Publications by authors named "Na Sui"

47 Publications

Analysis of N-methyladenosine reveals a new important mechanism regulating the salt tolerance of sweet sorghum.

Plant Sci 2021 Mar 14;304:110801. Epub 2020 Dec 14.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong, 250014, China. Electronic address:

The N-methyladenosine (mA) modification is the most common internal post-transcriptional modification, with important regulatory effects on RNA export, splicing, stability, and translation. Studies on the mA modifications in plants have focused on Arabidopsis thaliana growth and development. However, A. thaliana is a salt-sensitive and model plant species. Thus, studies aimed at characterizing the role of the mA modification in the salt stress responses of highly salt-tolerant crop species are needed. Sweet sorghum is cultivated as an energy and forage crop, which is highly suitable for growth on saline-alkaline land. Exploring the mA modification in sweet sorghum may be important for elucidating the salt-resistance mechanism of crops. In this study, we mapped the mA modifications in two sorghum genotypes (salt-tolerant M-81E and salt-sensitive Roma) that differ regarding salt tolerance. The mA modification in sweet sorghum under salt stress was drastically altered, especially in Roma, where the mA modification on mRNAs of some salt-resistant related transcripts increased, resulting in enhanced mRNA stability, which in turn was involved in the regulation of salt tolerance in sweet sorghum. Although mA modifications are important for regulating sweet sorghum salt tolerance, the regulatory activity is limited by the initial mA modification level. Additionally, in M-81E and Roma, the differences in the mA modifications were much greater than the differences in gene expression levels and are more sensitive. Our study suggests that the number and extent of mA modifications on the transcripts of salt-resistance genes may be important factors for determining and assessing the salt tolerance of crops.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110801DOI Listing
March 2021

SlWHY2 interacts with SlRECA2 to maintain mitochondrial function under drought stress in tomato.

Plant Sci 2020 Dec 12;301:110674. Epub 2020 Sep 12.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai' an, Shandong 271018, China. Electronic address:

Drought stress in plants leads to inhibition of photosynthesis and respiration, accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and reprogramming of gene expression. Here, we established that the tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) WHIRLY2 (SlWHY2) gene, which encodes a mitochondrial single-stranded DNA-binding protein, was significantly induced by drought stress. Under drought conditions, SlWHY2 RNAi plants showed more wilting and lower fresh weight, chlorophyll content, quantum yield of photosystem I (PSI; YI), and maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) than the wild type (WT). Drought treatment also caused the SlWHY2 RNAi lines to accumulate more ROS than the WT, and the silenced lines had lower AOX (alternative oxidase) activity. As expected, the mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) was less stable in the SlWHY2 RNAi lines. The expression levels of seven genes in the mitochondrial genome (SYCF15, NAD7, NAD4, COS2, COX1, COX2, and COX3) were decreased even more in the SlWHY2 RNAi lines than they were in the WT under drought stress. SlWHY2 interacted directly in vivo and in vitro with SlRECA2, a mitochondrial recombinase A that is important for mitochondrial DNA recombination and repair. These results suggest that SlWHY2 plays an essential role in maintaining mitochondrial function and enhancing drought tolerance in tomato.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110674DOI Listing
December 2020

Advances in the profiling of N-methyladenosine (mA) modifications.

Biotechnol Adv 2020 12 9;45:107656. Epub 2020 Nov 9.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong 250014, China. Electronic address:

Over 160 RNA modifications have been identified, including N-methylguanine (mG), N-methyladenosine (mA), and 5-methylcytosine (mC). These modifications play key roles in regulating the fate of RNA. In eukaryotes, mA is the most abundant mRNA modification, accounting for over 80% of all RNA methylation modifications. Highly dynamic mA modification may exert important effects on organismal reproduction and development. Significant advances in understanding the mechanism of mA modification have been made using immunoprecipitation, chemical labeling, and site-directed mutagenesis, combined with next-generation sequencing. Single-molecule real-time and nanopore direct RNA sequencing (DRS) approaches provide additional ways to study RNA modifications at the cellular level. In this review, we explore the technical history of identifying mA RNA modifications, emphasizing technological advances in detecting mA modification. In particular, we discuss the challenge of generating accurate dynamic single-base resolution mA maps and also strategies for improving detection specificity. Finally, we outline a roadmap for future research in this area, focusing on the application of RNA epigenetic modification, represented by mA modification.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2020.107656DOI Listing
December 2020

TaMYB86B encodes a R2R3-type MYB transcription factor and enhances salt tolerance in wheat.

Plant Sci 2020 Nov 9;300:110624. Epub 2020 Aug 9.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong, 250014, China. Electronic address:

The MYB transcription factor family is important for plant responses to abiotic stresses. In this study, we identified three wheat TaMYB86 genes encoding R2R3-type MYB transcription factors. Analyses of the phylogenetic relationships and gene structures of TaMYB86A, TaMYB86B, and TaMYB86D revealed considerable similarities in gene structures and the encoded amino acid sequences. Additionally, TaMYB86B was highly expressed in the roots, stems, and leaves, suggesting it is critical for regulating salt stress responses in wheat. Moreover, TaMYB86B expression was induced by NaCl, abscisic acid (ABA), methyl jasmonate (MeJA), gibberellin (GA), auxin and low temperature treatments. The TaMYB86B protein localized in the nucleus and exhibited transcriptional activation activity. Under salt stress, TaMYB86B-overexpressing plants had a higher biomass and potassium ion (K) content, but lower MDA, HO, O, and sodium ion (Na) contents, when compared with the wild-type plants. Quantitative real-time PCR results indicated that the overexpression of TaMYB86B improved the expression of many stress-related genes. These findings suggest that TaMYB86B influences the salt tolerance of wheat by regulating the ion homeostasis to maintain an appropriate osmotic balance and decrease ROS levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2020.110624DOI Listing
November 2020

Cytokinins as central regulators during plant growth and stress response.

Plant Cell Rep 2021 Feb 6;40(2):271-282. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, Shandong, China.

Key Message: Cytokinins are a class of phytohormone that participate in the regulation of the plant growth, development, and stress response. In this review, the potential regulating mechanism during plant growth and stress response are discussed. Cytokinins are a class of phytohormone that participate in the regulation of plant growth, physiological activities, and yield. Cytokinins also play a key role in response to abiotic stresses, such as drought, salt and high or low temperature. Through the signal transduction pathway, cytokinins interact with various transcription factors via a series of phosphorylation cascades to regulate cytokinin-target gene expression. In this review, we systematically summarize the biosynthesis and metabolism of cytokinins, cytokinin signaling, and associated gene regulation, and highlight the function of cytokinins during plant development and resistance to abiotic stress. We also focus on the importance of crosstalk between cytokinins and other classes of phytohormones, including auxin, ethylene, strigolactone, and gibberellin. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive overview of recent findings on the mechanisms by which cytokinins act as central regulators of plant development and stress reactions, and highlight topics for future research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00299-020-02612-1DOI Listing
February 2021

The roles of chloroplast membrane lipids in abiotic stress responses.

Plant Signal Behav 2020 11 20;15(11):1807152. Epub 2020 Aug 20.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University , Jinan, Shandong, China.

Plant chloroplasts have complex membrane systems. Among these, thylakoids serve as the sites for photosynthesis and photosynthesis-related adaptation. In addition to the photosynthetic membrane complexes and associated molecules, lipids in the thylakoid membranes, are predominantly composed of MGDG (monogalactosyldiacylglycerol), DGDG (digalactosyldiacylglycerol), SQDG (sulfoquinovosyldiacylglycerol) and PG (phosphatidylglycerol), play essential roles in shaping the thylakoid architecture, electron transfer, and photoregulation. In this review, we discuss the effect of abiotic stress on chloroplast structure, the changes in membrane lipid composition, and the degree of unsaturation of fatty acids. Advanced understanding of the mechanisms regulating chloroplast membrane lipids and unsaturated fatty acids in response to abiotic stresses is indispensable for improving plant resistance and may inform the strategies of crop breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2020.1807152DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7588187PMC
November 2020

Responses of Membranes and the Photosynthetic Apparatus to Salt Stress in Cyanobacteria.

Front Plant Sci 2020 5;11:713. Epub 2020 Jun 5.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.

Cyanobacteria are autotrophs whose photosynthetic process is similar to that of higher plants, although the photosynthetic apparatus is slightly different. They have been widely used for decades as model systems for studying the principles of photosynthesis, especially the effects of environmental stress on photosynthetic activities. Salt stress, which is the most common abiotic stress in nature, combines ionic and osmotic stresses. High cellular ion concentrations and osmotic stress can alter normal metabolic processes and photosynthesis. Additionally, salt stress increases the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) contents. Excessive amounts of ROS will damage the photosynthetic apparatus, inhibit the synthesis of photosystem-related proteins, including the D1 protein, and destroy the thylakoid membrane structure, leading to inhibited photosynthesis. In this review, we mainly introduce the effects of salt stress on the cyanobacterial membranes and photosynthetic apparatus. We also describe specific salt tolerance mechanisms. A thorough characterization of the responses of membranes and photosynthetic apparatus to salt stress may be relevant for increasing agricultural productivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00713DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7292030PMC
June 2020

Photosynthesis in Phytoplankton: Insights from the Newly Discovered Biological Inorganic Carbon Pumps.

Mol Plant 2020 07 19;13(7):949-951. Epub 2020 May 19.

Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZB, UK; College of Marine Life Sciences, and Frontiers Science Center for Deep Ocean Multispheres and Earth System, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molp.2020.05.003DOI Listing
July 2020

Functional Implications of Active N-Methyladenosine in Plants.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2020 29;8:291. Epub 2020 Apr 29.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.

N-methyladenosine (mA) is the most common type of eukaryotic mRNA modification and has been found in many organisms, including mammals, and plants. It has important regulatory effects on RNA splicing, export, stability, and translation. The abundance of mA on RNA depends on the dynamic regulation between methyltransferase ("writer") and demethylase ("eraser"), and mA binding protein ("reader") exerts more specific regulatory function by binding mA modification sites on RNA. Progress in research has revealed important functions of mA modification in plants. In this review, we systematically summarize the latest advances in research on the composition and mechanism of action of the mA system in plants. We emphasize the function of mA modification on RNA fate, plant development, and stress resistance. Finally, we discuss the outstanding questions and opportunities exist for future research on mA modification in plant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2020.00291DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202093PMC
April 2020

mA Editing: New Tool to Improve Crop Quality?

Trends Plant Sci 2020 09 3;25(9):859-867. Epub 2020 May 3.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong 250014, China. Electronic address:

N-methyladenosine (mA) is the most common type of eukaryotic mRNA modification. It plays an important role in regulating plant growth and development and stress resistance. mA modification influences nearly all aspects of RNA metabolism and functionality and has great potential for improving crop quality. However, changing mA modification levels as a whole may have unpredictable effects, making it impossible to accurately predict the effect of specific mA modifications on RNA. In this opinion article, the main challenges and possible solutions for exploring mA modification functions in plant systems are discussed. An mA editing platform that uses new high-throughput methods to identify mA modification at single-base resolution, and genome editing for selective editing of specific mA sites for crop improvement is proposed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tplants.2020.04.005DOI Listing
September 2020

Comparative Transcriptome Analysis Reveals New lncRNAs Responding to Salt Stress in Sweet Sorghum.

Front Bioeng Biotechnol 2020 15;8:331. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.

Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) can enhance plant stress resistance by regulating the expression of functional genes. Sweet sorghum is a salt-tolerant energy crop. However, little is known about how lncRNAs in sweet sorghum respond to salt stress. In this study, we identified 126 and 133 differentially expressed lncRNAs in the salt-tolerant M-81E and the salt-sensitive Roma strains, respectively. Salt stress induced three new lncRNAs in M-81E and inhibited two new lncRNAs in Roma. These lncRNAs included lncRNA13472, lncRNA11310, lncRNA2846, lncRNA26929, and lncRNA14798, which potentially function as competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) that influence plant responses to salt stress by regulating the expression of target genes related to ion transport, protein modification, transcriptional regulation, and material synthesis and transport. Additionally, M-81E had a more complex ceRNA network than Roma. This study provides new information regarding lncRNAs and the complex regulatory network underlying salt-stress responses in sweet sorghum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00331DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174691PMC
April 2020

Corrigendum: C2H2 Zinc Finger Proteins: Master Regulators of Abiotic Stress Responses in Plants.

Front Plant Sci 2020;11:298. Epub 2020 Mar 18.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2020.00115.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7093559PMC
March 2020

Nitrogen increases drought tolerance in maize seedlings.

Funct Plant Biol 2019 03;46(4):350-359

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Science, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, China; and Corresponding authors. Email:

Drought and nitrogen availability are two important environmental factors that affect plant growth and the global distribution of plants. We examined the effect of nitrogen on PSII in the leaves of maize seedlings under drought stress using three nitrogen concentrations (0.5, 7.5 and 15mM) and three levels of water availability (normal conditions, mild drought and severe drought). Shoot fresh and dry weights and root fresh weight decreased with increasing drought conditions. In maize leaves subjected to drought stress, the chlorophyll a (Chl a) and chlorophyll b (Chl b) contents, net photosynthetic rate, transpiration rate, stomatal conductance, maximum chemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), and photochemical efficiency of PSII (ΦPSII) were significantly reduced. Moderate nitrogen supply relieved the drought stress and enhanced the photosynthetic capacity. Malondialdehyde, H2O2 and O2-• accumulated in maize leaves under drought stress. Superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase activities increased in maize leaves under mild drought stress, but were significantly reduced under severe drought stress. The NO3- content and nitrate reductase (NR) activity of maize leaves were significantly reduced under drought stress, while moderate nitrogen supply promoted the accumulation of NO3- and an increase in the nitrate reductase activity. The abscisic acid content increased significantly; this increase was positively correlated with the nitrogen concentration under drought stress. Together, these results indicate that moderate nitrogen supply increases plant resistance to drought stress, while high or low nitrogen concentrations increase the sensitivity of maize to drought stress. These findings are important for guiding the agricultural use of nitrogen fertilisers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP18186DOI Listing
March 2019

C2H2 Zinc Finger Proteins: Master Regulators of Abiotic Stress Responses in Plants.

Front Plant Sci 2020 20;11:115. Epub 2020 Feb 20.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.

Abiotic stresses such as drought and salinity are major environmental factors that limit crop yields. Unraveling the molecular mechanisms underlying abiotic stress resistance is crucial for improving crop performance and increasing productivity under adverse environmental conditions. Zinc finger proteins, comprising one of the largest transcription factor families, are known for their finger-like structure and their ability to bind Zn. Zinc finger proteins are categorized into nine subfamilies based on their conserved Cys and His motifs, including the Cys2/His2-type (C2H2), C3H, C3HC4, C2HC5, C4HC3, C2HC, C4, C6, and C8 subfamilies. Over the past two decades, much progress has been made in understanding the roles of C2H2 zinc finger proteins in plant growth, development, and stress signal transduction. In this review, we focus on recent progress in elucidating the structures, functions, and classifications of plant C2H2 zinc finger proteins and their roles in abiotic stress responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2020.00115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7044346PMC
February 2020

The sweet sorghum SbWRKY50 is negatively involved in salt response by regulating ion homeostasis.

Plant Mol Biol 2020 Apr 12;102(6):603-614. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, China.

The WRKY transcription factor family is involved in responding to biotic and abiotic stresses. Its members contain a typical WRKY domain and can regulate plant physiological responses by binding to W-boxes in the promoter regions of downstream target genes. We identified the sweet sorghum SbWRKY50 (Sb09g005700) gene, which encodes a typical class II of the WRKY family protein that localizes to the nucleus and has transcriptional activation activity. The expression of SbWRKY50 in sweet sorghum was reduced by salt stress, and its ectopic expression reduced the salt tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana plants. Compared with the wild type, the germination rate, root length, biomass and potassium ion content of SbWRKY50 over-expression plants decreased significantly under salt-stress conditions, while the hydrogen peroxide, superoxide anion and sodium ion contents increased. Real-time PCR results showed that the expression levels of AtSOS1, AtHKT1 and genes related to osmotic and oxidative stresses in over-expression strains decreased under salt-stress conditions. Luciferase complementation imaging and yeast one-hybrid assays confirmed that SbWRKY50 could directly bind to the upstream promoter of the SOS1 gene in A. thaliana. However, in sweet sorghum, SbWRKY50 could directly bind to the upstream promoters of SOS1 and HKT1. These results suggest that the new WRKY transcription factor SbWRKY50 participates in plant salt response by controlling ion homeostasis. However, the regulatory mechanisms are different in sweet sorghum and Arabidopsis, which may explain their different salt tolerance levels. The data provide information that can be applied to genetically modifying salt tolerance in different crop varieties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11103-020-00966-4DOI Listing
April 2020

Transcriptome analysis of maize inbred lines differing in drought tolerance provides novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of drought responses in roots.

Plant Physiol Biochem 2020 Apr 31;149:11-26. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Science, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, China. Electronic address:

Maize (Zea mays) is an important food and forage crop, as well as an industrial raw material, that plays important roles in agriculture and national economies. Drought stress has negative effects on seed germination and seedling growth, and it decreases crop production. In this study, we selected two maize inbred lines with different drought-tolerance levels: drought-tolerant 287M and drought-sensitive 753F. The physiological results showed that drought stress resulted in a large accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in maize root cells. However, in 287M, the activity levels of the ROS scavenging enzymes superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase also increased, resulting in a higher ROS scavenging ability than 753F. We used Illumina RNA sequencing to obtain the gene expression profiles of the two maize inbred lines at the seedling stage in response to drought stress. The transcriptome data were analyzed to reveal the mechanisms underlying the drought tolerance of 287M at the gene regulatory level. The differences in drought tolerance between 287M and 753F may be associated with different ROS scavenging capabilities, signal interaction networks, and some transcription factors. Our results will aid in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in plant responses to drought stress.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2020.01.027DOI Listing
April 2020

Photosynthetic Regulation Under Salt Stress and Salt-Tolerance Mechanism of Sweet Sorghum.

Front Plant Sci 2019 15;10:1722. Epub 2020 Jan 15.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, China.

Sweet sorghum is a C4 crop with the characteristic of fast-growth and high-yields. It is a good source for food, feed, fiber, and fuel. On saline land, sweet sorghum can not only survive, but increase its sugar content. Therefore, it is regarded as a potential source for identifying salt-related genes. Here, we review the physiological and biochemical responses of sweet sorghum to salt stress, such as photosynthesis, sucrose synthesis, hormonal regulation, and ion homeostasis, as well as their potential salt-resistance mechanisms. The major advantages of salt-tolerant sweet sorghum include: 1) improving the Na exclusion ability to maintain ion homeostasis in roots under salt-stress conditions, which ensures a relatively low Na concentration in shoots; 2) maintaining a high sugar content in shoots under salt-stress conditions, by protecting the structures of photosystems, enhancing photosynthetic performance and sucrose synthetase activity, as well as inhibiting sucrose degradation. To study the regulatory mechanism of such genes will provide opportunities for increasing the salt tolerance of sweet sorghum by breeding and genetic engineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.01722DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6974683PMC
January 2020

Arabidopsis ZINC FINGER PROTEIN1 Acts Downstream of GL2 to Repress Root Hair Initiation and Elongation by Directly Suppressing bHLH Genes.

Plant Cell 2020 01 15;32(1):206-225. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Ji'nan, Shandong, 250014, People's Republic of China

Cys2His2-like fold group (C2H2)-type zinc finger proteins promote root hair growth and development by regulating their target genes. However, little is known about their potential negative roles in root hair initiation and elongation. Here, we show that the C2H2-type zinc finger protein named ZINC FINGER PROTEIN1 (AtZP1), which contains an ERF-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif, negatively regulates Arabidopsis () root hair initiation and elongation. Our results demonstrate that is highly expressed in root hairs and that AtZP1 inhibits transcriptional activity during root hair development. Plants overexpressing lacked root hairs, while loss-of-function mutants had longer and more numerous root hairs than the wild type. Transcriptome analysis indicated that AtZP1 downregulates genes encoding basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors associated with root hair cell differentiation and elongation. Mutation or deletion of the EAR motif substantially reduced the inhibitory activity of AtZP1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, :glucocorticoid receptor (GR) induction experiments, electrophoretic mobility shift assays, and yeast one-hybrid assays showed that AtZP1 directly targets the promoters of bHLH transcription factor genes, including the key root hair initiation gene ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE6 () and root hair elongation genes ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE 6-LIKE 2 () and , and suppresses root hair development. Our findings suggest that functions downstream of and negatively regulates root hair initiation and elongation, by suppressing , , and transcription via the GL2/ZP1/RSL pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1105/tpc.19.00226DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6961634PMC
January 2020

WHIRLY1 Regulates HSP21.5A Expression to Promote Thermotolerance in Tomato.

Plant Cell Physiol 2020 Jan;61(1):169-177

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an, Shandong 271018, China.

Heat stress poses a major threat to plant productivity and crop yields. The induction of heat shock proteins (HSPs) by heat shock factors is a principal defense response of plants exposed to heat stress. In this study, we identified and analyzed the heat stress-induced Whirly1 (SlWHY1) gene in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). We generated various SlWHY1-overexpressing (OE) and SlWHY1-RNA interference (RNAi) lines to investigate the role of WHIRLY1 in thermotolerance. Compared with the wild type (WT), the OE lines showed less wilting, as reflected by their increased membrane stability and soluble sugar content and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation under heat stress. By contrast, RNAi lines with inhibited SlWHY1 expression showed the opposite phenotype and corresponding physiological indices under heat stress. The heat-induced gene SlHSP21.5A, encoding an endoplasmic reticulum-localized HSP, was upregulated in the OE lines and downregulated in the RNAi lines compared with the WT. RNAi-mediated inhibition of SlHSP21.5A expression also resulted in reduced membrane stability and soluble sugar content and increased ROS accumulation under heat stress compared with the WT. SlWHY1 binds to the elicitor response element-like element in the promoter of SlHSP21.5A to activate its transcription. These findings suggest that SlWHY1 promotes thermotolerance in tomato by regulating SlHSP21.5A expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcz189DOI Listing
January 2020

TaD27-B gene controls the tiller number in hexaploid wheat.

Plant Biotechnol J 2020 02 12;18(2):513-525. Epub 2019 Aug 12.

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, China.

Tillering is a significant agronomic trait in wheat which shapes plant architecture and yield. Strigolactones (SLs) function in inhibiting axillary bud outgrowth. The roles of SLs in the regulation of bud outgrowth have been described in model plant species, including rice and Arabidopsis. However, the role of SLs genes in wheat remains elusive due to the size and complexity of the wheat genomes. In this study, TaD27 genes in wheat, orthologs of rice D27 encoding an enzyme involved in SLs biosynthesis, were identified. TaD27-RNAi wheat plants had more tillers, and TaD27-B-OE wheat plants had fewer tillers. Germination bioassay of Orobanche confirmed the SLs was deficient in TaD27-RNAi and excessive in TaD27-B-OE wheat plants. Moreover, application of exogenous GR24 or TIS108 could mediate the axillary bud outgrowth of TaD27-RNAi and TaD27-B-OE in the hydroponic culture, suggesting that TaD27-B plays critical roles in regulating wheat tiller number by participating in SLs biosynthesis. Unlike rice D27, plant height was not affected in the transgenic wheat plants. Transcription and gene coexpression network analysis showed that a number of genes are involved in the SLs signalling pathway and axillary bud development. Our results indicate that TaD27-B is a key factor in the regulation of tiller number in wheat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pbi.13220DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6953239PMC
February 2020

Roles of malic enzymes in plant development and stress responses.

Plant Signal Behav 2019 19;14(10):e1644596. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of life Sciences, Shandong Normal University , Jinan , PR China.

Malic enzyme (ME) comprises a family of proteins with multiple isoforms located in different compartments of eukaryotic cells. It is a key enzyme regulating malic acid metabolism and can catalyze the reversible reaction of oxidative decarboxylation of malic acid. And it is also one of the important enzymes in plant metabolism and is involved in multiple metabolic processes. ME is widely present in plants and mainly discovered in cytoplasmic stroma, mitochondria, chloroplasts. It is involved in plant growth, development, and stress response. Plants are stressed by various environmental factors such as drought, high salt, and high temperature during plant growth, and the mechanisms of plant response to various environmental stresses are synergistic. Numerous studies have shown that ME participates in the process of coping with the above environmental factors by increasing water use efficiency, improving photosynthesis of plants, providing reducing power, and so on. In this review, we discuss the important role of ME in plant development and plant stress response, and prospects for its application. It provides a theoretical basis for the future use of ME gene for molecular resistance breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2019.1644596DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6768271PMC
June 2020

Transcriptomic profiling revealed genes involved in response to cold stress in maize.

Funct Plant Biol 2019 08;46(9):830-844

State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, China; and Corresponding authors. Email:

Maize is an important food crop. Chilling stress can decrease maize production by affecting seed germination and seedling growth, especially in early spring. We analysed chlorophyll fluorescence, membrane lipids, secondary metabolites and the transcriptome of two maize inbred lines (chilling-tolerant M54 and chilling-sensitive 753F) after 0, 4 and 24 h cold stress. M54 showed better ability to protect PSII and accumulate secondary metabolites. From RNA sequencing data, we determined that the majority of cold-affected genes were involved in photosynthesis, secondary metabolism, and signal transduction. Genes important for maintaining photosystem structure and for regulating electron transport were less affected by cold stress in M54 than in 753F. Expression of genes related to secondary metabolism and unsaturated fatty acid synthesis were upregulated more strongly in M54 than in 753F and M54 accumulated more unsaturated fatty acids and secondary metabolites. As a result, M54 achieved relatively high cold tolerance by protecting the photosystems and maintaining the stability of cell membranes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/FP19065DOI Listing
August 2019

AtSIZ1 improves salt tolerance by maintaining ionic homeostasis and osmotic balance in Arabidopsis.

Plant Sci 2019 Aug 7;285:55-67. Epub 2019 May 7.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Ji'nan, Shandong, 250014, China. Electronic address:

C2H2-type zinc finger proteins play important roles in plant growth, development, and abiotic stress tolerance. Here, we explored the role of the C2H2-type zinc finger protein SALT INDUCED ZINC FINGER PROTEIN1 (AtSIZ1; At3G25910) in Arabidopsis thaliana under salt stress. AtSIZ1 expression was induced by salt treatment. During the germination stage, the germination rate, germination energy, germination index, cotyledon growth rate, and root length were significantly higher in AtSIZ1 overexpression lines than in the wild type under various stress treatments, whereas these indices were significantly reduced in AtSIZ1 loss-of-function mutants. At the mature seedling stage, the overexpression lines maintained higher levels of K, proline, and soluble sugar, lower levels of Na and MDA, and lower Na/K ratios than the wild type. Stress-related marker genes such as SOS1, AtP5CS1, AtGSTU5, COR15A, RD29A, and RD29B were expressed at higher levels in the overexpression lines than the wild type and loss-of-function mutants under salt treatment. These results indicate that AtSIZ1 improves salt tolerance in Arabidopsis by helping plants maintain ionic homeostasis and osmotic balance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.05.002DOI Listing
August 2019

Research advances of MYB transcription factors in plant stress resistance and breeding.

Plant Signal Behav 2019 14;14(8):1613131. Epub 2019 May 14.

a Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences , Shandong Normal University , Jinan , China.

Plants face various stresses during the growth and development processes. The specific transcription factors bind to the -acting elements upstream of the stress resistance genes, specifically regulating the expression of the gene in plants and increasing the adaptability of plants to environmental stress. The transcription factor-mediated gene expression regulatory networks play an important role in plant stress response pathways. MYB (v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog) transcription factor is one of the largest members of the transcription factor family in plants. It participates and has a great influence on all aspects of plant growth and development. It plays an important role in plant secondary metabolic regulation, hormone and environmental factor responses, cell differentiation, organ morphogenesis, and cell cycle regulation. This review mainly introduces the characteristics, structure, and classification of MYB transcription factors, as well as the abiotic stress resistance to drought, salt, temperature, and other functions in breeding, and provides a reference for the research and utilization of transcription factors in the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15592324.2019.1613131DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6619938PMC
May 2020

ZmMYB31, a R2R3-MYB transcription factor in maize, positively regulates the expression of CBF genes and enhances resistance to chilling and oxidative stress.

Mol Biol Rep 2019 Aug 30;46(4):3937-3944. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, China.

Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important model plant with an important role in agriculture and national economies all over the world. The optimum growth temperature of maize is between 25 and 28 °C. At temperatures below 12 °C, maize is vulnerable to damage by chilling stress. MYB transcription factors play important roles in plants' response to low temperature stress. Maize ZmMYB31 encodes a R2R3-MYB transcription factor, ZmMYB31, which localized in the nucleus. ZmMYB31 expression was induced by chilling stress and the highest expression level was detected with the 24 h chilling treatment. ZmMYB31 expression also increased in overexpressing Arabidopsis lines. The minimal fluorescence (Fo) with all photosystem II reaction centers open increased in wild type (WT) and transgenic plants under chilling stress, with the highest increase in WT. The maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) decreased more in WT than in transgenic plants during chilling stress. Furthermore, the ZmMYB31-overexpressing lines showed higher superoxide dismutase and ascorbate peroxidase activity and lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) content than the WT. The expression of genes related to chilling stress was higher in transgenic plants than in WT. These results suggest that ZmMYB31 plays a positive regulatory role in chilling and peroxide stress by regulating the expression of chilling stress-related genes to reduce ion extravasation, ROS content, and low-temperature photoinhibition, thereby improving low temperature resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-019-04840-5DOI Listing
August 2019

Overexpression of maize MYB-IF35 increases chilling tolerance in Arabidopsis.

Authors:
Chen Meng Na Sui

Plant Physiol Biochem 2019 Feb 7;135:167-173. Epub 2018 Dec 7.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, China. Electronic address:

Chilling stress is a critical environmental factor that limits plant growth, yield and distribution. Maize (Zea mays L.) is an important food and forage crop, and industrial raw material, in China. Low temperatures can decrease maize production, especially in early spring. The R2R3-MYB transcription factor ZmMYB-IF35 was isolated from maize cDNA. The open reading frame of ZmMYB-IF35 is 1038 bp, encoding 345 amino acids with a molecular mass of 37.9 kDa. ZmMYB-IF35 localized in the nucleus. Low temperatures induced the expression of ZmMYB-IF35 in maize, and the relative expression level reached its maximum after 4 h of chilling stress. The overexpression of ZmMYB-IF35 under the control of the CaMV35S promoter in Arabidopsis conferred tolerance to chilling stress compared with the wild-type plants by maintaining the maximal photochemical efficiency of photosystem II. Furthermore, under chilling stress, the ZmMYB-IF35 transgenic plants showed greater antioxidant enzyme activity levels, lower reactive oxygen species contents and lower ion leakage levels than those of wild-type plants. Thus, the overexpression of ZmMYB-IF35 may enhance resistance to chilling and oxidative stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis and alleviates PSII photoinhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2018.11.038DOI Listing
February 2019

Regulation mechanism of microRNA in plant response to abiotic stress and breeding.

Authors:
Xi Sun Lin Lin Na Sui

Mol Biol Rep 2019 Feb 21;46(1):1447-1457. Epub 2018 Nov 21.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, Shandong, People's Republic of China.

microRNAs (miRNAs) in plants are a class of small RNAs consisting of approximately 21-24 nucleotides. The mature miRNA binds to the target mRNA through the formation of a miRNA-induced silencing complex (MIRISC), and cleaves or inhibits translation, thereby achieving negative regulation of the target gene. Based on miRNA plays an important role in regulating plant gene expression, studies on the prediction, identification, function and evolution of plant miRNAs have been carried out. In addition, many researches prove that miRNAs are also involved in many kinds of abiotic and biotic stress, under abiotic stress, plants can express some miRNA, and act on stress-related target genes, which can make plants adapt to stress in physiological response. In this review, the synthetic pathway and mechanism of plant miRNA are briefly described, and we discuss the biological functions and regulatory mechanisms of miRNAs responding to abiotic stresses including low temperature, salt, drought stress and breeding to lay the foundation for further exploring the mechanism of action of miRNAs in stress resistance of plant. And analyze its utilization prospects in plant stress resistance research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11033-018-4511-2DOI Listing
February 2019

Activation of the Oxidative Pentose Phosphate Pathway is Critical for Photomixotrophic Growth of a hik33-Deletion Mutant of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.

Proteomics 2018 10 25;18(20):e1800046. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

State Key Laboratory of Molecular Developmental Biology, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100101, China.

The histidine kinase Hik33 plays a central role in acclimation to changing environments in cyanobacteria. Deletion of hik33 induces a strong stress-like response in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (Synechocystis) as represented by repressed photoautotrophic growth and photosynthesis, and differential expression of stress-responsive proteins. In contrast, the photomixotrophic growth of the hik33-deletion mutant (Δhik33) with glucose as the exogenous carbon source is only marginally repressed. To investigate how glucose rescues the growth of Δhik33, the proteomes of the photomixotrophically growing wild-type (WT) and the mutant strains of Synechocystis are quantitatively analyzed. It is found that glucose induces upregulation of the oxidative pentose phosphate (OPP) pathway. Depletion of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), which catalyzes the first and the rate-limiting step of the OPP pathway, significantly inhibits the photomixotrophic growth of Δhik33 but not of the WT. The result suggests that the OPP pathway, which is usually nonfunctional in the photomixotrophically growing WT, plays a major role in the photomixotrophic growth of Δhik33.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.201800046DOI Listing
October 2018

Transcriptional regulation of bHLH during plant response to stress.

Authors:
Xi Sun Yu Wang Na Sui

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2018 09 27;503(2):397-401. Epub 2018 Jul 27.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, Shandong, 250014, PR China. Electronic address:

Basic helix-loop-helix protein (bHLH) is the most extensive class of transcription factors in eukaryotes, which can regulate gene expression through interaction with specific motif in target genes. bHLH transcription factor is not only universally involved in plant growth and metabolism, including photomorphogenesis, light signal transduction and secondary metabolism, but also plays an important role in plant response to stress. In this review, we discuss the role of bHLH in plants in response to stresses such as drought, salt and cold stress. To provide a strong evidence for the important role of bHLH in plant stress response, in order to provide new ideas and targets for the prevention and treatment of plant stress resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.07.123DOI Listing
September 2018

Regulation mechanism of long non-coding RNA in plant response to stress.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2018 09 17;503(2):402-407. Epub 2018 Jul 17.

Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Plant Stress, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Normal University, Jinan, 250014, China. Electronic address:

Long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) is a non-coding RNA greater than 200 nucleotides in length. LncRNAs can regulate gene expression at transcription and post-transcription, epigenetic level, and plays an important role in a wide range of biological processes such as genomic imprinting, chromatin remodeling, transcriptional activation, transcriptional interference and cell cycle. It becomes the current hot topics in the study of molecular biology and genetics. Emerging evidence proposed that lncRNAs play important roles in response to both abiotic and biotic stress. In this review, we discuss the role of lncRNAs in drought resistance, salt resistance, disease resistance, and immunity of plants, providing strong evidence for exploring the important role of lncRNAs in plant resistance, in order to explore new ideas and new targets for prevention and control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2018.07.072DOI Listing
September 2018
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