To introduce useful characteristics such as fragrance into Argyranthemum frutescens (L.) and to expand the variation, we conducted crosses using A. frutescens as the seed parent and Chamaemelum nobile (L.) All. as the pollen parent. All the tested cross combinations between the three strains of A. frutescens and one strain of C. nobile produced embryos, and healthy plants were obtained by ovule culture. The obtained plantlets had a white ray floret, and the leaf shape was intermediate to those of the parents. The individuals obtained from this cross were subjected to two methods to determine hybridity: flow cytometry analyses and cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) markers. For the CAPS marker, we selected the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region, which is highly variable among the genera, as the region to be amplified. We selected restriction enzymes BmgT120 I and Afl II, which selectively cut common sequences in the genus Argyranthemum, based on the sequence analysis of one parent strain each of A. frutescens and C. nobile and alignment with known sequences of related species. Flow cytometry analyses and CAPS markers revealed that the individuals obtained from the cross between A. frutescens and C. nobile are intergeneric hybrids. In addition, these established methods were capable of quickly and reliably identifying hybrids between A. frutescens and C. nobile. This report shows for the first time that crossbreeding between A. frutescens (seed parent) and C. nobile (pollen parent) is possible, and further development of Argyranthemum breeding, such as the expansion of variation by intergeneric crosses, is expected.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress activates unfolded protein responses (UPRs), such as promoting protein folding under the control of specific gene expression. Our previous study showed that ER stress induced by ER stress inducers such as tunicamycin (Tm), an inhibitor of N-linked glycan synthesis, causes ectopic lignin deposition in Arabidopsis roots, but the relationship between UPR and ectopic lignin deposition remains unclear. The receptor-like kinase THESEUS1 (THE1) has been shown to sense cell wall damage (CWD) induced in Arabidopsis by cellulose synthase inhibitors such as isoxaben (ISO) and to activate ectopic lignin deposition. In this study, we assessed the involvement of THE1 in ectopic lignin deposition caused by the ER stress inducer Tm. The loss-of-function mutation of THE1, the1-3, suppressed Tm-induced root growth inhibition and ectopic lignin deposition, revealing that THE1 is involved in root growth defects and ectopic lignin deposition caused by ER stress. Similarly, ISO treatment induced ectopic lignin deposition as well as the expression of the UPR marker genes binding protein 3 (BiP3) and ER-localized DnaJ 3b (ERdj3b). Conversely, in the the1-3 mutant, ISO-induced ectopic lignin deposition and the expression of BiP3 and ERdj3b were suppressed. These results showed that THE1 is involved in not only root growth inhibition and ectopic lignin deposition caused by ER stress but also CWD-induced UPR.
Previously, we developed a method that uses temperature-controlled atmospheric-pressure plasma to induce protein uptake in plant cells. In the present work, we examined the mechanism underlying such uptake of a fluorescent-tagged protein in tobacco leaf cells. Intact leaf tissue was irradiated with N2 plasma generated by a multi-gas plasma jet and then exposed to the test protein (histidine-tagged superfolder green fluorescence protein fused to adenylate cyclase); fluorescence intensity was then monitored over time as an index of protein uptake. Confocal microscopy revealed that protein uptake potential was retained in the leaf tissue for at least 3 h after plasma treatment. Further examination indicated that the introduced protein reached a similar amount to that after overnight incubation at approximately 5 h after irradiation. Inhibitor experiments revealed that protein uptake was significantly suppressed compared with negative controls by pretreatment with sodium azide (inhibitor of adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis) or sucrose or brefeldin A (inhibitors of clathrin-mediated endocytosis) but not by pretreatment with genistein (inhibitor of caveolae/raft-mediated endocytosis) or cytochalasin D (inhibitor of micropinocytosis/phagocytosis), indicating that the N2 plasma treatment induced protein transportation across the plant plasma membrane via clathrin-mediated endocytosis.
Genome information has been accumulated for many species, and these genes and regulatory sequences are expected to be applied in plants by enhancing or creating new metabolic pathways. We hypothesized that manipulating a long array of repetitive sequences using tethered chromatin modulators would be effective for robust regulation of gene expression in close proximity to the arrays. This approach is based on a human artificial chromosome made of long synthetic repetitive DNA sequences in which we manipulated the chromatin by tethering the modifiers. However, a method for introducing long repetitive DNA sequences into plants has not yet been established. Therefore, we constructed a bacterial artificial chromosome-based binary vector in Escherichia coli cells to generate a construct in which a cassette of marker genes was inserted into 60-kb synthetic human centromeric repetitive DNA. The binary vector was then transferred to Agrobacterium cells and its stable maintenance confirmed. Next, using Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation, this construct was successfully introduced into the genome of cultured tobacco BY-2 cells to obtain a large number of stable one-copy strains. ChIP analysis of obtained BY-2 cell lines revealed that the introduced synthetic repetitive DNA has moderate chromatin modification levels with lower heterochromatin (H3K9me2) or euchromatin (H3K4me3) modifications compared to the host centromeric repetitive DNA or an active Tub6 gene, respectively. Such a synthetic DNA sequence with moderate chromatin modification levels is expected to facilitate manipulation of the chromatin structure to either open or closed.
3-Phenyllactic acid (PLA) is a common secondary product of Lactobacillus sp. and promotes adventitious-root formation in Azuki beans (Vigna angularis). Root promotion activity of PLA is synergistically enhanced by tryptophan (Trp). In this study, stereoisomers of PLA and Trp amide conjugates and their alkyl esters were synthesized to investigate the structure–activity relationships on root-promotion activity. The rooting activity of D-PLA-L-Trp conjugate shows more than 40 times higher than that of the mixture of D-PLA and L-Trp. Modification of PLA-Trp with ethyl ester showed the highest activity at 3,400 times of a mixture of D-PLA and L-Trp. However, L-or D-PLA-D-Trp conjugate and the isopropyl ester of PLA-Trp conjugates, both lost the root promotion activity and implicated that a requirement for steric structure for PLA related root promotion mechanism. Unlike auxin substances, which are commonly used as rooting agents that displayed high activity in low concentrations, PLA-Trp ethyl ester exhibited far less phytotoxicity at high concentration of 1 mM, despite its high rooting activity. Innovation of PLA-Trp ethyl ester may be expected for agricultural aspects with low environmental impact.
Potato, Solanum tuberosum L. is an important crop. However, it is difficult to breed potato cultivars by applying conventional crossing methods because potato has a tetraploid genome and is vegetatively propagated. Flower formation and tuber development occur simultaneously. Many potato cultivars hardly produce any fruits after crossing and fail to produce seeds. We report an improved procedure for obtaining progeny seeds by grafting potatoes onto tomatoes. The rate of fruit formation was more than 19% when the grafted potatoes were used for the crossing experiments, whereas crossing using the ungrafted plants showed a rate of 1.1%. This result suggests that our procedure results in the easy acquisition of null-segregant progenies by crossing mutant lines. It is also expected to improve conventional potato breeding.
Pollen tube growth is essential for the fertilization process in angiosperms. When pollen grains arrive on the stigma, they germinate, and the pollen tubes elongate through the styles of the pistils to deliver sperm cells into the ovules to produce the seeds. The relationship between the growth rate and style length remains unclear. In previous studies, we developed a liquid pollen germination medium for observing pollen tube growth. In this study, using this medium, we examined the pollen tube growth ability in Petunia axillaris subsp. axillaris, P. axillaris subsp. parodii, P. integrifolia, and P. occidentalis, which have different style lengths. Petunia occidentalis had the longest pollen tubes after 6 h of culture but had a relatively shorter style. Conversely, the pollination experiments revealed that P. axillaris subsp. parodii, which had the longest style, produced the longest pollen tubes in vivo. The results revealed no clear relationship between the style lengths and the growth rate of pollen tubes in vitro. Interspecific pollinations indicated that the styles affected pollen tube growth. We concluded that, in vitro, the pollen tubes grow without being affected by the styles, whereas, in vivo, the styles significantly affected pollen tube growth. Furthermore, interspecific pollination experiments implied that the pollen tube growth tended to be suppressed in the styles of self-incompatibility species. Finally, we discussed the pollen tube growth ability in relation to style lengths.
L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) is one of the important secondary metabolites of plants and has been used for various purposes, such as in clinical treatment for Parkinson’s disease and dopamine-responsive dystonia. In plants, L-DOPA is a precursor of many alkaloids, catecholamines, and melanin; the L-DOPA synthesis pathway is similar to that in mammals. L-DOPA acts as an allelochemical, has an important role in several biological processes, such as stress response and metabolism, in plants. L-DOPA is widely used in the clinical treatment as well as a dietary supplement or psychotropic drug, understanding of biosynthesis of L-DOPA in plant could lead to a stable supply of L-DOPA. This paper describes an improved method for simple and rapid quantification of L-DOPA content using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The standard quantitative methods for L-DOPA require multiple purification steps or relatively large amounts of plant material. In our improved method, quantification of L-DOPA was possible with extract of one–two pieces of cotyledon without any partitioning or column for purification. The endogenous L-DOPA (approximately 4,000 µg g−1 FW (fresh weight)) could be detected from the one pieces of cotyledon of the faba bean sprout using this method. This method was also effective for samples with low endogenous amounts of L-DOPA such as broccoli, Japanese white radish, pea, and red cabbage sprouts. Therefore, this improved method will allow to measurement of L-DOPA content easily and accurately from a small amount of plant tissue and contribute to understanding biosynthesis, catabolism, and transport of L-DOPA.