Phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P 2 ] is a key second messenger that regulates actin and membrane dynamics, as well as other cellular processes. Many of the effects of PtdIns(4,5)P 2 are mediated by binding to effector proteins that contain a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Here, we identify two novel effectors of PtdIns(4,5)P 2 in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae: the PH domain containing protein Slm1 and its homolog Slm2. Slm1 and Slm2 serve redundant roles essential for cell growth and actin cytoskeleton polarization. Slm1 and Slm2 bind PtdIns(4,5)P 2 through their PH domains. In addition, Slm1 and Slm2 physically interact with Avo2 and Bit61, two components of the TORC2 signaling complex, which mediates Tor2 signaling to the actin cytoskeleton. Together, these interactions coordinately regulate Slm1 targeting to the plasma membrane. Our results thus identify two novel effectors of PtdIns(4,5)P 2 regulating cell growth and actin organization and suggest that Slm1 and Slm2 integrate inputs from the PtdIns(4,5)P 2 and TORC2 to modulate polarized actin assembly and growth.
Enhancing drought tolerance without yield decrease has been a great challenge in crop improvement. Here, we report the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) homodomain-leucine zipper transcription factor Enhanced Drought Tolerance/HOMEODOMAIN GLABROUS11 (EDT1/HDG11) was able to confer drought tolerance and increase grain yield in transgenic rice (Oryza sativa) plants. The improved drought tolerance was associated with a more extensive root system, reduced stomatal density, and higher water use efficiency. The transgenic rice plants also had higher levels of abscisic acid, proline, soluble sugar, and reactive oxygen species-scavenging enzyme activities during stress treatments. The increased grain yield of the transgenic rice was contributed by improved seed setting, larger panicle, and more tillers as well as increased photosynthetic capacity. Digital gene expression analysis indicated that AtEDT1/HDG11 had a significant influence on gene expression profile in rice, which was consistent with the observed phenotypes of transgenic rice plants. Our study shows that AtEDT1/HDG11 can improve both stress tolerance and grain yield in rice, demonstrating the efficacy of AtEDT1/HDG11 in crop improvement.
The specific binding of N7-methylguanine cap analogues to the RNA methyltransferase VP39 was observed through X-ray crystallography, providing a prototypical structure for a complex between a protein and an mRNA 5' cap.
Phosphate solubilizing fungi (PSF) have huge potentials in enhancing release of phosphorus from fertilizer. Two PSF (NJDL-03 and NJDL-12) were isolated and identified as Penicillium oxalicum and Aspergillus niger respectively in this study. The quantification and identification of organic acids were performed by HPLC. Total concentrations of organic acids secreted by NJDL-03 and NJDL-12 are ~4000 and ~10,000 mg/L with pH values of 3.6 and 2.4 respectively after five-days culture. Oxalic acid dominates acidity in the medium due to its high concentration and high acidity constant. The two fungi were also cultured for five days with the initial pH values of the medium varied from 6.5 to 1.5. The biomass reached the maximum when the initial pH values are 4.5 for NJDL-03 and 2.5 for NJDL-12. The organic acids for NJDL-12 reach the maximum at the initial pH = 5.5. However, the acids by NJDL-03 continue to decrease and proliferation of the fungus terminates at pH = 2.5. The citric acid production increases significantly for NJDL-12 at acidic environment, whereas formic and oxalic acids decrease sharply for both two fungi. This study shows that NJDL-12 has higher ability in acid production and has stronger adaptability to acidic environment than NJDL-03.
Nitrogen (N) is one of the key essential macronutrients that affects rice growth and yield. Inorganic N fertilizers are excessively used to boost yield and generate serious collateral environmental pollution. Therefore, improving crop N use efficiency (NUE) is highly desirable and has been a major endeavour in crop improvement. However, only a few regulators have been identified that can be used to improve NUE in rice to date. Here we show that the rice NIN‐like protein 4 (OsNLP4) significantly improves the rice NUE and yield. Field trials consistently showed that loss‐of‐OsNLP4 dramatically reduced yield and NUE compared with wild type under different N regimes. In contrast, the OsNLP4 overexpression lines remarkably increased yield by 30% and NUE by 47% under moderate N level compared with wild type. Transcriptomic analyses revealed that OsNLP4 orchestrates the expression of a majority of known N uptake, assimilation and signalling genes by directly binding to the nitrate‐responsive cis‐element in their promoters to regulate their expression. Moreover, overexpression of OsNLP4 can recover the phenotype of Arabidopsis nlp7 mutant and enhance its biomass. Our results demonstrate that OsNLP4 plays a pivotal role in rice NUE and sheds light on crop NUE improvement.
Nitrogen is essential for plant survival and growth. Excessive application of nitrogenous fertilizer has generated serious environment pollution and increased production cost in agriculture. To deal with this problem, tremendous efforts have been invested worldwide to increase the nitrogen use ability of crops. However, only limited success has been achieved to date. Here we report that NLP7 (NIN-LIKE PROTEIN 7) is a potential candidate to improve plant nitrogen use ability. When overexpressed in Arabidopsis, NLP7 increases plant biomass under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions with better-developed root system and reduced shoot/root ratio. NLP7–overexpressing plants show a significant increase in key nitrogen metabolites, nitrogen uptake, total nitrogen content, and expression levels of genes involved in nitrogen assimilation and signalling. More importantly, overexpression of NLP7 also enhances photosynthesis rate and carbon assimilation, whereas knockout of NLP7 impaired both nitrogen and carbon assimilation. In addition, NLP7 improves plant growth and nitrogen use in transgenic tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Our results demonstrate that NLP7 significantly improves plant growth under both nitrogen-poor and -rich conditions by coordinately enhancing nitrogen and carbon assimilation and sheds light on crop improvement.
Abstract. Light inside a canopy constantly fluctuates. Under fluctuating light (FL) conditions, stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rate constantly change. In this study, we explored whether this dynamics of stomata movements upon FL influenced the water use efficiency of rice in the field. We used a USDA-curated rice mini-core diversity panel consisting of 204 worldwide distributed accessions. A priori model on dynamic stomatal response to FL was utilised to identify kinetic parameters describing the stomatal delays during the closing (t cl ) and the opening (t op ) phase. Result showed that t cl had a larger variation than t op across the mini-core panel. t cl was negatively correlated with water use efficiency (WUE) related traits, stem diameter, grain weight per tiller and heading time, but positively correlated with maximum annual temperature, carbon assimilation related traits and biomass (P < 0.05). We further showed a strong correlation of t cl with the relative decrease of biomass under drought in 14 accessions with different t cl . We discussed the adjustment of stomatal conductance under fluctuating light in light of the trade-off between optimising CO 2 uptake and optimising water saving. This study suggests that stomatal dynamics under fluctuating light is closely related to drought resistance and hence detailed study is needed to enable its application in breeding drought tolerance in rice.
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