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Now showing items 1 - 16 of 65

  • Molecular mimicry modulates plant host responses to pathogens.

    Ronald, Pamela   Joe, Anna  

    Background: Pathogens often secrete molecules that mimic those present in the plant host. Recent studies indicate that some of these molecules mimic plant hormones required for development and immunity.; Scope and Conclusion: This Viewpoint reviews the literature on microbial molecules produced by plant pathogens that functionally mimic molecules present in the plant host. This article includes examples from nematodes, bacteria and fungi with emphasis on RaxX, a microbial protein produced by the bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. RaxX mimics a plant peptide hormone, PSY (plant peptide containing sulphated tyrosine). The rice immune receptor XA21 detects sulphated RaxX but not the endogenous peptide PSY. Studies of the RaxX/XA21 system have provided insight into both host and pathogen biology and offered a framework for future work directed at understanding how XA21 and the PSY receptor(s) can be differentially activated by RaxX and endogenous PSY peptides. =C2=A9 The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
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  • Target of rapamycin signaling orchestrates growth-defense trade-offs in plants

    De Vleesschauwer, David   Filipe, Osvaldo   Hoffman, Gena   Seifi, Hamed Soren   Haeck, Ashley   Canlas, Patrick   Van Bockhaven, Jonas   De Waele, Evelien   Demeestere, Kristof   Ronald, Pamela   Hofte, Monica  

    Plant defense to microbial pathogens is often accompanied by significant growth inhibition. How plants merge immune system function with normal growth and development is still poorly understood. Here, we investigated the role of target of rapamycin (TOR), an evolutionary conserved serine/threonine kinase, in the plant defense response. We used rice as a model system and applied a combination of chemical, genetic, genomic and cell-based analyses. We demonstrate that ectopic expression of TOR and Raptor (regulatory-associated protein of mTOR), a protein previously demonstrated to interact with TOR in Arabidopsis, positively regulates growth and development in rice. Transcriptome analysis of rice cells treated with the TOR-specific inhibitor rapamycin revealed that TOR not only dictates transcriptional reprogramming of extensive gene sets involved in central and secondary metabolism, cell cycle and transcription, but also suppresses many defense-related genes. TOR overexpression lines displayed increased susceptibility to both bacterial and fungal pathogens, whereas plants with reduced TOR signaling displayed enhanced resistance. Finally, we found that TOR antagonizes the action of the classic defense hormones salicylic acid and jasmonic acid. Together, these results indicate that TOR acts as a molecular switch for the activation of cell proliferation and plant growth at the expense of cellular immunity.
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    Provided herein are compounds and methods for increasing disease resistance and/or root length in plants.
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    Methods and compositions are provided for enhancing the stress tolerance of plants.
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  • Four receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases regulate development and immunity in rice

    Zhou, Xiaogang   Wang, Jing   Peng, Chunfang   Zhu, Xiaobo   Yin, Junjie   Li, Weitao   He, Min   Wang, Jichun   Chern, Mawsheng   Yuan, Can   Wu, Wenguan   Ma, Weiwei   Qin, Peng   Ma, Bintian   Wu, Xianjun   Li, Shigui   Ronald, Pamela  

    Receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases (RLCKs) represent a large family of proteins in plants. However, few RLCKs have been well characterized. Here, we report the functional characterization of four rice RLCKs - OsRLCK57, OsRLCK107, OsRLCK118 and OsRLCK176 from subfamily VII. These OsRLCKs interact with the rice brassinosteroid receptor, OsBRI1 in yeast cell, but not the XA21 immune receptor. Transgenic lines silenced for each of these genes have enlarged leaf angles and are hypersensitive to brassinolide treatment compared to wild type rice. Transgenic plants silenced for OsRLCK57 had significantly fewer tillers and reduced panicle secondary branching, and lines silenced for OsRLCK107 and OsRLCK118 produce fewer seeds. Silencing of these genes decreased Xa21 gene expression and compromised XA21-mediated immunity to Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. Our study demonstrates that these OsRLCKs negatively regulate BR signalling, while positively regulating immune responses by contributing to the expression of the immune receptor XA21.
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    Provided herein are genes involved in stress resistance (e.g., resistance to a pathogen), genetically modified plants with elevated or reduced expression of these genes, and methods of making genetically modified plants with enhanced stress resistance.
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  • Top 10 plant pathogenic bacteria in molecular plant pathology

    Mansfield, John   Genin, Stephane   Magori, Shimpei   Citovsky, Vitaly   Sriariyanum, Malinee   Ronald, Pamela   Dow, Max   Verdier, Valerie   Beer, Steven V.   Machado, Marcos A.   Toth, Ian   Salmond, George   Foster, Gary D.  

    Many plant bacteriologists, if not all, feel that their particular microbe should appear in any list of the most important bacterial plant pathogens. However, to our knowledge, no such list exists. The aim of this review was to survey all bacterial pathologists with an association with the journal Molecular Plant Pathology and ask them to nominate the bacterial pathogens they would place in a Top 10 based on scientific/economic importance. The survey generated 458 votes from the international community, and allowed the construction of a Top 10 bacterial plant pathogen list. The list includes, in rank order: (1) Pseudomonas syringae pathovars; (2) Ralstonia solanacearum; (3) Agrobacterium tumefaciens; (4) Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae; (5) Xanthomonas campestris pathovars; (6) Xanthomonas axonopodis pathovars; (7) Erwinia amylovora; (8) Xylella fastidiosa; (9) Dickeya (dadantii and solani); (10) Pectobacterium carotovorum (and Pectobacterium atrosepticum). Bacteria garnering honourable mentions for just missing out on the Top 10 include Clavibacter michiganensis (michiganensis and sepedonicus), Pseudomonas savastanoi and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. This review article presents a short section on each bacterium in the Top 10 list and its importance, with the intention of initiating discussion and debate amongst the plant bacteriology community, as well as laying down a benchmark. It will be interesting to see, in future years, how perceptions change and which bacterial pathogens enter and leave the Top 10.
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    The invention provides compositions and methods for inhibiting the expression of the gene Sn16 in plants. Plants with inhibited expression of Sn16 have use in biofuel production, e.g., by increasing the amount of soluble sugar that can be extracted from the plant.
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    The invention provides methods of engineering plants to modulate hydroxycinnamic acid content. The invention additionally provides compositions and methods comprising such plants.
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  • Plant Genetics, Sustainable Agriculture and Global Food Security

    Ronald, Pamela  

    The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant-environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts-the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems.
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  • The future of sustainable food production

    Ronald, Pamela   Adamchak, Raoul  

    By the year 2050, the number of people on Earth is expected to increase from the current 6.7 to 9.2 billion. What is the best way to produce enough food to feed all these people? If we continue with current farming practices, vast amounts of wilderness will be lost, millions of birds and billions of insects will die, farm workers will be at increased risk for disease, and the public will lose billions of dollars as a consequence of environmental degradation. Clearly, there must be a better way to resolve the need for increased food production with the desire to minimize its impact.
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  • Engineering Feedstocks for Biofuel Production

    Ronald, Pamela  

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  • Submergence Tolerant Rice: SUB1's Journey from Landrace to Modern Cultivar

    Bailey-Serres, Julia   Fukao, Takeshi   Ronald, Pamela   Ismail, Abdelbagi   Heuer, Sigrid   Mackill, David  

    Rice landraces tolerant of up to 2 weeks of complete submergence were collected from farmers' fields in the 1950s. Success in fine mapping of SUBMERGENCE 1 (SUB1), a robust quantitative trait locus from the submergence tolerant FR13A landrace, has enabled marker-assisted breeding of high-yielding rice capable of enduring transient complete submergence. At the molecular level, SUB1 is a variable polygenic locus encoding two or three ethylene responsive factor (ERF) DNA binding proteins. All Oryza sativa accessions encode SUB1B and SUB1C at this locus. An additional ERF, SUB1A, is present at SUB1 in FR13A and other tolerant accessions. The induction of SUB1A expression by ethylene during submergence disrupts the elongation escape strategy typical of lowland and deepwater rice, by limiting ethylene-induced gibberellic acid-promoted elongation. Microarray and metabolite studies confirm that SUB1A orchestrates its effects on metabolism and growth in a submergence-dependent manner. Due to the conditional activity of SUB1A, new "Sub1" mega-varieties effectively provide submergence tolerance without apparent ill effect on development, productivity, or grain quality.
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    The present invention relates to Pi5-1 and Pi5-2 proteins which enhance resistance to Mag- naporthe oryzae, genes which encode the proteins, a recombinant vector comprising the genes, a plant transformed with the recombinant vector and seeds thereof, a method of increasing re¬ sistance to a plant pathogen by expressing the genes in a plant, antibodies against the proteins, and a composition comprising the genes which are useful for enhancing resistance to a plant pathogen.
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    Methods and compositions for improving plant disease resistance by expression of NPR1-biding domain/transcriptional activation domain fusions are provided.
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  • Focus: Plant Interactions with Bacterial Pathogens

    Hawes, Martha   Ronald, Pamela  

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