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Tegg R.S.,University of Tasmania | Shabala S.,University of Tasmania | Cuin T.A.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | Wilson C.R.,University of Tasmania
Plant Cell Reports

Key message: TheArabidopsismutant (ucu2-2/gi-2) is thaxtomin A, isoxaben and NPA-sensitive indicated by root growth and ion flux responses providing new insights into these compounds mode of action and interactions. Abstract: Thaxtomin A (TA) is a cellulose biosynthetic inhibitor (CBI) that promotes plant cell hypertrophy and cell death. Electrophysiological analysis of steady-state K+ and Ca2+ fluxes in Arabidopsis thaliana roots pretreated with TA for 24 h indicated a disturbance in the regulation of ion movement across the plant cell membrane. The observed inability to control solute movement, recorded in rapidly growing meristematic and elongation root zones, may partly explain typical root toxicity responses to TA treatment. Of note, the TA-sensitive mutant (ucu2-2/gi-2) was more susceptible with K+ and Ca2+ fluxes altered between 1.3 and eightfold compared to the wild-type control where fluxes altered between 1.2 and threefold. Root growth inhibition assays showed that the ucu2-2/gi-2 mutant had an increased sensitivity to the auxin 2,4-D, but not IAA or NAA; it also had increased sensitivity to the auxin efflux transport inhibitor, 1-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA), but not 2,3,5- Triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA), when compared to the WT. The NPA sensitivity data were supported by electrophysiological analysis of H+ fluxes in the mature (but not elongation) root zone. Increased sensitivity to the CBI, isoxaben (IXB), but not dichlobenil was recorded. Increased sensitivity to both TA and IXB corresponded with higher levels of accumulation of these toxins in the root tissue, compared to the WT. Further root growth inhibition assays showed no altered sensitivity of ucu2-2/gi-2 to two other plant pathogen toxins, alternariol and fusaric acid. Identification of a TA-sensitive Arabidopsis mutant provides further insight into how this CBI toxin interacts with plant cells. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Source

Salvador-Recatala V.,University of Lausanne | Salvador-Recatala V.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | Tjallingii W.F.,EPG Systems | Farmer E.E.,University of Lausanne
New Phytologist

Plants propagate electrical signals in response to artificial wounding. However, little is known about the electrophysiological responses of the phloem to wounding, and whether natural damaging stimuli induce propagating electrical signals in this tissue. Here, we used living aphids and the direct current (DC) version of the electrical penetration graph (EPG) to detect changes in the membrane potential of Arabidopsis sieve elements (SEs) during caterpillar wounding. Feeding wounds in the lamina induced fast depolarization waves in the affected leaf, rising to maximum amplitude (c. 60 mV) within 2 s. Major damage to the midvein induced fast and slow depolarization waves in unwounded neighbor leaves, but only slow depolarization waves in non-neighbor leaves. The slow depolarization waves rose to maximum amplitude (c. 30 mV) within 14 s. Expression of a jasmonate-responsive gene was detected in leaves in which SEs displayed fast depolarization waves. No electrical signals were detected in SEs of unwounded neighbor leaves of plants with suppressed expression of GLR3.3 and GLR3.6. EPG applied as a novel approach to plant electrophysiology allows cell-specific, robust, real-time monitoring of early electrophysiological responses in plant cells to damage, and is potentially applicable to a broad range of plant-herbivore interactions. © 2014 New Phytologist Trust. Source

Shabala S.,University of Tasmania | Bose J.,University of Tasmania | Hedrich R.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics
Trends in Plant Science

Soil salinity is claiming about three hectares of arable land from conventional crop farming every minute. At the same time, the challenge of feeding 9.3 billion people by 2050 is forcing agricultural production into marginal areas, and providing sufficient food for this growing population cannot be achieved without a major breakthrough in crop breeding for salinity tolerance. In this Opinion article, we argue that the current trend of targeting Na+ exclusion mechanisms in breeding programmes for salinity tolerance in crops needs revising. We propose that progress in this area will be achieved by learning from halophytes, naturally salt-loving plants capable of surviving in harsh saline environments, by targeting the mechanisms conferring Na+ sequestration in external storage organs. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Zhu M.,University of Tasmania | Shabala L.,University of Tasmania | Cuin T.A.,University of Tasmania | Cuin T.A.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany

Salinity stress tolerance in durum wheat is strongly associated with a plant's ability to control Na+ delivery to the shoot. Two loci, termed Nax1 and Nax2, were recently identified as being critical for this process and the sodium transporters HKT1;4 and HKT1;5 were identified as the respective candidate genes. These transporters retrieve Na+ from the xylem, thus limiting the rates of Na+ transport from the root to the shoot. In this work, we show that the Nax loci also affect activity and expression levels of the SOS1-like Na+/H+ exchanger in both root cortical and stelar tissues. Net Na+ efflux measured in isolated steles from salt-treated plants, using the non-invasive ion flux measuring MIFE technique, decreased in the sequence: Tamaroi (parental line)>Nax1=Nax2>Nax1:Nax2 lines. This efflux was sensitive to amiloride (a known inhibitor of the Na+/H+ exchanger) and was mirrored by net H+ flux changes. TdSOS1 relative transcript levels were 6-10-fold lower in Nax lines compared with Tamaroi. Thus, it appears that Nax loci confer two highly complementary mechanisms, both of which contribute towards reducing the xylem Na+ content. One enhances the retrieval of Na+ back into the root stele via HKT1;4 or HKT1;5, whilst the other reduces the rate of Na+ loading into the xylem via SOS1. It is suggested that such duality plays an important adaptive role with greater versatility for responding to a changing environment and controlling Na+ delivery to the shoot. © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. Source

Bohm J.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | Scherzer S.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | Krol E.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | Kreuzer I.,Institute for Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics | And 13 more authors.
Current Biology

Carnivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), depend on an animal diet when grown in nutrient-poor soils. When an insect visits the trap and tilts the mechanosensors on the inner surface, action potentials (APs) are fired. After a moving object elicits two APs, the trap snaps shut, encaging the victim. Panicking preys repeatedly touch the trigger hairs over the subsequent hours, leading to a hermetically closed trap, which via the gland-based endocrine system is flooded by a prey-decomposing acidic enzyme cocktail. Here, we asked the question as to how many times trigger hairs have to be stimulated (e.g., now many APs are required) for the flytrap to recognize an encaged object as potential food, thus making it worthwhile activating the glands. By applying a series of trigger-hair stimulations, we found that the touch hormone jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathway is activated after the second stimulus, while more than three APs are required to trigger an expression of genes encoding prey-degrading hydrolases, and that this expression is proportional to the number of mechanical stimulations. A decomposing animal contains a sodium load, and we have found that these sodium ions enter the capture organ via glands. We identified a flytrap sodium channel DmHKT1 as responsible for this sodium acquisition, with the number of transcripts expressed being dependent on the number of mechano-electric stimulations. Hence, the number of APs a victim triggers while trying to break out of the trap identifies the moving prey as a struggling Na+-rich animal and nutrition for the plant. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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