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Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg, Germany

Raatz B.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | Eicker A.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | Eicker A.,Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity | Schmitz G.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | And 6 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2011

Aerial plant architecture is largely based on the activity of axillary meristems (AMs), initiated in the axils of leaves. The Arabidopsis gene LATERAL SUPPRESSOR (LAS), which is expressed in well-defined domains at the adaxial boundary of leaf primordia, is a key regulator of AM formation. The precise definition of organ boundaries is an essential step for the formation of new organs in general and for meristem initiation; however, mechanisms leading to these specific patterns are not well understood. To increase understanding of how the highly specific transcript accumulation in organ boundary regions is established, we investigated the LAS promoter. Analysis of deletion constructs revealed that an essential enhancer necessary for complementation is situated about 3.2 kb downstream of the LAS open reading frame. This enhancer is sufficient to confer promoter specificity as upstream sequences in LAS could be replaced by non-specific promoters, such as the 35S minimal promoter. Further promoter swapping experiments using the PISTILLATA or the full 35S promoter demonstrated that the LAS 3′ enhancer also has suppressor functions, largely overwriting the activity of different 5′ promoters. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that LAS function and regulation are evolutionarily highly conserved. Homologous elements in downstream regulatory sequences were found in all LAS orthologs, including grasses. Transcomplementation experiments demonstrated the functional conservation of non-coding sequences between Solanum lycopersicum (tomato) and Arabidopsis. In summary, our results show that a highly conserved enhancer/suppressor element is the main regulatory module conferring the boundary-specific expression of LAS. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Samonte-Padilla I.E.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology | Eizaguirre C.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology | Eizaguirre C.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Scharsack J.P.,Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity | And 2 more authors.
BMC Developmental Biology | Year: 2011

Background: Rapid advances in genomics have provided nearly complete genome sequences for many different species. However, no matter how the sequencing technology has improved, natural genetic polymorphism complicates the production of high quality reference genomes. To address this problem, researchers have tried using artificial modes of genome manipulation such as gynogenesis for fast production of inbred lines. Results: Here, we present the first successful induction of diploid gynogenesis in an evolutionary model system, the three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), using a combination of UV-irradiation of the sperm and heat shock (HS) of the resulting embryo to inhibit the second meiotic division. Optimal UV irradiation of the sperm was established by exposing stickleback sperm to a UV- light source at various times. Heat shock parameters like temperature, duration, and time of initiation were tested by subjecting eggs fertilized with UV inactivated sperm 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, or 30 minutes post fertilization (mpf) to 30°C, 34°C, or 38°C for 2, 4, 6 or 8 minutes. Gynogen yield was highest when stickleback eggs were activated with 2 minutes UV-irradiated sperm and received HS 5 mpf at 34°C for 4 minutes. Conclusions: Diploid gynogenesis has been successfully performed in three-spined stickleback. This has been confirmed by microsatellite DNA analysis which revealed exclusively maternal inheritance in all gynogenetic fry tested. Ploidy verification by flow cytometry showed that gynogenetic embryos/larvae exhibiting abnormalities were haploids and those that developed normally were diploids, i.e., double haploids that can be raised until adult size. © 2011 Samonte-Padilla et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Yang F.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | Yang F.,Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory | Wang Q.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | Schmitz G.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | And 3 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2012

During post-embryonic shoot development, new meristems are initiated in the axils of leaves. They produce secondary axes of growth that determine morphological plasticity and reproductive efficiency in higher plants. In this study, we describe the role of the bHLH-protein-encoding Arabidopsis gene REGULATOR OF AXILLARY MERISTEM FORMATION (ROX), which is the ortholog of the branching regulators LAX PANICLE1 (LAX1) in rice and barren stalk1 (ba1) in maize. rox mutants display compromised axillary bud formation during vegetative shoot development, and combination of rox mutants with mutations in RAX1 and LAS, two key regulators of axillary meristem initiation, enhances their branching defects. In contrast to lax1 and ba1, flower development is unaffected in rox mutants. Over-expression of ROX leads to formation of accessory side shoots. ROX mRNA accumulates at the adaxial boundary of leaf and flower primordia. However, in the vegetative phase, axillary meristems initiate after ROX expression has terminated, suggesting an indirect role for ROX in meristem formation. During vegetative development, ROX expression is dependent on RAX1 and LAS activity, and all three genes act in concert to modulate axillary meristem formation. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Xiang Y.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | Nakabayashi K.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | Ding J.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | He F.,Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research | And 3 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2014

Seed dormancy determines germination timing and contributes to crop production and the adaptation of natural populations to their environment. Our knowledge about its regulation is limited. In a mutagenesis screen of a highly dormant Arabidopsis thaliana line, the reduced dormancy5 (rdo5) mutant was isolated based on its strongly reduced seed dormancy. Cloning of RDO5 showed that it encodes a PP2C phosphatase. Several PP2C phosphatases belonging to clade A are involved in abscisic acid signaling and control seed dormancy. However, RDO5 does not cluster with clade A phosphatases, and abscisic acid levels and sensitivity are unaltered in the rdo5 mutant. RDO5 transcript could only be detected in seeds and was most abundant in dry seeds. RDO5 was found in cells throughout the embryo and is located in the nucleus. A transcriptome analysis revealed that several genes belonging to the conserved PUF family of RNA binding proteins, in particular Arabidopsis PUMILIO9 (APUM9) and APUM11, showed strongly enhanced transcript levels in rdo5 during seed imbibition. Further transgenic analyses indicated that APUM9 reduces seed dormancy. Interestingly, reduction of APUM transcripts by RNA interference complemented the reduced dormancy phenotype of rdo5, indicating that RDO5 functions by suppressing APUM transcript levels. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved. Source

Pinard D.,University of Pretoria | Mizrachi E.,University of Pretoria | Hefer C.A.,University of Pretoria | Kersting A.R.,Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity | And 4 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: Carbohydrate metabolism is a key feature of vascular plant architecture, and is of particular importance in large woody species, where lignocellulosic biomass is responsible for bearing the bulk of the stem and crown. Since Carbohydrate Active enZymes (CAZymes) in plants are responsible for the synthesis, modification and degradation of carbohydrate biopolymers, the differences in gene copy number and regulation between woody and herbaceous species have been highlighted previously. There are still many unanswered questions about the role of CAZymes in land plant evolution and the formation of wood, a strong carbohydrate sink. Results: Here, twenty-two publically available plant genomes were used to characterize the frequency, diversity and complexity of CAZymes in plants. We find that a conserved suite of CAZymes is a feature of land plant evolution, with similar diversity and complexity regardless of growth habit and form. In addition, we compared the diversity and levels of CAZyme gene expression during wood formation in trees using mRNA-seq data from two distantly related angiosperm tree species Eucalyptus grandis and Populus trichocarpa, highlighting the major CAZyme classes involved in xylogenesis and lignocellulosic biomass production. Conclusions: CAZyme domain ratio across embryophytes is maintained, and the diversity of CAZyme domains is similar in all land plants, regardless of woody habit. The stoichiometric conservation of gene expression in woody and non-woody tissues of Eucalyptus and Populus are indicative of gene balance preservation. © Pinard et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Source

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