Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot off the presses! Mar 01 Trends Plant Sci

The Mar 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 16(3):i (2011)
  • A molecular evolutionary concept connecting nonhost resistance, pathogen host range, and pathogen speciation
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):117-125 (2011)
    Any given pathogenic microbial species typically colonizes a limited number of plant species. Plant species outside of this host range mount nonhost disease resistance to attempted colonization by the, in this case, non-adapted pathogen. The underlying mechanism of nonhost immunity and host immunity involves the same non-self detection systems, the combined action of nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat (NB-LRR) proteins and pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Here we hypothesize that the relative contribution of NB-LRR- and PRR-triggered immunity to nonhost resistance changes as a function of phylogenetic divergence time between host and nonhost. Similarly, changes in pathogen host range, e.g. host range expansions, appear to be driven by variation in pathogen effector repertoires, in turn leading to reproductive isolation and subsequent pathogen speciation.
  • Novel insights into plant light-harvesting complex II phosphorylation and 'state transitions'
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):126-131 (2011)
    Plants need a highly responsive regulatory system to keep photosynthetic light reactions in balance with the needs and restrictions of the downstream metabolism. This mechanism optimises plant growth under naturally fluctuating light conditions. In this opinion article, we present a model addressing the biological role of the light intensity-controlled phosphorylation of light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) proteins and its relation with the non-photochemical quenching of excitation energy (NPQ). We overturn a long held view of the possible role of 'state transitions'. Instead, we discuss the interplay between LHCII protein phosphorylation and NPQ, a mechanism that is crucial for regulating excitation energy distribution to the two photosystems (PSII and PSI) and balancing the intersystem electron flow despite constant fluctuations in light intensity.
  • Effector-triggered immunity mediated by the Pto kinase
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):132-140 (2011)
    Pto was the first disease-resistance gene cloned from a plant that confers recognition of a specific pathogen. The intracellular protein kinase that it encodes activates an immune response in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) to bacterial speck disease by interacting with either the AvrPto or AvrPtoB type III effector proteins that are delivered into the plant cell by Pseudomonas syringae pathovar tomato. This recognition event triggers signaling pathways leading to effector-triggered immunity (ETI), which inhibits pathogen growth. During the past 15 years, 25 genes have been identified by loss-of-function studies to have a role in Pto-mediated ETI. Here, we review the experimental approaches that have been used in these studies, discuss the proteins that have been identified and characterized, and present a current model of Pto-mediated ETI.
  • A kaleidoscopic view of the Arabidopsis core cell cycle interactome
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):141-150 (2011)
    Although protein–protein interaction (PPI) networks have been shown to offer a systems-wide view of cellular processes, only a few plant PPI maps are available. Recently, the core cell cycle of Arabidopsis thaliana has been analyzed by three independent PPI technologies, including yeast two-hybrid systems, bimolecular fluorescence complementation and tandem affinity purification. Here, we merge the three interactomes with literature-curated and computationally predicted interactions, paving the way for a comprehensive picture of the plant core cell cycle machinery. Platform-specific interactions unveil the strengths and weaknesses of each detection method and give insights into the nature of the interactions among cell cycle proteins. Moreover, comparison of the obtained data reveals that a complete interactome can only be obtained when multiple techniques are applied in parallel.
  • Recurrent abnormalities in conifer cones and the evolutionary origins of flower-like structures
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):151-159 (2011)
    Conifer cones are reproductive structures that are typically of restricted growth and either exclusively pollen-bearing (male) or exclusively ovule-bearing (female). Here, we review two common spontaneous developmental abnormalities of conifer cones: proliferated cones, in which the apex grows vegetatively, and bisexual cones, which possess both male and female structures. Emerging developmental genetic data, combined with evidence from comparative morphology, ontogeny and palaeobotany, provide new insights into the evolution of both cones and flowers, and prompt novel strategies for understanding seed-plant evolution.
  • On the origins of nitric oxide
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):160-168 (2011)
    Nitric oxide (NO) is widely recognized for its role as signaling compound. However, the metabolic mechanisms that determine changes in the level of NO in plants are only poorly understood, despite this knowledge being crucial to understanding the signal function of NO. To date, at least seven possible pathways of NO biosynthesis have been described for plants, although the molecular and enzymatic components are resolved for only one of these. Currently, this represents the most significant bottleneck for NO research. In this review, we provide an overview of the multiplicity of NO production and scavenging pathways in plants. Furthermore, we discuss which areas should be focused on in future studies to investigate the origin of fluctuations in the level of NO in plants.
  • Starch and the clock: the dark side of plant productivity
    - Trends Plant Sci 16(3):169-175 (2011)
    Efforts to improve photosynthetic efficiency should result in increased rates of carbon assimilation in crop plants in the next few decades. Translation of increased assimilation into higher productivity will require a greater understanding of the relationship between assimilation and growth. In this review, we discuss new progress in understanding how carbon is provided for metabolism and growth at night. In Arabidopsis leaves, the circadian clock controls the rate of degradation of starch to ensure an optimal carbon supply and hence continued growth during the night. These discoveries shed new light on the integration of carbon assimilation and growth over the light–dark cycle. They reveal the importance of considering the carbon economy of the whole plant in attempting to increase crop productivity.

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