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.
Abstract: Many plant pathogens show interactions with host development. Pathogens may modify plant development according to their nutritional demands. Conversely, plant development influences pathogen growth. Biotrophic pathogens often delay senescence to keep host cells alive, and resistance is achieved by senescence-like processes in the host. Necrotrophic pathogens promote senescence in the host, and preventing early senescence is a resistance strategy of plants. For hemibiotrophic pathogens both patterns may apply. Most signaling pathways are involved in both developmental and defense reactions. Increasing knowledge about the molecular components allows to distinguish signaling branches, cross-talk and regulatory nodes that may influence the outcome of an infection. In this review, recent reports on major molecular players and their role in senescence and in pathogen response are reviewed. Examples of pathosystems with strong developmental implications illustrate the molecular basis of selected control strategies. A study of gene expression in the interaction between the hemibiotrophic vascular pathogen Verticillium longisporum and its cruciferous hosts shows processes that are fine-tuned to counteract early senescence and to achieve resistance. The complexity of the processes involved reflects the complex genetic control of quantitative disease resistance, and understanding the relationship between disease, development and resistance will support resistance breeding.
Abstract: Within the last decade, NAC transcription factors have been shown to play essential roles in senescence, which is the focus of this review. Transcriptome analyses associate approximately one third of Arabidopsis NAC genes and many crop NAC genes with senescence, thereby implicating NAC genes as important regulators of the senescence process. The consensus DNA binding site of the NAC domain is used to predict NAC target genes, and protein interaction sites can be predicted for the intrinsically disordered transcription regulatory domains of NAC proteins. The molecular characteristics of these domains determine the interactions in gene regulatory networks. Emerging local NAC-centered gene regulatory networks reveal complex molecular mechanisms of stress- and hormone-regulated senescence and basic physiological steps of the senescence process. For example, through molecular interactions involving the hormone abscisic acid, ArabidopsisNAP promotes chlorophyll degradation, a hallmark of senescence. Furthermore, studies of the functional rice ortholog, OsNAP, suggest that NAC genes can be targeted to obtain specific changes in lifespan control and nutrient remobilization in crop plants. This is also exemplified by the wheat NAM1 genes which promote senescence and increase grain zinc, iron, and protein content. Thus, NAC genes are promising targets for fine-tuning senescence for increased yield and quality.
Abstract: Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is one of the earliest responses of plant cells to various biotic and abiotic stresses. ROS are capable of inducing cellular damage by oxidation of proteins, inactivation of enzymes, alterations in the gene expression, and decomposition of biomembranes. On the other hand, they also have a signaling role and changes in production of ROS can act as signals that change the transcription of genes that favor the acclimation of plants to abiotic stresses. Among the ROS, it is believed that H2O2 causes the largest changes in the levels of gene expression in plants. A wide range of plant responses has been found to be triggered by H2O2 such as acclimation to drought, photooxidative stress, and induction of senescence. Our knowledge on signaling roles of singlet oxygen (1O2) has been limited by its short lifetime, but recent experiments with a flu mutant demonstrated that singlet oxygen does not act primarily as a toxin but rather as a signal that activates several stress-response pathways. In this review we summarize the latest progress on the signaling roles of ROS during senescence and abiotic stresses and we give a short overview of the methods that can be used for their assessment.
Abstract: The study, characterization, observation, and quantification of plant root growth and root systems (Rhizometrics) has been and remains an important area of research in all disciplines of plant science. In the horticultural industry, a large portion of the crops grown annually are grown in pot culture. Root growth is a critical component in overall plant performance during production in containers, and therefore it is important to understand the factors that influence and/or possible enhance it. Quantifying root growth has varied over the last several decades with each method of quantification changing in its reliability of measurement and variation among the results. Methods such as root drawings, pin boards, rhizotrons, and minirhizotrons initiated the aptitude to measure roots with field crops, and have been expanded to container-grown plants. However, many of the published research methods are monotonous and time-consuming. More recently, computer programs have increased in use as technology advances and measuring characteristics of root growth becomes easier. These programs are instrumental in analyzing various root growth characteristics, from root diameter and length of individual roots to branching angle and topological depth of the root architecture. This review delves into the expanding technologies involved with expertly measuring root growth of plants in containers, and the advantages and disadvantages that remain.
Abstract: Senescence represents the final stage of leaf development but is often inducedprematurely following exposure to biotic and abiotic stresses. Leaf senescence is manifested by color change from green to yellow (due to chlorophyll degradation) or to red (due to de novo synthesis of anthocyanins coupled with chlorophyll degradation) and frequently culminates in programmed death of leaves. However, the breakdown of chlorophyll and macromolecules such as proteins and RNAs that occurs during leaf senescence does not necessarily represent a one-way road to death but rather a reversible process whereby senescing leaves can, under certain conditions, re-green and regain their photosynthetic capacity. This phenomenon essentially distinguishes senescence from programmed cell death, leading researchers to hypothesize that changes occurring during senescence might represent a process of trans-differentiation, that is the conversion of one cell type to another. In this review, we highlight attributes common to senescence and dedifferentiation including chromatin structure and activation of transposable elements and provide further support to the notion that senescence is not merely a deterioration process leading to death but rather a unique developmental state resembling dedifferentiation.