Dual pathways for regulation of root branching by nitrate.
Root development is extremely sensitive to variations in nutrient supply, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. We have investigated the processes by which nitrate (NO3-), depending on its availability and distribution, can have both positive and negative effects on the development and growth of lateral roots. When Arabidopsis roots were exposed to a locally concentrated supply of NO3- there was no increase in lateral root numbers within the NO3--rich zone, but there was a localized 2-fold increase in the mean rate of lateral root elongation, which was attributable to a corresponding increase in the rate of cell production in the lateral root meristem. Localized applications of other N sources did not stimulate lateral root elongation, consistent with previous evidence that the NO3- ion is acting as a signal rather than a nutrient. The axr4 auxin-resistant mutant was insensitive to the stimulatory effect of NO3-, suggesting an overlap between the NO3- and auxin response pathways. High rates of NO3- supply to the roots had a systemic inhibitory effect on lateral root development that acted specifically at the stage when the laterals had just emerged from the primary root, apparently delaying final activation of the lateral root meristem. A nitrate reductase-deficient mutant showed increased sensitivity to this systemic inhibitory effect, suggesting that tissue NO3- levels may play a role in generating the inhibitory signal. We present a model in which root branching is modulated by opposing signals from the plant's internal N status and the external supply of NO3-. (+info)
In vitro anti-human immunodeficiency virus activity of polysaccharide from Rhizophora mucronata Poir.
A polysaccharide was extracted with 1% sodium carbonate from the bark of Rhizophora mucronata and its antiviral activities against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were assessed by an in vitro cell culture system. The anti-HIV activity of the alkaline extract was mainly recovered in the 25-75% ethanol-precipitated fraction. Rhizophora mucronata polysaccharide (RMP) protected MT-4 cells from the HIV-induced cytopathogenicity and blocked the expression of HIV antigens. RMP completely inhibited the viral binding to the cell and the formation of syncytium upon cocultivation of MOLT-4/HIV-1IIIB cells and MOLT-4 cells. These results suggest that RMP inhibited early steps of the virus life cycle especially virus adsorption to the cell. (+info)
Mesorhizobium loti increases root-specific expression of a calcium-binding protein homologue identified by promoter tagging in Lotus japonicus.
A promoter tagging program in the legume Lotus japonicus was initiated to identify plant genes involved in the nitrogen-fixing symbiosis between legumes and rhizobia. Seven transformed plant lines expressing the promoterless reporter gene uidA (beta-glucuronidase; GUS) specifically in roots and/or nodules were identified. Four of these expressed GUS in the roots only after inoculation with nodule-forming Mesorhizobium loti. In one line (T90), GUS activity was found in the root epidermis, including root hairs. During seedling growth, GUS expression gradually became focused in developing nodules and disappeared from root tissue. No GUS activity was detected when a non-nodulating mutant of M. loti was used to inoculate the plants. The T-DNA insertion in this plant line was located 1.3 kb upstream of a putative coding sequence with strong homology to calcium-binding proteins. Four motifs were identified, which were very similar to the "EF hands" in calmodulin-related proteins, each binding one Ca2+. We have named the gene LjCbp1 (calcium-binding protein). Northern (RNA) analyses showed that this gene is expressed specifically in roots of L. japonicus. Expression was reduced in roots inoculated with non-nodulating M. loti mutants and in progeny homozygous for the T-DNA insertion, suggesting a link between the T-DNA insertion and this gene. (+info)
Tornado1 and tornado2 are required for the specification of radial and circumferential pattern in the Arabidopsis root.
The cell layers of the Arabidopsis primary root are arranged in a simple radial pattern. The outermost layer is the lateral root cap and lies outside the epidermis that surrounds the ground tissue. The files of epidermal and lateral root cap cells converge on a ring of initials (lateral root cap/epidermis initial) from which the epidermal and lateral root cap tissues of the seedling are derived, once root growth is initiated after germination. Each initial gives rise to a clone of epidermal cells and a clone of lateral root cap cells. These initial divisions in the epidermal/lateral root cap initial are defective in tornado1 (trn1) and trn2 plants indicating a requirement for TRN1 and TRN2 for initial cell function. Furthermore, lateral root cap cells develop in the epidermal position in trn1 and trn2 roots indicating that TRN1 and TRN2 are required for the maintenance of the radial pattern of cell specification in the root. The death of these ectopic lateral root cap cells in the elongation zone (where lateral root cap cells normally die) results in the development of gaps in the epidermis. These observations indicate that TRN1 and TRN2 are required to maintain the distinction between the lateral root cap and epidermis and suggest that lateral root cap fate is the default state. It also suggests that TRN1 and TRN2 repress lateral root cap fate in cells in the epidermal location. Furthermore, the position-dependent pattern of root hair and non-root hair cell differentiation in the epidermis is defective in trn1 and trn2 mutants. Together these results indicate that TRN1 and TRN2 are required for the maintenance of both the radial pattern of tissue differentiation in the root and for the subsequent circumferential pattern within the epidermis. (+info)
Analysis of the N gene hypersensitive response induced by a fluorescently tagged tobacco mosaic virus.
The hypersensitive response (HR) triggered on Nicotiana edwardsonii by tobacco mosaic virus was studied using a modified viral genome that directed expression of the green fluorescent protein. Inoculated plants were initially incubated at 32 degrees C to inhibit the N gene-mediated HR. Transfer to 20 degrees C initiated the HR, and fluorescent infection foci were monitored for early HR-associated events. Membrane damage, which preceded visible cell collapse by more than 3 h, was accompanied by a transient restriction of the xylem within infection sites. Following cell collapse and the rapid desiccation of tissue undergoing the HR, isolated, infected cells were detected at the margin of necrotic lesions. These virus-infected cells were able to reinitiate infection on transfer to 32 degrees C, however, if maintained at 20 degrees C they eventually died. The results indicate that the tobacco mosaic virus-induced HR is a two-phase process with an early stage culminating in rapid cell collapse and tissue desiccation followed by a more extended period during which the remaining infected cells are eliminated. (+info)
Differentiation in plant epidermal cells.
The plant epidermis is a multifunctional tissue playing important roles in water relations, defence and pollinator attraction. This range of function is performed by a number of different types of specialized cells, which differentiate from the early undifferentiated epidermis in adaptively significant patterns and frequencies. These various cells show different degrees of morphological specialization, but there is evidence to suggest that even the less specialized cell types may require certain signals to ensure their correct differentiation and patterning. Epidermal cells may potentially adopt certain fates through a cell lineage based mechanism or a cell interaction mechanism. Work on stomatal development has focused on the cell lineage mechanism and work on trichome differentiation has focused on the cell interaction model. Recent work on the Arabidopsis trichome suggests that interactions between neighbouring cells reinforce initial differences, possibly in levels of gene expression or cell cycle stage, to commit cells to different developmental programmes. In this review these mechanisms are explored in a number of specialized cell types and the further interactions between different developmental programmes are analysed. It is in these interactions between differentiating cells adopting different cell fates that the key to the patterning of a multifunctional tissue must lie. (+info)
Auxin-dependent cell wall depositions in the epidermal periplasmic space of graviresponding nodes of Tradescantia fluminensis.
Differential growth of the nodal regions of graviresponding Tradescantia fluminensis (Wandering Jew) was analysed with special respect to the extension-restricting epidermal cells of the opposite growing and growth-inhibited organ flanks. Gravicurvature of horizontally gravistimulated isolated nodes depends on auxin (indolyl-3-acetic acid, IAA) and shows a node-specific profile in which the third node below the tip showed the greatest response. Exogenously supplied gibberellic acid induced no gravitropic growth. Vertically oriented isolated nodes supplied with exogenous IAA showed, on an electron microscopical level, conspicuous membrane invaginations with adjacent wall depositions restricted to the outer tangential epidermal cell walls. Their number was more than doubled by exogenously supplied Ca2+, which inhibited IAA-induced growth. No such changes could be detected in water-incubated segments or inner tissues of IAA-supplied segments. Gravistimulated differential growth of nodes of intact shoots and of nodal segments was characterized by changes similar to the ones induced by exogenous IAA, with greatly increased numbers of wall depositions within the epidermal cells of the growth-inhibited upper organ flank. Similar to the gravistimulated wall depositions, an asymmetric distribution pattern of Ca2+ was detected in the epidermal cell walls employing x-ray energy spectrum analysis (EDX). The results indicate that growth of nodes of Tradescantia fluminensis is regulated via IAA-induced secretion and subsequent infiltration of wall components enabling wall extension. The data support the hypothesis that temporary differential growth during gravicurvature of Tradescantia fluminensis is mediated by the antagonistic effect of Ca(2+)-ions on the infiltration of IAA-induced wall-loosening components into the outer, extension-restricting epidermal walls thereby inhibiting growth. (+info)
AINTEGUMENTA promotes petal identity and acts as a negative regulator of AGAMOUS.
The Arabidopsis AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) gene has been shown previously to be involved in ovule development and in the initiation and growth of floral organs. Here, we show that ANT acts in additional processes during flower development, including repression of AGAMOUS (AG) in second whorl cells, promotion of petal epidermal cell identity, and gynoecium development. Analyses of ap2-1 ant-6 double mutants reveal that ANT acts redundantly with AP2 to repress AG in second whorl cells. The abaxial surface of ant petals contains features such as stomata and elongated, interdigitated cells that are not present on wild-type petals. The loss of petal identity in these second whorl cells does not result from ectopic AG expression, suggesting that ANT acts in a pathway promoting petal cell identity that is independent of its role in repression of AG. These data suggest that ANT may function as a class A gene. (+info)