GARNet Research Roundup: April 9th 2020

This Easter edition of the GARNet Research Roundup begins with research from Aberystwyth University that has developed a system for studying self-incompatability in self-compatible Arabidopsis. Next is an outstanding community-focussed study led from the John Innes Centre that outlines the development of new resources that better enable discovery-led science to be conducted within hexaploid wheat.

Third is a study led by the Dodd group at the JIC that links the circadian clock to water-use efficiency. The fourth paper is from the Edwards group at Bristol investigates the effect of higher temperatures on meiotic recombination in wheat. The fifth paper is from Rothamsted Research and introduces novel molecular tools that will be useful in future studies of the economically important weed Blackgrass.

The next paper includes co-authors from the Sainsbury lab in Norwich and looks at the role of carbonic anhydrases in plant immunity at higher levels of CO2. The seventh paper looks at the integration of light signaling and the circadian clock and includes Paul Devlin from RHUL as a co-author. The penultimate paper includes Gareth Jenkins from Glasgow as a co-author and looks at the perception of different wavelengths of UV light by the photoreceptor UVR8. The final paper includes Marko Hyvönen from Cambridge as a co-author and investigates the organisation of the RALF gene family in strawberry.


Wang L, Triviño M, Lin Z, Carli J, Eaves DJ, Van Damme D, Nowack MK, Franklin-Tong VE, Bosch M (2020) New opportunities and insights into Papaver self-incompatibility by imaging engineered Arabidopsis pollen. J Exp Bot. doi: 10.1093/jxb/eraa092 Open Access

Ludi Wang is first author on this work led from Maurice Bosch’s lab at Aberystwyth University. They have transferred their work on self-incompatability (SI) in Papaver into Arabidopsis, so as to take advantage of its excellent genetic resources. They show that the SI response can be recapitulated in Arabidopsis, even though it is self-compatible. This research has allowed them to discover new roles for clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the actin cytoskeleton and calcium signaling during SI.

Ludi and Maurice discuss this work on the GARNet Community podcast.


Adamski NM, Borrill P, Brinton J, Harrington SA, Marchal C, Bentley AR, Bovill WD, Cattivelli L, Cockram J, Contreras-Moreira B, Ford B, Ghosh S, Harwood W, Hassani-Pak K, Hayta S, Hickey LT, Kanyuka K, King J, Maccaferrri M, Naamati G, Pozniak CJ, Ramirez-Gonzalez RH, Sansaloni C, Trevaskis B, Wingen LU, Wulff BB, Uauy C (2020) A roadmap for gene functional characterisation in crops with large genomes: Lessons from polyploid wheat. Elife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.55646 Open Access

This research is led from the Uauy lab at the John Innes Centre by Nikolai Adamski, Phillippa Borrill (now at Birmingham), Jemima Brinton, Sophie Harrington and Clemence Marchal. This team worked with collaborators based around the UK, in Australia, Canada and Mexico and they outline the resources that they have developed that will promote the use of wheat as an experimental organism for discovery-led research.


Simon NM, Graham CA, Comben NE, Hetherington AM, Dodd AN (2020) The circadian clock influences the long-term water use efficiency of Arabidopsis. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.20.00030 Open Access

This research is led by Noriane Simon who worked with Anthony Dodd at the University of Bristol and the John Innes Centre. They showed that misregulation of components that control the circadian oscillator causes alterations in water-use efficiency in Arabidopsis plants. This response is linked to the control of transpiration via circadian control of guard cell physiology.


Coulton A, Burridge AJ, Edwards KJ (2020) Examining the Effects of Temperature on Recombination in Wheat. Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00230 Open Access

Alexander Coulton is lead author on this study from the University of Bristol that has looked at how temperature changes alter the landscape of meiotic recombination in wheat. Despite showing that high temperature induces movement of recombination events toward centromeres, the overall effect is limited due to the tight linkages of many wheat genes.


Mellado-Sánchez M, McDiarmid F, Cardoso V, Kanyuka K, MacGregor DR (2020) Virus-mediated transient expression techniques enable gene function studies in black-grass. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.20.00205 Open Access

This Letter to the editor of Plant Physiology is led by Macarena Mellado-Sánchez, who works with Dana MacGregor at Rothamsted Research. They demonstrate the first usage of Virus-mediated gene silencing (VIGS) and Virus-mediated protein overexpression (VOX) in Blackgrass, which is a significant crop weed. They use these techniques in genetic gain and loss of function studies that result in changes in herbicide resistance in transformed blackgrass. Hopefully this work can be a prelude to future research in this potentially important experimental system for understanding how weeds effect crop yields.

http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/early/2020/04/01/pp.20.00205.long

Zhou Y, Vroegop-Vos IA, Van Dijken AJH, Van der Does D, Zipfel C, Pieterse CMJ, Van Wees SCM (2020) Carbonic anhydrases CA1 and CA4 function in atmospheric CO(2)-modulated disease resistance. Planta. doi: 10.1007/s00425-020-03370-w

Yeling Zhou is first author on this Dutch-led research that includes Dieuwertje Van der Does and Cyril Zipfel from the Sainsbury lab in Norwich. They show that the Carbonic anhydrases CA1 and CA4 play a role in plant immunity under higher levels of atmospheric CO2. This indicates that these genes might be future targets for improving plant disease resistance.


Liu Y, Ma M, Li G, Yuan L, Xie Y, Wei H, Ma X, Li Q, Devlin PF, Xu X, Wang H (2020) Transcription Factors FHY3 and FAR1 Regulate Light-induced CIRCADIAN CLOCK ASSOCIATED1 Gene Expression in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00981

Paul Devlin from RHUL is a co-author on this Chinese-study led by Yang Liu. They show that FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL3 (FHY3) and its paralogue FAR-RED IMPAIRED RESPONSE1 (FAR1) are essential for light induction of CCA1, which contracts to the repressive effect of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 5 (PIF5). They introduce an integrated photosensory signaling pathway that brings together light signalling with control of the circadian clock.


Rai N, O’Hara A, Farkas D, Safronov O, Ratanasopa K, Wang F, Lindfors AV, Jenkins GI, Lehto T, Salojärvi J, Brosché M, Strid Å, Aphalo PJ, Morales LO. (2020) The photoreceptor UVR8 mediates the perception of both UV-B and UV-A wavelengths up to 350 nm of sunlight with responsivity moderated by cryptochromes. Plant Cell Environ. doi: 10.1111/pce.13752 Open Access

Neha Rai is first author on this Finnish-led study that includes Gareth Jenkins from the University of Glasgow as a co-author. They investigated the response of the photoreceptors UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) and CRYPTOCHROMES 1 and 2 (CRYs) to UV wavelengths included in sunlight. They show that the wavelength of 350 nm is an important cut-off for the perception of UV-B and UV-A by these different photoreceptors.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pce.13752

Negrini F, O’Grady K, Hyvönen M, Folta KM, Baraldi E (2020) Genomic structure and transcript analysis of the Rapid Alkalinization Factor (RALF) gene family during host-pathogen crosstalk in Fragaria vesca and Fragaria x ananassa strawberry. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0226448 Open Access

Marko Hyvönen working at the University of Cambridge is a co-author on this Italian-US collaboration led by Francesca Negrini. This work describes the genomic organisation of the family of the Rapid Alkalinization Factors (RALFs) in octoploid strawberry. In addition they describe the upregulation of one family member, FanRALF3-1, during fungal infection. This will lead to future research aimed at defining the precise molecular relationship between FanRALF3-1 expression and the immune response in strawberry.

GARNet Research Roundup: February 18th 2020

This weeks GARNet Research Roundup begins with two studies that characterize the role of proteins that are involved in the control of meiotic recombination. The first study is from the Henderson lab at the University of Cambridge and investigates the role of the REC8 protein whilst the second is from John Doonan’s group at Aberystwyth University and investigates the role of the cyclin-dependent kinase CDKG.

The third paper is from the same research group in Aberystwyth and investigates how alternative splicing can impact the function of the FLOWERING LOCUS M gene.

The next papers is a cross-UK collaboration led from Rothamsted Research and the John Innes Centre that identifies an important QTL associated with the generation of high-fibre wheat. The fifth paper is from the JIC and reveals how the immune resistance gene MLO plays a role in a plants association with beneficial microbial symbiotes.

The sixth paper is from the Gibbs lab at the University of Birmingham and further characterizes the function of the VRN2 component of the polycomb repressive complex 2.

Nick Harberd from Oxford is a corresponding author of the next paper, which identifies a new gene that could be used to improve nitrogen-use efficiency in rice.

The eighth paper is a proteomic-based study from the University of Cambridge that identifies novel stress-induced components of the Arabidopsis spliceosome.

The penultimate paper is from Jonathan Jones’ lab at the Sainsbury lab, Norwich in which they characterize a new transgenic line useful for studying the plant immune response.

The final paper includes Liam Dolan from Oxford as a co-author in a study that characterizes a novel ATPase from the algae Chara australis.


Lambing C, Tock AJ, Topp SD, Choi K, Kuo PC, Zhao X, Osman K, Higgins J, Franklin FCH, Henderson IR (2020) Interacting genomic landscapes of REC8-cohesin, chromatin and meiotic recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00866
Open Access

This study is led by Chris Lambing from Ian Henderson’s group at the University of Cambridge and includes collaborators from Leicester and Birmingham. They use ChIP-seq to identify the genomic regions associated with the REC8 protein, showing that it interacts with regions with multiple distinct chromatin states. This interaction plays a key role in controlling the formation of double strands breaks and is required to organize meiotic chromosome architecture and interhomolog recombination.


Nibau C, Lloyd AH, Dadarou D, Betekhtin A, Tsilimigka F, Phillips DW, Doonan JH (2020) CDKG1 Is Required for Meiotic and Somatic Recombination Intermediate Processing in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00942 Open Access

Candida Nibau from Aberystwyth University leads this research that reveals a critical role for the cyclin-dependent kinase G1 (CDKG) in the control of recombination, both during meiosis and within somatic cells. The authors discover that this role occurs early in the process through the stabilization of recombination intermediates.


Nibau C, Gallemí M, Dadarou D, Doonan JH, Cavallari N (2020) Thermo-Sensitive Alternative Splicing of FLOWERING LOCUS M Is Modulated by Cyclin-Dependent Kinase G2. Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01680 Open Access

Candida Nibau is first author on this collaboration between researchers in the UK (Aberystwyth University) and Vienna, Austria. They assess the factors that control the contribution of two splicing variants of the FLOWERING LOCUS M gene on flowering time across a temperature range. They find that this process is controlled by the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinase G2 (CDKG2) and its cognate cyclin, CYCLIN L1 (CYCL1).

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.01680/full

Lovegrove A, Wingen LU, Plummer A, Wood A, Passmore D, Kosik O, Freeman J, Mitchell RAC, Hassall K, Ulker M, Tremmel-Bede K, Rakszegi M, Bedő Z, Perretant MR, Charmet G, Pont C, Salse J, Waite ML, Orford S, Burridge A, Pellny TK, Shewry PR, Griffiths S (2020) Identification of a major QTL and associated molecular marker for high arabinoxylan fibre in white wheat flour. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0227826
Open Access

Alison Lovegrove at Rothamsted Research is the first author on this cross-UK research that has gained significant interest from the main–stream media. Through analysis of a Chinese wheat variety with high dietary fibre due to the high amounts of cell wall polysaccharide arabinoxylan the authors identified a QTL that is responsible for this phenotype. Understanding this QTL will allow use of both marker-assisted breeding and new breeding technologies to aid in the generation of high yield, high fibre varieties.


Jacott CN, Charpentier M, Murray JD, Ridout CJ (2020) Mildew Locus O facilitates colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in angiosperms. New Phytol. doi: 10.1111/nph.16465

Catherine Jacott is first author on this study from the JIC that investigates the role of the known barley resistance gene Mildew Resistance Locus O (MLO) during arbuscular mycorrhizal interactions in wheat, barley and Medicago. They show that MLO is important for this beneficial symbiotic association and that the role of MLO has been appropriated during infection with pathogenic powdery mildew.


Labandera AM, Tedds HM, Bailey M, Sprigg C, Etherington RD, Akintewe O, Kalleechurn G, Holdsworth MJ, Gibbs DJ (2020) The PRT6 N-degron pathway restricts VERNALIZATION 2 to endogenous hypoxic niches to modulate plant development. New Phytol. doi: 10.1111/nph.16477

Anne-Marie Labandera is first author on this work from Dan Gibbs’ lab in Birmingham. They show that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis of the VERNALIZATION2 (VRN2) protein via the oxygen-dependent PRT6 N-degron pathway is important for many areas of plant development. This regulation of VRN2 has different developmental outcomes depending on whether it occurs in or out of meristematic tissues.


Wu K, Wang S, Song W, Zhang J, Wang Y, Liu Q, Yu J, Ye Y, Li S, Chen J, Zhao Y, Wang J, Wu X, Wang M, Zhang Y, Liu B, Wu Y, Harberd NP, Fu X (2020) Enhanced sustainable green revolution yield via nitrogen-responsive chromatin modulation in rice. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aaz2046

Kun Wu is first author on this Chinese-led investigation that also includes Nick Harberd from Oxford University as a corresponding author. Working in rice they link genomic-wide chromatin changes with expression of the NGR5 (NITROGEN-MEDIATED TILLER GROWTH RESPONSE 5) transcription factor during nitrogen-induced growth. Overexpression of NGR5 can uncouple nitrogen-sensing from tiller production and therefore provide a novel tool to possibly enhance agricultural production in low nitrogen conditions.

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6478/eaaz2046.long

Marondedze C, Thomas L, Lilley KS, Gehring C (2020) Drought Stress Causes Specific Changes to the Spliceosome and Stress Granule Components. Front Mol Biosci. doi: 10.3389/fmolb.2019.00163 Open Access

Claudius Marondedze is the first author on this collaboration between the University of Cambridge and KAUST in Saudi Arabia. They perform label-free mRNA interactome-capture to identify RNA interacting proteins that are induced after drought stress. This reveals over 40 novel spliceosome-interacting proteins but also 32 proteins that associate with stress granules, which are indicative of transcriptional arrest. This provides new insights into how plant stress responses might be altered by the activity of spliceosome components.


Ngou BPM, Ahn HK, Ding P, Redkar A, Brown H, Ma Y, Youles M, Tomlinson L, Jones JDG (2020) Estradiol-inducible AvrRps4 expression reveals distinct properties of TIR-NLR-mediated effector-triggered immunity. J Exp Bot. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz571

This research from Jonathan Jones’ group at the Sainsbury Lab, Norwich is led by Bruno Pok Man Ngou. They have developed a transgenic line that enables the transient in planta expression of AvrRps4, which is a potent bacterial immune effector. This stimulates the RRS1/RPS4-dependent immune response and provides insights into certain mechanisms of this pathway without exposing the plants to pathogens.


Zhang S, Habets M, Breuninger H, Dolan L, Offringa R, van Duijn B (2020) Evolutionary and Functional Analysis of a Chara Plasma Membrane H(+)-ATPase. Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01707 Open Access

Liam Dolan from the University of Oxford is a co-author on this Dutch-led research that includes Sutun Zhang as first author. They characterize a plasma membrane localised ATPase from the algae Chara australis and perform complementation studies in both yeast and Arabidopsis. These studies allow the authors to propose that the mode of regulation of this algal ATPase is likely different from that of known yeast and land plant PM H+-ATPases.

GARNet Research Roundup: December 23rd 2019

The final GARNet Research Roundup of 2019 begins with three studies from the John Innes Centre. Firstly Steve Penfield’s group conducts a field-experiment that monitors FLC levels in winter oilseed rape. Second is a study from the Zilberman lab looking at the relationship between Histone H1 and DNA methylation.

Third is work from the Yant lab in JIC/Nottingham that investigates adaptive gene flow between Arabidopsis arenosa and Arabidopsis lyrata.

The next two papers are led from the Etchells lab in Durham, the first has developed a vascular-localised transcriptional network and the second is a methods paper for image analysis.

The sixth paper includes co-authors from Southampton and investigates nuclear-chloroplast signaling in Arabidopsis mediated by the GUN1 protein.

The next two papers include members of the current GARNet advisory committee. Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso from the University of Leeds is an author on a paper that models plasmodesma geometry whilst members of the Kaiserli lab in Glasgow are involved in a study that investigates the factors involved in auxin-dependent thermomorphogenesis.

The Dupree lab in Cambridge leads the next research paper that looks at the detailed composition of the cell wall in the softwood Spruce.

The next two papers are from the Sainsbury lab, Norwich. Firstly the Kamoun lab looks at the molecular code of a plant NLR immune receptors whilst in the second paper members of the Zipfel lab are co-authors on a study that looks at defence-related protease activity from a fungal pathogen of strawberry.

The twelfth paper is from Ian Graham’s lab at the University of York and looks at the role of light signaling during seed development.

Sue Armstrong from Birmingham is a co-author on the next paper in which researchers present a genetic map of the field cress Lepidium campestre.

The final two papers include researchers from Royal Holloway University of London and look at the role of different transcription factors during embryo or root meristem development.


O’Neill CM, Lu X, Calderwood A, Tudor EH, Robinson P, Wells R, Morris R, Penfield S (2019) Vernalization and Floral Transition in Autumn Drive Winter Annual Life History in Oilseed Rape. Curr Biol. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.10.051
Open Access

Carmel O’Neill is first author on the research from the Morris and Penfield labs at the John Innes Centre. This paper describes experiments that monitored FLC levels in field-growth winter oilseed rape. Surprisingly they shows that decline of FLC during October in relatively mild-temperatures of 10-15C reduce FLC levels, leading to floral transition prior to the colder winter temperatures. This work shows the importance of field experiments to understand real-world mechanisms that control crop development.


Choi J, Lyons DB, Kim MY, Moore JD, Zilberman D (2019) DNA Methylation and Histone H1 Jointly Repress Transposable Elements and Aberrant Intragenic Transcripts. Mol Cell. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2019.10.011
This research from the Zilberman lab at the John Innes Centre is led by Jaemyoung Choi and looks at the relationship between histone H1 and the DNA methylation machinery during the maintenance of transcriptional homeostasis.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1097276519307890?via%3Dihub

Marburger S, Monnahan P, Seear PJ, Martin SH, Koch J, Paajanen P, Bohutínská M, Higgins JD, Schmickl R, Yant L (2019) Interspecific introgression mediates adaptation to whole genome duplication. Nat Commun. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-13159-5
Open Access

Sarah Marburger from Levi Yant’s lab at the John Innes Centre/University of Nottingham leads this research that includes co-authors from Leicester, Edinburgh and the Czech Republic. They look at the effect of whole-genome duplication on gene flow between Arabidopsis arenosa and Arabidopsis lyrata.


Smit M, McGregor S, Sun H, Gough C, Bågman AM, Soyars CL, Kroon JTM, Gaudinier A, Williams CJ, Yang X, Nimchuk ZL, Weijers D, Turner SR, Brady SM, Etchells P (2019) A PXY-Mediated Transcriptional Network Integrates Signaling Mechanisms to Control Vascular Development in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00562
Open Access

This large-scale systems-biology paper is a UK-US-China-Dutch collaboration led by Margot Smit at Wageningen, Shauni McGregor and Peter Etchells at Durham University. They have developed a detailed transcriptional network based on the vascular-localised PHLOEM INTERCALATED WITH XYLEM (PXY) receptor kinase.

http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2019/12/05/tpc.19.00562.long

Bagdassarian KS, Connor KA, Jermyn IH, Etchells JP (2019) Versatile method for quantifying and analyzing morphological differences in experimentally obtained images. Plant Signal Behav. doi: 10.1080/15592324.2019.1693092
This paper from Peter Etchells lab in Durham is led by Kristine Bagdassarian and introduces a bespoke method for inspecting the differences between the morphologies of several plant mutants at the cellular level.


Shimizu T, Kacprzak SM, Mochizuki N, Nagatani A, Watanabe S, Shimada T, Tanaka K, Hayashi Y, Arai M, Leister D, Okamoto H, Terry MJ, Masuda T (2019) The retrograde signaling protein GUN1 regulates tetrapyrrole biosynthesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1911251116

Open Access

Sylwia M. Kacprzak and Matthew Terry from the University of Southampton are co-authors on this Japanese-led study that looks at the interaction between nuclear and chloroplast genomes as controlled by role that the GUN1 protein plays in control of tetrapyrrole metabolism.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1097276519307890?via%3Dihub

Deinum EE, Mulder BM, Benitez-Alfonso Y (2019) From plasmodesma geometry to effective symplasmic permeability through biophysical modelling. Elife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.49000
Open Access

Eva Deinum is lead author of this study that includes GARNet Committee member Yoselin Benitez-Alfonso as co-author. They have applied biophysical modeling to calculate effective symplasmic permeability for the transport of molecules through plasmodesmata. The resulting open-source model has been refined through experimental observations.

Dr Deinum will be leading a GARNet-supported workshop on this multilevel model during the July 2020 EMBO workshop on ‘Intercellular communication and plasmodesmata in plant development and disease’.


van der Woude LC, Perrella G, Snoek BL, van Hoogdalem M, Novák O, van Verk MC, van Kooten HN, Zorn LE, Tonckens R, Dongus JA, Praat M, Stouten EA, Proveniers MCG, Vellutini E, Patitaki E, Shapulatov U, Kohlen W, Balasubramanian S, Ljung K, van der Krol AR, Smeekens S, Kaiserli E, van Zanten M (2019) HISTONE DEACETYLASE 9 stimulates auxin-dependent thermomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana by mediating H2A.Z depletion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1911694116

This wide collaboration is led by Lennard van der Woude at Utrecht University and includes Giorgio Perrella and Eirini Kaiserli from Glasgow as co-authors. This research looks at the complex relationship between thermomorphogenesis, auxin and light signaling, histone deacylation and the regulation of histone variant H2A.Z.


Terrett OM, Lyczakowski JJ, Yu L, Iuga D, Franks WT, Brown SP, Dupree R, Dupree P (2019) Molecular architecture of softwood revealed by solid-state NMR. Nat Commun. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12979-9

Open Access

This research from the Dupree lab in Cambridge is led by Olivier Terrett and uses solid-state NMR to analyse the cell wall composition of the softwood spruce, in part through comparison with Arabidopsis cell walls. This information is an essential requirement to build experimental strategies for the biorefining of particular wood-types.


Adachi H, Contreras M, Harant A, Wu CH, Derevnina L, Sakai T, Duggan C, Moratto E, Bozkurt TO, Maqbool A, Win J, Kamoun S (2019) An N-terminal motif in NLR immune receptors is functionally conserved across distantly related plant species. Elife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.49956

Open Access

Hiroaki Adachi leads this study from lab of Sophien Kamoun at the Sainsbury lab, Norwich. In this research they interrogate the molecular code of a plant NLR immune receptor to identify the minimal functional motifs that are required to induce hypersensitive cell death in response to a plant pathogen.

https://elifesciences.org/articles/49956

Caro MDP, Holton N, Conti G, Venturuzzi AL, Martínez-Zamora MG, Zipfel C, Asurmendi S, Díaz-Ricci JC (2019) The fungal subtilase AsES elicits a PTI-like defence response in Arabidopsis thaliana plants independently of its enzymatic activity. Mol Plant Pathol. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12881
Open Access

Nicolas Holton and Cyril Zipfel from the Sainsbury Lab in Norwich are co-authors on this Argentinian-led study with María del Pilar Caro as both first and corresponding author. They characterize the proteolytic role of the elicitor subtilisin (AsES) from strawberry fungal pathogen Acremonium strictum during an immune response.


Barros-Galvão T, Dave A, Gilday AD, Harvey D, Vaistij FE, Graham IA (2019) ABA INSENSITIVE4 promotes rather than represses PHYA-dependent seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana. New Phytol. doi: 10.1111/nph.16363
Open Access

Thiago Barros-Galvão and Ian Graham at the University of Leeds lead this research that investigates the role of phytochrome A (PHYA) and PHYB signaling during seed development in Arabidopsis.

https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nph.16363

Desta ZA, Kolano B, Shamim Z, Armstrong SJ, Rewers M, Sliwinska E, Kushwaha SK, Parkin IAP, Ortiz R, de Koning DJ (2019) Field cress genome mapping: Integrating linkage and comparative maps with cytogenetic analysis for rDNA carrying chromosomes. Sci Rep. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53320-0

Open Access

This Swedish led study has Zeratsion Abera Desta as lead author and includes Sue Armstrong from the University of Birmingham as a co-author. They have produced an early genome map of field cress (Lepidium campestre), which is a potential oilseed plant. They show that diploid Lepidium campestre has 16 chromosomes.


Leviczky T, Molnár E, Papdi C, Őszi E, Horváth GV, Vizler C, Nagy V, Pauk J, Bögre L, Magyar Z (2019) E2FA and E2FB transcription factors coordinate cell proliferation with seed maturation. Development. doi: 10.1242/dev.179333
Open Access

Tünde Leviczky is first author on this Hungarian-led study that includes co-authors from Royal Hollaway University of London. This work characterises the role of the E2F transcription factors and the RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED repressor protein during Arabidopsis embryo development.

https://dev.biologists.org/content/146/22/dev179333.long

Lokdarshi A, Papdi C, Pettko-Szandtner A, Dorokhov S, Scheres B, Magyar Z, von Arnim AG, Bogre L, Horváth B (2019) ErbB-3 BINDING PROTEIN 1 Regulates Translation and Counteracts RETINOBLASTOMA RELATED to Maintain the Root Meristem. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.0080
This UK-US-Hungary collaboration includes Ansul Lokdarshi and Csaba Papdi as co-first authors and Laszlo Bogre and Beatrix Horvath from Royal Hollaway University of London as corresponding authors. They assessed the role of the ErbB-3 BINDING PROTEIN 1 transcription factor during Arabidopsis root meristem development

GARNet Research Roundup: November 22nd 2019

This bumper edition of the GARNet Research Roundup begins with three papers that have a focus on the circadian clock. First is from Cambridge and looks at a novel role for TTG1 in control of the clock. The second paper also includes co-authors from Cambridge and looks at the clock Evening Complex. The final clock paper includes co-authors from York and looks at the new roles for EARLY FLOWERING 3 and GIGANTEA.

The next four papers include researchers from the John Innes Centre. Yiling Ding’s lab lead an exciting study into the role of RNA G-quadruplex to define liquid-liquid phase separations. Next David Seung and Alison Baker look at production of amylose starch across Arabidopsis accessions. The third JIC paper is from the Charpentier lab and looks at nuclear calcium signaling in the root. Finally Lars Ostergaard is a co-author on a paper that identifies a novel biostimulant that controls podshatter in Brassica.

The eighth paper is from Glasgow and describes the bioengineering of plants to express a novel antibiotic bacteriocin.

Next are three papers introduce exciting new research tools. 1. Weibei Yang in the Meyerowitz lab introduces a method for co-labeling of RNAs and protein 2. Researchers in Nottingham introduce RootNav2.0 for the automated measurement of root archtiectures 3. The Haydon Lab has developed a GAL4-GFP luciferase system for tissue-specific gene expression analysis.

Two Photosynthesis-based papers come next with firstly an analysis on the link between metabolism and the light response curve (from Manchester) and secondly a look at the role of aquaporins in control of CO2 conductance (Cambridge and Lancaster).

The fourteenth paper is from Durham and characterises an important protein regulator of the autophagy-dependent degradation pathway whilst the fifteenth is from Cambridge and uses cryo-SEM to analyse cell wall structures.

The penultimate paper is from Birmingham and looks at the role of redox signaling in aphid fecundity and the final paper includes co-authors from RHUL and looks at the interaction between the E2FB and RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED proteins.


Airoldi CA, Hearn TJ, Brockington SF, Webb AAR, Glover BJ (2019) TTG1 proteins regulate circadian activity as well as epidermal cell fate and pigmentation. Nat Plants. doi: 10.1038/s41477-019-0544-3

This study from the University of Cambridge is led by Chiara Airoldi and introduces a new role for the TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA 1 (TTG1) WD-repeat (WDR) subfamily in the regulation of the circadian clock. TTG1 regulates epidermal cell differentiation and pigment production, while LIGHT-REGULATED WD1 and LIGHT-REGULATED WD2A are known to regulate the clock. The triple lwd1 lwd2 ttg1 mutant has no detectable circadian rhythym. This suggests that members of this protein family have undergone subfunctionalization to diverge from their core functions. This paper is of interest to those who research evolution of protein function as well as the to those interested in the control of the circadian clock.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41477-019-0544-3

Tong M, Lee K, Ezer D, Cortijo S, Jung J, Charoensawan V, Box MS, Jaeger K, Takahashi N, Mas P, Wigge PA, Seo PJ (2019) The Evening Complex establishes repressive chromatin domains via H2A.Z deposition. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.00881

This collaboration between the UK and South Korea is led by Meixuezi Tong and investigates how the Evening Complex (EC) component of the circadian clock interacts with chromatin to control gene expression at dusk. This occurs through direct interaction with the SWI2/SNF2-RELATED complex and together they bind to the core clock genes PRR7 and PRR9, causing the deposition of H2A.Z at these loci subsequent to causing their repression at dusk.


Anwer MU, Davis A, Davis SJ, Quint M (2019) Photoperiod sensing of the circadian clock is controlled by EARLY FLOWERING 3 and GIGANTEA. Plant J. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14604

Amanda Davies and Seth Davies from the University of York are co-authors on this German-led study with Muhammad Anwer as both first and corresponding author. They look at the role of important circadian regulators ELF3 and GIGANTEA through generation of previously unanalysed elf3gi double mutants. In these plants the circadian oscillator fails to synchronize to light-dark cycles even under diurnal conditions, demonstrating that these genes act together to convey photoperiod sensing to the central oscillator.


Zhang Y, Yang M, Duncan S, Yang X, Abdelhamid MAS, Huang L, Zhang H, Benfey PN, Waller ZAE, Ding Y (2019) G-quadruplex structures trigger RNA phase separation. Nucleic Acids Res. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkz978
Open Access

Yueying Zhang is the first author of this study conducted in the lab of Yiliang Ding at the John Innes Centre, in collaboration with the Benfey lab in the USA. They reveal an exciting mode of regulating RNA activity through the formation of RNA G-quadruplex (GQ) complexes. They use the SHORTROOT mRNA as the model for this study, showing that GQ-mediated complex formation can bring liquid-liquid phase separation. This study is of fundamental importance as it provides the first evidence that RNA can adopt structural motifs to trigger and/or maintain the specificity of RNA-driven phase separation.

https://academic.oup.com/nar/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nar/gkz978/5624975?guestAccessKey=d3913912-fdbb-4f35-aa71-625442722842

Seung D, Echevarría-Poza A, Steuernagel B, Smith AM (2019) Natural polymorphisms in Arabidopsis result in wide variation or loss of the amylose component of starch. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.01062
Open Access

David Seung at the John Innes Centre the first and corresponding author of this study that used data from the Arabidopsis 1135 Genome project to investigate the prevelance of amylose production. Plants with amylose-free starch have no detrimental phenotypes so the function of this glucose-polymer, that accounts for up to 30% of all natural starch, is unknown. They looked at the polymorphisms within the GRANULE-BOUND STARCH SYNTHASE (GBSS) enzyme, identifying natural accessions that have no GBSS activity yet are viable within their natural environments. This study is a prelude to future research that will discover the adaptive significance of amylose.


Leitão N, Dangeville P, Carter R, Charpentier M (2019) Nuclear calcium signatures are associated with root development. Nat Commun. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12845-8
Open Access

Nuno Leitao is first author on this research from the Charpentier lab at the John Innes Centre. They looked at the role of nuclear Ca2+ signalling on primary root meristem development and auxin homeostasis through activity of the nuclear membrane localised ion channel DOES NOT MAKE INFECTIONS 1 (DMI1). This study discovers a previously unappreciated role for intracellular Ca2+ signalling during plant development.


Łangowski Ł, Goñi O, Quille P, Stephenson P, Carmody N, Feeney E, Barton D, Østergaard L, O’Connell S (2019 A plant biostimulant from the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum (Sealicit) reduces podshatter and yield loss in oilseed rape through modulation of IND expression. Sci Rep. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-52958-0
Open Access

Lars Ostergaard is a co-author on this Irish-study led by Lukasz Łangowski that investigates the factors that control pod shatter in oil seed rape. They show that the seaweed Ascophyllum nodosum-based biostimulant (Sealicit) is able to reduce podshatter by effecting the expression of the major regulator of pod shattering, INDEHISCENT. This has implications for the use of this compound by farmers wanting to reduce the amount of seed loss due to premature pod shatter.


Rooney WM, Grinter RW, Correia A, Parkhill J, Walker DC, Milner JJ (2019) Engineering bacteriocin-mediated resistance against the plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Plant Biotechnol J. doi: 10.1111/pbi.13294
Open Access

William Rooney at the University of Glasgow is lead author on this study that attempts to combat Pseudomonas syringae infections through expression of a novel protein antibiotic bacteriocin, putidacin. They show that transgenic expression of this bacterial protein provides effective protection against Pseudomonas. This proof of concept opens the possibility for more widespread use of bacteriocins as an effective plant protection strategy.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/pbi.13294

Yang W, Schuster C, Prunet N, Dong Q, Landrein B, Wightman R, Meyerowitz EM (2019) Visualization of Protein Coding, Long Non-coding and Nuclear RNAs by FISH in Sections of Shoot Apical Meristems and Developing Flowers. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.00980
This extended methods paper is led by Weibing Yang at the Sainsbury lab in Cambridge. They have adapted RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization (rnaFISH) to explore RNA localization in the shoot apical meristem of Arabidopsis. They are able to label mRNA as well as long ncRNAs and have developed double labeling to assay two separate RNAs in the same cell and to assess nucleo-cytoplasmic separation of RNA species. Finally they link rnaFISH with fluorescence immunocytochemistry for the simultaneous localization of a single genes mRNA and protein.

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2019.01398/full

Yasrab R, Atkinson JA, Wells DM, French AP, Pridmore TP, Pound MP (2019) RootNav 2.0: Deep learning for automatic navigation of complex plant root architectures. Gigascience. doi: 10.1093/gigascience/giz123
Open Access

Robail Yasrab is lead author on this work from the University of Nottingham that introduces the RootNav2.0 software tool. This was developed by modern deep-learning approaches and allows the fully automated measurement of vertically growth root systems. RootNav2.0 was favourably compared with its semi-automated predecessor RootNav1.0 and can be used for measurement of root architectures from a range of different plant species.


Román Á, Golz JF, Webb AA, Graham IA, Haydon MJ (2019) Combining GAL4 GFP enhancer trap with split luciferase to measure spatiotemporal promoter activity in Arabidopsis. Plant J. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14603

This technical advance is led by Angela Roman, was in the Haydon lab during its time at the University of York. They have used the GAL4-GFP enhancer trap system, to develop a tissue-specific split luciferase assay for non-invasive detection of spatiotemporal gene expression in Arabidopsis. In this example they use the study to measure dynamics of circadian gene expression but is clearly applicable to answer many other experimental questions.


Herrmann HA, Schwartz JM, Johnson GN (2019) From empirical to theoretical models of light response curves – linking photosynthetic and metabolic acclimation. Photosynth Res. doi: 10.1007/s11120-019-00681-2
Open Access

Helena Herrmann is lead author on this work fro the University of Manchester. In this study they developed and then empirically tested a series of simple kinetic models that explains the metabolic changes that are required to alter light response curves (LRCs) across a range of temperatures. This allowed them to show how changes in NADPH and CO2 utilization respond to environmental changes. This provides useful information as to how a plant adapts its metabolic response to light depending on the growth temperature.

Helena explaining her research

Kromdijk J, Głowacka K, Long SP (2019) Photosynthetic efficiency and mesophyll conductance are unaffected in Arabidopsis thaliana aquaporin knock-out lines. J Exp Bot. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz442

Open Access
Wanne Kromdijk leads this US-led research that includes contributions from the Universities of Cambridge and Lancaster. They looked at the potential role of membrane-bound aquaporins in the control of diffusion conductance for CO2 transfer from substomatal cavity to chloroplast stroma (gm). They tested three aquaporin mutants across a range of light and CO2 concentrations and surprisingly found that they appear to play no significant contribution to the control of gm. The reporting of this type of ‘negative’ result will prevent unnecessary replication of experiments and help to streamline the research process.


Wang P, Pleskot R, Zang J, Winkler J, Wang J, Yperman K, Zhang T, Wang K, Gong J, Guan Y, Richardson C, Duckney P, Vandorpe M, Mylle E, Fiserova J, Van Damme D, Hussey PJ (2019) Plant AtEH/Pan1 proteins drive autophagosome formation at ER-PM contact sites with actin and endocytic machinery. Nat Commun. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12782-6
Open Access

Pengwei Wang is first author in this research led from Durham University that incudes Chinese and Belgian collaborators. They show that the AtEH/Pan1 protein is involved with actin cytoskeleton regulated autophagy and recruits multiple other components to autophagosomes during this process. In addition they show vesicle bound-AtEH/Pan1 interact with VAP27-1 at the ER-PM. This demonstrates that AtEH/Pan1 is a key component of the autophagy-dependent degradation pathway.


Lyczakowski JJ, Bourdon M, Terrett OM, Helariutta Y, Wightman R, Dupree P (2019) Structural Imaging of Native Cryo-Preserved Secondary Cell Walls Reveals the Presence of Macrofibrils and Their Formation Requires Normal Cellulose, Lignin and Xylan Biosynthesis. Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01398
Open Access

Jan Lyczakowski from the Dupree lab at the University of Cambridge is first author on this study that has adapted low temperature scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM) to visualize the cell walls of both angiosperm and gymnosperms. They have used Arabidopsis mutants to reveal that cell wall macrofibrils at composed of cellulose, xylan, and lignin. They demonstrate that cryo-SEM is a useful tool for native nanoscale cell wall architectures.


Rasool B, Karpinska B, Pascual J, Kangasjärvi S, Foyer CH (2019) Catalase, glutathione and protein phosphatase 2A-dependent organellar redox signalling regulate aphid fecundity under moderate and high irradiance. Plant Cell Environ. doi: 10.1111/pce.13669
Brwa Rasool is first author on this collaboration between the Universities of Birmingham and Helsinki that looks at how aphids respond to redox changes in Arabidopsis thaliana grown under different light conditions. They also identified defence-related transcription factors differentially upregulated by aphid predation in different light conditions. Overall they show aphid fecundity is in part determined by the plants cellular redox signaling.


Őszi E, Papdi C, Mohammed B, Pettkó-Szandtner A, Vaskó-Leviczky T, Molnár E, Ampudia CG, Khan S, Lopez-Juez E, Horváth B, Bögre L, Magyar Z (2019) E2FB interacts with RETINOBLASTOMA RELATED and regulates cell proliferation during leaf development. Plant Physiol. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.00212
Erika Oszi is first author of this Hungarian-led research that includes co-authors from Royal Holloway University of London. This research looks at the interaction between the transcription factors E2FB and RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED (RBR) and how this contributes to cell proliferation during organ development in Arabidopsis leaves. The relationship between these proteins changes throughout the stages of leaf development and is critical to determine final leaf cell number.

http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/early/2019/11/06/pp.19.00212.long

GARNet Research Roundup: September 24th 2019

Due to a significant delay this GARNet Research Roundup is a bumper overview of recent(ish) publications across discovery-led plant science, which have at least one contributor from a UK institution.

These can be (very) loosely separated into the following categories:

Circadian Clock: Greenwood et al, PloS Biology. Belbin et al, Nature Communications.

Environmental responses: Rodríguez-Celma et al, PNAS. Walker and Bennett, Nature Plants. Conn et al, PLoS Comput Biology. de Jong et al,PLoS Genetics. Molina-Contreras et al,The Plant Cell.

Defence signaling: Van de Weyer et al, Cell.Hurst et al, Scientific Reports. Xiao et al, Nature. Wong et al, PNAS.

Cell Biology: Miller et al, The Plant Cell. Coudert et al, Current Biology. Burgess et al,The Plant Cell. Harrington et al, BMC Plant Biology.

Metabolism: Jia et al, J Biol Chem. Perdomo et al, Biochem J. Gurrieri et al, Frontiers in Plant Science. Mucha et al, The Plant Cell. Atkinson et al, JXBot.

Cell Wall Composition: Wightman et al, Micron. Milhinhos et al, PNAS.

Signaling: Hartman et al, Nature Communications. Dittrich et al, Nature Plants. Villaécija-Aguilar et al, PLoS Genetics


Greenwood M, Domijan M, Gould PD, Hall AJW, Locke JCW (2019) Coordinated circadian timing through the integration of local inputs in Arabidopsis thaliana. PLoS Biol. 17(8):e3000407. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.300040 Open Access

Lead author is Mark Greenwood. UK contribution from The Sainsbury lab University of Cambridge, University of Liverpool and Earlham Institute. Using a mixture of experimental and modeling this paper shows that individual organs have circadian clocks that runs at different speeds.


Belbin FE, Hall GJ, Jackson AB, Schanschieff FE, Archibald G, Formstone C, Dodd AN (2019) Plant circadian rhythms regulate the effectiveness of a glyphosate-based herbicide. Nat Commun. 2019 Aug 16;10(1):3704. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11709-5 Open Access

Lead author is Fiona Belbin. UK contribution from University of Bristol and Syngenta Jealott’s Hill. Activity of the circadian clock determines that the plant response to the herbicide glyphosate is lessened at dusk, promoting the idea of agricultural chronotherapy. Fiona discusses this paper on the GARNet Community Podcast.


Rodríguez-Celma J, Connorton JM, Kruse I, Green RT, Franceschetti M, Chen YT, Cui Y, Ling HQ, Yeh KC, Balk J (2019) Arabidopsis BRUTUS-LIKE E3 ligases negatively regulate iron uptake by targeting transcription factor FIT for recycling. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1907971116 Open Access

Lead author is Jorge Rodríguez-Celma. UK contribution from John Innes Centre, University of East Anglia.The Arabidopsis E3 ubiquitin ligases, BRUTUS-LIKE1 (BTSL1) and BTSL2 target the FIT transcription factor for degradation, altering the plant response to harmful level of iron.


Walker CH, Bennett T (2019) A distributive ‘50% rule’ determines floral initiation rates in the Brassicaceae. Nat Plants. doi: 10.1038/s41477-019-0503-z
Lead author Catriona Walker. UK contribution from the University of Leeds. The authors introduce the 50%-rule that defines the relationshop between the total number of flowers the number of secondary inflorescences


Conn A, Chandrasekhar A, Rongen MV, Leyser O, Chory J, Navlakha S (2019) Network trade-offs and homeostasis in Arabidopsis shoot architectures. PLoS Comput Biol. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.100732 Open Access

Lead author is Adam Conn. UK contribution from Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. This study performed 3D scanning of 152 Arabidopsis shoot architectures to investigate how plants make trade-offs between competing objectives.


de Jong M, Tavares H, Pasam RK, Butler R, Ward S, George G, Melnyk CW, Challis R, Kover PX, Leyser O (2019) Natural variation in Arabidopsis shoot branching plasticity in response to nitrate supply affects fitness. PLoS Genet. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008366 Open Access

Lead author is Maaike de Jong. UK contribution from the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, the University of York and the University of Bath. This study looks at phenotypic plasticity of shoot branching in Arabidopsis diversity panels grown until different nitrate concentrations.


Molina-Contreras MJ, Paulišić S, Then C, Moreno-Romero J, Pastor-Andreu P, Morelli L, Roig-Villanova I, Jenkins H, Hallab A, Gan X, Gómez-Cadenas A, Tsiantis M, Rodriguez-Concepcion M, Martinez-Garcia JF (2019) Photoreceptor Activity Contributes to Contrasting Responses to Shade in Cardamine and Arabidopsis Seedlings. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00275 Open Access

Lead author is Maria Jose Molina-Contreras. UK contribution from the University of Oxford. The authors looks at the response to different light conditions and how they contribute to phenotypic determination in Cardamine and Arabidopsis seedlings.


Van de Weyer AL, Monteiro F, Furzer OJ, Nishimura MT, Cevik V, Witek K, Jones JDG, Dangl JL, Weigel D, Bemm F (2019) A Species-Wide Inventory of NLR Genes and Alleles in Arabidopsis thaliana. Cell. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.07.038 Open Access

Lead author is Anna-Lena Van de Weyer. UK contribution from The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. Using sequence enrichment and long-read sequencing the authors present the pan-NLRome constructed from 40 Arabidopsis accessions.


Hurst CH, Wright KM, Turnbull D, Leslie K, Jones S, Hemsley PA (2019) Juxta-membrane S-acylation of plant receptor-like kinases is likely fortuitous and does not necessarily impact upon function. Sci Rep. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49302-x Open Access

Lead author is Charlotte Hurst. UK contribution from the James Hutton Institute and the University of Dundee. They look at the functional role of post-translational modification S-acylation with a focus on the plant pathogen perceiving receptor-like kinase FLS2.


Xiao Y, Stegmann M, Han Z, DeFalco TA, Parys K, Xu L, Belkhadir Y, Zipfel C, Chai J (2019) Mechanisms of RALF peptide perception by a heterotypic receptor complex. Nature. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1409-7
Lead author is Yu Xiao. UK contribution from The Sainsbury Laboratory, Norwich. This study investigates how RAPID ALKALINIZATION FACTOR (RALF) peptides induce receptor complex formation to regulate immune signaling.


Wong JEMM, Nadzieja M, Madsen LH, Bücherl CA, Dam S, Sandal NN, Couto D, Derbyshire P, Uldum-Berentsen M, Schroeder S, Schwämmle V, Nogueira FCS, Asmussen MH, Thirup S, Radutoiu S, Blaise M, Andersen KR, Menke FLH, Zipfel C, Stougaard J (2019). A Lotus japonicus cytoplasmic kinase connects Nod factor perception by the NFR5 LysM receptor to nodulation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1815425116
Open Access

Lead author is Jaslyn Wong. UK contribution from The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of East Anglia. This work was conducted in the legume Lotus and after a proteomic screen, the authors identified NFR5-interacting cytoplasmic kinase 4 that is involved in control of Nod factor perception.


Miller C, Wells R, McKenzie N, Trick M, Ball J, Fatihi A, Dubreucq B, Chardot T, Lepiniec L, Bevan MW (2019) Variation in expression of the HECT E3 ligase UPL3 modulates LEC2 levels, seed size and crop yield in Brassica napus. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00577
Open Access

Lead author in Charlotte Miller. UK contribution from the John Innes Centre. Activity of the Brassica napus HECT E3 ligase gene BnaUPL3 controls seed weight per pod through degradation of LEC2, a master transcriptional regulator of seed maturation and reveals a potential target for crop improvement


Coudert Y, Novák O, Harrison CJ (2019) A KNOX-Cytokinin Regulatory Module Predates the Origin of Indeterminate Vascular Plants. Curr Biol. 2019 Aug 19;29(16):2743-2750.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.083

Lead author is Yoan Coudert. UK contribution from the University of Cambridge and University of Bristol. Class I KNOX gene activity is shown to be necessary for axis extension from an intercalary region of determinate moss shoots, in part through promotion of cytokinin biosynthesis.


Burgess SJ, Reyna-Llorens I, Stevenson SR, Singh P, Jaeger K, Hibberd JM (2019) Genome-wide transcription factor binding in leaves from C3 and C4 grasses Plant Cell.  doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00078 Open Access

Lead author is Steven Burgess. UK contribution from University of Cambridge, The Sainsbury lab University of Cambridge, University of Leeds The authors use DNaseI-SEQ to assess the similarities and differences in transcription factor binding sites in the leaves across a set of four C3 and C4 grasses.


Harrington SA, Overend LE, Cobo N, Borrill P, Uauy C (2019) Conserved residues in the wheat (Triticum aestivum) NAM-A1 NAC domain are required for protein binding and when mutated lead to delayed peduncle and flag leaf senescence. BMC Plant Biol. doi: 10.1186/s12870-019-2022-
Lead author is Sophie Harrington. UK contributions from the John Innes Centre and University of Birmingham. The authors used a wheat TILLING resource to investigate mutrant allele with the NAC domain of the NAM-A1 transcription factor and their contribution to phenotypes in lab and field.


Jia Y, Burbidge CA, Sweetman C, Schutz E, Soole K, Jenkins C, Hancock RD, Bruning JB, Ford CM (2019) An aldo-keto reductase with 2-keto- L-gulonate reductase activity functions in L-tartaric acid biosynthesis from vitamin C in Vitis vinifera. J Biol Chem. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA119.010196 Open Access

Lead author Yong Jia. UK contribution from the James Hutton Institute. This work conducted in grape reveals the mechanism by which an aldo-keto reductase functions in tartaric acid biosynthesis.


Perdomo JA, Degen GE, Worrall D, Carmo-Silva E (2019) Rubisco activation by wheat Rubisco activase isoform 2β is insensitive to inhibition by ADP. Biochem J. doi: 10.1042/BCJ2019011 Open Access

Lead author is Juan Alejandro Perdomo. UK contribution from Lancaster University. They show through analysis of site-directed mutations across three isoforms of wheat Rubisco activase that these isoforms have different sensitivities to ADP.


Gurrieri L, Distefano L, Pirone C, Horrer D, Seung D, Zaffagnini M, Rouhier N, Trost P, Santelia D, Sparla F (2019) The Thioredoxin-Regulated α-Amylase 3 of Arabidopsis thaliana Is a Target of S-Glutathionylation. Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.00993 Open Access

Lead author is Libero Gurrieri. UK contribution from John Innes Centre. The chloroplastic α-Amylases, AtAMY3 is post-translationally modified by S-glutathionylation in response to oxidative stress.


Mucha S, Heinzlmeir S, Kriechbaumer V, Strickland B, Kirchhelle C, Choudhary M, Kowalski N, Eichmann R, Hueckelhoven R, Grill E, Kuster B, Glawischnig E (2019) The formation of a camalexin-biosynthetic metabolon. Plant Cell. doi: 10.1105/tpc.19.00403 Open Access

Lead author is Stefanie Mucha. UK contribution from Oxford Brookes University and University of Warwick. The authors performed two independent untargeted co-immunoprecipitations to identify components involved in biosynthesis of the antifungal phytoalexin camalexin.


Atkinson N, Velanis CN, Wunder T, Clarke DJ, Mueller-Cajar O, McCormick AJ (2019) The pyrenoidal linker protein EPYC1 phase separates with hybrid Arabidopsis-Chlamydomonas Rubisco through interactions with the algal Rubisco small subunit. J Exp Bot. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz275
Open Access

Lead author is Nicky Atkinson. UK contribution from the University of Edinburgh. This study uses Arabidopsis-Chlamydomonas to investigate the protein-protein interaction between Rubisco and essential pyrenoid component 1 (EPYC1).


Wightman R, Busse-Wicher M, Dupree P (2019) Correlative FLIM-confocal-Raman mapping applied to plant lignin composition and autofluorescence. Micron. doi: 10.1016/j.micron.2019.102733
Lead author Raymond Wightman. UK contribution from the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge and the University of Cambridge. This study uses applies a novelmethod of correlative FLIM-confocal-Raman imaging to analyse lignin composition in Arabidopsis stems.


Milhinhos A, Vera-Sirera F, Blanco-Touriñán N, Mari-Carmona C, Carrió-Seguí À, Forment J, Champion C, Thamm A, Urbez C, Prescott H, Agustí J (2019) SOBIR1/EVR prevents precocious initiation of fiber differentiation during wood development through a mechanism involving BP and ERECTA. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1807863116
Lead author is Ana Milhinho. UK contribution from the University of Oxford. The authors used GWAS in Arabidopsis to identify the SOBIR1/EVR as an important regulator of the control of secondary growth in xylem fibers.


Hartman S, Liu Z, van Veen H, Vicente J, Reinen E, Martopawiro S, Zhang H, van Dongen N, Bosman F, Bassel GW, Visser EJW, Bailey-Serres J, Theodoulou FL, Hebelstrup KH, Gibbs DJ, Holdsworth MJ, Sasidharan R, Voesenek LACJ (2019) Ethylene-mediated nitric oxide depletion pre-adapts plants to hypoxia stress. Nat Commun. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-12045-4 Open Access

Lead author is Sjon Hartman. UK contribution from the University of Nottingham, Rothamsted Research and the University of Birmingham. This multinational collaboration looks into the relationship of how ethylene mediated nitric-oxide signaling responds to environmental signals.


Dittrich M, Mueller HM, Bauer H, Peirats-Llobet M, Rodriguez PL, Geilfus CM, Carpentier SC, Al Rasheid KAS, Kollist H, Merilo E, Herrmann J, Müller T, Ache P, Hetherington AM, Hedrich R (2019) The role of Arabidopsis ABA receptors from the PYR/PYL/RCAR family in stomatal acclimation and closure signal integration. Nat Plants. doi: 10.1038/s41477-019-0490-0
Lead author Marcus Dittrich. UK contribution from the University of Bristol. This work looks at the role of ABA signaling in stomatal responses and that the multiple ABA receptors can be modulated differentially in a stimulus-specific manner.


Villaécija-Aguilar JA, Hamon-Josse M, Carbonnel S, Kretschmar A, Schmid C, Dawid C, Bennett T, Gutjahr C (2019). SMAX1/SMXL2 regulate root and root hair development downstream of KAI2-mediated signalling in Arabidopsis. PLoS Genet. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008327 Open Access

Lead author Jose Antonio Villaécija-Aguilar. UK contribution from the University of Leeds and The Sainsbury lab, University of Cambridge. This demonstrates that KAI2 signalling through SMAX1/SMXL2 , is an important new regulator of root hair and root development in Arabidopsis.

GARNet Research Roundup: April 29th 2019

This edition of the GARNet research roundup features fundamental plant science research conducted in a range of experimental organisms. Firstly Liam Dolan’s lab in Oxford looks at the function of bHLHs proteins in cell differentiation across land plant evolution. Secondly Anthony Hall’s group at the Earlham Institute have identified a novel RecQ helicase involved in work exclusively conducted in wheat. Thirdly researchers from Nottingham work with Arabidopsis to characterise an EXPANSIN protein essential for lateral root development.

The fourth paper is the first of two that look at germination and uses a new model, Aethionema arabicum, to study the role of light in seed dormancy. This work includes research from Royal Holloway. The second ‘dormancy’ paper is from Peter Eastmond’s lab at Rothamsted and further characterises the DOG1 gene in Arabidopsis. The penultimate paper includes co-authors from Warwick and Leeds and introduces a novel chemical inhibitor of auxin transport. The final paper from researchers in Birmingham introduces the 3DCellAtlas Meristem, a powerful tool for cellular annotation of the shoot apical meristem.


Bonnot C, Hetherington AJ, Champion C, Breuninger H, Kelly S, Dolan L (2019) Neofunctionalisation of basic helix loop helix proteins occurred when embryophytes colonised the land. New Phytol. doi: 10.1111/nph.15829 https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/nph.15829

Clemence Bonnot is lead author on this study from Liam Dolan’s lab at the University of Oxford in which the authors assess the role of ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE SIX-LIKE (RSL) genes during evolution of plant development. They look at the function of a member of this bHLH transcription factor family called CbbHLHVIII identified in the charophyceaen alga Chara braunii. This gene is expressed at specific morphologically important regions in the algae and cannot rescue the function of related RSL genes in Marchantia or Arabidopsis. This suggests that the function of RSL proteins in cell differentiation has evolved by neofunctionalisation through land plant lineages.


Gardiner LJ, Wingen LU, Bailey P, Joynson R, Brabbs T, Wright J, Higgins JD, Hall N, Griffiths S, Clavijo BJ, Hall A (2019) Analysis of the recombination landscape of hexaploid bread wheat reveals genes controlling recombination and gene conversion frequency. Genome Biol. 20(1):69. doi: 10.1186/s13059-019-1675-6 https://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-019-1675-6

Open Access

Laura Gardiner and Anthony Hall lead this work that was conducted at the Earlham Institute and uses a bespoke set of bioinformatic tools that allow fundamental questions to be asked in hexaploid wheat. They looked at crossover and gene conversion frequencies in 13 recombinant inbred mapping populations and were able to identity an important QTL and confirm functionality for a novel RecQ helicase gene. This gene does not exist in Arabidopsis and therefore this discovery-motivated research needed to be conducted in wheat. They hope that this identification will provide future opportunities to tackle the challenge of linkage drag when attempting to develop new crops varieties.


Ramakrishna P, Ruiz Duarte P, Rance GA, Schubert M, Vordermaier V, Vu LD, Murphy E, Vilches Barro A, Swarup K, Moirangthem K, Jørgensen B, van de Cotte B, Goh T, Lin Z, Voβ U, Beeckman T, Bennett MJ, Gevaert K, Maizel A, De Smet I (2019) EXPANSIN A1-mediated radial swelling of pericycle cells positions anticlinal cell divisions during lateral root initiation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Apr 3. pii: 201820882. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1820882116 https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/04/02/1820882116.long

Open Access

This pan-European study is led by Priya Ramakrishna at the University of Nottingham and includes co-authors from the UK, Belgium, Germany and Denmark. The authors look at the lateral root development and characterise the function of the EXPANSIN A1 protein. This protein influences the physical changes in the cell wall that are needed to enable the asymmetry cell divisions that define the location of a new lateral root. Plants lacking EXPA1 function do not properly form lateral roots and are unable to correctly respond to an inductive auxin signal. This clearly demonstrates an important requirement for the activity of genes that transmit cell signals into the physical relationships that exist between cells.

https://plantmethods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13007-019-0413-0

Mérai Z, Graeber K, Wilhelmsson P, Ullrich KK, Arshad W, Grosche C, Tarkowská D, Turečková V, Strnad M, Rensing SA, Leubner-Metzger G, Scheid OM (2019) Aethionema arabicum: a novel model plant to study the light control of seed germination. J Exp Bot. pii: erz146. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz146

https://academic.oup.com/jxb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jxb/erz146/5428144

Open Access

This paper includes authors from the UK, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic including Kai Graeber and Gerhard Leubner-Metzger at Royal Holloway. They introduce the Brassica Aethionema arabicum as a new model to investigate the mechanism of germination inhibition by light as they have identified accessions that are either light-sensitive or light-neutral. In contrast germination in Arabidopsis is stimulated by light. Transcriptome analysis of Aethionema arabicum accessions reveal expression changes in key hormone-regulated genes. Overall they show that largely the same module of molecular components are involved in control of of seed dormancy irrespective of the effect of light on germination. Therefore any phenotypic changes likely result from changes in the activity organisms-specific of these genes.

https://academic.oup.com/jxb/advance-article/doi/10.1093/jxb/erz146/5428144

Bryant FM, Hughes D, Hassani-Pak K, Eastmond PJ (2019) Basic LEUCINE ZIPPER TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR 67 transactivates DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 to establish primary seed dormancy in Arabidopsis. Plant Cell. pii: tpc.00892.2018. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00892 http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2019/04/08/tpc.18.00892.long

Open Access

http://www.plantcell.org/content/early/2019/04/08/tpc.18.00892.long

Fiona Bryant is lead author on this research from Rothamsted Research that investigates the factors that control expression of the DOG1 gene, which is a key regulator of seed dormancy. They show that LEUCINE ZIPPER TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR67 (bZIP67) regulates DOG1 expression and have uncovered a mechanism that describes the temperature-dependent regulation of DOG1 expression. Finally they identity a molecular change that explains known allelic difference in DOG1 function, which informs different levels of dormancy in different accessions.


Oochi A, Hajny J, Fukui K, Nakao Y, Gallei M, Quareshy M, Takahashi K, Kinoshita T, Harborough SR, Kepinski S, Kasahara H, Napier RM, Friml J, Hayashi KI (2019) Pinstatic acid promotes auxin transport by inhibiting PIN internalization. Plant Physiol. 2019 Apr 1. pii: pp.00201.2019. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.00201 http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/early/2019/04/01/pp.19.00201.long

Open Access

http://www.plantphysiol.org/content/early/2019/04/01/pp.19.00201.long

This Japanese-led study includes co-authors from the Universities of Warwick and Leeds and describes the identification of a novel positive chemical modulator of auxin cellular efflux. This aptly named PInStatic Acid (PISA) prevents PIN protein internalization yet does not impact the SCFTIR1/AFB signaling cascade. Therefore the authors hope that PISA will be a useful tool for unpicking the cellular mechanisms that control auxin transport.


Montenegro-Johnson T, Strauss S, Jackson MDB, Walker L, Smith RS, Bassel GW. (2019) 3D Cell Atlas Meristem: a tool for the global cellular annotation of shoot apical meristems. Plant Methods. 15:33. doi: 10.1186/s13007-019-0413-0

https://plantmethods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13007-019-0413-0

Open Access

Thomas Montenegro-Johnson, Soeren Strauss, Matthew Jackson and Liam Walker lead this methods paper that was prepared following research that took place at the University of Birmingham and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne. They describe the 3DCellAtlas Meristem, a tool allows the complete cellular annotation of cells within a shoot apical meristem (SAM), which they have successfully tested in both Arabidopsis and tomato. The authors state that ‘this provides a rapid and robust means to perform comprehensive cellular annotation of SAMs and digital single cell analyses, including cell geometry and gene expression’.

https://plantmethods.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13007-019-0413-0

GARNet Research Roundup: March 7th 2019

This edition of the GARNet research roundup begins with a study into the genetic basis of fertility in barley led by Sarah McKim from Dundee. Second is a study from Oxford and Leicester that characterizes the proteolytic control of chloroplast import. The third paper from Levi Yant’s group at JIC and Nottingham that attempts to discover the influence of polyploidism on population genomic effects whilst the fourth paper from Juliet Coates’ lab in Birmingham uses the growth of Arabidopsis to assess the potential of algal biomass as a biofertiliser. The next two papers include co-authors from Oxford and Warwick respectively and investigate different factors that control seed viability in Arabidopsis and Brassica oleracea. The final paper includes Seth Davies from York as a co-author on a study that looks at control of the circadian clock in field-grown Arabidopsis.


Zwirek M, Waugh R, McKim SM (2019) Interaction between row-type genes in barley controls meristem determinacy and reveals novel routes to improved grain. New Phytol. doi: 10.1111/nph.15548

Open Access

Current GARNet committee members Sarah McKim is the leader of this study in which first author is Monica Zwirek. They investigate the mechanism through which the barley VRS genes contribute to spikelet fertility. They undercover the epistatic relationship between five VRS genes that explains how they contribute to controlling fertility of lateral spikelets. Importantly they demonstrate that various vrs mutant combinations improve fertility in a variety of ways, information that will be useful during the generation of new varieties of barley.

https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/nph.15548

Ling Q, Broad W, Trösch R, Töpel M, Demiral Sert T, Lymperopoulos P, Baldwin A, Jarvis RP (2019) Ubiquitin-dependent chloroplast-associated protein degradation in plants. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aav4467

Qihua Ling and William Broad are the first authors on this study from the Universities of Oxford and Leicester. They investigate the role of proteolysis in the functional control of chloroplast-envelope translocases, which are required for the transport of proteins from nucleus-encoded genes into the chloroplast. They identify two newly characterised proteins that function in the same pathway as the known ubiquitin E3 ligase SP1. These novel proteins, SP2 and CDC48, are both required for the movement of ubiquitinated proteins from the chloroplast outer envelope membrane (OEM) into the cytosol, where they are degraded by the proteolytic machinery. This process of chloroplast-associated protein degradation (CHLORAD) maintains tight control of the activity of OEM proteins and is essential for organelle function.

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6429/eaav4467.long

Monnahan P, Kolář F, Baduel P, Sailer C, Koch J, Horvath R, Laenen B, Schmickl R, Paajanen P, Šrámková G, Bohutínská M, Arnold B, Weisman CM, Marhold K, Slotte T, Bomblies K, Yant L (2019) Pervasive population genomic consequences of genome duplication in Arabidopsis arenosa. Nat Ecol Evol. doi: 10.1038/s41559-019-0807-4.

Patrick Monnahan at the John Innes Centre is first author on this study from the Yant lab that has recently moved to the University of Nottingham. In this collaboration with colleagues in the US, Austria, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, they have performed large scale sequencing on 39 populations of Arabidopsis arenosa. These plants have differing levels of ploidy and they are attempting to understand how ploidy effects population genomics. They demonstrate that the ploidy effects are subtle but significant and that masking of deleterious mutations, faster substitution rates and interploidy introgression will likely impact the evolution of populations where polyploidy is common.


Ghaderiardakani F, Collas E, Damiano DK, Tagg K, Graham NS, Coates J (2019) Effects of green seaweed extract on Arabidopsis early development suggest roles for hormone signalling in plant responses to algal fertilisers. Sci Rep. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-38093-2

Open Access

This work from the Coates lab at the University of Birmingham is led by Fatemeh Ghaderiardakani and looked into the potential of algal extracts as biofertiliser. They showed that at >0.1%, extracts taken from the common green seaweed Ulva intestinalis inhibit Arabidopsis seed germination and root elongation. At lower concentrations primary root elongation was promoted albeit with a complete loss of lateral root formation. Elemental analysis allows the authors to suggest that this effect was mediated via a novel mechanism involving aluminium. Overall the authors caution against the use of algal biofertilisers due to potential unforeseen negative effects on plant growth.


Viñegra de la Torre N, Kaschani F, Kaiser M, van der Hoorn RAL, Soppe WJJ, Misas Villamil JC (2019) Dynamic hydrolase labelling as a marker for seed quality in Arabidopsis seeds. Biochem J. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20180911.

GARNet Committee member Renier van der Hoorn is a co-author on this German-led study that investigates how the activity of seed-localised proteases can affect Arabidopsis seed germination. This study has clear real-world application regarding the storage of economically important seed stocks. They show that vacuolar processing enzymes (VPEs) become more active during aging whilst the activity of serine hydrolases declines alongside seed quality. This information has allowed the authors to develop protease-activity-based markers that will provide information about seed quality.


Schausberger C, Roach T, Stöggl WM, Arc E, Finch-Savage WE, Kranner I (2019) Abscisic acid-determined seed vigour differences do not influence redox regulation during ageing. Biochem J. doi: 10.1042/BCJ20180903

William Finch-Savage from the University of Warwick is a co-author on this Austrian-led study that looks at the effect of aging on the quality of Brassica oleracea seeds stored at two oxygen concentrations. Higher O2 causes a more rapid decrease in seed quality through aging yet in contrast aging did not alter the impact of the hormone ABA on seed viability. This study enables the authors to uncover two mechanisms that control seed quality that appear to act through different mechanisms.


Rubin MJ, Brock MT, Davis SJ, Weinig C (2019) QTL Underlying Circadian Clock Parameters Under Seasonally Variable Field Settings in Arabidopsis thaliana G3 (Bethesda). doi: 10.1534/g3.118.200770

Open Access

Seth Davies from the University of York is a co-author on this study led by Matthew Rubin from the University of Wyoming. They looked at the growth of Arabidopsis thaliana recombinant inbred lines grown in field conditions and found an extremely nuanced relationship regarding how QTLs that influence the circadian clock respond to environmental conditions. For example the authors showed that plant growth in June, July and September is controlled by different QTL architecture, demonstrating the complex regulation of the circadian clock in these field growth plants.

GARNet Research Roundup: January 31st 2019

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Published on: January 31, 2019

This edition of the GARNet research roundup has an initial focus on the shoot apical meristem. Firstly a study from the University of Birmingham performs network analysis to define the connections that control the global organisation of this tissue.

Second is the first of a group of papers involving authors from the Sainsbury Lab, Cambridge University and the University of Cambridge. Henrik Jönsson and Henrik Ahl contribute to a study that refines our understanding about the role of auxin in leaf dorsoventral patterning. Next from SLCU are two papers published in collaboration with the University of Helsinki that identify a set of novel regulators of cambial development.

The final SLCU paper from James Locke’s group attempts to tackle the challenging topic of ‘noise’ in biological systems. The final paper from the University of Cambridge investigate factors involved in karrikin signaling.

The penultimate paper characterises the LINC complex in monocots and includes authors from Oxford Brookes University whilst the final paper is from the University of York and performs a structural analysis of a key enzyme involved in the potential phytoremediation of TNT.


Jackson MDB, Duran-Nebreda S, Kierzkowski D, Strauss S, Xu H, Landrein B, Hamant O, Smith RS, Johnston IG, Bassel GW (2019) Global Topological Order Emerges through Local Mechanical Control of Cell Divisions in the Arabidopsis Shoot Apical Meristem. Cell Syst. doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2018.12.009

Open Access

George Bassel is corresponding author of this paper led by Matthew Jackson at the University of Birmingham. They use live 3D imaging and computational analysis to identify a network of cellular connections in the shoot apical meristem. They show that locally generated cell division rules lead to emergence of global tissue organisation, which facilitates cellular communication. In addition they show that global cellular organization requires the activity of the KATANIN protein.


Bhatia N, Åhl H, Jönsson H, Heisler MG (2019) Quantitative analysis of auxin sensing in leaf primordia argues against proposed role in regulating leaf dorsoventrality. Elife. doi: 10.7554/eLife.39298

Open Access

Henrik Jönsson and Henrik Ahl at SLCU are co-authors on this study led by Neha Bhatia at the University of Sydney. They use data gained from analysis of the R2D2 auxin sensor to argue against the current hypothesis stating that asymmetric auxin distribution is necessary to define the dorso-ventral polarity of the Arabidopsis leaf. They repeat previous experiments using the DII auxin sensor and through additional analysis using an auxin insensitive version of the sensor (mDII), provide results that contrast to previously published data.

https://elifesciences.org/articles/39298

Miyashima S, Roszak P, Sevilem I, Toyokura K, Blob B, Heo JO, Mellor N, Help-Rinta-Rahko H, Otero S, Smet W, Boekschoten M, Hooiveld G, Hashimoto K, Smetana O, Siligato R, Wallner ES, Mähönen AP, Kondo Y, Melnyk CW, Greb T, Nakajima K, Sozzani R, Bishopp A, De Rybel B, Helariutta Y (2019). Mobile PEAR transcription factors integrate positional cues to prime cambial growth. Nature doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0839-y

Smetana O, Mäkilä R, Lyu M, Amiryousefi A, Sánchez Rodríguez F, Wu MF, Solé-Gil A, Leal Gavarrón M, Siligato R, Miyashima S, Roszak P, Blomster T, Reed JW, Broholm S, Mähönen AP (2019). High levels of auxin signalling define the stem-cell organizer of the vascular cambium. Nature. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0837-0

These back-to-back manuscripts include Pawel Roszak from the SLCU as an author in both papers. The corresponding author for the first paper, which is a true global collaboration, is Yrjo Helariutta who holds research positions at both SLCU and the University of Helsinki. These papers introduce a new signalling module of transcriptional factors that control radial growth initiated in procambial cells. In root protophloem cells cytokinin induces the expression of a newly characterised set of PEAR transcription factors, which form a short-range concentration gradient and initiate radial growth. To maintain tight developmental control of this program PEAR protein activity is antagonised by HD-ZIP III proteins, whose expression domain is controlled by the activity of auxin and a set of mobile miRNAs. The identification of this signalling module increases our understanding about the factors that control the growth of woody tissues and therefore has enormous translational significance.


Cortijo S, Aydin Z, Ahnert S, Locke JC (2019) Widespread inter-individual gene expression variability in Arabidopsis thaliana Mol Syst Biol. doi: 10.15252/msb.20188591

Open Access

Sandra Cortijo is the lead author of this paper and works with James Locke at SLCU. They have attempted to address the fundamental question of noise within biological outputs through analysis of gene expression from a set of identical Arabidopsis plants grown in identical conditions. They identify hundreds of genes that show variable expression between these plants, with different gene sets changing throughout the diurnal cycle. They further define this variability by identifying gene length, the number of transcription factors regulating the genes and the chromatin environment as contributory factors to explain why this variation occurs.


Swarbreck SM, Guerringue Y, Matthus E, Jamieson FJC, Davies JM (2019) Impairment in karrikin but not strigolactone sensing enhances root skewing in Arabidopsis thaliana. Plant J. doi: 10.1111/tpj.14233

Stéphanie Swarbreck is the first author of this work from Julia Davies’ lab at the University of Cambridge. They show that perception of karrikins (smoke-derived butenolides) through the interaction of the KAI2 hydrolase and MAX2 F-box protein occurs independent of strigolactone-sensing mechanism of the MAX2-D14 hydrolase interaction. Karrikins cause a root skewing phenotype so the authors use this output to identify that previously characterised SMAX1 (SUPPRESSOR OF MAX2-1)/SMXL2 and SMXL6,7,8 (SUPPRESSOR OF MAX2-1-LIKE) proteins are targets of degradation by the KAI2/MAX2 complex. Overall they show that KAI2/MAX2 limits root skewing but is not involved in the role KAI2 plays in gravi- or mechano-sensing. These results are indicative of a set of KAI2 specific ligands that control root skewing yet candidate proteins for these roles remain to be identified.


Gumber HK, McKenna JF, Estrada AL, Tolmie AF, Graumann K, Bass HW (2019) Identification and characterization of genes encoding the nuclear envelope LINC complex in the monocot species Zea mays. J Cell Sci. doi: 10.1242/jcs.221390

This paper is led by Hank Bass and Hardeep Gumber from Florida State University and includes Joe McKenna, Andrea Tolmie and Katja Graumann at Oxford Brookes as co-authors. They use phylogenetic and microscopic analysis to identify and characterise components of the nuclear-envelope spanning LINC (Linker of Nucleoskeleton to Cytoskeleton) complex in Zea mays. They identify a set of monocot-specific members of the LINC complex, which will allow an increased understanding about the functional linkages between the cytoplasm, nuclear envelope, nucleoplasm and chromatin.

Hank Bass discusses this paper on the GARNet YouTube channel. Hank and Katja are members of the EU COST action entitled ‘Impact of Nuclear Domains On Gene Expression and Plant Traits (INDEPTH).


Tzafestas K, Ahmad L, Dani MP, Grogan G, Rylott EL, Bruce NC (2018) Structure-Guided Mechanisms Behind the Metabolism of 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene by Glutathione Transferases U25 and U24 That Lead to Alternate Product Distribution Front Plant Sci. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01846

Open Access

Kyriakos Tzafestas is the first author on this paper from the University of York led by Neil Bruce. They perform a structural analysis of the Arabidopsis tau class glutathione transferase, GSTU25, which is involved in the phytoremediation of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT). This analysis identified of a key set of amino acids involved in a precise part of its enzymatic activity, which can in turn be transferred to the related, but enzymatically-inert GSTU24. These findings will aid in the development of increasingly efficient strategies for plant-based remediation of environmental TNT.

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