Laboratory of Molecular Bases of Plant Stress Resistance

Department of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

Head: Michael Talansky, D.Sc, professor
Michael.Taliansky@mail.ru

Molecular and applied biology of plant viruses, bacterial diseases of plants, mechanisms of plant resistance to stresses, functions of the cell nucleus and subnuclear structures, genomic technologies of potatoes

Molecular and applied biology of plant viruses, bacterial diseases of plants, mechanisms of plant resistance to stresses, functions of the cell nucleus and subnuclear structures, genomic technologies of potatoes.

The Laboratory of Molecular Bases of Plant Stress Resistance was established as a part of the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS branch in Pushchino in 2017. The organization and financing of the Laboratory is carried out at the expense of the mega-grant of the Russian Federation Government No. 14.W03.31.0003 on the topic "New functions of the cell nucleus and complex resistance of potato plants to diseases and physiological stresses" within the framework of the state support of scientific research program conducted under the guidance of leading scientists in Russian Educational organizations of higher education, scientific institutions subordinate to the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations, and state scientific centers of the Russian Federation.

The activity of the laboratory is aimed at obtaining comprehensive knowledge of the complex stresses in plants mechanisms, developing new approaches and identifying key target genes necessary to protect plants from the impact of various stresses on the growth, development and productivity of plants. The main scientific interests of the Laboratory are focused on the study of new functions and processes that provide plant protective responses and localized in the nucleus of the plant cell. The nucleus is supposedly the central element in coordinating responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. At the moment, the combined effects of viral (potato virus Y, PVY and bacterial (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp., Cmm / Cms) pathogens and heat stress on potato plants are being studied. This can contribute to the creation of new potato varieties adapted to climate change and its consequences.

 

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Experiment on identification of potato varieties resistant to multiple (biotic / abiotic) stress. Phytotron in the branch of IBCH (Pushchino).

The work of the Laboratory is conducted in close cooperation with companies located in the Industrial Park “Rogachevo” (Doka-Gene Technologies Ltd and and PhytoEngineering Ltd), the leading Russian companies in the field of potato breeding and genetics. They will help developing and applying new approaches to obtaining healthy seed potatoes (in the short term) and the development of potato breeding programs (in the longer term). Such interaction will create on the basis of the results obtained in the Laboratory a number of new and innovative approaches and technologies that will be introduced into the real sector of the Russian agro-industrial complex.

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Symptoms of viral infection on potatoes.

• Identification of potato genotypes contrasting on the basis of resistance / susceptibility to combined biotic and abiotic stress, in particular, to co-infection with viruses and bacteria under conditions of heat stress.

• Characterisation of phenotypic, physiological and molecular responses of contrasting potatoe genotypes to individual and combined stresses.

• Identification of key nuclear proteins that determine the potato plants' resistance / tolerance to multiple stresses.

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Localization of viral protein in the nucleolus.

  • Proof of the functions of key nuclear proteins responsible for resistance / tolerance to multiple stresses by overexpressing / knocking down genes encoding these proteins in transgenic plants and / or by genome editing methods.
  • Investigation of molecular mechanisms providing functions of nuclear proteins in response to individual / multiple stresses, and their interaction with mechanisms for regulating the growth and development of potato plants.
  • Development of integrated potato protection strategies for breeding programs and production of healthy seed potatoes.
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Scientific team.

 

Selected publications (show all)

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Michael Talansky

Branch office

Novel plant antiviral mechanism involves interaction of subnuclear structures and a viral protein. (2018-11-30)

The nucleolus and Cajal bodies (CBs) are sub-nuclear domains with well-known roles in RNA metabolism and RNA-protein assembly. However, they also participate in other important aspects of cell functioning. In collaboration with the James Hutton Institute we have described a previously unrecognised mechanism by which these bodies and their components regulate host defence against pathogen attack. It has been shown that the major proteins of CBs (coilin) and the nucleolus (fibrillarin) interact with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and modify its function, and that this interaction is modulated by the tobacco rattle virus 16K protein.

Our results reveal that PARP a nuclear protein, modifies the function and subcellular localisation of a variety of nuclear “target” proteins (acceptors) by attaching chains of ADP ribose (PAR) to them. To re-activate these target proteins PARP shuttles them from both the nucleolus (NO) and chromatin to CBs for PAR removal and recycling (Fig 1a). In response to TRV infection plants initiate defence responses as evidenced by the over-accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and some increase in levels of pathogenesis-related (PR) PR-1a transcripts and callose deposits (markers of antivirus defence response). Upon TRV infection, the 16K protein is produced in the cytoplasm and is targeted to the nucleus (Fig 1b). In the nucleus (CBs and nucleoplasm) the 16K protein interacts with coilin and re-localizes it to the nucleolus, which in turn traps PARP within this sub-nuclear domain, preventing its trafficking from the nucleolus for PAR cleavage and recycling. This leads to over-accumulation of PAR/PARylated proteins and significant enhancement of the defence responses (such as PR-1a gene expression and callose deposition). Callose deposition presumably directly restricts TRV spread to newly emerging leaves (Fig. 1c).

Mega-grant from the Government of the Russian Federation (2017-11-28)

The Laboratory of Molecular Bases of Plant Stress Resistance was established in 2017 when Professor M. Taliansky was awarded a mega-grant from the Russian government on the topic "New functions of the cell nucleus and complex resistance of potato plants to diseases and physiological stresses". The activity of the laboratory is aimed at obtaining comprehensive knowledge of the complex stresses in plants mechanisms and identifying key target genes necessary to protect plants from the impact of various stresses on the growth, development and productivity of plants.