Updated in October 2019
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is an important mediator in the drought response, participating in, among other processes, stomatal movements. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the serine/threonine protein kinase, OST1, regulates this response, but the function of its maize homolog has yet to be established. Here, we isolated ZmOST1 and show that its encoded protein indeed acts to regulate guard cell movement. ZmOST1 was ubiquitously expressed throughout the plant, being highly expressed in guard cells, and inducible both by exogenous ABA and water stress. Transient expression of a ZmOST1-GFP fusion protein, in maize mesophyll protoplasts, indicated its subcellular localization in the cytoplasm and nucleus. A Zmost1 loss-of-function mutant exhibited reduced sensitivity to ABA-activated slow anion channels in maize guard cells, and reduced drought tolerance. Constitutive expression of ZmOST1, in an A. thaliana ost1-1 mutant rescued the phenotype with respect both to the sensitivity of guard cell slow anion currents to ABA treatment and stomatal closure. Our findings indicate a positive regulatory role for ZmOST1 in guard cell ABA signaling and drought response in maize plants.
Nucleolar GTP-binding protein 1 (NOG1) is a highly conserved GTPase first
reported in Trypanosoma as required for ribosome biogenesis. We
characterized NbNOG1, a Nicotiana benthamiana NOG1 ortholog
sharing more than 45% amino acid identity with Trypanosoma, yeast, and
human NOG1. N. benthamiana plants silenced for NbNOG1 were
stunted and produced sterile flowers. NbNOG1 is functionally
interchangeable with yeast NOG1 (ScNOG1), rescuing yeast lethality
caused by loss of ScNOG1. Finally, NbNOG1 silencing caused
over-accumulation of pre-rRNA processing intermediates, and concomitant loss of
mature rRNAs. Collectively, these data support a role for NbNOG1 in
ribosomal RNA processing.
The increased prevalence of high temperatures (HTs) around the world is a
major global concern, as they dramatically affect agronomic productivity. Upon
HT exposure, plants sense the temperature change and initiate cellular and
metabolic responses that enable them to adapt to their new environmental
conditions. Decoding the mechanisms by which plants cope with HT will facilitate
the development of molecular markers to enable the production of plants with
improved thermotolerance. In recent decades, genetic, physiological, molecular,
and biochemical studies have revealed a number of vital cellular components and
processes involved in thermoresponsive growth and the acquisition of
thermotolerance in plants. This review summarizes the major mechanisms involved
in plant HT responses, with a special focus on recent discoveries related to
plant thermosensing, heat stress signaling, and HT-regulated gene expression
networks that promote plant adaptation to elevated environmental
Salt stress is a major environmental factor limiting plant growth and
productivity. A better understanding of the mechanisms mediating salt resistance
will help researchers design ways to improve crop performance under adverse
environmental conditions. Salt stress can lead to ionic stress, osmotic stress
and secondary stresses, particularly oxidative stress, in plants. Therefore, to
adapt to salt stress, plants rely on signals and pathways that re-establish
cellular ionic, osmotic, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis. Over the
past two decades, genetic and biochemical analyses have revealed several core
stress signaling pathways that participate in salt resistance. The Salt Overly
Sensitive signaling pathway plays a key role in maintaining ionic homeostasis,
via extruding sodium ions into the apoplast. Mitogen-activated protein kinase
cascades mediate ionic, osmotic, and ROS homeostasis. SnRK2 (sucrose
nonfermenting 1-related protein kinase 2) proteins are involved in maintaining
osmotic homeostasis. In this review, we discuss recent progress in identifying
the components and pathways involved in the plant's response to salt stress and
their regulatory mechanisms. We also review progress in identifying sensors
involved in salt-induced stress signaling in plants.
Stomata, the pores formed by a pair of guard cells, are the main gateways for water transpiration and photosynthetic CO2 exchange, as well as pathogen invasion in land plants. Guard cell movement is regulated by a combination of environmental factors including water status, light, CO2 levels and pathogen attack, as well as endogenous signals such as abscisic acid and apoplastic reactive oxygen species (ROS). Under abiotic and biotic stress conditions, extracellular ROS are mainly produced by plasma membrane‐localized NADPH oxidases, whereas intracellular ROS are produced in multiple organelles. These ROS form a sophisticated cellular signaling network, with the accumulation of apoplastic ROS an early hallmark of stomatal movement. Here, we review recent progress in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the ROS signaling network, primarily during drought stress and pathogen attack. We summarize the roles of apoplastic ROS in regulating stomatal movement, ABA and CO2 signaling, and immunity responses. Finally, we discuss ROS accumulation and communication between organelles and cells. This information provides a conceptual framework for understanding how ROS signaling is integrated with various signaling pathways during plant responses to abiotic and biotic stress stimuli.
Phospholipids, including phosphatidic acid (PA), phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylserine (PS) and phosphoinositides, have emerged as an important class of cellular messenger molecules in various cellular and physiological processes, of which PA attracts much attentions of the researchers. In addition to its effect on stimulating the vesicle trafficking, many studies have demonstrated that PA plays a crucial role in various signaling pathways by binding target proteins and regulating their activity and subcellular localization. Here, we summarize the functional mechanisms and target proteins underlying PA‐mediated regulation of cellular signaling, development, hormonal responses, and stress responses in plants.
NAC transcription factors are widespread in the plant kingdom and play essential roles in the transcriptional regulation of defense responses. In this study, we isolated a novel NAC transcription factor gene, TaNAC30, from a cDNA library constructed from wheat (Triticum aestivum) plants inoculated with the stripe rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst). TaNAC30 contains a typical NAM domain and localizes to the nucleus. Yeast one‐hybrid assays revealed that TaNAC30 exhibits transcriptional activity and that its C‐terminus is necessary for the activation of transcription. Expression of TaNAC30 increased when host plants were infected with a virulent race (CYR31) of the rust fungus Pst. Silencing of TaNAC30 by virus‐induced gene silencing inhibited colonization of the virulent Pst isolate CYR31. Moreover, detailed histological analyses showed that silencing of TaNAC30 enhanced resistance to Pst by inducing a significant increase in the accumulation of H2O2. Finally, we overexpressed TaNAC30 in fission yeast and determined that cell viability was severely reduced in TaNAC30‐transformed cells grown on medium containing H2O2. These results suggest that TaNAC30 negatively regulates plant resistance in a compatible wheat‐Pst interaction.
The changes in external K+ concentration affect plant root growth. However, the molecular mechanism for perceiving a K+ signal to modulate root growth remains unknown. It is hypothesized that the K+ channel AKT1 is involved in low K+ sensing in the Arabidopsis root and subsequent regulation of root growth. Along with the decline of external K+ concentration, the primary root growth of wild-type plants was gradually inhibited. However, the primary root of the akt1 mutant could still grow under low K+ (LK) conditions. Application of NAA inhibited akt1 root growth, but promoted wild-type root growth under LK conditions. By using the ProDR5:GFP and ProPIN1:PIN1-GFP lines, we found that LK treatment reduced auxin accumulation in wild-type root tips by degrading PIN1 proteins, which did not occur in the akt1 mutant. The LK-induced PIN1 degradation may be due to the inhibition of vesicle trafficking of PIN1 proteins. In conclusion, our findings indicate that AKT1 is required for an Arabidopsis response to changes in external K+, and subsequent regulation of K+-dependent root growth by modulating PIN1 degradation and auxin redistribution in the root.
The size of the top three leaves of rice plants is strongly associated with yield; thus, it is important to consider quantitative traits representing leaf size (e.g., length and width) when breeding novel rice varieties. It is challenging to measure such traits on a large scale in the field, and little is known about the genetic factors that determine the size of the top three leaves. In the present study, a population of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) and reciprocal single chromosomal segment substitution lines (SSSLs) derived from the progeny of a japonica Asominori × indica IR24 cross were grown under four diverse environmental conditions. Six morphological traits associated with leaf size were measured, namely length and flag leaf, length and flag, second and third leaves. In the RIL population, 49 QTLs were identified that clustered in 30 genomic region. Twenty-three of these QTLs were confirmed in the SSSL population. A comparison with previously reported genes/QTLs revealed eight novel genomic regions that contained uncharacterized ORFs associated with leaf size. The QTLs identified in this study can be used for marker-assisted breeding and for fine mapping of novel genetic elements controlling leaf size in rice.
Due to global climate change, temperature stress has become one of the primary causes of crop losses worldwide. Much progress has been made in unraveling the complex stress response mechanisms in plants, particularly in the identification of temperature stress responsive protein-coding genes. Recently discovered microRNAs (miRNAs) and endogenous small-interfering RNAs (siRN As) have also been demonstrated as important players in plant temperature stress response. Using high-throughput sequencing, many small RNAs, especially miRNAs, have been identified to be triggered by cold or heat. Subsequently, several studies have shown an important functional role for these small RNAs in cold or heat tolerance. These findings greatly broaden our understanding of endogenous small RNAs in plant stress response control. Here, we highlight new findings regarding the roles of miRNAs and siRNAs in plant temperature stress response and acclimation. We also review the current understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of small RNAs in temperature stress response, and explore the outlook for the use of these small RNAs in molecular breeding for improvement of temperature stress tolerance in plants.
The circadian clock is known to increase plant growth and fitness, and is thought to prepare plants for photosynthesis at dawn and dusk; whether this happens in nature was unknown. We transformed the native tobacco, Nicotiana attenuata to silence two core clock components, NaLHY (irLHY) and NaTOC1 (irTOC1). We characterized growth and light- and dark-adapted photosynthetic rates (Ac) throughout a 24 h day in empty vector-transformed (EV), irLHY, and irTOC1 plants in the field, and in NaPhyA- and NaPhyB1-silenced plants in the glasshouse. The growth rates of irLHY plants were lower than those of EV plants in the field. While irLHY plants reduced Ac earlier at dusk, no differences between irLHY and EV plants were observed at dawn in the field. irLHY, but not EV plants, responded to light in the night by rapidly increasing Ac. Under controlled conditions, EV plants rapidly increased Ac in the day compared to dark-adapted plants at night; irLHY plants lost these time-dependent responses. The role of NaLHY in gating photosynthesis is independent of the light-dependent reactions and red light perceived by NaPhyA, but not NaPhyB1. In summary, the circadian clock allows plants not to respond photosynthetically to light at night by anticipating and gating red light-mediated in native tobacco.
Abiotic stresses often disrupt protein folding and induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. There is a sophisticated ER quality control (ERQC) system to mitigate the effects of malfunctioning proteins and maintain ER homeostasis. The accumulation of misfolded proteins in the ER activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to enhance ER protein folding and the degradation of misfolded proteins mediate by ER-associated degradation (ERAD). That ERQC reduces abiotic stress damage has been well studied in mammals and yeast. However, in plants, both ERAD and UPR have been studied separately and found to be critical for plant abiotic stress tolerance. In this study, we discovered that UPR-associated transcription factors AtbZIP17, AtbZIP28 and AtbZIP60 responded to tunicamycin (TM) and NaCl induced ER stress and subsequently enhanced Arabidopsis thaliana abiotic stress tolerance. They regulated the expression level of ER chaperones and the HRD1-complex components. Moreover, overexpression of AtbZIP17, AtbZIP28 and AtbZIP60 could restore stress tolerance via ERAD in the HRD1-complex mutant hrd3a-2, which suggested that UPR and ERAD have an interactive mechanism in Arabidopsis.
In plants, Vacuole H+-PPases (VPPs) are important proton pumps and encoded by multiple genes. In addition to full-length VPPs, several truncated forms are expressed, but their biological functions are unknown. In this study, we functionally characterized maize vacuole H+-PPase 5 (ZmVPP5), a truncated VPP in the maize genome. Although ZmVPP5 shares high sequence similarity with ZmVPP1, ZmVPP5 lacks the complete structure of the conserved proton transport and the inorganic pyrophosphatase-related domain. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that ZmVPP5 might be derived from an incomplete gene duplication event. ZmVPP5 is expressed in multiple tissues, and ZmVPP5 was detected in the plasma membrane, vacuole membrane and nuclei of maize cells. The overexpression of ZmVPP5 in yeast cells caused a hypersensitivity to salt stress. Transgenic maize lines with overexpressed ZmVPP5 also exhibited the salt hypersensitivity phenotype. A yeast two-hybrid analysis identified the ZmBag6-like protein as a putative ZmVPP5-interacting protein. The results of bimolecular luminescence complementation (BiLC) assay suggest an interaction between ZmBag6-like protein and ZmVPP5 in vivo. Overall, this study suggests that ZmVPP5 might act as a VPP antagonist and participate in the cellular response to salt stress. Our study of ZmVPP5 has expanded the understanding of the origin and functions of truncated forms of plant VPPs.
Small RNAs (sRNAs) play essential roles in plants upon biotic stress. Plants utilize RNA silencing machinery to facilitate pathogen-associated molecular pattern-triggered immunity and effector-triggered immunity to defend against pathogen attack or to facilitate defense against insect herbivores. Pathogens, on the other hand, are also able to generate effectors and sRNAs to counter the host immune response. The arms race between plants and pathogens/insect herbivores has triggered the evolution of sRNAs, RNA silencing machinery and pathogen effectors. A great number of studies have been performed to investigate the roles of sRNAs in plant defense, bringing in the opportunity to utilize sRNAs in plant protection. Transgenic plants with pathogen-derived resistance ability or transgenerational defense have been generated, which show promising potential as solutions for pathogen/insect herbivore problems in the field. Here we summarize the recent progress on the function of sRNAs in response to biotic stress, mainly in plant-pathogen/insect herbivore interaction, and the application of sRNAs in disease and insect herbivore control.
Plants have evolved intricate signaling cascades to rapidly and effectively respond to biotic and abiotic challenges. The precise timing of these responses enables optimal resource reallocation to maintain the balance between stress adaptation and growth. Thus, an in-depth understanding of the immediate and long-term mechanisms regulating resource allocation is critical in deciphering how plants withstand environmental challenges. To date however, understanding of this tradeoff has focused on the amplitude of long-term responses, rather than the timing of rapid stress responses. This review presents current knowledge on kinetics of secondary messengers involved in regulation of rapid and general stress responses, followed by rapid stress responsive transduction machinery, and finally the transcriptional response of a functional general stress responsive cis-element. Within this context we discuss the role of timing of initial peak activation and later oscillating peak responses, and explore hormonal and stress signaling crosstalk confounding greater understanding of these cascades.
Bjornson M, Dandekar A, Dehesh K (2016) Determinants of timing and amplitude in the plant general stress response. J Integr Plant Biol 58: 119–126 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12373
Degradation of proteins via the ubiquitin system is an important step in many stress signaling pathways in plants. E3 ligases recognize ligand proteins and dictate the high specificity of protein degradation, and thus, play a pivotal role in ubiquitination. Here, we identified a gene, named Arabidopsis thaliana abscisic acid (ABA)-insensitive RING protein 4 (AtAIRP4), which is induced by ABA and other stress treatments. AtAIRP4 encodes a cellular protein with a C3HC4-RING finger domain in its C-terminal side, which has in vitro E3 ligase activity. Loss of AtAIRP4 leads to a decrease in sensitivity of root elongation and stomatal closure to ABA, whereas overexpression of this gene in the T-DNA insertion mutant atairp4 effectively recovered the ABA-associated phenotypes. AtAIRP4 overexpression plants were hypersensitive to salt and osmotic stresses during seed germination, and showed drought avoidance compared with the wild-type and atairp4 mutant plants. In addition, the expression levels of ABA- and drought-induced marker genes in AtAIRP4 overexpression plants were markedly higher than those in the wild-type and atairp4 mutant plants. Hence, these results indicate that AtAIRP4 may act as a positive regulator of ABA-mediated drought avoidance and a negative regulator of salt tolerance in Arabidopsis.
Yang L, Liu Q, Liu Z, Yang H, Wang J, Li X, Yang Y (2016) Arabidopsis C3HC4-RING ﬁnger E3 ubiquitin ligase AtAIRP4 positively regulates stress-responsive abscisic acid signaling. J Integr Plant Biol 58: 67–80 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12364
Yousﬁ S, Marquez AJ, Betti M, Araus JL, Serret MD (2016) Gene expression and physiological responses to salinity and water stress of contrasting durum wheat genotypes. J Integr Plant Biol 58: 48–66 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12359
Ethylene responsive factors (ERFs) are plant-specific transcription factors that are involved in a variety of biological processes. We previously demonstrated that an ERF gene from Tamarix hispida, ThERF1, encodes a protein binding to GCC-box and DRE motifs and negatively modulates abiotic stress tolerance. In the present study, microarray analysis was performed to study the genes regulated by ThERF1 on a genomic scale. There were 154 and 307 genes (respectively representing 134 and 260 unique genes) significantly up- and downregulated by ThERF1 under salt stress conditions, respectively. A novel motif, named TTG, was identified to be recognized by ThERF1, which commonly presents in the promoters of ThERF1-targeted genes. The TTG motif is also bound by other ERFs of a different subfamily from T. hispida and Arabidopsis, indicating that it is commonly recognized by ERF proteins. The binding affinities of ERFs to the TTG motif are significantly induced by salt stress. The TTG motif is more enriched than the GCC-box and DRE motifs in the promoters of ThERF1-targeted genes. Taken together, these studies suggested that the TTG motif plays an important role in the gene expression regulated by ERFs in response to salt stress.
Wang L, Wang C, Qin L, Liu W, Wang Y (2015) ThERF1 regulates its target genes via binding to a novel cis-acting element in response to salt stress. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 838–847 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12335
Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone that functions in seed germination, plant development, and multiple stress responses. Arabidopsis Peroxisome defective 2 (AtPED2) (also known as AtPEXOXIN14, AtPEX14), is involved in the intracellular transport of thiolase from the cytosol to glyoxysomes, and perosisomal matrix protein import in plants. In this study, we assigned a new role for AtPED2 in drought stress resistance. The transcript level of AtPED2 was downregulated by ABA and abiotic stress treatments. AtPED2 knockout mutants were insensitive to ABA-mediated seed germination, primary root elongation, and stomatal response, while AtPED2 over-expressing plants were sensitive to ABA in comparison to wide type (WT). AtPED2 also positively regulated drought stress resistance, as evidenced by the changes of water loss rate, electrolyte leakage, and survival rate. Notably, AtPED2 positively modulated expression of several stress-responsive genes (RAB18, RD22, RD29A, and RD29B), positively affected underlying antioxidant enzyme activities and negatively regulated reactive oxygen species (ROS) level under drought stress conditions. Moreover, multiple carbon metabolites including amino acids, organic acids, sugars, sugar alcohols, and aromatic amines were also positively regulated by AtPED2. Taken together, these results indicated a positive role for AtPED2 in drought resistance, through modulation of stress-responsive genes expression, ROS metabolism, and metabolic homeostasis, at least partially.
Shi H, Ye T, Yang F, Chan Z (2015) Arabidopsis PED2 positively modulates plant drought stress resistance. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 796–806 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12330
Auxin is involved in different aspects of plant growth and development by regulating the expression of auxin-responsive family genes. As one of the three major auxin-responsive families, GH3 (Gretchen Hagen3) genes participate in auxin homeostasis by catalyzing auxin conjugation and bounding free indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) to amino acids. However, how GH3 genes function in responses to abiotic stresses and various hormones in maize is largely unknown. Here, the latest updated maize (Zea mays L.) reference genome sequence was used to characterize and analyze the ZmGH3 family genes from maize. The results showed that 13 ZmGH3 genes were mapped on five maize chromosomes (total 10 chromosomes). Highly diversified gene structures and tissue-specific expression patterns suggested the possibility of function diversification for these genes in response to environmental stresses and hormone stimuli. The expression patterns of ZmGH3 genes are responsive to several abiotic stresses (salt, drought and cadmium) and major stress-related hormones (abscisic acid, salicylic acid and jasmonic acid). Various environmental factors suppress auxin free IAA contents in maize roots suggesting that these abiotic stresses and hormones might alter GH3-mediated auxin levels. The responsiveness of ZmGH3 genes to a wide range of abiotic stresses and stress-related hormones suggested that ZmGH3s are involved in maize tolerance to environmental stresses.
Feng S, Yue R, Tao S, Yang Y, Zhang L, Xu M, Wang H, Shen C (2015) Genome-wide identification, expression analysis of auxinresponsive GH3 family genes in maize (Zea mays L.) under abiotic stresses. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 783–795 doi: 10.1111/jipb.12327
The combined effects of elevated CO2 and cadmium (Cd) on photosynthetic rate, chlorophyll fluorescence and Cd accumulation in hyperaccumulator Sedum alfredii Hance were investigated to predict plant growth under Cd stress with rising atmospheric CO2 concentration. Both pot and hydroponic experiments were conducted and the plants were grown under ambient (350 µL L−1) or elevated (800 µL L−1) CO2. Elevated CO2 significantly (P < 0.05) increased Pn (105%–149%), Pnmax (38.8%–63.0%) and AQY (20.0%–34.8%) of S. alfredii in all the Cd treatments, but reduced chlorophyll concentration, dark respiration and photorespiration. After 10 days growth in medium with 50 µM Cd under elevated CO2, PSII activities were significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) with Pm, Fv/Fm, Φ(II) and qP increased by 66.1%, 7.5%, 19.5% and 16.4%, respectively, as compared with ambient-grown plants. Total Cd uptake in shoot of S. alfredii grown under elevated CO2 was increased by 44.1%–48.5%, which was positively correlated with the increase in Pn. These results indicate that elevated CO2 promoted the growth of S. alfredii due to increased photosynthetic carbon uptake rate and photosynthetic light-use efficiency, and showed great potential to improve the phytoextraction of Cd by S. alfredii.
Li TQ, Tao Q, Di ZZ, Lu F, Yang XE (2015) Effect of elevated CO2 concentration on photosynthetic characteristics of hyperaccumulator Sedum alfredii under cadmium stress. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 653–660. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12307
Qian B, Li X, Liu X, Wang M (2015) Improved oxidative tolerance in suspension‐cultured cells of C4-pepctransgenic rice by H2O2 and Ca2+ under PEG‐6000. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 534–549. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12283
Since pepc gene encoding phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPCase) has been cloned from Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 and other cyanobacteria, the effects of pepc gene expression on photosynthesis have not been reported yet. In this study, we constructed mutants containing either upregulated (forward) or downregulated (reverse) pepc gene in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Results from real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), Western blot and enzymatic analysis showed that PEPCase activity was significantly reduced in the reverse mutant compared with the wild type, and that of the forward mutant was obviously increased. Interestingly, the net photosynthesis in both the reverse mutant and the forward mutant were higher than that of the wild type, but dark respiration was decreased only in the reverse mutant. The absorbance changes of P700 upon saturation pulse showed the photosystem I (PSI) activity was inhibited, as reflected by Y(I), and Y(NA) was elevated, and dark reduction of P700+ was stimulated, indicating enhanced cyclic electron flow (CEF) around PSI in the reverse mutant. Additionally, the reverse mutant photosynthesis was higher than that of the wild type in low temperature, low and high pH, and high salinity, and this implies increased tolerance in the reverse mutant through downregulated pepc gene.
Jia XH, Zhang PP, Shi DJ, Mi HL, Zhu JC, Huang XW, He PM (2015) Regulation of pepc gene expression in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 and its effects on cyclic electron ﬂow around photosystem I and tolerances to environmental stresses. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 468–476. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12241
The precise roles of the B-box zinc finger family of transcription factors in plant stress are poorly understood. Functional analysis was performed on AtCOL4, an Arabidopsis thaliana L. CONSTANS-like 4 protein that is a putative novel transcription factor, and which contains a predicted transcriptional activation domain. Analyses of an AtCOL4 promoter-β-glucuronidase (GUS) construct revealed substantial GUS activity in whole seedlings. The expression of AtCOL4 was strongly induced by abscisic acid (ABA), salt, and osmotic stress. Mutation in atcol4 resulted in increased sensitivity to ABA and salt stress during seed germination and the cotyledon greening process. In contrast, AtCOL4-overexpressing plants were less sensitive to ABA and salt stress compared to the wild type. Interestingly, in the presence of ABA or salt stress, the transcript levels of other ABA biosynthesis and stress-related genes were enhanced induction in AtCOL4-overexpressing and WT plants, rather than in the atcol4 mutant. Thus, AtCOL4 is involved in ABA and salt stress response through the ABA-dependent signaling pathway. Taken together, these findings provide compelling evidence that AtCOL4 is an important regulator for plant tolerance to abiotic stress.
Min JH, Chung JS, Lee KH, Kim CS (2015) The CONSTANS‐like 4 transcription factor, AtCOL4, positively regulates abiotic stress tolerance through an abscisic acid‐dependent manner in Arabidopsis. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 313–324. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12246
Xie YR, Raruang Y, Chen ZY, Brown RL, Cleveland TE (2015). ZmGns, a maize class Ib‐1,3‐glucanase, is induced by biotic stresses and possesses strong antimicrobial activity. J Integr Plant Biol 57: 271–283. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12286
As an important second messenger, calcium is involved in plant cold stress response, including chilling (<20 °C) and freezing (<0 °C). In this study, exogenous application of calcium chloride (CaCl2) improved both chilling and freezing stress tolerances, while ethylene glycol-bis-(β-aminoethyl) ether-N,N,N,N-tetraacetic acid (EGTA) reversed CaCl2 effects in bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.). Physiological analyses showed that CaCl2 treatment alleviated the reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst and cell damage triggered by chilling stress, via activating antioxidant enzymes, non-enzymatic glutathione antioxidant pool, while EGTA treatment had the opposite effects. Additionally, comparative proteomic analysis identified 51 differentially expressed proteins that were enriched in redox, tricarboxylicacid cycle, glycolysis, photosynthesis, oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, and amino acid metabolisms. Consistently, 42 metabolites including amino acids, organic acids, sugars, and sugar alcohols were regulated by CaCl2 treatment under control and cold stress conditions, further confirming the common modulation of CaCl2 treatment in carbon metabolites and amino acid metabolism. Taken together, this study reported first evidence of the essential and protective roles of endogenous and exogenous calcium in bermudagrass response to cold stress, partially via activation of the antioxidants and modulation of several differentially expressed proteins and metabolic homeostasis in the process of cold acclimation.
Shi H, Ye T, Zhong B, Liu X, Chan Z (2014) Comparative proteomic and metabolomic analyses reveal mechanisms of improved cold stress tolerance in bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.) by exogenous calcium. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 1064–1079. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12167
Chlorophyll and anthocyanin contents provide a valuable indicator of the status of a plant's physiology, but to be more widely utilized it needs to be assessed easily and non-destructively. This is particularly evident in terms of assessing and exploiting germplasm for plant-breeding programs. We report, for the first time, experiments with Fragaria chiloensis (L.) Duch. and the estimation of the effects of response to salinity stress (0, 30, and 60 mmol NaCl/L) in terms of these pigments content and gas exchange. It is shown that both pigments (which interestingly, themselves show a high correlation) give a good indication of stress response. Both pigments can be accurately predicted using spectral reflectance indices (SRI); however, the accuracy of the predictions was slightly improved using multilinear regression analysis models and genetic algorithm analysis. Specifically for chlorophyll content, unlike other species, the use of published SRI gave better indications of stress response than Normalized Difference Vegetation Index. The effect of salt on gas exchange is only evident at the highest concentration and some SRI gave better prediction performance than the known Photochemical Reflectance Index. This information will therefore be useful for identifying tolerant genotypes to salt stress for incorporation in breeding programs.
Phytochrome-interacting factors (PIFs) regulate an array of developmental responses ranging from seed germination to vegetational architecture in Arabidopsis. However, information regarding the functions of the PIF family in monocots has not been widely reported. Here, we investigate the roles of OsPIL15, a member of the rice (Oryza sativa L. cv. Nipponbare) PIF family, in regulating seedling growth. OsPIL15 encodes a basic helix-loop-helix factor localized in the nucleus. OsPIL15-OX seedlings exhibit an exaggerated shorter aboveground part and undeveloped root system relative to wild-type seedlings, suggesting that OsPIL15 represses seedling growth in the dark. Microarray analysis combined with gene ontology analysis revealed that OsPIL15 represses a set of genes involved in auxin pathways and cell wall organization or biogenesis. Given the important roles of the auxin pathway and cell wall properties in controlling plant growth, we speculate that OsPIL15 represses seedling growth likely by regulating the auxin pathway and suppressing cell wall organization in etiolated rice seedlings. Additionally, exposure to red light or far-red light relieved growth retardation and promoted seedling elongation in the OsPIL15-OX lines, despite higher levels of OsPIL15 transcripts under red light and far-red light than in the dark. These results suggest that light regulation of OsPIL15 expression is probably involved in photomorphogenesis in rice.
Zhou J, Liu Q, Zhang F, Wang Y, Zhang S, Cheng H, Yan L, Li L, Chen F, Xie X (2014) Overexpression of OsPIL15, a phytochrome‐interacting factor‐like protein gene, represses etiolated seedling growth in rice. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 373–387. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12137
In halophytic plants, the high-affinity potassium transporter HKT gene family can selectively uptake K+ in the presence of toxic concentrations of Na+. This has so far not been well examined in glycophytic crops. Here, we report the characterization of SbHKT1;4, a member of the HKT gene family from Sorghum bicolor. Upon Na+ stress, SbHKT1;4 expression was more strongly upregulated in salt-tolerant sorghum accession, correlating with a better balanced Na+/K+ ratio and enhanced plant growth. Heterogeneous expression analyses in mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana indicated that overexpressing SbHKT1;4 resulted in hypersensitivity to Na+ stress, and such hypersensitivity could be alleviated with the supply of elevated levels of K+, implicating that SbHKT1;4 may mediate K+ uptake in the presence of excessive Na+. Further electrophysiological evidence demonstrated that SbHKT1;4 could transport Na+ and K+ when expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The relevance of the finding that SbHKT1;4 functions to maintain optimal Na+/K+ balance under Na+ stress to the breeding of salt-tolerant glycophytic crops is discussed.
Wang TT, Ren ZJ, Liu ZQ, Feng X, Guo RQ, Li BG, Li LG, Jing HC (2014) SbHKT1;4, a member of the high‐afﬁnity potassium transporter gene family from Sorghum bicolor, functions to maintain optimal Na+/K+ balance under Na+ stress. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 315–332. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12144
The roles of a tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) chloroplast-targeted DnaJ protein (LeCDJ1) were investigated using wild-type (WT) and sense transgenic tomatoes. The LeCDJ1 expression was upregulated by 38 °C, 42 °C, 45 °C, NaCl, PEG, methyl viologen (MV) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), but not by 30 °C and 35 °C. Meanwhile, LeCDJ1 was involved in the response of plants to abscisic acid (ABA). Under heat stress, the sense plants showed better growth, higher chlorophyll content, lower malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation and relative electrical conductivity (REC), and also less PSII photoinhibition than WT. Interestingly, the sense plants treated with streptomycin (SM), an inhibitor of organellar translation, still showed higher maximum photochemistry efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) and D1 protein levels than the SM-untreated WT, suggesting that the protective effect of LeCDJ1 on PSII was, at least partially, independent of D1 protein synthesis. Furthermore, the relatively lower superoxide radical (O2•−) and H2O2 levels in the sense plants were considered to be due to the higher ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, which seemed unlikely dependent on their transcription level. These results indicated that LeCDJ1 overexpression facilitated heat tolerance in transgenic tomatoes.
Kong F, Deng Y, Wang G, Wang J, Liang X, Meng Q (2014) LeCDJ1, a chloroplast DnaJ protein, facilitates heat tolerance in transgenic tomatoes.J Integr Plant Biol 56: 63–74. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12119
Sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) presents a huge challenge to plants by the combined damaging effects of Na+, high pH, and CO32-. Little is known about the cellular responses to Na2CO3 stress. In this study, the transcriptome of maize (Zea mays L. cv. B73) roots exposed to Na2CO3 stress for 5 h was compared with those of NaCl and NaOH stresses. The expression of 8,319 genes, representing over a quarter of the total number of genes in the maize genome, was altered by Na2CO3 stress, and the downregulated genes (5,232) outnumbered the upregulated genes (3,087). The effects of Na2CO3 differed from those of NaCl and NaOH, primarily by downregulating different categories of genes. Pathways commonly altered by Na2CO3, NaCl, and NaOH were enriched in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids, ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, as well as the metabolism of secondary metabolites. Genes for brassinosteroid biosynthesis were specifically upregulated by Na2CO3, while genes involved in ascorbate and aldarate metabolism, protein processing in the endoplasmic reticulum and by N-glycosylation, fatty acid biosynthesis, and the circadian rhythm were downregulated. This work provides the first holistic picture of early transcriptomic adaptation to Na2CO3 stress, and highlights potential molecular pathways that could be manipulated to improve tolerance in maize.
Zhang L-M, Liu X-G, Qu X-N, Yu Y, Han S-P, Dou Y, Xu Y-Y, Jing H-C, Hao D-Y (2013) Early transcriptomic adaptation to Na2CO3 stress altered the expression of a quarter \the total genes in the maize genome and exhibited shared and distinctive proﬁles with NaCl and high pH stresses. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(11), 1147–1165.
The genome of unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii contains four genes encoding B-type methionine sulfoxide reductases, MSRB1.1, MSRB1.2, MSRB2.1, and MSRB2.2, with functions largely unknown. To understand the cell defense system mediated by the methionine sulfoxide reductases in Chlamydomonas, we analyzed expression and physiological roles of the MSRBs under different abiotic stress conditions using immunoblotting and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses. We showed that the MSRB2.2 protein was accumulated in cells treated with high light (1,300 µE/m2 per s), whereas MSRB1.1 was accumulated in the cells under 1 mmol/L H2O2 treatment or sulfur depletion. We observed that the cells with the MSRB2.2 knockdown and overexpression displayed increased and decreased sensitivity to high light, respectively, based on in situ chlorophyll a fluorescence measures. We also observed that the cells with the MSRB1.1 knockdown and overexpression displayed decreased and increased tolerance to sulfur-depletion and oxidative stresses, respectively, based on growth and H2-producing performance. The physiological implications revealed from the experimental data highlight the importance of MSRB2.2 and MSRB1.1 in protecting Chlamydomonas cells against adverse conditions such as high-light, sulfur-depletion, and oxidative stresses.
Zhao L, Chen M, Cheng D, Yang H, Sun Y, Zhou H, Huang F (2013) Different B‐type methionine sulfoxide reductases in Chlamydomonas may protect the alga against high‐light, sulfur‐depletion, or oxidative stress. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(11), 1054–1068.
As sessile organisms, plants encounter various environmental stimuli including abiotic stresses during their lifecycle. To survive under adverse conditions, plants have evolved intricate mechanisms to perceive external signals and respond accordingly. Responses to various stresses largely depend on the plant capacity to modulate the transcriptome rapidly and specifically. A number of studies have shown that the molecular mechanisms driving the responses of plants to environmental stresses often depend on nucleosome histone post-translational modifications including histone acetylation, methylation, ubiquitination, and phosphorylation. The combined effects of these modifications play an essential role in the regulation of stress responsive gene expression. In this review, we highlight our current understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms of histone modifications and their roles in plant abiotic stress response.
Yuan L, Liu X, Luo M, Yang S,Wu K(2013) Involvement of histone modifications in plant abiotic stress responses. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(10), 892–901.
Ca2+ plays a pivotal role in nitric oxide (NO)-promoted stomatal closure. However, the function of Ca2+ in NO inhibition of blue light (BL)-induced stomatal opening remains largely unknown. Here, we analyzed the role of Ca2+ in the crosstalk between BL and NO signaling in Vicia faba L. guard cells. Extracellular Ca2+ modulated the BL-induced stomatal opening in a dose-dependent manner, and an application of 5 μM Ca2+ in the pipette solution significantly inhibited BL-activated K+ influx. Sodium nitroprusside (SNP), a NO donor, showed little effect on BL-induced K+ influx and stomatal opening response in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, but K+ influx and stomatal opening were inhibited by SNP when Ca2+ was added to the bath solution. Interestingly, although both SNP and BL could activate the plasma membrane Ca2+ channels and induce the rise of cytosolic Ca2+, the change in levels of Ca2+ channel activity and cytosolic Ca2+ concentration were different between SNP and BL treatments. SNP at 100 μM obviously activated the plasma membrane Ca2+ channels and induced cytosolic Ca2+ rise by 102.4%. In contrast, a BL pulse (100 μmol/m2 per s for 30 s) slightly activated the Ca2+ channels and resulted in a Ca2+ rise of only 20.8%. Consistently, cytosolic Ca2+ promoted K+ influx at 0.5 μM or below, and significantly inhibited K+ influx at 5 μM or above. Taken together, our findings indicate that Ca2+ plays dual and distinctive roles in the crosstalk between BL and NO signaling in guard cells, mediating both the BL-induced K+ influx as an activator at a lower concentration and the NO-blocked K+ influx as an inhibitor at a higher concentration.
Zhao X, Li YY, Xiao HL, Xu CS, Zhang X (2013) Nitric oxide blocks blue light-induced K+ influx by elevating the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration in Vicia faba L. guard cells. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(6), 527–536.
Abscisic acid (ABA) is a major plant hormone that plays an important role in responses to abiotic stresses. The ABA-responsive element binding protein/ABRE-binding factor (AREB/ABF) gene subfamily contains crucial transcription factors in the ABA-mediated signaling pathway. In this study, a total of 14 putative AREB/ABF members were identified in the Populus trichocarpa Torr. & Gray. genome using five AREB/ABF amino acid sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana L. as probes. The 14 putative Populus subfamily members showed high protein similarities, especially in the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) domain region. A neighbor-joining analysis combined with gene structure data revealed homology among the 14 genes. The expression patterns of the Populus AREB/ABF subfamily suggested that the most abundant transcripts of 11 genes occurred in leaf tissues, while two genes were most transcribed in root tissues. Significantly, eight Populus AREB/ABF gene members were upregulated after treatment with 100 μM exogenous ABA, while the other six members were downregulated. We identified the expression profiles of the subfamily members in Populus tissues and elucidated different response patterns of Populus AREB/ABF members to ABA stress. This study provided insight into the roles of Populus AREB/ABF homologues in plant response to abiotic stresses.
Ji L, Wang J, Ye M, Li Y, Guo B, Chen Z, Li H, An X (2013) Identification and characterization of the Populus AREB/ABF subfamily. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 55(2), 177–186.
The ubiquitin-proteasome system is a key mechanism that plants use to generate adaptive responses in coping with various environmental stresses. Cullin-RING (CRL) complexes represent a predominant group of ubiquitin E3 ligases in this system. In this review, we focus on the CRL E3s that have been implicated in abiotic stress signaling pathways in Arabidopsis. By comparing and analyzing these cases, we hope to gain a better understanding on how CRL complexes work under various settings in an attempt to decipher the clues about the regulatory mechanism of CRL E3s.