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Yovkova M.,Institute of Ornamental Plants | Pencheva A.,University of Forestry | Petrovic-Obradovic O.,University of Belgrade
Acta Zoologica Bulgarica | Year: 2016

Elatobium abietinum is reported for the first time in Bulgaria. The aphid was found in the spring of 2014 in three private properties near Sofia (Bistritsa, Pancharevo and Dragalevtsi) on Norway spruce, Picea abies (L.) H. Karst. and Colorado spruce, Picea pungens Englem. Both Picea species are often used in gardens and landscaping. The damage caused by the aphid leads to the full loss of needles from infested branches. In this paper, a brief description of the morphology of E. abietinum is given, accompanied with data on its distribution and biological characteristics. Previous studies in several countries indicated that the aphid is a hazard for both large-sized spruce trees in landscape situations and small-sized trees in nurseries. Source

Yordanova Z.P.,Sofia University | Woltering E.J.,Wageningen University | Kapchina-Toteva V.M.,Sofia University | Iakimova E.T.,Wageningen University | Iakimova E.T.,Institute of Ornamental Plants
Annals of Botany | Year: 2013

Background and Aims Under stress-promoting conditions unicellular algae can undergo programmed cell death (PCD) but the mechanisms of algal cellular suicide are still poorly understood. In this work, the involvement of caspase-like proteases, DNA cleavage and the morphological occurrence of cell death in wasp venom mastoparan (MP)-treated Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were studied. Methods Algal cells were exposed to MP and cell death was analysed over time. Specific caspase inhibitors were employed to elucidate the possible role of caspase-like proteases. YVADase activity (presumably a vacuolar processing enzyme) was assayed by using a fluorogenic caspase-1 substrate. DNA breakdown was evaluated by DNA laddering and Comet analysis. Cellular morphology was examined by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Key Results MP-treated C. reinhardtii cells expressed several features of necrosis ( protoplast shrinkage) and vacuolar cell death (lytic vesicles, vacuolization, empty cell-walled corpse-containing remains of digested protoplast) sometimes within one single cell and in different individual cells. Nucleus compaction and DNA fragmentation were detected. YVADase activity was rapidly stimulated in response to MP but the early cell death was not inhibited by caspase inhibitors. At later time points, however, the caspase inhibitors were effective in cell-death suppression. Conditioned medium from MP-treated cells offered protection against MP-induced cell death. Conclusions In C. reinhardtii MP triggered PCD of atypical phenotype comprising features of vacuolar and necrotic cell deaths, reminiscent of the modality of hypersensitive response. It was assumed that depending on the physiological state and sensitivity of the cells to MP, the early cell-death phase might be not mediated by caspase-like enzymes, whereas later cell death may involve caspase-like-dependent proteolysis. The findings substantiate the hypothesis that, depending on the mode of induction and sensitivity of the cells, algal PCD may take different forms and proceed through different pathways. © The Author 2012. Source

Iakimova E.T.,Institute of Ornamental Plants | Iakimova E.T.,Wageningen University | Sobiczewski P.,Research Institute of Horticulture | Michalczuk L.,Research Institute of Horticulture | And 3 more authors.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2013

In attached apple leaves, spot-inoculated with Erwinia amylovora, the phenotypic appearance of the hypersensitive response (HR) and the participation of ethylene, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and of vacuolar processing enzyme (VPE) (a plant caspase-1-like protease) were analysed. The HR in both the resistant and susceptible genotypes expressed a similar pattern of distinguishable micro HR lesions that progressed into confined macro HR lesions. The HR symptoms in apple were compared to those in non-host tobacco. The morphology of dead cells (protoplast shrinkage and retraction from cell wall) in apple leaves resembled necrotic programmed cell death (PCD). Lesion formation in both cv. Free Redstar (resistant) and cv. Idared (highly susceptible) was preceded by ROS accumulation and elevation of ethylene levels. Treatment of infected leaves with an inhibitor of ethylene synthesis led to a decrease of ethylene emission and suppression of lesion development in both cultivars. In the resistant but not in the susceptible apple cultivar an early and late increase in VPE gene expression was detected. This suggests that VPE might be an underlying component of the response to E. amylovora in resistant apple cultivars. The findings show that in the studied pathosystem the cell death during the HR proceeds through a signal transduction cascade in which ROS, ethylene and VPE pathways play a role. © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

Iakimova E.T.,Wageningen University | Iakimova E.T.,Institute of Ornamental Plants | Michaeli R.,Wageningen University | Woltering E.J.,Wageningen University
Protoplasma | Year: 2013

Phospholipase D (PLD) and its product phosphatidic acid (PA) are incorporated in a complex metabolic network in which the individual PLD isoforms are suggested to regulate specific developmental and stress responses, including plant programmed cell death (PCD). Despite the accumulating knowledge, the mechanisms through which PLD/PA operate during PCD are still poorly understood. In this work, the role of PLDα1 in PCD and the associated caspase-like proteolysis, ethylene and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) synthesis in tomato suspension cells was studied. Wild-type (WT) and PLDα1-silenced cell lines were exposed to the cell death-inducing chemicals camptothecin (CPT), fumonisin B1 (FB1) and CdSO4. A range of caspase inhibitors effectively suppressed CPT-induced PCD in WT cells, but failed to alleviate cell death in PLDα1-deficient cells. Compared to WT, in CPT-treated PLDα1 mutant cells, reduced cell death and decreased production of H2O2 were observed. Application of ethylene significantly enhanced CPT-induced cell death both in WT and PLDα1 mutants. Treatments with the PA derivative lyso-phosphatidic acid and mastoparan (agonist of PLD/PLC signalling downstream of G proteins) caused severe cell death. Inhibitors, specific to PLD and PLC, remarkably decreased the chemical-induced cell death. Taken together with our previous findings, the results suggest that PLDα1 contributes to caspase-like-dependent cell death possibly communicated through PA, reactive oxygen species and ethylene. The dead cells expressed morphological features of PCD such as protoplast shrinkage and nucleus compaction. The presented findings reveal novel elements of PLD/PA-mediated cell death response and suggest that PLDα1 is an important factor in chemical-induced PCD signal transduction. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Wien. Source

Twumasi P.,Wageningen University | Twumasi P.,Kwame Nkrumah University Of Science And Technology | Iakimova E.T.,Wageningen University | Iakimova E.T.,Institute of Ornamental Plants | And 6 more authors.
BMC Plant Biology | Year: 2010

Background: The xylem vascular system is composed of fused dead, hollow cells called tracheary elements (TEs) that originate through trans-differentiation of root and shoot cambium cells. TEs undergo autolysis as they differentiate and mature. The final stage of the formation of TEs in plants is the death of the involved cells, a process showing some similarities to programmed cell death (PCD) in animal systems. Plant proteases with functional similarity to proteases involved in mammalian apoptotic cell death (caspases) are suggested as an integral part of the core mechanism of most PCD responses in plants, but participation of plant caspase-like proteases in TE PCD has not yet been documented.Results: Confocal microscopic images revealed the consecutive stages of TE formation in Zinnia cells during trans-differentiation. Application of the caspase inhibitors Z-Asp-CH2-DCB, Ac-YVAD-CMK and Ac-DEVD-CHO affected the kinetics of formation and the dimensions of the TEs resulting in a significant delay of TE formation, production of larger TEs and in elimination of the 'two-wave' pattern of TE production. DNA breakdown and appearance of TUNEL-positive nuclei was observed in xylogenic cultures and this was suppressed in the presence of caspase inhibitors.Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge this is the first report showing that caspase inhibitors can modulate the process of trans-differentiation in Zinnia xylogenic cell cultures. As caspase inhibitors are closely associated with cell death inhibition in a variety of plant systems, this suggests that the altered TE formation results from suppression of PCD. The findings presented here are a first step towards the use of appropriate PCD signalling modulators or related molecular genetic strategies to improve the hydraulic properties of xylem vessels in favour of the quality and shelf life of plants or plant parts. © 2010 Twumasi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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