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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  2. Brassinosteroids (BR) and Target of Rapamycin Complex (TORC) are two major actors coordinating plant growth and stress responses. BRs function through a signaling pathway to extensively regulate gene expression and TORC is known to regulate translation and autophagy. Recent studies have revealed connections between these two pathways, but a system-wide view of their interplay is still missing. • We quantified the level of 23,975 transcripts, 11,183 proteins, and 27,887phosphorylation sites in wild-type Arabidopsis thalianaand inmutants with altered levels of either BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 2 (B IN2) or REGULATORY ASSOCIATED PROTEIN OF TOR 1B (RAPTOR1B), two key players in BR and TORCmore »signaling, respectively.• We found that perturbation of BIN2 or RAPTOR1B levels affects a common set of gene-products involved in growth and stress responses. Furthermore, we used the multi-omic data to reconstruct an integrated signaling network. We screened 41candidate genes identified from the reconstructed network and found that loss of function mutants of many of these proteins led to an altered BR response and/or modulated autophagy activity.• Altogether, these results establish a predictive network that defines different layers of molecular interactions between BR- or TORC-regulated growth and autophagy.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 26, 2023
  3. Abstract

    Brassinosteroids (BRs) are plant steroid hormones that regulate cell division and stress response. Here we use a systems biology approach to integrate multi-omic datasets and unravel the molecular signaling events of BR response inArabidopsis. We profile the levels of 26,669 transcripts, 9,533 protein groups, and 26,617 phosphorylation sites fromArabidopsisseedlings treated with brassinolide (BL) for six different lengths of time. We then construct a network inference pipeline called Spatiotemporal Clustering and Inference of Omics Networks (SC-ION) to integrate these data. We use our network predictions to identify putative phosphorylation sites on BES1 and experimentally validate their importance. Additionally, we identifymore »BRONTOSAURUS (BRON) as a transcription factor that regulates cell division, and we show thatBRONexpression is modulated by BR-responsive kinases and transcription factors. This work demonstrates the power of integrative network analysis applied to multi-omic data and provides fundamental insights into the molecular signaling events occurring during BR response.

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  4. Brassinosteroids (BRs) are a group of plant steroid hormones involved in regulating growth, development, and stress responses. Many components of the BR pathway have previously been identified and characterized. However, BR phenotyping experiments are typically performed on petri plates and/or in a low-throughput manner. Additionally, the BR pathway has extensive crosstalk with drought responses, but drought experiments are time-consuming and difficult to control. Thus, we developed Robotic Assay for Drought (RoAD) to perform BR and drought response experiments in soil-grown Arabidopsis plants. RoAD is equipped with a bench scale, a precisely controlled watering system, an RGB camera, and a lasermore »profilometer. It performs daily weighing, watering, and imaging tasks and is capable of administering BR response assays by watering plants with Propiconazole (PCZ), a BR biosynthesis inhibitor. We developed image processing algorithms for both plant segmentation and phenotypic trait extraction in order to accurately measure traits in 2-dimensional (2D) and 3-dimensional (3D) spaces including plant surface area, leaf length, and leaf width. We then applied machine learning algorithms that utilized the extracted phenotypic parameters to identify image-derived traits that can distinguish control, drought, and PCZ-treated plants. We carried out PCZ and drought experiments on a set of BR mutants and Arabidopsis accessions with altered BR responses. Finally, we extended the RoAD assays to perform BR response assays using PCZ in Zea mays (maize) plants. This study establishes an automated and non-invasive robotic imaging system as a tool to accurately measure morphological and growth-related traits of Arabidopsis and maize plants, providing insights into the BR-mediated control of plant growth and stress responses.« less
  5. The composition of the early Solar System can be inferred from meteorites. Many elements heavier than iron were formed by the rapid neutron capture process (r-process), but the astrophysical sources where this occurred remain poorly understood. We demonstrate that the near-identical half-lives ( ≃ 15.6  million years ) of the radioactive r-process nuclei iodine-129 and curium-247 preserve their ratio, irrespective of the time between production and incorporation into the Solar System. We constrain the last r-process source by comparing the measured meteoritic ratio 129 I/ 247 Cm = 438 ± 184 with nucleosynthesis calculations based on neutron star merger and magneto-rotationalmore »supernova simulations. Moderately neutron-rich conditions, often found in merger disk ejecta simulations, are most consistent with the meteoritic value. Uncertain nuclear physics data limit our confidence in this conclusion.« less