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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
Kayleigh R O'Keeffe, Ignazio Carbone, Corbin D Jones, Charles E Mitchell
Predicting the effects of plant-associated microbes on emergence, spread, and evolution of plant pathogens demands an understanding of how pathogens respond to these microbes at two levels of biological organization: that of an individual pathogen and that of a pathogen population across multiple individual plants. We first examine the plastic responses of individual plant pathogens to microbes within a shared host, as seen through changes in pathogen growth and multiplication. We then explore the limited understanding of how within-plant microbial interactions affect pathogen populations and discuss the need to incorporate population-level observations with population genomic techniques...
May 12, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Stefanie Ranf
In plants, sensing of Pathogen/Microbe-Associated Molecular Patterns (PAMPs/MAMPs) and host-derived Damage-Associated Molecular Patterns (DAMPs) by host cell surface Pattern Recognition Receptors (PRRs) activates Pattern-Triggered Immunity (PTI). The identification of an increasing number of immunogenic patterns and PRRs illustrates that PTI is a universal defence mechanism against pathogens, pests, and parasitic plants, and that evolutionary selective pressure drives diversification of molecular patterns and diversity of PRRs...
May 10, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
E Baggs, G Dagdas, K V Krasileva
Plant innate immunity relies on genetically predetermined repertoires of immune receptors to detect pathogens and trigger an effective immune response. A large proportion of these receptors are from the Nucletoide Binding Leucine Rich Repeat (NLR) gene family. As plants live longer than most pathogens, maintaining diversity of NLRs and deploying efficient 'pathogen traps' is necessary to withstand the evolutionary battle. In this review, we summarize the sources of diversity in NLR plant immune receptors giving an overview of genomic, regulatory as well as functional studies, including the latest concepts of NLR helpers and NLRs with integrated domains...
May 8, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Emily J McCallum, Ravi B Anjanappa, Wilhelm Gruissem
Cassava is an important staple food crop for millions of people in tropical regions across Africa, South America and Asia. Viral, bacterial and fungal diseases impact cassava yield in all three regions. The viruses causing cassava mosaic disease and cassava brown streak disease have been particularly devastating to cassava production in Africa. Improved farming practices and disease monitoring can reduce the impact of cassava diseases in the field. The availability of disease resistant cassava varieties developed through breeding or genetic engineering is key to tackling disease incidence and severity...
May 3, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Luis Rodriguez-Moreno, Yin Song, Bart Phj Thomma
Immune receptors are pivotal elements of the plant immune system that act as sentinels for microbial invasion. Knowingly or unknowingly, breeding for resistance has largely relied on the transfer of immune receptor recognition specificities between plant genotypes. For decades such transfers were limited to crossable species. However, advents in transgene technologies have allowed overcoming species barriers. Novel strategies for mining of recognition specificities, combined with our recently increased understanding of immune receptor functioning, allows to increase and alter recognition specificities, which should ultimately increase the spectrum of recognition specificities that are available to control plant diseases in crops...
May 1, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Nils Schuergers, Conrad W Mullineaux, Annegret Wilde
Cyanobacteria are able to move directly towards or away from a light source, a process called phototaxis. Recent studies have revealed that the spherical unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 exhibits a cell polarity in response to unidirectional illumination and that micro-optic properties of cyanobacterial cells are the basis of their directional light sensing. Further functional and physiological studies highlight a very complex control of cyanobacterial phototaxis by sensory proteins, histidine kinases and response regulators...
May 1, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Guillaume Allorent, Dimitris Petroutsos
In photosynthetic organisms, proteins in the light-harvesting complex (LHC) harvest light energy to fuel photosynthesis, whereas photoreceptor proteins are activated by the different wavelengths of the light spectrum to regulate cellular functions. Under conditions of excess light, blue-light photoreceptors activate chloroplast avoidance movements in sessile plants, and blue- and green-light photoreceptors cause motile algae to swim away from intense light. Simultaneously, LHCs switch from light-harvesting mode to energy-dissipation mode, which was thought to be independent of photoreceptor-signaling up until recently...
May 1, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Volker Hegenauer, Max Körner, Markus Albert
In addition to other biotic stresses, parasitic plants pose an additional threat to plants and cause crop losses, worldwide. Plant parasites directly connect to the vasculature of host plants thereby stealing water, nutrients, and carbohydrates consequently leading to tremendously reduced biomass and losses in seed yields of the infected host plants. Initial steps to understand the molecular resistance mechanisms and the successes in ancient and recent breeding efforts will provide fundamental knowledge to further generate crop plants that will resist attacks by plant parasites...
April 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Freya A Varden, Juan Carlos De la Concepcion, Josephine Hr Maidment, Mark J Banfield
Plant pathogens are a serious threat to agriculture and to global food security, causing diverse crop diseases which lead to extensive annual yield losses. Production of effector proteins by pathogens, to manipulate host cellular processes, is central to their success. An understanding of fundamental effector biology is key to addressing the threat posed by these pathogens. Recent advances in 'omics' technologies have facilitated high-throughput identification of putative effector proteins, while evolving cellular, structural and biochemical approaches have assisted in characterising their function...
April 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Libera Lo Presti, Regine Kahmann
The interaction of microbes with "signature" plants is largely governed by secreted effector proteins, which serve to dampen plant defense responses and modulate host cell processes. Secreted effectors can function either in the apoplast or within plant cell compartments. How oomycetes and fungi translocate their effectors to plant cells is still poorly understood and controversial. While most oomycete effectors share a common 'signature' that was proposed to mediate their uptake via endocytosis, fungal effectors display no conserved motifs at the primary amino acid sequence level...
April 28, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Shigetaka Yasuda, Kentaro Okada, Yusuke Saijo
Recognition of microbe- and danger-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs and DAMPs, respectively) by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) is central to innate immunity in both plants and animals. The plant PRRs described to date are all cell surface-localized receptors. According to their ligand-binding ectodomains, each PRR engages a specific coreceptor or adaptor kinase in its signaling complexes to regulate defense signaling. With a focus on the coreceptor RLK BRI1-ASSOCIATED RECEPTOR KINASE1 (BAK1) and related SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR KINASEs (SERKs), here we review the increasing inventory of BAK1 partners and their functions in plant immunity...
April 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Rainer P Birkenbihl, Shouan Liu, Imre E Somssich
Rapid and massive transcriptional reprogramming upon pathogen recognition is the decisive step in plant-phytopathogen interactions. Plant transcription factors (TFs) are key players in this process but they require a suite of other context-specific co-regulators to establish sensory transcription regulatory networks to bring about host immunity. Molecular, genetic and biochemical studies, particularly in the model plants Arabidopsis and rice, are continuously uncovering new components of the transcriptional machinery that can selectively impact host resistance toward a diverse range of pathogens...
April 27, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Marianne Jaubert, Jean-Pierre Bouly, Maurizio Ribera d'Alcalà, Angela Falciatore
Marine eukaryotic phytoplankton are major contributors to global primary production. To adapt and thrive in the oceans, phytoplankton relies on a variety of light-regulated responses and light-acclimation capacities probably driven by sophisticated photoregulatory mechanisms. A plethora of photoreceptor-like sequences from marine microalgae have been identified in omics approaches. Initial studies have revealed that some algal photoreceptors are similar to those known in plants. In addition, new variants with different spectral tuning and algal-specific light sensors have also been found, changing current views and perspectives on how photoreceptor structure and function have diversified in phototrophs experiencing different environmental conditions...
April 26, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Masakazu Iwai, Makio Yokono
Plants have successfully adapted to a vast range of terrestrial environments during their evolution. To elucidate the evolutionary transition of light-harvesting antenna proteins from green algae to land plants, the moss Physcomitrella patens is ideally placed basally among land plants. Compared to the genomes of green algae and land plants, the P. patens genome codes for more diverse and redundant light-harvesting antenna proteins. It also encodes Lhcb9, which has characteristics not found in other light-harvesting antenna proteins...
April 23, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Nathan C Rockwell, J Clark Lagarias
Phytochromes control almost every aspect of plant biology, including germination, growth, development, and flowering, in response to red and far-red light. These photoreceptors thus hold considerable promise for engineering crop plant responses to light. Recently, structural research has shed new light on how phytochromes work. Genomic and transcriptomic studies have improved our understanding of phytochrome loss, retention, and diversification during evolution. We are also beginning to understand phytochrome function in cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae...
April 22, 2017: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
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