BZIP transcription factors in the oomycete phytophthora infestans with novel DNA-binding domains are involved in defense against oxidative stress.
ABSTRACT: Transcription factors of the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family control development and stress responses in eukaryotes. To date, only one bZIP has been described in any oomycete; oomycetes are members of the stramenopile kingdom. In this study, we describe the identification of 38 bZIPs from the Phytophthora infestans genome. Half contain novel substitutions in the DNA-binding domain at a site that in other eukaryotes is reported to always be Asn. Interspecific comparisons indicated that the novel substitutions (usually Cys, but also Val and Tyr) arose after oomycetes diverged from other stramenopiles. About two-thirds of P. infestans bZIPs show dynamic changes in mRNA levels during the life cycle, with many of the genes being upregulated in sporangia, zoospores, or germinated zoospore cysts. One bZIP with the novel Cys substitution was shown to reside in the nucleus throughout growth and development. Using stable gene silencing, the functions of eight bZIPs with the Cys substitution were tested. All but one were found to play roles in protecting P. infestans from hydrogen peroxide-induced injury, and it is proposed that the novel Cys substitution serves as a redox sensor. A ninth bZIP lacking the novel Asn-to-Cys substitution, but having Cys nearby, was also shown through silencing to contribute to defense against peroxide. Little effect on asexual development, plant pathogenesis, or resistance to osmotic stress was observed in transformants silenced for any of the nine bZIPs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors are present exclusively in eukaryotes and constitute one of the largest and most diverse transcription factor families. The proteins are responsible for central developmental and physiological processes in plants, animals, and fungi, including the pathogenicity of fungal plant pathogens. However, there is limited understanding of bZIPs in oomycetes, which are fungus-like organisms in the kingdom Stramenopila. Oomycetes include many destructive plant pathogens, including the well-studied species Phytophthora sojae, which causes soybean stem and root rot. RESULTS: Candidate bZIPs encoded in the genomes of P. sojae and four other oomycetes, two diatoms, and two fungal species were predicted using bioinformatic methods. Comparative analysis revealed expanded numbers of bZIP candidates in oomycetes, especially the Phytophthora species, due to the expansion of several novel bZIP classes whose highly conserved asparagines in basic DNA-binding regions were substituted by other residues such as cysteine. The majority of these novel bZIP classes were mostly restricted to oomycetes. The large number of novel bZIPs appears to be the result of widespread gene duplications during oomycete evolution. The majority of P. sojae bZIP candidates, including both conventional and novel bZIP classes, were predicted to contain canonical protein secondary structures. Detection of gene transcripts using digital gene expression profiling and qRT-PCR suggested that most of the candidates were not pseudogenes. The major transcriptional shifts of bZIPs occurred during the zoosporangia/zoospore/cyst and host infection stages. Several infection-associated bZIP genes were identified that were positively regulated by H2O2 exposure. CONCLUSIONS: The identification of large classes of bZIP proteins in oomycetes with novel bZIP motif variants, that are conserved and developmentally regulated and thus presumably functional, extends our knowledge of this important family of eukaryotic transcription factors. It also lays the foundation for detailed studies of the roles of these proteins in development and infection in P. sojae and other oomycetes.
Project description:Basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors are widespread in eukaryotes, including plants, animals, fungi, and oomycetes. However, the functions of bZIPs in oomycetes are rarely known. In this study, we identified a bZIP protein possessing a special bZIP-PAS structure in Peronophythora litchii, named PlBZP32 We found that PlBZP32 is upregulated in zoospores, in cysts, and during invasive hyphal growth. We studied the functions of PlBZP32 using the RNAi technique to suppress the expression of this gene. PlBZP32-silenced mutants were more sensitive to oxidative stress, showed a lower cyst germination rate, and produced more sporangia than the wild-type strain SHS3. The PlBZP32-silenced mutants were also less invasive on the host plant. Furthermore, we analyzed the activities of extracellular peroxidases and laccases and found that silencing PlBZP32 decreased the activities of P. litchii peroxidase and laccase. To our knowledge, this is the first report that the functions of a bZIP-PAS protein are associated with oxidative stress, asexual development, and pathogenicity in oomycetes.IMPORTANCE In this study, we utilized the RNAi technique to investigate the functions of PlBZP32, which possesses a basic leucine zipper (bZIP)-PAS structure, and provided insights into the contributions of bZIP transcription factors to oxidative stress, the production of sporangia, the germination of cysts, and the pathogenicity of Peronophythora litchii This study also revealed the role of PlBZP32 in regulating the enzymatic activities of extracellular peroxidases and laccases in the plant-pathogenic oomycete.
Project description:Starch makes up 70% of the wheat grain, and is an important source of calories for humans, however, the overconsumption of wheat starch may contribute to nutrition-associated health problems. The challenge is to develop resistant starch including high amylose wheat varieties with health benefits. Adapting advance genomic approaches in EMS-induced mutant lines differing in amylose content, basic leucine zipper (bZIP) regulatory factors that may play role in controlling amylose biosynthesis were identified in wheat. bZIP transcription factors are key regulators of starch biosynthesis genes in rice and maize, but their role in regulating these genes in wheat is poorly understood. A genome-wide survey identified 370 wheat bZIPs, clustered in 11 groups, showing variations in amino acids composition and predicted physicochemical properties. Three approaches namely, whole transcriptome sequencing, qRT-PCR, and correlation analysis in contrasting high and low amylose mutants and their parent line identified 24 candidate bZIP (positive and negative regulators), suggesting bZIPs role in high amylose biosynthesis. bZIPs positive role in high amylose biosynthesis is not known. In silico interactome studies of candidate wheat bZIP homologs in Arabidopsis and rice identified their putative functional role. The identified bZIPs are involved in stress-related pathways, flower and seed development, and starch biosynthesis. An in-depth analysis of molecular mechanism of novel candidate bZIPs may help in raising and improving high amylose wheat varieties.
Project description:In eukaryotes phospholipase D (PLD) is involved in many cellular processes. Currently little is known about PLDs in oomycetes. Here we report that the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans has a large repertoire of PLDs divided over six subfamilies: PXPH-PLD, PXTM-PLD, TM-PLD, PLD-likes, and type A and B sPLD-likes. Since the latter have signal peptides we developed a method using metabolically labelled phospholipids to monitor if P. infestans secretes PLD. In extracellular medium of ten P. infestans strains PLD activity was detected as demonstrated by the production of phosphatidic acid and the PLD specific marker phosphatidylalcohol.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Transcription factors of the basic leucine zipper (bZIP) family control important processes in all eukaryotes. In plants, bZIPs are regulators of many central developmental and physiological processes including photomorphogenesis, leaf and seed formation, energy homeostasis, and abiotic and biotic stress responses. Here we performed a comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of bZIP genes from algae, mosses, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We identified 13 groups of bZIP homologues in angiosperms, three more than known before, that represent 34 Possible Groups of Orthologues (PoGOs). The 34 PoGOs may correspond to the complete set of ancestral angiosperm bZIP genes that participated in the diversification of flowering plants. Homologous genes dedicated to seed-related processes and ABA-mediated stress responses originated in the common ancestor of seed plants, and three groups of homologues emerged in the angiosperm lineage, of which one group plays a role in optimizing the use of energy. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggest that the ancestor of green plants possessed four bZIP genes functionally involved in oxidative stress and unfolded protein responses that are bZIP-mediated processes in all eukaryotes, but also in light-dependent regulations. The four founder genes amplified and diverged significantly, generating traits that benefited the colonization of new environments.
Project description:Oomycetes are a group of fungus-like eukaryotes with diverse microorganisms living in marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Many of them are important pathogens of plants and animals, causing severe economic losses. Based on previous study, gene expression in eukaryotic cells is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modification. However, little is known about epigenetic mechanisms of oomycetes.In this study, we investigated the candidate genes in regulating histone acetylation in oomycetes genomes through bioinformatics approaches and identified a group of diverse histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs), along with three putative novel HATs. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that most of these oomycetes HATs and HDACs derived from distinct evolutionary ancestors. Phylogenetic based analysis revealed the complex and distinct patterns of duplications and losses of HATs and HDACs in oomycetes. Moreover, gene expression analysis unveiled the specific expression patterns of the 33 HATs and 11 HDACs of Phytophthora infestans during the stages of development, infection and stress response.In this study, we reveal the structure, diversity and the phylogeny of HATs and HDACs of oomycetes. By analyzing the expression data, we provide an overview of the specific biological stages of these genes involved. Our datasets provide useful inputs to help explore the epigenetic mechanisms and the relationship between genomes and phenotypes of oomycetes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Plant basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors play crucial roles in plant growth, development, and abiotic stress responses. However, systematic investigation and analyses of the bZIP gene family in peanut are lacking in spite of the availability of the peanut genome sequence. RESULTS:In this study, we identified 50 and 45 bZIP genes from Arachis duranensis and A. ipaensis genomes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that Arachis bZIP genes were classified into nine groups, and these clusters were supported by several group-specific features, including exon/intron structure, intron phases, MEME motifs, and predicted binding site structure. We also identified possible variations in DNA-binding-site specificity and dimerization properties among different Arachis bZIPs by inspecting the amino acid residues at some key sites. Our analysis of the evolutionary history analysis indicated that segmental duplication, rather than tandem duplication, contributed greatly to the expansion of this gene family, and that most Arachis bZIPs underwent strong purifying selection. Through RNA-seq and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analyses, the co-expressed, differentially expressed and several well-studied homologous bZIPs were identified during seed development stages in peanut. We also used qRT-PCR to explore changes in bZIP gene expression in response to salt-treatment, and many candidate bZIPs in groups A, B, and S were proven to be associated with the salt-stress response. CONCLUSIONS:This study have conducted a genome-wide identification, characterization and expression analysis of bZIP genes in Arachis genomes. Our results provide insights into the evolutionary history of the bZIP gene family in peanut and the funcntion of Arachis bZIP genes during seed development and in response to salt stress.
Project description:Oomycetes are a family of eukaryotic microbes that superficially resemble fungi, but which are phylogenetically distinct from them. These organisms cause major global economic losses to agriculture and fisheries, with representative pathogens being Phytophthora infestans, the cause of late potato blight and Saprolegnia diclina, the instigator of "cotton molds" in fish. As in all eukaryotes, cytoplasmic Ca(2+) is a key second messenger in oomycetes, regulating life-cycle transitions, controlling motility and chemotaxis and, in excess, leading to cell-death. Despite this, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating cytoplasmic Ca(2+) concentrations in these organisms. Consequently, this review analyzed the presence of candidate calcium channels encoded within the nine oomycete genomes that are currently available. This revealed key differences between oomycetes and other eukaryotes, in particular the expansion and loss of different channel families, and the presence of a phylum-specific group of proteins, termed the polycystic kidney disease tandem ryanodine receptor domain (PKDRR) channels.
Project description:BACKGROUND: bZIPs are transcription factors that are found throughout the eukarya from fungi to flowering plants and mammals. They contain highly conserved basic region (BR) and leucine zipper (LZ) domains and often function as environmental sensors. Specifically, bZIPs frequently have a role in mediating the response to oxidative stress, a crucial environmental signal that needs to be transduced to the gene regulatory network. RESULTS: Based on sequence comparisons and experimental data on a number of important bZIP transcription factors, we predict which bZIPs are under redox control and which are regulated via protein phosphorylation. By integrating genomic, phylogenetic and functional data from the literature, we then propose a link between oxidative stress and the choice of interaction partners for the bZIP proteins. CONCLUSION: This integration permits the bZIP dimerization network to be interpreted in functional terms, especially in the context of the role of bZIP proteins in the response to environmental stress. This analysis demonstrates the importance of abiotic factors in shaping regulatory networks.
Project description:Dimeric basic leucine zipper (bZIP) proteins are conserved transcriptional enhancers found in all eukaryotes. A recently reported and novel function for bZIPs is association of these proteins with secondary metabolite production in filamentous fungi. In particular a Yap-like bZIP termed RsmA (restorer of secondary metabolism A) was identified in Aspergillus nidulans that positively regulates the carcinogen sterigmatocystin. To assess for conserved function for RsmA, we examined a role of this protein in secondary metabolism in the pathogen A. fumigatus. RsmA was found to positively regulate gliotoxin where overexpression (OE) of rsmA led to 2-100 fold increases of twelve gli cluster metabolites in culture medium including the newly identified gli metabolite cyclo(L-Phe-L-Ser). Lungs from both wild type and OErsmA infected mice contained gliotoxin (2.3 fold higher in OErsmA treatment) as well as the gliotoxin precursor cyclo(L-Phe-L-Ser) (3.2 fold higher in OErsmA treatment). The data here presents a conserved role for RsmA in secondary metabolite cluster activation and suggests cyclo(L-Phe-L-Ser) may serve as an alternative marker for diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis.