Molecular and metaolic bases of volatile isoprenoid-induced resistance to stresses


CALL: 2010

DOMAIN: SR - Environmental and Earth Sciences







START: 2011-05-01

END: 2014-04-30


Submitted Abstract

Plant volatile isoprenoids (VIP, isoprene, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes) play critical roles in communication with herbivores, defence against biotic and abiotic stresses, and modulation of stress-induced signaling molecules (Vickers et al. Nature Chem. Biol. 2009). VIP biosynthesis is costly in terms of carbon and energetics (Sharkey and Yeh, ARPB 2001), and so research is needed on the interaction of VIP induction with other metabolic pathways and plant performances. MOMEVIP partners are six top European laboratories: CNR, Italy (CNR – project leader); Wageningen University, The Netherlands (WU), ETH, Switzerland (ETH); University of Antwerp, Belgium (UA); University of Innsbruck, Austria (UI); Centre de Recherche Public – Gabriel Lippmann, Luxembourg (GL),+ two associate partners: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany (KIT); and Michigan State University, USA (MSU). Our teams will use ecology, physiology, biochemistry, molecular biology, functional genomics and bioinformatics to improve knowledge about the molecular and metabolic bases of VIP biosynthesis, and the functions of VIP in plant protection. MOMEVIP will be organized with scientific Milestones (M) at which the following specific deliverables will be met: M1) determine whether VIP make cell membranes more resistant to denaturation under heat or oxidative stresses; M2) test whether isoprenoids reduce oxidative pressure over membranes by interacting with reactive oxygen species, or by indirectly modulating metabolic pathways that lead to hypersensitive responses and programmed cellular death; M3) identify carbon sources for VIP biosynthesis, subcellular transport of volatiles, and possible cross-talks between biochemical pathways, especially when primary carbon sources are inhibited and VIP biosynthesis is stimulated by stress (Loreto and Schnitzler, TiPS 2010); M4) investigate, by using a functional genomic approach based on in vivo photochemical and biochemical measurements (CNR, UA, UI, MSU), and on in vitro high-throughput analysis of proteome, metabolome and transcriptome (GL, ETH, WU, KIT), whether induction of the isoprenoid pathways modulate other defensive pathways, such as those involving more complex isoprenoids (e,g, carotenoids), isoprenoid hormones (e.g. abscisic acid) or phenolic compounds; and, M5) whether induction of VIP feedbacks on primary metabolism, altering long-term allocation of resources and photosynthates, and above- and below-ground plant growth and productivity Whereas scientific milestones are set as from attached timeline, two additional technical milestones are set at month 3 (recruitment completed and scientific activities operative (MT1)), and at month 12, (cluster of EuroVOL programmes created, with joint dissemination and research activities implemented (MT2)).MOMEVIP will run this coherent set of studies within joint experiments with model plant species Arabidopsis, Nicotiana and Populus. The MEP pathway of biosynthesis of VIP has been engineered in these species, and plants are available that overexpress or downregulate isoprene, monoterpene and sesquiterpene synthases. Agro-infiltration with terpene synthases will allow fast screening of effects of introduced terpenes. Poplar is a naturally strong isoprene emitter with economic interest worldwide as a fast growing plant for biomass and paper. Brassicaceae (Arabidopsis) are also model species for studying volatile impacts on biotic stresses and plant communication, further strengthening interactions between MOMEVIP and other EuroVOL proposals. Joint experiments will run under highly controlled simulated climates (phytotrons) and in field conditions. As model abiotic stressors, drought, high temperature, phosphorous starvation and oxidative pollutants (ozone) will be used, but emphasis will be on the combined occurrence of these factors, on daily exposure to peak episode

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