Umea Plant Science Center

Umeå, Sweden

Umea Plant Science Center

Umeå, Sweden

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Ljung K.,Umea Plant Science Center | Nemhauser J.L.,University of Washington | Perata P.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies
Current Opinion in Plant Biology | Year: 2015

Plant growth and development must be coordinated with metabolism, notably with the efficiency of photosynthesis and the uptake of nutrients. This coordination requires local connections between hormonal response and metabolic state, as well as long-distance connections between shoot and root tissues. Recently, several molecular mechanisms have been proposed to explain the integration of sugar signalling with hormone pathways. In this work, DELLA and PIF proteins have emerged as hubs in sugar-hormone cross-regulation networks. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Sahlin K.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Street N.,Umea Plant Science Center | Lundeberg J.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Arvestad L.,KTH Royal Institute of Technology | Arvestad L.,University of Stockholm
Bioinformatics | Year: 2012

Motivation: One of the important steps of genome assembly is scaffolding, in which contigs are linked using information from read-pairs. Scaffolding provides estimates about the order, relative orientation and distance between contigs. We have found that contig distance estimates are generally strongly biased and based on false assumptions. Since erroneous distance estimates can mislead in subsequent analysis, it is important to provide unbiased estimation of contig distance.Results: In this article, we show that state-of-the-art programs for scaffolding are using an incorrect model of gap size estimation. We discuss why current maximum likelihood estimators are biased and describe what different cases of bias we are facing. Furthermore, we provide a model for the distribution of reads that span a gap and derive the maximum likelihood equation for the gap length. We motivate why this estimate is sound and show empirically that it outperforms gap estimators in popular scaffolding programs. Our results have consequences both for scaffolding software, structural variation detection and for library insert-size estimation as is commonly performed by read aligners. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


De Rybel B.,Wageningen University | Adibi M.,LifeGlimmer GmbH | Adibi M.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Adibi M.,Wageningen University | And 20 more authors.
Science | Year: 2014

Coordination of cell division and pattern formation is central to tissue and organ development, particularly in plants where walls prevent cell migration. Auxin and cytokinin are both critical for division and patterning, but it is unknown how these hormones converge upon tissue development. We identify a genetic network that reinforces an early embryonic bias in auxin distribution to create a local, nonresponding cytokinin source within the root vascular tissue. Experimental and theoretical evidence shows that these cells act as a tissue organizer by positioning the domain of oriented cell divisions. We further demonstrate that the auxin-cytokinin interaction acts as a spatial incoherent feed-forward loop, which is essential to generate distinct hormonal response zones, thus establishing a stable pattern within a growing vascular tissue.


De La Torre A.R.,Umeå University | Lin Y.-C.,Ghent University | Van De Peer Y.,Ghent University | Van De Peer Y.,University of Pretoria | And 2 more authors.
Genome Biology and Evolution | Year: 2015

The recent sequencing of several gymnosperm genomes has greatly facilitated studying the evolution of their genes and gene families. In this study, we examine the evidence for expression-mediated selection in the first two fully sequenced representatives of the gymnosperm plant clade (Picea abies and Picea glauca). We use genome-wide estimates of gene expression (>50,000 expressed genes) to study the relationship between gene expression, codon bias, rates of sequence divergence, protein length, and gene duplication. We found that gene expression is correlated with rates of sequence divergence and codon bias, suggesting that natural selection is acting on Picea protein-coding genes for translational efficiency. Gene expression, rates of sequence divergence, and codon bias are correlated with the size of gene families, with large multicopy gene families having, on average, a lower expression level and breadth, lower codon bias, and higher rates of sequence divergence than single-copy gene families. Tissue-specific patterns of gene expression were more common in large gene families with large gene expression divergence than in single-copy families. Recent family expansions combined with large gene expression variation in paralogs and increased rates of sequence evolution suggest that some Picea gene families are rapidly evolving to cope with biotic and abiotic stress. Our study highlights the importance of gene expression and natural selection in shaping the evolution of protein-coding genes in Picea species, and sets the ground for further studies investigating the evolution of individual gene families in gymnosperms. © The Author(s) 2015.


Fuentes S.,John Innes Center | Fuentes S.,University College London | Ljung K.,Umea Plant Science Center | Sorefan K.,John Innes Center | And 5 more authors.
Plant Cell | Year: 2012

Fruit growth and development depend on highly coordinated hormonal activities. The phytohormone gibberellin (GA) promotes growth by inducing degradation of the growth-repressing DELLA proteins; however, the extent to which DELLA proteins contribute to GA-mediated gynoecium and fruit development remains to be clarified. Here, we provide an in-depth characterization of the role of DELLA proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana fruit growth. We show that DELLA proteins are key regulators of reproductive organ size and important for ensuring optimal fertilization. We demonstrate that the seedless fruit growth (parthenocarpy) observed in della mutants can be directly attributed to the constitutive activation of GA signaling. It has been known for >75 years that another hormone, auxin, can induce formation of seedless fruits. Using mutants with complete lack of DELLA activity, we show here that auxin-induced parthenocarpy occurs entirely through GA signaling in Arabidopsis. Finally, we uncover the existence of a DELLA-independent GA response that promotes fruit growth. This response requires GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1-mediated GA perception and a functional 26S proteasome and involves the basic helix-loop-helix protein SPATULA as a key component. Taken together, our results describe additional complexities in GA signaling during fruit development, which may be particularly important to optimize the conditions for successful reproduction. © 2012 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.


Azeez A.,Umea Plant Science Center | Miskolczi P.,Umea Plant Science Center | Tylewicz S.,Umea Plant Science Center | Bhalerao R.P.,Umea Plant Science Center
Current Biology | Year: 2014

Background Photoperiodic control of development plays a key role in adaptation of plants to seasonal changes. A signaling module consisting of CONSTANS (CO) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) mediates in photoperiodic control of a variety of developmental transitions (e.g., flowering, tuberization, and seasonal growth cessation in trees). How this conserved CO/FT module can mediate in the photoperiodic control of diverse unrelated developmental programs is poorly understood. Results We show that Like-AP1 (LAP1), a tree ortholog of Arabidopsis floral meristem identity gene APETALA1 (AP1), mediates in photoperiodic control of seasonal growth cessation downstream of the CO/FT module in hybrid aspen. Using LAP1 overexpressors and RNAi-suppressed transgenic trees, we demonstrate that short day (SD)-mediated downregulation of LAP1 expression is required for growth cessation. In contrast with AP1 targets in flowering, LAP1 acts on AINTEGUMENTA-like 1 transcription factor, which is implicated in SD-mediated growth cessation. Intriguingly, unlike AP1 in Arabidopsis, ectopic expression of LAP1 fails to induce early flowering in hybrid aspen trees. Conclusions These results indicate that AP1 ortholog in trees has acquired a novel function in photoperiodic regulation of seasonal growth. Thus, photoperiodic signaling pathway may have diverged downstream of AP1/LAP1 rather than the CO/FT module during evolution. Moreover, control of flowering by the CO/FT module can be uncoupled from its role in photoperiodic control of seasonal growth in trees. Thus, our findings can explain mechanistically how a conserved signaling module can mediate in the control of a highly diverse set of developmental transitions by a similar input signal, namely photoperiod. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Mellerowicz E.J.,Umea Plant Science Center | Gorshkova T.A.,Russian Academy of Sciences
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2012

Gelatinous fibres are specialized fibres, distinguished by the presence of an inner, gelatinous cell-wall layer. In recent years, they have attracted increasing interest since their walls have a desirable chemical composition (low lignin, low pentosan, and high cellulose contents) for applications such as saccharification and biofuel production, and they have interesting mechanical properties, being capable of generating high tensional stress. However, the unique character of gelatinous layer has not yet been widely recognized. The first part of this review presents a model of gelatinous-fibre organization and stresses the unique character of the gelatinous layer as a separate type of cell-wall layer, different from either primary or secondary wall layers. The second part discusses major current models of tensional stress generation by these fibres and presents a novel unifying model based on recent advances in knowledge of gelatinous wall structure. Understanding this mechanism could potentially lead to novel biomimetic developments in material sciences. © 2011 The Author.


Coudert Y.,University of Cambridge | Palubicki W.,University of Cambridge | Ljung K.,Umea Plant Science Center | Novak O.,Palacky University | And 2 more authors.
eLife | Year: 2015

Shoot branching is a primary contributor to plant architecture, evolving independently in flowering plant sporophytes and moss gametophytes. Mechanistic understanding of branching is largely limited to flowering plants such as Arabidopsis, which have a recent evolutionary origin. We show that in gametophytic shoots of Physcomitrella, lateral branches arise by re-specification of epidermal cells into branch initials. A simple model co-ordinating the activity of leafy shoot (gametophore) tips can account for branching patterns, and three known and ancient hormonal regulators of sporophytic branching interact to generate the branching pattern- auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. The mode of auxin transport required in branch patterning is a key divergence point from known sporophytic branching pathways. Although PIN-mediated basipetal auxin transport regulates branching patterns in flowering plants, this is not so in Physcomitrella, where bi-directional transport is required to generate realistic branching patterns. Experiments with callose synthesis inhibitors suggest plasmodesmal connectivity as a potential mechanism for transport. © 2015 eLife Sciences Publications Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bernhardsson C.,Umea Plant Science Center | Ingvarsson P.K.,Umea Plant Science Center
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Owing to their long life span and ecological dominance in many communities, forest trees are subject to attack from a diverse array of herbivores throughout their range, and have therefore developed a large number of both constitutive and inducible defenses. We used molecular population genetics methods to examine the evolution of eight genes in European aspen, Populus tremula, that are all associated with defensive responses against pests and/or pathogens, and have earlier been shown to become strongly up-regulated in poplars as a response to wounding and insect herbivory. Our results show that the majority of these defense genes show patterns of intraspecific polymorphism and site-frequency spectra that are consistent with a neutral model of evolution. However, two of the genes, both belonging to a small gene family of polyphenol oxidases, show multiple deviations from the neutral model. The gene PPO1 has a 600 bp region with a highly elevated K A/K S ratio and reduced synonymous diversity. PPO1 also shows a skew toward intermediate frequency variants in the SFS, and a pronounced fixation of non-synonymous mutations, all pointing to the fact that PPO1 has been subjected to recurrent selective sweeps. The gene PPO2 shows a marked excess of high frequency, derived variants and shows many of the same trends as PPO1 does, even though the pattern is less pronounced, suggesting that PPO2 might have been the target of a recent selective sweep. Our results supports data from both Populus and other species which have found that the the majority of defense-associated genes show few signs of selection but that a number of genes involved in mediating defense against herbivores show signs of adaptive evolution. © 2011 Bernhardsson, Ingvarsson.


Bernhardsson C.,Umea Plant Science Center | Ingvarsson P.K.,Umea Plant Science Center
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2012

When a phenotypic trait is subjected to spatially variable selection and local adaptation, the underlying genes controlling the trait are also expected to show strong patterns of genetic differentiation because alternative alleles are favoured in different geographical locations. Here, we study 71 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from seven genes associated with inducible defence responses in a sample of Populus tremula collected from across Sweden. Four of these genes (PPO2, TI2, TI4 and TI5) show substantial population differentiation, and a principal component analyses conducted on the defence SNPs divides the Swedish population into three distinct clusters. Several defence SNPs show latitudinal clines, although these were not robust to multiple testing. However, five SNPs (located within TI4 and TI5) show strong longitudinal clines that remain significant after multiple test correction. Genetic geographical variation, supporting local adaptation, has earlier been confirmed in genes involved in the photoperiod pathway in P. tremula, but this is, to our knowledge, one of the first times that geographical variation has been found in genes involved in plant defence against antagonists. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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