Project description:Abiotic stress limits seed germination, plant growth, flowering and fruit quality, causing economic decrease. Small Heat Shock Proteins (sHSPs) are chaperons with roles in stress tolerance. Herein, we report the functional characterization of a cytosolic class CI sHSP (OpsHSP18) from Opuntia streptacantha during seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana transgenic lines subjected to different stress and hormone treatments. The over-expression of the OpsHSP18 gene in A. thaliana increased the seed germination rate under salt (NaCl) and osmotic (glucose and mannitol) stress, and in ABA treatments, compared with WT. On the other hand, the over-expression of the OpsHSP18 gene enhanced tolerance to salt (150 mM NaCl) and osmotic (274 mM mannitol) stress in Arabidopsis seedlings treated during 14 and 21 days, respectively. These plants showed increased survival rates (52.00 and 73.33%, respectively) with respect to the WT (18.75 and 53.75%, respectively). Thus, our results show that OpsHSP18 gene might have an important role in abiotic stress tolerance, in particular in seed germination and survival rate of Arabidopsis plants under unfavorable conditions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pathogenesis-related proteins belonging to group 10 (PR10) are elevated in response to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants. Previously, we have shown a drastic salinity-induced increase in the levels of ABR17, a member of the PR10 family, in pea. Furthermore, we have also demonstrated that the constitutive expression of pea ABR17 cDNA in Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus enhances their germination and early seedling growth under stress. Although it has been reported that several members of the PR10 family including ABR17 possess RNase activity, the exact mechanism by which the aforementioned characteristics are conferred by ABR17 is unknown at this time. We hypothesized that a study of differences in transcriptome between wild type (WT) and ABR17 transgenic A. thaliana may shed light on this process. RESULTS: The molecular changes brought about by the expression of pea ABR17 cDNA in A. thaliana in the presence or absence of salt stress were investigated using microarrays consisting of 70-mer oligonucleotide probes representing 23,686 Arabidopsis genes. Statistical analysis identified number of genes which were over represented among up- or down-regulated transcripts in the transgenic line. Our results highlight the important roles of many abscisic acid (ABA) and cytokinin (CK) responsive genes in ABR17 transgenic lines. Although the transcriptional changes followed a general salt response theme in both WT and transgenic seedlings under salt stress, many genes exhibited differential expression patterns when the transgenic and WT lines were compared. These genes include plant defensins, heat shock proteins, other defense related genes, and several transcriptional factors. Our microarray results for selected genes were validated using quantitative real-time PCR. CONCLUSION: Transcriptional analysis in ABR17 transgenic Arabidopsis plants, both under normal and saline conditions, revealed significant changes in abundance of transcripts for many stress responsive genes, as well as those related to plant growth and development. Our results also suggest that ABR17 may mediate stress tolerance through the modulation of many ABA- and CK-responsive genes and may further our understanding of the role of ABR17 in mediating plant stress responses.
Project description:Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gasotransmitter and plays an important role in many physiological processes in mammals. Studies of its functions in plants are attracting ever growing interest, for example, its ability to enhance drought resistance in Arabidopsis. A general role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in plant adaptive responses to drought stress has thereby increased our interest to delve into the possible interplay between H2S and miRNAs. Our results showed that treating wild type (WT) Arabidopsis seedlings with polyethylene glycol 8000 (PEG8000) to simulate drought stress caused an increase in production rate of endogenous H2S; and a significant transcriptional reformation of relevant miRNAs, which were also triggered by exogenous H2S in WT. When lcd mutants (with lower H2S production rate than WT) were treated with PEG8000, they showed lower levels of miRNA expression changes than WT. In addition, we detected significant changes in target gene expression of those miRNAs and the corresponding phenotypes in lcd, including less roots, retardation of leaf growth and development and greater superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity under drought stress. We thereby conclude that H2S can improve drought resistance through regulating drought associated miRNAs in Arabidopsis.
Project description:It is well established among interdisciplinary researchers that there is an urgent need to address the negative impacts that accompany climate change. One such negative impact is the increased prevalence of unfavorable environmental conditions that significantly contribute to reduced agricultural yield. Plant microRNAs (miRNAs) are key gene expression regulators that control development, defense against invading pathogens and adaptation to abiotic stress. Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) can be readily molecularly manipulated, therefore offering an excellent experimental system to alter the profile of abiotic stress responsive miRNA/target gene expression modules to determine whether such modification enables Arabidopsis to express an altered abiotic stress response phenotype. Towards this goal, high throughput sequencing was used to profile the miRNA landscape of Arabidopsis whole seedlings exposed to heat, drought and salt stress, and identified 121, 123 and 118 miRNAs with a greater than 2-fold altered abundance, respectively. Quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was next employed to experimentally validate miRNA abundance fold changes, and to document reciprocal expression trends for the target genes of miRNAs determined abiotic stress responsive. RT-qPCR also demonstrated that each miRNA/target gene expression module determined to be abiotic stress responsive in Arabidopsis whole seedlings was reflective of altered miRNA/target gene abundance in Arabidopsis root and shoot tissues post salt stress exposure. Taken together, the data presented here offers an excellent starting platform to identify the miRNA/target gene expression modules for future molecular manipulation to generate plant lines that display an altered response phenotype to abiotic stress.
Project description:Little is known about adaptive within-species variation in thermotolerance in wild plants despite its likely role in both functional adaptation at range limits and in predicting response to climate change. Heat shock protein Hsp101, rapidly heat induced in Arabidopsis thaliana, plays a central role in thermotolerance in laboratory studies, yet little is known about variation in its expression in natural populations. We explored variation in thermotolerance and Hsp101 expression in seedlings from 16 natural populations of A. thaliana sampled along an elevation and climate gradient. We tested both naive controls (maintained at 22 °C until heat stress) and thermally pre-acclimated plants (exposed to a 38 °C 3-h acclimation treatment). After acclimation, seedlings were exposed to one of two heat stresses: 42 or 45 °C. Thermotolerance was measured as post-stress seedling survival and root growth. When stressed at 45 °C, both thermotolerance and Hsp101 expression were significantly increased by pre-acclimation. However, thermotolerance did not differ between pre-acclimation and control when followed by a 42 °C stress. Immediately after heat stress, pre-acclimated seedlings contained significantly more Hsp101 than control seedlings. At 45 °C, Hsp101 expression was positively associated with survival (r(2) = 0.37) and post-stress root growth (r(2) = 0.15). Importantly, seedling survival, post-stress root growth at 45 °C and Hsp101 expression at 42 °C were significantly correlated with the home sites' first principal component of climate variation. This climate gradient mainly reflects a temperature and precipitation gradient. Thus, the extent of Hsp101 expression modulation and thermotolerance appear to be interrelated and to evolve adaptively in natural populations of A. thaliana.
Project description:Because stress experiences are often recurrent plants have developed strategies to remember a first so-called priming stress to eventually respond more effectively to a second triggering stress. Here, we have studied the impact of discontinuous or sustained cold stress (4?°C) on in vitro grown Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings of different age and their ability to get primed and respond differently to a later triggering stress. Cold treatment of 7-d-old seedlings induced the expression of cold response genes but did not cause a significantly enhanced freezing resistance. The competence to increase the freezing resistance in response to cold was associated with the formation of true leaves. Discontinuous exposure to cold only during the night led to a stepwise modest increase in freezing tolerance provided that the intermittent phase at ambient temperature was less than 32?h. Seedlings exposed to sustained cold treatment developed a higher freezing tolerance which was further increased in response to a triggering stress during three days after the priming treatment had ended indicating cold memory. Interestingly, in all scenarios the primed state was lost as soon as the freezing tolerance had reached the level of naïve plants indicating that an effective memory was associated with an altered physiological state. Known mutants of the cold stress response (cbfs, erf105) and heat stress memory (fgt1) did not show an altered behaviour indicating that their roles do not extend to memory of cold stress in Arabidopsis seedlings.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Transcriptome map is a powerful tool for a variety of biological studies; transcriptome maps that include different organs, tissues, cells and stages of development are currently available for at least 30 plants. Some of them include samples treated by environmental or biotic stresses. However, most studies explore only limited set of organs and developmental stages (leaves or seedlings). In order to provide broader view of organ-specific strategies of cold stress response we studied expression changes that follow exposure to cold (+ 4 °C) in different aerial parts of plant: cotyledons, hypocotyl, leaves, young flowers, mature flowers and seeds using RNA-seq. RESULTS:The results on differential expression in leaves are congruent with current knowledge on stress response pathways, in particular, the role of CBF genes. In other organs, both essence and dynamics of gene expression changes are different. We show the involvement of genes that are confined to narrow expression patterns in non-stress conditions into stress response. In particular, the genes that control cell wall modification in pollen, are activated in leaves. In seeds, predominant pattern is the change of lipid metabolism. CONCLUSIONS:Stress response is highly organ-specific; different pathways are involved in this process in each type of organs. The results were integrated with previously published transcriptome map of Arabidopsis thaliana and used for an update of a public database TraVa: http://travadb.org/browse/Species=AthStress .
Project description:Maintaining lipid membrane integrity is an essential aspect of plant tolerance to high temperature. P4-type ATPases are responsible for flipping and stabilizing asymmetric phospholipids in membrane systems, though their functions in stress tolerance are not entirely clear. Aminophospholipid ATPase6 (ALA6) is a member of the P4-type ATPase family, which has 12 members in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we show that a loss-of-function mutant of ALA6 (ala6) exhibits clear sensitivity to heat stress, including both basal and acquired thermotolerance treatments. Overexpression of ALA6 improves seedling resistance to heat stress, while mutated ALA6 transgenic plants, in which the conserved functional site of the ALA family has a point mutation, are still susceptible to heat stress like ala6 loss-of-function mutant. In addition, ala6 displays higher ion-leakage during heat treatment, suggesting that the lipid flippase activity of ALA6 plays a vital role in heat stress responses. Transcriptome analysis reveals differences in gene expression between ala6 and wild-type plants with or without heat stress. The differentially expressed genes are involved primarily in the physiological processes of stress response, cellular compartment maintenance, macromolecule stability and energy production. Our results suggest that ALA6 is crucial for the stability of membrane when plants suffer from high temperature stress.
Project description:Universal stress proteins (USPs) are known to be expressed in response to various abiotic stresses in a wide variety of organisms, such as bacteria, archaebacteria, protists, algae, fungi, plants, and animals. However, in plants, biological function of most of the USPs still remains obscure. In the present study, Arabidopsis USP gene (AtUSP) showed induction in response to abscisic acid (ABA) and various abiotic stresses viz. heat, dehydration, salt, osmotic, and cold stresses. Additionally, in silico analysis of AtUSP promoter identified several cis-elements responsive to phytohormones and abiotic stresses such as ABRE, ERE, DRE, and HSE, etc. To functionally validate the AtUSP promoter, the 1115 bp region of promoter was characterized under phytohormone and abiotic stress treatments. Deletion analysis of promoter was carried out by cloning the full length promoter (D0) and its three 5' deletion derivatives, D1 (964 bp), D2 (660 bp), and D3 (503 bp) upstream of the ?-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene, which were then stably transformed in Arabidopsis plants. The AtUSP promoter (D0) showed minimal activity under non-stress conditions which was enhanced in response to phytohormone treatments (ABA and ACC) and abiotic stresses such as dehydration, heat, cold, salt, and osmotic stresses. The seedlings harboring D1 and D2 deletion fragments showed constitutive GUS expression even under control condition with increased activity almost under all the treatments. However, D3 seedlings exhibited complete loss of activity under control condition with induction under ACC treatment, dehydration, heat, oxidative, salt, and osmotic stresses. Thus, present study clearly showed that AtUSP promoter is highly inducible by phytohormones and multiple abiotic stresses and it can be exploited as stress inducible promoter to generate multi-stress tolerant crops with minimal effects on their other important traits.
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.