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Identification of nucleases related to nutrient mobilization in senescing cotyledons from French bean

Lambert, Rocío, Cabello-Díaz, Juan Miguel, Quiles, Francisco Antonio, Piedras, Pedro
Acta physiologiae plantarum 2016 v.38 no.11 pp. 266
apoptosis, biogeochemical cycles, cotyledons, databases, gene expression, genes, green beans, imbibition, nitrates, nucleases, pH, phosphates, seedlings, single-stranded DNA
The knowledge about the physiological function of plant nucleases is scarce besides that they have been involved in nucleic acid degradation related with programmed cell death processes. Cotyledons provide a suitable system to investigate this process and the changes associated to nutrient mobilization. Nuclease activities have been determined in French bean seedlings. The total nuclease activity in French bean cotyledons is lower than in embryonic axes; however, several nucleases were detected by in-gel nuclease activity assays with extracts from cotyledons of French bean and ssDNA as substrate. The nuclease activities induced during cotyledon senescence showed higher activity at neutral than at acidic pH. Five different nuclease genes belonging to S1/P1 family have been identified in French bean genome database named PVN1 to PVN5. Their relative expression in cotyledons has been determined from the start of imbibition to senescence, and three genes from this family showed expression in cotyledons. PVN1 was expressed during early stages of seedlings development, whereas PVN4 and PVN5 were expressed during cotyledons senescence. The removal of epicotyl in French bean seedlings resulted in a decrease in the activity and in the expression of the genes associated with the cotyledons senescence process, i.e. PVN4 and PVN5. At the same time, the mobilization of reserves in those cotyledons was slowed down. In the same way, the deficit in phosphate and nitrate during seedlings development led to an acceleration of induction of these genes at the same time that reserves were utilized early on the time. Therefore, the induction of PVN4 and PVN5, the two S1 nuclease genes involved in the process of cotyledon senescence, is related to nutrient mobilization, supporting a possible role for nucleic acids in nutrient recycling during cotyledon senescence.