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Special Issue "Cell-Specificity in Plants"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
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Guest Editor
Institute for Sustainable Plant Protection National Research Council of Italy, IPSP-CNR, Turin, Italy
Interests: cell wall; genomics and functional genomics of symbiotic fungi; mycorrhizal fungi; plant-microbe interactions; abiotic stresses
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Valentina Fiorilli
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Guest Editor
Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Torino, Turin, Italy
Interests: Molecular and cellular aspects of plant–microbe interactions, mainly during arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis; plant response to biotic stress; role of phytohormones in plant growth and in response to microbes; apocarotenoids
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Plant growth and interactions take place in a complex cellular environment. Organs are complex structures composed of different tissues characterized by distinct cell types. Each cell type has specific functions that are driven by its own unique transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Global cell-profiling studies can provide information on several transcripts unique to specialized cells or, at least, localized to a few cell types. The examination of functional processes at the molecular level suffers from the use of whole organs, and cell type-specific differences might be masked by this approach. Even if transcripts corresponding to genes of interest are very abundant in one or few cell types, their amount may be diluted within the whole RNA pool of a tissue. Studies aimed to describe protein and metabolite profiles are also complicated by the presence of multiple cell types. The application of different approaches, such as plant transformation, in situ hybridization, and, more recently, laser microdissection (LMD), has allowed the identification of the localized expression of specific genes in specific cell populations. This is particularly important for genes predominantly expressed in cell types that are present in a small number in the analyzed tissue.

Dr. Raffaella Maria Balestrini
Dr. Valentina Fiorilli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Cell specificity
  • Laser microdissection
  • Proteomics
  • Metabolomics
  • Transcriptomics
  • In situ hybridization
  • Reporter gene
  • Plant interactions

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Impact of Chemical and Alternative Fungicides Applied to Grapevine cv Nebbiolo on Berry Transcriptome
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(17), 6067; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21176067 - 23 Aug 2020
Abstract
Viticulture is one of the horticultural systems in which antifungal treatments can be extremely frequent, with substantial economic and environmental costs. New products, such as biofungicides, resistance inducers and biostimulants, may represent alternative crop protection strategies respectful of the environmental sustainability and food [...] Read more.
Viticulture is one of the horticultural systems in which antifungal treatments can be extremely frequent, with substantial economic and environmental costs. New products, such as biofungicides, resistance inducers and biostimulants, may represent alternative crop protection strategies respectful of the environmental sustainability and food safety. Here, the main purpose was to evaluate the systemic molecular modifications induced by biocontrol products as laminarin, resistance inducers (i.e., fosetyl-Al and potassium phosphonate), electrolyzed water and a standard chemical fungicide (i.e., metiram), on the transcriptomic profile of ‘Nebbiolo’ grape berries at harvest. In addition to a validation of the sequencing data through real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for the first-time the expression of some candidate genes in different cell-types of berry skin (i.e., epidermal and hypodermal layers) was evaluated using the laser microdissection approach. Results showed that several considered antifungal treatments do not strongly affect the berry transcriptome profile at the end of season. Although some treatments do not activate long lasting molecular defense priming features in berry, some compounds appear to be more active in long-term responses. In addition, genes differentially expressed in the two-cell type populations forming the berry skin were found, suggesting a different function for the two-cell type populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Specificity in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Sugar Beet (Beta vulgaris) Guard Cells Responses to Salinity Stress: A Proteomic Analysis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2331; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072331 - 27 Mar 2020
Abstract
Soil salinity is a major environmental constraint affecting crop growth and threatening global food security. Plants adapt to salinity by optimizing the performance of stomata. Stomata are formed by two guard cells (GCs) that are morphologically and functionally distinct from the other leaf [...] Read more.
Soil salinity is a major environmental constraint affecting crop growth and threatening global food security. Plants adapt to salinity by optimizing the performance of stomata. Stomata are formed by two guard cells (GCs) that are morphologically and functionally distinct from the other leaf cells. These microscopic sphincters inserted into the wax-covered epidermis of the shoot balance CO2 intake for photosynthetic carbon gain and concomitant water loss. In order to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying stomatal function under saline conditions, we used proteomics approach to study isolated GCs from the salt-tolerant sugar beet species. Of the 2088 proteins identified in sugar beet GCs, 82 were differentially regulated by salt treatment. According to bioinformatics analysis (GO enrichment analysis and protein classification), these proteins were involved in lipid metabolism, cell wall modification, ATP biosynthesis, and signaling. Among the significant differentially abundant proteins, several proteins classified as “stress proteins” were upregulated, including non-specific lipid transfer protein, chaperone proteins, heat shock proteins, inorganic pyrophosphatase 2, responsible for energized vacuole membrane for ion transportation. Moreover, several antioxidant enzymes (peroxide, superoxidase dismutase) were highly upregulated. Furthermore, cell wall proteins detected in GCs provided some evidence that GC walls were more flexible in response to salt stress. Proteins such as L-ascorbate oxidase that were constitutively high under both control and high salinity conditions may contribute to the ability of sugar beet GCs to adapt to salinity by mitigating salinity-induced oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Specificity in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Highly Efficient Protoplast Isolation and Transient Expression System for Functional Characterization of Flowering Related Genes in Cymbidium Orchids
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2264; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072264 - 25 Mar 2020
Abstract
Protoplast systems have been proven powerful tools in modern plant biology. However, successful preparation of abundant viable protoplasts remains a challenge for Cymbidium orchids. Herein, we established an efficient protoplast isolation protocol from orchid petals through optimization of enzymatic conditions. It requires optimal [...] Read more.
Protoplast systems have been proven powerful tools in modern plant biology. However, successful preparation of abundant viable protoplasts remains a challenge for Cymbidium orchids. Herein, we established an efficient protoplast isolation protocol from orchid petals through optimization of enzymatic conditions. It requires optimal D-mannitol concentration (0.5 M), enzyme concentration (1.2 % (w/v) cellulose and 0.6 % (w/v) macerozyme) and digestion time (6 h). With this protocol, the highest yield (3.50 × 107/g fresh weight of orchid tissue) and viability (94.21%) of protoplasts were obtained from flower petals of Cymbidium. In addition, we achieved high transfection efficiency (80%) through the optimization of factors affecting polyethylene glycol (PEG)-mediated protoplast transfection including incubation time, final PEG4000 concentration and plasmid DNA amount. This highly efficient protoplast-based transient expression system (PTES) was further used for protein subcellular localization, bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay and gene regulation studies of flowering related genes in Cymbidium orchids. Taken together, our protoplast isolation and transfection protocol is highly efficient, stable and time-saving. It can be used for gene function and molecular analyses in orchids and other economically important monocot crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Specificity in Plants)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
GLABRA2, a Common Regulator for Epidermal Cell Fate Determination and Anthocyanin Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 4997; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20204997 - 09 Oct 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Epidermal cell fate determination—including trichome initiation, root hair formation, and flavonoid and mucilage biosynthesis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana)—are controlled by a similar transcriptional regulatory network. In the network, it has been proposed that the MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) activator complexes formed by an [...] Read more.
Epidermal cell fate determination—including trichome initiation, root hair formation, and flavonoid and mucilage biosynthesis in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana)—are controlled by a similar transcriptional regulatory network. In the network, it has been proposed that the MYB-bHLH-WD40 (MBW) activator complexes formed by an R2R3 MYB transcription factor, a bHLH transcription factor and the WD40-repeat protein TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 (TTG1) regulate the expression of downstream genes required for cell fate determination, flavonoid or mucilage biosynthesis, respectively. In epidermal cell fate determination and mucilage biosynthesis, the MBW activator complexes activate the expression of GLABRA2 (GL2). GL2 is a homeodomain transcription factor that promotes trichome initiation in shoots, mucilage biosynthesis in seeds, and inhibits root hair formation in roots. The MBW activator complexes also activate several R3 MYB genes. The R3 MYB proteins, in turn, competing with the R2R3 MYBs for binding bHLH transcription factors, therefore inhibiting the formation of the MBW activator complexes, lead to the inhibition of trichome initiation in shoots, and promotion of root hair formation in roots. In flavonoid biosynthesis, the MBW activator complexes activate the expression of the late biosynthesis genes in the flavonoid pathway, resulting in the production of anthocyanins or proanthocyanidins. Research progress in recent years suggests that the transcriptional regulatory network that controls epidermal cell fate determination and anthocyanin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis is far more complicated than previously thought. In particular, more regulators of GL2 have been identified, and GL2 has been shown to be involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis. This review focuses on the research progress on the regulation of GL2 expression, and the roles of GL2 in the regulation of epidermal cell fate determination and anthocyanin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cell-Specificity in Plants)
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