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Author: Kimberley Tilbrook (9)


Dec
1969

The industrial production and use of nitrogenous fertilizer involves significant environmental and economic costs. Strategies to reduce fertilizer dependency are required to address the world's increasing demand for sustainable food, fibers, and biofuels. Biological nitrogen fixation, a process unique to diazatrophic bacteria, is catalyzed by the nitrogenase complex, and reconstituting this function in plant cells is an ambitious biotechnological strategy to reduce fertilizer use.

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Apr
2016

Plants perceive UV-B, an intrinsic component of sunlight, via a signaling pathway that is mediated by the photoreceptor UV RESISTANCE LOCUS8 (UVR8) and induces UV-B acclimation. To test whether similar UV-B perception mechanisms exist in the evolutionarily distant green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, we identified Chlamydomonas orthologs of UVR8 and the key signaling factor CONSTITUTIVELY PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1). Cr-UVR8 shares sequence and structural similarity to Arabidopsis thaliana UVR8, has conserved tryptophan residues for UV-B photoreception, monomerizes upon UV-B exposure, and interacts with Cr-COP1 in a UV-B-dependent manner.

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Feb
2016

Plants perceive UV-B through the UV RESISTANCE LOCUS 8 (UVR8) photoreceptor and UVR8 activation leads to changes in gene expression such as those associated with UV-B acclimation and stress tolerance. Albeit functionally unrelated, UVR8 shows some homology with RCC1 (Regulator of Chromatin Condensation 1) proteins from non-plant organisms at the sequence level. These proteins act as guanine nucleotide exchange factors for Ran GTPases and bind chromatin via histones.

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Oct
2014

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial carbon storage polymers used as renewable, biodegradable plastics. PHA production in plants may be a way to reduce industrial PHA production costs. We recently demonstrated a promising level of peroxisomal PHA production in the high biomass crop species sugarcane.

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Jun
2014

Plants reorient their growth towards light to optimize photosynthetic light capture--a process known as phototropism. Phototropins are the photoreceptors essential for phototropic growth towards blue and ultraviolet-A (UV-A) light. Here we detail a phototropic response towards UV-B in etiolated Arabidopsis seedlings.

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Dec
1969

Ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) is an intrinsic part of sunlight that is accompanied by significant biological effects. Plants are able to perceive UV-B using the UV-B photoreceptor UVR8 which is linked to a specific molecular signaling pathway and leads to UV-B acclimation. Herein we review the biological process in plants from initial UV-B perception and signal transduction through to the known UV-B responses that promote survival in sunlight.

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Dec
2011

Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bacterial carbon storage polymers with diverse plastic-like properties. PHA biosynthesis in transgenic plants is being developed as a way to reduce the cost and increase the sustainability of industrial PHA production. The homopolymer polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) is the simplest form of these biodegradable polyesters.

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Mar
2010

Metabolic engineering of plant peroxisomes for biotechnological purposes typically requires efficient peroxisomal targeting of heterologous proteins. Type I peroxisomal targeting signals (PTS1) consist of three uncleaved amino acids (SKL or a conserved variant) at the carboxyl terminus and direct nuclear-encoded proteins into the peroxisomes of eukaryotic cells. PTS1 fusion with a heterologous protein results in peroxisomal targeting of that protein, but the minimal length of PTS1 required for efficient targeting in plants is vague.

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Apr
2007

The Arabidopsis thaliana heterotrimeric G protein complex is encoded by single canonical Galpha and Gbeta subunit genes and two Ggamma subunit genes (AGG1 and AGG2), raising the possibility that the two potential G protein complexes mediate different cellular processes. Mutants with reduced expression of one or both Ggamma genes revealed specialized roles for each Ggamma subunit. AGG1-deficient mutants, but not AGG2-deficient mutants, showed impaired resistance against necrotrophic pathogens, reduced induction of the plant defensin gene PDF1.

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