Metabolic Responses of Poplar to Apripona germari (Hope) as Revealed by Metabolite Profiling.
ABSTRACT: Plants have developed biochemical responses to adapt to biotic stress. To characterize the resistance mechanisms in poplar tree against Apripona germari, comprehensive metabolomic changes of poplar bark and xylem in response to A. germari infection were examined by gas chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF/MS). It was found that, four days after feeding (stage I), A. germari infection brought about changes in various metabolites, such as phenolics, amino acids and sugars in both bark and xylem. Quinic acid, epicatechin, epigallocatechin and salicin might play a role in resistance response in bark, while coniferyl alcohol, ferulic acid and salicin contribute resistance in xylem. At feeding stages II when the larvae fed for more than one month, fewer defensive metabolites were induced, but levels of many intermediates of glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle were reduced, especially in xylem. These results suggested that the defense strategies against A. germari might depend mainly on the early defense responses in poplar. In addition, it was found that bark and xylem in infected trees accumulated higher levels of salicylic acid and 4-aminobutyric acid, respectively, these tissues displaying a direct and systemic reaction against A. germari. However, the actual role of the two metabolites in A. germari-induced defense in poplar requires further investigation.
Project description:Tolerance to Dutch elm disease (DED) has been linked to the rapid and/or high induction of disease-responsive genes after infection with the fungus Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Although the fungal infection by O. novo-ulmi primarily takes places in xylem vessels, it is still unclear how xylem contributes to the defense against DED. Taking advantage of the easy separation of wood and bark tissues in young American elm saplings, here we show that most disease-responsive genes exhibited higher expression in wood compared to bark tissues after fungal infection. On the other hand, the stress-related phytohormones were generally more abundant in the bark compared to wood tissues. However, only endogenous levels of jasmonates (JAs), but not salicylic acid (SA) and abscisic acid (ABA) increased in the inoculated tissues. This, along with the upregulation of JA-biosynthesis genes in inoculated bark and core tissues further suggest that phloem and xylem might contribute to the de novo biosynthesis of JA after fungal infection. The comparison between two tolerant elm varieties, 'Valley Forge' and 'Princeton,' also indicated that tolerance against DED might be mediated by different mechanisms in the xylem. The present study sheds some light on the amplitude and kinetics of defense responses produced in the xylem and phloem in response to DED.
Project description:Poplar trees synthesize flavan-3-ols (catechin and proanthocyanidins) as a defense against foliar rust fungi, but the regulation of this defense response is poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of hormones in regulating flavan-3-ol accumulation in poplar during rust infection. We profiled levels of defense hormones, signaling genes, and flavan-3-ol metabolites in black poplar leaves at different stages of rust infection. Hormone levels were manipulated by external sprays, genetic engineering, and drought to reveal their role in rust fungal defenses. Levels of salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid, and abscisic acid increased in rust-infected leaves and activated downstream signaling, with SA levels correlating closely with those of flavan-3-ols. Pretreatment with the SA analog benzothiadiazole increased flavan-3-ol accumulation by activating the MYB-bHLH-WD40 complex and reduced rust proliferation. Furthermore, transgenic poplar lines overproducing SA exhibited higher amounts of flavan-3-ols constitutively via the same transcriptional activation mechanism. These findings suggest a strong association among SA, flavan-3-ol biosynthesis, and rust resistance in poplars. Abscisic acid also promoted poplar defense against rust infection, but likely through stomatal immunity independent of flavan-3-ols. Jasmonic acid did not confer any apparent defense responses to the fungal pathogen. We conclude that SA activates flavan-3-ol biosynthesis in poplar against rust infection.
Project description:Herbivorous insects mainly rely on their sense of taste to decode the chemical composition of potential hosts in close range. Beetles for example contact and scan leaves with their tarsi, mouthparts and antennal tips, i.e., appendages equipped with gustatory sensilla, among other sensillum types. Gustatory neurons residing in such uniporous sensilla detect mainly non-volatile compounds that contribute to the behavioral distinction between edible and toxic plants. However, the identification of gustatory sensilla is challenging, because an appendage often possesses many sensilla of distinct morphological and physiological types. Using the specialized poplar leaf beetle (Chrysomela populi, Chrysomelidae), here we show that cuticular autofluorescence scanning combined with electron microscopy facilitates the identification of antennal gustatory sensilla and their differentiation into two subtypes. The gustatory function of sensilla chaetica was confirmed by single sensillum tip-recordings using sucrose, salicin and salt. Sucrose and salicin were found at higher concentrations in methanolic leaf extracts of poplar (Populus nigra) as host plant compared to willow (Salix viminalis) as control, and were found to stimulate feeding in feeding choice assays. These compounds may thus contribute to the observed preference for poplar over willow leaves. Moreover, these gustatory cues benefited the beetle's performance since weight gain was significantly higher when C. populi were reared on leaves of poplar compared to willow. Overall, our approach facilitates the identification of insect gustatory sensilla by taking advantage of their distinct fluorescent properties. This study also shows that a specialist beetle selects the plant species that provides optimal development, which is partly by sensing some of its characteristic non-volatile metabolites via antennal gustatory sensilla.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterium Lonsdalea populi causes a lethal disease known as bark canker on Populus × euramericana in China and Europe. Typical symptoms of bark canker include an abundant white-colored fluid, which oozes from the infected tissues. The availability of the genomic sequence of the bacterium provided the necessary resource to launch genome-scale investigations into the mechanisms fundamental to pathogenesis. Functional analyses of a diverse group of genes encoding virulence factors and components of signaling pathways indicate that successful bark infection depends on specific responses by the pathogen to various stresses, including oxidative stress. Although physiology of resistance is well studied, the molecular processes underlying the defense responses and the genetic basis of resistance to L. populi and in other poplar species remain largely unknown. Control of the disease has relied on chemical measures. Due to the genetic amenability of Lonsdalea and poplar, this pathosystem will become an important model system to unravel molecular mechanisms of bacterial pathogenicity on woody plants. Increased understanding of pathogenesis and signaling in the interaction will facilitate the management of this kind of poplar canker.
Project description:The activation of the abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway reduces water loss from plants challenged by drought stress. The effect of drought-induced ABA signaling on the defense and nutrition allocation of plants is largely unknown. We postulated that these changes can affect herbivorous insects. We studied the effects of drought on different feeding stages of pea aphids in the wild-type A17 of Medicago truncatula and ABA signaling pathway mutant sta-1. We examined the impact of drought on plant water status, induced plant defense signaling via the abscisic acid (ABA), jasmonic acid (JA), and salicylic acid (SA) pathways, and on the host nutritional quality in terms of leaf free amino acid content. During the penetration phase of aphid feeding, drought decreased epidermis/mesophyll resistance but increased mesophyll/phloem resistance of A17 but not sta-1 plants. Quantification of transcripts associated with ABA, JA and SA signaling indicated that the drought-induced up-regulation of ABA signaling decreased the SA-dependent defense but increased the JA-dependent defense in A17 plants. During the phloem-feeding phase, drought had little effect on the amino acid concentrations and the associated aphid phloem-feeding parameters in both plant genotypes. In the xylem absorption stage, drought decreased xylem absorption time of aphids in both genotypes because of decreased water potential. Nevertheless, the activation of the ABA signaling pathway increased water-use efficiency of A17 plants by decreasing the stomatal aperture and transpiration rate. In contrast, the water potential of sta-1 plants (unable to close stomata) was too low to support xylem absorption activity of aphids; the aphids on sta-1 plants had the highest hemolymph osmolarity and lowest abundance under drought conditions. Taken together this study illustrates the significance of cross-talk between biotic-abiotic signaling pathways in plant-aphid interaction, and reveals the mechanisms leading to alter aphid fecundity in water stresses plants.
Project description:Efforts to introduce pathogen resistance into landscape tree species by breeding may have unintended consequences for fungal diversity. To address this issue, we compared the frequency and diversity of endophytic fungi and defensive phenolic metabolites in elm (Ulmus spp.) trees with genotypes known to differ in resistance to Dutch elm disease. Our results indicate that resistant U. minor and U. pumila genotypes exhibit a lower frequency and diversity of fungal endophytes in the xylem than susceptible U. minor genotypes. However, resistant and susceptible genotypes showed a similar frequency and diversity of endophytes in the leaves and bark. The resistant and susceptible genotypes could be discriminated on the basis of the phenolic profile of the xylem, but not on basis of phenolics in the leaves or bark. As the Dutch elm disease pathogen develops within xylem tissues, the defensive chemistry of resistant elm genotypes thus appears to be one of the factors that may limit colonization by both the pathogen and endophytes. We discuss a potential trade-off between the benefits of breeding resistance into tree species, versus concomitant losses of fungal endophytes and the ecosystem services they provide.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The genus Populus includes poplars, aspens and cottonwoods, which will be collectively referred to as poplars hereafter unless otherwise specified. Poplars are the dominant tree species in many forest ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere and are of substantial economic value in plantation forestry. Poplar has been established as a model system for genomics studies of growth, development, and adaptation of woody perennial plants including secondary xylem formation, dormancy, adaptation to local environments, and biotic interactions. RESULTS: As part of the poplar genome sequencing project and the development of genomic resources for poplar, we have generated a full-length (FL)-cDNA collection using the biotinylated CAP trapper method. We constructed four FLcDNA libraries using RNA from xylem, phloem and cambium, and green shoot tips and leaves from the P. trichocarpa Nisqually-1 genotype, as well as insect-attacked leaves of the P. trichocarpa x P. deltoides hybrid. Following careful selection of candidate cDNA clones, we used a combined strategy of paired end reads and primer walking to generate a set of 4,664 high-accuracy, sequence-verified FLcDNAs, which clustered into 3,990 putative unique genes. Mapping FLcDNAs to the poplar genome sequence combined with BLAST comparisons to previously predicted protein coding sequences in the poplar genome identified 39 FLcDNAs that likely localize to gaps in the current genome sequence assembly. Another 173 FLcDNAs mapped to the genome sequence but were not included among the previously predicted genes in the poplar genome. Comparative sequence analysis against Arabidopsis thaliana and other species in the non-redundant database of GenBank revealed that 11.5% of the poplar FLcDNAs display no significant sequence similarity to other plant proteins. By mapping the poplar FLcDNAs against transcriptome data previously obtained with a 15.5 K cDNA microarray, we identified 153 FLcDNA clones for genes that were differentially expressed in poplar leaves attacked by forest tent caterpillars. CONCLUSION: This study has generated a high-quality FLcDNA resource for poplar and the third largest FLcDNA collection published to date for any plant species. We successfully used the FLcDNA sequences to reassess gene prediction in the poplar genome sequence, perform comparative sequence annotation, and identify differentially expressed transcripts associated with defense against insects. The FLcDNA sequences will be essential to the ongoing curation and annotation of the poplar genome, in particular for targeting gaps in the current genome assembly and further improvement of gene predictions. The physical FLcDNA clones will serve as useful reagents for functional genomics research in areas such as analysis of gene functions in defense against insects and perennial growth. Sequences from this study have been deposited in NCBI GenBank under the accession numbers EF144175 to EF148838.
Project description:Hydroxylated metabolites of polychlorinated biphenyls (OH-PCBs) have been found to be ubiquitous in the environment due to the oxidative metabolism of their parent PCBs. With more polarity, OH-PCBs may be more toxic and mobile than their parent compounds. However, the behavior and fate of OH-PCBs have been neglected in the environment because they are not the original contaminants. Some of these hydroxylated metabolites are chiral, and chiral compounds can be used to probe biological metabolic processes. Therefore, chiral OH-PCBs were selected to study their uptake, translocation, transformation, and enantioselectivity in plants in this work. Poplars (Populus deltoides × nigra, DN34), a model plant with complete genomic sequence, were hydroponically exposed to 5-hydroxy-2,2',3,4',6-pentachlorobiphenyl (5-OH-PCB91) and 5-hydroxy-2,2',3,5',6-pentachlorobiphenyl (5-OH-PCB95) for 10 days. Chiral 5-OH-PCB91 and 5-OH-PCB95 were clearly shown to be sorbed, taken up, and translocated in whole poplars, and they were detected in various tissues of whole poplars. However, the enantioselectivity of poplar for 5-OH-PCB91 and 5-OH-PCB95 proved to be quite different. The second-eluting enantiomer of OH-PCB95, separated on a chiral column (Phenomenex Lux Cellulose-1), was enantioselectively removed in whole poplar. Enantiomeric fractions in the middle xylem, top bark, top xylem, and stem, reached 0.803 ± 0.022, 0.643 ± 0.110, 0.835 ± 0.087, and 0.830 ± 0.029, respectively. Therefore, 5-OH-PCB95 was significantly enantioselectively biotransformed inside poplar tissues, in contrast to nearly racemic mixtures of 5-OH-PCB95 remaining in hydroponic solutions. Unlike 5-OH-PCB95, 5-OH-PCB91 remained nearly racemic in most tissues of whole poplars during 10 day exposure, suggesting the enantiomers of 5-OH-PCB91 were equally transported and metabolized in whole poplars. This is the first evidence of enantioselectivity of chiral OH-PCBs and suggests that poplars can enantioselectively biotransform at least one chiral OH-PCB: namely, 5-OH-PCB95.
Project description:The temperate climax tree species Fagus sylvatica and the floodplain tree species Populus × canescens possess contrasting phosphorus (P) nutrition strategies. While F. sylvatica has been documented to display P storage and mobilization (Netzer et al., 2017), this was not observed for Populus × canescens (Netzer et al., 2018b). Nevertheless, changes in the abundance of organic bound P in gray poplar trees indicated adaptation of the P nutrition to different needs during annual growth. The present study aimed at characterizing seasonal changes in metabolite and lipid abundances in gray poplar and uncovering differences in metabolite requirement due to specific needs depending on the season. Seasonal variations in the abundance of (i) sugar-Ps and phospholipids, (ii) amino acids, (iii) sulfur compounds, and (iv) carbon metabolites were expected. It was hypothesized that seasonal changes in metabolite levels relate to N, S, and C storage and mobilization. Changes in organic metabolites binding Pi (Porg) are supposed to support these processes. Variation in triacylglycerols, in sugar-phosphates, in metabolites of the TCA cycle and in the amino acid abundance of poplar twig buds, leaves, bark, and wood were found to be linked to changes in metabolite abundances as well as to C, N, and S storage and mobilization processes. The observed changes support the view of a lack of any P storage in poplar. Yet, during dormancy, contents of phospholipids in twig bark and wood were highest probably due to frost-hardening and to its function in extra-plastidic membranes such as amyloplasts, oleosomes, and protein bodies. Consistent with this assumption, in spring sugar-Ps increased when phospholipids declined and poplar plants entering the vegetative growth period and, hence, metabolic activity increases. These results indicate that poplar trees adopt a policy of P nutrition without P storage and mobilization that is different from their N- and S-nutrition strategies.
Project description:Tea plant (Camellia sinensis (L) O. Kuntze) respond to herbivore attack through large changes in defense related metabolism and gene expression. Ectropis oblique (Prout) is one of the most devastating insects that feed on tea leaves and tender buds, which can cause severe production loss and deteriorate the quality of tea. To elucidate the biochemicals and molecular mechanism of defense against tea geometrid (TG), transcriptome and metabolome of TG interaction with susceptible (SG) and resistance (RG) tea genotypes were analyzed by using UPLC-Q-TOF-MS, GC-MS, and RNA-seq technologies. This revealed that jasmonic acid was highly induced in RG, following a plethora of secondary metabolites involved in defense against TG could be induced by jasmonic acid signaling pathway. However, the constitutively present of salicylic acid in SG might be a suppressor of jasmonate signaling and thus misdirect tea plants against TG. Furthermore, flavonoids and terpenoids biosynthesis pathways were highly activated in RG to constitute the chemical barrier on TG feeding behavior. In contrast, fructose and theanine, which can act as feeding stimulants were observed to highly accumulate in SG. Being present in the major hub, 39 transcription factors or protein kinases among putative candidates were identified as master regulators from protein-protein interaction network analysis. Together, the current study provides a comprehensive gene expression and metabolite profiles, which can shed new insights into the molecular mechanism of tea defense against TG. The candidate genes and specific metabolites identified in the present study can serve as a valuable resource for unraveling the possible defense mechanism of plants against various biotic stresses.