Submitted to: Cell Stress and Chaperones
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/26/2001
Publication Date: 7/1/2001
Citation: NOVER, L., MIERNYK, J.A. A GENOMICS APPROACH TO THE CHAPERONE NETWORK OF ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA. CELL STRESS AND CHAPERONES. 2001. V. 6(3). P. 175-176. Interpretive Summary: The ability of a plant to respond to environmental stress is a major factor in agricultural productivity. Plants can neither move nor adjust their internal temperature. Instead, when subjected to abrupt changes in temperature, plants respond by switching off normal housekeeping activities and switching on elements of the stress response network. The complete sequence of the genome of the model plant Thale Cress was recently completed by the Genome Initiative Project. This is the first complete genome sequence for any plant. Analysis of this information allowed identification of genes that make up many aspects of the stress response. A model based upon analysis of this simple plant can be used as the basis for understanding the stress response in more complex and agriculturally important plants. This information will be important to researchers in their attempts to alter the ability of plants to respond to environmental stress, and to other plant scientists who will try to design more efficien crop plants through either classical breeding or biotechnology.
Technical Abstract: Due to the relatively small size of the nuclear genome (125 Mb), the availability of many well-defined mutants, and the ease of experimental manipulation, Thale Cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) has become an important model plant for use in physiological and biochemical studies. The availability of the complete genome sequence allows definition of the components of the stress response network. Heat shock, exposure to toxins and heavy metals, and predation lead to induction of stress proteins and molecular chaperones, including the heat shock transcription factors (HSF), molecular chaperones (Hsp100, Hsp90, Hsp70, Hsp60, the low molecular weight Hsp, and J-domain proteins), and regulatory factors such as HiP and HoP. The full complement of genes encoding these participants in the stress response is greater than previously observed with simpler eukaryotic systems (yeast, fruit flies, nematodes). This increased complexity is in part due to the autotrophic nature of plants. Description of the complete stress response network will provide a unified and genetically-based nomenclature, and will serve as a bridge from theoretical (sequence based) to functional genomics.