The John Innes Centre Publications Repository contains details of all publications resulting from our researchers.
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The creation of this publications repository was funded by BBSRC.
Microbiology (Reading, England) (163) 1415-1419
Publisher's version: 10.1099/mic.0.000524
ID: 57463read more
MtrAB is a highly conserved two-component system implicated in the regulation of cell division in the Actinobacteria. It coordinates DNA replication with cell division in the unicellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis and links antibiotic production to sporulation in the filamentous Streptomyces venezuelae. Chloramphenicol biosynthesis is directly regulated by MtrA in S. venezuelae and deletion of mtrB constitutively activates MtrA and results in constitutive over-production of chloramphenicol. Here we report that in Streptomyces coelicolor, MtrA binds to sites upstream of developmental genes and the genes encoding ActII-1, ActII-4 and RedZ, which are cluster-situated regulators of the antibiotics actinorhodin (Act) and undecylprodigiosin (Red). Consistent with this, deletion of mtrB switches on the production of Act, Red and streptorubin B, a product of the Red pathway. Thus, we propose that MtrA is a key regulator that links antibiotic production to development and can be used to upregulate antibiotic production in distantly related streptomycetes.
Current Biology (27) 2974-2983.e2
Publisher's version: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.08.006
ID: 57493read more
It has long been accepted that differential radial thickening of guard cells plays an important role in the turgor-driven shape changes required for stomatal pore opening to occur [1-4]. This textbook description derives from an original interpretation of structure rather than measurement of mechanical properties. Here we show, using atomic force microscopy, that although mature guard cells display a radial gradient of stiffness, this is not present in immature guard cells, yet young stomata show a normal opening response. Finite element modeling supports the experimental observation that radial stiffening plays a very limited role in stomatal opening. In addition, our analysis reveals an unexpected stiffening of the polar regions of the stomata complexes, both in Arabidopsis and other plants, suggesting a widespread occurrence. Combined experimental data (analysis of guard cell wall epitopes and treatment of tissue with cell wall digesting enzymes, coupled with bioassay of guard cell function) plus modeling lead us to propose that polar stiffening reflects a mechanical, pectin-based pinning down of the guard cell ends, which restricts increase of stomatal complex length during opening. This is predicted to lead to an improved response sensitivity of stomatal aperture movement with respect to change of turgor pressure. Our results provide new insight into the mechanics of stomatal function, both negating an established view of the importance of radial thickening and providing evidence for a significant role for polar stiffening. Improved stomatal performance via altered cell-wall-mediated mechanics is likely to be of evolutionary and agronomic significance.
Developmental cartography: coordination via hormonal and genetic interactions during gynoecium formation
Current Opinion in Plant Biology (41) 54-60
Publisher's version: 10.1016/j.pbi.2017.09.004
ID: 57272read more
Development in multicellular organisms requires the establishment of tissue identity through polarity cues. The Arabidopsis gynoecium presents an excellent model to study this coordination, as it comprises a complex tissue structure which is established through multiple polarity systems. The gynoecium is derived from the fusion of two carpels and forms in the centre of the flower. Many regulators of carpel development also have roles in leaf development, emphasizing the evolutionary origin of carpels as modified leaves. The gynoecium can therefore be considered as having evolved from a simple setup followed by adjustment in tissue polarity to facilitate efficient reproduction. Here, we discuss concepts to understand how hormonal and genetic systems interact to pattern the gynoecium.