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(1/2829) Activation of systemic acquired silencing by localised introduction of DNA.

BACKGROUND: In plants, post-transcriptional gene silencing results in RNA degradation after transcription. Among tobacco transformants carrying a nitrate reductase (Nia) construct under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (35S-Nia2), one class of transformants spontaneously triggers Nia post-transcriptional gene silencing (class II) whereas another class does not (class I). Non-silenced plants of both classes become silenced when grafted onto silenced stocks, indicating the existence of a systemic silencing signal. Graft-transmitted silencing is maintained in class II but not in class I plants when removed from silenced stocks, indicating similar requirements for spontaneous triggering and maintenance. RESULTS: Introduction of 35S-Nia2 DNA by the gene transfer method called biolistics led to localised acquired silencing (LAS) in bombarded leaves of wild-type, class I and class II plants, and to systemic acquired silencing (SAS) in class II plants. SAS occurred even if the targeted leaf was removed 2 days after bombardment, indicating that the systemic signal is produced, transmitted and amplified rapidly. SAS was activated by sense, antisense and promoterless Nia2 DNA constructs, indicating that transcription is not required although it does stimulate SAS. CONCLUSIONS: SAS was activated by biolistic introduction of promoterless constructs, indicating that the DNA itself is a potent activator of post-transcriptional gene silencing. The systemic silencing signal invaded the whole plant by cell-to-cell and long-distance propagation, and reamplification of the signal.  (+info)

(2/2829) Determination of pyrolysis products of smoked methamphetamine mixed with tobacco by tandem mass spectrometry.

This study examines the pyrolysis products of smoked methamphetamine mixed with tobacco that was trapped with a C8 adsorbent cartridge and then detected by gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. According to the results, the mainstream smoke contains 2-methylpropyl-benzene, 2-chloropropyl-benzene, 2,3-dihydro-3,5-dihydroxy-6-methyl-4H-pyran-4-one, 3-ethyl-phenol, methamphetamine, dimethylamphetamine, hydroquinone, 3-methyl-5-(1-methylethyl)-methylcarbamate phenol, N-methyl-N-(2-phenylethyl)-acetamide, 4-(3-hydroxy-1-butenyl)-3,5,5-trimethyl-2-cyclohexene-1-one, propanoic acid, N-acetylmethamphetamine, phenyl ester, and furfurylmethylamphetamine. In addition, the compounds in sidestream smoke are 2-propenyl benzene, phenylacetone, methamphetamine, dimethylamphetamine, benzyl methyl ketoxime, 3,4-dihydro-2-naphthalenone, N-folmyamphetamine, N-acetylamphetamine, bibenzyl, N-folmylmethamphetamine, N-acetylmethamphetamine, N-propionymethamphetamine, and furfurylmethylamphetamine. Moreover, the presence of methamphetamine promotes the oxidation of the tobacco components.  (+info)

(3/2829) Biophysical characterization of a designed TMV coat protein mutant, R46G, that elicits a moderate hypersensitivity response in Nicotiana sylvestris.

The hypersensitivity resistance response directed by the N' gene in Nicotiana sylvestris is elicited by the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) coat protein R46G, but not by the U1 wild-type TMV coat protein. In this study, the structural and hydrodynamic properties of R46G and wild-type coat proteins were compared for variations that may explain N' gene elicitation. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals no significant secondary or tertiary structural differences between the elicitor and nonelicitor coat proteins. Analytical ultracentrifugation studies, however, do show different concentration dependencies of the weight average sedimentation coefficients at 4 degrees C. Viral reconstitution kinetics at 20 degrees C were used to determine viral assembly rates and as an initial assay of the rate of 20S formation, the obligate species for viral reconstitution. These kinetic results reveal a decreased lag time for reconstitution performed with R46G that initially lack the 20S aggregate. However, experiments performed with 20S initially present reveal no detectable differences indicating that the mechanism of viral assembly is similar for the two coat protein species. Therefore, an increased rate of 20S formation from R46G subunits may explain the differences in the viral reconstitution lag times. The inferred increase in the rate of 20S formation is verified by direct measurement of the 20S boundary as a function of time at 20 degrees C using velocity sedimentation analysis. These results are consistent with the interpretation that there may be an altered size distribution and/or lifetime of the small coat protein aggregates in elicitors that allows N. sylvestris to recognize the invading virus.  (+info)

(4/2829) Rational analyses of organelle trajectories in tobacco pollen tubes reveal characteristics of the actomyosin cytoskeleton.

To gain insight into the characteristics of organelle movement and the underlying actomyosin motility system in tobacco pollen tubes, we collected data points representing sequential organelle positions in control and cytochalasin-treated cells, and in a sample of extruded cytoplasm. These data were utilized to reconstruct approximately 900 tracks, representing individual organelle movements, and to produce a quantitative analysis of the movement properties, supported by statistical tests. Each reconstructed track appeared to be unique and to show irregularities in velocity and direction of movement. The regularity quotient was near 2 at the tip and above 3 elsewhere in the cell, indicating that movement is more vectorial in the tube area. Similarly, the progressiveness ratio showed that there were relatively more straight trajectories in the tube region than at the tip. Consistent with these data, arithmetical dissection revealed a high degree of randomlike movement in the apex, lanes with tip-directed movement along the flanks, and grain-directed movement in the center of the tube. Intercalated lanes with bidirectional movement had lower organelle velocity, suggesting that steric hindrance plays a role. The results from the movement analysis indicate that the axial arrangement of the actin filaments and performance of the actomyosin system increases from tip to base, and that the opposite polarity of the actin filaments in the peripheral (+-ends of acting filaments toward the tip) versus the central cytoplasm (+-ends of actin filaments toward to the grain) is installed within a few minutes in these tip-growing cells.  (+info)

(5/2829) Enhanced resistance to bacterial diseases of transgenic tobacco plants overexpressing sarcotoxin IA, a bactericidal peptide of insect.

Sarcotoxin IA is a bactericidal peptide of 39 amino acids found in the common flesh fly, Sarcophaga peregrina. Many agronomically important bacteria in Japan are killed by this peptide at sub-micro molar levels, and the growth of tobacco and rice suspension cultured cells is not inhibited with less than 25 microM. Transgenic tobacco plants which overexpress the peptide, i.e. over 250 pmol per gram of fresh leaf, under the control of a high expression constitutive promoter showed enhanced resistance to the pathogens for wild fire disease (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tabaci) and bacterial soft rot disease (Erwinia carotovora subsp. carotovora).  (+info)

(6/2829) Overexpression of the Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) Cry2Aa2 protein in chloroplasts confers resistance to plants against susceptible and Bt-resistant insects.

Evolving levels of resistance in insects to the bioinsecticide Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) can be dramatically reduced through the genetic engineering of chloroplasts in plants. When transgenic tobacco leaves expressing Cry2Aa2 protoxin in chloroplasts were fed to susceptible, Cry1A-resistant (20,000- to 40,000-fold) and Cry2Aa2-resistant (330- to 393-fold) tobacco budworm Heliothis virescens, cotton bollworm Helicoverpa zea, and the beet armyworm Spodoptera exigua, 100% mortality was observed against all insect species and strains. Cry2Aa2 was chosen for this study because of its toxicity to many economically important insect pests, relatively low levels of cross-resistance against Cry1A-resistant insects, and its expression as a protoxin instead of a toxin because of its relatively small size (65 kDa). Southern blot analysis confirmed stable integration of cry2Aa2 into all of the chloroplast genomes (5, 000-10,000 copies per cell) of transgenic plants. Transformed tobacco leaves expressed Cry2Aa2 protoxin at levels between 2% and 3% of total soluble protein, 20- to 30-fold higher levels than current commercial nuclear transgenic plants. These results suggest that plants expressing high levels of a nonhomologous Bt protein should be able to overcome or at the very least, significantly delay, broad spectrum Bt-resistance development in the field.  (+info)

(7/2829) Mg-chelatase of tobacco: the role of the subunit CHL D in the chelation step of protoporphyrin IX.

The Mg-chelation is found to be a prerequisite to direct protoporphyrin IX into the chlorophyll (Chl)-synthesizing branch of the tetrapyrrol pathway. The ATP-dependent insertion of magnesium into protoporphyrin IX is catalyzed by the enzyme Mg-chelatase, which consists of three protein subunits (CHL D, CHL I, and CHL H). We have chosen the Mg-chelatase from tobacco to obtain more information about the mode of molecular action of this complex enzyme by elucidating the interactions in vitro and in vivo between the central subunit CHL D and subunits CHL I and CHL H. We dissected CHL D in defined peptide fragments and assayed for the essential part of CHL D for protein-protein interaction and enzyme activity. Surprisingly, only a small part of CHL D, i.e., 110 aa, was required for interaction with the partner subunits and maintenance of the enzyme activity. In addition, it could be demonstrated that CHL D is capable of forming homodimers. Moreover, it interacted with both CHL I and CHL H. Our data led to the outline of a two-step model based on the cooperation of the subunits for the chelation process.  (+info)

(8/2829) Expression of alfalfa mosaic virus coat protein in tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) deficient in the production of its native coat protein supports long-distance movement of a chimeric TMV.

Alfalfa mosaic virus (AlMV) coat protein is involved in systemic infection of host plants, and a specific mutation in this gene prevents the virus from moving into the upper uninoculated leaves. The coat protein also is required for different viral functions during early and late infection. To study the role of the coat protein in long-distance movement of AlMV independent of other vital functions during virus infection, we cloned the gene encoding the coat protein of AlMV into a tobacco mosaic virus (TMV)-based vector Av. This vector is deficient in long-distance movement and is limited to locally inoculated leaves because of the lack of native TMV coat protein. Expression of AlMV coat protein, directed by the subgenomic promoter of TMV coat protein in Av, supported systemic infection with the chimeric virus in Nicotiana benthamiana, Nicotiana tabacum MD609, and Spinacia oleracea. The host range of TMV was extended to include spinach as a permissive host. Here we report the alteration of a host range by incorporating genetic determinants from another virus.  (+info)