Genome-wide identification and expression analyses of genes involved in raffinose accumulation in sesame.
ABSTRACT: Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is an important oilseed crop. However, multiple abiotic stresses severely affect sesame growth and production. Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs), such as raffinose and stachyose, play an important role in desiccation tolerance of plants and developing seeds. In the present study, three types of key enzymes, galactinol synthase (GolS), raffinose synthase (RafS) and stachyose synthase (StaS), responsible for the biosynthesis of RFOs were identified at the genome-wide scale in sesame. A total of 7 SiGolS and 15 SiRS genes were identified in the sesame genome. Transcriptome analyses showed that SiGolS and SiRS genes exhibited distinct expression profiles in different tissues and seed developmental stages. Comparative expression analyses under various abiotic stresses indicated that most of SiGolS and SiRS genes were significantly regulated by drought, osmotic, salt, and waterlogging stresses, but slightly affected by cold stress. The up-regulation of several SiGolS and SiRS genes by multiple abiotic stresses suggested their active implication in sesame abiotic stress responses. Taken together, these results shed light on the RFOs-mediated abiotic stress resistance in sesame and provide a useful framework for improving abiotic stress resistance of sesame through genetic engineering.
Project description:Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) are implicated in plant regulatory mechanisms of abiotic stresses tolerance and, despite their antinutritional proprieties in grain legumes, little information is available about the enzymes involved in RFO metabolism in Fabaceae species. In the present study, the systematic survey of legume proteins belonging to five key enzymes involved in the metabolism of RFOs (galactinol synthase, raffinose synthase, stachyose synthase, alpha-galactosidase, and beta-fructofuranosidase) identified 28 coding-genes in Arachis duranensis and 31 in A. ipaënsis. Their phylogenetic relationships, gene structures, protein domains, and chromosome distribution patterns were also determined. Based on the expression profiling of these genes under water deficit treatments, a galactinol synthase candidate gene (AdGolS3) was identified in A. duranensis. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing AdGolS3 exhibited increased levels of raffinose and reduced stress symptoms under drought, osmotic, and salt stresses. Metabolite and expression profiling suggested that AdGolS3 overexpression was associated with fewer metabolic perturbations under drought stress, together with better protection against oxidative damage. Overall, this study enabled the identification of a promising GolS candidate gene for metabolic engineering of sugars to improve abiotic stress tolerance in crops, whilst also contributing to the understanding of RFO metabolism in legume species.
Project description:Galactinol synthase (GolS) is considered to be a key regulator of the biosynthesis of Raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs). Accumulation of RFOs has been reported to play a role in protection against abiotic stresses. We identified two cDNAs encoding galactinol synthase from wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), which we designated as TaGolS1 and TaGolS2. Expression of the two TaGolS genes was induced by cold stress but not by drought, heat stress or ABA treatment in wheat. We generated transgenic lines of rice (Oryza sativa L.) constitutively overexpressing TaGolS1 or TaGolS2. These transgenic plants accumulated significantly higher levels of galactinol and raffinose than did wild-type plants and exhibited enhanced cold-stress tolerance. The results demonstrate the involvement of galactinol and raffinose in the development of chilling stress in rice and indicate that the genetic modification of the biosynthesis of RFOs by transformation with GolS genes could be an effective method for enhancing chilling-stress tolerance in rice.
Project description:Stachyose is among the raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs) one of the major water-soluble carbohydrates next to sucrose in seeds of a number of plant species. Especially in leguminous seeds, e.g. chickpea, stachyose is reported as the major component. In contrast to their ambiguous potential as essential source of carbon for germination, RFOs are indigestible for humans and can contribute to diverse abdominal disorders. In the genome of Arabidopsis thaliana, six putative raffinose synthase genes are reported, whereas little is known about these putative raffinose synthases and their biochemical characteristics or their contribution to the RFO physiology in A. thaliana. In this paper, we report on the molecular cloning, functional expression in Escherichia coli and purification of recombinant AtRS4 from A. thaliana and the biochemical characterisation of the putative stachyose synthase (AtSTS, At4g01970) as a raffinose and high affinity stachyose synthase (Km for raffinose 259.2 ± 21.15 ?M) as well as stachyose and galactinol specific galactosylhydrolase. A T-DNA insertional mutant in the AtRS4 gene was isolated. Only semi-quantitative PCR from WT siliques showed a specific transcriptional AtRS4 PCR product. Metabolite measurements in seeds of ?AtRS4 mutant plants revealed a total loss of stachyose in ?AtRS4 mutant seeds. We conclude that AtRS4 is the only stachyose synthase in the genome of A. thaliana that AtRS4 represents a key regulation mechanism in the RFO physiology of A. thaliana due to its multifunctional enzyme activity and that AtRS4 is possibly the second seed specific raffinose synthase beside AtRS5, which is responsible for Raf accumulation under abiotic stress.
Project description:Galactinol synthase (GolS; EC 184.108.40.206) is a member of the glycosyltransferase eight family that catalyzes the first step in the biosynthesis pathway of the raffinose family of oligosaccharides (RFOs). The accumulation of RFOs in response to abiotic stress indicates a role for RFOs in stress adaptation. To obtain information on the roles of RFOs in abiotic stress adaptation in trees, we investigated the expression patterns of nine Populus trichocarpa GolS (PtrGolS) genes with special reference to stress responses. PtrGolS genes were differentially expressed in different organs, and the expressions of PtrGolS4 and PtrGolS6 were relatively high in all tested organs. The expression levels of all PtrGolS genes, except PtrGolS9, changed in response to abiotic stress in gene- and stress-type-specific manners. Moreover, short- and long-term stress treatments revealed that induction of PtrGolS by salt stress is obvious only in the early period of treatment (within 24 h), whereas water-deficit stress treatments continued to upregulate PtrGolS gene expression after two days of treatment, in addition to induction within 24 h of treatment. Consistent with these expression patterns, the galactinol content in leaves increased after four days of drought stress, but not under salt stress. Our findings suggest divergent roles for PtrGolS genes in abiotic stress responses in poplars.
Project description:Raffinose synthase 5 (AtRS5, At5g40390) was characterized from Arabidopsis as a recombinant enzyme. It has a far higher affinity for the substrates galactinol and sucrose than any other raffinose synthase previously reported. In addition raffinose synthase 5 is also working as a galactosylhydrolase, degrading galactinol, and raffinose under certain conditions. Together with raffinose synthase 4, which is predominantly a stachyose synthase, both enzymes contribute to the raffinose family oligosaccharide (RFO) accumulation in seeds. A double knockout in raffinose synthase 4 and raffinose synthase 5 (?AtRS4,5) was generated, which is devoid of RFOs in seeds. Unstressed leaves of 4 week old ?AtRS4,5 plants showed drastically 23.8-fold increased concentrations of galactinol. Unexpectedly, raffinose appeared again in drought stressed ?AtRS4,5 plants, but not under other abiotic stress conditions. Drought stress leads to novel transcripts of raffinose synthase 6 suggesting that this isoform is a further stress inducible raffinose synthase in Arabidopsis. ?AtRS4,5 seeds showed a 5 days delayed germination phenotype in darkness and an elevated expression of the transcription factor phytochrome interacting factor 1 (AtPIF1) target gene AtPIF6, being a repressor of germination. This prolonged dormancy is not seen during germination in the light. Exogenous galactose partially promotes germination of ?AtRS4,5 seeds in the dark suggesting that RFOs act as a galactose store and repress AtPIF6 transcripts.
Project description:The raffinose family of oligosaccharides (RFOs) serve as transport carbohydrates in the phloem, storage compounds in sink tissues, and putative biological agents to combat both abiotic and biotic stress in several plant species. To investigate further the functional roles of this class of compounds in trees, two cDNAs encoding galactinol synthase (GolS, EC 220.127.116.11), which catalyses the first step in the biosynthesis of RFOs, were identified and cloned from hybrid poplar (Populus alba×grandidentata). Phylogenetic analyses of the Populus GolS isoforms with other known GolS proteins suggested a putative role for these enzymes during biotic or abiotic stress in hybrid poplar. The predicted protein sequences of both isoforms (Pa×gGolSI and Pa×gGolSII) showed characteristics of GolS proteins from other species, including a serine phosphorylation site and the ASAAP pentapeptide hydrophobic domain. Kinetic analyses of recombinant Pa×gGolSI and Pa×gGolSII resulted in K(m) values for UPD-galactose of 0.80 and 0.65 mM and V(max) values of 657.5 and 1245 nM min(-1), respectively. Pa×gGolSI inherently possessed a broader pH and temperature range when compared with Pa×gGolSII. Interestingly, spatial and temporal expression analyses revealed that Pa×gGolSII transcript levels varied seasonally, while Pa×gGolSI did not, implying temperature-regulated transcriptional control of this gene in addition to the observed thermosensitivity of the respective enzyme. This evidence suggested that Pa×gGolSI may be involved in basic metabolic activities such as storage, while Pa×gGolSII is probably involved in seasonal mobilization of carbohydrates.
Project description:Galactinol synthase (GolS) is a key enzyme in raffinose family oligosaccharide (RFO) biosynthesis. The finding that GolS accumulates in plants exposed to abiotic stresses indicates RFOs function in environmental adaptation. However, the evolutionary relationships and biological functions of GolS family in rapeseed (Brassica napus) and tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) remain unclear. In this study, we identified 20 BnGolS and 9 NtGolS genes. Subcellular localization predictions showed that most of the proteins are localized to the cytoplasm. Phylogenetic analysis identified a lost event of an ancient GolS copy in the Solanaceae and an ancient duplication event leading to evolution of GolS4/7 in the Brassicaceae. The three-dimensional structures of two GolS proteins were conserved, with an important DxD motif for binding to UDP-galactose (uridine diphosphate-galactose) and inositol. Expression profile analysis indicated that BnGolS and NtGolS genes were expressed in most tissues and highly expressed in one or two specific tissues. Hormone treatments strongly induced the expression of most BnGolS genes and homologous genes in the same subfamilies exhibited divergent-induced expression. Our study provides a comprehensive evolutionary analysis of GolS genes among the Brassicaceae and Solanaceae as well as an insight into the biological function of GolS genes in hormone response in plants.
Project description:Heat shock factors (Hsfs) are central regulators of abiotic stress responses, especially heat stress responses, in plants. In the current study, we characterized the activity of the Hsf gene HsfA3 in Arabidopsis under oxidative stress conditions. HsfA3 transcription in seedlings was induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS), exogenous hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and an endogenous H2O2 propagator, 2,5-dibromo-3-methyl-6-isopropyl-p-benzoquinone (DBMIB). HsfA3-overexpressing transgenic plants exhibited increased oxidative stress tolerance compared to untransformed wild-type plants (WT), as revealed by changes in fresh weight, chlorophyll fluorescence, and ion leakage under light conditions. The expression of several genes encoding galactinol synthase (GolS), a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs), which function as antioxidants in plant cells, was induced in HsfA3 overexpressors. In addition, galactinol levels were higher in HsfA3 overexpressors than in WT under unstressed conditions. In transient transactivation assays using Arabidopsis leaf protoplasts, HsfA3 activated the transcription of a reporter gene driven by the GolS1 or GolS2 promoter. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that GolS1 and GolS2 are directly regulated by HsfA3. Taken together, these findings provide evidence that GolS1 and GolS2 are directly regulated by HsfA3 and that GolS enzymes play an important role in improving oxidative stress tolerance by increasing galactinol biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Galactinol synthase (GolS) is a key enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs), which play roles in carbon storage, signal transduction, and osmoprotection. The present work assessed the evolutionary history of GolS genes across the Rosaceae using several bioinformatic tools. Apple (Malus × domestica) GolS genes were transcriptionally characterized during bud dormancy, in parallel with galactinol and raffinose measurements. Additionally, MdGolS2, a candidate to regulate seasonal galactinol and RFO content during apple bud dormancy, was functionally characterized in Arabidopsis. Evolutionary analyses revealed that whole genome duplications have driven GolS gene evolution and diversification in Rosaceae speciation. The strong purifying selection identified in duplicated GolS genes suggests that differential gene expression might define gene function better than protein structure. Interestingly, MdGolS2 was differentially expressed during bud dormancy, concomitantly with the highest galactinol and raffinose levels. One of the intrinsic adaptive features of bud dormancy is limited availability of free water; therefore, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing MdGolS2. They showed higher galactinol and raffinose contents and increased tolerance to water deficit. Our results suggest that MdGolS2 is the major GolS responsible for RFO accumulation during apple dormancy, and these carbohydrates help to protect dormant buds against limited water supply.
Project description:Fructans are known to occur in 15% of flowering plants and their accumulation is often associated with stress responses. Typically, particular fructan types occur within particular plant families. The family of the Buxaceae, harboring Pachysandra terminalis, an accumulator of graminan- and levan-type fructans, also harbors boxtree (Buxus sempervirens), a cold and drought tolerant species. Surprisingly, boxtree leaves do not accumulate the expected graminan- and levan-type fructans, but small inulin fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS: 1-kestotriose and nystose) and raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs: raffinose and stachyose) instead. The seasonal variation in concentrations of glucose, fructose, sucrose, FOS and RFOs were followed. Raffinose and stachyose peaked during the winter months, while FOS peaked at a very narrow time-interval in spring, immediately preceded by a prominent sucrose accumulation. Sucrose may function as a reserve carbohydrate in winter and early spring leaves. The switch from RFO to fructan metabolism in spring strongly suggests that fructans and RFOs fulfill distinct roles in boxtree leaves. RFOs may play a key role in the cold acclimation of winter leaves while temporal fructan biosynthesis in spring might increase sink strength to sustain the formation of new shoots.