Physiological and Molecular Effects of the Cyclic Nucleotides cAMP and cGMP on Arabidopsis thaliana

  • Natalia M. Herrera

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

The cyclic nucleotide monophosphates (CNs), cAMP and cGMP, are second messengers that participate in the regulation of development, metabolism and adaptive responses. In plants, CNs are associated with the control of pathogen responses, pollen tube orientation, abiotic stress response, membrane transport regulation, stomatal movement and light perception. In this study, we hypothesize that cAMP and cGMP promote changes in the transcription level of genes related to photosynthesis, high light and membrane transport in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves and, that these changes at the molecular level can have functional biological consequences. For this reason we tested if CNs modulate the photosynthetic rate, responses to high light and root ion transport. Real time quantitative PCR was used to assess transcription levels of selected genes and infrared gas analyzers coupled to fluorescence sensors were used to measure the photosynthetic parameters. We present evidence that both cAMP and cGMP modulate foliar mRNA levels early after stimulation. The two CNs trigger different responses indicating that the signals have specificity. A comparison of proteomic and transcriptional changes suggest that both transcriptional and post-transcriptional mechanisms are modulated by CNs. cGMP up-regulates the mRNA levels of components of the photosynthesis and carbon metabolism. However, neither cAMP nor cGMP trigger differences in the rate of carbon assimilation, maximum efficiency of the photosystem II (PSII), or PSII operating efficiency. It was also demonstrated that CN regulate the expression of its own targets, the cyclic nucleotide gated channels - CNGC. Further studies are needed to identify the components of the signaling transduction pathway that mediate cellular changes and their respective regulatory and/or signaling roles.
Date of AwardDec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Science and Engineering
SupervisorChristoph Gehring (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • Cyclic nucleotides
  • arabidopsis thaliana
  • Photosynthesis
  • Transcriptional regulation
  • MIFE
  • Ion fluxes

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