Developmental programs sculpt plant morphology to meet environmental challenges, and these same programs have been manipulated to increase agricultural productivity1,2. Hormones coordinate these programs, creating chemical circuitry3 that has been represented in mathematical models4,5; however, model-guided engineering of plant morphology has been limited by a lack of tools6,7. Here, we introduce a novel set of synthetic and modular hormone activated Cas9-based repressors (HACRs) in Arabidopsis thaliana that respond to three hormones: auxin, gibberellins and jasmonates. We demonstrate that HACRs are sensitive to both exogenous hormone treatments and local differences in endogenous hormone levels associated with development. We further show that this capability can be leveraged to reprogram development in an agriculturally relevant manner by changing how the hormonal circuitry regulates target genes. By deploying a HACR to re-parameterize the auxin-induced expression of the auxin transporter PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1), we decreased shoot branching and phyllotactic noise, as predicted by existing models4,5.
Links to all plasmid sequences are in manuscript and data analysis code is available on github.
- Eric Klavins
- Jennifer L Nemhauser
- Jennifer L Nemhauser
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Dominique C Bergmann, Stanford University/HHMI, United States
© 2018, Khakhar 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.
The GNOM (GN) Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor for ARF small GTPases (ARF-GEF) is among the best studied trafficking regulators in plants, playing crucial and unique developmental roles in patterning and polarity. The current models place GN at the Golgi apparatus (GA), where it mediates secretion/recycling, and at the plasma membrane (PM) presumably contributing to clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). The mechanistic basis of the developmental function of GN, distinct from the other ARF-GEFs including its closest homologue GNOM-LIKE1 (GNL1), remains elusive. Insights from this study largely extend the current notions of GN function. We show that GN, but not GNL1, localizes to the cell periphery at long-lived structures distinct from clathrin-coated pits, while CME and secretion proceed normally in gn knockouts. The functional GN mutant variant GNfewerroots, absent from the GA, suggests that the cell periphery is the major site of GN action responsible for its developmental function. Following inhibition by Brefeldin A, GN, but not GNL1, relocates to the PM likely on exocytic vesicles, suggesting selective molecular associations en route to the cell periphery. A study of GN-GNL1 chimeric ARF-GEFs indicates that all GN domains contribute to the specific GN function in a partially redundant manner. Together, this study offers significant steps toward the elucidation of the mechanism underlying unique cellular and development functions of GNOM.
Aldehydes, being an integral part of carbon metabolism, energy generation, and signalling pathways, are ingrained in plant physiology. Land plants have developed intricate metabolic pathways which involve production of reactive aldehydes and its detoxification to survive harsh terrestrial environments. Here, we show that physiologically produced aldehydes, i.e., formaldehyde and methylglyoxal in addition to acetaldehyde, generate adducts with aminoacyl-tRNAs, a substrate for protein synthesis. Plants are unique in possessing two distinct chiral proofreading systems, D-aminoacyl-tRNA deacylase1 (DTD1) and DTD2, of bacterial and archaeal origins, respectively. Extensive biochemical analysis revealed that only archaeal DTD2 can remove the stable D-aminoacyl adducts on tRNA thereby shielding archaea and plants from these system-generated aldehydes. Using Arabidopsis as a model system, we have shown that the loss of DTD2 gene renders plants susceptible to these toxic aldehydes as they generate stable alkyl modification on D-aminoacyl-tRNAs, which are recycled only by DTD2. Bioinformatic analysis identifies the expansion of aldehyde metabolising repertoire in land plant ancestors which strongly correlates with the recruitment of archaeal DTD2. Finally, we demonstrate that the overexpression of DTD2 offers better protection against aldehydes than in wild type Arabidopsis highlighting its role as a multi-aldehyde detoxifier that can be explored as a transgenic crop development strategy.