12th Mar 2014

There’s a variety of interesting Arabidopsis papers for you this week, including a first for the Arabidopsis Research Round-up – a paper involving Northern Irish researchers! We also manage to sneak in a quick plug for our GARNet 2014 conference, so if you haven't already registered for this event (9-10 September 2014, University of Bristol) then please make sure you do! See for more details.


  • Koprivova A, Calderwood A, Lee B-R and Kopriva S. Do PFT1 and HY5 interact in regulation of sulphate assimilation by light in Arabidopsis? FEBS Letters, 26 February 2014. DOI: 10.1016/j.febslet.2014.02.031.

This FEBS Letter from the Kopriva lab at the John Innes Centre provides evidence to suggest that PHYTOCHROME AND FLOWERING TIME 1 (PFT1) may be a component of the little-understood sulphate assimilation regulatory circuit. In addition, the data suggests a possible interplay of PFT1 with the transcription factor HY5 in the regulation of APS reductase by light.


  • Ihnatowicz A, Siwinska J, Meharg AA, Carey M, Koornneef M and Reymond M. Conserved histidine of metal transporter AtNRAMP1 is crucial for optimal plant growth under manganese deficiency at chilling temperatures. New Phytologist, 27 February 2014. DOI: ​10.1111/nph.12737.

The multi-institutional research team behind this New Phyt paper includes Andrew Meharg and Manus Carey from Queen’s University Belfast (and – quick plug – Maarten Koornneef from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding, who will be giving a plenary talk at our forthcoming GARNet 2014 conference!). After screening 108 Arabidopsis accessions for reduced photosynthetic performance at chilling temperatures, one – Hog – was selected to determine the molecular basis for this response. Genetic mapping and complementation identified NRAMP1 as the gene responsible for inducing severe leaf chlorosis and impaired growth after transfer to lower temperatures, with manganese deficiency a major factor.


  • Gorecka M, Alvarez-Fernandez R, Slattery K, McAusland L, Davey PA, Karpinski S, Lawson T and Mullineaux PM. Abscisic acid signaling determines susceptibility of bundle sheath cells to photinhibition in high light-exposed Arabdopsis leaves. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B, 3 March 2014. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0234.

Rapid induction of the bundle sheath cell-specific expression of ASCORBATE PEROXIDASE2 (APX2) in high light-exposed Arabidopsis thaliana leaves is regulated in part by abscisic acid (ABA). In this paper the Mullineaux lab at the University of Essex adds to current knowledge of the ABA signaling that regulates APX2 expression.  


  • Iglesias-Fernandez R, Wozny D, Iriondo-de Hond M, Onate-Sanchez L, Carbonero P and Barrero-Sicilia C. The AtCathB3 gene, encoding a cathepsin B-like protease, is expressed during germination of Arabidopsis thaliana and transcriptionally repressed by the basic leucone zipper protein GBF1. Journal of Experimental Botany, 6 March 2014. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru055. [Open Access]

This Spanish research group from the Polytechnic University of Madrid included Dorothee Wozny while based at Rothamsted Research. This paper investigates the transcriptional regulation of AtCathB3, a cathepsin B-like protease that is highly induced upon seed germination and in early post-germination.


  • Yuan X, Li Y, Liu S, Xia F, Li X and Qi B. Accumulation of eicosapolyenoic acids enhances sensitivity to abscisic acid and mitigates the effects of drought in transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany, 7 March 2014. DOI: 10.1093/jxb/eru031. [Open Access]

Senior post-doc Baoxiu Qi from the University of Bath, and Bath PhD student Xiaowei Yuan worked on this paper alongside colleagues at Shandong Agricultural University in China. They used a transgenic line of Arabidopsis thaliana engineered to express IgASE1, a marine algal enzyme that converts linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid to eicosadienoic acid and eicosatrienoic acid. The transgenic plants were found to be hypersensitive to abscisic acid (ABA) during seed germination, post-germination growth and seedling development, suggesting that these two eicosapolyenoic acid products have a role in mitigating the effects of drought through ABA action.