Gene silencing: plants and viruses fight it out.
Plants can become 'immune' to attack by viruses by degrading specific viral RNA, but some plant viruses have evolved the general capacity to suppress this resistance mechanism. (+info)
Cytokinin activation of Arabidopsis cell division through a D-type cyclin.
Cytokinins are plant hormones that regulate plant cell division. The D-type cyclin CycD3 was found to be elevated in a mutant of Arabidopsis with a high level of cytokinin and to be rapidly induced by cytokinin application in both cell cultures and whole plants. Constitutive expression of CycD3 in transgenic plants allowed induction and maintenance of cell division in the absence of exogenous cytokinin. Results suggest that cytokinin activates Arabidopsis cell division through induction of CycD3 at the G1-S cell cycle phase transition. (+info)
NADH-glutamate synthase in alfalfa root nodules. Genetic regulation and cellular expression.
NADH-dependent glutamate synthase (NADH-GOGAT; EC 188.8.131.52) 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)
Characterization of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii zygote-specific cDNAs that encode novel proteins containing ankyrin repeats and WW domains.
Genes that are expressed only in the young zygote are considered to be of great importance in the development of an isogamous green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Clones representing the Zys3 gene were isolated from a cDNA library prepared using zygotes at 10 min after fertilization. Sequencing of Zys3 cDNA clones resulted in the isolation of two related molecular species. One of them encoded a protein that contained two kinds of protein-to-protein interaction motifs known as ankyrin repeats and WW domains. The other clone lacked the ankyrin repeats but was otherwise identical. These mRNA species began to accumulate simultaneously in cells beginning 10 min after fertilization, and reached maximum levels at about 4 h, after which time levels decreased markedly. Genomic DNA gel-blot analysis indicated that Zys3 was a single-copy gene. The Zys3 proteins exhibited parallel expression to the Zys3 mRNAs at first, appearing 2 h after mating, and reached maximum levels at more than 6 h, but persisted to at least 1 d. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed their localization in the endoplasmic reticulum, which suggests a role in the morphological changes of the endoplasmic reticulum or in the synthesis and transport of proteins to the Golgi apparatus or related vesicles. (+info)
Antisense expression of the CK2 alpha-subunit gene in Arabidopsis. Effects on light-regulated gene expression and plant growth.
The protein kinase CK2 (formerly casein kinase II) is thought to be involved in light-regulated gene expression in plants because of its ability to phosphorylate transcription factors that bind to the promoter regions of light-regulated genes in vitro. To address this possibility in vivo and to learn more about the potential physiological roles of CK2 in plants, we transformed Arabidopsis with an antisense construct of the CK2 alpha-subunit gene and investigated both morphological and molecular phenotypes. Antisense transformants had a smaller adult leaf size and showed increased expression of chs in darkness and of cab and rbcS after red-light treatment. The latter molecular phenotype implied that CK2 might serve as one of several negative and quantitative effectors in light-regulated gene expression. The possible mechanism of CK2 action and its involvement in the phytochrome signal transduction pathway are discussed. (+info)
The mechanism of rhythmic ethylene production in sorghum. The role of phytochrome B and simulated shading.
Mutant sorghum (Sorghum bicolor [L.] Moench) deficient in functional phytochrome B exhibits reduced photoperiodic sensitivity and constitutively expresses a shade-avoidance phenotype. Under relatively bright, high red:far-red light, ethylene production by seedlings of wild-type and phytochrome B-mutant cultivars progresses through cycles in a circadian rhythm; however, the phytochrome B mutant produces ethylene peaks with approximately 10 times the amplitude of the wild type. Time-course northern blots show that the mutant's abundance of the 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) oxidase mRNA SbACO2 is cyclic and is commensurate with ethylene production, and that ACC oxidase activity follows the same pattern. Both SbACO2 abundance and ACC oxidase activity in the wild-type plant are very low under this regimen. ACC levels in the two cultivars did not demonstrate fluctuations coincident with the ethylene produced. Simulated shading caused the wild-type plant to mimic the phenotype of the mutant and to produce high amplitude rhythms of ethylene evolution. The circadian feature of the ethylene cycle is conditionally present in the mutant and absent in the wild-type plant under simulated shading. SbACO2 abundance in both cultivars demonstrates a high-amplitude diurnal cycle under these conditions; however, ACC oxidase activity, although elevated, does not exhibit a clear rhythm correlated with ethylene production. ACC levels in both cultivars show fluctuations corresponding to the ethylene rhythm previously observed. It appears that at least two separate mechanisms may be involved in generating high-amplitude ethylene rhythms in sorghum, one in response to the loss of phytochrome B function and another in response to shading. (+info)
The FLF MADS box gene: a repressor of flowering in Arabidopsis regulated by vernalization and methylation.
A MADS box gene, FLF (for FLOWERING LOCUS F ), isolated from a late-flowering, T-DNA-tagged Arabidopsis mutant, is a semidominant gene encoding a repressor of flowering. The FLF gene appears to integrate the vernalization-dependent and autonomous flowering pathways because its expression is regulated by genes in both pathways. The level of FLF mRNA is downregulated by vernalization and by a decrease in genomic DNA methylation, which is consistent with our previous suggestion that vernalization acts to induce flowering through changes in gene activity that are mediated through a reduction in DNA methylation. The flf-1 mutant requires a greater than normal amount of an exogenous gibberellin (GA3) to decrease flowering time compared with the wild type or with vernalization-responsive late-flowering mutants, suggesting that the FLF gene product may block the promotion of flowering by GAs. FLF maps to a region on chromosome 5 near the FLOWERING LOCUS C gene, which is a semidominant repressor of flowering in late-flowering ecotypes of Arabidopsis. (+info)
Overexpression of BiP in tobacco alleviates endoplasmic reticulum stress.
To study the role of the lumenal binding protein (BiP) in the transport and secretion of proteins, we have produced plants with altered BiP levels. Transgenic plants overexpressing BiP showed dramatically increased BiP mRNA levels but only a modest increase in BiP protein levels. The presence of degradation products in BiP overproducers suggests a regulatory mechanism that increases protein turnover when BiP is abundant. Antisense inhibition of BiP synthesis was not successful, demonstrating that even a minor reduction in the basal BiP level is deleterious to cell viability. Overexpression of BiP leads to downregulation of the basal transcript levels of endogenous BiP genes and greatly reduces the unfolded protein response. The data confirm that BiP transcription is regulated via a feedback mechanism that involves monitoring of BiP protein levels. To test BiP activity in vivo, we designed a functional assay, using the secretory protein alpha-amylase and a cytosolic enzyme as a control for cell viability. During tunicamycin treatment, an overall reduction of alpha-amylase synthesis was observed when compared with the cytosolic marker. We show that the tunicamycin effect is due to the depletion of BiP in the endoplasmic reticulum because coexpressed BiP alone is able to restore efficient alpha-amylase synthesis. This is a novel assay to monitor BiP activity in promoting secretory protein synthesis in vivo. (+info)