Galactoglucomannans increase cell population density and alter the protoxylem/metaxylem tracheary element ratio in xylogenic cultures of Zinnia. (1/383)

Xylogenic cultures of zinnia (Zinnia elegans) provide a unique opportunity to study signaling pathways of tracheary element (TE) differentiation. In vitro TEs differentiate into either protoxylem (PX)-like TEs characterized by annular/helical secondary wall thickening or metaxylem (MX)-like TEs with reticulate/scalariform/pitted thickening. The factors that determine these different cell fates are largely unknown. We show here that supplementing zinnia cultures with exogenous galactoglucomannan oligosaccharides (GGMOs) derived from spruce (Picea abies) xylem had two major effects: an increase in cell population density and a decrease in the ratio of PX to MX TEs. In an attempt to link these two effects, the consequence of the plane of cell division on PX-MX differentiation was assessed. Although GGMOs did not affect the plane of cell division per se, they significantly increased the proportion of longitudinally divided cells differentiating into MX. To test the biological significance of these findings, we have determined the presence of mannan-containing oligosaccharides in zinnia cultures in vitro. Immunoblot assays indicated that beta-1,4-mannosyl epitopes accumulate specifically in TE-inductive media. These epitopes were homogeneously distributed within the thickened secondary walls of TEs when the primary cell wall was weakly labeled. Using polysaccharide analysis carbohydrate gel electrophoresis, glucomannans were specifically detected in cell walls of differentiating zinnia cultures. Finally, zinnia macroarrays probed with cDNAs from cells cultured in the presence or absence of GGMOs indicated that significantly more genes were down-regulated rather than up-regulated by GGMOs. This study constitutes a major step in the elucidation of signaling mechanisms of PX- and MX-specific genetic programs in zinnia.  (+info)

The cellulose synthase gene superfamily and biochemical functions of xylem-specific cellulose synthase-like genes in Populus trichocarpa. (2/383)

Wood from forest trees modified for more cellulose or hemicelluloses could be a major feedstock for fuel ethanol. Xylan and glucomannan are the two major hemicelluloses in wood of angiosperms. However, little is known about the genes and gene products involved in the synthesis of these wood polysaccharides. Using Populus trichocarpa as a model angiosperm tree, we report here a systematic analysis in various tissues of the absolute transcript copy numbers of cellulose synthase superfamily genes, the cellulose synthase (CesA) and the hemicellulose-related cellulose synthase-like (Csl) genes. Candidate Csl genes were characterized for biochemical functions in Drosophila Schneider 2 (S2) cells. Of the 48 identified members, 37 were found expressed in various tissues. Seven CesA genes are xylem specific, suggesting gene networks for the synthesis of wood cellulose. Four Csl genes are xylem specific, three of which belong to the CslA subfamily. The more xylem-specific CslA subfamily is represented by three types of members: PtCslA1, PtCslA3, and PtCslA5. They share high sequence homology, but their recombinant proteins produced by the S2 cells exhibited distinct substrate specificity. PtCslA5 had no catalytic activity with the substrates for xylan or glucomannan. PtCslA1 and PtCslA3 encoded mannan synthases, but PtCslA1 further encoded a glucomannan synthase for the synthesis of (1-->4)-beta-D-glucomannan. The expression of PtCslA1 is most highly xylem specific, suggesting a key role for it in the synthesis of wood glucomannan. The results may help guide further studies to learn about the regulation of cellulose and hemicellulose synthesis in wood.  (+info)

Effect of partial rootzone drying on the concentration of zeatin-type cytokinins in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) xylem sap and leaves. (3/383)

Decreased cytokinin (CK) export from roots in drying soil might provide a root-to-shoot signal impacting on shoot physiology. Although several studies show that soil drying decreases the CK concentration of xylem sap collected from the roots, it is not known whether this alters xylem CK concentration ([CK(xyl)]) in the leaves and bulk leaf CK concentration. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) plants were grown with roots split between two soil columns. During experiments, water was applied to both columns (well-watered; WW) or one (partial rootzone drying; PRD) column. Irrigation of WW plants aimed to replace transpirational losses every day, while PRD plants received half this amount. Xylem sap was collected by pressurizing detached leaves using a Scholander pressure chamber, and zeatin-type CKs were immunoassayed using specific antibodies raised against zeatin riboside after separating their different forms (free zeatin, its riboside, and nucleotide) by thin-layer chromatography. PRD decreased the whole plant transpiration rate by 22% and leaf water potential by 0.08 MPa, and increased xylem abscisic acid (ABA) concentration 2.5-fold. Although PRD caused no detectable change in [CK(xyl)], it decreased the CK concentration of fully expanded leaves by 46%. That [CK(xyl)] was maintained and not increased while transpiration decreased suggests that loading of CK into the xylem was also decreased as the soil dried. That leaf CK concentration did not decline proportionally with CK delivery suggests that other mechanisms such as CK metabolism influence leaf CK status of PRD plants. The causes and consequences of decreased shoot CK status are discussed.  (+info)

Physiological characterization of two genes for Na+ exclusion in durum wheat, Nax1 and Nax2. (4/383)

Durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L. subsp. durum Desf.) Line 149 contains two novel major genes for excluding Na(+) from leaf blades, named Nax1 and Nax2. The genes were separated into families containing a single gene and near-isogenic homozygous lines were selected. Lines containing either Nax1 or Nax2 had lower rates of Na(+) transport from roots to shoots than their near-isogenic pairs due to lower rates of net loading of the xylem, not to lower rates of net uptake from the soil or higher rates of retranslocation in the phloem. Nax1 and Nax2 lines also had higher rates of K(+) transport from root to shoot, resulting in an enhanced discrimination of K(+) over Na(+). Lines containing Nax1 differed from those containing Nax2 by unloading Na(+) from the xylem as it entered the shoot so that Na(+) was retained in the base of the leaf, leading to a high sheath to blade ratio of Na(+) concentration. Gradients in tissue concentrations of Na(+) along the leaf suggested that Na(+) was continually removed from the xylem. The Nax2 line did not retain Na(+) in the base of the leaf, suggesting that it functioned only in the root. The Nax2 gene therefore has a similar function to Kna1 in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum).  (+info)

Interactions between MUR10/CesA7-dependent secondary cellulose biosynthesis and primary cell wall structure. (5/383)

Primary cell walls are deposited and remodeled during cell division and expansion. Secondary cell walls are deposited in specialized cells after the expansion phase. It is presently unknown whether and how these processes are interrelated. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) MUR10 gene is required for normal primary cell wall carbohydrate composition in mature leaves as well as for normal plant growth, hypocotyl strength, and fertility. The overall sugar composition of young mur10 seedlings is not significantly altered; however, the relative proportion of pectin side chains is shifted toward an increase in 1 --> 5-alpha-arabinan relative to 1 --> 4-beta-galactan. mur10 seedlings display reduced fucogalactosylation of tightly cell wall-bound xyloglucan. Expression levels of genes encoding either nucleotide sugar interconversion enzymes or glycosyl transferases, known to be involved in primary and secondary cell wall biosynthesis, are generally unaffected; however, the CesA7 transcript is specifically suppressed in the mur10-1 allele. The MUR10 locus is identical with the CesA7 gene, which encodes a cellulose catalytic subunit previously thought to be specifically involved in secondary cell wall formation. The xylem vessels in young mur10 hypocotyls are collapsed and their birefringence is lost. Moreover, a fucogalactosylated xyloglucan epitope is reduced and a 1 --> 5-alpha-arabinan epitope increased in every cell type in mur10 hypocotyls, including cells that do not deposit secondary walls. mur10 also displays altered distribution of an arabinogalactan-protein epitope previously associated with xylem differentiation and secondary wall thickening. This work indicates the existence of a mechanism that senses secondary cell wall integrity and controls biosynthesis or structural remodeling of primary cell walls and cellular differentiation.  (+info)

Root-to-shoot long-distance circulation of nicotianamine and nicotianamine-nickel chelates in the metal hyperaccumulator Thlaspi caerulescens. (6/383)

Plant metal hyperaccumulator species are widely used as models to unravel the heavy metal tolerance and hyperaccumulation mechanisms. Thlaspi caerulescens is capable of tolerating and hyperaccumulating Zn, Cd, and Ni. A search for factors involved in the cellular tolerance to Ni, based on yeast screens, led to isolation of a cDNA encoding a functional nicotianamine (NA) synthase (NAS). The T. caerulescens genome appears to contain a single copy of the NAS gene named TcNAS whose expression is restricted to the leaves. The analysis of dose-response and time-course Ni treatments have revealed that the exposure to Ni triggers the accumulation of NA in the roots. Because neither TcNAS expression nor NAS activity were detected in the roots, the NA accumulation in roots is most probably the result of its translocation from the leaves. Once in the roots, NA, together with Ni, is subsequently found in the xylem, for redirection to the aerial parts. Using liquid chromatography coupled to inductively coupled plasma or electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, it has been shown that part of the Ni is translocated as a stable Ni-NA complex in the xylem sap. This circulation of NA, Ni, and NA-Ni chelates is absent in the non-tolerant non-hyperaccumulator related species T. arvense. Taken together, the results provide direct physiological and chemical evidence for NA and NA-heavy metal complex translocation in a hyperaccumulator species.  (+info)

Transpiration, and nitrogen uptake and flow in two maize (Zea mays L.) inbred lines as affected by nitrogen supply. (7/383)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The influence of two nitrogen (N) levels on growth, water relations, and N uptake and flow was investigated in two different inbred lines of maize (N-efficient Zi330 and N-inefficient Chen94-11) to analyse the differences in N uptake and cycling within a plant. METHODS: Xylem sap from different leaves of the inbred lines cultured in quartz sand was collected by application of pressure to the root system. Plant transpiration was measured on a daily basis by weighing five pots of each of the treatments. KEY RESULTS: N-efficient Zi330 had a higher relative growth rate and water-use efficiency at both high (4 mm) and low (0.08 mm) N levels. At a high N level, the amount of N taken up was similar for the two inbred lines; the amount of N transported in the xylem and retranslocated in the phloem was slight greater in Chen94-11 than in Zi330. At a low N level, however, the total amount of N taken up, transported in the xylem and retranslocated in the phloem of Zi330 was 2.2, 2.7 and 2.7 times more, respectively, than that of Chen94-11. Independent of inbred line and N level, the amounts of N transported in the xylem and cycled in the phloem were far more than that taken up by roots at the same time. Low N supply shifted NO(3)(-1) reduction towards the roots. The major nitrogenous compound in the xylem sap was NO(3)(-1), when plants grew at the high N level, while amino acid-N was predominant when plants grew at the low N level. CONCLUSIONS: The N-efficient maize inbred line Zi330 had a higher ability to take up N and cycle N within the plant than N-inefficient Chen94-11 when grown under N-deficiency.  (+info)

Modification of leaf apoplastic pH in relation to stomatal sensitivity to root-sourced abscisic acid signals. (8/383)

The confocal microscope was used to determine the pH of the leaf apoplast and the pH of microvolumes of xylem sap. We quantified variation in leaf apoplast and sap pH in relation to changes in edaphic and atmospheric conditions that impacted on stomatal sensitivity to a root-sourced abscisic acid signal. Several plant species showed significant changes in the pH of both xylem sap and the apoplast of the shoot in response to environmental perturbation. Xylem sap leaving the root was generally more acidic than sap in the midrib and the apoplast of the leaf. Increasing the transpiration rate of both intact plants and detached plant parts resulted in more acidic leaf apoplast pHs. Experiments with inhibitors suggested that protons are removed from xylem sap as it moves up the plant, thereby alkalinizing the sap. The more rapid the transpiration rate and the shorter the time that the sap resided in the xylem/apoplastic pathway, the smaller the impact of proton removal on sap pH. Sap pH of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and Commelina communis did not change significantly as soil dried, while pH of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) sap increased as water availability in the soil declined. Increasing the availability of nitrate to roots also significantly alkalinized the xylem sap of tomato plants. This nitrogen treatment had the effect of enhancing the sensitivity of the stomatal response to soil drying. These responses were interpreted as an effect of nitrate addition on sap pH and closure of stomata via an abscisic acid-based mechanism.  (+info)