Unique photosystem from bacterium of dessert lakes
Not only plants but bacteria also are able to harvest and save Sun energy (photosynthesis). Such an ability posses also bacterium Gemmatimonas phototropica living in freshwater lakes in the desert Gobi. We discovered that light harvesting molecules are organized in 2 concentric rings around the reaction center, where the Sun energy is further processed. This unique organization captures Sun energy very efficiently, and it has not yet been found in any other organism.
- Dachev, M., Bína, D., Sobotka, R., Moravcová, L., Gardian, Z., Kaftan, D., Šlouf, V., Fuciman, M., Polívka, T. and Koblížek, M. (2017) Unique double concentric ring organization of light harvesting complexes in Gemmatimonas phototrophica. PLoS Biol. 15 (12) : 1-16 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2003943 [IF = 9.797]
How to read problematic DNA sequences correctly
Modern scientific methods can “read” almost complete genetic information of an organism at once. At first, they acquire up to several millions short pieces of DNA, which are then assembled in the right order by a computer. However, it was not possible up to now to determine exact count and the length of repeating regions. We have developed TAREAN program, which not only allows such a characterization of repetitive sequences, but it can also find those of them, which have been overlooked so far.
- Novák P., Avila Robledillo L., Koblížková A., Vrbová I., Neumann P., Macas J. (2017) TAREAN: a computational tool for identification and characterization of satellite DNA from unassembled short reads. Nucleic Acids Research. DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkx257 [IF = 9.202]
Plants accumulating heavy metals from soil – function and regulation of molecular pumps
Hyperaccumulator plants actively take up metals from the soil and store them in the above ground parts. For this, they utilize a branch of molecular pumps that is called P1B-ATPases. These pumps are common not only in plants, but also in animals incl. humans, and their malfunction results in several lethal diseases. Our research contributed to the knowledge how these pumps are working and regulated in response to different metal concentrations in plant species that hyperaccumulate metals in either the skin ("epidermis") or the light harvesting tissue ("mesophyll") of their leaves. These results can not only help to improve plants suitable for cleaning of contaminated soils, but it maybe also suggest possible ways to improve agricultural crops or treat some human diseases.
Mishra S., Mishra A., Küpper H. (2017) Protein Biochemistry and Expression Regulation of Cadmium/Zinc Pumping ATPases in the Hyperaccumulator Plants Arabidopsis halleri and Noccaea caerulescens Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 835. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2017.00835 [IF=4.298]
Novel virus at the edge of myco- and plant viruses
We discovered a novel virus belonging to the special group of viruses which do not posses capsid (proteinous envelope). This feature is so unusual within viruses that this group is called "naked viruses". However, newly discovered virus resembles also one group of plant viruses, which are already equipped with capsid. Novel virus is thus very probably crucial evolutionary link between plant and fungal (naked) viruses.
- Hrabáková L., Koloniuk I., Petrzik K. (2017) Phomopsis longicolla RNA virus 1 - Novel virus at the edge of myco- and plant viruses Virology 506: 14-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.virol.2017.03.003 [IF=3.353]
The effect of multiple viroid infections on plant health and physiology
Viroids are short, circle molecules of RNA, which infect plants. Even that they do not code for any proteins, they are able to manipulate with plant physiology and to cause severe diseases of important crops. We investigated, how viroids interact during various multiple artificially infections of plants, and which plant genes are activated or suppressed by such infections. The results uncover mechanism of viroid actions and can lead to defense against viroid diseases in the future.
- Matoušek J., Siglová K., Jakše J., Radišek S., Tsushima T., Brass Joseph R., Guček T., Duraisamy G., Sano T., Steger G. (2017) Propagation and some physiological effects of Citrus bark cracking viroid and Apple fruit crinkle viroid in multiple infected hop (Humulus lupulus L.) Journal of Plant Physiology 213: 166–177. DOI: 10.1016/j.jplph.2017.02.014. [IF = 3.121]