A new protein variant that controls reproduction and growth in plants
The protein IRE1C, a variant of the conserved IRE1 family, has been newly identified.
The protein IRE1C, which is a variant of the conserved IRE1 family, is indispensable for producing plant reproductive cells when another variant, IRE1B, is depleted.
Significance and Impact
IRE1 proteins are ubiquitous in eukaryotes. They control physiological growth and stress response in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic organisms. This work has identified a unique IRE1 variant.
- IRE1C lacks the ER lumenal domain compared with IRE1A and IRE1B, but it remains to have the kinase and ribonuclease domain. IRE1C is expressed throughout the plants at a low expression level.
- Confocal microscopy shows that IRE1C localizes to the ER just like the other two homologs.
- No ire1b ire1c homozygous alleles could be obtained, while ire1a ire1c mutant is viable as WT. Reciprocal crosses showed non-Mendelian segregation ratio between ire1b+/- ire1c+/- and WT, suggesting IRE1C is involved in gametogenesis when IRE1B is depleted.
- Phenotypic assay of ire1c mutants under ER stress conditions indicated that IRE1C is not essential in the ER stress activated UPR.
Related people: Yunting Pu, Cristina Ruberti, Evan Angelos, Federica Brandizzi (CA)
Jianping Hu, professor at the MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory (PRL) and the Department of Plant Biology, received a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the motility of cellular energy organelles, peroxisomes and mitochondria in particular, along the cytoskeleton in Arabidopsis thaliana.
As our planet’s climate continues to be unpredictable, understanding how plants respond to adverse environmental conditions becomes essential. Improving crop productivity will be vital to feed the nine billion people estimated to be alive in 2050.
Grad student Philip Engelgau and postdoc Peipei Wang have been awarded the 2022 Anton Lang Memorial Award at a ceremony which took place on Monday, April 25, 2022. This year’s lecture was given by Professor Emeritus Govindjee from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.