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Tissier A.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry
Plant Journal | Year: 2012

Glandular trichomes cover the surface of many plant species. They exhibit tremendous diversity, be it in their shape or the compounds they secrete. This diversity is expressed between species but also within species or even individual plants. The industrial uses of some trichome secretions and their potential as a defense barrier, for example against arthropod pests, has spurred research into the biosynthesis pathways that lead to these specialized metabolites. Because complete biosynthesis pathways take place in the secretory cells, the establishment of trichome-specific expressed sequence tag libraries has greatly accelerated their elucidation. Glandular trichomes also have an important metabolic capacity and may be considered as true cell factories. To fully exploit the potential of glandular trichomes as breeding or engineering objects, several research areas will have to be further investigated, such as development, patterning, metabolic fluxes and transcription regulation. The purpose of this review is to provide an update on the methods and technologies which have been used to investigate glandular trichomes and to propose new avenues of research to deepen our understanding of these specialized structures. © 2012 The Author. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Abel S.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2010

The history of plant biology is inexorably intertwined with the conception and discovery of auxin, followed by the many decades of research to comprehend its action during growth and development. Growth responses to auxin are complex and require the coordination of auxin production, transport, and perception. In this overview of past auxin research, we limit our discourse to the mechanism of auxin action. We attempt to trace the almost epic voyage from the birth of the hormonal concept in plants to the recent crystallographic studies that resolved the TIR1-auxin receptor complex, the first structural model of a plant hormone receptor. The century-long endeavor is a beautiful illustration of the power of scientific reasoning and human intuition, but it also brings to light the fact that decisive progress is made when new technologies emerge and disciplines unite. Source

Abel S.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry
Current Opinion in Plant Biology | Year: 2011

Phosphate (Pi) and its anhydrides constitute major nodes in metabolism. Thus, plant performance depends directly on Pi nutrition. Inadequate Pi availability in the rhizosphere is a common challenge to plants, which activate metabolic and developmental responses to maximize Pi usage and acquisition. The sensory mechanisms that monitor environmental Pi and transmit the nutritional signal to adjust root development have increasingly come into focus. Recent transcriptomic analyses and genetic approaches have highlighted complex antagonistic interactions between external Pi and Fe bioavailability and have implicated the stem cell niche as a target of Pi sensing to regulate root meristem activity. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Vogt T.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry
Molecular Plant | Year: 2010

The general phenylpropanoid metabolism generates an enormous array of secondary metabolites based on the few intermediates of the shikimate pathway as the core unit. The resulting hydroxycinnamic acids and esters are amplified in several cascades by a combination of reductases, oxygenases, and transferases to result in an organ and developmentally specific pattern of metabolites, characteristic for each plant species. During the last decade, methodology driven targeted and non-targeted approaches in several plant species have enabled the identification of the participating enzymes of this complex biosynthetic machinery, and revealed numerous genes, enzymes, and metabolites essential for regulation and compartmentation. Considerable success in structural and computational biology, combined with the analytical sensitivity to detect even trace compounds and smallest changes in the metabolite, transcript, or enzyme pattern, has facilitated progress towards a comprehensive view of the plant response to its biotic and abiotic environment. Transgenic approaches have been used to reveal insights into an apparently redundant gene and enzyme pattern required for functional integrity and plasticity of the various phenylpropanoid biosynthetic pathways. Nevertheless, the function and impact of all members of a gene family remain to be completely established. This review aims to give an update on the various facets of the general phenylpropanoid pathway, which is not only restricted to common lignin or flavonoid biosynthesis, but feeds into a variety of other aromatic metabolites like coumarins, phenolic volatiles, or hydrolyzable tannins. Source

Wasternack C.,Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry
Biotechnology Advances | Year: 2014

Jasmonates (JAs) are lipid-derived compounds acting as key signaling compounds in plant stress responses and development. The JA co-receptor complex and several enzymes of JA biosynthesis have been crystallized, and various JA signal transduction pathways including cross-talk to most of the plant hormones have been intensively studied. Defense to herbivores and necrotrophic pathogens are mediated by JA. Other environmental cues mediated by JA are light, seasonal and circadian rhythms, cold stress, desiccation stress, salt stress and UV stress. During development growth inhibition of roots, shoots and leaves occur by JA, whereas seed germination and flower development are partially affected by its precursor 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (OPDA). Based on these numerous JA mediated signal transduction pathways active in plant stress responses and development, there is an increasing interest in horticultural and biotechnological applications. Intercropping, the mixed growth of two or more crops, mycorrhization of plants, establishment of induced resistance, priming of plants for enhanced insect resistance as well as pre- and post-harvest application of JA are few examples. Additional sources for horticultural improvement, where JAs might be involved, are defense against nematodes, biocontrol by plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, altered composition of rhizosphere bacterial community, sustained balance between growth and defense, and improved plant immunity in intercropping systems. Finally, biotechnological application for JA-induced production of pharmaceuticals and application of JAs as anti-cancer agents were intensively studied. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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