Monday, November 29, 2010

Hot off the presses! Dec 01 Trends Plant Sci

The Dec 01 issue of the Trends Plant Sci is now up on Pubget (About Trends Plant Sci): if you're at a subscribing institution, just click the link in the latest link at the home page. (Note you'll only be able to get all the PDFs in the issue if your institution subscribes to Pubget.)

Latest Articles Include:

  • Editorial Board
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):i (2010)
  • Viral trans-dominant manipulation of algal sphingolipids
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):651-655 (2010)
    Emiliania huxleyi is the host for the coccolithovirus (EhV), which is responsible for the demise of large oceanic blooms formed by this alga. The EhV-86 virus genome sequence has identified several genes apparently involved in sphingolipid metabolism. Recently, an unusual glucosylceramide from E. huxleyi infected with EhV-86 was isolated, implicating sphingolipids in the lysis of this alga. However, the EhV-86-encoded genes contain only a subset of the activities required to generate the novel sphingolipid, implying that its synthesis is the result of coordinated interactions between algal- and viral-encoded biosynthetic enzymes. Here, we discuss the likely role for EhV-86 open reading frames (ORFs) in the synthesis of novel sphingolipids and also consider the concept of the trans-dominant manipulation of lipid metabolism.
  • Membrane rafts in plant cells
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):656-663 (2010)
    Over the past five years, the structure, composition and possible functions of membrane raft-like domains on plant plasma membranes (PM) have been described. Proteomic analyses have indicated that a high proportion of proteins associated with detergent-insoluble membranes (DIMs), supposed to contain raft-like domains isolated from the PM, might be involved in signalling pathways. Recently, the dynamic association of specific proteins with the DIM fraction upon environmental stress has been reported. Innovative imaging methods have shown that lateral segregation of lipids and proteins exists at the nanoscale level in the plant PM, correlating detergent insolubility and membrane-domain localization of presumptive raft proteins. These data suggest a role for plant rafts as signal transduction platforms, similar to those documented for mammalian cells.
  • Plant molecular stress responses face climate change
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):664-674 (2010)
    Environmental stress factors such as drought, elevated temperature, salinity and rising CO2 affect plant growth and pose a growing threat to sustainable agriculture. This has become a hot issue due to concerns about the effects of climate change on plant resources, biodiversity and global food security. Plant adaptation to stress involves key changes in the '-omic' architecture. Here, we present an overview of the physiological and molecular programs in stress adaptation focusing on how genes, proteins and metabolites change after individual and multiple environmental stresses. We address the role which '-omics' research, coupled to systems biology approaches, can play in future research on plants seemingly unable to adapt as well as those which can tolerate climatic change.
  • Landscape genetics of plants
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):675-683 (2010)
    Landscape genetics is the amalgamation of landscape ecology and population genetics to help with understanding microevolutionary processes such as gene flow and adaptation. In this review, we examine why landscape genetics of plants lags behind that of animals, both in number of studies and consideration of landscape elements. The classical landscape distance/resistance approach to study gene flow is challenging in plants, whereas boundary detection and the assessment of contemporary gene flow are more feasible. By contrast, the new field of landscape genetics of adaptive genetic variation, establishing the relationship between adaptive genomic regions and environmental factors in natural populations, is prominent in plant studies. Landscape genetics is ideally suited to study processes such as migration and adaptation under global change.
  • Plant phenotypic plasticity in a changing climate
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):684-692 (2010)
    Climate change is altering the availability of resources and the conditions that are crucial to plant performance. One way plants will respond to these changes is through environmentally induced shifts in phenotype (phenotypic plasticity). Understanding plastic responses is crucial for predicting and managing the effects of climate change on native species as well as crop plants. Here, we provide a toolbox with definitions of key theoretical elements and a synthesis of the current understanding of the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying plasticity relevant to climate change. By bringing ecological, evolutionary, physiological and molecular perspectives together, we hope to provide clear directives for future research and stimulate cross-disciplinary dialogue on the relevance of phenotypic plasticity under climate change.
  • Patatin-related phospholipase A: nomenclature, subfamilies and functions in plants
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):693-700 (2010)
    The release of fatty acids from membrane glycerolipids has been implicated in a variety of cellular processes, but the enzymes involved and their regulation are poorly understood in plants. One large group of acyl-hydrolyzing enzymes is structurally related to patatins. Patatins are potato tuber proteins with acyl-hydrolyzing activity, and the patatin catalytic domain is widely spread in bacterial, yeast, plant and animal enzymes. Recent results have indicated that patatin-related enzymes are involved in different cellular functions, including plant responses to auxin, elicitors or pathogens, and abiotic stresses and lipid mobilization during seed germination. In this review, we highlight recent developments regarding these enzymes and propose the nomenclature pPLA for the patatin-related phospholipase A enzyme.
  • Virus-derived small interfering RNAs at the core of plant–virus interactions
    - Trends Plant Sci 15(12):701-707 (2010)
    Once a virus enters a cell, viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) is targeted by the RNA silencing machinery to initiate a cascade of regulatory events directed by viral small interfering RNAs (vsiRNAs). Recent genetic and functional studies along with the high-throughput sequencing of vsiRNAs have shed light on the genetic and structural requirements for virus targeting, the origins and compositions of vsiRNAs and their potential for controlling gene expression. The precise nature of the triggering molecules of virus-induced RNA silencing or the targeting constraints for viral genome recognition and processing represent outstanding questions that will be discussed in this review. The contribution of vsiRNAs to antiviral defense and host genome modifications has profound implications for our understanding of viral pathogenicity and host specificity in plants.

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