Developmentally controlled changes during Arabidopsis leaf development indicate causes for loss of stress tolerance with age.
ABSTRACT: Leaf senescence is the final stage of leaf development and is induced by the gradual occurrence of age-related changes (ARCs). The process of leaf senescence has been well described, but the cellular events leading to this process are still poorly understood. By analysis of progressively ageing, but not yet senescing, Arabidopsis thaliana rosette leaves, we aimed to better understand processes occurring prior to the onset of senescence. Using gene expression analysis, we found that as leaves mature, genes responding to oxidative stress and genes involved in stress hormone biosynthesis and signalling were up-regulated. A decrease in primary metabolites that provide protection against oxidative stress was a possible explanation for the increased stress signature. The gene expression and metabolomics changes occurred concomitantly to a decrease in drought, salinity, and dark stress tolerance of individual leaves. Importantly, stress-related genes showed elevated expression in the early ageing mutant old5 and decreased expression in the delayed ageing mutant ore9. We propose that the decreased stress tolerance with age results from the occurrence of senescence-inducing ARCs that is integrated into the leaf developmental programme, and that this ensures a timely and certain death.
Project description:Leaf senescence involves degenerative but active biological processes that require balanced regulation of pro- and anti-senescing activities. Ethylene and cytokinin are major antagonistic regulatory hormones that control the timing and progression rate of leaf senescence. To identify the roles of these hormones in the regulation of leaf senescence in Arabidopsis, global gene expression profiles in detached leaves of the wild type, an ethylene-insensitive mutant (ein2/ore3), and a constitutive cytokinin response mutant (ahk3/ore12) were investigated during dark-induced leaf senescence. Comparative transcriptome analyses revealed that genes involved in oxidative or salt stress response were preferentially altered in the ein2/ore3 mutant, whereas genes involved in ribosome biogenesis were affected in the ahk3/ore12 mutant during dark-induced leaf senescence. Similar results were also obtained for developmental senescence. Through extensive molecular and physiological analyses in ein2/ore3 and ahk3/ore12 during dark-induced leaf senescence, together with responses when treated with cytokinin and ethylene inhibitor, we conclude that ethylene acts as a senescence-promoting factor via the transcriptional regulation of stress-related responses, whereas cytokinin acts as an anti-senescing agent by maintaining cellular activities and preserving the translational machinery. These findings provide new insights into how plants utilize two antagonistic hormones, ethylene and cytokinin, to regulate the molecular programming of leaf senescence.
Project description:NAC proteins are plant transcription factors that are involved in tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses, as well as in many developmental processes. Stress-responsive NAC1 (SNAC1) transcription factor is involved in drought tolerance in barley and rice, but has not been shown previously to have a role in disease resistance. Transgenic over-expression of HvSNAC1 in barley cv. Golden Promise reduced the severity of Ramularia leaf spot (RLS), caused by the fungus Ramularia collo-cygni, but had no effect on disease symptoms caused by Fusarium culmorum, Oculimacula yallundae (eyespot), Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (powdery mildew) or Magnaporthe oryzae (blast). The HvSNAC1 transcript was weakly induced in the RLS-susceptible cv. Golden Promise during the latter stages of R.?collo-cygni symptom development when infected leaves were senescing. Potential mechanisms controlling HvSNAC1-mediated resistance to RLS were investigated. Gene expression analysis revealed no difference in the constitutive levels of antioxidant transcripts in either of the over-expression lines compared with cv. Golden Promise, nor was any difference in stomatal conductance or sensitivity to reactive oxygen species-induced cell death observed. Over-expression of HvSNAC1 delayed dark-induced leaf senescence. It is proposed that mechanisms controlled by HvSNAC1 that are involved in tolerance to abiotic stress and that inhibit senescence also confer resistance to R.?collo-cygni and suppress RLS symptoms. This provides further evidence for an association between abiotic stress and senescence in barley and the development of RLS.
Project description:The onset of leaf senescence is regulated by a complex mechanism involving positive and negative regulators. Among positive regulators, jasmonic acid (JA) accumulates in senescing leaves and the JA-insensitive coi1-1 mutant displays delayed leaf senescence in Arabidopsis. A strong activated expression of the gene coding for the JA-biosynthetic beta-oxidation enzyme 3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase 2 (KAT2) in natural and dark-induced senescing leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana is reported here. By using KAT2::GUS and KAT2::LUC transgenic plants, it was observed that dark-induced KAT2 activation occurred both in excised leaves as well as in whole darkened plants. The KAT2 activation associated with dark-induced senescence occurred soon after a move to darkness, and it preceded the detection of symptoms and the expression of senescence-associated gene (SAG) markers. Transgenic plants with reduced expression of the KAT2 gene showed a significant delayed senescence both in natural and dark-induced processes. The rapid induction of the KAT2 gene in senescence-promoting conditions as well as the delayed senescence phenotype and the reduced SAG expression in KAT2 antisense transgenic plants, point to KAT2 as an essential component for the timely onset of leaf senescence in Arabidopsis.
Project description:NAC transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in plants' responses to abiotic stresses and developmental processes, including leaf senescence. Oriental melon (Cucumis melo var. makuwa Makino) is an important vegetable crop in China and eastern Asia countries. However, little is known about the functions of the melon NAC family members. In this study, a phylogenetic tree was constructed to show that CmNAC60 and the senescence regulator AtNAP were in the same cluster, which implied that CmNAC60 might be a NAC related to leaf senescence. The expression analysis of CmNAC60 in different melon organs showed that the expression of CmNAC60 was highest in the male flowers and lowest in the hypocotyl. In addition, the expression level of CmNAC60 in the senescing leaves was significantly higher than in the non-senescing leaves. Similarly, the expression level of CmNAC60 in the dark-treated leaves was significantly higher than in the untreated leaves. Furthermore, the subcellular localization and transcriptional activation assays indicated that CmNAC60 was a nucleus localized NAC transcription factor with a C-terminal transactivation domain. An analysis of the tissue specific expression showed that the promoter of CmNAC60 may contain cis-acting regulatory elements responsive to leaf senescence. CmNAC60 overexpressing lines of Arabidopsis showed a precocious senescence compared with the wild type (WT). Collectively, our results showed that CmNAC60 was associated with leaf senescence, and could be potentially utilized in molecular breeding to improve melon yield or to extend the postharvest shelf life by delaying leaf senescence.
Project description:In this study, the differences in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and abscisic acid (ABA) accumulation in senescing leaves were investigated by early-senescence-leaf (esl) mutant and its wild type, to clarify the relationship among ABA levels, ROS generation, and NADPH oxidase (Nox) in senescing leaves of rice (Oryza sativa). The temporal expression levels of OsNox isoforms in senescing leaves and their expression patterns in response to ABA treatment were determined through quantitative real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). Results showed that the flag leaf of the esl mutant generated more O2- concentrations and accumulated higher ABA levels than the wild-type cultivar did in the grain-filling stage. Exogenous ABA treatment induced O2- generation; however, it was depressed by diphenyleneiodonium chloride (DPI) pretreatment in the detached leaf segments. This finding suggested the involvement of NADPH oxidase in ABA-induced O2- generation. The esl mutant exhibited significantly higher expression of OsNox2, OsNox5, OsNox6, and OsNox7 in the initial of grain-filling stage, followed by sharply decrease. The transcriptional levels of OsNox1, OsNox3, and OsFR07 in the flag leaf of the esl mutant were significantly lower than those in the wild-type cultivar. The expression levels of OsNox2, OsNox5, OsNox6, and OsNox7 were significantly enhanced by exogenous ABA treatments. The enhanced expression levels of OsNox2 and OsNox6 were dependent on the duration of ABA treatment. The inducible expression levels of OsNox5 and OsNox7 were dependent on ABA concentrations. By contrast, exogenous ABA treatment severely repressed the transcripts of OsNox1, OsNox3, and OsFR07 in the detached leaf segments. Therefore, OsNox2, OsNox5, OsNox6, and OsNox7 were probably involved in the ABA-induced O2- generation in the initial stage of leaf senescence. Subsequently, other oxidases activated in deteriorating cells were associated with ROS generation and accumulation in the senescing leaves of the esl mutant. Conversely, OsNox1, OsNox3, and OsFR07 were not associated with ABA-induced O2- generation during leaf senescence.
Project description:The apoplast, i.e. the cellular compartment external to the plasma membrane, undergoes important changes during senescence. Apoplastic fluid volume increases quite significantly in senescing leaves, thereby diluting its contents. Its pH elevates by about 0.8 units, similar to the apoplast alkalization in response to abiotic stresses. The levels of 159 proteins decrease, whereas 24 proteins increase in relative abundance in the apoplast of senescing leaves. Around half of the apoplastic proteins of non-senescent leaves contain a N-terminal signal peptide for secretion, while all the identified senescence-associated apoplastic proteins contain the signal peptide. Several of the apoplastic proteins that accumulate during senescence also accumulate in stress responses, suggesting that the apoplast may constitute a compartment where developmental and stress-related programs overlap. Other senescence-related apoplastic proteins are involved in cell wall modifications, proteolysis, carbohydrate, ROS and amino acid metabolism, signaling, lipid transport, etc. The most abundant senescence-associated apoplastic proteins, PR2 and PR5 (e.g. pathogenesis related proteins PR2 and PR5) are related to leaf aging rather than to the chloroplast degradation program, as their levels increase only in leaves undergoing developmental senescence, but not in dark-induced senescent leaves. Changes in the apoplastic space may be relevant for signaling and molecular trafficking underlying senescence.
Project description:Warm winters and hot springs may promote panicle leaf growing and repress floral development. To identify genes potentially involved in litchi panicle leaf senescence, eight RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq) libraries of the senescing panicle leaves under low temperature (LT) conditions and the developing panicle leaves under high temperature (HT) conditions were constructed. For each library, 4.78?8.99 × 10? clean reads were generated. Digital expression of the genes was compared between the senescing and developing panicle leaves. A total of 6477 upregulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (from developing leaves to senescing leaves), and 6318 downregulated DEGs were identified, 158 abscisic acid (ABA)-, 68 ethylene-, 107 indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-, 27 gibberellic acid (GA)-, 68 cytokinin (CTK)-, 37 salicylic acid (SA)-, and 23 brassinolide (BR)-related DEGs. Confirmation of the RNA-Seq data by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis suggested that expression trends of the 10 candidate genes using qRT-PCR were similar to those revealed by RNA-Seq, and a significantly positive correlation between the obtained data from qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq were found, indicating the reliability of our RNA-Seq data. The present studies provided potential genes for the future molecular breeding of new cultivars that can induce panicle leaf senescence and reduce floral abortion under warm climates.
Project description:Leaf senescence and plant aging are traits of great interest for breeders. Senescing cells undergo important physiological and biochemical changes, while cellular structures such as chloroplasts are degraded with dramatic metabolic consequences for the whole plant. The possibility of prolonging the photosynthetic ability of leaves could positively impact the plant's life span with benefits for biomass production and metabolite accumulation; plants with these characteristics display a stay-green phenotype. A group of plant transcription factors known as NAC play a pivotal role in controlling senescence: here we describe the involvement of the tomato NAC transcription factor Solyc12g036480, which transcript is present in leaves and floral buds. Since its silencing delays leaf senescence and prevents plants from ageing, we renamed Solyc12g0364 H?B?, for the Greek goddess of youth. In this manuscript we describe how HEB downregulation negatively affects the progression of senescence, resulting in changes in transcription of senescence-promoting genes, as well as the activity of enzymes involved in chlorophyll degradation, thereby explaining the stay-green phenotype.
Project description:The transcriptomes of senescing flag leaves collected from barley field plots with standard or high nitrogen supply were compared to identify genes specifically associated with nitrogen remobilization during leaf senescence under agronomically relevant conditions. In flag leaves collected in field plots with high nitrogen supply, the decline in chlorophyll content was delayed. By comparing changes in gene expression for the two nitrogen levels, it was possible to discriminate genes related to nitrogen remobilization during senescence and genes involved in other processes associated with the late development of leaves under field conditions. Predominant genes that were more strongly upregulated during senescence of flag leaves from plants with standard nitrogen supply included genes encoding the transcription factor HvNAC026, serine type protease SCPL51, and the autophagy factors APG7 and ATG18F. Elevated expression of these genes in senescing leaves from plants with standard nitrogen supply indicates important roles of the corresponding proteins in nitrogen remobilization. In comparison, the genes upregulated in both flag leaf samples might have roles in general senescence processes associated with late leaf development. Among these genes were the transcription factor genes HvNAC001, HvNAC005, HvNAC013, HvWRKY12 and MYB, genes encoding the papain-like cysteine peptidases HvPAP14 and HvPAP20, as well as a subtilase gene.
Project description:Leaf senescence in plants is a coordinated process that involves remobilization of nutrients from senescing leaves to sink tissues. The molecular events associated with nutrient remobilization are however not well understood. In this study the tobacco system with a source-sink relationship between different leaf positions was used in analyzing the spatiotemporal changes of 76 metabolites from leaves at 3 different stalk positions and 8 developmental stages. The metabolomic data was then compared with RNA-seq data from the same samples to analyze the activities of the metabolic pathways that are important for nutrient remobilization. Integrative analyses on metabolites accumulation and expression changes of enzyme-encoding genes in corresponding metabolic pathways indicated a significant up-regulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and related metabolism of sugars, amino acids and fatty acids, suggesting the importance of energy metabolism during leaf senescence. Other changes of the metabolism during tobacco leaf senescence include increased activities of the GS/GOGAT cycle which is responsible for nitrogen recycling, and increased accumulation of nicotine. The results also suggested that a number of compounds seemed to be transported from senescing leaves at lower positions to sink leaves at upper positions. Some of these metabolites could play a role in nutrient remobilization.