Christian Prasch

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C2 Functional analysis of the interaction between host chaperones and viral transport proteins

Principal investigator
Uwe Sonnewald

Mentor
Benedikt Kost

PhD exam: 16.01.2015

Plant responses to biotic and abiotic stress factors

Results of independently calculated climate models predict increased incidences of combined drought and heat stress which will considerably influence plant-pathogen interactions. To shed some light on molecular plant responses to multiple stress factors, a multi-factorial test system was developed, allowing simultaneous application of heat, drought and virus stress. Comparative transcriptome and metabolome analysis of single, double and triple stress responses revealed that gene expression under multi-factorial stress is not predictable from single stress treatments. Hierarchical cluster and principal component analysis identified heat as the major stress factor clearly separating heat-stressed from non-heat stressed plants. We identified 11 genes differentially regulated in all stress combinations as well as 23 genes specifically-regulated under triple stress. Interestingly, ecotypes showing a close correlation to stressed Col-0 prior stress treatment showed improved growth under stress conditions. This result suggests a functional relevance of these genes in stress tolerance. Furthermore, we showed that virus treated plants displayed enhanced expression of defense genes, which was abolished in plants additionally subjected to heat and drought stress. Triple stress also reduced expression of genes involved in the R-mediated disease response and increased the cytoplasmic protein response which was not seen under single stress conditions. Further work is concentrating on the analysis of transgenic plants and further verifications of identified processes.

Figure: Perturbation of signaling gene networks by combined stress treatments
Plants continuously monitor environmental signals to allow adaptations to changing environments. Transcriptional data of genes associated with signaling were compared between differentially treated plants, either single strerss (heat – drought –virus) or combined stress situations. Coexpression analysis of signaling genes showed that different networks are active under different stress conditions: between heat and virus networks, 12 genes overlap; however, triple stress remodels the inner network in a way that only one of the virus and only 12 of the heat network members are represented.

 

Publications

Prasch, C.M. and Sonnewald, U. (2013). In silico selection of Arabidopsis thaliana ecotypes with enhanced stress tolerance. Plant Signaling & Behavior, 8:e26364.

Prasch, C. M. and Sonnewald, U. (2013). Simultaneous Application of Heat, Drought, and Virus to Arabidopsis Plants Reveals Significant Shifts in Signaling Networks. Plant Physiol., Vol. 162, pp. 1849–1866.

Prasch, Christian (2011). Nutzen, Neugier, Natur. Die Grüne Gentechnik als Beitrag für die Zukunft der Landwirtschaft. In: Schleissing, Stephan; Grimm, Herwig (Hrsg.): Grüne Gentechnik. Zwischen Forschungsfreiheit und Anwendungsrisiko. Baden-Baden: Nomos. S 349-365.

 

Presentations

December 2013 The Indonesian Institute of Science, Bogor, Indonesia
Molecular effects of simultaneously applied heat, drought and virus to Arabidopsis thaliana and detailed analysis of salt-tolerant rice plants
Talk
     
October 2013 5th Project Meeting ForPlanta, Würzburg, Germany
Simultaneous application of heat, drought and virus to Arabidopsis thaliana plants reveals significant shifts in signaling networks
Talk
     
October 2012 4th Project Meeting ForPlanta, Munich, Germany
Molecular responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to combined biotic and abiotic stress
Talk
     
July 2012 Emerging Fields Lectures - Spritzenprojekte der FAU stellen sich vor, Erlangen, Germany
Maßgeschneiderte Zellen - Naturwissenschaftliche und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Perspektiven der synthetischen Biologie
Talk
     
May 2012 EUCARPIA 19th General Conference: Plant Breeding for Future Generations, Budapest, Hungary
3D Phenotyping of Arabidopsis Plants at High Throughput
Poster
     
March 2012 25. Tagung Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen, Dabringhausen, Germany
Molecular responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to combined biotic and abiotic stress
Poster
     
February 2012 Mid-term review ForPlanta, Bavarian Ministry of State for Science, Research and Art, Munich, Germany
Molecular responses of Arabidopsis thaliana to combined biotic and abiotic stress
Talk
     
November 2011 3rd Project Meeting ForPlanta, Erlangen, Germany
Climate changes affect plants - Influence of drought, heat and virus
Talk
     
March 2011 2nd Project Meeting ForPlanta, Munich, Germany
Climate changes affect plants - Influence of drought, heat and virus
Talk
     
February 2011 "Grüne Gentechnik: Zwischen Forschungsfreiheit und Anwendungsrisiko", Gut Schönwag, Weilheim
Grüne Gentechnik als Beitrag für die Zukunft der Landwirtschaft
Talk
     
November 2010 1st Project Meeting ForPlanta, Munich, Germany
Climate changes affect plants - Influence of drought, heat and pathogens
Talk
     

 

Awards

Germany- Land of Ideas (2011)

 

Specials

Television appearance at BR-alpha (alpha-Campus lectures):
http://www.br.de/mediathek/video/sendungen/alpha-campus/massgeschneiderte-zellen-104.html