Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
  • Publication
    Light influences how the fungal toxin deoxynivalenol affects plant cell death and defense responses
    The Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) can cause cell death in wheat (Triticum aestivum), but can also reduce the level of cell death caused by heat shock in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) cell cultures. We show that 10 μg mL−1 DON does not cause cell death in Arabidopsis cell cultures, and its ability to retard heat-induced cell death is light dependent. Under dark conditions, it actually promoted heat-induced cell death. Wheat cultivars differ in their ability to resist this toxin, and we investigated if the ability of wheat to mount defense responses was light dependent. We found no evidence that light affected the transcription of defense genes in DON-treated roots of seedlings of two wheat cultivars, namely cultivar CM82036 that is resistant to DON-induced bleaching of spikelet tissue and cultivar Remus that is not. However, DON treatment of roots led to genotype-dependent and light-enhanced defense transcript accumulation in coleoptiles. Wheat transcripts encoding a phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) gene (previously associated with Fusarium resistance), non-expressor of pathogenesis-related genes-1 (NPR1) and a class III plant peroxidase (POX) were DON-upregulated in coleoptiles of wheat cultivar CM82036 but not of cultivar Remus, and DON-upregulation of these transcripts in cultivar CM82036 was light enhanced. Light and genotype-dependent differences in the DON/DON derivative content of coleoptiles were also observed. These results, coupled with previous findings regarding the effect of DON on plants, show that light either directly or indirectly influences the plant defense responses to DON.
      417Scopus© Citations 12
  • Publication
    The Fusarium Mycotoxin Deoxynivalenol Can Inhibit Plant Apoptosis-Like Programmed Cell Death
    The Fusarium genus of fungi is responsible for commercially devastating crop diseases and the contamination of cereals with harmful mycotoxins. Fusarium mycotoxins aid infection, establishment, and spread of the fungus within the host plant. We investigated the effects of the Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON) on the viability of Arabidopsis cells. Although it is known to trigger apoptosis in animal cells, DON treatment at low concentrations surprisingly did not kill these cells. On the contrary, we found that DON inhibited apoptosis-like programmed cell death (PCD) in Arabidopsis cells subjected to abiotic stress treatment in a manner independent of mitochondrial cytochrome c release. This suggested that Fusarium may utilise mycotoxins to suppress plant apoptosis-like PCD. To test this, we infected Arabidopsis cells with a wild type and a DON-minus mutant strain of F. graminearum and found that only the DON producing strain could inhibit death induced by heat treatment. These results indicate that mycotoxins may be capable of disarming plant apoptosis-like PCD and thereby suggest a novel way that some fungi can influence plant cell fate.                         
      360Scopus© Citations 52
  • Publication
    The retraction of the protoplast during PCD is an active, and interruptible, calcium-flux driven process
    The protoplast retracts during apoptosis-like programmed cell death (AL-PCD) and, if this retraction is an active component of AL-PCD, it should be used as a defining feature for this type of programmed cell death. We used an array of pharmacological and genetic tools to test if the rates of protoplast retraction in cells undergoing AL-PCD can be modulated. Disturbing calcium flux signalling, ATP synthesis and mitochondrial permeability transition all inhibited protoplast retraction and often also the execution of the death programme. Protoplast retraction can precede loss of plasma membrane integrity and cell death can be interrupted after the protoplast retraction had already occurred. Blocking calcium influx inhibited the protoplast retraction, reduced DNA fragmentation and delayed death induced by AL-PCD associated stresses. At higher levels of stress, where cell death occurs without protoplast retraction, blocking calcium flux had no effect on the death process. The results therefore strongly suggest that retraction of the protoplast is an active biological process dependent on an early Ca2+-mediated trigger rather than cellular disintegration due to plasma membrane damage. Therefore this morphologically distinct cell type is a quantifiable feature, and consequently, reporter of AL-PCD.
    Scopus© Citations 15  230