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Covering Your Bases: Inheritance of DNA Methylation in Plant Genomes

Covering Your Bases: Inheritance of DNA Methylation in Plant Genomes | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Cytosine methylation is an important base modification that is inherited across mitotic and meiotic cell divisions in plant genomes. Heritable methylation variants can contribute to within-species phenotypic variation. Few methylation variants were known until recently, making it possible to begin to address major unanswered questions: the extent of natural methylation variation within plant genomes, its effects on phenotypic variation, its degree of dependence on genotype, and how it fits into an evolutionary context. Techniques like whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) make it possible to determine cytosine methylation states at single-base resolution across entire genomes and populations. Application of this method to natural and novel experimental populations is revealing answers to these long-standing questions about the role of DNA methylation in plant genomes.

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Mobile small RNAs regulate genome-wide DNA methylation

Mobile small RNAs regulate genome-wide DNA methylation | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Small RNAs (sRNAs) of 24 nt are associated with transcriptional gene silencing by targeting DNA methylation to complementary sequences. We demonstrated previously that sRNAs move from shoot to root, where they regulate DNA methylation of three endogenous transposable elements (TEs). However, the full extent of root DNA methylation dependent on mobile sRNAs was unknown. We demonstrate that DNA methylation at thousands of sites depends upon mobile sRNAs. These sites are associated with TE superfamilies found in gene-rich regions of the genome, which lose methylation selectively in an sRNA-deficient mutant. If the TEs were able to reactivate, they could cause genome instability and altered gene expression patterns, with negative effects on the plant. Consequently, mobile sRNAs may defend against these TEs.

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Historical nectar assessment reveals the fall and rise of floral resources in Britain : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

Historical nectar assessment reveals the fall and rise of floral resources in Britain : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
There is considerable concern over declines in insect pollinator communities and potential impacts on the pollination of crops and wildflowers. Among the multiple pressures facing pollinators, decreasing floral resources due to habitat loss and degradation has been suggested as a key contributing factor. However, a lack of quantitative data has hampered testing for historical changes in floral resources. Here we show that overall floral rewards can be estimated at a national scale by combining vegetation surveys and direct nectar measurements. We find evidence for substantial losses in nectar resources in England and Wales between the 1930s and 1970s; however, total nectar provision in Great Britain as a whole had stabilized by 1978, and increased from 1998 to 2007. These findings concur with trends in pollinator diversity, which declined in the mid-twentieth century but stabilized more recently. The diversity of nectar sources declined from 1978 to 1990 and thereafter in some habitats, with four plant species accounting for over 50% of national nectar provision in 2007. Calcareous grassland, broadleaved woodland and neutral grassland are the habitats that produce the greatest amount of nectar per unit area from the most diverse sources, whereas arable land is the poorest with respect to amount of nectar per unit area and diversity of nectar sources. Although agri-environment schemes add resources to arable landscapes, their national contribution is low. Owing to their large area, improved grasslands could add substantially to national nectar provision if they were managed to increase floral resource provision. This national-scale assessment of floral resource provision affords new insights into the links between plant and pollinator declines, and offers considerable opportunities for conservation.

Via Saclay Plant Sciences
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The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea : Nature

The genome of the seagrass Zostera marina reveals angiosperm adaptation to the sea : Nature | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Seagrasses colonized the sea1 on at least three independent occasions to form the basis of one of the most productive and widespread coastal ecosystems on the planet2. Here we report the genome of Zostera marina (L.), the first, to our knowledge, marine angiosperm to be fully sequenced. This reveals unique insights into the genomic losses and gains involved in achieving the structural and physiological adaptations required for its marine lifestyle, arguably the most severe habitat shift ever accomplished by flowering plants. Key angiosperm innovations that were lost include the entire repertoire of stomatal genes3, genes involved in the synthesis of terpenoids and ethylene signalling, and genes for ultraviolet protection and phytochromes for far-red sensing. Seagrasses have also regained functions enabling them to adjust to full salinity. Their cell walls contain all of the polysaccharides typical of land plants, but also contain polyanionic, low-methylated pectins and sulfated galactans, a feature shared with the cell walls of all macroalgae4 and that is important for ion homoeostasis, nutrient uptake and O2/CO2 exchange through leaf epidermal cells. The Z. marina genome resource will markedly advance a wide range of functional ecological studies from adaptation of marine ecosystems under climate warming5, 6, to unravelling the mechanisms of osmoregulation under high salinities that may further inform our understanding of the evolution of salt tolerance in crop plants7.

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ABA Is Required for Plant Acclimation to a Combination of Salt and Heat Stress

ABA Is Required for Plant Acclimation to a Combination of Salt and Heat Stress | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Abiotic stresses such as drought, heat or salinity are a major cause of yield loss worldwide. Recent studies revealed that the acclimation of plants to a combination of different environmental stresses is unique and cannot be directly deduced from studying the response of plants to each of the different stresses applied individually. Here we report on the response of Arabidopsis thaliana to a combination of salt and heat stress using transcriptome analysis, physiological measurements and mutants deficient in abscisic acid, salicylic acid, jasmonic acid or ethylene signaling. Arabidopsis plants were found to be more susceptible to a combination of salt and heat stress compared to each of the different stresses applied individually. The stress combination resulted in a higher ratio of Na+/K+ in leaves and caused the enhanced expression of 699 transcripts unique to the stress combination. Interestingly, many of the transcripts that specifically accumulated in plants in response to the salt and heat stress combination were associated with the plant hormone abscisic acid. In accordance with this finding, mutants deficient in abscisic acid metabolism and signaling were found to be more susceptible to a combination of salt and heat stress than wild type plants. Our study highlights the important role abscisic acid plays in the acclimation of plants to a combination of two different abiotic stresses.

 
 
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Characterization of major ripening events during softening in grape: turgor, sugar accumulation, abscisic acid metabolism, colour development, and their relationship with growth

Characterization of major ripening events during softening in grape: turgor, sugar accumulation, abscisic acid metabolism, colour development, and their relationship with growth | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Along with sugar accumulation and colour development, softening is an important physiological change during the onset of ripening in fruits. In this work, we investigated the relationships among major events during softening in grape (Vitis vinifera L.) by quantifying elasticity in individual berries. In addition, we delayed softening and inhibited sugar accumulation using a mechanical growth-preventing treatment in order to identify processes that are sugar and/or growth dependent. Ripening processes commenced on various days after anthesis, but always at similarly low elasticity and turgor. Much of the softening occurred in the absence of other changes in berry physiology investigated here. Several genes encoding key cell wall-modifying enzymes were not up-regulated until softening was largely completed, suggesting softening may result primarily from decreases in turgor. Similarly, there was no decrease in solute potential, increase in sugar concentration, or colour development until elasticity and turgor were near minimum values, and these processes were inhibited when berry growth was prevented. Increases in abscisic acid occurred early during softening and in the absence of significant expression of the V. vinifera 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenases. However, these increases were coincident with decreases in the abscisic acid catabolite diphasic acid, indicating that initial increases in abscisic acid may result from decreases in catabolism and/or exogenous import. These data suggest that softening, decreases in turgor, and increases in abscisic acid represent some of the earliest events during the onset of ripening. Later, physical growth, further increases in abscisic acid, and the accumulation of sugar are integral for colour development.

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Frontiers | Horizontal Transfer of Small RNAs to and from Plants | Plant Physiology

Frontiers | Horizontal Transfer of Small RNAs to and from Plants | Plant Physiology | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Genetic information is traditionally thought to be transferred from parents to offspring. However, there is evidence indicating that gene transfer can also occur from microbes to higher species, such as plants, invertebrates, and vertebrates. This horizontal transfer can be carried out by small RNAs (sRNAs). sRNAs have been recently reported to move across kingdoms as mobile signals, spreading silencing information toward targeted genes. sRNAs, especially microRNAs (miRNAs) and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), are non-coding molecules that control gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional level. Some sRNAs act in a cross-kingdom manner between animals and their parasites, but little is known about such sRNAs associated with plants. In this report, we provide a brief introduction to miRNAs that are transferred from plants to mammals/viruses and siRNAs that are transferred from microbes to plants. Both miRNAs and siRNAs can exert corresponding functions in the target organisms. Additionally, we provide information concerning a host-induced gene silencing system as a potential application that utilizes the transgenic trafficking of RNA molecules to silence the genes of interacting organisms. Moreover, we lay out the controversial views regarding cross-kingdom miRNAs and call for better methodology and experimental design to confirm this unique function of miRNAs.

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Transcriptome analyses reveal genotype- and developmental stage-specific molecular responses to drought and salinity stresses in chickpea

Transcriptome analyses reveal genotype- and developmental stage-specific molecular responses to drought and salinity stresses in chickpea | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Drought and salinity are the major factors that limit chickpea production worldwide.
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Drought and salinity are the major factors that limit chickpea production worldwide. We performed whole transcriptome analyses of chickpea genotypes to investigate the molecular basis of drought and salinity stress response/adaptation. Phenotypic analyses confirmed the contrasting responses of the chickpea genotypes to drought or salinity stress. RNA-seq of the roots of drought and salinity related genotypes was carried out under control and stress conditions at vegetative and/or reproductive stages. Comparative analysis of the transcriptomes revealed divergent gene expression in the chickpea genotypes at different developmental stages. We identified a total of 4954 and 5545 genes exclusively regulated in drought-tolerant and salinity-tolerant genotypes, respectively. A significant fraction (~47%) of the transcription factor encoding genes showed differential expression under stress. The key enzymes involved in metabolic pathways, such as carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis, lipid metabolism, generation of precursor metabolites/energy, protein modification, redox homeostasis and cell wall component biogenesis, were affected by drought and/or salinity stresses. Interestingly, transcript isoforms showed expression specificity across the chickpea genotypes and/or developmental stages as illustrated by the AP2-EREBP family members. Our findings provide insights into the transcriptome dynamics and components of regulatory network associated with drought and salinity stress responses in chickpea.

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50 years of Arabidopsis research: highlights and future directions - Provart - 2015 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library

50 years of Arabidopsis research: highlights and future directions - Provart - 2015 - New Phytologist - Wiley Online Library | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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The year 2014 marked the 25th International Conference on Arabidopsis Research. In the 50 yr since the first International Conference on Arabidopsis Research, held in 1965 in Göttingen, Germany, > 54 000 papers that mention Arabidopsis thaliana in the title, abstract or keywords have been published. We present herein a citational network analysis of these papers, and touch on some of the important discoveries in plant biology that have been made in this powerful model system, and highlight how these discoveries have then had an impact in crop species. We also look to the future, highlighting some outstanding questions that can be readily addressed in Arabidopsis. Topics that are discussed include Arabidopsis reverse genetic resources, stock centers, databases and online tools, cell biology, development, hormones, plant immunity, signaling in response to abiotic stress, transporters, biosynthesis of cells walls and macromolecules such as starch and lipids, epigenetics and epigenomics, genome-wide association studies and natural variation, gene regulatory networks, modeling and systems biology, and synthetic biology.

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The Amaranth Genome: Genome, Transcriptome, and Physical Map Assembly

The Amaranth Genome: Genome, Transcriptome, and Physical Map Assembly | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus L.) is an emerging pseudocereal native to the New World that has garnered increased attention in recent years because of its nutritional quality, in particular its seed protein and more specifically its high levels of the essential amino acid lysine. It belongs to the Amaranthaceae family, is an ancient paleopolyploid that shows disomic inheritance (2n = 32), and has an estimated genome size of 466 Mb. Here we present a high-quality draft genome sequence of the grain amaranth. The genome assembly consisted of 377 Mb in 3518 scaffolds with an N50 of 371 kb. Repetitive element analysis predicted that 48% of the genome is comprised of repeat sequences, of which Copia-like elements were the most commonly classified retrotransposon. A de novo transcriptome consisting of 66,370 contigs was assembled from eight different amaranth tissue and abiotic stress libraries. Annotation of the genome identified 23,059 protein-coding genes. Seven grain amaranths (A. hypochondriacus, A. caudatus, and A. cruentus) and their putative progenitor (A. hybridus) were resequenced. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) phylogeny supported the classification of A. hybridus as the progenitor species of the grain amaranths. Lastly, we generated a de novo physical map for A. hypochondriacus using the BioNano Genomics’ Genome Mapping platform. The physical map spanned 340 Mb and a hybrid assembly using the BioNano physical maps nearly doubled the N50 of the assembly to 697 kb. Moreover, we analyzed synteny between amaranth and sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) and estimated, using Ks analysis, the age of the most recent polyploidization event in amaranth.

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The impact of abiotic factors on cellulose synthesis

The impact of abiotic factors on cellulose synthesis | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

As sessile organisms, plants require mechanisms to sense and respond to changes in their environment, including both biotic and abiotic factors. One of the most common plant adaptations to environmental changes is differential regulation of growth, which results in growth either away from adverse conditions or towards more favorable conditions. As cell walls shape plant growth, this differential growth response must be accompanied by alterations to the plant cell wall. Here, we review the impact of four abiotic factors (osmotic conditions, ionic stress, light, and temperature) on the synthesis of cellulose, an important component of the plant cell wall. Understanding how different abiotic factors influence cellulose production and addressing key questions that remain in this field can provide crucial information to cope with the need for increased crop production under the mounting pressures of a growing world population and global climate change.

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PHL2 & PHR1 Act Redundantly as Key Components Controlling Transcriptional Responses to Phosphate Starvation

PHL2 & PHR1 Act Redundantly as Key Components Controlling Transcriptional Responses to Phosphate Starvation | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

When confronted with inorganic phosphate (Pi) starvation, plants activate an array of adaptive responses to sustain their growth. These responses, in a large extent, are controlled at the transcriptional level. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) PHOSPHATE RESPONSE1 (PHR1) and its close homolog PHR1-like 1 (PHL1) belong to a 15-member family of MYB-CC transcription factors and are regarded as the key components of the central regulatory system controlling plant transcriptional responses to Pi starvation. The knockout of PHR1 and PHL1, however, causes only a partial loss of the transcription of Pi starvation-induced genes, suggesting the existence of other key components in this regulatory system. In this work, we used the transcription of a Pi starvation-induced acid phosphatase, AtPAP10, to study the molecular mechanism underlying plant transcriptional responses to Pistarvation. We first identified a DNA sequence on the AtPAP10 promoter that is critical for the transcription of AtPAP10. We then demonstrated that PHL2 and PHL3, two other members of the MYB-CC family, specifically bind to this DNA sequence and activate the transcription of AtPAP10. Unlike PHR1 and PHL1, the transcription and protein accumulation of PHL2 and PHL3 are upregulated by Pistarvation. RNA-sequencing analyses indicated that the transcription of most Pistarvation-induced genes is impaired in the phl2 mutant, indicating that PHL2 is also a key component of the central regulatory system. Finally, we showed that PHL2, and perhaps also PHL3, acts redundantly with PHR1 to regulate plant transcriptional response to Pi starvation.

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Cultivated tomato clock runs slow : Nature Genetics

Cultivated tomato clock runs slow : Nature Genetics | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
The plant circadian clock is a complex network of genes crucial for plant survival. A new study finds that domestication gradually slowed down the circadian clock of tomato via selection on two major genes[mdash]one that delayed phasing of the clock with daylight, whereas the other induced a longer period.
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The modern varieties of tomatoes cultivated around the world all derive from a tiny-fruited wild vine that grows naturally on the slopes of the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Andes1. Although the exact chronology of tomato domestication during pre-Columbian times remains to be fully elucidated, José Jiménez-Gómez and colleagues have discovered that this process of domestication resulted in a slowing down of the internal clock of the plant2.

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DATABASE | WheatExp: an RNA-seq expression database for polyploid wheat

DATABASE | WheatExp: an RNA-seq expression database for polyploid wheat | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
BMC Plant Biology is an open access journal publishing original peer-reviewed research articles in all aspects of plant biology, including molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole organism research.
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Background

For functional genomics studies, it is important to understand the dynamic expression profiles of transcribed genes in different tissues, stages of development and in response to environmental stimuli. The proliferation in the use of next-generation sequencing technologies by the plant research community has led to the accumulation of large volumes of expression data. However, analysis of these datasets is complicated by the frequent occurrence of polyploidy among economically-important crop species. In addition, processing and analyzing such large volumes of sequence data is a technical and time-consuming task, limiting their application in functional genomics studies, particularly for smaller laboratories which lack access to high-powered computing infrastructure. Wheat is a good example of a young polyploid species with three similar genomes (97 % identical among homoeologous genes), rapidly accumulating RNA-seq datasets and a large research community.

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Genome-Wide Detection of SNP and SV Variations to Reveal Early Ripening-Related Genes in Grape

Genome-Wide Detection of SNP and SV Variations to Reveal Early Ripening-Related Genes in Grape | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Early ripening in grape (Vitis vinifera L.) is a crucial agronomic trait. The fruits of the grape line ‘Summer Black’ (SBBM), which contains a bud mutation, can be harvested approximately one week earlier than the ‘Summer Black’ (SBC)control. To investigate the molecular mechanism of the bud mutation related to early ripening, we detected genome-wide genetic variations based on re-sequencing. In total, 3,692,777 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 81,223 structure variations (SVs) in the SBC genome and 3,823,464 SNPs and 85,801 SVs in the SBBM genome were detected compared with the reference grape sequence. Of these, 635 SBC-specific genes and 665 SBBM-specific genes were screened. Ripening and colour-associated unigenes with non-synonymous mutations (NS), SVs or frame-shift mutations (F) were analysed. The results showed that 90 unigenes in SBC, 76 unigenes in SBBM and 13 genes that mapped to large fragment indels were filtered. The expression patterns of eight genes were confirmed using quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR).The re-sequencing data showed that 635 SBC-specific genes and 665 SBBM-specific genes associated with early ripening were screened. Among these, NCED6 expression appears to be related to NCED1 and is involved in ABA biosynthesis in grape, which might play a role in the onset of anthocyanin accumulation. The SEP and ERF genes probably play roles in ethylene response.

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Frontiers | Epigenetic Control of Cell Division and Cell Differentiation in the Root Apex | Plant Evolution and Development

Frontiers | Epigenetic Control of Cell Division and Cell Differentiation in the Root Apex | Plant Evolution and Development | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
Andres Zurita's insight:

Epigenetics is defined as heritable changes in gene expression and genome integrity that are accompanied by no alteration in DNA sequence. Throughout plant life cycle, many processes, including genome imprinting, stress responses, and cellular differentiation, are known to be determined by epigenetic regulation. The root apex is also considered to be under the control of epigenetic regulation for optimal growth under variable environments. Recent reports reveal that epigenetic control is especially important in the stem cell niche and the meristematic zone where both cell production and cell specification occur. DNA methylation, histone methylation, and histone acetylation are well-known epigenetic modifications, and each epigenetic modification has distinct roles in roots. Here, we review the updated findings that demonstrate the significance of epigenetic regulation in root apex of Arabidopsis.

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The WUSCHEL Related Homeobox Protein WOX7 Regulates the Sugar Response of Lateral Root Development in Arabidopsis thaliana: Molecular Plant

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Sugars promote lateral root formation at low levels but become inhibitory at high C/N or C/P ratios. How sugars suppress lateral root formation is unclear, however. Here we report that WOX7, a member of the WUSCHEL related homeobox (WOX) family transcription factors, inhibits lateral root development in a sugar-dependent manner. The number of lateral root primordia increased in wox7 mutants but decreased in plants over-expressing WOX7. Plants expressing the WOX7-VP16 fusion protein produced even more lateral roots than wox7, suggesting that WOX7 acts as a transcriptional repressor in lateral root development. WOX7 is expressed at all stages of lateral root development, but it is primarily involved in lateral root initiation. Consistent with this, the wox7 mutant had a higher mitotic activity only at early stages of lateral root development. Further studies suggest that WOX7 regulates lateral root development through direct repression of cell cycle genes, particularly CYCD6;1. WOX7 expression was enhanced by sugar, reduced by auxin, but did not respond to salt and mannitol. In the wox7 mutant, the effect of sugar on lateral root formation was mitigated. These results together suggest that WOX7 plays an important role in coupling the lateral root development program and sugar status in plants.

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Cytokinin: a key driver of seed yield

Cytokinin: a key driver of seed yield | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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The cytokinins have been implicated in many facets of plant growth and development including cell division and differentiation, shoot and root growth, apical dominance, senescence, fruit and seed development, and the response to biotic and abiotic stressors. Cytokinin levels are regulated by a balance between biosynthesis [isopentenyl transferase (IPT)], activation [Lonely Guy (LOG)], inactivation (O-glucosyl transferase), re-activation (β-glucosidase), and degradation [cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (CKX)]. During senescence, the levels of active cytokinins decrease, with premature senescence leading to a decrease in yield. During the early stages of fruit and seed development, cytokinin levels are transiently elevated, and coincide with nuclear and cell divisions which are a determinant of final seed size. Exogenous application of cytokinin, ectopic expression of IPT, or down-regulation of CKX have, on occasions, led to increased seed yield, leading to the suggestion that cytokinin may be limiting yield. However, manipulation of cytokinins is complex, not only because of their pleiotropic nature but also because the genes coding for biosynthesis and metabolism belong to multigene families, the members of which are themselves spatially and temporally differentiated. Previous research on yield of rice showed that plant breeders could directly target the cytokinins. Modern genome editing tools could be employed to target and manipulate cytokinin levels to increase seed yield with the concurrent aim of maintaining quality. However, how the cytokinin level is modified and whether IPT or CKX is targeted may depend on whether the plant is considered to be in a source-limiting environment or to be sink limited.

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The Physiology of Adventitious Roots

The Physiology of Adventitious Roots | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Adventitious roots are plant roots that form from any nonroot tissue and are produced both during normal development (crown roots on cereals and nodal roots on strawberry [Fragaria spp.]) and in response to stress conditions, such as flooding, nutrient deprivation, and wounding. They are important economically (for cuttings and food production), ecologically (environmental stress response), and for human existence (food production). To improve sustainable food production under environmentally extreme conditions, it is important to understand the adventitious root development of crops both in normal and stressed conditions. Therefore, understanding the regulation and physiology of adventitious root formation is critical for breeding programs. Recent work shows that different adventitious root types are regulated differently, and here, we propose clear definitions of these classes. We use three case studies to summarize the physiology of adventitious root development in response to flooding (case study 1), nutrient deficiency (case study 2), and wounding (case study 3).

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Machine Learning for High-Throughput Stress Phenotyping in Plants: Trends in Plant Science

Machine Learning for High-Throughput Stress Phenotyping in Plants: Trends in Plant Science | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Advances in automated and high-throughput imaging technologies have resulted in a deluge of high-resolution images and sensor data of plants. However, extracting patterns and features from this large corpus of data requires the use of machine learning (ML) tools to enable data assimilation and feature identification for stress phenotyping. Four stages of the decision cycle in plant stress phenotyping and plant breeding activities where different ML approaches can be deployed are (i) identification, (ii) classification, (iii) quantification, and (iv) prediction (ICQP). We provide here a comprehensive overview and user-friendly taxonomy of ML tools to enable the plant community to correctly and easily apply the appropriate ML tools and best-practice guidelines for various biotic and abiotic stress traits.

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Ncl Synchronously Regulates Na+, K+, and Cl− in Soybean and Greatly Increases the Grain Yield in Saline Field Conditions

Ncl Synchronously Regulates Na+, K+, and Cl− in Soybean and Greatly Increases the Grain Yield in Saline Field Conditions | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it

 

 

Andres Zurita's insight:

Salt stress inhibits soybean growth and reduces gain yield. Genetic improvement of salt tolerance is essential for sustainable soybean production in saline areas. In this study, we isolated a gene (Ncl) that could synchronously regulate the transport and accumulation of Na+, K+, and Cl− from a Brazilian soybean cultivar FT-Abyara using map-based cloning strategy. Higher expression of the salt tolerance gene Nclin the root resulted in lower accumulations of Na+, K+, and Cl− in the shoot under salt stress. Transfer of Ncl with the Agrobacterium-mediated transformation method into a soybean cultivar Kariyutaka significantly enhanced its salt tolerance. Introgression of the tolerance allele into soybean cultivar Jackson, using DNA marker-assisted selection (MAS), produced an improved salt tolerance line. Ncl could increase soybean grain yield by 3.6–5.5 times in saline field conditions. Using Ncl in soybean breeding through gene transfer or MAS would contribute to sustainable soybean production in saline-prone areas.

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Crop acquisition of phosphorus, iron and zinc from soil in cereal/legume intercropping systems: a critical review

Crop acquisition of phosphorus, iron and zinc from soil in cereal/legume intercropping systems: a critical review | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Background.  Phosphorus (P), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) are essential elements for plant growth and development, but their availability in soil is often limited. Intercropping contributes to increased P, Fe and Zn uptake and thereby increases yield and improves grain nutritional quality and ultimately human health. A better understanding of how intercropping leads to increased plant P, Fe and Zn availability will help to improve P-fertilizer-use efficiency and agronomic Fe and Zn biofortification.

Scope.  This review synthesizes the literature on how intercropping of legumes with cereals increases acquisition of P, Fe and Zn from soil and recapitulates what is known about root-to-shoot nutrient translocation, plant-internal nutrient remobilization and allocation to grains.

Conclusions.  Direct interspecific facilitation in intercropping involves below-ground processes in which cereals increase Fe and Zn bioavailability while companion legumes benefit. This has been demonstrated and verified using isotopic nutrient tracing and molecular analysis. The same methodological approaches and field studies should be used to explore direct interspecific P facilitation. Both niche complementarity and interspecific facilitation contribute to increased P acquisition in intercropping. Niche complementarity may also contribute to increased Fe and Zn acquisition, an aspect poorly understood. Interspecific mobilization and uptake facilitation of sparingly soluble P, Fe and Zn from soil, however, are not the only determinants of the concentrations of P, Fe and Zn in grains. Grain yield and nutrient translocation from roots to shoots further influence the concentrations of these nutrients in grains

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MicroRNA miR396 Regulates the Switch between Stem Cells and Transit-Amplifying Cells in Arabidopsis Roots

MicroRNA miR396 Regulates the Switch between Stem Cells and Transit-Amplifying Cells in Arabidopsis Roots | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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To ensure an adequate organ mass, the daughters of stem cells progress through a transit-amplifying phase displaying rapid cell division cycles before differentiating. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana microRNA miR396 regulates the transition of root stem cells into transit-amplifying cells by interacting with GROWTH-REGULATING FACTORs (GRFs). The GRFs are expressed in transit-amplifying cells but are excluded from the stem cells through inhibition by miR396. Inactivation of the GRFs increases the meristem size and induces periclinal formative divisions in transit-amplifying cells. The GRFs repress PLETHORA (PLT) genes, regulating their spatial expression gradient. Conversely, PLT activates MIR396 in the stem cells to repress the GRFs. We identified a pathway regulated by GRF transcription factors that represses stem cell-promoting genes in actively proliferating cells, which is essential for the progression of the cell cycle and the orientation of the cell division plane. If unchecked, the expression of the GRFs in the stem cell niche suppresses formative cell divisions and distorts the organization of the quiescent center. We propose that the interactions identified here between miR396 and GRF and PLTtranscription factors are necessary to establish the boundary between the stem cell niche and the transit-amplifying region.

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From the nucleus to the apoplast: building the plant’s cell wall. Special edition J of Exp Botany

From the nucleus to the apoplast: building the plant’s cell wall. Special edition J of Exp Botany | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
To summarize, cell wall research touches many disciplines, starting with environmental cues, to transcription regulation, vesicle trafficking, and polymer biosynthesis and deposition. Hence the title of this special issue: from the nucleus to the apoplast: building the plant’s cell wall. We thank all the authors for their interesting reviews, and all the reviewers for their contribution. We hope you will enjoy reading articles in this issue.
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The plant cell wall has a crucial role in any aspect of a plant’s life cycle and, as a result, cell wall research touches all aspects of plant biology (Keegstra, 2010). New and exciting work on cell wall research is constantly being published that has refined and sometimes even challenged the way we see cell wall biosynthesis and functions. The goal of this special issue is to provide reviews that will present our current thinking on different aspects of plant cell wall research.

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Constitutive & Cell-Specific Overexpression of AVP1, Enhances Biomass Accumulation, Phloem Loading, and Long-Distance Transport

Constitutive & Cell-Specific Overexpression of AVP1, Enhances Biomass Accumulation, Phloem Loading, and Long-Distance Transport | Plant Gene Seeker -PGS | Scoop.it
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Plant productivity is determined in large part by the partitioning of assimilates between the sites of production and the sites of utilization. Proton-pumping pyrophosphatases (H+-PPases) are shown to participate in many energetic plant processes, including general growth and biomass accumulation, CO2 fixation, nutrient acquisition, and stress responses. H+-PPases have a well-documented role in hydrolyzing pyrophosphate (PPi) and capturing the released energy to pump H+ across the tonoplast and endomembranes to create proton motive force (pmf). Recently, an additional role for H+-PPases in phloem loading and biomass partitioning was proposed. In companion cells (CCs) of the phloem, H+-PPases localize to the plasma membrane rather than endomembranes, and rather than hydrolyzing PPi to create pmf, pmf is utilized to synthesize PPi. Additional PPi in the CCs promotes sucrose oxidation and ATP synthesis, which the plasma membrane P-type ATPase in turn uses to create more pmf for phloem loading of sucrose via sucrose-H+ symporters. To test this model, transgenic Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants were generated with constitutive and CC-specific overexpression of AVP1, encoding type 1 ARABIDOPSIS VACUOLAR PYROPHOSPHATASE1. Plants with both constitutive and CC-specific overexpression accumulated more biomass in shoot and root systems. 14C-labeling experiments showed enhanced photosynthesis, phloem loading, phloem transport, and delivery to sink organs. The results obtained with constitutive and CC-specific promoters were very similar, such that the growth enhancement mediated by AVP1 overexpression can be attributed to its role in phloem CCs. This supports the model for H+-PPases functioning as PPi synthases in the phloem by arguing that the increases in biomass observed with AVP1overexpression stem from improved phloem loading and transport.

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Methylome analysis reveals an important role for epigenetic changes in the regulation of the Arabidopsis response to phosphate starvation

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Significance

Significant progress has been achieved in our understanding of plant adaptive responses to ensure growth and reproduction in soils with low phosphate (Pi) availability. However, the potential role of epigenetic mechanisms in the modulation of these responses remains largely unknown. In this article, we describe dynamic changes in global DNA methylation patterns that occur in Arabidopsis plants exposed to low Pi availability; these changes are associated with the onset of Pi starvation responses. We show that the expression of a subset of low Pi-responsive genes is modulated by methylation changes and that DNA methylation is required for the proper establishment of developmental and molecular responses to Pi starvation.

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