Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) cascades play essential roles in plants by transducing developmental cues and environmental signals into cellular responses. Among the latter are microbe-associated molecular patterns perceived by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), which trigger immunity. We found that YODA (YDA) – a MAPK kinase kinase regulating several Arabidopsis developmental processes, like stomatal patterning – also modulates immune responses. Resistance to pathogens is compromised in yda alleles, whereas plants expressing the constitutively active YDA (CA-YDA) protein show broad-spectrum resistance to fungi, bacteria, and oomycetes with different colonization modes. YDA functions in the same pathway as ERECTA (ER) Receptor-Like Kinase, regulating both immunity and stomatal patterning. ER-YDA-mediated immune responses act in parallel to canonical disease resistance pathways regulated by phytohormones and PRRs. CA-YDA plants exhibit altered cell-wall integrity and constitutively express defense-associated genes, including some encoding putative small secreted peptides and PRRs whose impairment resulted in enhanced susceptibility phenotypes. CA-YDA plants show strong reprogramming of their phosphoproteome, which contains protein targets distinct from described MAPKs substrates. Our results suggest that, in addition to stomata development, the ER-YDA pathway regulates an immune surveillance system conferring broad-spectrum disease resistance that is distinct from the canonical pathways mediated by described PRRs and defense hormones.
Quinoa cultivation has been expanded around the world in the last decade and is considered an exceptional crop with the potential of contributing to food security worldwide. The exceptional nutritional value of quinoa seeds relies on their high protein content, their amino acid profile that includes a good balance of essential amino acids, the mineral composition and the presence of antioxidants and other important nutrients such as fiber or vitamins. Although several studies have pointed to the influence of different environmental stresses in certain nutritional components little attention has been paid to the effect of the agroecological context on the nutritional properties of the seeds what may strongly impact on the consumer food’s quality. Thus, aiming to evaluate the effect of the agroecological conditions on the nutritional profile of quinoa seeds we analyzed three quinoa cultivars (Salcedo-INIA, Titicaca and Regalona) at different locations (Spain, Peru and Chile). The results revealed that several nutritional parameters such as the amino acid profile, the protein content, the mineral composition and the phytate amount in the seeds depend on the location and cultivar while other parameters such as saponin or fiber were more stable across locations. Our results support the notion that nutritional characteristics of seeds may be determined by seed’s origin and further analysis are needed to define the exact mechanisms that control the changes in the seeds nutritional properties.
Boron (B) is an essential micronutrient for seed plants. Information on B-efficiency mechanisms and B-efficient crop and model plant genotypes is very scarce. Studies evaluating the basis and consequences of B-deficiency and B-efficiency are limited by the facts that B occurs as a trace contaminant essentially everywhere, its bioavailability is difficult to control and soil-based B-deficiency growth systems allowing a high-throughput screening of plant populations have hitherto been lacking. The crop plant Brassica napus shows a very high sensitivity towards B-deficient conditions. To reduce B-deficiency-caused yield losses in a sustainable manner, the identification of B-efficient B. napus genotypes is indispensable. We developed a soil substrate-based cultivation system which is suitable to study plant growth in automated high-throughput phenotyping facilities under defined and repeatable soil B conditions. In a comprehensive screening, using this system with soil B concentrations below 0.1 mg B (kg soil)-1, we identified three highly B-deficiency tolerant B. napus cultivars (CR2267, CR2280 and CR2285) amongst a genetically diverse collection comprising 590 accessions from all over the world. The B-efficiency classification of cultivars was based on a detailed assessment of various physical and high-throughput imaging-based shoot and root growth parameters in soil substrate or in in vitro conditions, respectively. We identified cultivar-specific patterns of B-deficiency-responsive growth dynamics. Elemental analysis revealed striking differences only in B contents between contrasting genotypes when grown under B-deficient but not under standard conditions. Results indicate that B-deficiency tolerant cultivars can grow with a very limited amount of B which is clearly below previously described critical B-tissue concentration values. These results suggest a higher B utilization efficiency of CR2267, CR2280 and CR2285 which would represent a unique trait amongst so far identified B-efficient B. napus cultivars which are characterized by a higher B-uptake capacity. Testing various other nutrient deficiency treatments, we demonstrated that the tolerance is specific for B-deficient conditions and is not conferred by a general growth vigor at the seedling stage. The identified B-deficiency tolerant cultivars will serve as genetic and physiological ‘tools’ to further understand the mechanisms regulating the B nutritional status in rapeseed and to develop B-efficient elite genotypes.
Significant advances have been made in the last years trying to identify regulatory pathways that control plant responses to boron (B) deficiency. Still, there is a lack of a deep understanding of how they act regulating growth and development under B limiting conditions. Here, we analyzed the impact of B deficit on cell division leading to root apical meristem (RAM) disorganization. Our results reveal that inhibition of cell proliferation under the regulatory control of cytokinins (CKs) is an early event contributing to root growth arrest under B deficiency. An early recovery of QC46:GUS expression after transferring B-deficient seedlings to control conditions revealed a role of B in the maintenance of QC identity whose loss under deficiency occurred at later stages of the stress. Additionally, the D-type cyclinCYCD3 overexpressor and triple mutant cycd3;1-3 were used to evaluate the effect on mitosis inhibition at the G1-S boundary. Overall, this study supports the hypothesis that meristem activity is inhibited by B deficiency at early stages of the stress as it does cell elongation. Likewise, distinct regulatory mechanisms seem to take place depending on the severity of the stress. The results presented here are key to better understand early signaling responses under B deficiency.
Most effective nematicides for the control of root-knot nematodes are banned, which demands a better understanding of the plant-nematode interaction. Understanding how gene expression in the nematode-feeding sites relates to morphological features may assist a better characterization of the interaction. However, nematode-induced galls resulting from cell-proliferation and hypertrophy hinders such observation, which would require tissue sectioning or clearing. We demonstrate that a method based on the green auto-fluorescence produced by glutaraldehyde and the tissue-clearing properties of benzyl-alcohol/benzyl-benzoate preserves the structure of the nematode-feeding sites and the plant-nematode interface with unprecedented resolution quality. This allowed us to obtain detailed measurements of the giant cells’ area in an Arabidopsis line overexpressing CHITINASE-LIKE-1(CTL1) from optical sections by confocal microscopy, assigning a role for CTL1 and adding essential data to the scarce information of the role of gene repression in giant cells. Furthermore, subcellular structures and features of the nematodes body and tissues from thick organs formed after different biotic interactions, i.e., galls, syncytia, and nodules, were clearly distinguished without embedding or sectioning in different plant species (Arabidopsis, cucumber or Medicago). The combination of this method with molecular studies will be valuable for a better understanding of the plant-biotic interactions.