdl seedlings were insensitive to the auxin analogue 2,4-D, as determined by comparison with auxin resistant1 (axr1) seedlings. bdl embryos deviated from normal development as early as the two-cell stage at which the apical daughter cell of the zygote had divided horizontally instead of vertically. Subsequently, the uppermost derivative of the basal daughter cell, which is normally destined to become the hypophysis, divided abnormally and failed to generate the quiescent centre of the root meristem and the central root cap. We also analysed double mutants. bdl mp embryos closely resembled the two single mutants, bdl and mp, at early stages, while bdl mp seedlings essentially consisted of hypocotyl but did form primary leaves. bdl axr1 embryos approached the mp phenotype at later stages, and bdl axr1 seedlings resembled mp seedlings. Our results suggest that BDL is involved in auxin-mediated processes of apical-basal patterning in the Arabidopsis embryo. (+info
NADH-glutamate synthase in alfalfa root nodules. Genetic regulation and cellular expression.
NADH-dependent glutamate synthase (NADH-GOGAT; EC 18.104.22.168) is a key enzyme in primary nitrogen assimilation in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) root nodules. Here we report that in alfalfa, a single gene, probably with multiple alleles, encodes for NADH-GOGAT. In situ hybridizations were performed to assess the location of NADH-GOGAT transcript in alfalfa root nodules. In wild-type cv Saranac nodules the NADH-GOGAT gene is predominantly expressed in infected cells. Nodules devoid of bacteroids (empty) induced by Sinorhizobium meliloti 7154 had no NADH-GOGAT transcript detectable by in situ hybridization, suggesting that the presence of the bacteroid may be important for NADH-GOGAT expression. The pattern of expression of NADH-GOGAT shifted during root nodule development. Until d 9 after planting, all infected cells appeared to express NADH-GOGAT. By d 19, a gradient of expression from high in the early symbiotic zone to low in the late symbiotic zone was observed. In 33-d-old nodules expression was seen in only a few cell layers in the early symbiotic zone. This pattern of expression was also observed for the nifH transcript but not for leghemoglobin. The promoter of NADH-GOGAT was evaluated in transgenic alfalfa plants carrying chimeric beta-glucuronidase promoter fusions. The results suggest that there are at least four regulatory elements. The region responsible for expression in the infected cell zone contains an 88-bp direct repeat. (+info
Sugar- and nitrogen-dependent regulation of an Amanita muscaria phenylalanine ammonium lyase gene.
The cDNA of a key enzyme of secondary metabolism, phenylalanine ammonium lyase, was identified for an ectomycorrhizal fungus by differential screening of a mycorrhizal library. The gene was highly expressed in hyphae grown at low external monosaccharide concentrations, but its expression was 30-fold reduced at elevated concentrations. Gene repression was regulated by hexokinase. (+info
AUX1 regulates root gravitropism in Arabidopsis by facilitating auxin uptake within root apical tissues.
Plants employ a specialized transport system composed of separate influx and efflux carriers to mobilize the plant hormone auxin between its site(s) of synthesis and action. Mutations within the permease-like AUX1 protein significantly reduce the rate of carrier-mediated auxin uptake within Arabidopsis roots, conferring an agravitropic phenotype. We are able to bypass the defect within auxin uptake and restore the gravitropic root phenotype of aux1 by growing mutant seedlings in the presence of the membrane-permeable synthetic auxin, 1-naphthaleneacetic acid. We illustrate that AUX1 expression overlaps that previously described for the auxin efflux carrier, AtPIN2, using transgenic lines expressing an AUX1 promoter::uidA (GUS) gene. Finally, we demonstrate that AUX1 regulates gravitropic curvature by acting in unison with the auxin efflux carrier to co-ordinate the localized redistribution of auxin within the Arabidopsis root apex. Our results provide the first example of a developmental role for the auxin influx carrier within higher plants and supply new insight into the molecular basis of gravitropic signalling. (+info