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Genome Sequences of Pseudomonas spp. Isolated from Cereal Crops

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Compared to those of dicot-infecting bacteria, the available genome sequences of bacteria that infect wheat and barley are limited. Herein, we report the draft genome sequences of four pseudomonads originally isolated from these cereals. These genome sequences provide a useful resource for comparative analyses within the genus and for cross-kingdom analyses of plant pathogenesis.

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Transcriptome variation along bud development in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.)

Transcriptome variation along bud development in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it

Abstract (provisional)

Background

Vegetative buds provide plants in temperate environments the possibility for growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are favorable. In grapevine, crucial developmental events take place within buds during two growing seasons in consecutive years. The first season, the shoot apical meristem within the bud differentiates all the basic elements of the shoot including flowering transition in lateral primordia and development of inflorescence primordia. These events practically end with bud dormancy. The second season, buds resume shoot growth associated to flower formation and development. Gene expression has been previously monitored at specific stages of bud development but has never been followed along the two growing seasons.

Results

Gene expression changes were analyzed along the bud annual cycle at eight different time points. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) revealed that the main factors explaining the global gene expression differences were the processes of bud dormancy and active growth as well as stress responses. Accordingly, non dormant buds showed an enrichment in functional categories typical of actively proliferating and growing cells together with the over abundance of transcripts belonging to stress response pathways. Differential expression analyses performed between consecutive time points indicated that major transcriptional changes were associated to para/endodormancy, endo/ecodormancy and ecodormancy/bud break transitions. Transcripts encoding key regulators of reproductive development were grouped in three major expression clusters corresponding to: (i) transcripts associated to flowering induction, (ii) transcripts associated to flower meristem specification and initiation and (iii) transcripts putatively involved in dormancy. Within this cluster, a MADS-box gene (VvFLC2) and other transcripts with similar expression patterns could participate in dormancy regulation.

Conclusions

This work provides a global view of major transcriptional changes taking place along bud development in grapevine, highlighting those molecular and biological functions involved in the main events of bud development. As reported in other woody species, the results suggest that genes regulating flowering could also be involved in dormancy regulatory pathways in grapevine.

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Bis-class: a new classification tool of methylation status using bayes classifier and local methylation information

Whole genome sequencing of bisulfite converted DNA ('methylC-seq') method provides comprehensive information of DNA methylation. An important application of these whole genome methylation maps is classifying each position as a methylated versus non-methylated nucleotide. A widely used current method for this purpose, the so-called binomial method, is intuitive and straightforward, but lacks power when the sequence coverage and the genome-wide methylation level are low. These problems present a particular challenge when analyzing sparsely methylated genomes, such as those of many invertebrates and plants.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Whole genome sequencing of bisulfite converted DNA ('methylC-seq') method provides comprehensive information of DNA methylation. An important application of these whole genome methylation maps is classifying each position as a methylated versus non-methylated nucleotide. A widely used current method for this purpose, the so-called binomial method, is intuitive and straightforward, but lacks power when the sequence coverage and the genome-wide methylation level are low. These problems present a particular challenge when analyzing sparsely methylated genomes, such as those of many invertebrates and plants.

Results

We demonstrate that the number of sequence reads per position from methylC-seq data displays a large variance and can be modeled as a shifted negative binomial distribution. We also show that DNA methylation levels of adjacent CpG sites are correlated, and this similarity in local DNA methylation levels extends several kilobases. Taking these observations into account, we propose a new method based on Bayesian classification to infer DNA methylation status while considering the neighborhood DNA methylation levels of a specific site. We show that our approach has higher sensitivity and better classification performance than the binomial method via multiple analyses, including computational simulations, Area Under Curve (AUC) analyses, and improved consistencies across biological replicates. This method is especially advantageous in the analyses of sparsely methylated genomes with low coverage.

Conclusions

Our method improves the existing binomial method for binary methylation calls by utilizing a posterior odds framework and incorporating local methylation information. This method should be widely applicable to the analyses of methylC-seq data from diverse sparsely methylated genomes. Bis-Class and example data are provided at a dedicated website (http://bibs.snu.ac.kr/software/Bisclass).

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Characterization of the Largest Effector Gene Cluster of Ustilago maydis

Characterization of the Largest Effector Gene Cluster of Ustilago maydis | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Abstract

In the genome of the biotrophic plant pathogen Ustilago maydis, many of the genes coding for secreted protein effectors modulating virulence are arranged in gene clusters. The vast majority of these genes encode novel proteins whose expression is coupled to plant colonization. The largest of these gene clusters, cluster 19A, encodes 24 secreted effectors. Deletion of the entire cluster results in severe attenuation of virulence. Here we present the functional analysis of this genomic region. We show that a 19A deletion mutant behaves like an endophyte, i.e. is still able to colonize plants and complete the infection cycle. However, tumors, the most conspicuous symptoms of maize smut disease, are only rarely formed and fungal biomass in infected tissue is significantly reduced. The generation and analysis of strains carrying sub-deletions identified several genes significantly contributing to tumor formation after seedling infection. Another of the effectors could be linked specifically to anthocyanin induction in the infected tissue. As the individual contributions of these genes to tumor formation were small, we studied the response of maize plants to the whole cluster mutant as well as to several individual mutants by array analysis. This revealed distinct plant responses, demonstrating that the respective effectors have discrete plant targets. We propose that the analysis of plant responses to effector mutant strains that lack a strong virulence phenotype may be a general way to visualize differences in effector function.

From molecules to physiology
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Abstract

In the genome of the biotrophic plant pathogen Ustilago maydis, many of the genes coding for secreted protein effectors modulating virulence are arranged in gene clusters. The vast majority of these genes encode novel proteins whose expression is coupled to plant colonization. The largest of these gene clusters, cluster 19A, encodes 24 secreted effectors. Deletion of the entire cluster results in severe attenuation of virulence. Here we present the functional analysis of this genomic region. We show that a 19A deletion mutant behaves like an endophyte, i.e. is still able to colonize plants and complete the infection cycle. However, tumors, the most conspicuous symptoms of maize smut disease, are only rarely formed and fungal biomass in infected tissue is significantly reduced. The generation and analysis of strains carrying sub-deletions identified several genes significantly contributing to tumor formation after seedling infection. Another of the effectors could be linked specifically to anthocyanin induction in the infected tissue. As the individual contributions of these genes to tumor formation were small, we studied the response of maize plants to the whole cluster mutant as well as to several individual mutants by array analysis. This revealed distinct plant responses, demonstrating that the respective effectors have discrete plant targets. We propose that the analysis of plant responses to effector mutant strains that lack a strong virulence phenotype may be a general way to visualize differences in effector function.

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Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution

Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
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Abstract

Mutualistic symbioses between eukaryotes and beneficial microorganisms of their microbiome play an essential role in nutrition, protection against disease, and development of the host. However, the impact of beneficial symbionts on the evolution of host genomes remains poorly characterized. Here we used the independent loss of the most widespread plant–microbe symbiosis, arbuscular mycorrhization (AM), as a model to address this question. Using a large phenotypic approach and phylogenetic analyses, we present evidence that loss of AM symbiosis correlates with the loss of many symbiotic genes in the Arabidopsis lineage (Brassicales). Then, by analyzing the genome and/or transcriptomes of nine other phylogenetically divergent non-host plants, we show that this correlation occurred in a convergent manner in four additional plant lineages, demonstrating the existence of an evolutionary pattern specific to symbiotic genes. Finally, we use a global comparative phylogenomic approach to track this evolutionary pattern among land plants. Based on this approach, we identify a set of 174 highly conserved genes and demonstrate enrichment in symbiosis-related genes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that beneficial symbionts maintain purifying selection on host gene networks during the evolution of entire lineages.

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An integrated genomic and metabolomic framework for cell wall biology in rice

Plant cell walls are complex structures that full-fill many diverse functions during plant growth and development. It is therefore not surprising that thousands of gene products are involved in cell wall synthesis and maintenance. However, functional association for the majority of these gene products remains obscure. One useful approach to infer biological associations is via transcriptional coordination, or co-expression of genes. This approach has proved useful for several biological processes. Nevertheless, combining co-expression with other large-scale measurements may improve the biological inferences.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Plant cell walls are complex structures that full-fill many diverse functions during plant growth and development. It is therefore not surprising that thousands of gene products are involved in cell wall synthesis and maintenance. However, functional association for the majority of these gene products remains obscure. One useful approach to infer biological associations is via transcriptional coordination, or co-expression of genes. This approach has proved useful for several biological processes. Nevertheless, combining co-expression with other large-scale measurements may improve the biological inferences.

Results

In this study, we used a combined approach of co-expression and cell wall metabolomics to obtain new insight into cell wall synthesis in rice. We initially created a weighted gene co-expression network from publicly available datasets, and then established a comprehensive cell wall dataset by determining cell wall compositions from 29 tissues that almost cover the whole life cycle of rice. We subsequently combined the datasets through the conversion of co-expressed gene modules into eigen-vectors, representing expression profiles for the genes in the modules, and performed comparative analyses against the cell wall contents. Here, we made three major discoveries. First, we confirmed our approach by finding primary and secondary wall cellulose biosynthesis modules, respectively. Second, we found co-expressed modules that strongly correlated with re-organization of the secondary cell walls and with modifications and degradation of hemicellulosic structures. Third, we inferred that at least one module is likely to play a regulatory role in the production of G-rich lignification.

Conclusions

Here, we integrated transcriptomic associations and cell wall metabolism and found that certain co-expressed gene modules are positively correlated with distinct cell wall characteristics. We propose that combining multiple data-types, such as coordinated transcription and cell wall analyses, may be a useful approach to glean new insight into biological processes. The combination of multiple datasets, as illustrated here, can further improve the functional inferences that typically are generated via a single type of datasets. In addition, our data extend the typical co-expression approach to allow deeper insight into cell wall biology in rice.

 
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Oil accumulation mechanisms of the oleaginous microalga Chlorella protothecoides revealed through its genome, transcriptomes, and proteomes

Microalgae-derived biodiesel is a promising substitute for conventional fossil fuels. In particular, the green alga Chlorella protothecoides sp. 0710 is regarded as one of the best candidates for commercial manufacture of microalgae-derived biofuel. This is due not only to its ability to live autotrophically through photosynthesis, but also to its capacity to produce a large amount of biomass and lipid through fermentation of glucose. However, until the present study, neither its genome sequence nor the platform required for molecular manipulations were available.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Microalgae-derived biodiesel is a promising substitute for conventional fossil fuels. In particular, the green alga Chlorella protothecoides sp. 0710 is regarded as one of the best candidates for commercial manufacture of microalgae-derived biofuel. This is due not only to its ability to live autotrophically through photosynthesis, but also to its capacity to produce a large amount of biomass and lipid through fermentation of glucose. However, until the present study, neither its genome sequence nor the platform required for molecular manipulations were available.

Results

We generated a draft genome for C. protothecoides, and compared its genome size and gene content with that of Chlorella variabilis NC64A and Coccomyxa subellipsoidea C-169. This comparison revealed that C. protothecoides has a reduced genome size of 22.9 Mbp, about half that of its close relatives. The C. protothecoides genome encodes a smaller number of genes, fewer multi-copy genes, fewer unique genes, and fewer genome rearrangements compared with its close relatives. In addition, three Chlorella-specific hexose-proton symporter (HUP)-like genes were identified that enable the consumption of glucose and, consequently, heterotrophic growth. Furthermore, through comparative transcriptomic and proteomic studies, we generated a global perspective regarding the changes in metabolic pathways under autotrophic and heterotrophic growth conditions. Under heterotrophic conditions, enzymes involved in photosynthesis and CO2 fixation were almost completely degraded, either as mRNAs or as proteins. Meanwhile, the cells were not only capable of quickly assimilating glucose but also showed accelerated glucose catabolism through the upregulation of glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Moreover, the rapid synthesis of pyruvate, upregulation of most enzymes involved in fatty acid synthesis, and downregulation of enzymes involved in fatty acid degradation favor the synthesis of fatty acids within the cell.

Conclusions

Despite similarities to other Chlorella, C. protothecoides has a smaller genome than its close relatives. Genes involved in glucose utilization were identified, and these genes explained its ability to grow heterotrophically. Transcriptomic and proteomic results provided insight into its extraordinary ability to accumulate large amounts of lipid. The C. protothecoides draft genome will promote the use of this species as a research model.

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Identification of cucurbitacins and assembly of a draft genome for Aquilaria agallocha

Agarwood is derived from Aquilaria trees, the trade of which has come under strict control with a listing in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Many secondary metabolites of agarwood are known to have medicinal value to humans, including compounds that have been shown to elicit sedative effects and exhibit anti-cancer properties. However, little is known about the genome, transcriptome, and the biosynthetic pathways responsible for producing such secondary metabolites in agarwood.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Agarwood is derived from Aquilaria trees, the trade of which has come under strict control with a listing in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Many secondary metabolites of agarwood are known to have medicinal value to humans, including compounds that have been shown to elicit sedative effects and exhibit anti-cancer properties. However, little is known about the genome, transcriptome, and the biosynthetic pathways responsible for producing such secondary metabolites in agarwood.

Results

In this study, we present a draft genome and a putative pathway for cucurbitacin E and I, compounds with known medicinal value, from in vitro Aquilaria agallocha agarwood. DNA and RNA data are utilized to annotate many genes and protein functions in the draft genome. The expression changes for cucurbitacin E and I are shown to be consistent with known responses of A. agallocha to biotic stress and a set of homologous genes in Arabidopsis thaliana related to cucurbitacin bio-synthesis is presented and validated through qRT-PCR.

Conclusions

This study is the first attempt to identify cucurbitacin E and I from in vitro agarwood and the first draft genome for any species of Aquilaria. The results of this study will aid in future investigations of secondary metabolite pathways in Aquilaria and other non-model medicinal plants.

 
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RNA-Seq for gene identification and transcript profiling of three Stevia rebaudiana genotypes

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is an important medicinal plant that yields diterpenoid steviol glycosides (SGs). SGs are currently used in the preparation of medicines, food products and neutraceuticals because of its sweetening property (zero calories and about 300 times sweeter than sugar). Recently, some progress has been made in understanding the biosynthesis of SGs in Stevia, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this process. Additionally, the genomics of Stevia, a non-model species, remains uncharacterized. The recent advent of RNA-Seq, a next generation sequencing technology, provides an opportunity to expand the identification of Stevia genes through in-depth transcript profiling.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is an important medicinal plant that yields diterpenoid steviol glycosides (SGs). SGs are currently used in the preparation of medicines, food products and neutraceuticals because of its sweetening property (zero calories and about 300 times sweeter than sugar). Recently, some progress has been made in understanding the biosynthesis of SGs in Stevia, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this process. Additionally, the genomics of Stevia, a non-model species, remains uncharacterized. The recent advent of RNA-Seq, a next generation sequencing technology, provides an opportunity to expand the identification of Stevia genes through in-depth transcript profiling.

Results

We present a comprehensive landscape of the transcriptome profiles of three genotypes of Stevia with divergent SG compositions characterized using RNA-seq. 191,590,282 high-quality reads were generated and then assembled into 171,837 transcripts with an average sequence length of 969 base pairs. A total of 80,160 unigenes were annotated, and 14,211 of the unique sequences were assigned to specific metabolic pathways by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Gene sequences of all enzymes known to be involved in SG synthesis were examined. A total of 143 UDP-glucosyltransferase (UGT) unigenes were identified, some of which might be involved in SG biosynthesis. The expression patterns of eight of these genes were further confirmed by RT-QPCR.

Conclusion

RNA-seq analysis identified candidate genes encoding enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of SGs in Stevia, a non-model plant without a reference genome. The transcriptome data from this study yielded new insights into the process of SG accumulation in Stevia. Our results demonstrate that RNA-Seq can be successfully used for gene identification and transcript profiling in a non-model species.

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Genome-wide identification of the Fermentome; genes required for successful and timely completion of wine-like fermentation by Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Wine fermentation is a harsh ecological niche to which wine yeast are well adapted. The initial high osmotic pressure and acidity of grape juice is followed by nutrient depletion and increasing concentrations of ethanol as the fermentation progresses. Yeast’s adaptation to these and many other environmental stresses, enables successful completion of high-sugar fermentations. Earlier transcriptomic and growth studies have tentatively identified genes important for high-sugar fermentation. Whilst useful, such studies did not consider extended growth (>5 days) in a temporally dynamic multi-stressor environment such as that found in many industrial fermentation processes. Here, we identify genes whose deletion has minimal or no effect on growth, but results in failure to achieve timely completion of the fermentation of a chemically defined grape juice with 200 g L−1 total sugar.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Wine fermentation is a harsh ecological niche to which wine yeast are well adapted. The initial high osmotic pressure and acidity of grape juice is followed by nutrient depletion and increasing concentrations of ethanol as the fermentation progresses. Yeast’s adaptation to these and many other environmental stresses, enables successful completion of high-sugar fermentations. Earlier transcriptomic and growth studies have tentatively identified genes important for high-sugar fermentation. Whilst useful, such studies did not consider extended growth (>5 days) in a temporally dynamic multi-stressor environment such as that found in many industrial fermentation processes. Here, we identify genes whose deletion has minimal or no effect on growth, but results in failure to achieve timely completion of the fermentation of a chemically defined grape juice with 200 g L−1 total sugar.

Results

Micro- and laboratory-scale experimental fermentations were conducted to identify 72 clones from ~5,100 homozygous diploid single-gene yeast deletants, which exhibited protracted fermentation in a high-sugar medium. Another 21 clones (related by gene function, but initially eliminated from the screen because of possible growth defects) were also included. Clustering and numerical enrichment of genes annotated to specific Gene Ontology (GO) terms highlighted the vacuole’s role in ion homeostasis and pH regulation, through vacuole acidification.

Conclusion

We have identified 93 genes whose deletion resulted in the duration of fermentation being at least 20% longer than the wild type. An extreme phenotype, ‘stuck’ fermentation, was also observed when DOA4, NPT1, PLC1, PTK2, SIN3, SSQ1, TPS1, TPS2 or ZAP1 were deleted. These 93 Fermentation Essential Genes (FEG) are required to complete an extended high-sugar (wine-like) fermentation. Their importance is highlighted in our Fermentation Relevant Yeast Genes (FRYG) database, generated from literature and the fermentation-relevant phenotypic characteristics of null mutants described in the Saccharomyces Genome Database. The 93-gene set is collectively referred to as the ‘Fermentome’. The fact that 10 genes highlighted in this study have not previously been linked to fermentation-related stresses, supports our experimental rationale. These findings, together with investigations of the genetic diversity of industrial strains, are crucial for understanding the mechanisms behind yeast’s response and adaptation to stresses imposed during high-sugar fermentations.

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De novo transcriptome analysis of petal senescence in Gardenia jasminoides Ellis

The petal senescence of ethylene insensitive species has not been investigated thoroughly while little is known about the temporal and tissue specific expression patterns of transcription factors (TFs) in this developmental process. Even less is known on flower senescence of the ornamental pot plant Gardenia jasminoides, a non climacteric flower with significant commercial value.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

The petal senescence of ethylene insensitive species has not been investigated thoroughly while little is known about the temporal and tissue specific expression patterns of transcription factors (TFs) in this developmental process. Even less is known on flower senescence of the ornamental pot plant Gardenia jasminoides, a non climacteric flower with significant commercial value.

Results

We initiated a de novo transcriptome study to investigate the petal senescence in four developmental stages of cut gardenia flowers considering that the visible symptoms of senescence appear within 4 days of flower opening. De novo assembly of transcriptome sequencing resulted in 102,263 contigs with mean length of 360 nucleotides that generated 57,503 unigenes. These were further clustered into 20,970 clusters and 36,533 singletons. The comparison of the consecutive developmental stages resulted in 180 common, differentially expressed unigenes. A large number of Simple Sequence Repeats were also identified comprising a large number of dinucleotides and trinucleotides. The prevailing families of differentially expressed TFs comprise the AP2/EREBP, WRKY and the bHLH. There are 81 differentially expressed TFs when the symptoms of flower senescence become visible with the most prevailing being the WRKY family with 19 unigenes. No other WRKY TFs had been identified up to now in petal senescence of ethylene insensitive species. A large number of differentially expressed genes were identified at the initiation of visible symptoms of senescence compared to the open flower stage indicating a significant shift in the expression profiles which might be coordinated by up-regulated and/or down-regulated TFs. The expression of 16 genes that belong to the TF families of WRKY, bHLH and the ethylene sensing pathway was validated using qRT - PCR.

Conclusion

This de novo transcriptome analysis resulted in the identification of TFs with specific temporal expression patterns such as two WRKYs and one bHLH, which might play the role of senescence progression regulators. Further research is required to investigate their role in gardenia flowers in order to develop tools to delay petal senescence.

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Sequencing of diverse mandarin, pummelo and orange genomes reveals complex history of admixture during citrus domestication

Sequencing of diverse mandarin, pummelo and orange genomes reveals complex history of admixture during citrus domestication | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Genome sequences of nine species of citrus, including oranges, pummelos and mandarins, reveal pathways of domestication and provide resources for breeding.
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Cultivated citrus are selections from, or hybrids of, wild progenitor species whose identities and contributions to citrus domestication remain controversial. Here we sequence and compare citrus genomes—a high-quality reference haploid clementine genome and mandarin, pummelo, sweet-orange and sour-orange genomes—and show that cultivated types derive from two progenitor species. Although cultivated pummelos represent selections from one progenitor species, Citrus maxima, cultivated mandarins are introgressions of C. maxima into the ancestral mandarin species Citrus reticulata. The most widely cultivated citrus, sweet orange, is the offspring of previously admixed individuals, but sour orange is an F1 hybrid of pure C. maxima and C. reticulata parents, thus implying that wild mandarins were part of the early breeding germplasm. A Chinese wild 'mandarin' diverges substantially from C. reticulata, thus suggesting the possibility of other unrecognized wild citrus species. Understanding citrus phylogeny through genome analysis clarifies taxonomic relationships and facilitates sequence-directed genetic improvement.

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Comparative Genomic Paleontology across Plant Kingdom Reveals the Dynamics of TE-Driven Genome Evolution

Comparative Genomic Paleontology across Plant Kingdom Reveals the Dynamics of TE-Driven Genome Evolution | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it

Long terminal repeat-retrotransposons (LTR-RTs) are the most abundant class of transposable elements (TEs) in plants. They strongly impact the structure, function, and evolution of their host genome, and, in particular, their role in genome size variation has been clearly established. However, the dynamics of the process through which LTR-RTs have differentially shaped plant genomes is still poorly understood because of a lack of comparative studies. Using a new robust and automated family classification procedure, we exhaustively characterized the LTR-RTs in eight plant genomes for which a high-quality sequence is available (i.e., Arabidopsis thaliana, A. lyrata, grapevine, soybean, rice, Brachypodium dystachion, sorghum, and maize). This allowed us to perform a comparative genome-wide study of the retrotranspositional landscape in these eight plant lineages from both monocots and dicots. We show that retrotransposition has recurrently occurred in all plant genomes investigated, regardless their size, and through bursts, rather than a continuous process. Moreover, in each genome, only one or few LTR-RT families have been active in the recent past, and the difference in genome size among the species studied could thus mostly be accounted for by the extent of the latest transpositional burst(s). Following these bursts, LTR-RTs are efficiently eliminated from their host genomes through recombination and deletion, but we show that the removal rate is not lineage specific. These new findings lead us to propose a new model of TE-driven genome evolution in plants.


Via Francis Martin
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Analysis of peptide PSY1 responding transcripts in the two Arabidopsis plant lines: wild type and psy1r receptor mutant

Small-secreted peptides are emerging as important components in cell-cell communication during basic developmental stages of plant cell growth and development. Plant peptide containing sulfated tyrosine 1 (PSY1) has been reported to promote cell expansion and differentiation in the elongation zone of roots. PSY1 action is dependent on a receptor PSY1R that triggers a signaling cascade leading to cell elongation. However little is known about cellular functions and the components involved in PSY1-based signaling cascade.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Small-secreted peptides are emerging as important components in cell-cell communication during basic developmental stages of plant cell growth and development. Plant peptide containing sulfated tyrosine 1 (PSY1) has been reported to promote cell expansion and differentiation in the elongation zone of roots. PSY1 action is dependent on a receptor PSY1R that triggers a signaling cascade leading to cell elongation. However little is known about cellular functions and the components involved in PSY1-based signaling cascade.

Results

Differentially expressed genes were identified in a wild type plant line and in a psy1r receptor mutant line of Arabidopsis thaliana after treatment with PSY1. Seventy-seven genes were found to be responsive to the PSY1 peptide in wild type plants while 154 genes were responsive in the receptor mutant plants. PSY1 activates the transcripts of genes involved in cell wall modification. Gene enrichment analysis revealed that PSY1-responsive genes are involved in responses to stimuli, metabolic processes and biosynthetic processes. The significant enrichment terms of PSY1-responsive genes were higher in psy1r mutant plants compared to in wild type plants. Two parallel responses to PSY1 were identified, differing in their dependency on the PSY1R receptor. Promoter analysis of the differentially expressed genes identified a light regulatory motif in some of these.

Conclusion

PSY1-responsive genes are involved in cellular functions and stimuli responses suggesting a crosstalk between developmental cues and environmental stimuli. Possibly, two parallel responses to PSY1 exist. A motif involved in light regulation was identified in the promoter region of the differentially expressed genes. Reduced hypocotyl growth was observed in etiolated receptor mutant seedlings.

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RNA-seq-mediated transcriptome analysis of actively growing and winter dormant shoots identifies non-deciduous habit of evergreen tree tea during winters : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

RNA-seq-mediated transcriptome analysis of actively growing and winter dormant shoots identifies non-deciduous habit of evergreen tree tea during winters : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is a perennial tree which undergoes winter dormancy and unlike deciduous trees, the species does not shed its leaves during winters. The present work dissected the molecular processes operating in the leaves during the period of active growth and winter dormancy through transcriptome analysis to understand a long-standing question: why should tea be a non-deciduous species? Analyses of 24,700 unigenes obtained from 57,767 primarily assembled transcripts showed (i) operation of mechanisms of winter tolerance, (ii) down-regulation of genes involved in growth, development, protein synthesis and cell division, and (iii) inhibition of leaf abscission due to modulation of senescence related processes during winter dormancy in tea. These senescence related processes exhibited modulation to favour leaf abscission (i) in deciduous Populus tremula during winters, and (ii) also in tea but under osmotic stress during which leaves also abscise. These results validated the relevance of the identified senescence related processes for leaf abscission and suggested their operation when in need in tea.
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Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is a perennial tree which undergoes winter dormancy and unlike deciduous trees, the species does not shed its leaves during winters. The present work dissected the molecular processes operating in the leaves during the period of active growth and winter dormancy through transcriptome analysis to understand a long-standing question: why should tea be a non-deciduous species? Analyses of 24,700 unigenes obtained from 57,767 primarily assembled transcripts showed (i) operation of mechanisms of winter tolerance, (ii) down-regulation of genes involved in growth, development, protein synthesis and cell division, and (iii) inhibition of leaf abscission due to modulation of senescence related processes during winter dormancy in tea. These senescence related processes exhibited modulation to favour leaf abscission (i) in deciduous Populus tremula during winters, and (ii) also in tea but under osmotic stress during which leaves also abscise. These results validated the relevance of the identified senescence related processes for leaf abscission and suggested their operation when in need in tea.

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Comparative Genomics of Plant Fungal Pathogens: The Ustilago-Sporisorium Paradigm

Comparative Genomics of Plant Fungal Pathogens: The Ustilago-Sporisorium Paradigm | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
From molecules to physiology
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
The closely related smut fungi Ustilago maydis, U. hordei, and Sporisorium reilianum f. sp. zeae are facultatively biotrophic basidiomycetes that occur ubiquitously. Teliospores germinate to produce sporidia of different mating type that grow saprophytically and multiply mitotically by budding [1]. For mass proliferation and sexual genetic exchange, successful colonization of economically important crop plants like maize, barley, and oats is a prerequisite. Mating of compatible haploid yeast cells leads to the formation of dikaryotic filaments that are infection competent. These filaments enter their hosts by penetration of the leaf surface [2]. Once inside the plant, filaments multiply in the affected tissue and induce spore formation in tumors near the penetration site (U. maydis) [3] or spread through the entire plant and form spores in inflorescences (S. reilianum and U. hordei) [4], [5]. Although presence of the fungus is clearly detected [6], defense reactions of native host plants are very limited, allowing fungal spread initially without major plant tissue damage. In fact, a living host plant is required to provide nutrients for massive fungal proliferation and successful spore formation
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Some Limitations of Public Sequence Data for Phylogenetic Inference (in Plants)

Some Limitations of Public Sequence Data for Phylogenetic Inference (in Plants) | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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De novo sequencing and comparative analysis of holy and sweet basil transcriptomes

Ocimum L. of family Lamiaceae is a well known genus for its ethnobotanical, medicinal and aromatic properties, which are attributed to innumerable phenylpropanoid and terpenoid compounds produced by the plant. To enrich genomic resources for understanding various pathways, de novo transcriptome sequencing of two important species, O. sanctum and O. basilicum, was carried out by Illumina paired-end sequencing.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Ocimum L. of family Lamiaceae is a well known genus for its ethnobotanical, medicinal and aromatic properties, which are attributed to innumerable phenylpropanoid and terpenoid compounds produced by the plant. To enrich genomic resources for understanding various pathways, de novo transcriptome sequencing of two important species, O. sanctum and O. basilicum, was carried out by Illumina paired-end sequencing.

Results

The sequence assembly resulted in 69117 and 130043 transcripts with an average length of 1646 +/- 1210.1 bp and 1363 +/- 1139.3 bp for O. sanctum and O. basilicum, respectively. Out of the total transcripts, 59648 (86.30%) and 105470 (81.10%) from O. sanctum and O. basilicum, and respectively were annotated by uniprot blastx against Arabidopsis, rice and lamiaceae. KEGG analysis identified 501 and 952 transcripts from O. sanctum and O. basilicum, respectively, related to secondary metabolism with higher percentage of transcripts for biosynthesis of terpenoids in O. sanctum and phenylpropanoids in O. basilicum. Higher digital gene expression in O. basilicum was validated through qPCR and correlated to higher essential oil content and chromosome number (O. sanctum, 2n = 16; and O. basilicum, 2n = 48). Several CYP450 (26) and TF (40) families were identified having probable roles in primary and secondary metabolism. Also SSR and SNP markers were identified in the transcriptomes of both species with many SSRs linked to phenylpropanoid and terpenoid pathway genes.

Conclusion

This is the first report of a comparative transcriptome analysis of Ocimum species and can be utilized to characterize genes related to secondary metabolism, their regulation, and breeding special chemotypes with unique essential oil composition in Ocimum.

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Mating system shifts and transposable element evolution in the plant genus Capsella

Despite having predominately deleterious fitness effects, transposable elements (TEs) are major constituents of eukaryote genomes in general and of plant genomes in particular. Although the proportion of the genome made up of TEs varies at least four-fold across plants, the relative importance of the evolutionary forces shaping variation in TE abundance and distributions across taxa remains unclear. Under several theoretical models, mating system plays an important role in governing the evolutionary dynamics of TEs. Here, we use the recently sequenced Capsella rubella reference genome and short-read whole genome sequencing of multiple individuals to quantify abundance, genome distributions, and population frequencies of TEs in three recently diverged species of differing mating system, two self-compatible species (C. rubella and C. orientalis) and their self-incompatible outcrossing relative, C. grandiflora.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Despite having predominately deleterious fitness effects, transposable elements (TEs) are major constituents of eukaryote genomes in general and of plant genomes in particular. Although the proportion of the genome made up of TEs varies at least four-fold across plants, the relative importance of the evolutionary forces shaping variation in TE abundance and distributions across taxa remains unclear. Under several theoretical models, mating system plays an important role in governing the evolutionary dynamics of TEs. Here, we use the recently sequenced Capsella rubella reference genome and short-read whole genome sequencing of multiple individuals to quantify abundance, genome distributions, and population frequencies of TEs in three recently diverged species of differing mating system, two self-compatible species (C. rubella and C. orientalis) and their self-incompatible outcrossing relative, C. grandiflora.

Results

We detect different dynamics of TE evolution in our two self-compatible species; C. rubella shows a small increase in transposon copy number, while C. orientalis shows a substantial decrease relative to C. grandiflora. The direction of this change in copy number is genome wide and consistent across transposon classes. For insertions near genes, however, we detect the highest abundances in C. grandiflora. Finally, we also find differences in the population frequency distributions across the three species.

Conclusion

Overall, our results suggest that the evolution of selfing may have different effects on TE evolution on a short and on a long timescale. Moreover, cross-species comparisons of transposon abundance are sensitive to reference genome bias, and efforts to control for this bias are key when making comparisons across species.

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Genome and transcriptome sequencing identifies breeding targets in the orphan crop tef (Eragrostis tef)

Tef (Eragrostis tef), an indigenous cereal critical to food security in the Horn of Africa, is rich in minerals and protein, resistant to many biotic and abiotic stresses and safe for diabetics as well as sufferers of immune reactions to wheat gluten. We present the genome of tef, the first species in the grass subfamily Chloridoideae and the first allotetraploid assembled de novo. We sequenced the tef genome for marker-assisted breeding, to shed light on the molecular mechanisms conferring tef's desirable nutritional and agronomic properties, and to make its genome publicly available as a community resource.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Tef (Eragrostis tef), an indigenous cereal critical to food security in the Horn of Africa, is rich in minerals and protein, resistant to many biotic and abiotic stresses and safe for diabetics as well as sufferers of immune reactions to wheat gluten. We present the genome of tef, the first species in the grass subfamily Chloridoideae and the first allotetraploid assembled de novo. We sequenced the tef genome for marker-assisted breeding, to shed light on the molecular mechanisms conferring tef's desirable nutritional and agronomic properties, and to make its genome publicly available as a community resource.

Results

The draft genome contains 672 Mbp representing 87% of the genome size estimated from flow cytometry. We also sequenced two transcriptomes, one from a normalized RNA library and another from unnormalized RNASeq data. The normalized RNA library revealed around 38000 transcripts that were then annotated by the SwissProt group. The CoGe comparative genomics platform was used to compare the tef genome to other genomes, notably sorghum. Scaffolds comprising approximately half of the genome size were ordered by syntenic alignment to sorghum producing tef pseudo-chromosomes, which were sorted into A and B genomes as well as compared to the genetic map of tef. The draft genome was used to identify novel SSR markers, investigate target genes for abiotic stress resistance studies, and understand the evolution of the prolamin family of proteins that are responsible for the immune response to gluten.

Conclusions

It is highly plausible that breeding targets previously identified in other cereal crops will also be valuable breeding targets in tef. The draft genome and transcriptome will be of great use for identifying these targets for genetic improvement of this orphan crop that is vital for feeding 50 million people in the Horn of Africa.

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Relationship between gene duplicability and diversifiability in the topology of biochemical networks

Selective gene duplicability, the extensive expansion of a small number of gene families, is universal. Quantitatively, the number of genes (P(K)) with K duplicates in a genome decreases precipitously as K increases, and often follows a power law (P(k)[proportional to]k-alpha). Functional diversification, either neo- or sub-functionalization, is a major evolution route for duplicate genes.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Selective gene duplicability, the extensive expansion of a small number of gene families, is universal. Quantitatively, the number of genes (P(K)) with K duplicates in a genome decreases precipitously as K increases, and often follows a power law (P(k)[proportional to]k-alpha). Functional diversification, either neo- or sub-functionalization, is a major evolution route for duplicate genes.

Results

Using three lines of genomic datasets, we studied the relationship between gene duplicability and diversifiability in the topology of biochemical networks. First, we explored scenario where two pathways in the biochemical networks antagonize each other. Synthetic knockout of respective genes for the two pathways rescues the phenotypic defects of each individual knockout. We identified duplicate gene pairs with sufficient divergences that represent this antagonism relationship in the yeast S. cerevisiae. Such pairs overwhelmingly belong to large gene families, thus tend to have high duplicability. Second, we used distances between proteins of duplicate genes in the protein interaction network as a metric of their diversification. The higher a gene's duplicate count, the further the proteins of this gene and its duplicates drift away from one another in the networks, which is especially true for genetically antagonizing duplicate genes. Third, we computed a sequence-homology-based clustering coefficient to quantify sequence diversifiability among duplicate genes - the lower the coefficient, the more the sequences have diverged. Duplicate count (K) of a gene is negatively correlated to the clustering coefficient of its duplicates, suggesting that gene duplicability is related to the extent of sequence divergence within the duplicate gene family.

Conclusion

Thus, a positive correlation exists between gene diversifiability and duplicability in the context of biochemical networks - an improvement of our understanding of gene duplicability.

 
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Intergenomic single nucleotide polymorphisms as a tool for bacterial artificial chromosome contig building of homoeologous Brassica napus regions

Homoeologous sequences pose a particular challenge if bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) contigs shall be established for specific regions of an allopolyploid genome. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) differentiating between homoeologous genomes (intergenomic SNPs) may represent a suitable screening tool for such purposes, since they do not only identify homoeologous sequences but also differentiate between them.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Homoeologous sequences pose a particular challenge if bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) contigs shall be established for specific regions of an allopolyploid genome. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) differentiating between homoeologous genomes (intergenomic SNPs) may represent a suitable screening tool for such purposes, since they do not only identify homoeologous sequences but also differentiate between them.

Results

Sequence alignments between Brassica rapa (AA) and Brassica oleracea (CC) sequences mapping to corresponding regions on chromosomes A1 and C1, respectively were used to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms between the A and C genomes. A large fraction of these polymorphisms was also present in Brassica napus (AACC), an allopolyploid species that originated from hybridisation of A and C genome species. Intergenomic SNPs mapping throughout homoeologous chromosome segments spanning approximately one Mbp each were included in Illumina’s GoldenGate® Genotyping Assay and used to screen multidimensional pools of a Brassica napus bacterial artificial chromosome library with tenfold genome coverage. Based on the results of 50 SNP assays, a BAC contig for the Brassica napus A subgenome was established that spanned the entire region of interest. The C subgenome region was represented in three BAC contigs.

Conclusions

This proof-of-concept study shows that sequence resources of diploid progenitor genomes can be used to deduce intergenomic SNPs suitable for multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based screening of multidimensional BAC pools of a polyploid organism. Owing to their high abundance and ease of identification, intergenomic SNPs represent a versatile tool to establish BAC contigs for homoeologous regions of a polyploid genome.

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Transcriptome analysis of callus from Picea balfouriana

Picea likiangensis var. balfouriana (Rehd. et Wils.) Hillier ex Slavin (also known as Picea balfouriana) is an ecologically and economically important conifer that grows rapidly under optimum conditions and produces high-quality wood. It has a wide geographic distribution and is prevalent in southwest and eastern regions of China. Under suboptimal conditions, P. balfouriana grows slowly, which restricts its cultivation. Somatic embryogenesis has been used in the mass propagation of commercial species. However, low initiation rates are a common problem and the mechanisms involved in the induction of somatic embryogenesis are not fully understood. To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating somatic embryogenesis in P. balfouriana, high-throughput RNA-seq technology was used to investigate the transcriptomes of embryogenic and non-embryogenic tissues from three P. balfouriana genotypes. We compared the genes expressed in these tissues to identify molecular markers with embryogenic potential.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Picea likiangensis var. balfouriana (Rehd. et Wils.) Hillier ex Slavin (also known as Picea balfouriana) is an ecologically and economically important conifer that grows rapidly under optimum conditions and produces high-quality wood. It has a wide geographic distribution and is prevalent in southwest and eastern regions of China. Under suboptimal conditions, P. balfouriana grows slowly, which restricts its cultivation. Somatic embryogenesis has been used in the mass propagation of commercial species. However, low initiation rates are a common problem and the mechanisms involved in the induction of somatic embryogenesis are not fully understood. To understand the molecular mechanisms regulating somatic embryogenesis in P. balfouriana, high-throughput RNA-seq technology was used to investigate the transcriptomes of embryogenic and non-embryogenic tissues from three P. balfouriana genotypes. We compared the genes expressed in these tissues to identify molecular markers with embryogenic potential.

Results

A total of 55,078,846 nucleotide sequence reads were obtained for the embryogenic and non-embryogenic tissues of P. balfouriana, and 49.56% of them uniquely matched 22,295 (84.3%) of the 26,437 genes in the Picea abies genome database (Nature 497: 579-584, 2013). Differential gene expression analysis identified 1,418 differentially expressed genes (false discovery rate <0.0001; fold change ≥2) in the embryogenic tissues relative to the non-embryogenic tissues, including 431 significantly upregulated and 987 significantly downregulated genes. KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway analysis revealed that the most significantly altered genes were involved in plant hormone signal transduction, metabolic pathways (starch and sucrose metabolism), and phenylalanine metabolism.

Conclusions

We found that the initiation of embryogenic tissues affected gene expression in many KEGG pathways, but predominantly in plant hormone signal transduction, plant-pathogen interaction, and starch and sucrose metabolism. The changes in multiple pathways related to induction in the P. balfouriana embryogenic tissues described here, will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms involved in the initiation of somatic embryogenesis. Additionally, we found that somatic embryogenesis receptor kinase (SERK), arabinogalactan proteins, and members of the WUS-related homeobox protein family may play important roles and could act as molecular markers in the early stage of somatic embryogenesis, as reported previously.

 
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The accuracy of prediction of genomic selection in elite hybrid rye populations surpasses the accuracy of marker-assisted selection and is equally augmented by multiple f...

Marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genomic selection (GS) based on genome-wide marker data provide powerful tools to predict the genotypic value of selection material in plant breeding. However, case-to-case optimization of these approaches is required to achieve maximum accuracy of prediction with reasonable input.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genomic selection (GS) based on genome-wide marker data provide powerful tools to predict the genotypic value of selection material in plant breeding. However, case-to-case optimization of these approaches is required to achieve maximum accuracy of prediction with reasonable input.

Results

Based on extended field evaluation data for grain yield, plant height, starch content and total pentosan content of elite hybrid rye derived from testcrosses involving two bi-parental populations that were genotyped with 1048 molecular markers, we compared the accuracy of prediction of MAS and GS in a cross-validation approach. MAS delivered generally lower and in addition potentially over-estimated accuracies of prediction than GS by ridge regression best linear unbiased prediction (RR-BLUP). The grade of relatedness of the plant material included in the estimation and test sets clearly affected the accuracy of prediction of GS. Within each of the two bi-parental populations, accuracies differed depending on the relatedness of the respective parental lines. Across populations, accuracy increased when both populations contributed to estimation and test set. In contrast, accuracy of prediction based on an estimation set from one population to a test set from the other population was low despite that the two bi-parental segregating populations under scrutiny shared one parental line. Limiting the number of locations or years in field testing reduced the accuracy of prediction of GS equally, supporting the view that to establish robust GS calibration models a sufficient number of test locations is of similar importance as extended testing for more than one year.

Conclusions

In hybrid rye, genomic selection is superior to marker-assisted selection. However, it achieves high accuracies of prediction only for selection candidates closely related to the plant material evaluated in field trials, resulting in a rather pessimistic prognosis for distantly related material. Both, the numbers of evaluation locations and testing years in trials contribute equally to prediction accuracy.

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The genome of Eucalyptus grandis

The genome of Eucalyptus grandis | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
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Eucalypts are the world’s most widely planted hardwood trees. Their outstanding diversity, adaptability and growth have made them a global renewable resource of fibre and energy. We sequenced and assembled >94% of the 640-megabase genome of Eucalyptus grandis. Of 36,376 predicted protein-coding genes, 34% occur in tandem duplications, the largest proportion thus far in plant genomes. Eucalyptus also shows the highest diversity of genes for specialized metabolites such as terpenes that act as chemical defence and provide unique pharmaceutical oils. Genome sequencing of the E. grandis sister species E. globulus and a set of inbred E. grandis tree genomes reveals dynamic genome evolution and hotspots of inbreeding depression. The E. grandis genome is the first reference for the eudicot order Myrtales and is placed here sister to the eurosids. This resource expands our understanding of the unique biology of large woody perennials and provides a powerful tool to accelerate comparative biology, breeding and biotechnology.

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Characterization of the lipoxygenase (LOX) gene family in the Chinese white pear (Pyrus bretschneideri) and comparison with other members of the Rosaceae

Lipoxygenases (LOXs), a type of non-haem iron-containing dioxygenase, are ubiquitous enzymes in plants and participate in the formation of fruit aroma which is a very important aspect of fruit quality. Amongst the various aroma volatiles, saturated and unsaturated alcohols and aldehydes provide the characteristic aroma of the fruit. These compounds are formed from unsaturated fatty acids through oxidation, pyrolysis and reduction steps. This biosynthetic pathway involves at least four enzymes, including LOX, the enzyme responsible for lipid oxidation. Although some studies have been conducted on the LOX gene family in several species including Arabidopsis, soybean, cucumber and apple, there is no information from pear; and the evolutionary history of this gene family in the Rosaceae is still not resolved.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Lipoxygenases (LOXs), a type of non-haem iron-containing dioxygenase, are ubiquitous enzymes in plants and participate in the formation of fruit aroma which is a very important aspect of fruit quality. Amongst the various aroma volatiles, saturated and unsaturated alcohols and aldehydes provide the characteristic aroma of the fruit. These compounds are formed from unsaturated fatty acids through oxidation, pyrolysis and reduction steps. This biosynthetic pathway involves at least four enzymes, including LOX, the enzyme responsible for lipid oxidation. Although some studies have been conducted on the LOX gene family in several species including Arabidopsis, soybean, cucumber and apple, there is no information from pear; and the evolutionary history of this gene family in the Rosaceae is still not resolved.

Results

In this study we identified 107 LOX homologous genes from five Rosaceous species (Pyrus bretschneideri, Malus x domestica, Fragaria vesca, Prunus mume and Prunus persica); 23 of these sequences were from pear. By using structure analysis, phylogenic analysis and collinearity analysis, we identified variation in gene structure and revealed the phylogenetic evolutionary relationship of this gene family. Expression of certain pear LOX genes during fruit development was verified by analysis of transcriptome data.

Conclusions

23 LOX genes were identified in pear and these genes were found to have undergone a duplication 30-45 MYA; most of these 23 genes are functional. Specific gene duplication was found on chromosome4 in the pear genome. Useful information was provided for future research on the evolutionary history and transgenic research on LOX genes.

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OsHUS1 Facilitates Accurate Meiotic Recombination in Rice

OsHUS1 Facilitates Accurate Meiotic Recombination in Rice | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

Meiotic recombination normally takes place between allelic sequences on homologs. This process can also occur between non-allelic homologous sequences. Such ectopic interaction events can lead to chromosome rearrangements and are normally avoided. However, much remains unknown about how these ectopic interaction events are sensed and eliminated. In this study, using a screen in rice, we characterized a homolog of HUS1 and explored its function in meiotic recombination. In Oshus1 mutants, in conjunction with nearly normal homologous pairing and synapsis, vigorous, aberrant ectopic interactions occurred between nonhomologous chromosomes, leading to multivalent formation and subsequent chromosome fragmentation. These ectopic interactions relied on programed meiotic double strand breaks and were formed in a manner independent of the OsMER3-mediated interference-sensitive crossover pathway. Although early homologous recombination events occurred normally, the number of interference-sensitive crossovers was reduced in the absence of OsHUS1. Together, our results indicate that OsHUS1 might be involved in regulating ectopic interactions during meiosis, probably by forming the canonical RAD9-RAD1-HUS1 (9-1-1) complex.

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