Arabidopsis Research Round-up

There are three new and exciting Arabidopsis papers from the UK research community this week. The University of Bath makes two appearances, once with a Genetics paper, and once in collaboration with the University of Oxford in Genome Research. Representing Norwich this week, Jonathan Jones heads up a Sainsbury Lab/John Innes Centre collaboration to investigate simultaneous changes in gene expression between Arabidopsis and a pathogen.


  • Gnan S, Priest A and Kover PX. The genetic basis of natural variation in seed size and seed number and their trade-off using Arabidopsis thalianaMAGIC lines. Genetics, 13 October 2014. DOI: 10.1534/genetics.114.170746.

This team from the University of Bath explored the natural variation in genes affecting seed size and seed number in Arabidopsis. Both seed size and seed number were found to be affected by non-overlapping QTLs, therefore suggesting these two traits can evolve independently of each other. Trade-off between these two traits in terms of fecundity and yield is dependent upon life history traits.


  • Jiang C, Mithani A, Belfield EJ, Mott R, Hurst LD and Harberd NP. Environmentally responsive genome-wide accumulation of de novo Arabidopsis thaliana mutations and epimutations. Genome Research, 14 October 2014. DOI: 10.1101/gr.177659.114. [Open Access]

GARNet committee member Nick Harberd led on this Genome Research paper, along with co-corresponding author Caifu Jiang from China, and colleagues from theUniversity of Bath and Pakistan. In animal cells, repeated or prolonged presentation of a stressor often leads to increased mutations, which can increase the risk of cancer. Being sessile, plants do not get cancer in the same way that humans do, but do they acquire more mutations? Does stress – here the example of high soil salinity is used – drive the evolution of plants through increased phenotypic diversity? Yes, it seems so.


  • Asai S, Rallapalli G, Piquerez SJM, Caillaud M-C, Furzer OJ, Ishaque N, Wirthmueller L, Fabro G, Shirasu K and Jones JDG. Expression profiling during Arabidopsis/downy mildew interaction reveals a highly expressed effector that attenuates responses to salicylic acid. PLOS Pathogens, 16 October 2014. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004443. [Open Access]

Led by Jonathan Jones, scientists from The Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich worked with Lennart Wirthmueller from the John Innes Centre, and two Japanese collaborators, to produce this PLOS Genetics paper. Though gene expression patterns have been studied independently in the pathogen Hyaloperenospora arabidopsidis, and in its host Arabidopsis thaliana, they have not been compared simultaneously. Using a high-throughput cDNA tag sequencing method, this paper describes simultaneous changes in gene expression profiles in both host and pathogen.

Arabidopsis Research Round-up

Categories: Global, Round-up
Comments: No Comments
Published on: September 2, 2014

There are some really interesting Arabidopsis papers in the Round-up this week, including one from GARNet’s Chair, Jim Murray, a review on the role of sugar–hormone interactions in the regulation of floral signal transduction from the University of Bolton, and a fascinating Science paper describing how sieve element cells become enucleated. Enjoy!


  • Mammarella ND, Cheng Z, Qing Fu Z, Daudi A, Bolwell GP, Dong X and Ausubel FM. Apoplastic peroxidases are required for salicylic acid-mediated defense against Psuedomonas syringaePhytochemistry, 2 August 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.phytochem.2014.07.010.

Arsalan Daudi and Paul Bolwell from Royal Holloway worked with American colleagues on this Phytochemistry paper, which provides further detail to some previous findings regarding the effect of reduced expression of peroxidase genes. This newly published work shows that some, but not all aspects of pattern-triggered immunity in Arabidopsis are diminished in lines with reduced peroxidase expression. It was also found that salicylic acid signaling is impaired in these lines.

This paper is dedicated to the memory of Paul Bolwell, who sadly died from motor neurone disease before publication.


  • Matsoukas IG. Interplay between sugar and hormone signaling pathways modulate floral signal transduction. Frontiers in Genetics, 13 August 2014.DOI: 10.3389/fgene.2014.00218. [Open Access]

This useful review by Ianis Matsoukas at the University of Bolton highlights potential roles of sugar–hormone interactions in the regulation of floral signal transduction. It particularly emphasises Arabidopsis thaliana mutant phenotypes, and suggests possible directions for future research.


  • Forzani C, Aichinger E, Willemsen V, Laux T, Dewitte W and Murray JAH. WOX5 suppresses CYCLIN D activity to establish quiescence at the center of the root stem cell niche. Current Biology, 18 August 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.07.019. [Open Access]

This paper was led by GARNet Chair Jim Murray at Cardiff University and describes findings that provide new information about the role of the transcription factor WOX5. WOX5 is known to be involved in the maintenance of a pool of stem cells at the quiescent centre (QC) of the Arabidopsis root, but the molecular mechanisms underpinning this, as well as whether WOX5 in involved in proliferation of the QC cells, has not been previously well understood. Here Jim et al propose a specific role for WOX5 in initiating and maintaining the quiescence of QC cells.


  • Miyashima Furata K, Ram Yadav S, Lehesranta S, et alArabidopsis NAC45/86 direct sieve element morphogenesis culminating in enucleation. Science, 22 August 2014. DOI: 10.1126/science.1253736.

Led by a Finnish group, this fascinating Science paper also involves colleagues from Belgium, more scientists from Cardiff, and from the Sainsbury Lab at the University of Cambridge. The researchers used electron microscope imaging and 3D-reconstructions to follow the development of sieve element cells and observe the regulation of the self-destruction of the nucleus. If you can get through the paywall, check out the images and movies in the supplementary data files!


  • El Zawily AM, Schwarzländer M, Finkmeier I, et alFRIENDLY regulates mitochondrial distribution, fusion, and quality control in Arabidopsis. Plant Physiology, 27 August 2014. DOI: 10.1104/pp.114.243824. [Open Access]

This paper presents findings for the role of FRIENDLY, a protein responsible for the correct distribution of mitochondria within the cell. Scientists from Imperial College London were involved in this international work, which identified that FRIENDLY is likely to have a role in mediating inter-mitochondrial associations. Disruption of mitochondrial associations, motility and chondriome structure affects mitochondrial quality control, which in turn has repercussions for mitochondrial stress, cell death and strong growth phenotypes.

page 1 of 1

Follow Me
June 2024

Welcome , today is Saturday, June 15, 2024