A crucial role for the putative Arabidopsis topoisomerase VI in plant growth and development.
ABSTRACT: Plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play important roles throughout plant growth and development. Plants defective in BR biosynthesis or perception display cell elongation defects and severe dwarfism. Two dwarf mutants named bin3 and bin5 with identical phenotypes to each other display some characteristics of BR mutants and are partially insensitive to exogenously applied BRs. In the dark, bin3 or bin5 seedlings are de-etiolated with short hypocotyls and open cotyledons. Light-grown mutant plants are dwarfs with short petioles, epinastic leaves, short inflorescence stems, and reduced apical dominance. We cloned BIN3 and BIN5 and show that BIN5 is one of three putative Arabidopsis SPO11 homologs (AtSPO11-3) that also shares significant homology to archaebacterial topoisomerase VI (TOP6) subunit A, whereas BIN3 represents a putative eukaryotic homolog of TOP6B. The pleiotropic dwarf phenotypes of bin5 establish that, unlike all of the other SPO11 homologs that are involved in meiosis, BIN5/AtSPO11-3 plays a major role during somatic development. Furthermore, microarray analysis of the expression of about 5500 genes in bin3 or bin5 mutants indicates that about 321 genes are down-regulated in both of the mutants, including 18 of 30 BR-induced genes. These results suggest that BIN3 and BIN5 may constitute an Arabidopsis topoisomerase VI that modulates expression of many genes, including those regulated by BRs.
Project description:The phytohormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play important roles in regulating cell elongation and cell size, and BR-related mutants in Arabidopsis display significant dwarf phenotypes. Cellulose is a biopolymer which has a major contribution to cell wall formation during cell expansion and elongation. However, whether BRs regulate cellulose synthesis, and if so, what the underlying mechanism of cell elongation induced by BRs is, is unknown. The content of cellulose and the expression levels of the cellulose synthase genes (CESAs) was measured in BR-related mutants and their wild-type counterpart. The chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP) experiments and genetic analysis were used to demonstrate that BRs regulate CESA genes. It was found here that the BR-deficient or BR-perceptional mutants contain less cellulose than the wild type. The expression of CESA genes, especially those related to primary cell wall synthesis, was reduced in det2-1 and bri1-301, and was only inducible by BRs in the BR-deficient mutant det2-1. CHIP experiments show that the BR-activated transcription factor BES1 can associate with upstream elements of most CESA genes particularly those related with the primary cell wall. Furthermore, over-expression of the BR receptor BRI1 in CESA1, 3, and 6 mutants can only partially rescue the dwarf phenotypes. Our findings provide potential insights into the mechanism that BRs regulate cellulose synthesis to accomplish the cell elongation process in plant development.
Project description:Obligatory homologous recombination (HR) is required for chiasma formation and chromosome segregation in meiosis I. Meiotic HR is initiated by DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), generated by Spo11, a homologue of the archaebacterial topoisomerase subunit Top6A. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Rad50, Mre11 and Com1/Sae2 are essential to process an intermediate of the cleavage reaction consisting of Spo11 covalently linked to the 5' termini of DNA. While Rad50 and Mre11 also confer genome stability to vegetative cells and are well conserved in evolution, Com1/Sae2 was believed to be fungal-specific. Here, we identify COM1/SAE2 homologues in all eukaryotic kingdoms. Arabidopsis thaliana Com1/Sae2 mutants are sterile, accumulate AtSPO11-1 during meiotic prophase and fail to form AtRAd51 foci despite the presence of unrepaired DSBs. Furthermore, DNA fragmentation in AtCom1 is suppressed by eliminating AtSPO11-1. In addition, AtCOM1 is specifically required for mitomycin C resistance. Interestingly, we identified CtIP, an essential protein interacting with the DNA repair machinery, as the mammalian homologue of Com1/Sae2, with important implications for the molecular role of CtIP.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) play an essential role in plant growth, and BRI1-EMS suppressor 1 (BES1)/brassinazole-resistant 1 (BZR1) family transcription factors integrate a variety of plant signaling pathways. Despite the fact that BRs inhibit nodulation in leguminous plants, how BRs modulate rhizobia-host interactions and nodule morphogenesis is unknown. Here, we show that GmBEHL1, a soybean homolog of Arabidopsis BES1/BZR1 homolog 1 (BEH1), is an interacting partner of Nodule Number Control 1, a transcriptional repressor that mediates soybean nodulation. GmBEHL1 was highly expressed at the basal parts of emerging nodules, and its expression gradually expanded during nodule maturation. The overexpression and downregulation of GmBEHL1 inhibited and enhanced the number of nodules, respectively, in soybean. Intriguingly, alterations in GmBEHL1 expression repressed the expression of genes in the BR biosynthesis pathway, including homologs of Arabidopsis Constitutive Photomorphogenesis and Dwarf and Dwarf 4. We also detected an interaction between GmBEHL1 and GmBIN2, a putative BR-insensitive 2 (BIN2) homolog, in soybean. Moreover, BR treatment reduced the number, but increased the size, of soybean nodules. Our results reveal GmBEHL1 to be a potent gene that integrates BR signaling with nodulation signaling pathways to regulate symbiotic nodulation.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are plant hormones that regulate growth and development. They share structural similarities with animal steroids, which are decisive factors of sex determination. BRs are known to regulate morphogenesis and environmental stress responses, but their involvement in sex determination in plants has been only speculative. We show that BRs control sex determination in maize revealed through characterization of the classical dwarf mutant nana plant1 (na1), which also feminizes male flowers. na1 plants carry a loss-of-function mutation in a DET2 homolog--a gene in the BR biosynthetic pathway. The mutant accumulates the DET2-specific substrate (24R)-24-methylcholest-4-en-3-one with a concomitant decrease of downstream BR metabolites. Treatment of wild-type maize plants with BR biosynthesis inhibitors completely mimicked both dwarf and tasselseed phenotypes of na1 mutants. Tissue-specific na1 expression in anthers throughout their development supports the hypothesis that BRs promote masculinity of the male inflorescence. These findings suggest that, in the monoecious plant maize, BRs have been coopted to perform a sex determination function not found in plants with bisexual flowers.
Project description:Meiotic recombination is initiated from the formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). In Arabidopsis, several proteins, such as AtPRD1, AtPRD2, AtPRD3, AtDFO and topoisomerase (Topo) VI-like complex, have been identified as playing important roles in DSB formation. Topo VI-like complex in Arabidopsis may consist of subunit A (Topo VIA: AtSPO11-1 and AtSPO11-2) and subunit B (Topo VIB: MTOPVIB). Little is known about their roles in Arabidopsis DSB formation. Here, we report on the characterization of the MTOPVIB gene using the Arabidopsis mutant alleles mtopVIB-2 and mtopVIB-3, which were defective in DSB formation. mtopVIB-3 exhibited abortion in embryo sac and pollen development, leading to a significant reduction in fertility. The mtopVIB mutations affected the homologous chromosome synapsis and recombination. MTOPVIB could interact with Topo VIA proteins AtSPO11-1 and AtSPO11-2. AtPRD1 interacted directly with Topo VI-like proteins. AtPRD1 also could interact with AtPRD3 and AtDFO. The results indicated that AtPRD1 may act as a bridge protein to interact with AtPRD3 and AtDFO, and interact directly with the Topo VI-like proteins MTOPVIB, AtSPO11-1 and AtSPO11-2 to take part in DSB formation in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Meiotic recombination is initiated by the formation of numerous DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) catalysed by the widely conserved Spo11 protein. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Spo11 requires nine other proteins for meiotic DSB formation; however, unlike Spo11, few of these are conserved across kingdoms. In order to investigate this recombination step in higher eukaryotes, we took advantage of a high-throughput meiotic mutant screen carried out in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. A collection of 55,000 mutant lines was screened, and spo11-like mutations, characterised by a drastic decrease in chiasma formation at metaphase I associated with an absence of synapsis at prophase, were selected. This screen led to the identification of two populations of mutants classified according to their recombination defects: mutants that repair meiotic DSBs using the sister chromatid such as Atdmc1 or mutants that are unable to make DSBs like Atspo11-1. We found that in Arabidopsis thaliana at least four proteins are necessary for driving meiotic DSB repair via the homologous chromosomes. These include the previously characterised DMC1 and the Hop1-related ASY1 proteins, but also the meiotic specific cyclin SDS as well as the Hop2 Arabidopsis homologue AHP2. Analysing the mutants defective in DSB formation, we identified the previously characterised AtSPO11-1, AtSPO11-2, and AtPRD1 as well as two new genes, AtPRD2 and AtPRD3. Our data thus increase the number of proteins necessary for DSB formation in Arabidopsis thaliana to five. Unlike SPO11 and (to a minor extent) PRD1, these two new proteins are poorly conserved among species, suggesting that the DSB formation mechanism, but not its regulation, is conserved among eukaryotes.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroidal plant hormones essential for normal plant growth and development. Mutants in the biosynthesis or perception of BRs are usually dwarf. The tomato Dwarf gene (D), which was predicted to encode a cytochrome P450 enzyme (P450) with homology to other P450s involved in BR biosynthesis, was cloned previously. Here, we show that DWARF catalyses the C-6 oxidation of 6-deoxocastasterone (6-deoxoCS) to castasterone (CS), the immediate precursor of brassinolide. To do this, we first confirmed that the D cDNA complemented the mutant light- and dark-grown phenotypes of the extreme dwarf (dx) allele of tomato. To identify a substrate for the DWARF enzyme, exogenous application of BR intermediates to dx plants was carried out. C-6 oxoBR intermediates enhanced hypocotyl elongation whereas the C-6 deoxoBR, 6-deoxoCS, had little effect. Quantitative analysis of endogenous BR levels in tomato showed mainly the presence of 6-deoxoBRs. Furthermore, dx plants were found to lack CS and had a high level of 6-deoxoCS in comparison to D plants that had CS and a lower level of 6-deoxoCS. Confirmation that DWARF catalyzed the C-6 oxidation of 6-deoxoCS to CS was obtained by functional expression of DWARF in yeast. In these experiments, the intermediate 6alpha-hydroxycastasterone was identified, indicating that DWARF catalyzes two steps in BR biosynthesis. These data show that DWARF is involved in the C-6 oxidation in BR biosynthesis.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroidal phytohormones that are involved in diverse physiological processes and affect many important traits, such as plant stature, stress tolerance, leaf angle, fertility, and grain filling. BR signaling and biosynthetic pathways have been studied in various plants, such as the model dicot Arabidopsis thaliana; however, relatively little is known about these pathways in monocots.To characterize BR-related processes in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon, we studied the response of these plants to the specific BR biosynthesis inhibitor, propiconazole (Pcz). We found that treatments with Pcz produced a dwarf phenotype in B. distachyon seedlings, similar to that observed in Pcz-treated Arabidopsis plants and in characterized BR-deficient mutants. Through bioinformatics analysis, we identified a list of putative homologs of genes known to be involved in BR biosynthesis and signaling in Arabidopsis, such as DWF4, BR6OX2, CPD, BRI1, and BIN2. Evaluating the response of these genes to Pcz treatments revealed that candidates for BdDWF4, BR6OX2 and, CPD were under feedback regulation. In addition, Arabidopsis plants heterologously expressing BdDWF4 displayed tall statures and elongated petioles, as would be expected in plants with elevated levels of BRs. Moreover, heterologous expression of BdBIN2 in Arabidopsis resulted in dwarfism, suggesting that BdBIN2 functions as a negative regulator of BR signaling. However, the dwarf phenotypes of Arabidopsis bri1-5, a weak BRI1 mutant allele, were not complemented by overexpression of BdBRI1, indicating that BdBRI1 and BRI1 are not functionally equivalent.We identified components of the BR biosynthetic and signaling pathways in Brachypodium, and provided examples of both similarities and differences in the BR biology of these two plants. Our results suggest a framework for understanding BR biology in monocot crop plants such as Zea mays (maize) and Oryza sativa (rice).
Project description:The initiation of meiotic recombination by the formation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) catalysed by the Spo11 protein is strongly evolutionary conserved. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Spo11 requires nine other proteins for meiotic DSB formation, but, unlike Spo11, few of these proteins seem to be conserved across kingdoms. In order to investigate this recombination step in higher eukaryotes, we have isolated a new gene, AtPRD1, whose mutation affects meiosis in Arabidopsis thaliana. In Atprd1 mutants, meiotic recombination rates fall dramatically, early recombination markers (e.g., DMC1 foci) are absent, but meiosis progresses until achiasmatic univalents are formed. Besides, Atprd1 mutants suppress DSB repair defects of a large range of meiotic mutants, showing that AtPRD1 is involved in meiotic recombination and is required for meiotic DSB formation. Furthermore, we showed that AtPRD1 and AtSPO11-1 interact in a yeast two-hybrid assay, suggesting that AtPRD1 could be a partner of AtSPO11-1. Moreover, our study reveals similarity between AtPRD1 and the mammalian protein Mei1, suggesting that AtPRD1 could be a Mei1 functional homologue.
Project description:The Spo11 protein of yeast has been found to be covalently bound to double-strand breaks in meiosis, demonstrating a unique role of the protein in the formation of these breaks. Homologues of the SPO11 gene have been found in various eukaryotes, indicating that the machinery involved in meiotic recombination is conserved in eukaryotes. Here we report on SPO11 homologues in plants. In contrast to what is known from other eukaryotes, Arabidopsis thaliana carries in its genome at least two SPO11 homologues, AtSPO11-1 and AtSPO11-2. Both genes are not more closely related to each other than to other eukaryotic SPO11 homologues, indicating that they did not arise via a recent duplication event during higher plant evolution. For both genes three different poly-adenylation sites were found. AtSPO11-1 is expressed not only in generative but also to a lesser extent in somatic tissues. We were able to detect in different organs various AtSPO11-1 cDNAs in which introns were differently spliced-a surprising phenomenon also reported for SPO11 homologues in mammals. In the case of AtSPO11-2 we found that the 3' end of the mRNA is overlapping with a mRNA produced by a gene located in inverse orientation next to it. This points to a possible antisense regulation mechanism. Our findings hint to the intriguing possibility that, at least for plants, Spo11-like proteins might have more and possibly other biological functions than originally anticipated for yeast.