Identification of brassinosteroid genes in Brachypodium distachyon.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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:Cell elongation in plants is controlled by environmental cues such as light and internal growth regulators including plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs). In this study, we found that 3 related receptor-like kinases (RLKs), HERCULES1, THESEUS1, and FERONIA, are transcriptionally induced by BRs and are down-regulated in the loss-of-function BR mutant bri1 and up-regulated in the constitutive BR-response mutant bes1-D. These RLKs belong to the CrRLK family that has 17 members in Arabidopsis. We hypothesize that these RLKs are involved in BR-regulated processes. Although 2 of the RLKs were recently found to mediate male-female interaction during pollen tube reception (FERONIA) and to sense cell wall integrity (THESEUS1), our genetic studies demonstrated that they are required for cell elongation during vegetative growth as herk1 the1 double and fer RNAi mutants displayed striking dwarf phenotypes. The herk1 the1 double mutant enhances the dwarf phenotype of bri1 and partially suppresses bes1-D phenotype, supporting a role of HERK1/THE1 in BR-mediated cell elongation. Microarray experiments demonstrated that these RLKs control the expression of a unique set of genes including those implicated in cell elongation and 16% of the genes affected in herk1 the1 are regulated by BRs. Our results, therefore, identify a previously unknown pathway that functions cooperatively with, but largely independent of the BR pathway to regulate cell elongation. The work establishes a platform to identify other signaling components in this important pathway for plant growth and provides a paradigm to study the coordination of independent pathways in the regulation of a common biological process.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroidal hormones that play pivotal roles during plant development. In addition to the characterization of BR deficient mutants, specific BR biosynthesis inhibitors played an essential role in the elucidation of BR function in plants. However, high costs and limited availability of common BR biosynthetic inhibitors constrain their key advantage as a species-independent tool to investigate BR function. We studied propiconazole (Pcz) as an alternative to the BR inhibitor brassinazole (Brz). Arabidopsis seedlings treated with Pcz phenocopied BR biosynthetic mutants. The steady state mRNA levels of BR, but not gibberellic acid (GA), regulated genes increased proportional to the concentrations of Pcz. Moreover, root inhibition and Pcz-induced expression of BR biosynthetic genes were rescued by 24epi-brassinolide, but not by GA(3) co-applications. Maize seedlings treated with Pcz showed impaired mesocotyl, coleoptile, and true leaf elongation. Interestingly, the genetic background strongly impacted the tissue specific sensitivity towards Pcz. Based on these findings we conclude that Pcz is a potent and specific inhibitor of BR biosynthesis and an alternative to Brz. The reduced cost and increased availability of Pcz, compared to Brz, opens new possibilities to study BR function in larger crop species.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>N-ethyl-maleimide sensitive factor adaptor protein receptor (SNAREs) domain-containing proteins were known as key players in vesicle-associated membrane fusion. Genetic screening has revealed the function of SNAREs in different aspects of plant biology, but the role of many SNAREs are still unknown. In this study, we have characterized the role of Arabidopsis Qc-SNARE protein AtBS14b in brassinosteroids (BRs) signaling pathway.<h4>Results</h4>AtBS14b overexpression (AtBS14b ox) plants exhibited short hypocotyl and petioles lengths as well as insensitivity to exogenously supplied BR, while AtBS14b mutants did not show any visible BR-dependent morphological differences. BR biosynthesis enzyme BR6OX2 expression was slightly lower in AtBS14b ox than in wild type plants. Further BR-mediated repression of BR6OX2, CPD and DWF4 was inhibited in AtBS14b ox plants. AtBS14b-mCherry fusion protein localized in vesicular compartments surrounding plasma membrane in N. benthamiana leaves. In addition, isolation of AtBS14b-interacting BR signaling protein, which localized in plasma membrane, showed that AtBS14b directly interacted with membrane steroid binding protein 1 (MSBP1), but did not interact with BAK1 or BRI1.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These data suggested that Qc-SNARE protein AtBS14b is the first SNARE protein identified that interacts with MSBP1, and the overexpression of AtBS14b modulates BR response in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are growth-promoting steroid hormones that regulate diverse physiological processes in plants. Most BR biosynthetic enzymes belong to the cytochrome P450 (CYP) family. The gene encoding the ultimate step of BR biosynthesis in Arabidopsis likely evolved by gene duplication followed by functional specialization in a dicotyledonous plant-specific manner. To gain insight into the evolution of BRs, we performed a genomic reconstitution of Arabidopsis BR biosynthetic genes in an ancestral vascular plant, the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii. Selaginella contains four members of the CYP90 family that cluster together in the CYP85 clan. Similar to known BR biosynthetic genes, the Selaginella CYP90s exhibit eight or ten exons and Selaginella produces a putative BR biosynthetic intermediate. Therefore, we hypothesized that Selaginella CYP90 genes encode BR biosynthetic enzymes. In contrast to typical CYPs in Arabidopsis, Selaginella CYP90E2 and CYP90F1 do not possess amino-terminal signal peptides, suggesting that they do not localize to the endoplasmic reticulum. In addition, one of the three putative CYP reductases (CPRs) that is required for CYP enzyme function co-localized with CYP90E2 and CYP90F1. Treatments with a BR biosynthetic inhibitor, propiconazole, and epi-brassinolide resulted in greatly retarded and increased growth, respectively. This suggests that BRs promote growth in Selaginella, as they do in Arabidopsis. However, BR signaling occurs through different pathways than in Arabidopsis. A sequence homologous to the Arabidopsis BR receptor BRI1 was absent in Selaginella, but downstream components, including BIN2, BSU1, and BZR1, were present. Thus, the mechanism that initiates BR signaling in Selaginella seems to differ from that in Arabidopsis. Our findings suggest that the basic physiological roles of BRs as growth-promoting hormones are conserved in both lycophytes and Arabidopsis; however, different BR molecules and BRI1-based membrane receptor complexes evolved in these plants.
Project description:Brassinosteroid (BR) is an important plant hormone that is perceived by the BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1) receptor. BRI1 is conserved among dicot and monocot species; however, the molecular mechanism underlying BR perception in monocots is not fully understood. We synthesised two BRs, iso-carbabrassinolide (iso-carbaBL) and 6-deoxoBL, which have different BR activities in Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and rice. Our bioassay indicated that iso-carbaBL has relatively strong BR activity in Arabidopsis, but is inactive in rice and competitively inhibits BR activity. The bioactivity of 6-deoxoBL was similar to that of BL in Arabidopsis, but was much lower in rice. Binding experiments using recombinant Arabidopsis and rice BRI1 protein fragments suggested that iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL bind to both receptors. These results showed that iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL act as an antagonist and agonist, respectively, of BRs in rice. A docking simulation analysis suggested that iso-carbaBL fits deeper in the binding pocket to block the binding of active BR to rice BRI1. The simulated binding energy of 6-deoxoBL with rice BRI1 is much lower than that with Arabidopsis BRI1. The possible structural characteristics of rice BRI1 were determined based on the difference in the BR activities of iso-carbaBL and 6-deoxoBL in Arabidopsis and rice.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) constitute a group of steroidal phytohormones that contribute to a wide range of plant growth and development functions. The genetic modulation of BR receptor genes, which play major roles in the BR signaling pathway, can create semi-dwarf plants that have great advantages in crop production. In this study, a brassinosteroid insensitive gene homologous with AtBRI1 and other BRIs was isolated from Glycine max and designated as GmBRI1. A bioinformatic analysis revealed that GmBRI1 shares a conserved kinase domain and 25 tandem leucine-rich repeats (LRRs) that are characteristic of a BR receptor for BR reception and reaction and bear a striking similarity in protein tertiary structure to AtBRI1. GmBRI1 transcripts were more abundant in soybean hypocotyls and could be upregulated in response to exogenous BR treatment. The transformation of GmBRI1 into the Arabidopsis dwarf mutant bri1-5 restored the phenotype, especially regarding pod size and plant height. Additionally, this complementation is a consequence of a restored BR signaling pathway demonstrated in the light/dark analysis, root inhibition assay and BR-response gene expression. Therefore, GmBRI1 functions as a BR receptor to alter BR-mediated signaling and is valuable for improving plant architecture and enhancing the yield of soybean.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) affect a wide range of developmental processes in plants and compromised production or signalling of BRs causes severe growth defects. To identify new regulators of plant organ growth, we searched the Arabidopsis FOX (Full-length cDNA Over-eXpressor gene) collection for mutants with altered organ size and isolated two overexpression lines that display typical BR deficient dwarf phenotypes. The phenotype of these lines, caused by an overexpression of a putative acyltransferase gene PIZZA (PIZ), was partly rescued by supplying exogenous brassinolide (BL) and castasterone (CS), indicating that endogenous BR levels are rate-limiting for the growth of PIZ overexpression lines. Our transcript analysis further showed that PIZ overexpression leads to an elevated expression of genes involved in BR biosynthesis and a reduced expression of BR inactivating hydroxylases, a transcriptional response typical to low BR levels. Taking the advantage of relatively high endogenous BR accumulation in a mild bri1-301 background, we found that overexpression of PIZ results in moderately reduced levels of BL and CS and a strong reduction of typhasterol (TY) and 6-deoxocastasterone (6-deoxoCS), suggesting a role of PIZ in BR metabolism. We tested a set of potential substrates in vitro for heterologously expressed PIZ and confirmed its acyltransferase activity with BL, CS and TY. The PIZ gene is expressed in various tissues but as reported for other genes involved in BR metabolism, the loss-of-function mutants did not display obvious growth phenotypes under standard growth conditions. Together, our data suggest that PIZ can modify BRs by acylation and that these properties might help modulating endogenous BR levels in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) and its core endocytic machinery are evolutionarily conserved across all eukaryotes. In mammals, the heterotetrameric adaptor protein complex-2 (AP-2) sorts plasma membrane (PM) cargoes into vesicles via the recognition of motifs based on Tyr or di-Leu in their cytoplasmic tails. However, in plants, very little is known about how PM proteins are sorted for CME and whether similar motifs are required. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), the brassinosteroid (BR) receptor BR INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1) undergoes endocytosis, which depends on clathrin and AP-2. Here, we demonstrate that BRI1 binds directly to the medium AP-2 subunit (AP2M). The cytoplasmic domain of BRI1 contains five putative canonical surface-exposed Tyr-based endocytic motifs. The Tyr-to-Phe substitution in Y898KAI reduced BRI1 internalization without affecting its kinase activity. Consistently, plants carrying the BRI1Y898F mutation were hypersensitive to BRs. Our study demonstrates that AP-2-dependent internalization of PM proteins via the recognition of functional Tyr motifs also operates in plants.