Response

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

Genetic dissection of plant-microbe/pest interactions has led to the discovery of many key players in plant signal transduction. The challenge now is to link these components together, providing the detailed understanding of signal transduction mechanisms. A newly emergent area that we will focus on in the next 5 years is the cell-to-cell communication that allows the coordination of plant responses to pathogens, pests and symbionts. The technologies and understandings that we and others have developed over the last 5 years allow us to discriminate between the signal transduction mechanisms happening in different regions of the cell, in different cell types and at local versus systemic sites. Mathematical modelling will be incorporated with experimentation to explore these mechanisms of local and systemic signal propagation. There are several parallels between PAMP and symbiotic signaling and the work in this theme will allow us to compare and contrast these processes and to explore the mechanisms for differential activation of downstream responses.

PAMP-triggered immunity is associated with the production of a ROS burst, a calcium flux across the plasma membrane and the activation of a cytoplasmic kinase cascade. In contrast, symbiosis signaling involves oscillations of calcium in and around the nucleus that act as the primary mechanism of signal transduction. It is clear that ROS and calcium play important roles in intracellular signaling, but they also function in intercellular signaling. Differentiating between these local versus systemic responses is possible with better tools for measuring calcium and ROS changes.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Objective 2.1: We identified key components of the calcium signal machinery in response to aphid feeding. We demonstrate the interplay of the key components: the co-receptor BAK1, the plasma membrane ion channels GLR3.3 and GLR3.6, and the vacuolar calcium channel TPC1, thus linking signal recognition with response and signal transduction. This study opens up opportunities for developing an integrated understanding of plant responses to biotic stress.
During symbiotic relationships with plants, fungi channel inorganic and micronutrients from soil to the plant, and the plant supplies the fungi with organic nutrients. We demonstrated that as part of this exchange, the plant supplies lipids to its symbiotic fungi, thus providing the fungi with a robust source of carbon for their metabolic needs. This work shows that in addition to sugars, lipids are a major source of organic carbon delivered to the fungus, and this is necessary for the production of fungal lipids.

Objective 2.2: We identified that a calcium-responsive calmodulin-like protein (CML41) mediates flagellin-induced plasmodesmata closure. This protein is located at plasmodesmata, is calcium-responsive and positively regulates callose deposition. It links the regulation of cell-to-cell communication in response to bacteria to calcium signalling at plasmodesmata.

Objective 2.3 Genetic loci affecting resistance to pathogens and immunity responses induced by PAMPs have been identified in Brassica napus using association genetics. The results form the basis of discussions about collaborative research on brassica pathology with industry.

Objective 3.2 Three Mlo homologues induced by mycorrhiza in barley have been identified. Functional tests to investigate their role in mycorrhization are in progress. The results will improve understanding of the trade-off between disease resistance and mycorrhization in sustainable agriculture.
Exploitation Route The results will improve understanding of plant responses to microbes and the trade-off between disease resistance and mycorrhization in sustainable agriculture.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Title Dual Color Sensors for Simultaneous Analysis of Calcium Signal Dynamics in the Nuclear and Cytoplasmic Compartments of Plant Cells 
Description Spatiotemporal changes in cellular calcium (Ca2+) concentrations are essential for signal transduction in a wide range of plant cellular processes. In legumes, nuclear and perinuclear-localized Ca2+ oscillations have emerged as key signatures preceding downstream symbiotic signaling responses. Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) yellow-based Ca2+ cameleon probes have been successfully exploited to measure the spatiotemporal dynamics of symbiotic Ca2+ signaling in legumes. Although providing cellular resolution, these sensors were restricted to measuring Ca2+ changes in single subcellular compartments. In this study, we have explored the potential of single fluorescent protein-based Ca2+ sensors, the GECOs, for multicolor and simultaneous imaging of the spatiotemporal dynamics of cytoplasmic and nuclear Ca2+ signaling in root cells. Single and dual fluorescence nuclear and cytoplasmic-localized GECOs expressed in transgenic Medicago truncatula roots and Arabidopsis thaliana were used to successfully monitor Ca2+ responses to microbial biotic and abiotic elicitors. In M. truncatula, we demonstrate that GECOs detect symbiosis-related Ca2+ spiking variations with higher sensitivity than the yellow FRET-based sensors previously used. Additionally, in both M. truncatula and A. thaliana, the dual sensor is now able to resolve in a single root cell the coordinated spatiotemporal dynamics of nuclear and cytoplasmic Ca2+ signaling in vivo. The GECO-based sensors presented here therefore represent powerful tools to monitor Ca2+ signaling dynamics in vivo in response to different stimuli in multi-subcellular compartments of plant cells. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact the cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic dual sensors developed in this work are powerful tools to analyze the subcellular Ca2+ dynamics between the cytoplasm and nucleus in planta. These sensors will unequivocally be of interest in exploring Ca2+-mediated signaling in response to diverse stimuli in different plant species. 
URL https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2018.00245/full
 
Description Formal research collaboration with SESVanderHave 
Organisation Sesvanderhave
Country Belgium 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution My research group has provided advise on strategies to obtain aphid resistant sugar beet, exchanged knowledge on research progress in plant-insect interactions of the lab, and wrote BBRSC-LINK award to fund research.
Collaborator Contribution SESVanderHave provides access to sugar beet breeding lines, genome sequence resources for these lines and insecticide-free field sites for collection of aphid populations in UK and Europe. They also funded a postdoctoral researcher in my group for one year, contributed 50% in-kind funds for the BBSRC-LINK award and funds a iCASE studentship in my group. PhD student Roland Wouters was recruited for the iCASE project. Roland is making good progress.
Impact Generated knowledge on plant-insect interactions. Organized visits of the SESVanderHave team to JIC (two times per year) and my group at JIC to SESVanderHave headquarters in Tienen, Belgium (two times per year). Organized regular Skype calls to discuss research progress and ideas for future research.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Plant Response Biotech 
Organisation Plant Response Biotech S.L.
Country Spain 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This is an iCASE studentship with Plant Response Biotech. We have generated transgenic tomato homozygous lines expressing individual Arabidopsis receptor kinases belonging to the sub-family XII of LRR-RLKs. We have generated single and multiple insertional Arabidopsis mutants for LRR-RLK sub-family XII members.
Collaborator Contribution The lines generated above will be tested at the end of year at Plant Response Biotech by the student employed in this project for disease resistance. The partner will provide lab space, consumable costs, access to growth chambers, access to relevant pathogens, and access to proprietary plant-derived and microbial elicitors.
Impact not applicable yet.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Plant stimulants to prime plant immunity 
Organisation Arlabion Ltd
PI Contribution We provided our expertise to address a specific research question for the Company
Collaborator Contribution They provided the background and some technical knowledge to the project
Impact A report has been submitted to the company
Start Year 2017
 
Description The role of CML41 in flagellin induced plasmodesmata closure 
Organisation University of Adelaide
Department School of Agriculture, Food and Wine
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provide expertise and technologies on the analysis of plasmodesmata in response to pathogens, live cell imaging and image analysis
Collaborator Contribution The Gilliham lab identified CML41 and performed gene expression analysis
Impact Publication: Xu B, Cheval C, Laohavisit A, Hocking B, Chiasson D, Olsson TSG, Shirasu K, Faulkner C, Gilliham M A calmodulin-like protein regulates plasmodesmal closure during bacterial immune responses. New Phytol. 2017 Jul;215(1):77-84. doi: 10.1111/nph.14599. Epub 2017 May 17.
Start Year 2015
 
Description A taste of Genetic Diversity: demonstration activity for the John Innes Centre open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A demonstration of our research was performed at an open day at the John Innes Centre, involving hands on activities and discussion on the theme of 'a taste of genetic diversity. The activities involved showing how brassicas were used in baby leaf salads, and how heritage barley varieties were used in brewing beer
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Disease resistance and immunity in brassicas: presentation to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of our research on brassica pathology to the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The meeting took place at the John Innes Centre
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description GCRF visit with Nepalese Researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A fact-finding mission to Nepal was undertaken with the aim of developing new collaborations for potential GCRF projects
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited Seminar at Bristol University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited seminar speaker at Bristol University - title 'The Plant Lytic Vacuole: Space-Filler, Garbage Bag, or Something More Interesting?'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited speaker at York University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker to York University: Plant Biology Seminar - The Plant Lytic Vacuole: Space-Filler, Garbage Bag, or Something More Interesting?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Invited speaker: Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited speaker: Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters Gordon Research Conference on Organellar Channels and Transporters
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description JIC50 public open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Open Day at JIC celebrating 50 years on the Norwich site. Soil columns featuring the N sensors were displayed to the public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.jic.ac.uk/news-and-events/blog-copy/2017/08/john-innes-celebrates-50-years-norwich-2017
 
Description Keynote Speech: Plants and Human Health at the Wellcome Trust China-UK Life Science Summit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote Speech: Plants and Human Health at the Wellcome Trust China-UK Life Science Summit
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the Synthetic Biology Leadership Council
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health - quarterly meetings are held
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the interviewing panel for Herchel Smith Professorship of Biochemistry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Member of the interviewing panel for Herchel Smith Professorship of Biochemistry position - University of Cambridge
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Membership of Scientific Advisory Committee to the Plant Energy Biology ARC Centre of Excellence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Membership of Scientific Advisory Committee to the Plant Energy Biology ARC Centre of Excellence. An Australian National Centre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description New Phytologist Next Generation Scientists meeting - Open Address 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Opening Address at New Phytologist Next Generation Scientists meeting - Scientific meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Opening address at Breeders Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Opening address at Breeders Day at the John Innes Centre
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Organization of the International Plant calcium signalling conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This conference brought all the plant calcium community together. It triggered very stimulating and interesting discussions and new opportunities of collaboration for many attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://plantcalciumsignalling.com/
 
Description Panel Meeting of Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu Committee - Madrid, Spain 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Panel Meeting of Severo Ochoa and Maria de Maeztu Committee - Madrid, Spain
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Panel discussion for the Royal Society for Hay Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Hay Festival - panel discussion for the Royal Society
exploring the public attitudes to the range of applications that genetic technologies might have, and the differences in such attitudes depending on context. This might look at the difference in public opinion in areas like food and medicine, for example, or explore concepts like 'naturalness'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Plant Calcium Signalling Meeting CHANNELS THAT REGULATE CALCIUM MOVEMENT 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Free Calcium: A Paradigm for Ca2+ induced Ca2+ Release in Plants? Presentation at Plant Calcium Signalling Meeting CHANNELS THAT REGULATE CALCIUM MOVEMENT
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description PrimeAg visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Eight visitors from PrimeAg visited JIC for half a day. Prime Agriculture LLP is a consultancy partnership of 11 BASIS and FACTS qualified agronomists, working with growers in in Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Hertfordshire. http://www.primeag.co.uk/
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.primeag.co.uk/
 
Description Royal Society fact finding visit to Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Royal Society fact finding visit to Beijing, 22 to 26 October for Royal Society's genetic technologies programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science Breaker - How plants breathe 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Working with engagement specialists, we developed an online 'Science Breaker' which explains the science to the general public and acts simultaneously as a forum for questions and answers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Scientific Advisory Board Member for Max PIanck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology, Golm, Germany 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Scientific Advisory Board Meeting for Max PIanck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description University of Geneva - PhD Retreat 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact University of Geneva - PhD Retreat, participation in a debate: " Technological advances - A new chance for changing public perception on GMOs". Also speaker title: 'The plant lytic vacuole: space-filler, garbage bag, or something more interesting'. A two-day retreat for PhD students in molecular plant sciences at universities in French-speaking Switzerland.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description presentsation to the Flying Farmers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Flying farmers are a group of farmers interested to learn about the latest trends in research. the presentation involved talking to them about our work, and engaging in a discussion with them
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017