bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2020‒10‒11
four papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Plant Genome. 2020 Jul;13(2): e20022
      The maize C system of cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) and its fertility restoration gene Rf4 have been widely used for maize hybrid production; however, the underlying mechanism is still uncertain. The sterility factor functions in mitochondria, where it interacts directly or indirectly with the restorer. Mitoproteomics can capture all participants involved in CMS and restoration at the organelle level. In the present study, we identified and quantified anther mitochondrial proteins from CMS, maintainer and restorer lines. We obtained 14,528 unique peptides belonging to 3,369 proteins. Comparative analysis of 1840 high-confidence proteins revealed 68 were differentially accumulated proteins likely involved in CMS or its restoration within mitochondria. These proteins were mainly associated with fatty acid metabolism, amino acid metabolism and protein-processing pathways. These results suggest that an energy deficiency caused by the sterility factor hinders other proteins or protein complexes required for pollen development through nuclear-mitochondrial interaction. The restorer factor may boost the energy generation by activating alternative metabolic pathways and by improving the post-translation processing efficiency of proteins in energy-producing complexes to restore pollen fertility. Our findings may aid detailed molecular analysis and contribute to a better understanding of maize CMS-C restoration and sterility.
  2. Front Genet. 2020 ;11 950
      Pisum sativum (pea) is rapidly emerging as an inexpensive and significant contributor to the plant-derived protein market. Due to its nitrogen-fixation capability, short life cycle, and low water usage, pea is a useful cover-and-break crop that requires minimal external inputs. It is critical for sustainable agriculture and indispensable for future food security. Root rot in pea, caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium solani f. sp. pisi (Fsp), can result in a 15-60% reduction in yield. It is urgent to understand the molecular basis of Fsp interaction in pea to develop root rot tolerant cultivars. A complementary genetics and gene expression approach was undertaken in this study to identify Fsp-responsive genes in four tolerant and four susceptible pea genotypes. Time course RNAseq was performed on both sets of genotypes after the Fsp challenge. Analysis of the transcriptome data resulted in the identification of 42,905 differentially expressed contigs (DECs). Interestingly, the vast majority of DECs were overexpressed in the susceptible genotypes at all sampling time points, rather than in the tolerant genotypes. Gene expression and GO enrichment analyses revealed genes coding for receptor-mediated endocytosis, sugar transporters, salicylic acid synthesis, and signaling, and cell death were overexpressed in the susceptible genotypes. In the tolerant genotypes, genes involved in exocytosis, and secretion by cell, the anthocyanin synthesis pathway, as well as the DRR230 gene, a pathogenesis-related (PR) gene, were overexpressed. The complementary genetic and RNAseq approach has yielded a set of potential genes that could be targeted for improved tolerance against root rot in P. sativum. Fsp challenge produced a futile transcriptomic response in the susceptible genotypes. This type of response is hypothesized to be related to the speed at which the pathogen infestation advances in the susceptible genotypes and the preexisting level of disease-preparedness in the tolerant genotypes.
    Keywords:  Pisum sativum L.; RNAseq; gene expression; pea; root rot; susceptible; tolerance; transcriptomics
  3. Plant Genome. 2019 11;12(3): 1-12
      CORE IDEAS: The male-sterile 9 (ms9) is a novel nuclear male-sterile mutant in sorghum. The Ms9 gene encodes a PHD-finger transcription factor critical for pollen development. The identification of the Ms9 gene provides a strategy to control male sterility in sorghum. Nuclear male sterility (NMS) is important for understanding microspore development and could facilitate the development of new strategies to control male sterility. Several NMS lines and mutants have been reported in sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] previously. However, no male-sterile gene has been identified, hampering the utility of NMS in sorghum breeding. In this study, we characterized a new NMS mutant, male sterile 9 (ms9), which is distinct from all other reported NMS loci. The ms9 mutant is stable under a variety of environmental conditions. Homozygous ms9 plants produced normal ovaries but small pale-colored anthers that contained no pollen grains. Microscopic analyses revealed abnormal microspore development of ms9 at the midmicrospore stage, causing degeneration of microspore inside the anther lobes and male sterility of ms9 plants. Using MutMap, we identified the Ms9 gene as a plant homeotic domain (PHD)-finger transcription factor similar to Ms1 in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. and Ptc1 in rice (Oryza sativa L.). Ms9 is the first NMS gene identified in sorghum. Thus, the Ms9 gene and ms9 mutant provide new genetic tools for studying pollen development and controlling male sterility in sorghum.
  4. Photosynth Res. 2020 Sep;145(3): 237-258
      Microscopic studies of chloroplasts can be traced back to the year 1678 when Antonie van Leeuwenhoek reported to the Royal Society in London that he saw green globules in grass leaf cells with his single-lens microscope. Since then, microscopic studies have continued to contribute critical insights into the complex architecture of chloroplast membranes and how their structure relates to function. This review is organized into three chronological sections: During the classic light microscope period (1678-1940), the development of improved microscopes led to the identification of green grana, a colorless stroma, and a membrane envelope. More recent (1990-2020) chloroplast dynamic studies have benefited from laser confocal and 3D-structured illumination microscopy. The development of the transmission electron microscope (1940-2000) and thin sectioning techniques demonstrated that grana consist of stacks of closely appressed grana thylakoids interconnected by non-appressed stroma thylakoids. When the stroma thylakoids were shown to spiral around the grana stacks as multiple right-handed helices, it was confirmed that the membranes of a chloroplast are all interconnected. Freeze-fracture and freeze-etch methods verified the helical nature of the stroma thylakoids, while also providing precise information on how the electron transport chain and ATP synthase complexes are non-randomly distributed between grana and stroma membrane regions. The last section (2000-2020) focuses on the most recent discoveries made possible by atomic force microscopy of hydrated membranes, and electron tomography and cryo-electron tomography of cryofixed thylakoids. These investigations have provided novel insights into thylakoid architecture and plastoglobules (summarized in a new thylakoid model), while also producing molecular-scale views of grana and stroma thylakoids in which individual functional complexes can be identified.
    Keywords:  Atomic force microscopy; Chloroplasts; Electron microscopy; Electron tomography; Freeze-fracture electron microscopy; Thylakoid model