Mature seed dormancy is a vital plant trait preventing germination out of season. In Arabidopsis, the trait can be maternally regulated but the underlying mechanisms sustaining this regulation, its general occurrence and biological significance among accessions is poorly understood. Upon seed imbibition, the endosperm is essential to repress germination of dormant seeds. Investigation of genomic imprinting in the mature seed endosperm led us to identify a novel set of imprinted genes expressed upon seed imbibition. Remarkably, programs of imprinted gene expression are adapted according to the dormancy status of the seed. We provide direct evidence that imprinted genes play a role to regulate germination processes and that preferential maternal allelic expression can implement maternal inheritance of seed dormancy levels.
- Urszula Piskurewicz
- Mayumi Iwasaki
- Christian Megies
- Luis Lopez-Molina
- Daichi Susaki
- Tetsu Kinoshita
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Daniel Zilberman, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2016, Piskurewicz et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Deciphering the mechanism of secondary cell wall/SCW formation in plants is key to understanding their development and the molecular basis of biomass recalcitrance. Although transcriptional regulation is essential for SCW formation, little is known about the implication of post-transcriptional mechanisms in this process. Here we report that two bonafide RNA-binding proteins homologous to the animal translational regulator Musashi, MSIL2 and MSIL4, function redundantly to control SCW formation in Arabidopsis. MSIL2/4 interactomes are similar and enriched in proteins involved in mRNA binding and translational regulation. MSIL2/4 mutations alter SCW formation in the fibers, leading to a reduction in lignin deposition, and an increase of 4-O-glucuronoxylan methylation. In accordance, quantitative proteomics of stems reveal an overaccumulation of glucuronoxylan biosynthetic machinery, including GXM3, in the msil2/4 mutant stem. We showed that MSIL4 immunoprecipitates GXM mRNAs, suggesting a novel aspect of SCW regulation, linking post-transcriptional control to the regulation of SCW biosynthesis genes.
Plants with innate disease and pest resistance can contribute to more sustainable agriculture. Natural defence compounds produced by plants have the potential to provide a general protective effect against pathogens and pests, but they are not a primary target in resistance breeding. Here, we identified a wild relative of potato, Solanum commersonii, that provides us with unique insight in the role of glycoalkaloids in plant immunity. We cloned two atypical resistance genes that provide resistance to Alternaria solani and Colorado potato beetle through the production of tetraose steroidal glycoalkaloids (SGA). Moreover, we provide in vitro evidence to show that these compounds have potential against a range of different (potato pathogenic) fungi. This research links structural variation in SGAs to resistance against potato diseases and pests. Further research on the biosynthesis of plant defence compounds in different tissues, their toxicity, and the mechanisms for detoxification, can aid the effective use of such compounds to improve sustainability of our food production.