Abstract: Most of the phosphorus in seeds is accumulated in the form of phytic acid (myo-inositol-1,2,3,4,5,6-hexakisphosphate, InsP6). This molecule is a strong chelator of cations important for nutrition, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium. For this reason, InsP6 is considered an antinutritional factor. In recent years, efforts to biofortify seeds through the generation of low phytic acid (lpa) mutants have been noteworthy. Moreover, genes involved in the biosynthesis and accumulation of this molecule have been isolated and characterized in different species. Beyond its role in phosphorus storage, phytic acid is a very important signaling molecule involved in different regulatory processes during plant development and responses to different stimuli. Consequently, many lpa mutants show different negative pleitotropic effects. The strength of these pleiotropic effects depends on the specific mutated gene, possible functional redundancy, the nature of the mutation, and the spatio-temporal expression of the gene. Breeding programs or transgenic approaches aimed at development of new lpa mutants must take into consideration these different aspects in order to maximize the utility of these mutants.
Abstract: Severe over-stresses of climate caused dramatic changes in the intracellular distribution of the flavonoids. This was studied in needles from the current year’s growth of the following species and varieties: Tsuga canadensis, Taxus baccata, T.aurea, T. repens, T. nana, and T. compacta. The mode of steady changes in flavonoids was evaluated by microscopic techniques. Most of the flavonoids stain visibly yellow by themselves. The colorless flavanol subgroup can be stained blue by the DMACA reagent. In mid-summer 2013, outstanding high temperatures and intense photo-oxidative irradiation caused in a free-standing tree of Taxus baccata dramatic heat damage in a limited number of cells of the palisade layers. In these cells, the cytoplasm was burned brown. However, the nucleus maintained its healthy “blue” colored appearance which apparently was a result of antioxidant barrier effects by these flavanols. In late May 2014, excessive rainfall greatly affected all study trees. Collectively, in all study trees, a limited number of the mesophyll nuclei from the needless grown in 2013 and 2014 became overly turgid, enlarged in size and the flavanols leached outward through the damaged nuclear membranes. This diffusive stress event was followed one to three days later by a similar efflux of DNA. Such a complete dissolution of the nuclei in young tissues was the most spectacular phenomenon of the present study. As a common feature, leaching of both flavanols and DNA was markedly enhanced with increasing size and age of the cells. There is evidence that signalling flavonoids are sensitized to provide in nuclei and cytoplasm multiple mutual protective mechanisms. However, this well-orchestrated flavonoid system is broken down by extreme climate events.
Abstract: Massive changes in the transcriptome of Arabidopsis thaliana during onset and progression of leaf senescence imply a central role for transcription factors. While many transcription factors are themselves up- or down-regulated during senescence, the bZIP transcription factor G-box-binding factor 1 (GBF1/bZIP41) is constitutively expressed in Arabidopsis leaf tissue but at the same time triggers the onset of leaf senescence, suggesting posttranscriptional mechanisms for senescence-specific GBF1 activation. Here we show that GBF1 is phosphorylated by the threonine/serine CASEIN KINASE II (CKII) in vitro and that CKII phosphorylation had a negative effect on GBF1 DNA-binding to G-boxes of two direct target genes, CATALASE2 and RBSCS1a. Phosphorylation mimicry at three serine positions in the basic region of GBF1 also had a negative effect on DNA-binding. Kinase assays revealed that CKII phosphorylates at least one serine in the basic domain but has additional phosphorylation sites outside this domain. Two different ckII α subunit1 and one α subunit2 T-DNA insertion lines showed no visible senescence phenotype, but in all lines the expression of the senescence marker gene SAG12 was remarkably diminished. A model is presented suggesting that senescence-specific GBF1 activation might be achieved by lowering the phosphorylation of GBF1 by CKII.
Abstract: Prolonged drought stress combined with high leaf temperatures can induce programmed leaf senescence involving lipid peroxidation, and the loss of net carbon assimilation during early stages of tree mortality. Periodic droughts are known to induce widespread tree mortality in the Amazon rainforest, but little is known about the role of lipid peroxidation during drought-induced leaf senescence. In this study, we present observations of green leaf volatile (GLV) emissions during membrane peroxidation processes associated with the combined effects of high leaf temperatures and drought-induced leaf senescence from individual detached leaves and a rainforest ecosystem in the central Amazon. Temperature-dependent leaf emissions of volatile terpenoids were observed during the morning, and together with transpiration and net photosynthesis, showed a post-midday depression. This post-midday depression was associated with a stimulation of C5 and C6 GLV emissions, which continued to increase throughout the late afternoon in a temperature-independent fashion. During the 2010 drought in the Amazon Basin, which resulted in widespread tree mortality, green leaf volatile emissions (C6 GLVs) were observed to build up within the forest canopy atmosphere, likely associated with high leaf temperatures and enhanced drought-induced leaf senescence processes. The results suggest that observations of GLVs in the tropical boundary layer could be used as a chemical sensor of reduced ecosystem productivity associated with drought stress.
Abstract: Leaf senescence is a complicated developmental process that involves degenerative changes and nutrient recycling. The progress of leaf senescence is controlled by various environmental cues and plant hormones, including ethylene, jasmonic acid, salicylic acid, abscisic acid, cytokinins, and strigolactones. The production of strigolactones is induced in response to nitrogen and phosphorous deficiency. Strigolactones also accelerate leaf senescence and regulate shoot branching and root architecture. Leaf senescence is actively promoted in a nutrient-poor soil environment, and nutrients are transported from old leaves to young tissues and seeds. Strigolactones might act as important signals in response to nutrient levels in the rhizosphere. In this review, we discuss the possible roles of strigolactones during leaf senescence.
Abstract: Light regulates leaf senescence and light deprivation causes large-scale transcriptional reprogramming to dismantle cellular components and remobilize nutrients to sink organs, such as seeds and storage tissue. We recently reported that in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), Phytochrome-Interacting Factor4 (PIF4) and PIF5 promote dark-induced senescence and natural senescence by directly activating the expression of typical senescence-associated genes (SAGs), including ORESARA1 (ORE1) and ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3). In contrast, phytochrome B (PhyB) inhibits leaf senescence by repressing PIF4 and PIF5 at the post-translational level. Although we found how red light signaling represses leaf senescence in Arabidopsis, it remains unknown whether PhyB and/or PhyA are involved in leaf senescence in rice (Oryza sativa). Here we show that rice phyB knockout mutants (osphyB-1, -2, and -3) exhibited an early senescence phenotype during dark-induced senescence, but an osphyA knockout mutant (osphyA-3) senesced normally. The RT-qPCR analysis revealed that several senescence-associated genes, including OsORE1 and OsEIN3, were significantly up-regulated in osphyB-2 mutants, indicating that OsPhyB also inhibits leaf senescence, like Arabidopsis PhyB. We also found that leaf segments of osphyB-2 senesced faster even under light conditions. Supplementation with nitrogen compounds, such as KNO3 and NH4NO3, rescued the early senescence phenotype of osphyB-2, indicating that starvation is one of the major signaling factors in the OsPhyB-dependent leaf senescence pathway.