Special Issue "Genetics of Plant Senescence"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 December 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Götz Hensel

Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, Gatersleben, Germany
E-Mail
Interests: Plant senescence; programmed cell death; crop plants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Senescence is the final developmental process leading to remobilization of nutrients for the growth of new or reproductive organs. The process is highly dynamic and initiation requires external and internal signals. The new –omics era extended the tool box to uncover the underlying molecular mechanisms and allowed huge progress within the last years. Beside hormonal regulation several components of the retrograde signaling pathway have been discovered. Since senescence contributed largely to yield, aspects using biotechnological approaches to manipulate the process in a positive way should be addressed. This special issue is aiming in a collection of reviews and original research articles to gain more insights in the genetic networks underlying this process. Applications from model and crop plants are very welcome.

Dr. Götz Hensel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • retrograde signalling
  • nutrient mobilization
  • chloroplast
  • photosynthesis
  • transcription factors
  • phytohormons

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Identification of Genes Involved in Low Temperature-Induced Senescence of Panicle Leaf in Litchi chinensis
Received: 10 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 1 February 2019
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Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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 × 106 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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Plant Senescence)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Alternatively Polyadenylated Isoforms of ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR4 with Activator and Repressor Function on Senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana L.
Received: 19 December 2018 / Revised: 21 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
Leaf senescence is highly regulated by transcriptional reprogramming, implying an important role for transcriptional regulators. ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR4 (ERF4) was shown to be involved in senescence regulation and to exist in two different isoforms due to alternative polyadenylation of its pre-mRNA. One of [...] Read more.
Leaf senescence is highly regulated by transcriptional reprogramming, implying an important role for transcriptional regulators. ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR4 (ERF4) was shown to be involved in senescence regulation and to exist in two different isoforms due to alternative polyadenylation of its pre-mRNA. One of these isoforms, ERF4-R, contains an ERF-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif and acts as repressor, whereas the other form, ERF4-A, is lacking this motif and acts as activator. Here, we analyzed the impact of these isoforms on senescence. Both isoforms were able to complement the delayed senescence phenotype of the erf4 mutant with a tendency of ERF4-A for a slightly better complementation. However, overexpression led to accelerated senescence of 35S:ERF4-R plants but not of 35S:ERF4-A plants. We identified CATALASE3 (CAT3) as direct target gene of ERF4 in a yeast-one-hybrid screen. Both isoforms directly bind to the CAT3 promoter but have antagonistic effects on gene expression. The ratio of ERF4-A to ERF4-R mRNA changed during development, leading to a complex age-dependent regulation of CAT3 activity. The RNA-binding protein FPA shifted the R/A-ratio and fpa mutants are pointing towards a role of alternative polyadenylation regulators in senescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Plant Senescence)
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Open AccessArticle Nitrogen Supply Drives Senescence-Related Seed Storage Protein Expression in Rapeseed Leaves
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
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Abstract
In general, yield and fruit quality strongly rely on efficient nutrient remobilization during plant development and senescence. Transcriptome changes associated with senescence in spring oilseed rape grown under optimal nitrogen supply or mild nitrogen deficiency revealed differences in senescence and nutrient mobilization in [...] Read more.
In general, yield and fruit quality strongly rely on efficient nutrient remobilization during plant development and senescence. Transcriptome changes associated with senescence in spring oilseed rape grown under optimal nitrogen supply or mild nitrogen deficiency revealed differences in senescence and nutrient mobilization in old lower canopy leaves and younger higher canopy leaves. Having a closer look at this transcriptome analyses, we identified the major classes of seed storage proteins (SSP) to be expressed in vegetative tissue, namely leaf and stem tissue. Expression of SSPs was not only dependent on the nitrogen supply but transcripts appeared to correlate with intracellular H2O2 contents, which functions as well-known signaling molecule in developmental senescence. The abundance of SSPs in leaf material transiently progressed from the oldest leaves to the youngest. Moreover, stems also exhibited short-term production of SSPs, which hints at an interim storage function. In order to decipher whether hydrogen peroxide also functions as a signaling molecule in nitrogen deficiency-induced senescence, we analyzed hydrogen peroxide contents after complete nitrogen depletion in oilseed rape and Arabidopsis plants. In both cases, hydrogen peroxide contents were lower in nitrogen deficient plants, indicating that at least parts of the developmental senescence program appear to be suppressed under nitrogen deficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Plant Senescence)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Micromanagement of Developmental and Stress-Induced Senescence: The Emerging Role of MicroRNAs
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
MicroRNAs are short (19–24-nucleotide-long), non-coding RNA molecules. They downregulate gene expression by triggering the cleavage or translational inhibition of complementary mRNAs. Senescence is a stage of development following growth completion and is dependent on the expression of specific genes. MicroRNAs control the gene [...] Read more.
MicroRNAs are short (19–24-nucleotide-long), non-coding RNA molecules. They downregulate gene expression by triggering the cleavage or translational inhibition of complementary mRNAs. Senescence is a stage of development following growth completion and is dependent on the expression of specific genes. MicroRNAs control the gene expression responsible for plant competence to answer senescence signals. Therefore, they coordinate the juvenile-to-adult phase transition of the whole plant, the growth and senescence phase of each leaf, age-related cellular structure changes during vessel formation, and remobilization of resources occurring during senescence. MicroRNAs are also engaged in the ripening and postharvest senescence of agronomically important fruits. Moreover, the hormonal regulation of senescence requires microRNA contribution. Environmental cues, such as darkness or drought, induce senescence-like processes in which microRNAs also play regulatory roles. In this review, we discuss recent findings concerning the role of microRNAs in the senescence of various plant species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Plant Senescence)
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