One of the major challenges in biological investigation involves developing a robust predictive framework in which biological outputs can be predicted from input data and knowledge of the state of the system. Currently, genomics-based strategies provide a strong framework for integrating biological knowledge within a species and linking knowledge between diverse organisms, as DNA sequence is a durable, accurate, and complete record of biological information. As such, it provides the best source of information upon which predictive rules can start to be built, tested, and generalized. Generalization is a key component of predictive biology because it defines the extent to which we can accurately predict from one instance to another. In plant science, several important research themes are concerned with generalization, and progress in these areas is reviewed here. The importance of developing a framework for predictive biology that includes a much wider variety of plant species is also emphasized.
We introduce a tool for text mining, Dragon Plant Biology Explorer (DPBE) that integrates information on Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genes with their functions, based on gene ontologies and biochemical entity vocabularies, and presents the associations as interactive networks. The associations are based on (1) user-provided PubMed abstracts; (2) a list of Arabidopsis genes compiled by The Arabidopsis Information Resource; (3) user-defined combinations of four vocabulary lists based on the ones developed by the general, plant, and Arabidopsis GO consortia; and (4) three lists developed here based on metabolic pathways, enzymes, and metabolites derived from AraCyc, BRENDA, and other metabolism databases. We demonstrate how various combinations can be applied to fields of (1) gene function and gene interaction analyses, (2) plant development, (3) biochemistry and metabolism, and (4) pharmacology of bioactive compounds. Furthermore, we show the suitability of DPBE for systems approaches by integration with “omics” platform outputs. Using a list of abiotic stress-related genes identified by microarray experiments, we show how this tool can be used to rapidly build an information base on the previously reported relationships. This tool complements the existing biological resources for systems biology by identifying potentially novel associations using text analysis between cellular entities based on genome annotation terms. Thus...
Katari, Manpreet S.; Nowicki, Steve D.; Aceituno, Felipe F.; Nero, Damion; Kelfer, Jonathan; Thompson, Lee Parnell; Cabello, Juan M.; Davidson, Rebecca S.; Goldberg, Arthur P.; Shasha, Dennis E.; Coruzzi, Gloria M.; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A.
Fonte: American Society of Plant BiologistsPublicador: American Society of Plant Biologists
Data generation is no longer the limiting factor in advancing biological research. In addition, data integration, analysis, and interpretation have become key bottlenecks and challenges that biologists conducting genomic research face daily. To enable biologists to derive testable hypotheses from the increasing amount of genomic data, we have developed the VirtualPlant software platform. VirtualPlant enables scientists to visualize, integrate, and analyze genomic data from a systems biology perspective. VirtualPlant integrates genome-wide data concerning the known and predicted relationships among genes, proteins, and molecules, as well as genome-scale experimental measurements. VirtualPlant also provides visualization techniques that render multivariate information in visual formats that facilitate the extraction of biological concepts. Importantly, VirtualPlant helps biologists who are not trained in computer science to mine lists of genes, microarray experiments, and gene networks to address questions in plant biology, such as: What are the molecular mechanisms by which internal or external perturbations affect processes controlling growth and development? We illustrate the use of VirtualPlant with three case studies, ranging from querying a gene of interest to the identification of gene networks and regulatory hubs that control seed development. Whereas the VirtualPlant software was developed to mine Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) genomic data...
YchF is a subfamily of the Obg family in the TRAFAC class of P-loop GTPases. The wide distribution of YchF homologues in both eukarya and bacteria suggests that they are descendents of an ancient protein, yet their physiological roles remain unclear. Using the OsYchF1-OsGAP1 pair from rice as the prototype, we provide evidence for the regulation of GTPase/ATPase activities and RNA binding capacity of a plant YchF (OsYchF1) by its regulatory protein (OsGAP1). The effects of OsGAP1 on the subcellular localization/cycling and physiological functions of OsYchF1 are also discussed. The finding that OsYchF1 and OsGAP1 are involved in plant defense response might shed light on the functional roles of YchF homologues in plants. This work suggests that during evolution, an ancestral P-loop GTPase/ATPase may acquire new regulation and function(s) by the evolution of a lineage-specific regulatory protein.
Phylogenetic analysis has previously shown that plant receptor-like kinases (RLKs) are monophyletic with respect to the kinase domain and share an evolutionary origin with the animal interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase/Pelle-soluble kinases. The lysin motif domain-containing receptor-like kinase-3 (LYK3) of the legume Medicago truncatula shows 33% amino acid sequence identity with human IRAK-4 over the kinase domain. Using the structure of this animal kinase as a template, homology modeling revealed that the plant RLK contains structural features particular to this group of kinases, including the tyrosine gatekeeper and the N-terminal extension α-helix B. Functional analysis revealed the importance of these conserved features for kinase activity and suggests that kinase activity is essential for the biological role of LYK3 in the establishment of the root nodule nitrogen-fixing symbiosis with rhizobia bacteria. The kinase domain of LYK3 has dual serine/threonine and tyrosine specificity, and mass spectrometry analysis identified seven serine, eight threonine, and one tyrosine residue as autophosphorylation sites in vitro. Three activation loop serine/threonine residues are required for biological activity, and molecular dynamics simulations suggest that Thr-475 is the prototypical phosphorylated residue that interacts with the conserved arginine in the catalytic loop...
d-2-Hydroxyglutarate dehydrogenase (d-2HGDH) catalyzes the specific and efficient oxidation of d-2-hydroxyglutarate (d-2HG) to 2-oxoglutarate using FAD as a cofactor. In this work, we demonstrate that d-2HGDH localizes to plant mitochondria and that its expression increases gradually during developmental and dark-induced senescence in Arabidopsis thaliana, indicating an enhanced demand of respiration of alternative substrates through this enzymatic system under these conditions. Using loss-of-function mutants in d-2HGDH (d2hgdh1) and stable isotope dilution LC-MS/MS, we found that the d-isomer of 2HG accumulated in leaves of d2hgdh1 during both forms of carbon starvation. In addition to this, d2hgdh1 presented enhanced levels of most TCA cycle intermediates and free amino acids. In contrast to the deleterious effects caused by a deficiency in d-2HGDH in humans, d2hgdh1 and overexpressing lines of d-2HGDH showed normal developmental and senescence phenotypes, indicating a mild role of d-2HGDH in the tested conditions. Moreover, metabolic fingerprinting of leaves of plants grown in media supplemented with putative precursors indicated that d-2HG most probably originates during the catabolism of lysine. Finally, the l-isomer of 2HG was also detected in leaf extracts...
The plastid is a defining structure of photosynthetic eukaryotes and houses many plant-specific processes, including the light reactions, carbon fixation, pigment synthesis, and other primary metabolic processes. Identifying proteins associated with catalytic, structural, and regulatory functions that are unique to plastid-containing organisms is necessary to fully define the scope of plant biochemistry. Here, we performed phylogenomics on 20 genomes to compile a new inventory of 597 nucleus-encoded proteins conserved in plants and green algae but not in non-photosynthetic organisms. 286 of these proteins are of known function, whereas 311 are not characterized. This inventory was validated as applicable and relevant to diverse photosynthetic eukaryotes using an additional eight genomes from distantly related plants (including Micromonas, Selaginella, and soybean). Manual curation of the known proteins in the inventory established its importance to plastid biochemistry. To predict functions for the 52% of proteins of unknown function, we used sequence motifs, subcellular localization, co-expression analysis, and RNA abundance data. We demonstrate that 18% of the proteins in the inventory have functions outside the plastid and/or beyond green tissues. Although 32% of proteins in the inventory have homologs in all cyanobacteria...
NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase (Complex I, EC 22.214.171.124) is the largest complex of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In eukaryotes, it is composed of more than 40 subunits that are encoded by both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. Plant Complex I differs from the enzyme described in other eukaryotes, most notably due to the large number of plant-specific subunits in the membrane arm of the complex. The elucidation of the assembly pathway of Complex I has been a long-standing research aim in cellular biochemistry. We report the study of Arabidopsis mutants in Complex I subunits using a combination of Blue-Native PAGE and immunodetection to identify stable subcomplexes containing Complex I components, along with mass spectrometry analysis of Complex I components in membrane fractions and two-dimensional diagonal Tricine SDS-PAGE to study the composition of the largest subcomplex. Four subcomplexes of the membrane arm of Complex I with apparent molecular masses of 200, 400, 450, and 650 kDa were observed. We propose a working model for the assembly of the membrane arm of Complex I in plants and assign putative roles during the assembly process for two of the subunits studied.
Kim, Woe Yeon; Lee, Sun Yong; Jung, Young Jun; Chae, Ho Byoung; Nawkar, Ganesh M.; Shin, Mi Rim; Kim, Sun Young; Park, Jin Ho; Kang, Chang Ho; Chi, Yong Hun; Ahn, Il Pyung; Yun, Dae Jin; Lee, Kyun Oh; Kim, Young-Myeong; Kim, Min Gab; Lee, Sang Yeol
Fonte: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyPublicador: American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
A novel Arabidopsis thaliana inhibitor of apoptosis was identified by sequence homology to other known inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) proteins. Arabidopsis IAP-like protein (AtILP) contained a C-terminal RING finger domain but lacked a baculovirus IAP repeat (BIR) domain, which is essential for anti-apoptotic activity in other IAP family members. The expression of AtILP in HeLa cells conferred resistance against tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α/ActD-induced apoptosis through the inactivation of caspase activity. In contrast to the C-terminal RING domain of AtILP, which did not inhibit the activity of caspase-3, the N-terminal region, despite displaying no homology to known BIR domains, potently inhibited the activity of caspase-3 in vitro and blocked TNF-α/ActD-induced apoptosis. The anti-apoptotic activity of the AtILP N-terminal domain observed in plants was reproduced in an animal system. Transgenic Arabidopsis lines overexpressing AtILP exhibited anti-apoptotic activity when challenged with the fungal toxin fumonisin B1, an agent that induces apoptosis-like cell death in plants. In AtIPL transgenic plants, suppression of cell death was accompanied by inhibition of caspase activation and DNA fragmentation. Overexpression of AtILP also attenuated effector protein-induced cell death and increased the growth of an avirulent bacterial pathogen. The current results demonstrated the existence of a novel plant IAP-like protein that prevents caspase activation in Arabidopsis and showed that a plant anti-apoptosis gene functions similarly in plant and animal systems.
Living botanical collections include germplasm repositories, long-term experimental plantings, and botanical gardens. We present here a series of vignettes to illustrate the central role that living collections have played in plant biology research, including evo-devo research. Looking toward the future, living collections will become increasingly important in support of future evo-devo research. The driving force behind this trend is nucleic acid sequencing technologies, which are rapidly becoming more powerful and cost-effective, and which can be applied to virtually any species. This allows for more extensive sampling, including non-model organisms with unique biological features and plants from diverse phylogenetic positions. Importantly, a major challenge for sequencing-based evo-devo research is to identify, access, and propagate appropriate plant materials. We use a vignette of the ongoing 1,000 Transcriptomes project as an example of the challenges faced by such projects. We conclude by identifying some of the pinch points likely to be encountered by future evo-devo researchers, and how living collections can help address them.
Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are highly abundant in eukaryotic proteomes. Plant IDPs play critical roles in plant biology and often act as integrators of signals from multiple plant regulatory and environmental inputs. Binding promiscuity and plasticity allow IDPs to interact with multiple partners in protein interaction networks and provide important functional advantages in molecular recognition through transient protein–protein interactions. Short interaction-prone segments within IDPs, termed molecular recognition features, represent potential binding sites that can undergo disorder-to-order transition upon binding to their partners. In this review, we summarize the evidence for the importance of IDPs in plant biology and evaluate the functions associated with intrinsic disorder in five different types of plant protein families experimentally confirmed as IDPs. Functional studies of these proteins illustrate the broad impact of disorder on many areas of plant biology, including abiotic stress, transcriptional regulation, light perception, and development. Based on the roles of disorder in the protein–protein interactions, we propose various modes of action for plant IDPs that may provide insight for future experimental approaches aimed at understanding the molecular basis of protein function within important plant pathways.
Ubiquitylation is a reversible post-translational modification that is involved in various cellular pathways and that thereby regulates various aspects of plant biology. For a long time, functional studies of ubiquitylation have focused on the function of ubiquitylating enzymes, especially the E3 ligases, rather than deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) or ubiquitin isopeptidases, enzymes that hydrolyze ubiquitin chains. One reason may be the smaller number of DUBs in comparison to E3 ligases, implying the broader substrate specificities of DUBs and the difficulties to identify the direct targets. However, recent studies have revealed that DUBs also actively participate in controlling cellular events and thus play pivotal roles in plant development and growth. DUBs are also essential for processing ubiquitin precursors and are important for recycling ubiquitin molecules from target proteins prior to their degradation and thereby maintaining the free ubiquitin pool in the cell. Here, we will discuss the five different DUB families (USP/UBP, UCH, JAMM, OTU, and MJD) and their known biochemical and physiological roles in plants.
My Life as a Plant is an activity book targeted toward helping young children see the importance, relevance, and beauty of plants in our daily lives. The book succeeds at introducing children to plant biology in a fun, inquiry-based, and appropriately challenging way.
Nonequilibrium irreversible thermodynamics constitute a meaningful point of view suitable to explore life with a rich paradigm. This analytical framework can be used to span the gap from molecular processes to plant function and shows great promise to create a holistic description of life. Since living organisms dissipate energy, exchange entropy and matter with their environment, they can be assimilated to dissipative structures. This concept inherited from nonequilibrium thermodynamics has four properties which defines a scale independent framework suitable to provide a simpler and more comprehensive view of the highly complex plant biology. According to this approach, a biological function is modeled as a cascade of dissipative structures. Each dissipative structure, corresponds to a biological process, which is initiated by the amplification of a fluctuation. Evolution of the process leads to the breakage of the system symmetry and to the export of entropy. Exporting entropy to the surrounding environment corresponds to collecting information about it. Biological actors which break the symmetry of the system and which store information are by consequence, key actors on which experiments and data analysis focus most. This paper aims at illustrating properties of dissipative structure through familiar examples and thus initiating the dialogue between nonequilibrium thermodynamics and plant biology.
Traditionally, biologists regularly used classical genetic approaches to characterize and dissect plant processes. However, this strategy is often impaired by redundancy, lethality or pleiotropy of gene functions, which prevent the isolation of viable mutants. The chemical genetic approach has been recognized as an alternative experimental strategy, which has the potential to circumvent these problems. It relies on the capacity of small molecules to modify biological processes by specific binding to protein target(s), thereby conditionally modifying protein function(s), which phenotypically resemble mutation(s) of the encoding gene(s). A successful chemical screening campaign comprises three equally important elements: (1) a reliable, robust, and quantitative bioassay, which allows to distinguish between potent and less potent compounds, (2) a rigorous validation process for candidate compounds to establish their selectivity, and (3) an experimental strategy for elucidating a compound's mode of action and molecular target. In this review we will discuss details of this general strategy and additional aspects that deserve consideration in order to take full advantage of the power provided by the chemical approach to plant biology. In addition...
The iPlant Collaborative (iPlant) is a United States National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project that aims to create an innovative, comprehensive, and foundational cyberinfrastructure in support of plant biology research (PSCIC, 2006). iPlant is developing cyberinfrastructure that uniquely enables scientists throughout the diverse fields that comprise plant biology to address Grand Challenges in new ways, to stimulate and facilitate cross-disciplinary research, to promote biology and computer science research interactions, and to train the next generation of scientists on the use of cyberinfrastructure in research and education. Meeting humanity's projected demands for agricultural and forest products and the expectation that natural ecosystems be managed sustainably will require synergies from the application of information technologies. The iPlant cyberinfrastructure design is based on an unprecedented period of research community input, and leverages developments in high-performance computing, data storage, and cyberinfrastructure for the physical sciences. iPlant is an open-source project with application programming interfaces that allow the community to extend the infrastructure to meet its needs. iPlant is sponsoring community-driven workshops addressing specific scientific questions via analysis tool integration and hypothesis testing. These workshops teach researchers how to add bioinformatics tools and/or datasets into the iPlant cyberinfrastructure enabling plant scientists to perform complex analyses on large datasets without the need to master the command-line or high-performance computational services.
The approaching end of the 21st century's first decade marks an exciting time for plant biology. Several National Science Foundation Arabidopsis 2010 Projects will conclude, and whether or not the stated goal of the National Science Foundation 2010 Program—to determine the function of 25,000 Arabidopsis genes by 2010—is reached, these projects and others in a similar vein, such as those performed by the AtGenExpress Consortium and various plant genome sequencing initiatives, have generated important and unprecedented large-scale data sets. While providing significant biological insights for the individual laboratories that generated them, these data sets, in conjunction with the appropriate tools, are also permitting plant biologists worldwide to gain new insights into their own biological systems of interest, often at a mouse click through a Web browser. This review provides an overview of several such genomic, epigenomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and metabolomic data sets and describes Web-based tools for querying them in the context of hypothesis generation for plant biology. We provide five biological examples of how such tools and data sets have been used to provide biological insight.
(With Ze-Chun Yuan) - Bacteria of the genus Agrobacterium are very useful and unusual plant pathogens. Through a rare inter-kingdom DNA transfer, the bacteria move some of their genes into their host's genome, thereby inducing the host cells to proliferate and produce opines, nutrients sources for the pathogen. Agrobacterium's ability to transfer DNA makes can be adapted to introduce other genes, such as those encoding useful traits, into plant genomes. The development of Agrobacterium as a tool to transform plants is a landmark event in modern plant biology. This lecture provides an introduction to Agrobacterium tumefaciens and related species, focusing on their modes of pathogenicity, their usefulness as tools for plant transformation, and their use as a model for the study of plant-pathogen interactions.