UC Davis Plant Scientists have Featured Publication

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Postdoc Ella Katz, Professor Dan Kliebenstein, and undergrads Alycia Rasmussen and Aleshia Hopper authored the paper with international colleagues.

A new Plant Physiology paper, authored by plant scientists from UC Davis, and their international colleagues, was featured as ‘Plant Physiology Article of the Week’ in The Signal, a weekly publication of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB).


The paper:

Diverse Allyl Glucosinolate Catabolites Independently Influence Root Growth and Development

Ella Katz, Rammyani Bagchi, Verena Jeschke, Alycia R.M. Rasmussen, Aleshia Hopper, Meike Burow, Mark Estelle, and Daniel J. Kliebenstein


“This paper is important in that we are trying to develop a mechanistic understanding of the complex relationship between plant growth and defense,” said lead author Ella Katz, a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Professor Daniel Kliebenstein (corresponding author), Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis.

“We show that single defense metabolites can affect development in numerous independent signaling pathways,” added Katz. “Because defense metabolites are often plant nutrients, like sulforaphane in broccoli, this work will help provide the ability to better breed for both nutrition and other agronomic properties in crops.”

Co-authors Alycia Rasmussen and Aleshia Hopper, UC Davis undergraduates, helped perform the experiments. Hopper has since graduated, and Rasmussen still works in Kliebenstein’s lab.

Additional co-authors are at UC San Diego and University of Copenhagen.

Article Abstract

Glucosinolates (GSLs) are sulfur-containing defense metabolites produced in the Brassicales, including the model plant Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Previous work suggests that specific GSLs may function as signals to provide direct feedback regulation within the plant to calibrate defense and growth, including allyl-GSL, a defense metabolite and one of the most widespread GSLs in Brassicaceae that has also been associated with growth inhibition. Here we show that at least three separate potential catabolic products of allyl-GSL or closely related compounds affect growth and development by altering different mechanisms influencing plant development. Two of the catabolites, raphanusamic acid and 3-butenoic acid, differentially affect processes downstream of the auxin signaling cascade. Another catabolite, acrylic acid, affects meristem development by influencing the progression of the cell cycle. These independent signaling events propagated by the different catabolites enable the plant to execute a specific response that is optimal to any given environment.

Congratulations to this research team for their outstanding research.

Related articles

  • Arabidopsis uses defense metabolites to mediate drought tolerance. September 2019.
  • New insight into unique plant chemical could inform future drug development. December 2017.

(article by Ann Filmer, Plant Sciences, UC Davis. May 12, 2020.)