The knotted1-like homeobox gene BREVIPEDICELLUS regulates cell differentiation by modulating metabolic pathways.
ABSTRACT: Members of the KNOX gene family have important roles in plant meristems by regulating cell division and differentiation. BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP), one of seven KNOX genes in Arabidopsis, has a primary role in internode patterning. We carried out a comparison of RNA expression profiles between wild-type seedlings and bp mutants at a developmental stage prior to a visible phenotypic difference. Transcript differences were found for a number of genes in cell wall biosynthesis, especially genes in the lignin pathway. The regulation of lignin biosynthesis by BP was demonstrated by observing increased lignin deposition in bp mutants following bolting, decreased lignification in plants overexpressing BP, and aberrant lignin deposition in discrete regions of the bp stem. Furthermore, we showed that BP binds promoters of some genes in the lignin pathway. Our results provide a metabolic fingerprint for BP and identify the lignin pathway as one of the coordinate processes that BP regulates.
Project description:Stone cells are a characteristic trait of pear fruit, but the contents and sizes of stone cells negatively correlate with fruit texture and flavor. Secondary cell wall thickening and lignification have been established as key steps of stone cell development. KNOTTED-LIKE HOMEOBOX (KNOX) proteins play important roles in plant cell growth and development, including cell wall formation and lignification. Although the characteristics and biological functions of KNOX proteins have been investigated in other plants, this gene family has not been functionally characterized in pear. Eighteen PbKNOX genes were identified in the present study, and all of the identified family members contained the KNOX I and/or KNOX II domains. Based on the phylogenetic tree and chromosomal localization, the 18 PbKNOX genes were divided into five subfamilies [SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM)-like, BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP)-like, KNOTTED ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA 2/6 (KNAT2/6)-like, KNAT7-like, and KNAT3-5-like] and were distributed among 10 chromosomes. In addition, we identified 9, 11, and 11 KNOX genes in the genomes of grape, mei, and strawberry, respectively, and the greatest number of collinear KNOX gene pairs formed between pears and peaches. Analyses of the spatiotemporal expression patterns showed that the tissue specificity of PbKNOX gene expression was not very significant and that the level of the PbKNOX1 transcript showed an opposite trend to the levels of stone cells and lignin accumulation. Furthermore, PbKNOX1 has high sequence identity and similarity with Arabidopsis BP. Compared with wild-type Arabidopsis, plants overexpressing PbKNOX1 not only showed an approximately 19% decrease in the secondary cell wall thickness of vessel cells but also exhibited an approximately 13% reduction in the lignin content of inflorescence stems. Moreover, the expression of several genes involved in lignin biosynthesis was downregulated in transgenic lines. Based on our results, PbKNOX1/BP participates in cell wall-thickening and lignin biosynthesis and represses the transcription of key structural genes involved in lignin synthesis, providing genetic evidence for the roles of KNOX in cell wall thickening and lignin biosynthesis in pear.
Project description:BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP or KNAT1), a class-I KNOTTED1-like homeobox (KNOX) transcription factor in Arabidopsis thaliana, contributes to shaping the normal inflorescence architecture through negatively regulating other two class-I KNOX genes, KNAT2 and KNAT6. However, the molecular mechanism of BP-mediated transcription regulation remains unclear. In this study, we showed that BP directly interacts with the SWI2/SNF2 chromatin remodeling ATPase BRAHMA (BRM) both in vitro and in vivo. Loss-of-function BRM mutants displayed inflorescence architecture defects, with clustered inflorescences, horizontally orientated pedicels, and short pedicels and internodes, a phenotype similar to the bp mutants. Furthermore, the transcript levels of KNAT2 and KNAT6 were elevated in brm-3, bp-9 and brm-3 bp-9 double mutants. Increased histone H3 lysine 4 tri-methylation (H3K4me3) levels were detected in brm-3, bp-9 and brm-3 bp-9 double mutants. Moreover, BRM and BP co-target to KNAT2 and KNAT6 genes, and BP is required for the binding of BRM to KNAT2 and KNAT6. Taken together, our results indicate that BP interacts with the chromatin remodeling factor BRM to regulate the expression of KNAT2 and KNAT6 in control of inflorescence architecture.
Project description:BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP) encodes a class-I KNOTTED1-like homeobox (KNOX) transcription factor that plays a critical role in conditioning a replication competent state in the apical meristem, and it also governs growth and cellular differentiation in internodes and pedicels. To search for factors that modify BP signaling, we conducted a suppressor screen on bp er (erecta) plants and identified a mutant that ameliorates many of the pleiotropic defects of the parent line. Map based cloning and complementation studies revealed that the defect lies in the FILAMENTOUS FLOWER (FIL) gene, a member of the YABBY family of transcriptional regulators that contribute to meristem organization and function, phyllotaxy, leaf and floral organ growth and polarity, and are also known to repress KNOX gene expression. Genetic and cytological analyses of the fil-10 suppressor line indicate that the role of FIL in promoting growth is independent of its previously characterized influences on meristem identity and lateral organ polarity, and likely occurs non-cell-autonomously from superior floral organs. Transcription profiling of inflorescences revealed that FIL downregulates numerous transcription factors which in turn may subordinately regulate inflorescence architecture. In addition, FIL, directly or indirectly, activates over a dozen genes involved in glucosinolate production in part by activating MYB28, a known activator of many aliphatic glucosinolate biosynthesis genes. In the bp er fil-10 suppressor mutant background, enhanced expression of CYP71A13, AMIDASE1 (AMI) and NITRILASE genes suggest that auxin levels can be modulated by shunting glucosinolate metabolites into the IAA biosynthetic pathway, and increased IAA levels in the bp er fil-10 suppressor accompany enhanced internode and pedicel elongation. We propose that FIL acts to oppose KNOX1 gene function through a complex regulatory network that involves changes in secondary metabolites and auxin.
Project description:Flowering plants display a remarkable range of inflorescence architecture, and pedicel characteristics are one of the key contributors to this diversity. However, very little is known about the genes or the pathways that regulate pedicel development. The brevipedicellus (bp) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana displays a unique phenotype with defects in pedicel development causing downward-pointing flowers and a compact inflorescence architecture. Cloning and molecular analysis of two independent mutant alleles revealed that BP encodes the homeodomain protein KNAT1, a member of the KNOX family. bp-1 is a null allele with deletion of the entire locus, whereas bp-2 has a point mutation that is predicted to result in a truncated protein. In both bp alleles, the pedicels and internodes were compact because of fewer cell divisions; in addition, defects in epidermal and cortical cell differentiation and elongation were found in the affected regions. The downward-pointing pedicels were produced by an asymmetric effect of the bp mutation on the abaxial vs. adaxial sides. Cell differentiation, elongation, and growth were affected more severely on the abaxial than adaxial side, causing the change in the pedicel growth angle. In addition, bp plants displayed defects in cell differentiation and radial growth of the style. Our results show that BP plays a key regulatory role in defining important aspects of the growth and cell differentiation of the inflorescence stem, pedicel, and style in Arabidopsis.
Project description:The KNOTTED-like (KNOX) genes encode homeodomain transcription factors and regulate several processes of plant organ development. The peach (Prunus persica L. Batsch) genome was found to contain 10 KNOX members (KNOPE genes); six of them were experimentally located on the Prunus reference map and the class 1 KNOPE1 was found to link to a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for the internode length in the peach×Ferganensis population. All the KNOPE genes were differentially transcribed in the internodes of growing shoots; the KNOPE1 mRNA abundance decreased progressively from primary (elongation) to secondary growth (radial expansion). During primary growth, the KNOPE1 mRNA was localized in the cortex and in the procambium/metaphloem zones, whereas it was undetected in incipient phloem and xylem fibres. KNOPE1 overexpression in the Arabidopsis bp4 loss-of-function background (35S:KNOPE1/bp genotype) restored the rachis length, suggesting, together with the QTL association, a role for KNOPE1 in peach shoot elongation. Several lignin biosynthesis genes were up-regulated in the bp4 internodes but repressed in the 35S:KNOPE1/bp lines similarly to the wild type. Moreover, the lignin deposition pattern of the 35S:KNOPE1/bp and the wild-type internodes were the same. The KNOPE1 protein was found to recognize in vitro one of the typical KNOX DNA-binding sites that recurred in peach and Arabidopsis lignin genes. KNOPE1 expression was inversely correlated with that of lignin genes and lignin deposition along the peach shoot stems and was down-regulated in lignifying vascular tissues. These data strongly support that KNOPE1 prevents cell lignification by repressing lignin genes during peach stem primary growth.
Project description:Class I KNOTTED-LIKE HOMEOBOX (KNOX) proteins regulate development of the multicellular diploid sporophyte in both mosses and flowering plants; however, the morphological context in which they function differs. In order to determine how Class I KNOX function was modified as land plants evolved, phylogenetic analyses and cross-species complementation assays were performed. Our data reveal that a duplication within the charophyte sister group to land plants led to distinct Class I and Class II KNOX gene families. Subsequently, Class I sequences diverged substantially in the nonvascular bryophyte groups (liverworts, mosses and hornworts), with moss sequences being most similar to those in vascular plants. Despite this similarity, moss mutants were not complemented by vascular plant KNOX genes. Conversely, the Arabidopsis brevipedicellus (bp-9) mutant was complemented by the PpMKN2 gene from the moss Physcomitrella patens. Lycophyte KNOX genes also complemented bp-9 whereas fern genes only partially complemented the mutant. This lycophyte/fern distinction is mirrored in the phylogeny of KNOX-interacting BELL proteins, in that a gene duplication occurred after divergence of the two groups. Together, our results imply that the moss MKN2 protein can function in a broader developmental context than vascular plant KNOX proteins, the narrower scope having evolved progressively as lycophytes, ferns and flowering plants diverged.
Project description:The inflorescence of flowering plants is a highly organized structure, not only contributing to plant reproductive processes, but also constituting an important part of the entire plant morphology. Previous studies have revealed that the class-I KNOTTED1-like homeobox (KNOX) genes BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP or KNAT1), KNAT2, and KNAT6 play essential roles in inflorescence architecture. Pedicel morphology is known to contribute greatly to inflorescence architecture, and BP negatively regulates KNAT2 and KNAT6 to ensure that pedicels have a normal upward-pointing orientation. These findings indicate that a genetic network exists in controlling pedicel orientation, but how this network functions in the developmental process remains elusive. Here it is reported that the ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA HOMEOBOX GENE1 (ATH1) gene, which belongs to the BELL1-like homeodomain gene family, is a new member participating in regulating pedicel orientation in the class-I KNOX network. In a genetic screening for suppressors of isoginchaku-2D, a gain-of-function ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 mutant that displays downward-pointing pedicels, a suppressor mutant was obtained. Characterization of this mutant revealed that the mutation corresponds to ATH1. Genetic analysis indicated that ATH1 acts mainly in the KNAT2 pathway. Yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays demonstrated that ATH1 physically interacts with KNAT2. The data indicate that the ATH1-KNAT2 complex acts redundantly with KNAT6, both of which are negatively regulated by BP during pedicel development.
Project description:KNOX transcription factors (TFs) regulate different aspects of plant development essentially through their effects on phytohormone metabolism. In particular, KNOX TF SHOOTMERISTEMLESS activates the cytokinin biosynthesis ISOPENTENYL TRANSFERASE (IPT) genes in the shoot apical meristem. However, the role of KNOX TFs in symbiotic nodule development and their possible effects on phytohormone metabolism during nodulation have not been studied to date. Cytokinin is a well-known regulator of nodule development, playing the key role in the regulation of cell division during nodule primordium formation. Recently, the activation of IPT genes was shown to take place during nodulation. Therefore, it was hypothesized that KNOX TFs may regulate nodule development and activate cytokinin biosynthesis upon nodulation. This study analysed the expression of different KNOX genes in Medicago truncatula Gaertn. and Pisum sativum L. Among them, the KNOX3 gene was upregulated in response to rhizobial inoculation in both species. pKNOX3::GUS activity was observed in developing nodule primordium. KNOX3 ectopic expression caused the formation of nodule-like structures on transgenic root without bacterial inoculation, a phenotype similar to one described previously for legumes with constitutive activation of the cytokinin receptor. Furthermore, in transgenic roots with MtKNOX3 knockdown, downregulation of A-type cytokinin response genes was found, as well as the MtIPT3 and LONELYGUY2 (MtLOG2) gene being involved in cytokinin activation. Taken together, these findings suggest that KNOX3 gene is involved in symbiotic nodule development and may regulate cytokinin biosynthesis/activation upon nodule development in legume plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The sepals, petals and stamens of Arabidopsis flowers detach via abscission zones formed at their boundaries with the underlying receptacle. The ASYMMETRIC LEAVES1 (AS1) MYB transcription factor plays a critical role in setting boundaries between newly formed leaf primordia and the shoot meristem. By repressing expression of a set of KNOTTED1-LIKE HOMEODOMAIN (KNOX) genes from developing leaf primordia, AS1 and its partner ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 allow the patterning and differentiation of leaves to proceed. Here we show a unique role for AS1 in establishing the positions of the sepal and petal abscission zones in Arabidopsis flowers. RESULTS: In as1 mutant flowers, the sepal abscission zones are displaced into inverted V-shaped positions, leaving behind triangular stubs of tissue when the organs abscise. Movement of the petal abscission zones is also apparent. Abscission of the medial sepals is delayed in as1 flowers; loss of chlorophyll in the senescing sepals contrasts with proximal zones that remain green. AS1 has previously been shown to restrict expression of the KNOX gene, BREVIPEDICELLUS (BP), from the sepals. We show here that loss of BP activity in as1 flowers is sufficient to restore the positions of the sepal and petal abscission zones, the sepal-receptacle boundary of the medial sepals and the timing of their abscission. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that AS1 activity is critical for the proper placement of the floral organ abscission zones, and influences the timing of organ shedding.
Project description:KNOTTED1 (KN1)-like homeobox (KNOX) transcription factors function in plant meristems, self-renewing structures consisting of stem cells and their immediate daughters. We defined the KN1 cistrome in maize inflorescences and found that KN1 binds to several thousand loci, including 643 genes that are modulated in one or multiple tissues. These KN1 direct targets are strongly enriched for transcription factors (including other homeobox genes) and genes participating in hormonal pathways, most significantly auxin, demonstrating that KN1 plays a key role in orchestrating the upper levels of a hierarchical gene regulatory network that impacts plant meristem identity and function.