Publications

583 Publications visible to you, out of a total of 583

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Crop biomass and yield are tightly linked to how the light signaling network translates information about the environment into allocation of resources, including photosynthates. Once activated, the phytochrome (phy) class of photoreceptors signal and re-deploy carbon resources to alter growth, plant architecture, and reproductive timing. Most of the previous characterization of the light-modulated growth program has been performed in the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we use Brassica rapa as a crop model to test for conservation of the phytochrome-carbon network. In response to elevated levels of CO2, B. rapa seedlings showed increases in hypocotyl length, shoot and root fresh weight, and the number of lateral roots. All of these responses were dependent on nitrogen and polar auxin transport. In addition, we identified putative B. rapa orthologs of PhyB and isolated two nonsense alleles. BrphyB mutants had significantly decreased or absent CO2-stimulated growth responses. Mutant seedlings also showed misregulation of auxin-dependent genes and genes involved in chloroplast development. Adult mutant plants had reduced chlorophyll levels, photosynthetic rate, stomatal index, and seed yield. These findings support a recently proposed holistic role for phytochromes in regulating resource allocation, biomass production, and metabolic state in the developing plant.

Authors: A. A. Arsovski, J. E. Zemke, B. D. Haagen, S. H. Kim, J. L. Nemhauser

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Authors: J. Krahmer, A. Ganpudi, A. Abbas, A. Romanowski, K. J. Halliday

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Photoperiod duration can be predicted from previous days, but irradiance fluctuates in an unpredictable manner. To investigate how allocation to starch responds to changes in these two environmental variables, Arabidopsis Col-0 was grown in a 6 h and a 12 h photoperiod at three different irradiances. The absolute rate of starch accumulation increased when photoperiod duration was shortened and when irradiance was increased. The proportion of photosynthate allocated to starch increased strongly when photoperiod duration was decreased but only slightly when irradiance was decreased. There was a small increase in the daytime level of sucrose and twofold increases in glucose, fructose and glucose 6-phosphate at a given irradiance in short photoperiods compared to long photoperiods. The rate of starch accumulation correlated strongly with sucrose and glucose levels in the light, irrespective of whether these sugars were responding to a change in photoperiod or irradiance. Whole plant carbon budget modelling revealed a selective restriction of growth in the light period in short photoperiods. It is proposed that photoperiod sensing, possibly related to the duration of the night, restricts growth in the light period in short photoperiods, increasing allocation to starch and providing more carbon reserves to support metabolism and growth in the long night.

Authors: V. Mengin, E. T. Pyl, T. Alexandre Moraes, R. Sulpice, N. Krohn, B. Encke, M. Stitt

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UNLABELLED: In an accompanying paper [du Preez et al., (2012) FEBS J279, 2810-2822], we adapt an existing kinetic model for steady-state yeast glycolysis to simulate limit-cycle oscillations. Here we validate the model by testing its capacity to simulate a wide range of experiments on dynamics of yeast glycolysis. In addition to its description of the oscillations of glycolytic intermediates in intact cells and the rapid synchronization observed when mixing out-of-phase oscillatory cell populations (see accompanying paper), the model was able to predict the Hopf bifurcation diagram with glucose as the bifurcation parameter (and one of the bifurcation points with cyanide as the bifurcation parameter), the glucose- and acetaldehyde-driven forced oscillations, glucose and acetaldehyde quenching, and cell-free extract oscillations (including complex oscillations and mixed-mode oscillations). Thus, the model was compliant, at least qualitatively, with the majority of available experimental data for glycolytic oscillations in yeast. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a model for yeast glycolysis has been tested against such a wide variety of independent data sets. DATABASE: The mathematical models described here have been submitted to the JWS Online Cellular Systems Modelling Database and can be accessed at http://jjj.biochem.sun.ac.za/database/dupreez/index.html.

Authors: F. B. du Preez, D. D. van Niekerk, J. L. Snoep

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Abstract (Expand)

UNLABELLED: An existing detailed kinetic model for the steady-state behavior of yeast glycolysis was tested for its ability to simulate dynamic behavior. Using a small subset of experimental data, the original model was adapted by adjusting its parameter values in three optimization steps. Only small adaptations to the original model were required for realistic simulation of experimental data for limit-cycle oscillations. The greatest changes were required for parameter values for the phosphofructokinase reaction. The importance of ATP for the oscillatory mechanism and NAD(H) for inter-and intra-cellular communications and synchronization was evident in the optimization steps and simulation experiments. In an accompanying paper [du Preez F et al. (2012) FEBS J279, 2823-2836], we validate the model for a wide variety of experiments on oscillatory yeast cells. The results are important for re-use of detailed kinetic models in modular modeling approaches and for approaches such as that used in the Silicon Cell initiative. DATABASE: The mathematical models described here have been submitted to the JWS Online Cellular Systems Modelling Database and can be accessed at http://jjj.biochem.sun.ac.za/database/dupreez/index.html.

Authors: F. B. du Preez, D. D. van Niekerk, B. Kooi, J. M. Rohwer, J. L. Snoep

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Thraustochytrids are unicellular, marine protists, and there is a growing industrial interest in these organisms, particularly because some species, including strains belonging to the genus Aurantiochytrium, accumulate high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Here, we report the draft genome sequence of Aurantiochytrium sp. T66 (ATCC PRA-276), with a size of 43 Mbp, and 11,683 predicted protein-coding sequences. The data has been deposited at DDBJ/EMBL/Genbank under the accession LNGJ00000000. The genome sequence will contribute new insight into DHA biosynthesis and regulation, providing a basis for metabolic engineering of thraustochytrids.

Authors: B. Liu, H. Ertesvag, I. M. Aasen, O. Vadstein, T. Brautaset, T. M. Heggeset

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Butyl butyrate (BB) is a valuable chemical that can be used as flavor, fragrance, extractant, and so on in various industries. Meanwhile, BB can also be used as a fuel source with excellent compatibility as gasoline, aviation kerosene, and diesel components. The conventional industrial production of BB is highly energy-consuming and generates various environmental pollutants. Recently, there have been tremendous interests in producing BB from renewable resources through biological routes. In this study, based on the fermentation using the hyper-butyrate producing strain Clostridium tyrobutyricum ATCC 25755, efficient BB production through in situ esterification was achieved by supplementation of lipase and butanol into the fermentation. Three commercially available lipases were assessed and the one from Candida sp. (recombinant, expressed in Aspergillus niger) was identified with highest catalytic activity for BB production. Various conditions that might affect BB production in the fermentation have been further evaluated, including the extractant type, enzyme loading, agitation, pH, and butanol supplementation strategy. Under the optimized conditions (5.0 g L(-1) of enzyme loading, pH at 5.5, butanol kept at 10.0 g L(-1) ), 34.7 g L(-1) BB was obtained with complete consumption of 50 g L(-1) glucose as the starting substrate. To our best knowledge, the BB production achieved in this study is the highest among the ever reported from the batch fermentation process. Our results demonstrated an excellent biological platform for renewable BB production from low-value carbon sources. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 1428-1437. (c) 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Authors: Z. T. Zhang, S. Taylor, Y. Wang

Date Published: No date defined

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Abstract (Expand)

The recovery of 1-butanol from fermentation broth is energy-intensive since typical concentrations in fermentation broth are below 20 g L(-1). To prevent butanol inhibition and high downstream processing costs, we aimed at producing butyl esters instead of 1-butanol. It is shown that it is possible to perform simultaneously clostridial fermentation, esterification of the formed butanol to butyl butyrate, and extraction of this ester by hexadecane. The very high partition coefficient of butyl butyrate pulls the esterification towards the product side even at fermentation pH and relatively low butanol concentrations. The hexadecane extractant is a model diesel compound and is nontoxic to the cells. If butyl butyrate enriched diesel can directly be used as car fuel, no product recovery is required. A proof-of-principle experiment for the one-pot bio-ester production from glucose led to 5 g L(-1) butyl butyrate in the hexadecane phase. The principle may be extended to a wide range of esters, especially to longer chain ones.

Authors: C. van den Berg, A. S. Heeres, L. A. van der Wielen, A. J. Straathof

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Abstract

BioRxiv preprint:

Authors: Hannah A Kinmonth-Schultz, Melissa J MacEwen, Daniel D Seaton, Andrew J Millar, Takato Imaizumi, Soo-Hyung Kim

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BioRxiv preprint, 4 April 2018. Abstract: Daily light-dark cycles (LD) drive dynamic regulation of plant and algal transcriptomes via photoreceptor pathways and 24-hour, circadian rhythms. Diel regulation of protein levels and modifications has been less studied. Ostreococcus tauri, the smallest free-living eukaryote, provides a minimal model proteome for the green lineage. Here, we compare transcriptome data under LD to the algal proteome and phosphoproteome, assayed using shotgun mass-spectrometry. Under 10% of 855 quantified proteins were rhythmic but two-thirds of 860 phosphoproteins showed rhythmic modification(s). Most rhythmic proteins peaked in the daytime. Model simulations showed that light-stimulated protein synthesis largely accounts for this distribution of protein peaks. Prompted by apparently dark-stable proteins, we sampled during prolonged dark adaptation, where stable RNAs and very limited change to the proteome suggested a quiescent, cellular “dark state”. In LD, acid-directed and proline-directed protein phosphorylation sites were regulated in antiphase. Strikingly, 39% of rhythmic phospho-sites reached peak levels just before dawn. This anticipatory phosphorylation is distinct from light-responsive translation but consistent with plant phosphoprotein profiles, suggesting that a clock-regulated phospho-dawn prepares green cells for daytime functions.

Authors: Zeenat B. Noordally, Matthew M. Hindle, Sarah F. Martin, Daniel D. Seaton, Ian Simpson, Thierry Le Bihan, Andrew J. Millar

Date Published: No date defined

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Abstract (Expand)

Mutations in pre-mRNA processing factors (PRPFs) cause 40% of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but it is unclear why mutations in ubiquitously expressed PRPFs cause retinal disease. To understand the molecular basis of this phenotype, we have generated RP type 11 (PRPF31-mutated) patient-specific retinal organoids and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Impaired alternative splicing of genes encoding pre-mRNA splicing proteins occurred in patient-specific retinal cells and Prpf31+/− mouse retinae, but not fibroblasts and iPSCs, providing mechanistic insights into retinal-specific phenotypes of PRPFs. RPE was the most affected, characterised by loss of apical-basal polarity, reduced trans-epithelial resistance, phagocytic capacity, microvilli, and cilia length and incidence. Disrupted cilia morphology was observed in patient-derived-photoreceptors that displayed progressive features associated with degeneration and cell stress. In situ gene-editing of a pathogenic mutation rescued key structural and functional phenotypes in RPE and photoreceptors, providing proof-of-concept for future therapeutic strategies. eTOC PRPF31 is a ubiquitously expressed pre-mRNA processing factor that when mutated causes autosomal dominant RP. Using a patient-specific iPSC approach, Buskin and Zhu et al. show that retinal-specific defects result from altered splicing of genes involved in the splicing process itself, leading to impaired splicing, loss of RPE polarity and diminished phagocytic ability as well as reduced cilia incidence and length in both photoreceptors and RPE.

Authors: Adriana Buskin, Lili Zhu, Valeria Chichagova, Basudha Basu, Sina Mozaffari-Jovin, David Dolan, Alastair Droop, Joseph Collin, Revital Bronstein, Sudeep Mehrotra, Michael Farkas, Gerrit Hilgen, Kathryn White, Dean Hallam, Katarzyna Bialas, Git Chung, Carla Mellough, Yuchun Ding, Natalio Krasnogor, Stefan Przyborski, Jumana Al-Aama, Sameer Alharthi, Yaobo Xu, Gabrielle Wheway, Katarzyna Szymanska, Martin McKibbin, Chris F Inglehearn, David J Elliott, Susan Lindsay, Robin R Ali, David H Steel, Lyle Armstrong, Evelyne Sernagor, Eric Pierce, Reinhard Luehrmann, Sushma-Nagaraja Grellscheid, Colin A Johnson, Majlinda Lako

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Abstract (Expand)

Background: Although the reference genome of Solanum tuberosum group Phureja double-monoploid (DM) clone is available, knowledge on the genetic diversity of the highly heterozygous tetraploid group Tuberosum, representing most cultivated varieties, remains largely unexplored. This lack of knowledge hinders further progress in potato research and its subsequent applications in breeding. Results: For the DM genome assembly, two only partially-overlapping gene models exist differing in a unique set of genes and intron/exon structure predictions. First step was to merge and manually curate the merged gene model, creating a union of genes in Phureja scaffold. We next compiled available RNA-Seq datasets (cca. 1.5 billion reads) for three tetraploid potato genotypes (cultivar Désirée, cultivar Rywal, and breeding clone PW363) with diverse breeding pedigrees. Short-read transcriptomes were assembled using CLC, Trinity, Velvet, and rnaSPAdes de novo assemblers using different settings to test for optimal outcome. In addition, for cultivar Rywal, PacBio Iso-Seq full-length transcriptome sequencing was also performed. Revised EvidentialGene redundancy-reducing pipeline was employed to produce accurate and complete cultivar-specific transcriptomes from assemblers output, as well as to attain the pan-transcriptome. Due to being the most diverse dataset in terms of tissues (stem, seedlings and roots) and experimental conditions, cv. Désirée was the most complete transcriptome (95.8% BUSCO completeness). For cv. Rywal and breeding clone PW363 data were available for leaf samples only and the resulting transcriptomes were less complete than cv. Désirée (89.8% and 89.3% BUSCO completeness, respectively). Cross comparison of these cultivar-specific transcriptomes and merged DM gene model suggests that the core potato transcriptome is comprised of 16,339 genes. The pan-transcriptome contains a total of 95,779 transcripts, of which 54,614 transcripts are not present in the Phureja genome. These represent the variants of the novel genes found in the potato pan-genome. Conclusions: Our analysis shows that the available gene model of double-monoploid potato from group Phureja is, to some degree, not complete. The generated transcriptomes and pan-transcriptome represent a valuable resource for potato gene variability exploration, high-throughput -omics analyses, and future breeding programmes.

Authors: Marko Petek, Maja Zagorščak, Živa Ramšak, Sheri Sanders, Elizabeth Tseng, Mohamed Zouine, Anna Coll, Kristina Gruden

Date Published: No date defined

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The eminently complex regulatory network protecting the cell against oxidative stress, surfaces in several disease maps, including that of Parkinson’s disease (PD). How this molecular networking achieves its various functionalities and how processes operating at the seconds-minutes time scale cause a disease at a time scale of multiple decennia is enigmatic. By computational analysis, we here disentangle the reactive oxygen species (ROS) regulatory network into a hierarchy of subnetworks that each correspond to a different functionality. The detailed dynamic model of ROS management obtained integrates these functionalities and fits in vitro data sets from two different laboratories. The model shows effective ROS-management for a century, followed by a sudden system’s collapse due to the loss of p62 protein. PD related conditions such as lack of DJ-1 protein or increased α-synuclein accelerated the system’s collapse. Various in-silico interventions (e.g. addition of antioxidants or caffeine) slowed down the collapse of the system in silico, suggesting the model may help discover new medicinal and nutritional therapies.

Authors: Alexey Kolodkin, Raju Prasad Sharma, Anna Maria Colangelo, Andrew Ignatenko, Francesca Martorana, Danyel Jennen, Jacco J. Briede, Nathan Brady, Matteo Barberis, Thierry D.G.A. Mondeel, Michele Papa, Vikas Kumar, Bernhard Peters, Alexander Skupin, Lilia Alberghina, Rudi Balling, Hans V. Westerhoff

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