Characterization of xanthophyll pigments, photosynthetic performance, photon energy dissipation, reactive oxygen species generation and carbon isotope discrimination during artemisinin-induced stress in Arabidopsis thaliana.
ABSTRACT: Artemisinin, a potent antimalarial drug, is phytotoxic to many crops and weeds. The effects of artemisinin on stress markers, including fluorescence parameters, photosystem II photochemistry, photon energy dissipation, lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species generation and carbon isotope discrimination in Arabidopsis thaliana were studied. Arabidopsis ecotype Columbia (Col-0) seedlings were grown in perlite and watered with 50% Hoagland nutrient solution. Adult plants of Arabidopsis were treated with artemisinin at 0, 40, 80, 160 ?M for one week. Artemisinin, in the range 40-160 ?M, decreased the fresh biomass, chl a, b and leaf mineral contents. Photosynthetic efficiency, yield and electron transport rate in Arabidopsis were also reduced following exposure to 80 and 160 ?M artemisinin. The ?NPQ and NPQ were less than control. Artemisinin treatment caused an increase in root oxidizability and lipid peroxidation (MDA contents) of Arabidopsis. Calcium and nitrogen contents decreased after 80 and 160 ?M artemisinin treatment compared to control. ?13C values were less negative following treatment with artemisinin as compared to the control. Artemisinin also decreased leaf protein contents in Arabidopsis. Taken together, these data suggest that artemisinin inhibits many physiological and biochemical processes in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Acclimation to fluctuating light environment with short (lasting 20 s, at 650 or 1,250 ?mol photons m(-2) s(-1), every 6 or 12 min) or long (for 40 min at 650 ?mol photons m(-2) s(-1), once a day at midday) sunflecks was studied in Arabidopsis thaliana. The sunfleck treatments were applied in the background daytime light intensity of 50 ?mol photons m(-2) s(-1). In order to distinguish the effects of sunflecks from those of increased daily irradiance, constant light treatments at 85 and 120 ?mol photons m(-2) s(-1), which gave the same photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) per day as the different sunfleck treatments, were also included in the experiments. The increased daily total PAR in the two higher constant light treatments enhanced photosystem II electron transport and starch accumulation in mature leaves and promoted expansion of young leaves in Columbia-0 plants during the 7-day treatments. Compared to the plants remaining under 50 ?mol photons m(-2) s(-1), application of long sunflecks caused upregulation of electron transport without affecting carbon gain in the form of starch accumulation and leaf growth or the capacity of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ). Mature leaves showed marked enhancement of the NPQ capacity under the conditions with short sunflecks, which preceded recovery and upregulation of electron transport, demonstrating the initial priority of photoprotection. The distinct acclimatory responses to constant PAR, long sunflecks, and different combinations of short sunflecks are consistent with acclimatory adjustment of the processes in photoprotection and carbon gain, depending on the duration, frequency, and intensity of light fluctuations. While the responses of leaf expansion to short sunflecks differed among the seven Arabidopsis accessions examined, all plants showed NPQ upregulation, suggesting limited ability of this species to utilize short sunflecks. The increase in the NPQ capacity was accompanied by reduced chlorophyll contents, higher levels of the xanthophyll-cycle pigments, faster light-induced de-epoxidation of violaxanthin to zeaxanthin and antheraxanthin, increased amounts of PsbS protein, as well as enhanced activity of superoxide dismutase. These acclimatory mechanisms, involving reorganization of pigment-protein complexes and upregulation of other photoprotective reactions, are probably essential for Arabidopsis plants to cope with photo-oxidative stress induced by short sunflecks without suffering from severe photoinhibition and lipid peroxidation.
Project description:Energy-dependent (qE) non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) thermally dissipates excess absorbed light energy as a protective mechanism to prevent the over reduction of photosystem II and the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). The xanthophyll cycle, induced when the level of absorbed light energy exceeds the capacity of photochemistry, contributes to qE. In this work, we show that ethylene regulates the xanthophyll cycle in Arabidopsis. Analysis of eto1-1, exhibiting increased ethylene production, and ctr1-3, exhibiting constitutive ethylene response, revealed defects in NPQ resulting from impaired de-epoxidation of violaxanthin by violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE) encoded by NPQ1. Elevated ethylene signaling reduced the level of active VDE through decreased NPQ1 promoter activity and impaired VDE activation resulting from a lower transthylakoid membrane pH gradient. Increasing the concentration of CO2 partially corrected the ethylene-mediated defects in NPQ and photosynthesis, indicating that changes in ethylene signaling affect stromal CO2 solubility. Increasing VDE expression in eto1-1 and ctr1-3 restored light-activated de-epoxidation and qE, reduced superoxide production and reduced photoinhibition. Restoring VDE activity significantly reversed the small growth phenotype of eto1-1 and ctr1-3 without altering ethylene production or ethylene responses. Our results demonstrate that ethylene increases ROS production and photosensitivity in response to high light and the associated reduced plant stature is partially reversed by increasing VDE activity.
Project description:Non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) is an important photoprotective mechanism in rice; however, little is known regarding its role in the photosynthetic response of rice plants with differing in leaf color to different irradiances. In this study, two rice genotypes containing different chlorophyll contents, namely Zhefu802 (high chlorophyll) and Chl-8 (low chlorophyll), were subjected to moderate or high levels of light intensity at the 6-leaf stage. Chl-8 possessed a lower chlorophyll content and higher chlorophyll a:b ratio compared with Zhefu802, while Pn, Fv/Fm, and ?PSII contents were higher in Chl-8. Further results indicated that no significant differences were observed in the activities of Rubisco, Mg2+-ATPase, and Ca2+-ATPase between these genotypes. This suggested that no significant difference in the capacity for CO2 assimilation exists between Zhe802 and Chl-8. Additionally, no significant differences in stomatal limitation were observed between the genotypes. Interestingly, higher NPQ and energy quenching (qE), as well as lower photoinhibitory quenching (qI) and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed in Chl-8 compared with Zhefu802 under both moderate and high light treatments. This indicated that NPQ could improve photosynthesis in rice under both moderate and high light intensities, particularly the latter, whereby NPQ alleviates photodamage by reducing ROS production. Both zeaxanthin content and the expression of PsbS1 were associated with the induction of NPQ under moderate light, while only zeaxanthin was associated with NPQ induction under high light. In summary, NPQ could improve photosynthesis in rice under moderate light and alleviate photodamage under high light via a decrease in ROS generation.
Project description:The dynamics of non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence and the dynamics of xanthophyll conversion under different actinic light conditions were studied in intact leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana. NPQ induction was investigated during up to 180 min illumination at 450, 900, and 1,800 ?mol photons m-2 s-1 (?E) and NPQ relaxation after 5, 30, 90, or 180 min of pre-illumination at the same light intensities. The comparison of wild-type plants with mutants affected either in xanthophyll conversion (npq1 and npq2) or PsbS expression (npq4 and L17) or lumen acidification (pgr1) indicated that NPQ states with similar, but not identical characteristics are induced at longer time range (15-60 min) in wild-type and mutant plants. In genotypes with an active xanthophyll conversion, the dynamics of two slowly (10-60 min) inducible and relaxing NPQ components were found to be kinetically correlated with zeaxanthin formation and epoxidation, respectively. However, the extent of NPQ was independent of the amount of zeaxanthin, since higher NPQ values were inducible with increasing actinic light intensities without pronounced changes in the zeaxanthin amount. These data support an indirect role of zeaxanthin in pH-independent NPQ states rather than a specific direct function of zeaxanthin as quencher in long-lasting NPQ processes. Such an indirect function might be related to an allosteric regulation of NPQ processes by zeaxanthin (e.g., through interaction of zeaxanthin at the surface of proteins) or a general photoprotective function of zeaxanthin in the lipid phase of the membrane (e.g., by modulation of the membrane fluidity or by acting as antioxidant). The found concomitant down-regulation of zeaxanthin epoxidation and recovery of photosystem II activity ensures that zeaxanthin is retained in the thylakoid membrane as long as photosystem II activity is inhibited or down-regulated. This regulation supports the view that zeaxanthin can be considered as a kind of light stress memory in chloroplasts, allowing a rapid reactivation of photoprotective NPQ processes in case of recurrent light stress periods.
Project description:The xanthophyll cycle is involved in dissipating excess light energy to protect the photosynthetic apparatus in a process commonly assessed from non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) of chlorophyll fluorescence. Here, it is shown that the xanthophyll cycle is modulated by the necrotrophic pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum at the early stage of infection. Incubation of Sclerotinia led to a localized increase in NPQ even at low light intensity. Further studies showed that this abnormal change in NPQ was closely correlated with a decreased pH caused by Sclerotinia-secreted oxalate, which might decrease the ATP synthase activity and lead to a deepening of thylakoid lumen acidification under continuous illumination. Furthermore, suppression (with dithiothreitol) or a defect (in the npq1-2 mutant) of violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE) abolished the Sclerotinia-induced NPQ increase. HPLC analysis showed that the Sclerotinia-inoculated tissue accumulated substantial quantities of zeaxanthin at the expense of violaxanthin, with a corresponding decrease in neoxanthin content. Immunoassays revealed that the decrease in these xanthophyll precursors reduced de novo abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and apparently weakened tissue defense responses, including ROS induction and callose deposition, resulting in enhanced plant susceptibility to Sclerotinia. We thus propose that Sclerotinia antagonizes ABA biosynthesis to suppress host defense by manipulating the xanthophyll cycle in early pathogenesis. These findings provide a model of how photoprotective metabolites integrate into the defense responses, and expand the current knowledge of early plant-Sclerotinia interactions at infection sites.
Project description:Contribution of different LHCII antenna carotenoids to protective NPQ (pNPQ) were tested using a range of xanthophyll biosynthesis mutants of Arabidopsis: plants were either devoid of lutein (lut2), violaxanthin (npq2), or synthesized a single xanthophyll species, namely violaxanthin (aba4npq1lut2), zeaxanthin (npq2lut2), or lutein (chy1chy2lut5). A novel pulse amplitude modulated (PAM) fluorescence analysis procedure, that used a gradually increasing actinic light intensity, allowed the efficiency of pNPQ to be tested using the photochemical quenching (qP) parameter measured in the dark (qPd). Furthermore, the yield of photosystem II (?PSII) was calculated, and the light intensity which induces photoinhibition in 50% of leaves for each mutant was ascertained. Photoprotective capacities of each xanthophyll were quantified, taking into account chlorophyll a/b ratios and excitation pressure. Here, light tolerance, pNPQ capacity, and ?PSII were highest in wild type plants. Of the carotenoid mutants, lut2 (lutein-deficient) plants had the highest light tolerance, and the joint the highest ?PSII with violaxanthin only plants. We conclude that all studied mutants possess pNPQ and a more complete composition of xanthophylls in their natural binding sites is the most important factor governing photoprotection, rather than any one specific xanthophyll suggesting a strong structural effect of the molecules upon the LHCII antenna organization and discuss the results significance for future crop development.
Project description:Glutathione is an important antioxidant and redox buffer in plants. It fulfills many important roles during plant development, defense and is essential for plant metabolism. Even though the compartment specific roles of glutathione during abiotic and biotic stress situations have been studied in detail there is still great lack of knowledge about subcellular glutathione concentrations within the different leaf areas at different stages of development. In this study a method is described that allows the calculation of compartment specific glutathione concentrations in all cell compartments simultaneously in one experiment by using quantitative immunogold electron microscopy combined with biochemical methods in different leaf areas of Arabidopsis thaliana Col-0 (center of the leaf, leaf apex, leaf base and leaf edge). The volume of subcellular compartments in the mesophyll of Arabidopsis was found to be similar to other plants. Vacuoles covered the largest volume within a mesophyll cell and increased with leaf age (up to 80% in the leaf apex of older leaves). Behind vacuoles, chloroplasts covered the second largest volume (up to 20% in the leaf edge of the younger leaves) followed by nuclei (up to 2.3% in the leaf edge of the younger leaves), mitochondria (up to 1.6% in the leaf apex of the younger leaves), and peroxisomes (up to 0.3% in the leaf apex of the younger leaves). These values together with volumes of the mesophyll determined by stereological methods from light and electron micrographs and global glutathione contents measured with biochemical methods enabled the determination of subcellular glutathione contents in mM. Even though biochemical investigations did not reveal differences in global glutathione contents, compartment specific differences could be observed in some cell compartments within the different leaf areas. Highest concentrations of glutathione were always found in mitochondria, where values in a range between 8.7mM (in the apex of younger leaves) and 15.1mM (in the apex of older leaves) were found. The second highest amount of glutathione was found in nuclei (between 5.5mM and 9.7mM in the base and the center of younger leaves, respectively) followed by peroxisomes (between 2.6mM in the edge of younger leaves and 4.8mM in the base of older leaves, respectively) and the cytosol (2.8mM in the edge of younger and 4.5mM in the center of older leaves, respectively). Chloroplasts contained rather low amounts of glutathione (between 1mM and 1.4mM). Vacuoles had the lowest concentrations of glutathione (0.01mM and 0.14mM) but showed large differences between the different leaf areas. Clear differences in glutathione contents between the different leaf areas could only be found in vacuoles and mitochondria revealing that glutathione in the later cell organelle accumulated with leaf age to concentrations of up to 15mM and that concentrations of glutathione in vacuoles are quite low in comparison to the other cell compartments.
Project description:A better understanding of the metabolic and diffusional limitations of photosynthesis in fluctuating irradiance can help identify targets for improving crop yields. We used different genotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana to characterise the importance of Rubisco activase (Rca), stomatal conductance (gs), non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence (NPQ) and sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) on photosynthesis in fluctuating irradiance. Leaf gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence were measured in leaves exposed to stepwise increases and decreases in irradiance. rwt43, which has a constitutively active Rubisco enzyme in different irradiance intensities (except in darkness), showed faster increases than the wildtype, Colombia-0, in photosynthesis rates after step increases in irradiance. rca-2, having decreased Rca concentration, showed lower rates of increase. In aba2-1, high gs increased the rate of change after stepwise irradiance increases, while in C24, low gs tended to decrease it. Differences in rates of change between Colombia-0 and plants with low levels of NPQ (npq1-2, npq4-1) or SPS (spsa1) were negligible. In Colombia-0, the regulation of Rubisco activation and of gs were therefore limiting for photosynthesis in fluctuating irradiance, while levels of NPQ or SPS were not. This suggests Rca and gs as targets for improvement of photosynthesis of plants in fluctuating irradiance.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Cell membranes are major targets of environmental stresses. Lipids are important membrane components, and changes in their composition may help to maintain membrane integrity and preserve cell compartmentation under water stress conditions. The aim of this work was to investigate the effects of water stress on membrane lipid composition and other aspects of lipid metabolism in the leaves of the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. METHODS: Arabidopsis thaliana (ecotype Columbia) plants were submitted to progressive drought stress by withholding irrigation. Studies were carried out in plants with hydration levels ranging from slight to very severe water deficit. Enzymatic activities hydrolysing MGDG, DGDG and PC were measured. Expression of several genes essential to lipid metabolism, such as genes coding for enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis (MGDG synthase, DGDG synthase) and degradation (phospholipases D, lipoxygenase, patatin-like lipolytic-acylhydrolase), was studied. KEY RESULTS: In response to drought, total leaf lipid contents decreased progressively. However, for leaf relative water content as low as 47.5 %, total fatty acids still represented 61 % of control contents. Lipid content of extremely dehydrated leaves rapidly increased after rehydration. The time-course of the decrease in leaf lipid contents correlated well with the increase in lipolytic activities of leaf extracts and with the expression of genes involved in lipid degradation. Despite a decrease in total lipid content, lipid class distribution remained relatively stable until the stress became very severe. CONCLUSIONS: Arabidopsis leaf membranes appeared to be very resistant to water deficit, as shown by their capacity to maintain their polar lipid contents and the stability of their lipid composition under severe water loss conditions. Moreover, arabidopsis displayed several characteristics indicative of a so far unknown adaptation capacity to drought-stress at the cellular level, such as an increase in the DGDG : MGDG ratio and fatty acid unsaturation.
Project description:SHINE (SHN/WIN) clade proteins, transcription factors of the plant-specific APETALA 2/ethylene-responsive element binding factor (AP2/ERF) family, have been proven to be involved in wax and cutin biosynthesis. Glycine max is an important economic crop, but its molecular mechanism of wax biosynthesis is rarely characterized. In this study, 10 homologs of Arabidopsis SHN genes were identified from soybean. These homologs were different in gene structures and organ expression patterns. Constitutive expression of each of the soybean SHN genes in Arabidopsis led to different leaf phenotypes, as well as different levels of glossiness on leaf surfaces. Overexpression of GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 in Arabidopsis exhibited 7.8-fold and 9.9-fold up-regulation of leaf cuticle wax productions, respectively. C31 and C29 alkanes contributed most to the increased wax contents. Total cutin contents of leaves were increased 11.4-fold in GmSHN1 overexpressors and 5.7-fold in GmSHN9 overexpressors, mainly through increasing C16:0 di-OH and dioic acids. GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 also altered leaf cuticle membrane ultrastructure and increased water loss rate in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. Transcript levels of many wax and cutin biosynthesis and leaf development related genes were altered in GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 overexpressors. Overall, these results suggest that GmSHN1 and GmSHN9 may differentially regulate the leaf development process as well as wax and cutin biosynthesis.