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Versailles, France

Haigler C.H.,North Carolina State University | Grimson M.J.,Texas Tech University | Grimson M.J.,W L Gore and Associates | Gervais J.,MINES ParisTech | And 5 more authors.

The remarkable mechanical strength of cellulose reflects the arrangement of multiple b-1,4-linked glucan chains in a paracrystalline fibril. During plant cellulose biosynthesis, a multimeric cellulose synthesis complex (CSC) moves within the plane of the plasma membrane as many glucan chains are synthesized from the same end and in close proximity. Many questions remain about the mechanism of cellulose fibril assembly, for example must multiple catalytic subunits within one CSC polymerize cellulose at the same rate? How does the cellulose fibril bend to align horizontally with the cell wall? Here we used mathematical modeling to investigate the interactions between glucan chains immediately after extrusion on the plasma membrane surface. Molecular dynamics simulations on groups of six glucans, each originating from a position approximating its extrusion site, revealed initial formation of an uncrystallized aggregate of chains from which a protofibril arose spontaneously through a ratchet mechanism involving hydrogen bonds and van der Waals interactions between glucose monomers. Consistent with the predictions from the model, freeze-fracture transmission electron microscopy using improved methods revealed a hemispherical accumulation of material at points of origination of apparent cellulose fibrils on the external surface of the plasma membrane where rosette-type CSCs were also observed. Together the data support the possibility that a zone of uncrystallized chains on the plasma membrane surface buffers the predicted variable rates of cellulose polymerization from multiple catalytic subunits within the CSC and acts as a flexible hinge allowing the horizontal alignment of the crystalline cellulose fibrils relative to the cell wall. © 2014 Haigler et al. Source

Dobler R.,University of Tubingen | Rogell B.,Monash University | Budar F.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Budar F.,Institute Jean Pierre Bourgin | Dowling D.K.,Monash University
Journal of Evolutionary Biology

Genetic variation in cytoplasmic genomes (i.e. the mitochondrial genome in animals, and the combined mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes in plants) was traditionally assumed to accumulate under a neutral equilibrium model. This view has, however, come under increasing challenge from studies that have experimentally linked cytoplasmic genetic effects to the expression of life history phenotypes. Such results suggest that genetic variance located within the cytoplasm might be of evolutionary importance and potentially involved in shaping population evolutionary trajectories. As a step towards assessing this assertion, here we conduct a formal meta-analytic review to quantitatively assess the extent to which cytoplasmic genetic effects contribute to phenotypic expression across animal and plant kingdoms. We report that cytoplasmic effect sizes are generally moderate in size and associated with variation across a range of factors. Specifically, cytoplasmic effects on morphological traits are generally larger than those on life history or metabolic traits. Cytoplasmic effect sizes estimated at the between-species scale (via interspecies mix-and-matching of cytoplasmic and nuclear genomes) are larger than those at the within-species scale. Furthermore, cytoplasmic effects tied to epistatic interactions with the nuclear genome tend to be stronger than additive cytoplasmic effects, at least when restricting the data set to gonochorous animal species. Our results thus confirm that cytoplasmic genetic variation is commonly tied to phenotypic expression across plants and animals, implicate the cytoplasmic-nuclear interaction as a key unit on which natural selection acts and generally suggest that the genetic variation that lies within the cytoplasm is likely to be entwined in adaptive evolutionary processes. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2014 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Source

Cifuentes M.,Institute Jean Pierre Bourgin | Garcia-Aguero V.,Technical University of Madrid | Benavente E.,Technical University of Madrid
Cytogenetic and Genome Research

Homoeologous metaphase I (MI) associations in hybrids between durum wheat and its wild allotetraploid relatives Aegilops neglecta, Ae. triuncialis and Ae. ventricosa have been characterized by a genomic in situ hybridization procedure that allows simultaneous discrimination of A, B and wild species genomes. Earlier results in equivalent hybrids with the wild species Ae. cylindrica and Ae. geniculata have also been considered to comparatively assay the MI pairing pattern of the durum wheat × Aegilops interspecific combinations more likely to occur in nature. The general picture can be drawn as follows. A and B wheat genomes pair with each other less than the 2 wild constituent genomes do in any of the hybrid combinations examined. Interspecific wheat-wild associations account for 60-70% of total MI pairing in all hybrids, except in that derived from Ae. triuncialis, but the A genome is always the wheat partner most frequently involved in MI pairing with the wild homoeologues. Hybrids with Ae. cylindrica, Ae. geniculata and Ae. ventricosa showed similar reduced levels of MI association and virtually identical MI pairing patterns. However, certain recurrent differences were found when the pattern of homoeologous pairing of hybrids from either Ae. triuncialis or Ae. neglecta was contrasted to that observed in the other durum wheat hybrid combinations. In the former case, a remarkable preferential pairing between the wild species constituent genomes Ut and Ct seems to be the reason, whereas a general promotion of homoeologous pairing, qualitatively similar to that observed under the effect of the ph1c mutation, appears to occur in the hybrid with Ae. neglecta. It is further discussed whether the results reported here can be extrapolated to the corresponding bread wheat hybrid combinations. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel. Source

Pribat A.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Sormani R.,University of Bordeaux 1 | Sormani R.,Institute Jean Pierre Bourgin | Rousseau-Gueutin M.,University of Bordeaux 1 | And 9 more authors.
Biochemical Journal

PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten) proteins are dual phosphatases with both protein and phosphoinositide phosphatase activity. Theymodulate signalling pathways controlling growth, metabolism and apoptosis in animals and are implied in several human diseases. In the present paper we describe a novel class of PTEN proteins in plants, termed PTEN2, which comprises the AtPTEN (Arabidopsis PTEN) 2a and AtPTEN2b proteins in Arabidopsis. Both display low in vitro tyrosine phosphatase activity. In addition, AtPTEN2a actively dephosphorylates in vitro the 3′phosphate group of PI3P (phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate), PI(3,4)P 2 (phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate) and PI(3,5)P 2(phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate). In contrast with animal PTENs, PI(3,4,5)P 3 (phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate) is a poor substrate. Site-directed mutagenesis of AtPTEN2a and molecular modelling of protein-phosphoinositide interactions indicated that substitutions at the PTEN2 core catalytic site of the Lys 267 and Gly 268 residues found in animals, which are critical for animal PTENactivity, by Met 267 and Ala 268 found in the eudicot PTEN2 are responsible for changes in substrate specificity. Remarkably, the AtPTEN2a protein also displays strong binding activity for PA (phosphatidic acid), a major lipid second messenger in plants. Promoter::GUS (β-glucuronidase) fusion, transcript and protein analyses further showed the transcriptional regulation of the ubiquitously expressed AtPTEN2a and AtPTEN2b by salt and osmotic stress. The results of the present study suggest a function for this novel class of plant PTEN proteins as an effector of lipid signalling in plants. ©The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 Biochemical Society. Source

Silveira A.B.,University of Campinas | Trontin C.,Institute Jean Pierre Bourgin | Cortijo S.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Barau J.,University of Campinas | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Genetics

Epigenetic variation, such as heritable changes of DNA methylation, can affect gene expression and thus phenotypes, but examples of natural epimutations are few and little is known about their stability and frequency in nature. Here, we report that the gene Qua-Quine Starch (QQS) of Arabidopsis thaliana, which is involved in starch metabolism and that originated de novo recently, is subject to frequent epigenetic variation in nature. Specifically, we show that expression of this gene varies considerably among natural accessions as well as within populations directly sampled from the wild, and we demonstrate that this variation correlates negatively with the DNA methylation level of repeated sequences located within the 5′end of the gene. Furthermore, we provide extensive evidence that DNA methylation and expression variants can be inherited for several generations and are not linked to DNA sequence changes. Taken together, these observations provide a first indication that de novo originated genes might be particularly prone to epigenetic variation in their initial stages of formation. © 2013 Silveira et al. Source

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