skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: A cryptic natural variant allele of BYPASS2 suppresses the bypass1 mutant phenotype

The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) BYPASS1 (BPS1) gene encodes a protein with no functionally characterized domains, and loss-of-function mutants (e.g. bps1-2 in Col-0) present a severe growth arrest phenotype that is evoked by a root-derived graft-transmissible small molecule that we call dalekin. The root-to-shoot nature of dalekin signaling suggests it could be an endogenous signaling molecule. Here, we report a natural variant screen that allowed us to identify enhancers and suppressors of the bps1-2 mutant phenotype (in Col-0). We identified a strong semi-dominant suppressor in the Apost-1 accession that largely restored shoot development in bps1 and yet continued to overproduce dalekin. Using bulked segregant analysis and allele-specific transgenic complementation, we showed that the suppressor is the Apost-1 allele of a BPS1 paralog, BYPASS2 (BPS2). BPS2 is one of four members of the BPS gene family in Arabidopsis, and phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the BPS family is conserved in land plants and the four Arabidopsis paralogs are retained duplicates from whole genome duplications. The strong conservation of BPS1 and paralogous proteins throughout land plants, and the similar functions of paralogs in Arabidopsis, suggests that dalekin signaling might be retained across land plants.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
Oxford University Press
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Plant Physiology
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 1016-1027
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Light, temperature, water, and nutrient availability influence how plants grow to maximize access to resources. Axial growth, the linear extension of tissues by coordinated axial cell expansion, plays a central role in these adaptive morphological responses. Using Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) hypocotyl cells to explore axial growth control mechanisms, we investigated WAVE-DAMPENED2-LIKE4 (WDL4), an auxin-induced, microtubule-associated protein and member of the larger WDL gene family shown to modulate hypocotyl growth under changing environmental conditions. Loss-of-function wdl4 seedlings exhibited a hyper-elongation phenotype under light conditions, continuing to elongate when wild-type Col-0 hypocotyls arrested and reaching 150% to 200% of wild-type length before shoot emergence. wdl4 seedling hypocotyls showed dramatic hyper-elongation (500%) in response to temperature elevation, indicating an important role in morphological adaptation to environmental cues. WDL4 was associated with microtubules under both light and dark growth conditions, and no evidence was found for altered microtubule array patterning in loss-of-function wdl4 mutants under various conditions. Examination of hormone responses showed altered sensitivity to ethylene and evidence for changes in the spatial distribution of an auxin-dependent transcriptional reporter. Our data provide evidence that WDL4 regulates hypocotyl cell elongation without substantial changes to microtubule array patterning, suggesting an unconventional role in axial growth control.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Argonaute 1 (AGO1), the principal protein component of microRNA-mediated regulation, plays a key role in plant growth and development. AGO1 physically interacts with the chaperone HSP90, which buffers cryptic genetic variation in plants and animals. We sought to determine whether genetic perturbation of AGO1 in Arabidopsis thaliana would also reveal cryptic genetic variation, and if so, whether AGO1-dependent loci overlap with those dependent on HSP90. To address these questions, we introgressed a hypomorphic mutant allele of AGO1 into a set of mapping lines derived from the commonly used Arabidopsis strains Col-0 and Ler. Although we identified several cases in which AGO1 buffered genetic variation, none of the AGO1-dependent loci overlapped with those buffered by HSP90 for the traits assayed. We focused on 1 buffered locus where AGO1 perturbation uncoupled the traits days to flowering and rosette leaf number, which are otherwise closely correlated. Using a bulk segregant approach, we identified a nonfunctional Ler hua2 mutant allele as the causal AGO1-buffered polymorphism. Introduction of a nonfunctional hua2 allele into a Col-0 ago1 mutant background recapitulated the Ler-dependent ago1 phenotype, implying that coupling of these traits involves different molecular players in these closely related strains. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that even though AGO1 and HSP90 buffer genetic variation in the same traits, these robustness regulators interact epistatically with different genetic loci, suggesting that higher-order epistasis is uncommon.

    Plain Language Summary

    Argonaute 1 (AGO1), a key player in plant development, interacts with the chaperone HSP90, which buffers environmental and genetic variation. We found that AGO1 buffers environmental and genetic variation in the same traits; however, AGO1-dependent and HSP90-dependent loci do not overlap. Detailed analysis of a buffered locus found that a nonfunctional HUA2 allele decouples days to flowering and rosette leaf number in an AGO1-dependent manner, suggesting that the AGO1-dependent buffering acts at the network level.

    more » « less
  3. Abstract

    Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small oxidoreductase enzymes that can reduce disulfide bonds in target proteins. The class III GRX gene family is unique to land plants, andArabidopsis thalianahas 21 class III GRXs, which remain largely uncharacterized. About 80% ofA. thalianaclass III GRXs are transcriptionally regulated by nitrate, and several recent studies have suggested roles for these GRXs in nitrogen signaling. Our objective was to functionally characterize two nitrate‐induced GRX genes,AtGRXS5andAtGRXS8, defining their roles in signaling and development in theA. thalianaroot. We demonstrated thatAtGRXS5andAtGRXS8are primarily expressed in root and shoot vasculature (phloem), and that the corresponding GRX proteins display nucleo‐cytosolic subcellular localization. Ectopic expression ofAtGRXS8in transgenic plants caused major alterations in root system architecture: Normal primary root development, but a near absence of lateral roots. RNA sequencing demonstrated that the roots ofAtGRXS8‐overexpressing plants show strongly reduced transcript abundance for many primary nitrate response genes, including the major high‐affinity nitrate transporters. Correspondingly, high‐affinity nitrate uptake and the transport of nitrate from roots to shoots are compromised inAtGRXS8‐overexpressing plants. Finally, we demonstrated that the AtGRXS8 protein can physically interact with the TGA1 and TGA4 transcription factors, which are central regulators of early transcriptional responses to nitrate inA. thalianaroots. Overall, these results suggest thatAtGRXS8acts to quench both transcriptional and developmental aspects of primary nitrate response, potentially by interfering with the activity of the TGA1 and TGA4 transcription factors.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Sigma factor (SIG) proteins contribute to promoter specificity of the plastid‐encodedRNApolymerase during chloroplast genome transcription. All six members of theSIGfamily, that is,SIG1–SIG6, are nuclear‐encoded proteins targeted to chloroplasts. Sigma factor 2 (SIG2) is a phytochrome‐regulated protein important for stoichiometric control of the expression of plastid‐ and nuclear‐encoded genes that impact plastid development and plant growth and development. AmongSIGfactors,SIG2 is required not only for transcription of chloroplast genes (i.e., anterograde signaling), but also impacts nuclear‐encoded, photosynthesis‐related, and light signaling‐related genes (i.e., retrograde signaling) in response to plastid functional status. AlthoughSIG2 is involved in photomorphogenesis in Arabidopsis, the molecular bases for its role in light signaling that impacts photomorphogenesis and aspects of photosynthesis have only recently begun to be investigated. Previously, we reported thatSIG2 is necessary for phytochrome‐mediated photomorphogenesis specifically under red (R) and far‐red light, thereby suggesting a link between phytochromes and nuclear‐encodedSIG2 in light signaling. To explore transcriptional roles ofSIG2 in R‐dependent growth and development, we performedRNAsequencing analysis to compare gene expression insig2‐2mutant and Col‐0 wild‐type seedlings at two developmental stages (1‐ and 7‐day). We identified a subset of misregulated genes involved in growth, hormonal cross talk, stress responses, and photosynthesis. To investigate the functional relevance of these gene expression analyses, we performed several comparative phenotyping tests. In these analyses, strongsig2mutants showed insensitivity to bioactiveGA3, high intracellular levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) indicative of a stress response, and specific defects in photosynthesis, including elevated levels of cyclic electron flow (CEF) and nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ). We demonstrated thatSIG2 regulates a broader range of physiological responses at the molecular level than previously reported, with specific roles in red‐light‐mediated photomorphogenesis.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    TAC1andLAZY1are members of a gene family that regulates lateral shoot orientation in plants.TAC1promotes outward orientations in response to light, whileLAZY1promotes upward shoot orientations in response to gravity via altered auxin transport. We performed genetic, molecular, and biochemical assays to investigate possible interactions between these genes. In Arabidopsis they were expressed in similar tissues and double mutants revealed the wide-angledlazy1branch phenotype, indicating it is epistatic to thetac1shoot phenotype. Surprisingly, the lack ofTAC1did not influence gravitropic shoot curvature responses. Combined, these results suggestTAC1might negatively regulateLAZY1to promote outward shoot orientations. However, additional results revealed thatTAC1-andLAZY1influence on shoot orientation is more complex than a simple direct negative regulatory pathway. Transcriptomes of Arabidopsistac1andlazy1mutants compared to wild type under normal and gravistimulated conditions revealed few overlapping differentially expressed genes. Overexpression of each gene did not result in major branch angle differences. Shoot tip hormone levels were similar betweentac1,lazy1, and Col, apart from exceptionally elevated levels of salicylic acid inlazy1. The data presented here provide a foundation for future study ofTAC1andLAZY1regulation of shoot architecture.

    more » « less