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Improving Freezing Tolerance of ‘Chambourcin’ Grapevines with Exogenous Abscisic Acid

Improving Freezing Tolerance of ‘Chambourcin’ Grapevines with Exogenous Abscisic Acid | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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The purpose of this study was to develop a protocol to increase freezing tolerance of field-grown ‘Chambourcin’ grapevines (Vitis spp.) using exogenous abscisic acid (ABA). The specific objectives were to determine the optimum concentration and timing for ABA foliar application in ‘Chambourcin’ and to evaluate morphological and physiological changes that lead to increased freezing tolerance in response to foliar ABA application. ‘Chambourcin’ grapevines were treated with a foliar ABA application of concentrations of 0, 100, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, and 800 mg·L−1 at 50% fruit set stage to evaluate ABA phytotoxicity under field conditions and identify the optimum concentration. In a subsequent experiment, ‘Chambourcin’ grapevines were treated with 400 and 600 mg·L−1 of ABA at different stages of development corresponding to 50% fruit set, 21 days after 50% fruit set, 50% veraison, 20, 30, 40, and 55 days postveraison. ABA concentrations of 700 and 800 mg·L−1 were phytotoxic and caused significant damage to leaves and flowers. Optimum concentrations of ABA did not affect yield components or basic fruit chemical composition, yet it promoted anthocyanin accumulation at harvest. Furthermore, ABA advanced bud dormancy, decreased bud water content, and eventually increased freezing tolerance under simulated freezing tests. The increased freezing tolerance of ABA-treated vines was confirmed by bud injury assessment after a natural freezing event in Jan. 2011. It was also determined that ABA was most effective when applied with an optimum concentration of 400 mg·L−1 20 to 30 days postveraison. It is concluded that exogenous ABA enhanced dormancy and increased freezing tolerance; thus, it has the potential to protect grape cultivars from freezing injury.

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BIG BROTHER Uncouples Cell Proliferation from Elongation in the Arabidopsis Primary Root | Plant and Cell Physiology | Oxford Academic

BIG BROTHER  Uncouples Cell Proliferation from Elongation in the Arabidopsis Primary Root | Plant and Cell Physiology | Oxford Academic | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Plant organ size is sensitive to environmental conditions, but is also limited by hardwired genetic constraints. In Arabidopsis, a few organ size regulators have been identified. Among them, the BIG BROTHER (BB) gene has a prominent role in the determination of flower organ and leaf size. BB loss-of-function mutations result in a prolonged proliferation phase during leaf(‐like) organ formation, and consequently larger leaves, petals and sepals. Whether BB has a similar role in root growth is unknown. Here we describe a novel bb allele which carries a P235L point mutation in the BB RING finger domain. This allele behaves similarly to described bb loss-of-function alleles and displays increased root meristem size due to a higher number of dividing, meristematic cells. In contrast, mature cell length is unaffected. The increased meristematic activity does not, however, translate into overall enhanced root elongation, possibly because bb mutation also results in an increased number of cell files in the vascular cylinder. These extra formative divisions might offset any growth acceleration by extra meristematic divisions. Thus, although BB dampens root cell proliferation, the consequences on macroscopic root growth are minor. However, bb mutation accelerates overall root growth when introduced into sensitized backgrounds. For example, it partially rescues the short root phenotypes of the brevis radix and octopus mutants, but does not complement their phloem differentiation or transport defects. In summary, we provide evidence that BB acts conceptually similarly in leaf(‐like) organs and the primary root, and uncouples cell proliferation from elongation in the root meristem.
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Plant nitrogen nutrition: sensing and signaling

Plant nitrogen nutrition: sensing and signaling | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
In response to external fluctuations of nitrogen (N) supplies, plants can activate complex regulatory networks for optimizing N uptake and utilization. In this review, we highlight novel N-responsive sensors, transporters, and signaling molecules recently identified in the dicot Arabidopsis and the monocot rice, and discuss their potential roles in N sensing and signaling. Furthermore, over the last couple of years, N sensing has been shown to be affected by multiple external factors, which act as local signals to trigger systemic signaling coordinated by long-distance mobile signals. Understanding of this complex regulatory network provides a foundation for the development of novel strategies to increase the root N acquisition efficiency under varying N conditions for crop production.
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Root Bending Is Antagonistically Affected by Hypoxia and ERF-Mediated Transcription via Auxin Signaling

Root Bending Is Antagonistically Affected by Hypoxia and ERF-Mediated Transcription via Auxin Signaling | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
When plants encounter soil water logging or flooding, roots are the first organs to be confronted with reduced gas diffusion resulting in limited oxygen supply. Since roots do not generate photosynthetic oxygen, they are rapidly faced with oxygen shortage rendering roots particularly prone to damage. While metabolic adaptations to low oxygen conditions, which ensure basic energy supply, have been well characterized, adaptation of root growth and development have received less attention. In this study, we show that hypoxic conditions cause the primary root to grow sidewise in a low oxygen environment, possibly to escape soil patches with reduced oxygen availability. This growth behavior is reversible in that gravitropic growth resumes when seedlings are returned to normoxic conditions. Hypoxic root bending is inhibited by the group VII ethylene response factor (ERFVII) RAP2.12, as rap2.12-1 seedlings show exaggerated primary root bending. Furthermore, overexpression of the ERFVII member HRE2 inhibits root bending, suggesting that primary root growth direction at hypoxic conditions is antagonistically regulated by hypoxia and hypoxia-activated ERFVIIs. Root bending is preceded by the establishment of an auxin gradient across the root tip as quantified with DII-VENUS and is synergistically enhanced by hypoxia and the auxin transport inhibitor naphthylphthalamic acid. The protein abundance of the auxin efflux carrier PIN2 is reduced at hypoxic conditions, a response that is suppressed by RAP2.12 overexpression, suggesting antagonistic control of auxin flux by hypoxia and ERFVII. Taken together, we show that hypoxia triggers an escape response of the primary root that is controlled by ERFVII activity and mediated by auxin signaling in the root tip.

* ### Glossary

IAA
: indole-3-acetic acid
NPA
: naphthylphthalamic acid
RT-PCR
: reverse transcription-PCR
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Crop Breeding Chips and Genotyping Platforms: Progress, Challenges, and Perspectives

Crop Breeding Chips and Genotyping Platforms: Progress, Challenges, and Perspectives | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
There is a rapidly rising trend in the development and application of molecular marker assays for gene mapping and discovery in field crops and trees. Thus far, more than 50 SNP arrays and 15 different types of genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) platforms have been developed in over 25 crop species and perennial trees. However, much less effort has been made on developing ultra-high-throughput and cost-effective genotyping platforms for applied breeding programs. In this review, we discuss the scientific bottlenecks in existing SNP arrays and GBS technologies and the strategies to develop targeted platforms for crop molecular breeding. We propose that future practical breeding platforms should adopt automated genotyping technologies, either array or sequencing based, target functional polymorphisms underpinning economic traits, and provide desirable prediction accuracy for quantitative traits, with universal applications under wide genetic backgrounds in crops. The development of such platforms faces serious challenges at both the technological level due to cost ineffectiveness, and the knowledge level due to large genotype–phenotype gaps in crop plants. It is expected that such genotyping platforms will be achieved in the next ten years in major crops in consideration of (a) rapid development in gene discovery of important traits, (b) deepened understanding of quantitative traits through new analytical models and population designs, (c) integration of multi-layer -omics data leading to identification of genes and pathways responsible for important breeding traits, and (d) improvement in cost effectiveness of large-scale genotyping. Crop breeding chips and genotyping platforms will provide unprecedented opportunities to accelerate the development of cultivars with desired yield potential, quality, and enhanced adaptation to mitigate the effects of climate change.
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Plant Epigenomics

Plant Epigenomics | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Epigenetic modifications contribute to phenotypic variation at multiple levels, from gene regulation, to development, stress response, and population-level phenotypic diversity and evolution. As sessile organisms, plants are particularly dependent on epigenetic mechanisms to express diverse phenotypic responses from the same genome sequence. Technological advances that allow genome-wide analysis of DNA or histone modifications coupled with new opportunities for editing the epigenome have the potential to reveal the functions of epigenetic regulation in plants. Here, Genome Biology highlights advances in our understanding of the functions of epigenetic modifications, and the application of this knowledge.
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New Phytologist - Virtual Issue - Root Traits

New Phytologist - Virtual Issue - Root Traits | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

New Phytologist has long been at the forefront of research on root biology, curating journal articles that have sought to advance our understanding and modeling of plant-mediated belowground processes, in special journal issues, and in sponsoring collaboration and discussion at symposia and workshops. This trend promises to continue for the foreseeable future; for example, the topic of plant roots will be highlighted in the upcoming 2017 Symposium, ‘Trait covariation: structural and functional relationships in plant ecology’. New Phytologist is now playing a prominent role in advancing the theme of root traits; the number of papers identified by a keyword search on ‘root traits’ in the journal has quintupled in the last 15 years. In a recently published Tansley insight, 2017 Tansley Medal winner Etienne Laliberté proposed six research frontiers for advancing belowground trait-based ecology: redefining fine roots, quantifying trait dimensionality, integrating mycorrhizas, broadening the suite of belowground traits, determining trait–environment linkages, and understanding ecosystem-level consequences. Research papers, Reviews, Letters, and Commentaries published in New Phytologist in recent years have all contributed to our understanding of these research frontiers, and we highlight this burgeoning ‘belowground movement’ in this Virtual Issue. Here, we present recent (2014–2017) papers in which root traits were the dominant focus, including papers describing the general concepts of root traits, how root traits can be harnessed by terrestrial biosphere models, and the relationships among root traits and root function, mycorrhizas, and ecosystem properties.

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Nitrogen nutrition in plants: rapid progress and new challenges

Nitrogen nutrition in plants: rapid progress and new challenges | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
As a main feature of plant autotrophy, assimilation of inorganic nitrogen is not only of fundamental scientific interest, but also a crucial factor in crop productivity. In its broad sense – from root uptake of various forms of N in the soil to allocation of N assimilates to different organs – it involves a wide range of physiological processes whose mechanisms are far from being fully understood. The aim of this special issue is to provide a wide overview of recent progress in this field, and to draw an interdisciplinary picture of the prospects for future research.
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Developmental transitions: integrating environmental cues with hormonal signaling in the chromatin landscape in plants

Developmental transitions: integrating environmental cues with hormonal signaling in the chromatin landscape in plants | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Plant development is predominantly postembryonic and tuned in to respond to environmental cues. All living plant cells can be triggered to de-differentiate, assume different cell identities, or form a new organism. This developmental plasticity is thought to be an adaptation to the sessile lifestyle of plants. Recent discoveries have advanced our understanding of the orchestration of plant developmental switches by transcriptional master regulators, chromatin state changes, and hormone response pathways. Here, we review these recent advances with emphasis on the earliest stages of plant development and on the switch from pluripotency to differentiation in different plant organ systems.
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The common transcriptional subnetworks of the grape berry skin in the late stages of ripening

The common transcriptional subnetworks of the grape berry skin in the late stages of ripening | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Wine grapes are important economically in many countries around the world. Defining the optimum time for grape harvest is a major challenge to the grower and winemaker. Berry skins are an important source of flavor, color and other quality traits in the ripening stage. Senescent-like processes such as chloroplast disorganization and cell death characterize the late ripening stage. To better understand the molecular and physiological processes involved in the late stages of berry ripening, RNA-seq analysis of the skins of seven wine grape cultivars (Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon) was performed. RNA-seq analysis identified approximately 2000 common differentially expressed genes for all seven cultivars across four different berry sugar levels (20 to 26 °Brix). Network analyses, both a posteriori (standard) and a priori (gene co-expression network analysis), were used to elucidate transcriptional subnetworks and hub genes associated with traits in the berry skins of the late stages of berry ripening. These independent approaches revealed genes involved in photosynthesis, catabolism, and nucleotide metabolism. The transcript abundance of most photosynthetic genes declined with increasing sugar levels in the berries. The transcript abundance of other processes increased such as nucleic acid metabolism, chromosome organization and lipid catabolism. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) identified 64 gene modules that were organized into 12 subnetworks of three modules or more and six higher order gene subnetworks. Some gene subnetworks were highly correlated with sugar levels and some subnetworks were highly enriched in the chloroplast and nucleus. The petal R package was utilized independently to construct a true small-world and scale-free complex gene co-expression network model. A subnetwork of 216 genes with the highest connectivity was elucidated, consistent with the module results from WGCNA. Hub genes in these subnetworks were identified including numerous members of the core circadian clock, RNA splicing, proteolysis and chromosome organization. An integrated model was constructed linking light sensing with alternative splicing, chromosome remodeling and the circadian clock. A common set of differentially expressed genes and gene subnetworks from seven different cultivars were examined in the skin of the late stages of grapevine berry ripening. A densely connected gene subnetwork was elucidated involving a complex interaction of berry senescent processes (autophagy), catabolism, the circadian clock, RNA splicing, proteolysis and epigenetic regulation. Hypotheses were induced from these data sets involving sugar accumulation, light, autophagy, epigenetic regulation, and fruit development. This work provides a better understanding of berry development and the transcriptional processes involved in the late stages of ripening.
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Frontiers | Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants: Myriad Roles of Ascorbate Peroxidase | Plant Science

Frontiers | Abiotic Stress Tolerance in Plants: Myriad Roles of Ascorbate Peroxidase | Plant Science | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
One of the most significant manifestations of environmental stress in plants is the increased production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These ROS, if allowed to accumulate unchecked, can lead to cellular toxicity. A battery of antioxidant molecules is present in plants for keeping ROS levels under check and to maintain the cellular homeostasis under stress. Ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a key antioxidant enzyme of such scavenging systems. It catalyses the conversion of H2O2 into H2O, employing ascorbate as an electron donor. The expression of APX is differentially regulated in response to environmental stresses and during normal plant growth and development as well. Different isoforms of APX show differential response to environmental stresses, depending upon their sub-cellular localization and the presence of specific regulatory elements in the upstream regions of the respective genes. The present review delineates role of APX isoforms with respect to different types of abiotic stresses and its importance as a key antioxidant enzyme in maintaining cellular homeostasis.
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Improvements in Genomic Technologies: Application to Crop Genomics

Improvements in Genomic Technologies: Application to Crop Genomics | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Second-generation sequencing (SGS) has advanced the study of crop genomes and has provided insights into diversity and evolution. However, repetitive DNA sequences in crops often lead to incomplete or erroneous assemblies because SGS reads are too short to fully resolve these repeats. To overcome some of these challenges, long-read sequencing and optical mapping have been developed to produce high-quality assemblies for complex genomes. Previously, high error rates, low throughput, and high costs have limited the adoption of long-read sequencing and optical mapping. However, with recent improvements and the development of novel algorithms, the application of these technologies is increasing. We review the development of long-read sequencing and optical mapping, and assess their application in crop genomics for breeding improved crops.
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Plant, Cell & Environment - Special Issue on Water Transport 

Plant, Cell & Environment - Special Issue on Water Transport  | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Outstanding articles on water transport and regulation, plus effects on Carbon dioxide, stomatal responses, drought.
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Technology: The Future of Agriculture : Nature 

Technology: The Future of Agriculture : Nature  | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
A technological revolution in farming led by advances in robotics and sensing technologies looks set to disrupt modern practice.
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Novel signals in the regulation of Pi starvation responses in plants: facts and promises 

Novel signals in the regulation of Pi starvation responses in plants: facts and promises  | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Plants have evolved numerous adaptive developmental and metabolic responses to cope with growth in conditions of limited phosphate (Pi). Regulation of these Pi starvation responses (PSR) at the organism level involves not only cellular Pi perception in different organs, but also inter-organ communication of Pi levels via systemic signaling. Here we summarize recent discoveries on Pi starvation sensing and signaling, with special emphasis on structure-function studies that showed a role for inositol polyphosphates (InsP) as intracellular Pi signals, and on genomic studies that identified a large number of mRNAs with inter-organ mobility, which provide an immense source of potential systemic signals in the control of PSR and other responses.
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Frontiers | Strigolactones Biosynthesis and Their Role in Abiotic Stress Resilience in Plants: A Critical Review | Plant Science

Frontiers | Strigolactones Biosynthesis and Their Role in Abiotic Stress Resilience in Plants: A Critical Review | Plant Science | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Strigolactones (SLs) being new class of plant hormones, play regulatory roles against abiotic stresses in plants. There are multiple hormonal response pathways which are adapted by the plants to overcome these stressful environmental constraints to reduce the negative impact on overall crop plant productivity. Genetic modulation of the SLs could also be applied as a potential approach in this regard. However, endogenous plant hormones play central roles in adaptation to changing environmental conditions, by mediating growth, development, nutrient allocation, and source/sink transitions. In addition, the hormonal interactions can fine-tune the plant response and determine plant architecture in response to environmental stimuli such as nutrient deprivation and canopy shade. Considerable advancements and new insights into SLs biosynthesis, signalling and transport has been unleashed since the initial discovery. In this review we present basic overview of SL biosynthesis and perception with a detailed discussion on our present understanding of SLs and their critical role to tolerate environmental constraints. The SLs and ABA interplay during the abiotic stresses is particularly highlighted.
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Multiple Routes of Light Signaling during Root Photomorphogenesis

Multiple Routes of Light Signaling during Root Photomorphogenesis | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Plants dynamically adjust their architecture to optimize growth and performance under fluctuating light environments, a process termed photomorphogenesis. A variety of photomorphogenic responses have been studied extensively in the shoots, where diverse photoreceptors and signaling molecules have been functionally characterized. Notably, accumulating evidence demonstrates that the underground roots also undergo photomorphogenesis, raising the question of how roots perceive and respond to aboveground light. Recent findings indicate that root photomorphogenesis is mediated by multiple signaling routes, including shoot-to-root transmission of mobile signaling molecules, direct sensing of light by the roots, and light channeling through the plant body. In this review we discuss recent advances in how light signals are transmitted to the roots to trigger photomorphogenic responses.
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Root Tip Shape Governs Root Elongation Rate under Increased Soil Strength

Root Tip Shape Governs Root Elongation Rate under Increased Soil Strength | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Increased soil strength due to soil compaction or soil drying is a major limitation to root growth and crop productivity. Roots need to exert higher penetration force, resulting in increased penetration stress when elongating in soils of greater strength. This study aimed to quantify how the genotypic diversity of root tip geometry and root diameter influences root elongation under different levels of soil strength and to determine the extent to which roots adjust to increased soil strength. Fourteen wheat (Triticum aestivum) varieties were grown in soil columns packed to three bulk densities representing low, moderate, and high soil strength. Under moderate and high soil strength, smaller root tip radius-to-length ratio was correlated with higher genotypic root elongation rate, whereas root diameter was not related to genotypic root elongation. Based on cavity expansion theory, it was found that smaller root tip radius-to-length ratio reduced penetration stress, thus enabling higher root elongation rates in soils with greater strength. Furthermore, it was observed that roots could only partially adjust to increased soil strength. Root thickening was bounded by a maximum diameter, and root tips did not become more acute in response to increased soil strength. The obtained results demonstrated that root tip geometry is a pivotal trait governing root penetration stress and root elongation rate in soils of greater strength. Hence, root tip shape needs to be taken into account when selecting for crop varieties that may tolerate high soil strength.
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Leaf Hydraulic Architecture and Stomatal Conductance: A Functional Perspective

Leaf Hydraulic Architecture and Stomatal Conductance: A Functional Perspective | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
The structure of leaf vasculature viewed over a broad phylogenetic scale from lycophytes to eudicots correlates with stomatal conductance, providing the basis for the hypothesis that increasing vein density drove the evolution of high fluxes in angiosperms. Yet, the relationship between vascular
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Life behind the wall: sensing mechanical cues in plants

Life behind the wall: sensing mechanical cues in plants | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
There is increasing evidence that all cells sense mechanical forces in order to perform their functions. In animals, mechanotransduction has been studied during the establishment of cell polarity, fate, and division in single cells, and increasingly is studied in the context of a multicellular tissue. What about plant systems? Our goal in this review is to summarize what is known about the perception of mechanical cues in plants, and to provide a brief comparison with animals.
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Identification of Putative Transmembrane Proteins Involved in Salinity Tolerance in Chenopodium quinoa by Integrating Physiological Data, RNAseq, and SNP Analyses | Plant Science

Identification of Putative Transmembrane Proteins Involved in Salinity Tolerance in Chenopodium quinoa by Integrating Physiological Data, RNAseq, and SNP Analyses | Plant Science | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Chenopodium quinoa (quinoa) is an emerging crop that produces nutritious grains with the potential to contribute to global food security. Quinoa can also grow on marginal lands, such as soils affected by high salinity. To identify candidate salt tolerance genes in the recently sequenced quinoa genome, we used a multifaceted approach integrating RNAseq analyses with comparative genomics and topology prediction. We identified 219 candidate genes by selecting those that were differentially expressed in response to salinity, were specific to or overrepresented in quinoa relative to other Amaranthaceae species, and had more than one predicted transmembrane domain. To determine whether these genes might underlie variation in salinity tolerance in quinoa and its close relatives, we compared the response to salinity stress in a panel of 21 Chenopodium accessions (14 C. quinoa, 5 C. berlandieri and 2 C. hircinum). We found large variation in salinity tolerance, with one C. hircinum displaying the highest salinity tolerance. Using genome re-sequencing data from these accessions, we investigated single nucleotide polymorphisms and copy number variation in the 219 candidate genes in accessions of contrasting salinity tolerance, and identified 15 genes that could contribute to the differences in salinity tolerance of these Chenopodium accessions.
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Polymorphisms and minihaplotypes in the VvNAC26 gene associate with berry size variation in grapevine

Polymorphisms and minihaplotypes in the VvNAC26 gene associate with berry size variation in grapevine | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Domestication and selection of Vitis vinifera L. for table and wine grapes has led to a large level of berry size diversity in current grapevine cultivars. Identifying the genetic basis for this natural variation is paramount both for breeding programs and for elucidating which genes contributed to crop evolution during domestication and selection processes. The gene VvNAC26, which encodes a NAC domain-containing transcription factor, has been related to the early development of grapevine flowers and berries. It was selected as candidate gene for an association study to elucidate its possible participation in the natural variation of reproductive traits in cultivated grapevine.

Methods
A grapevine collection of 114 varieties was characterized during three consecutive seasons for different berry and bunch traits. The promoter and coding regions of VvNAC26 gene (VIT_01s0026g02710) were sequenced in all the varieties of the collection, and the existing polymorphisms (SNP and INDEL) were detected. The corresponding haplotypes were inferred and used for a phylogenetic analysis. The possible associations between genotypic and phenotypic data were analyzed independently for each season data, using different models and significance thresholds.

Results
A total of 30 non-rare polymorphisms were detected in the VvNAC26 sequence, and 26 different haplotypes were inferred. Phylogenetic analysis revealed their clustering in two major haplogroups with marked phenotypic differences in berry size between varieties harboring haplogroup-specific alleles. After correcting the statistical models for the effect of the population genetic stratification, we found a set of polymorphisms associated with berry size explaining between 8.4 and 21.7 % (R2) of trait variance, including those generating the differentiation between both haplogroups. Haplotypes built from only three polymorphisms (minihaplotypes) were also associated with this trait (R2: 17.5 – 26.6 %), supporting the involvement of this gene in the natural variation for berry size.

Conclusions
Our results suggest the participation of VvNAC26 in the determination of the grape berry final size. Different VvNAC26 polymorphisms and their combination showed to be associated with different features of the fruit. The phylogenetic relationships between the VvNAC26 haplotypes and the association results indicate that this nucleotide variation may have contributed to the differentiation between table and wine grapes.
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Introduction to a Virtual Issue on root traits

Introduction to a Virtual Issue on root traits | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

Plant traits – ‘morphological, anatomical, physiological, biochemical and phenological characteristics of plants and their organs’ (Kattge et al., 2011) – are increasingly being harnessed by empiricists and modelers as a framework to understand patterns in the structure and function of species across the globe. Trait-based ecology, which emphasizes functional traits over the taxonomical relationships among organisms (Laliberté, 2017), promises to improve generality, synthesis, and predictive ability across ecological scales (Shipley et al., 2016).

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State of the World's Plants | Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

State of the World's Plants | Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Annual cutting-edge horizon scan of global plant status. Produced by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew - Science.

Via Loïc Lepiniec
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The Tea Tree Genome Provides Insights into Tea Flavor and Independent Evolution of Caffeine Biosynthesis

The Tea Tree Genome Provides Insights into Tea Flavor and Independent Evolution of Caffeine Biosynthesis | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Tea is the world's oldest and most popular caffeine-containing beverage with immense economic, medicinal, and cultural importance. Here, we present the first high-quality nucleotide sequence of the repeat-rich (80.9%), 3.02-Gb genome of the cultivated tea tree Camellia sinensis. We show that an extraordinarily large genome size of tea tree is resulted from the slow, steady, and long-term amplification of a few LTR retrotransposon families. In addition to a recent whole-genome duplication event, lineage-specific expansions of genes associated with flavonoid metabolic biosynthesis were discovered, which enhance catechin production, terpene enzyme activation, and stress tolerance, important features for tea flavor and adaptation. We demonstrate an independent and rapid evolution of the tea caffeine synthesis pathway relative to cacao and coffee. A comparative study among 25 Camellia species revealed that higher expression levels of most flavonoid- and caffeine- but not theanine-related genes contribute to the increased production of catechins and caffeine and thus enhance tea-processing suitability and tea quality. These novel findings pave the way for further metabolomic and functional genomic refinement of characteristic biosynthesis pathways and will help develop a more diversified set of tea flavors that would eventually satisfy and attract more tea drinkers worldwide.
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Nutrition: A world of insecurity: Nature Research

Nutrition: A world of insecurity: Nature Research | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Malnutrition is a global problem. With population and consumption set to rise over the coming decades, achieving food security will require action on many fronts.
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