Nutrition and stress

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    GTPase ROP6 negatively modulates phosphate deficiency through inhibition of PHT1;1 and PHT1;4 in Arabidopsis thaliana
    Huiling Gao, Tian Wang, Yanting Zhang, Lili Li, Chuanqing Wang, Shiyuan Guo, Tianqi Zhang and Cun Wang
    J Integr Plant Biol 2021, 63 (10): 1775-1786.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13153
    Abstract (Browse 341)  |   Save
    Phosphorus, an essential macroelement for plant growth and development, is a major limiting factor for sustainable crop yield. The Rho of plant (ROP) GTPase is involved in regulating multiple signal transduction processes in plants, but potentially including the phosphate deficiency signaling pathway remains unknown. Here, we identified that the rop6 mutant exhibited a dramatic tolerant phenotype under Pi-deficient conditions, with higher phosphate accumulation and lower anthocyanin content. In contrast, the rop6 mutant was more sensitive to arsenate (As(V)) toxicity, the analog of Pi. Immunoblot analysis displayed that the ROP6 protein was rapidly degraded through ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway under Pi-deficient conditions. In addition, pull-down assay using GST-RIC1 demonstrated that the ROP6 activity was decreased obviously under Pi-deficient conditions. Strikingly, protein–protein interaction and two-voltage clamping assays demonstrated that ROP6 physically interacted with and inhibited the key phosphate uptake transporters PHT1;1 and PHT1;4 in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, genetic analysis showed that ROP6 functioned upstream of PHT1;1 and PHT1;4. Thus, we conclude that GTPase ROP6 modulates the uptake of phosphate by inhibiting the activities of PHT1;1 and PHT1;4 in Arabidopsis.
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    Primary root and root hair development regulation by OsAUX4 and its participation in the phosphate starvation response
    Rigui Ye, Yunrong Wu, Zhenyu Gao, Hao Chen, Lixia Jia, Dongming Li, Xugang Li, Qian Qian and Yanhua Qi
    J Integr Plant Biol 2021, 63 (8): 1555-1567.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13142
    Abstract (Browse 259)  |   Save
    Among the five members of AUX1/LAX genes coding for auxin carriers in rice, only OsAUX1 and OsAUX3 have been reported. To understand the function of the other AUX1/LAX genes, two independent alleles of osaux4 mutants, osaux4-1 and osaux4-2, were constructed using the CRISPR/Cas9 editing system. Homozygous osaux4-1 or osaux4-2 exhibited shorter primary root (PR) and longer root hair (RH) compared to the wild-type Dongjin (WT/DJ), and lost response to indoleacetic acid (IAA) treatment. OsAUX4 is intensively expressed in roots and localized on the plasma membrane, suggesting that OsAUX4 might function in the regulation of root development. The decreased meristem cell division activity and the downregulated expression of cell cycle genes in root apices of osaux4 mutants supported the hypothesis that OsAUX4 positively regulates PR elongation. OsAUX4 is expressed in RH, and osaux4 mutants showing longer RH compared to WT/DJ implies that OsAUX4 negatively regulates RH development. Furthermore, osaux4 mutants are insensitive to Pi starvation (-Pi) and OsAUX4 effects on the -Pi response is associated with altered expression levels of Pi starvation-regulated genes, and auxin distribution/contents. This study revealed that OsAUX4 not only regulates PR and RH development but also plays a regulatory role in crosstalk between auxin and -Pi signaling.
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    Functional assembly of root-associated microbial consortia improves nutrient efficiency and yield in soybean
    Cunhu Wang, Yanjun Li, Mingjia Li, Kefei Zhang, Wenjing Ma, Lei Zheng, Hanyu Xu, Baofeng Cui, Ran Liu, Yongqing Yang, Yongjia Zhong and Hong Liao
    J Integr Plant Biol 2021, 63 (6): 1021-1035.  
    doi: 10.1111/jipb.13073
    Abstract (Browse 451)  |   Save
    Root-associated microbes are critical for plant growth and nutrient acquisition. However, scant information exists on optimizing communities of beneficial root-associated microbes or the mechanisms underlying their interactions with host plants. In this report, we demonstrate that root-associated microbes are critical influencers of host plant growth and nutrient acquisition. Three synthetic communities (SynComs) were constructed based on functional screening of 1,893 microbial strains isolated from root-associated compartments of soybean plants. Functional assemblage of SynComs promoted significant plant growth and nutrient acquisition under both N/P nutrient deficiency and sufficiency conditions. Field trials further revealed that application of SynComs stably and significantly promoted plant growth, facilitated N and P acquisition, and subsequently increased soybean yield. Among the tested communities, SynCom1 exhibited the greatest promotion effect, with yield increases of up to 36.1% observed in two field sites. Further RNA-seq implied that SynCom application systemically regulates N and P signaling networks at the transcriptional level, which leads to increased representation of important growth pathways, especially those related to auxin responses. Overall, this study details a promising strategy for constructing SynComs based on functional screening, which are capable of enhancing nutrient acquisition and crop yield through the activities of beneficial root-associated microbes.
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    Benefiting others and self: Production of vitamins in plants
    Yufei Li, Chenkun Yang, Hasan Ahmad, Mohamed Maher, Chuanying Fang and Jie Luo
    J Integr Plant Biol 2021, 63 (1): 210-227.  
    doi: 10.1111/jipb.13047
    Abstract (Browse 272)  |   Save
    Vitamins maintain growth and development in humans, animals, and plants. Because plants serve as essential producers of vitamins, increasing the vitamin contents in plants has become a goal of crop breeding worldwide. Here, we begin with a summary of the functions of vitamins. We then review the achievements to date in elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying how vitamins are synthesized, transported, and regulated in plants. We also stress the exploration of variation in vitamins by the use of forward genetic approaches, such as quantitative trait locus mapping and genome‐wide association studies. Overall, we conclude that exploring the diversity of vitamins could provide new insights into plant metabolism and crop breeding.
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    AtHAP5A regulates iron translocation in iron‐deficient Arabidopsis thaliana
    Xiao Fang Zhu, Qi Wu, Yu Ting Meng, Ye Tao and Ren Fang Shen
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (12): 1910-1925.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12984
    Abstract (Browse 278)  |   Save

    Iron (Fe) deficient plants employ multiple strategies to increase root uptake and root‐to‐shoot translocation of Fe. The identification of genes that are responsible for these processes, and a comprehensive understanding of the regulatory effects of transcriptional networks on their expression, including transcription factors (TFs), is underway in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we show that a Histone‐ or heme‐associated proteins (HAP) transcription factor (TF), HAP5A, is necessary for the response to Fe deficiency in Arabidopsis. Its expression was induced under Fe deficiency, and the lack of HAP5A significantly decreased Fe translocation from the root to the shoot, resulting in substantial chlorosis of the newly expanded leaves, compared with the wild‐type (WT, Col‐0). Further analysis found that the expression of a gene encoding nicotianamine (NA) synthase (NAS1) was dramatically decreased in the hap5a mutant, regardless of the Fe status. Yeast‐one‐hybrid and ChIP analyses suggested that HAP5A directly binds to the promoter region of NAS1. Moreover, overexpression of NAS1 could rescue the chlorosis phenotype of hap5a in Fe deficient conditions. In summary, a novel pathway was elucidated, showing that NAS1‐dependent translocation of Fe from the root to the shoot is controlled by HAP5A in Fe‐deficient Arabidopsis thaliana.

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    Glutamate synthase 1 is involved in iron‐deficiency response and long‐distance transportation in Arabidopsis
    Man Cui, Mengjun Gu, Yaru Lu, Yue Zhang, Chunlin Chen, Hong‐Qing Ling and Huilan Wu
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (12): 1925-1941.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12985
    Abstract (Browse 270)  |   Save

    Iron is an essential microelement for plant growth. After uptake from the soil, iron is chelated by ligands and translocated from roots to shoots for subsequent utilization. However, the number of ligands involved in iron chelation is unclear. In this study, we identified and demonstrated that GLU1, which encodes a ferredoxin‐dependent glutamate synthase, was involved in iron homeostasis. First, the expression of GLU1 was strongly induced by iron deficiency condition. Second, lesion of GLU1 results in reduced transcription of many iron‐deficiency‐responsive genes in roots and shoots. The mutant plants revealed a decreased iron concentration in the shoots, and displayed severe leaf chlorosis under the condition of Fe limitation, compared to wild‐type. Third, the product of GLU1, glutamate, could chelate iron in vivo and promote iron transportation. Last, we also found that supplementation of glutamate in the medium can alleviate cadmium toxicity in plants. Overall, our results provide evidence that GLU1 is involved in iron homeostasis through affecting glutamate synthesis under iron deficiency conditions in Arabidopsis.

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    The nodulation and nyctinastic leaf movement is orchestrated by clock gene LHY in Medicago truncatula
    Yiming Kong, Lu Han, Xiu Liu, Hongfeng Wang, Lizhu Wen, Xiaolin Yu, Xiaodong Xu, Fanjiang Kong, Chunxiang Fu, Kirankumar S. Mysore, Jiangqi Wen and Chuanen Zhou
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (12): 1880-1895.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12999
    Abstract (Browse 469)  |   Save

    As sessile organisms, plants perceive, respond, and adapt to the environmental changes for optimal growth and survival. The plant growth and fitness are enhanced by circadian clocks through coordination of numerous biological events. In legume species, nitrogen‐fixing root nodules were developed as the plant organs specialized for symbiotic transfer of nitrogen between microsymbiont and host. Here, we report that the endogenous circadian rhythm in nodules is regulated by MtLHY in legume species Medicago truncatula. Loss of function of MtLHY leads to a reduction in the number of nodules formed, resulting in a diminished ability to assimilate nitrogen. The operation of the 24‐h rhythm in shoot is further influenced by the availability of nitrogen produced by the nodules, leading to the irregulated nyctinastic leaf movement and reduced biomass in mtlhy mutants. These data shed new light on the roles of MtLHY in the orchestration of circadian oscillator in nodules and shoots, which provides a mechanistic link between nodulation, nitrogen assimilation, and clock function.

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    SINAT E3 ligases regulate the stability of the ESCRT component FREE1 in response to iron deficiency in plants
    Zhidan Xiao, Chao Yang, Chuanliang Liu, Lianming Yang, Shuhong Yang, Jun Zhou, Faqiang Li, Liwen Jiang, Shi Xiao, Caiji Gao and Wenjin Shen
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (9): 1399-1417.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13005
    Abstract (Browse 404)  |   Save

    The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is an ancient, evolutionarily conserved membrane remodeling complex that is essential for multivesicular body (MVB) biogenesis in eukaryotes. FYVE DOMAIN PROTEIN REQUIRED FOR ENDOSOMAL SORTING 1 (FREE1), which was previously identified as a plant‐specific ESCRT component, modulates MVB‐mediated endosomal sorting and autophagic degradation. Although the basic cellular functions of FREE1 as an ESCRT component have been described, the regulators that control FREE1 turnover remain unknown. Here, we analyzed how FREE1 homeostasis is mediated by the RING‐finger E3 ubiquitin ligases, SINA of Arabidopsis thaliana (SINATs), in response to iron deficiency. Under iron‐deficient growth conditions, SINAT1‐4 were induced and ubiquitinated FREE1, thereby promoting its degradation and relieving the repressive effect of FREE1 on iron absorption. By contrast, SINAT5, another SINAT member that lacks ubiquitin ligase activity due to the absence of the RING domain, functions as a protector protein which stabilizes FREE1. Collectively, our findings uncover a hitherto unknown mechanism of homeostatic regulation of FREE1, and demonstrate a unique regulatory SINAT–FREE1 module that subtly regulates plant response to iron deficiency stress.

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    Ethylene promotes seed iron storage during Arabidopsis seed maturation via ERF95 transcription factor
    Ying Sun, Jia Qi Li, Jing Ying Yan, Jun Jie Yuan, Gui Xin Li, Yun Rong Wu, Ji Ming Xu, Rong Feng Huang, Nicholas P. Harberd, Zhong Jie Ding and Shao Jian Zheng
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (8): 1193-1212.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12986
    Abstract (Browse 279)  |   Save

    Because Iron (Fe) is an essential element, Fe storage in plant seeds is necessary for seedling establishment following germination. However, the mechanisms controlling seed Fe storage during seed development remain largely unknown. Here we reveal that an ERF95 transcription factor regulates Arabidopsis seed Fe accumulation. We show that expression of ERF95 increases during seed maturation, and that lack of ERF95 reduces seed Fe accumulation, consequently increasing sensitivity to Fe deficiency during seedling establishment. Conversely, overexpression of ERF95 has the opposite effects. We show that lack of ERF95 decreases abundance of FER1 messenger RNA in developing seed, which encodes Fe‐sequestering ferritin. Accordingly, a fer1‐1 loss‐of‐function mutation confers reduced seed Fe accumulation, and suppresses ERF95‐promoted seed Fe accumulation. In addition, ERF95 binds to specific FER1 promoter GCC‐boxes and transactivates FER1 expression. We show that ERF95 expression in maturing seed is dependent on EIN3, the master transcriptional regulator of ethylene signaling. While lack of EIN3 reduces seed Fe content, overexpression of ERF95 rescues Fe accumulation in the seed of ein3 loss‐of‐function mutant. Finally, we show that ethylene production increases during seed maturation. We conclude that ethylene promotes seed Fe accumulation during seed maturation via an EIN3‐ERF95‐FER1‐dependent signaling pathway.

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    Oryza sativa FER-LIKE FE DEFICIENCY-INDUCED TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR (OsFIT/OsbHLH156) interacts with OsIRO2 to regulate iron homeostasis
    Gang Liang, Huimin Zhang, Yang Li, Mengna Pu, Yujie Yang, Chenyang Li, Chengkai Lu, Peng Xu and Diqiu Yu
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (5): 668-689.  
    doi: 10.1111/jipb.12933
    Abstract (Browse 476)  |   Save

    Iron (Fe) is indispensable for the growth and development of plants. It is well known that FER‐LIKE FE DEFICIENCY‐INDUCED TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR (FIT) is a key regulator of Fe uptake in Arabidopsis. Here, we identify the Oryza sativa FIT (also known as OsbHLH156) as the interacting partner of IRON‐RELATED BHLH TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR 2 (OsIRO2) that is critical for regulating Fe uptake. The OsIRO2 protein is localized in the cytoplasm and nucleus, but OsFIT facilitates the accumulation of OsIRO2 in the nucleus. Loss‐of‐function mutations of OsFIT result in decreased Fe accumulation, severe Fe‐deficiency symptoms, and disrupted expression of Fe‐uptake genes. In contrast, OsFIT overexpression promotes Fe accumulation and the expression of Fe‐uptake genes. Genetic analyses indicate that OsFIT and OsIRO2 function in the same genetic node. Further analyses suggest that OsFIT and OsIRO2 form a functional transcription activation complex to initiate the expression of Fe‐uptake genes. Our findings provide a mechanism understanding of how rice maintains Fe homeostasis.

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    Development of nutritious rice with high zinc/selenium and low cadmium in grains through QTL pyramiding
    Chaolei Liu, Shilin Ding, Anpeng Zhang, Kai Hong, Hongzhen Jiang, Shenglong Yang, Banpu Ruan, Bin Zhang, Guojun Dong, Longbiao Guo, Dali Zeng, Qian Qian and Zhenyu Gao
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (3): 349-359.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12909
    Abstract (Browse 340)  |   Save

    Enriching zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se) levels, while reducing cadmium (Cd) concentration in rice grains is of great benefit for human diet and health. Large natural variations in grain Zn, Se, and Cd concentrations in different rice accessions enable Zn/Se‐biofortification and Cd‐minimization through molecular breeding. Here, we report the development of new elite varieties by pyramiding major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that significantly contribute to high Zn/Se and low Cd accumulation in grains. A chromosome segment substitution line CSSLGCC7 with the PA64s‐derived GCC7 allele in the 93‐11 background, exhibited steadily higher Mn and lower Cd concentrations in grains than those of 93‐11. This elite chromosome segment substitution line (CSSL) was used as the core breeding material to cross with CSSLs harboring other major QTLs for essential mineral elements, especially CSSLGZC6 for grain Zn concentration and CSSLGSC5 for grain Se concentration. The CSSLGCC7+GZC6 and CSSLGCC7+GSC5 exhibited lower Cd concentration with higher Zn and Se concentrations in grains, respectively. Our study thus provides elite materials for rice breeding targeting high Zn/Se and low Cd concentrations in grains.

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    A WRKY transcription factor confers aluminum tolerance via regulation of cell wall modifying genes
    Chun Xiao Li, Jing Ying Yan, Jiang Yuan Ren, Li Sun, Chen Xu, Gui Xin Li, Zhong Jie Ding and Shao Jian Zheng
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (8): 1176-1192.  
    doi: 10.1111/jipb.12888
    Abstract (Browse 387)  |   Save

    Modification of cell wall properties has been considered as one of the determinants that confer aluminum (Al) tolerance in plants, while how cell wall modifying processes are regulated remains elusive. Here, we present a WRKY transcription factor WRKY47 involved in Al tolerance and root growth. Lack of WRKY47 significantly reduces, while overexpression of it increases Al tolerance. We show that lack of WRKY47 substantially affects subcellular Al distribution in the root, with Al content decreased in apoplast and increased in symplast, which is attributed to the reduced cell wall Al‐binding capacity conferred by the decreased content of hemicellulose I in the wrky47‐1 mutant. Based on microarray, real time‐quantitative polymerase chain reaction and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, we further show that WRKY47 directly regulates the expression of EXTENSIN‐LIKE PROTEIN (ELP ) and XYLOGLUCAN ENDOTRANSGLUCOSYLASE‐HYDROLASES17 (XTH17 ) responsible for cell wall modification. Increasing the expression of ELP and XTH17 rescued Al tolerance as well as root growth in wrky47‐1 mutant. In summary, our results demonstrate that WRKY47 is required for root growth under both normal and Al stress conditions via direct regulation of cell wall modification genes, and that the balance of Al distribution between root apoplast and symplast conferred by WRKY47 is important for Al tolerance.

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    OsCYCP4s coordinate phosphate starvation signaling with cell cycle progression in rice
    Lei Xu, Fang Wang, Ruili Li, Minjuan Deng, Meilan Fu, Huiying Teng and Keke Yi
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (7): 1017-1033.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12885
    Abstract (Browse 398)  |   Save

    Phosphate starvation leads to a strong reduction in shoot growth and yield in crops. The reduced shoot growth is caused by extensive gene expression reprogramming triggered by phosphate deficiency, which is not itself a direct consequence of low levels of shoot phosphorus. However, how phosphate starvation inhibits shoot growth in rice is still unclear. In this study, we determined the role of OsCYCP4s in the regulation of shoot growth in response to phosphate starvation in rice. We demonstrate that the expression levels of OsCYCP4s , except OsCYCP4;3 , were induced by phosphate starvation. Overexpression of the phosphate starvation induced OsCYCP4s could compete with the other cyclins for the binding with cyclin‐dependent kinases, therefore suppressing growth by reducing cell proliferation. The phosphate starvation induced growth inhibition in the loss‐of‐function mutants cycp4;1 , cycp4;2 , and cycp4;4 is partially compromised. Furthermore, the expression of some phosphate starvation inducible genes is negatively modulated by these cyclins, which indicates that these OsCYCP4s may also be involved in phosphate starvation signaling. We conclude that phosphate starvation induced OsCYCP4s might coordinate phosphate starvation signaling and cell cycle progression under phosphate starvation stress.

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    Jasmonic acid alleviates cadmium toxicity in Arabidopsis via suppression of cadmium uptake and translocation
    Gui Jie Lei, Li Sun, Ying Sun, Xiao Fang Zhu, Gui Xin Li and Shao Jian Zheng
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (2): 218-227.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12801
    Abstract (Browse 342)  |   Save
    Jasmonic acid (JA) is thought to be involved in plant responses to cadmium (Cd) stress, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we show that Cd treatment rapidly induces the expression of genes promoting endogenous JA synthesis, and subsequently increases the JA concentration in Arabidopsis roots. Furthermore, exogenous methyl jasmonate (MeJA) alleviates Cd‐generated chlorosis of new leaves by decreasing the Cd concentration in root cell sap and shoot, and decreasing the expression of the AtIRT1, AtHMA2 and AtHMA4 genes promoting Cd uptake and long‐distance translocation, respectively. In contrast, mutation of a key JA synthesis gene, AtAOS, greatly enhances the expression of AtIRT1, AtHMA2 and AtHMA4, increases Cd concentration in both roots and shoots, and confers increased sensitivity to Cd. Exogenous MeJA recovers the enhanced Cd‐sensitivity of the ataos mutant, but not of atcoi1, a JA receptor mutant. In addition, exogenous MeJA reduces NO levels in Cd‐stressed Arabidopsis root tips. Taken together, our results suggest that Cd‐induced JA acts via the JA signaling pathway and its effects on NO levels to positively restrict Cd accumulation and alleviates Cd toxicity in Arabidopsis via suppression of the expression of genes promoting Cd uptake and long‐distance translocation.
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    Natural variation in the promoter of OsHMA3 contributes to differential grain cadmium accumulation between Indica and Japonica rice
    Chao-Lei Liu, Zhen-Yu Gao, Lian-Guang Shang, Chang-Hong Yang, Ban-Pu Ruan, Da-Li Zeng, Long-Biao Guo, Fang-Jie Zhao, Chao-Feng Huang and Qian Qian
    J Integr Plant Biol 2020, 62 (3): 314-329.  
    doi: 10.1111/jipb.12794
    Abstract (Browse 522)  |   Save

    Rice is a major source of cadmium (Cd) intake for Asian people. Indica rice usually accumulates more Cd in shoots and grains than Japonica rice. However, underlying genetic bases for differential Cd accumulation between Indica and Japonica rice are still unknown. In this study, we cloned a quantitative trait locus (QTL) grain Cd concentration on chromosome 7 (GCC7) responsible for differential grain Cd accumulation between two rice varieties by performing QTL analysis and map‐based cloning. We found that the two GCC7 alleles, GCC7PA64s and GCC793‐11, had different promoter activity of OsHMA3, leading to different OsHMA3 expression and different shoot and grain Cd concentrations. By analyzing the distribution of different haplotypes of GCC7 among diverse rice accessions, we discovered that the high and low Cd accumulation alleles, namely GCC793‐11 and GCC7PA64s, were preferentially distributed in Indica and Japonica rice, respectively. We further showed that the GCC7PA64s allele can be used to replace the GCC793‐11 allele in the super cultivar 93‐11 to reduce grain Cd concentration without adverse effect on agronomic traits. Our results thus reveal that the QTL GCC7 with sequence variation in the OsHMA3 promoter is an important determinant controlling differential grain Cd accumulation between Indica and Japonica rice.

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    Alleviation by abscisic acid of Al toxicity in rice bean is not associated with citrate efflux but depends on ABI5-mediated signal transduction pathways
    Wei Fan, Jia Meng Xu, Pei Wu, Zhi Xin Yang, He Qiang Lou, Wei Wei Chen, Jian Fen Jin, Shao Jian Zheng and Jian Li Yang
    J Integr Plant Biol 2019, 61 (2): 140-154.  
    DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12695
    Abstract (Browse 302)  |   Save
    Under conditions of aluminum (Al) toxicity, which severely inhibits root growth in acidic soils, plants rapidly alter their gene expression to optimize physiological fitness for survival. Abscisic acid (ABA) has been suggested as a mediator between Al stress and gene expression, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated ABA-mediated Al-stress responses, using integrated physiological and molecular biology approaches. We demonstrate that Al stress caused ABA accumulation in the root apex of rice bean (Vigna umbellata [Thunb.] Ohwi & Ohashi), which positively regulated Al tolerance. However, this was not associated with known Al-tolerance mechanisms. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that nearly one-third of the responsive genes were shared between the Al-stress and ABA treatments. We further identified a transcription factor, ABI5, as being positively involved in Al tolerance. Arabidopsis abi5 mutants displayed increased sensitivity to Al, which was not related to the regulation of AtALMT1 and AtMATE expression. Functional categorization of ABI5-mediated genes revealed the importance of cell wall modification and osmoregulation in Al tolerance, a finding supported by osmotic stress treatment on Al tolerance. Our results suggest that ABA signal transduction pathways provide an additional layer of regulatory control over Al tolerance in plants.
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    ZmHAK5 and ZmHAK1 function in K+ uptake and distribution in maize under low K+ conditions
    Ya-Juan Qin, Wei-Hua Wu and Yi Wang
    J Integr Plant Biol 2019, 61 (6): 691-705.  
    doi: 10.1111/jipb.12756
    Abstract (Browse 495)  |   Save
    Potassium (K+) is an essential macronutrient for plant growth and development. Transporters from the KT/HAK/KUP family play crucial roles in K+ homeostasis and cell growth in various plant species. However, their physiological roles in maize are still unknown. In this study, we cloned ZmHAK5 and ZmHAK1 and investigated their functions in maize (Zea mays L.). In situ hybridization showed that ZmHAK5 was mainly expressed in roots, especially in the epidermis, cortex, and vascular bundle. ZmHAK5 was characterized as a high-affinity K+ transporter. Loss of function of ZmHAK5 led to defective K+ uptake in maize, under low K+ conditions, whereas ZmHAK5-overexpressing plants showed increased K+ uptake activity and improved growth. ZmHAK1 was upregulated under low K+ stress, as revealed by RT-qPCR. ZmHAK1 mediated K+ uptake when heterologously expressed in yeast, but its transport activity was weaker than that of ZmHAK5. Overexpression of ZmHAK1 in maize significantly affected K+ distribution in shoots, leading to chlorosis in older leaves. These findings indicate that ZmHAK5 and ZmHAK1 play distinct roles in K+ homeostasis in maize, functioning in K+ uptake and K+ distribution, respectively. Genetic manipulation of ZmHAK5 may represent a feasible way to improve K+ utilization efficiency in maize.
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