Projects with this topic

  • MAdLand Project - Wolfgang Hess Lab

    Charophyceae are the most complex streptophyte algae, possessing tissue-like structures, rhizoids and a cellulose-pectin-based cell wall akin to embryophytes. Together with the Zygnematophyceae and the Coleochaetophycae, the Charophyceae form a grade in which the Zygnematophyceae share a last common ancestor with land plants. The availability of genomic data, its short life cycle, and the ease of non-sterile cultivation in the laboratory have made the species Chara braunii an emerging model system for streptophyte terrestrialization and early land plant evolution. In this study, tissue containing nodal cells was prepared under the stereomicroscope, and an RNA-seq dataset was generated and compared to transcriptome data from whole plantlets. In both samples, transcript coverage was high for genes encoding ribosomal proteins and a homolog of the putative PAX3- and PAX7-binding protein 1. Gene ontology was used to classify the putative functions of the differently expressed genes. In the nodal cell sample, main upregulated molecular functions were related to protein, nucleic acid, ATP- and DNA binding. Looking at specific genes, several signaling-related genes and genes encoding sugar-metabolizing enzymes were found to be expressed at a higher level in the nodal cell sample, while photosynthesis-and chloroplast-related genes were expressed at a comparatively lower level. We detected the transcription of 21 different genes encoding DUF4360-containing cysteine-rich proteins. The data contribute to the growing understanding of Charophyceae developmental biology by providing a first insight into the transcriptome composition of Chara nodal cells.

    Physiologia Plantarum / Volume 175, Issue 5 / e14025, https://doi.org/10.1111/ppl.14025

  • MAdLand Project - Schippers Lab

    Evolutionary conserved and divergent responses to copper zinc superoxide dismutase inhibition in plants

    After initial evolution in a reducing environment, life got successively challenged by reactive oxygen species (ROS), especially during the great oxidation event (GOE) that followed the development of photosynthesis. Therefore, ROS are deeply intertwined into the physiological, morphological and transcriptional responses of most present-day organisms. Copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) evolved during the GOE and are present in charophytes and extant land plants, but nearly absent from chlorophytes. The chemical inhibitor of CuZnSOD, lung cancer screen 1 (LCS-1), could greatly facilitate the study of SODs in diverse plants. Here, we determined the impact of chemical inhibition of plant CuZnSOD activity, on plant growth, transcription and metabolism. We followed a comparative approach by using different plant species, including Marchantia polymorpha and Physcomitrium patens, representing bryophytes, the sister lineage to vascular plants, and Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that LCS-1 causes oxidative stress in plants and that the inhibition of CuZnSODs provoked a similar core response that mainly impacted glutathione homeostasis in all plant species analyzed. That said, Physcomitrium and Arabidopsis, which contain multiple CuZnSOD isoforms showed a more complex and exacerbated response. In addition, an untargeted metabolomics approach revealed a specific metabolic signature for each plant species. Our comparative analysis exposes a conserved core response at the physiological and transcriptional level towards LCS-1, while the metabolic response largely varies. These differences correlate with the number and localization of the CuZnSOD isoforms present in each species.

    Plant, Cell & Environment (in submission)

  • MAdLand Project - Höcker Lab

    Co-action of COP1, SPA and cryptochrome in light signal transduction and photomorphogenesis of the moss Physcomitrium patens

    The Arabidopsis COP1/SPA ubiquitin ligase suppresses photomorphogenesis in darkness. In the light, photoreceptors inactivate COP1/SPA to allow a light response. While SPA genes are specific to the green lineage, COP1 also exists in humans. This raises the question of when in evolution plant COP1 acquired the need for SPA accessory proteins. We addressed this question by generating Physcomitrium Ppcop1 mutants and comparing their visible and molecular phenotypes with those of Physcomitrium Ppspa mutants. The phenotype of Ppcop1 nonuple mutants resembles that of Ppspa mutants. Most importantly, both mutants produce green chloroplasts in complete darkness. They also exhibit dwarfed gametophores, disturbed branching of protonemata and absent gravitropism. RNA-sequencing analysis indicates that both mutants undergo weak constitutive light signaling in darkness. PpCOP1 and PpSPA proteins form a complex and they interact via their WD repeat domains with the VP motif of the cryptochrome CCE domain in a blue light-dependent manner. This resembles the interaction of Arabidopsis SPA proteins with Arabidopsis CRY1, and is different from that with Arabidopsis CRY2. Taken together, the data indicate that PpCOP1 and PpSPA act together to regulate growth and development of Physcomitrium. However, in contrast to their Arabidopsis orthologs, PpCOP1 and PpSPA proteins execute only partial suppression of light signaling in darkness. Hence, additional repressors may exist that contribute to the repression of a light response in dark-exposed Physcomitrium.

    The Plant Journal 114: 159–175; https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.16128