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Current Opinion in Plant Biology

Alexandra M Shigenaga, Matthias L Berens, Kenichi Tsuda, Cristiana T Argueso
Plant hormones regulate physiological responses in plants, including responses to pathogens and beneficial microbes. The last decades have provided a vast amount of evidence about the contribution of different plant hormones to plant immunity, and also of how they cooperate to orchestrate immunity activation, in a process known as hormone crosstalk. In this review we highlight the complexity of hormonal crosstalk in immunity and approaches currently being used to further understand this process, as well as perspectives to engineer hormone crosstalk for enhanced pathogen resistance and overall plant fitness...
June 15, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Omri M Finkel, Gabriel Castrillo, Sur Herrera Paredes, Isai Salas González, Jeffery L Dangl
After a century of incremental research, technological advances, coupled with a need for sustainable crop yield increases, have reinvigorated the study of beneficial plant-microbe interactions with attention focused on how microbiomes alter plant phenotypes. We review recent advances in plant microbiome research, and describe potential applications for increasing crop productivity. The phylogenetic diversity of plant microbiomes is increasingly well characterized, and their functional diversity is becoming more accessible...
June 13, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Hiroki Miwa, Shin Okazaki
Beneficial microbes such as rhizobia possess effector proteins that are secreted into the host cytoplasm where they modulate host-signaling pathways. Among these effectors, type 3 secreted effectors (T3Es) of rhizobia play roles in promoting nitrogen-fixing nodule symbiosis, suppressing host defenses and directly activating symbiosis-related processes. Rhizobia use the same strategy as pathogenic bacteria to suppress host defenses such as targeting the MAPK cascade. In addition, rhizobial T3E can promote root nodule symbiosis by directly activating Nod factor signaling, which bypasses Nod factor perception...
June 13, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Wei Xuan, Tom Beeckman, Guohua Xu
In response to external fluctuations of nitrogen (N) supplies, plants can activate complex regulatory networks for optimizing N uptake and utilization. In this review, we highlight novel N-responsive sensors, transporters, and signaling molecules recently identified in the dicot Arabidopsis and the monocot rice, and discuss their potential roles in N sensing and signaling. Furthermore, over the last couple of years, N sensing has been shown to be affected by multiple external factors, which act as local signals to trigger systemic signaling coordinated by long-distance mobile signals...
June 11, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Krishna K Niyogi
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 9, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ronelle Roth, Uta Paszkowski
Reciprocal nutrient exchange between the majority of land plants and arbucular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi is the cornerstone of a stable symbiosis. To date, a dogma in the comprehension of AM fungal nourishment has been delivery of host organic carbon in the form of sugars. More recently a role for lipids as alternative carbon source or as a signalling molecule during AM symbiosis was proposed. Here we review the symbiotic requirement for carbohydrates and lipids across developmental stages of the AM symbiosis...
June 8, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
María Isabel Puga, Mónica Rojas-Triana, Laura de Lorenzo, Antonio Leyva, Vicente Rubio, Javier Paz-Ares
Plants have evolved numerous adaptive developmental and metabolic responses to cope with growth in conditions of limited phosphate (Pi). Regulation of these Pi starvation responses (PSR) at the organism level involves not only cellular Pi perception in different organs, but also inter-organ communication of Pi levels via systemic signaling. Here we summarize recent discoveries on Pi starvation sensing and signaling, with special emphasis on structure-function studies that showed a role for inositol polyphosphates (InsP) as intracellular Pi signals, and on genomic studies that identified a large number of mRNAs with inter-organ mobility, which provide an immense source of potential systemic signals in the control of PSR and other responses...
June 3, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Thomas C de Bang, Katerina S Lay, Wolf-Rüdiger Scheible, Hideki Takahashi
Root system architecture (RSA) and physiological functions define macronutrient uptake efficiency. Small signaling peptides (SSPs), that act in manners similar to hormones, and their cognate receptors transmit signals both locally and systemically. Several SSPs controlling morphological and physiological traits of roots have been identified to be associated with macronutrient uptake. Recent development in plant genome research has provided an avenue toward systems-based identification and prediction of additional SSPs...
June 2, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Meike Burow, Barbara Ann Halkier
The sessile nature of plants has caused plants to develop means to defend themselves against attacking organisms. Multiple strategies range from physical barriers to chemical warfare including pre-formed anticipins as well as phytoalexins produced only upon attack. While phytoalexins require rapid induction, constitutive defenses can impose ecological costs if they deter pollinators or attract specialized herbivores. In the model Arabidopsis thaliana, the well-characterized glucosinolate anticipins are categorized into different classes, aliphatic and indole glucosinolates, depending on their amino acid precursor...
May 30, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Wayne K Versaw, L Rene Garcia
Phosphate (Pi) is an essential macronutrient with structural and metabolic roles within every compartment of the plant cell. Intracellular Pi transporters direct Pi to each organelle and also control its exchange between subcellular compartments thereby providing the means to coordinate compartmented metabolic processes, including glycolysis, photosynthesis, and respiration. In this review we summarize recent advances in the identification and functional analysis of Pi transporters that localize to vacuoles, chloroplasts, non-photosynthetic plastids, mitochondria, and the Golgi apparatus...
May 29, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ming Wang, Nicholas Thomas, Hailing Jin
​Small RNA (sRNA) induces RNA interference (RNAi) in almost all eukaryotes. While sRNAs can move within an organism, they can also move between interacting organisms to induce gene silencing, a phenomenon called 'cross-kingdom RNAi'. Some sRNAs from pathogens or pests move into host cells and suppress host immunity in both plants and animals; whereas some host sRNAs travel into pathogen/pest cells to inhibit their virulence. Moreover, uptake of exogenous RNAs from the environment was recently discovered in certain fungal pathogens, which makes it possible to suppress fungal diseases by directly applying pathogen-targeting RNAs on crops and post-harvest products...
May 29, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Naoki Yamaji, Jian Feng Ma
Mineral elements taken up by the roots will be delivered to different organs and tissues depending on their requirements. In Poaceae, this selective distribution is mainly mediated in the nodes, which have highly developed and fully organized vascular systems. Inter-vascular transfer of mineral elements from enlarged vascular bundles to diffuse vascular bundles is required for their preferential distribution to developing tissues and reproductive organs. A number of transporters involved in this inter-vascular transfer processes have been identified mainly in rice...
May 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Daniel Hofius, Liang Li, Anders Hafrén, Nuria S Coll
Autophagy is a highly conserved degradation and recycling process that controls cellular homeostasis, stress adaptation, and programmed cell death in eukaryotes. Emerging evidence indicates that autophagy is a key regulator of plant innate immunity and contributes with both pro-death and pro-survival functions to antimicrobial defences, depending on the pathogenic lifestyle. In turn, several pathogens have co-opted and evolved strategies to manipulate host autophagy pathways to the benefit of infection, while some eukaryotic microbes require their own autophagy machinery for successful pathogenesis...
May 22, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
David A Baltrus
Growth patterns of individual plants and evolutionary trajectories of plant communities are intimately linked with and are critically affected by host-associated microbiomes. Research across systems has begun to shed light on how these phytobiomes are established under laboratory and natural conditions, and have cultivated hope that a better understanding of the governing principles for host-microbe interactions can guide attempts to engineer microbiomes to boost agricultural yields. One important, yet relatively understudied, parameter in regards to phytobiome membership is the degree to which specialization and coevolution between plant species and microbes provides structure to these communities...
May 22, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
John Withers, Xinnian Dong
Plants have evolved multi-layered molecular defense strategies to protect against pathogens. Plant immune signaling largely relies on post-translational modifications (PTMs) to induce rapid alterations of signaling pathways to achieve a response that is appropriate to the type of pathogen and infection pressure. In host cells, dynamic PTMs have emerged as powerful regulatory mechanisms that cells use to adjust their immune response. PTM is also a virulence strategy used by pathogens to subvert host immunity through the activities of effector proteins secreted into the host cell...
May 21, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Céline Masclaux-Daubresse, Qinwu Chen, Marien Havé
Autophagy is a universal mechanism in eukaryotes that promotes cell longevity and nutrient recycling through the degradation of unwanted organelles, proteins and damaged cytoplasmic compounds. Autophagy is important in plant resistance to stresses and starvations and in remobilization. Autophagy facilitates bulk and selective degradations, through the delivery of cell material to the vacuole where hydrolases and proteases reside. Large metabolite modifications are observed in autophagy mutants showing the important role of autophagy in cell homeostasis...
May 18, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Steffen Abel
Chemistry assigns phosphate (Pi) dominant roles in metabolism; however, it also renders the macronutrient a genuinely limiting factor of plant productivity. Pi bioavailability is restricted by low Pi mobility in soil and antagonized by metallic toxicities, which force roots to actively seek and selectively acquire the vital element. During the past few years, a first conceptual outline has emerged of the sensory mechanisms at root tips, which monitor external Pi and transmit the edaphic cue to inform root development...
May 17, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Maria J Harrison, Sergey Ivanov
During endosymbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi or rhizobial bacteria, the microbial symbionts are housed within membrane-bound compartments in root cortex or nodule cells respectively. Their development involves polarized deposition of membrane around the symbionts as they enter the cells and the membranes show functional specialization, including transporters that mediate nutrient transfer between host and symbiont. The cellular changes associated with development of these compartments point to membrane deposition via exocytosis and over the past few years, researchers have uncovered several proteins within the exocytotic pathway that are required for development of endosymbiotic membrane compartments...
May 15, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Junsheng Qi, Jinlong Wang, Zhizhong Gong, Jian-Min Zhou
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are widely produced in different cellular compartments under both biotic and abiotic stress conditions. ROS play a central role in plant signaling and regulate diverse cellular processes. Recent advances are shedding new light on sophisticated mechanisms controlling ROS biogenesis and signaling in plant immunity. In this review, we summarize our current understanding of the regulation of apoplastic ROS production in response to microbial molecular patterns and draw comparison with abscisic acid (ABA)-induced apoplastic ROS...
May 13, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Ricardo Oliva, Ian Lorenzo Quibod
Plants use multiple mechanisms to defend themselves against invading microbes. Besides using their immune system to surveil and eliminate pathogens, plants actively block the pathogens' access to nutrients as an alternative way to prevent colonization. In this review, we focus on immunity and starvation as major obstacles for pathogens' adaptation. We summarize the key mechanisms employed by pathogens to modulate host immunity and to guarantee sugar uptake. In contrast to genes that deal with the immune system and show high levels of plasticity, pathogen genes involved in sugar acquisition are highly conserved, and may not have adapted to co-evolving interactions with the host...
May 12, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
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