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1. chinaXiv:201605.00494 [pdf]

Metabolic engineering for the production of plant isoquinoline alkaloids

Andrew Diamond; Isabel Desgagné-Penix
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Several plant isoquinoline alkaloids (PIAs) possess powerful pharmaceutical and biotechnological properties. Thus, PIA metabolism and its fascinating molecules, including morphine, colchicine and galanthamine, have attracted the attention of both the industry and researchers involved in plant science, biochemistry, chemical bioengineering and medicine. Currently, access and availability of high-value PIAs [commercialized (e.g. galanthamine) or not (e.g. narciclasine)] is limited by low concentration in nature, lack of cultivation or geographic access, seasonal production and risk of overharvesting wild plant species. Nevertheless, most commercial PIAs are still extracted from plant sources. Efforts to improve the production of PIA have largely been impaired by the lack of knowledge on PIA metabolism. With the development and integration of next-generation sequencing technologies, high-throughput proteomics and metabolomics analyses and bioinformatics, systems biology was used to unravel metabolic pathways allowing the use of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches to increase production of valuable PIAs. Metabolic engineering provides opportunity to overcome issues related to restricted availability, diversification and productivity of plant alkaloids. Engineered plant, plant cells and microbial cell cultures can act as biofactories by offering their metabolic machinery for the purpose of optimizing the conditions and increasing the productivity of a specific alkaloid. In this article, is presented an update on the production of PIA in engineered plant, plant cell cultures and heterologous micro-organisms.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits612Downloads362 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201605.00487 [pdf]

Improving nutritional quality and fungal tolerance in soya bean and grass pea by expressing an oxalate decarboxylase

Vinay Kumar; Arnab Chattopadhyay; Sumit Ghosh; Mohammad Irfan; Niranjan Chakraborty; Subhra Chakraborty; Asis Datta
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Soya bean (Glycine max) and grass pea (Lathyrus sativus) seeds are important sources of dietary proteins; however, they also contain antinutritional metabolite oxalic acid (OA). Excess dietary intake of OA leads to nephrolithiasis due to the formation of calcium oxalate crystals in kidneys. Besides, OA is also a known precursor of β-N-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (β-ODAP), a neurotoxin found in grass pea. Here, we report the reduction in OA level in soya bean (up to 73%) and grass pea (up to 75%) seeds by constitutive and/or seed-specific expression of an oxalate-degrading enzyme, oxalate decarboxylase (FvOXDC) of Flammulina velutipes. In addition, β-ODAP level of grass pea seeds was also reduced up to 73%. Reduced OA content was interrelated with the associated increase in seeds micronutrients such as calcium, iron and zinc. Moreover, constitutive expression of FvOXDC led to improved tolerance to the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum that requires OA during host colonization. Importantly, FvOXDC-expressing soya bean and grass pea plants were similar to the wild type with respect to the morphology and photosynthetic rates, and seed protein pool remained unaltered as revealed by the comparative proteomic analysis. Taken together, these results demonstrated improved seed quality and tolerance to the fungal pathogen in two important legume crops, by the expression of an oxalate-degrading enzyme.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits591Downloads363 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201605.00480 [pdf]

Fusarium oxysporum mediates systems metabolic reprogramming of chickpea roots as revealed by a combination of proteomics and metabolomics

Yashwant Kumar; Limin Zhang; Priyabrata Panigrahi; Bhushan B. Dholakia; Veena Dewangan; Sachin G. Chavan; Shrikant M. Kunjir; Xiangyu Wu; Ning Li; Pattuparambil R. Rajmohanan; Narendra Y. Kadoo; Ashok P. Giri; Huiru Tang; Vidya S. Gupta
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Molecular changes elicited by plants in response to fungal attack and how this affects plant–pathogen interaction, including susceptibility or resistance, remain elusive. We studied the dynamics in root metabolism during compatible and incompatible interactions between chickpea and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. ciceri (Foc), using quantitative label-free proteomics and NMR-based metabolomics. Results demonstrated differential expression of proteins and metabolites upon Foc inoculations in the resistant plants compared with the susceptible ones. Additionally, expression analysis of candidate genes supported the proteomic and metabolic variations in the chickpea roots upon Foc inoculation. In particular, we found that the resistant plants revealed significant increase in the carbon and nitrogen metabolism; generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), lignification and phytoalexins. The levels of some of the pathogenesis-related proteins were significantly higher upon Foc inoculation in the resistant plant. Interestingly, results also exhibited the crucial role of altered Yang cycle, which contributed in different methylation reactions and unfolded protein response in the chickpea roots against Foc. Overall, the observed modulations in the metabolic flux as outcome of several orchestrated molecular events are determinant of plant's role in chickpea–Foc interactions.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits621Downloads396 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:201605.00473 [pdf]

Expression of a constitutively active nitrate reductase variant in tobacco reduces tobacco‐specific nitrosamine accumulation in cured leaves and cigarette smoke

Jianli Lu; Leichen Zhang; Ramsey S. Lewis; Lucien Bovet; Simon Goepfert; Anne M. Jack; James D. Crutchfield; Huihua Ji; Ralph E. Dewey
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Burley tobaccos (Nicotiana tabacum) display a nitrogen-use-deficiency phenotype that is associated with the accumulation of high levels of nitrate within the leaf, a trait correlated with production of a class of compounds referred to as tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). Two TSNA species, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK) and N-nitrosonornicotine (NNN), have been shown to be strong carcinogens in numerous animal studies. We investigated the potential of molecular genetic strategies to lower nitrate levels in burley tobaccos by overexpressing genes encoding key enzymes of the nitrogen-assimilation pathway. Of the various constructs tested, only the expression of a constitutively active nitrate reductase (NR) dramatically decreased free nitrate levels in the leaves. Field-grown tobacco plants expressing this NR variant exhibited greatly reduced levels of TSNAs in both cured leaves and mainstream smoke of cigarettes made from these materials. Decreasing leaf nitrate levels via expression of a constitutively active NR enzyme represents an exceptionally promising means for reducing the production of NNN and NNK, two of the most well-documented animal carcinogens found in tobacco products.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits559Downloads359 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:201605.00470 [pdf]

Metabolic engineering of proanthocyanidin production by repressing the isoflavone pathways and redirecting anthocyanidin precursor flux in legume

Penghui Li; Qiang Dong; Shujun Ge; Xianzhi He; Jerome Verdier; Dongqin Li; Jian Zhao
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

MtPAR is a proanthocyanidin (PA) biosynthesis regulator; the mechanism underlying its promotion of PA biosynthesis is not fully understood. Here, we showed that MtPAR promotes PA production by a direct repression of biosynthesis of isoflavones, the major flavonoids in legume, and by redirecting immediate precursors, such as anthocyanidins, flux into PA pathway. Ectopic expression of MtPAR repressed isoflavonoid production by directly binding and suppressing isoflavone biosynthetic genes such as isoflavone synthase (IFS). Meanwhile, MtPAR up-regulated PA-specific genes and decreased the anthocyanin levels without altering the expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes. MtPAR may shift the anthocyanidin precursor flux from anthocyanin pathway to PA biosynthesis. MtPAR complemented PA-deficient phenotype of Arabidopsis tt2 mutant seeds, demonstrating their similar action on PA production. We showed the direct interactions between MtPAR, MtTT8 and MtWD40-1 proteins from Medicago truncatula and Glycine max, to form a ternary complex to trans-activate PA-specific ANR gene. Finally, MtPAR expression in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) hairy roots and whole plants only promoted the production of small amount of PAs, which was significantly enhanced by co-expression of MtPAR and MtLAP1. Transcriptomic and metabolite profiling showed an additive effect between MtPAR and MtLAP1 on the production of PAs, supporting that efficient PA production requires more anthocyanidin precursors. This study provides new insights into the role and mechanism of MtPAR in partitioning precursors from isoflavone and anthocyanin pathways into PA pathways for a specific promotion of PA production. Based on this, a strategy by combining MtPAR and MtLAP1 co-expression to effectively improve metabolic engineering performance of PA production in legume forage was developed.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits565Downloads343 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:201605.00469 [pdf]

Improvement and transcriptome analysis of root architecture by overexpression of Fraxinus pennsylvanica DREB2A transcription factor in Robinia pseudoacacia L. ‘Idaho’

Yu Xiu; Arshad Iqbal; Chen Zhu; Guodong Wu; Yanping Chang; Na Li; Yu Cao; Wenbiao Zhang; Huiming Zeng; Shouyi Chen; Huafang Wang
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Transcription factors play a key role to enable plants to cope with abiotic stresses. DREB2 regulates the expression of several stress-inducible genes and constitutes major hubs in the water stress signalling webs. We cloned and characterized a novel gene encoding the FpDREB2A transcription factor from Fraxinus pennsylvanica, and a yeast activity assay confirmed its DRE binding and transcription activation. Overexpression of FpDREB2A in R. pseudoacacia showed enhanced resistance to drought stress. The transgenic plant survival rate was significantly higher than that of WT in soil drying and re-watering treatments. Transgenic lines showed a dramatic change in root architecture, and horizontal and vertical roots were found in transgenic plants compared to WT. The vertical roots penetrated in the field soil to more than 60 cm deep, while horizontal roots expanded within the top 20–30 cm of the soil. A physiological test demonstrated that chlorophyll contents were more gradually reduced and that soluble sugars and proline levels elevated more sharply but malondialdehyde level stayed the same (< 0.05). Plant hormone levels of abscisic acid and IAA were higher than that of WT, while gibberellins and zeatin riboside were found to be lower. The root transcriptomes were sequenced and annotated into 2011 differential expression genes (DEGs). The DEGs were categorized in 149 pathways and were found to be involved in plant hormone signalling, transcription factors, stimulus responses, phenylalanine, carbohydrate and other metabolic pathways. The modified pathways in plant hormone signalling are thought to be the main cause of greater horizontal and vertical root development, in particular.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits600Downloads377 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:201605.00466 [pdf]

Agronomic nitrogen‐use efficiency of rice can be increased by driving OsNRT2.1 expression with the OsNAR2.1 promoter

Jingguang Chen; Yong Zhang; Yawen Tan; Min Zhang; Longlong Zhu; Guohua Xu; Xiaorong Fan
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

The importance of the nitrate (inline image) transporter for yield and nitrogen-use efficiency (NUE) in rice was previously demonstrated using map-based cloning. In this study, we enhanced the expression of the OsNRT2.1 gene, which encodes a high-affinity inline image transporter, using a ubiquitin (Ubi) promoter and the inline image-inducible promoter of the OsNAR2.1 gene to drive OsNRT2.1 expression in transgenic rice plants. Transgenic lines expressing pUbi:OsNRT2.1 or pOsNAR2.1:OsNRT2.1 constructs exhibited the increased total biomass including yields of approximately 21% and 38% compared with wild-type (WT) plants. The agricultural NUE (ANUE) of the pUbi:OsNRT2.1 lines decreased to 83% of that of the WT plants, while the ANUE of the pOsNAR2.1:OsNRT2.1 lines increased to 128% of that of the WT plants. The dry matter transfer into grain decreased by 68% in the pUbi:OsNRT2.1 lines and increased by 46% in the pOsNAR2.1:OsNRT2.1 lines relative to the WT. The expression of OsNRT2.1 in shoot and grain showed that Ubi enhanced OsNRT2.1 expression by 7.5-fold averagely and OsNAR2.1 promoters increased by about 80% higher than the WT. Interestingly, we found that the OsNAR2.1 was expressed higher in all the organs of pUbi:OsNRT2.1 lines; however, for pOsNAR2.1:OsNRT2.1 lines, OsNAR2.1 expression was only increased in root, leaf sheaths and internodes. We show that increased expression of OsNRT2.1, especially driven by OsNAR2.1 promoter, can improve the yield and NUE in rice.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits599Downloads384 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:201605.00465 [pdf]

Co‐expression of the protease furin in Nicotiana benthamiana leads to efficient processing of latent transforming growth factor‐β1 into a biologically active protein

Ruud H. P. Wilbers; Lotte B. Westerhof; Debbie R. van Raaij; Marloes van Adrichem; Andreas D. Prakasa; Jose L. Lozano-Torres; Jaap Bakker; Geert Smant; Arjen Schots
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) is a signalling molecule that plays a key role in developmental and immunological processes in mammals. Three TGF-β isoforms exist in humans, and each isoform has unique therapeutic potential. Plants offer a platform for the production of recombinant proteins, which is cheap and easy to scale up and has a low risk of contamination with human pathogens. TGF-β3 has been produced in plants before using a chloroplast expression system. However, this strategy requires chemical refolding to obtain a biologically active protein. In this study, we investigated the possibility to transiently express active human TGF-β1 in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. We successfully expressed mature TGF-β1 in the absence of the latency-associated peptide (LAP) using different strategies, but the obtained proteins were inactive. Upon expression of LAP-TGF-β1, we were able to show that processing of the latent complex by a furin-like protease does not occur in planta. The use of a chitinase signal peptide enhanced the expression and secretion of LAP-TGF-β1, and co-expression of human furin enabled the proteolytic processing of latent TGF-β1. Engineering the plant post-translational machinery by co-expressing human furin also enhanced the accumulation of biologically active TGF-β1. This engineering step is quite remarkable, as furin requires multiple processing steps and correct localization within the secretory pathway to become active. Our data demonstrate that plants can be a suitable platform for the production of complex proteins that rely on specific proteolytic processing.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits578Downloads343 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:201605.00462 [pdf]

Metabolic engineering of terpene biosynthesis in plants using a trichome‐specific transcription factor MsYABBY5 from spearmint (Mentha spicata)

Qian Wang; Vaishnavi Amarr Reddy; Deepa Panicker; Hui-Zhu Mao; Nadimuthu Kumar; Chakravarthy Rajan; Prasanna Nori Venkatesh; Nam-Hai Chua; Rajani Sarojam
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

In many aromatic plants including spearmint (Mentha spicata), the sites of secondary metabolite production are tiny specialized structures called peltate glandular trichomes (PGT). Having high commercial values, these secondary metabolites are exploited largely as flavours, fragrances and pharmaceuticals. But, knowledge about transcription factors (TFs) that regulate secondary metabolism in PGT remains elusive. Understanding the role of TFs in secondary metabolism pathway will aid in metabolic engineering for increased yield of secondary metabolites and also the development of new production techniques for valuable metabolites. Here, we isolated and functionally characterized a novel MsYABBY5 gene that is preferentially expressed in PGT of spearmint. We generated transgenic plants in which MsYABBY5 was either overexpressed or silenced using RNA interference (RNAi). Analysis of the transgenic lines showed that the reduced expression of MsYABBY5 led to increased levels of terpenes and that overexpression decreased terpene levels. Additionally, ectopic expression of MsYABBY5 in Ocimum basilicum and Nicotiana sylvestris decreased secondary metabolite production in them, suggesting that the encoded transcription factor is probably a repressor of secondary metabolism.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits613Downloads388 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:201605.00460 [pdf]

Small RNA and degradome deep sequencing reveals drought‐and tissue‐specific micrornas and their important roles in drought‐sensitive and drought‐tolerant tomato genotypes

Bilgin Candar-Cakir; Ercan Arican; Baohong Zhang
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant biochemistry, plant Biophysics

Drought stress has adverse impacts on plant production and productivity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are one class of noncoding RNAs regulating gene expression post-transcriptionally. In this study, we employed small RNA and degradome sequencing to systematically investigate the tissue-specific miRNAs responsible to drought stress, which are understudied in tomato. For this purpose, root and upground tissues of two different drought-responsive tomato genotypes (Lycopersicon esculentum as sensitive and L. esculentum var. cerasiforme as tolerant) were subjected to stress with 5% polyethylene glycol for 7 days. A total of 699 conserved miRNAs belonging to 578 families were determined and 688 miRNAs were significantly differentially expressed between different treatments, tissues and genotypes. Using degradome sequencing, 44 target genes were identified associated with 36 miRNA families. Drought-related miRNAs and their targets were enriched functionally by Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway analyses. Totally, 53 miRNAs targeted 23 key drought stress- and tissue development-related genes, including DRP (dehydration-responsive protein), GTs (glycosyltransferases), ERF (ethylene responsive factor), PSII (photosystem II) protein, HD-ZIP (homeodomain-leucine zipper), MYB and NAC-domain transcription factors. miR160, miR165, miR166, miR171, miR398, miR408, miR827, miR9472, miR9476 and miR9552 were the key miRNAs functioning in regulation of these genes and involving in tomato response to drought stress. Additionally, plant hormone signal transduction pathway genes were differentially regulated by miR169, miR172, miR393, miR5641, miR5658 and miR7997 in both tissues of both sensitive and tolerant genotypes. These results provide new insight into the regulatory role of miRNAs in drought response with plant hormone signal transduction and drought-tolerant tomato breeding.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits590Downloads360 Comment 0

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