Convergence of sphingolipid desaturation across over 500 million years of plant evolution.

Affiliation

Resemann HC(1), Herrfurth C(1)(2), Feussner K(1)(2), Hornung E(1), Ostendorf AK(3), Gömann J(1), Mittag J(4), van Gessel N(3), Vries J(5)(6)(7), Ludwig-Müller J(4), Markham J(8), Reski R(9)(10), Feussner I(11)(12)(13).
Author information:
(1)Plant Biochemistry, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
(2)Goettingen Metabolomics and Lipidomics Laboratory, Goettingen Center for Molecular Biosciences
(GZMB), University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
(3)Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.
(4)Institute of Botany, Technical University Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
(5)Applied Bioinformatics, Institute for Microbiology and Genetics, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
(6)Applied Bioinformatics, Goettingen Center for Molecular Biosciences
(GZMB), University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
(7)Campus Institute Data Science
(CIDAS), University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany.
(8)Center for Plant Science Innovation and Department of Biochemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA.
(9)Plant Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. [Email]
(10)Signalling Research Centers BIOSS and CIBSS, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. [Email]
(11)Plant Biochemistry, Albrecht-von-Haller-Institute for Plant Sciences, University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany. [Email]
(12)Goettingen Metabolomics and Lipidomics Laboratory, Goettingen Center for Molecular Biosciences
(GZMB), University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany. [Email]
(13)Plant Biochemistry, Goettingen Center for Molecular Biosciences
(GZMB), University of Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany. [Email]

Abstract

For plants, acclimation to low temperatures is fundamental to survival. This process involves the modification of lipids to maintain membrane fluidity. We previously identified a new cold-induced putative desaturase in Physcomitrium (Physcomitrella) patens. Lipid profiles of null mutants of this gene lack sphingolipids containing monounsaturated C24 fatty acids, classifying the new protein as sphingolipid fatty acid denaturase (PpSFD). PpSFD mutants showed a cold-sensitive phenotype as well as higher susceptibility to the oomycete Pythium, assigning functions in stress tolerance for PpSFD. Ectopic expression of PpSFD in the Atads2.1 (acyl coenzyme A desaturase-like 2) Arabidopsis thaliana mutant functionally complemented its cold-sensitive phenotype. While these two enzymes catalyse a similar reaction, their evolutionary origin is clearly different since AtADS2 is a methyl-end desaturase whereas PpSFD is a cytochrome b5 fusion desaturase. Altogether, we suggest that adjustment of membrane fluidity evolved independently in mosses and seed plants, which diverged more than 500 million years ago.