Abstract: Most field-grown plants are surrounded by microbes, especially from the soil. Some of these, including bacteria, fungi and nematodes, specifically manipulate the growth and development of their plant hosts, primarily for the formation of structures housing the microbes in roots. These developmental processes require the correct localization of the phytohormone auxin, which is involved in the control of cell division, cell enlargement, organ development and defense, and is thus a likely target for microbes that infect and invade plants. Some microbes have the ability to directly synthesize auxin. Others produce specific signals that indirectly alter the accumulation of auxin in the plant by altering auxin transport. This review highlights root–microbe interactions in which auxin transport is known to be targeted by symbionts and parasites to manipulate the development of their host root system. We include case studies for parasitic root–nematode interactions, mycorrhizal symbioses as well as nitrogen fixing symbioses in actinorhizal and legume hosts. The mechanisms to achieve auxin transport control that have been studied in model organisms include the induction of plant flavonoids that indirectly alter auxin transport and the direct targeting of auxin transporters by nematode effectors. In most cases, detailed mechanisms of auxin transport control remain unknown.
Abstract: Plant sulfite oxidase [SO; E.C.18.104.22.168] has been shown to be a key player in protecting plants against exogenous toxic sulfite. Recently we showed that SO activity is essential to cope with rising dark-induced endogenous sulfite levels in tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum/Solanum lycopersicum Mill. cv. Rheinlands Ruhm). Here we uncover the ramifications of SO impairment on carbon, nitrogen and sulfur (S) metabolites. Current analysis of the wild-type and SO-impaired plants revealed that under controlled conditions, the imbalanced sulfite level resulting from SO impairment conferred a metabolic shift towards elevated reduced S-compounds, namely sulfide, S-amino acids (S-AA), Co-A and acetyl-CoA, followed by non-S-AA, nitrogen and carbon metabolite enhancement, including polar lipids. Exposing plants to dark-induced carbon starvation resulted in a higher degradation of S-compounds, total AA, carbohydrates, polar lipids and total RNA in the mutant plants. Significantly, a failure to balance the carbon backbones was evident in the mutants, indicated by an increase in tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) cycle intermediates, whereas a decrease was shown in stressed wild-type plants. These results indicate that the role of SO is not limited to a rescue reaction under elevated sulfite, but SO is a key player in maintaining optimal carbon, nitrogen and sulfur metabolism in tomato plants.
Abstract: Plants modulate root growth in response to changes in the local environment, guided by intrinsic developmental genetic programs. The hormone Abscisic Acid (ABA) mediates responses to different environmental factors, such as the presence of nitrate in the soil, water stress and salt, shaping the structure of the root system by regulating the production of lateral roots as well as controlling root elongation by modulating cell division and elongation. Curiously, ABA controls different aspects of root architecture in different plant species, perhaps providing some insight into the great diversity of root architecture in different plants, both from different taxa and from different environments. ABA is an ancient signaling pathway, acquired well before the diversification of land plants. Nonetheless, how this ancient signaling module is implemented or interacts within a larger signaling network appears to vary in different species. This review will examine the role of ABA in the control of root architecture, focusing on the regulation of lateral root formation in three plant species, Arabidopsis thaliana, Medicago truncatula and Oryza sativa. We will consider how the implementation of the ABA signaling module might be a target of natural selection, to help contribute to the diversity of root architecture in nature.
Abstract: Many plants can establish symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, some of which lead to nodulation, including legumes. Indeed, in the rhizobium/legume symbiosis, new root organs, called nodules, are formed by the plant in order to host the rhizobia in protective conditions, optimized for nitrogen fixation. In this way, these plants can benefit from the reduction of atmospheric dinitrogen into ammonia by the hosted bacteria, and in exchange the plant provides the rhizobia with a carbon source. Since this symbiosis is costly for the plant it is highly regulated. Both legume nodule and lateral root organogenesis involve divisions of the root inner tissues, and both developmental programs are tightly controlled by plant hormones. In fact, most of the major plant hormones, such as auxin, cytokinins, abscisic acid, and strigolactones, control both lateral root formation and nodule organogenesis, but often in an opposite manner. This suggests that the sensitivity of legume plants to some phytohormones could be linked to the antagonism that exists between the processes of nodulation and lateral root formation. Here, we will review the implication of some major phytohormones in lateral root formation in legumes, compare them with their roles in nodulation, and discuss specificities and divergences from non-legume eudicot plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana.
Abstract: Several theories exist about the role of anthocyanins in senescing leaves. To elucidate factors contributing to variation in autumn leaf anthocyanin contents among individual trees, we analysed anthocyanins and other leaf traits in 27 individuals of red maple (Acer rubrum L.) over two growing seasons in the context of timing of leaf senescence. Red maple usually turns bright red in the autumn, but there is considerable variation among the trees. Leaf autumn anthocyanin contents were consistent between the two years of investigation. Autumn anthocyanin content strongly correlated with degree of chlorophyll degradation mid to late September, early senescing leaves having the highest concentrations of anthocyanins. It also correlated positively with leaf summer chlorophyll content and dry matter content, and negatively with specific leaf area. Time of leaf senescence and anthocyanin contents correlated with soil pH and with canopy openness. We conclude that the importance of anthocyanins in protection of leaf processes during senescence depends on the time of senescence. Rather than prolonging the growing season by enabling a delayed senescence, autumn anthocyanins in red maple in Ontario are important when senescence happens early, possibly due to the higher irradiance and greater danger of oxidative damage early in the season.
Abstract: Polyamines (PAs) are aliphatic polycations present in all living organisms. A growing body of evidence reveals their involvement as regulators in a variety of physiological and pathological events. They are oxidatively deaminated by amine oxidases (AOs), including copper amine oxidases (CuAOs) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD)-dependent polyamine oxidases (PAOs). The biologically-active hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a shared compound in all of the AO-catalyzed reactions, and it has been reported to play important roles in PA-mediated developmental and stress-induced processes. In particular, the AO-driven H2O2 biosynthesis in the cell wall is well known to be involved in plant wound healing and pathogen attack responses by both triggering peroxidase-mediated wall-stiffening events and signaling modulation of defense gene expression. Extensive investigation by a variety of methodological approaches revealed high levels of expression of cell wall-localized AOs in root xylem tissues and vascular parenchyma of different plant species. Here, the recent progresses in understanding the role of cell wall-localized AOs as mediators of root xylem differentiation during development and/or under stress conditions are reviewed. A number of experimental pieces of evidence supports the involvement of apoplastic H2O2 derived from PA oxidation in xylem tissue maturation under stress-simulated conditions.