Plant Genomics
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Identification of miRNAs and their target genes in developing maize ears by combined small RNA and degradome sequencing

In plants, microRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous ~22 nt RNAs that play important regulatory roles in many aspects of plant biology, including metabolism, hormone response, epigenetic control of transposable elements, and stress response.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

In plants, microRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous ~22 nt RNAs that play important regulatory roles in many aspects of plant biology, including metabolism, hormone response, epigenetic control of transposable elements, and stress response. Extensive studies of miRNAs have been performed in model plants such as rice and Arabidopsis thaliana. In maize, most miRNAs and their target genes were analyzed and identified by clearly different treatments, such as response to low nitrate, salt and drought stress. However, little is known about miRNAs involved in maize ear development. The objective of this study is to identify conserved and novel miRNAs and their target genes by combined small RNA and degradome sequencing at four inflorescence developmental stages.

Results

We used deep-sequencing, miRNA microarray assays and computational methods to identify, profile, and describe conserved and non-conserved miRNAs at four ear developmental stages, which resulted in identification of 22 conserved and 21-maize-specific miRNA families together with their corresponding miRNA*. Comparison of miRNA expression in these developmental stages revealed 18 differentially expressed miRNA families. Finally, a total of 141 genes (251 transcripts) targeted by 102 small RNAs including 98 miRNAs and 4 ta-siRNAs were identified by genomic-scale high-throughput sequencing of miRNA cleaved mRNAs. Moreover, the differentially expressed miRNAs-mediated pathways that regulate the development of ears were discussed.

Conclusions

This study confirmed 22 conserved miRNA families and discovered 26 novel miRNAs in maize. Moreover, we identified 141 target genes of known and new miRNAs and ta-siRNAs. Of these, 72 genes (117 transcripts) targeted by 62 differentially expressed miRNAs may attribute to the development of maize ears. Identification and characterization of these important classes of regulatory genes in maize may improve our understanding of molecular mechanisms controlling ear development.

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Comparative analysis of fungal genomes reveals different plant cell wall degrading capacity in fungi

The version of this article published in BMC Genomics 2013, 14: 274, contains 9 unpublished genomes (Botryobasidium botryosum, Gymnopus luxurians, Hypholoma sublateritium, Jaapia argillacea, Hebeloma cylindrosporum, Conidiobolus coronatus, Laccaria...
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Abstract

The version of this article published in BMC Genomics 2013, 14: 274, contains 9 unpublished genomes (Botryobasidium botryosum, Gymnopus luxurians, Hypholoma sublateritium, Jaapia argillacea, Hebeloma cylindrosporum, Conidiobolus coronatus, Laccaria amethystina, Paxillus involutus, and P. rubicundulus) downloaded from JGI website. In this correction, we removed these genomes after discussion with editors and data producers whom we should have contacted before downloading these genomes. Removing these data did not alter the principle results and conclusions of our original work. The relevant Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6; and Table 1 have been revised. Additional files 1, 3, 4, and 5 were also revised. We would like to apologize for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

Background

Fungi produce a variety of carbohydrate activity enzymes (CAZymes) for the degradation of plant polysaccharide materials to facilitate infection and/or gain nutrition. Identifying and comparing CAZymes from fungi with different nutritional modes or infection mechanisms may provide information for better understanding of their life styles and infection models. To date, over hundreds of fungal genomes are publicly available. However, a systematic comparative analysis of fungal CAZymes across the entire fungal kingdom has not been reported.

Results

In this study, we systemically identified glycoside hydrolases (GHs), polysaccharide lyases (PLs), carbohydrate esterases (CEs), and glycosyltransferases (GTs) as well as carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) in the predicted proteomes of 94 representative fungi from Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, Chytridiomycota, and Zygomycota. Comparative analysis of these CAZymes that play major roles in plant polysaccharide degradation revealed that fungi exhibit tremendous diversity in the number and variety of CAZymes. Among them, some families of GHs and CEs are the most prevalent CAZymes that are distributed in all of the fungi analyzed. Importantly, cellulases of some GH families are present in fungi that are not known to have cellulose-degrading ability. In addition, our results also showed that in general, plant pathogenic fungi have the highest number of CAZymes. Biotrophic fungi tend to have fewer CAZymes than necrotrophic and hemibiotrophic fungi. Pathogens of dicots often contain more pectinases than fungi infecting monocots. Interestingly, besides yeasts, many saprophytic fungi that are highly active in degrading plant biomass contain fewer CAZymes than plant pathogenic fungi. Furthermore, analysis of the gene expression profile of the wheat scab fungus Fusarium graminearum revealed that most of the CAZyme genes related to cell wall degradation were up-regulated during plant infection. Phylogenetic analysis also revealed a complex history of lineage-specific expansions and attritions for the PL1 family.

Conclusions

Our study provides insights into the variety and expansion of fungal CAZyme classes and revealed the relationship of CAZyme size and diversity with their nutritional strategy and host specificity.

 
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Genome sequence of the hot pepper provides insights into the evolution of pungency in Capsicum species

Genome sequence of the hot pepper provides insights into the evolution of pungency in Capsicum species | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Doil Choi and colleagues report the genome sequence of the hot pepper, Capsicum annuum, as well as the resequencing of two cultivated peppers and a wild species, Capsicum chinense.
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Hot pepper (Capsicum annuum), one of the oldest domesticated crops in the Americas, is the most widely grown spice crop in the world. We report whole-genome sequencing and assembly of the hot pepper (Mexican landrace of Capsicum annuum cv. CM334) at 186.6× coverage. We also report resequencing of two cultivated peppers and de novo sequencing of the wild species Capsicum chinense. The genome size of the hot pepper was approximately fourfold larger than that of its close relative tomato, and the genome showed an accumulation of Gypsy and Caulimoviridae family elements. Integrative genomic and transcriptomic analyses suggested that change in gene expression and neofunctionalization of capsaicin synthase have shaped capsaicinoid biosynthesis. We found differential molecular patterns of ripening regulators and ethylene synthesis in hot pepper and tomato. The reference genome will serve as a platform for improving the nutritional and medicinal values of Capsicum species.

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Genome-wide comparative analysis of NBS-encoding genes between Brassica species and Arabidopsis thaliana

Plant disease resistance (R) genes with the nucleotide binding site (NBS) play an important role in offering resistance to pathogens.
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Background

Plant disease resistance (R) genes with the nucleotide binding site (NBS) play an important role in offering resistance to pathogens. The availability of complete genome sequences of Brassica oleracea and Brassica rapa provides an important opportunity for researchers to identify and characterize NBS-encoding R genes in Brassica species and to compare with analogues in Arabidopsis thaliana based on a comparative genomics approach. However, little is known about the evolutionary fate of NBS-encoding genes in the Brassica lineage after split from A. thaliana.

Results

Here we present genome-wide analysis of NBS-encoding genes in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana. Through the employment of HMM search and manual curation, we identified 157, 206 and 167 NBS-encoding genes in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis among 3 species classified NBS-encoding genes into 6 subgroups. Tandem duplication and whole genome triplication (WGT) analyses revealed that after WGT of the Brassica ancestor, NBS-encoding homologous gene pairs on triplicated regions in Brassica ancestor were deleted or lost quickly, but NBS-encoding genes in Brassica species experienced species-specific gene amplification by tandem duplication after divergence of B. rapa and B. oleracea. Expression profiling of NBS-encoding orthologous gene pairs indicated the differential expression pattern of retained orthologous gene copies in B. oleracea and B. rapa. Furthermore, evolutionary analysis of CNL type NBS-encoding orthologous gene pairs among 3 species suggested that orthologous genes in B. rapa species have undergone stronger negative selection than those in B .oleracea species. But for TNL type, there are no significant differences in the orthologous gene pairs between the two species.

Conclusion

This study is first identification and characterization of NBS-encoding genes in B. rapa and B. oleracea based on whole genome sequences. Through tandem duplication and whole genome triplication analysis in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, our study provides insight into the evolutionary history of NBS-encoding genes after divergence of A. thaliana and the Brassica lineage. These results together with expression pattern analysis of NBS-encoding orthologous genes provide useful resource for functional characterization of these genes and genetic improvement of relevant crops.

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A reference consensus genetic map for molecular markers and economically important traits in faba bean (Vicia faba L.)

A reference consensus genetic map for molecular markers and economically important traits in faba bean (Vicia faba L.) | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is among the earliest domesticated crops from the Near East.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Faba bean (Vicia faba L.) is among the earliest domesticated crops from the Near East. Today this legume is a key protein feed and food worldwide and continues to serve an important role in culinary traditions throughout Middle East, Mediterranean region, China and Ethiopia. Adapted to a wide range of soil types, the main faba bean breeding objectives are to improve yield, resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses, seed quality and other agronomic traits. Genomic approaches aimed at enhancing faba bean breeding programs require high-quality genetic linkage maps to facilitate quantitative trait locus analysis and gene tagging for use in a marker-assisted selection. The objective of this study was to construct a reference consensus map in faba bean by joining the information from the most relevant maps reported so far in this crop.

Results

A combination of two approaches, increasing the number of anchor loci in diverse mapping populations and joining the corresponding genetic maps, was used to develop a reference consensus map in faba bean. The map was constructed from three main recombinant inbreed populations derived from four parental lines, incorporates 729 markers and is based on 69 common loci. It spans 4,602 cM with a range from 323 to 1041 loci in six main linkage groups or chromosomes, and an average marker density of one locus every 6 cM. Locus order is generally well maintained between the consensus map and the individual maps.

Conclusion

We have constructed a reliable and fairly dense consensus genetic linkage map that will serve as a basis for genomic approaches in faba bean research and breeding. The core map contains a larger number of markers than any previous individual map, covers existing gaps and achieves a wider coverage of the large faba bean genome as a whole. This tool can be used as a reference resource for studies in different genetic backgrounds, and provides a framework for transferring genetic information when using different marker technologies. Combined with syntenic approaches, the consensus map will increase marker density in selected genomic regions and will be useful for future faba bean molecular breeding applications.

 
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The genome of the recently domesticated crop plant sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) : Nature : Nature Publishing Group

The genome of the recently domesticated crop plant sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) : Nature : Nature Publishing Group | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris) is an important crop of temperate climates which provides nearly 30% of the world/'s annual sugar production and is a source for bioethanol and animal feed.
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Reconstruction of the lipid metabolism for the microalga Monoraphidium neglectum from its genome sequence reveals characteristics suitable for biofuel production

Reconstruction of the lipid metabolism for the microalga Monoraphidium neglectum from its genome sequence reveals characteristics suitable for biofuel production | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Microalgae are gaining importance as sustainable production hosts in the fields of biotechnology and bioenergy.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Microalgae are gaining importance as sustainable production hosts in the fields of biotechnology and bioenergy. A robust biomass accumulating strain of the genus Monoraphidium (SAG 48.87) was investigated in this work as a potential feedstock for biofuel production. The genome was sequenced, annotated, and key enzymes for triacylglycerol formation were elucidated.

Results

Monoraphidium neglectum was identified as an oleaginous species with favourable growth characteristics as well as a high potential for crude oil production, based on neutral lipid contents of approximately 21% (dry weight) under nitrogen starvation, composed of predominantly C18:1 and C16:0 fatty acids. Further characterization revealed growth in a relatively wide pH range and salt concentrations of up to 1.0% NaCl, in which the cells exhibited larger structures. This first full genome sequencing of a member of the Selenastraceae revealed a diploid, approximately 68 Mbp genome with a G + C content of 64.7%. The circular chloroplast genome was assembled to a 135,362 bp single contig, containing 67 protein-coding genes. The assembly of the mitochondrial genome resulted in two contigs with an approximate total size of 94 kb, the largest known mitochondrial genome within algae. 16,761 protein-coding genes were assigned to the nuclear genome. Comparison of gene sets with respect to functional categories revealed a higher gene number assigned to the category "carbohydrate metabolic process" and in "fatty acid biosynthetic process" in M. neglectum when compared to Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Nannochloropsis gaditana, indicating a higher metabolic diversity for applications in carbohydrate conversions of biotechnological relevance.

Conclusions

The genome of M. neglectum, as well as the metabolic reconstruction of crucial lipid pathways, provides new insights into the diversity of the lipid metabolism in microalgae. The results of this work provide a platform to encourage the development of this strain for biotechnological applications and production concepts.

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Proteomic changes in the base of chrysanthemum cuttings during adventitious root formation

Proteomic changes in the base of chrysanthemum cuttings during adventitious root formation | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
A lack of competence to form adventitious roots by cuttings of Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) is an obstacle for the rapid fixation of elite genotypes.
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Background

A lack of competence to form adventitious roots by cuttings of Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) is an obstacle for the rapid fixation of elite genotypes. We performed a proteomic analysis of cutting bases of chrysanthemum cultivar 'Jinba' during adventitious root formation (ARF) in order to identify rooting ability associated protein and/or to get further insight into the molecular mechanisms controlling adventitious rooting.

Results

The protein profiles during ARF were analyzed by comparing the 2-DE gels between 0-day-old (just severed from the stock plant) and 5-day-old cutting bases of chrysanthemum. A total of 69 differentially accumulated protein spots (two-fold change; t-test: 95% significance) were excised and analyzed using MALDI-TOF/TOF, among which 42 protein spots (assigned as 24 types of proteins and 7 unknown proteins) were confidently identified using the NCBI database. The results demonstrated that 19% proteins were related to carbohydrate and energy metabolism, 16% to photosynthesis, 10% to protein fate, 7% to plant defense, 6% to cell structure, 7% to hormone related, 3% to nitrate metabolism, 3% to lipid metabolism, 3% to ascorbate biosynthesis and 3% to RNA binding, 23% were unknown proteins. Twenty types of differentially accumulated proteins including ACC oxidase (CmACO) were further analyzed at the transcription level, most of which were in accordance with the results of 2-DE. Moreover, the protein abundance changes of CmACO are supported by western blot experiments. Ethylene evolution was higher during the ARF compared with day 0 after cutting, while silver nitrate, an inhibitor of ethylene synthesis, pretreatment delayed the ARF. It suggested that ACC oxidase plays an important role in ARF of chrysanthemum.

Conclusions

The proteomic analysis of cutting bases of chrysanthemum allowed us to identify proteins whose expression was related to ARF. We identified auxin-induced protein PCNT115 and ACC oxidase positively or negatively correlated to ARF, respectively. Several other proteins related to carbohydrate and energy metabolism, protein degradation, photosynthetic and cell structure were also correlated to ARF. The induction of protein CmACO provide a strong case for ethylene as the immediate signal for ARF. This strongly suggests that the proteins we have identified will be valuable for further insight into the molecular mechanisms controlling ARF.

 
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The Amborella Genome and the Evolution of Flowering Plants

The Amborella Genome and the Evolution of Flowering Plants | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it

Amborella trichopoda, an understory shrub endemic to New Caledonia, is the sole surviving sister species of all other living flowering plants (angiosperms). The Amborella genome provides an exceptional reference for inferring features of the first flowering plants and identifies an ancient angiosperm-wide whole-genome duplication (red star). Amborella flowers have spirally arranged tepals, unfused carpels (female; shown), and laminar stamens. Amborella trichopoda, an understory shrub endemic to New Caledonia, is the sole surviving sister species of all other living flowering plants (angiosperms). The Amborella genome provides an exceptional reference for inferring features of the first flowering plants and identifies an ancient angiosperm-wide whole-genome duplication (red star). Amborella flowers have spirally arranged tepals, unfused carpels (female; shown), and laminar stamens.


Via Jennifer Mach
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A BAC based physical map and genome survey of the rice false smut fungus Villosiclava virens

Rice false smut caused by Villosiclava virens is a devastating fungal disease that spreads in major rice-growing regions throughout the world.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Rice false smut caused by Villosiclava virens is a devastating fungal disease that spreads in major rice-growing regions throughout the world. However, the genomic information for this fungal pathogen is limited and the pathogenic mechanism of this disease is still not clear. To facilitate genetic, molecular and genomic studies of this fungal pathogen, we constructed the first BAC-based physical map and performed the first genome survey for this species.

Results

High molecular weight genomic DNA was isolated from young mycelia of the Villosiclava virens strain UV-8b and a high-quality, large-insert and deep-coverage Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) library was constructed with the restriction enzyme HindIII. The BAC library consisted of 5,760 clones, which covers 22.7-fold of the UV-8b genome, with an average insert size of 140 kb and an empty clone rate of lower than 1%. BAC fingerprinting generated successful fingerprints for 2,290 BAC clones. Using the fingerprints, a whole genome-wide BAC physical map was constructed that contained 194 contigs (2,035 clones) spanning 51.2 Mb in physical length. Bidirectional-end sequencing of 4,512 BAC clones generated 6,560 high quality BAC end sequences (BESs), with a total length of 3,030,658 bp, representing 8.54% of the genome sequence. Analysis of the BESs revealed general genome information, including 51.52% GC content, 22.51% repetitive sequences, 376.12/Mb simple sequence repeat (SSR) density and approximately 36.01% coding regions. Sequence comparisons to other available fungal genome sequences through BESs showed high similarities to Metarhizium anisopliae, Trichoderma reesei, Nectria haematococca and Cordyceps militaris, which were generally in agreement with the 18S rRNA gene analysis results.

Conclusion

This study provides the first BAC-based physical map and genome information for the important rice fungal pathogen Villosiclava virens. The BAC clones, physical map and genome information will serve as fundamental resources to accelerate the genetic, molecular and genomic studies of this pathogen, including positional cloning, comparative genomic analysis and whole genome sequencing. The BAC library and physical map have been opened to researchers as public genomic resources (http://gresource.hzau.edu.cn/resource/resource.html).

 
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Characterization of cytokinin signaling and homeostasis gene families in two hardwood tree species: Populus trichocarpa and Prunus persica

Through the diversity of cytokinin regulated processes, this phytohormone has a profound impact on plant growth and development.
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Background

Through the diversity of cytokinin regulated processes, this phytohormone has a profound impact on plant growth and development. Cytokinin signaling is involved in the control of apical and lateral meristem activity, branching pattern of the shoot, and leaf senescence. These processes influence several traits, including the stem diameter, shoot architecture, and perennial life cycle, which define the development of woody plants. To facilitate research about the role of cytokinin in regulation of woody plant development, we have identified genes associated with cytokinin signaling and homeostasis pathways from two hardwood tree species.

Results

Taking advantage of the sequenced black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and peach (Prunus persica) genomes, we have compiled a comprehensive list of genes involved in these pathways. We identified genes belonging to the six families of cytokinin oxidases (CKXs), isopentenyl transferases (IPTs), LONELY GUY genes (LOGs), two-component receptors, histidine containing phosphotransmitters (HPts), and response regulators (RRs). All together 85 Populus and 45 Prunus genes were identified, and compared to their Arabidopsis orthologs through phylogenetic analyses.

Conclusions

In general, when compared to Arabidopsis, differences in gene family structure were often seen in only one of the two tree species. However, one class of genes associated with cytokinin signal transduction, the CKI1-like family of two-component histidine kinases, was larger in both Populus and Prunus than in Arabidopsis.

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Genome comparison of two Magnaporthe oryzae field isolates reveals genome variations and potential virulence effectors

Rice blast caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is an important disease in virtually every rice growing region of the world, which leads to significant annual decreases of grain quality and yield.
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Background

Rice blast caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae is an important disease in virtually every rice growing region of the world, which leads to significant annual decreases of grain quality and yield. To prevent disease, resistance genes in rice have been cloned and introduced into susceptible cultivars. However, introduced resistance can often be broken within few years of release, often due to mutation of cognate avirulence genes in fungal field populations.

Results

To better understand the pattern of mutation of M. oryzae field isolates under natural selection forces, we used a next generation sequencing approach to analyze the genomes of two field isolates FJ81278 and HN19311, as well as the transcriptome of FJ81278. By comparing the de novo genome assemblies of the two isolates against the finished reference strain 70-15, we identified extensive polymorphisms including unique genes, SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphism) and indels, structural variations, copy number variations, and loci under strong positive selection. The 1.75 MB of isolate-specific genome content carrying 118 novel genes from FJ81278, and 0.83 MB from HN19311 were also identified. By analyzing secreted proteins carrying polymorphisms, in total 256 candidate virulence effectors were found and 6 were chosen for functional characterization.

Conclusions

We provide results from genome comparison analysis showing extensive genome variation, and generated a list of M. oryzae candidate virulence effectors for functional characterization.

 
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Unraveling the genetic architecture of subtropical maize (Zea mays L.) lines to assess their utility in breeding programs

Maize is an increasingly important food crop in southeast Asia.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Maize is an increasingly important food crop in southeast Asia. The elucidation of its genetic architecture, accomplished by exploring quantitative trait loci and useful alleles in various lines across numerous breeding programs, is therefore of great interest. The present study aimed to characterize subtropical maize lines using high-quality SNPs distributed throughout the genome.

Results

We genotyped a panel of 240 subtropical elite maize inbred lines and carried out linkage disequilibrium, genetic diversity, population structure, and principal component analyses on the generated SNP data. The mean SNP distance across the genome was 70 Kb. The genome had both high and low linkage disequilibrium (LD) regions; the latter were dominant in areas near the gene-rich telomeric portions where recombination is frequent. A total of 252 haplotype blocks, ranging in size from 1 to 15.8 Mb, were identified. Slow LD decay (200-300 Kb) at r2 <= 0.1 across all chromosomes explained the selection of favorable traits around low LD regions in different breeding programs. The association mapping panel was characterized by strong population substructure. Genotypes were grouped into three distinct clusters with a mean genetic dissimilarity coefficient of 0.36.

Conclusions

The genotyped panel of subtropical maize lines characterized in this study should be useful for association mapping of agronomically important genes. The dissimilarity uncovered among genotypes provides an opportunity to exploit the heterotic potential of subtropical elite maize breeding lines.

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T-KDE: a method for genome-wide identification of constitutive protein binding sites from multiple ChIP-seq data sets

A protein may bind to its target DNA sites constitutively, i.e., regardless of cell type. Intuitively, constitutive binding sites should be biologically functional.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

A protein may bind to its target DNA sites constitutively, i.e., regardless of cell type. Intuitively, constitutive binding sites should be biologically functional. A prerequisite for understanding their functional relevance is knowing all their locations for a protein of interest. Genome-wide discovery of constitutive binding sites requires robust and efficient computational methods to integrate results from numerous binding experiments. Such methods are lacking, however.

Results

To locate constitutive binding sites for a protein using ChIP-seq data for that protein from multiple cell lines, we developed a method, T-KDE, which combines a binary range tree with a kernel density estimator. Using 132CTCF (CCCTC-binding factor) ChIP-seq datasets, we showed that the number of constitutive sites identified by T-KDE is robust to the choice of tuning parameter and that T-KDE identifies binding site locations more accurately than a binning approach. Furthermore, T-KDE can identify constitutive sites that are missed by a motif-based approach either because a bound site failed to reach the motif significance cutoff or because the peak sequence scanned was too short. By studying sites declared constitutive by T-KDE but not by the motif-based approach, we discovered two new CTCF motif variants. Using ENCODE data on 22 transcription factors (TF) in 132 cell lines, we identified constitutive binding sites for each TF and provide evidence that, for some TFs, they may be biologically meaningful.

Conclusions

T-KDE is an efficient and effective method to predict constitutive protein binding sites using ChIP-seq peaks from multiple cell lines. Besides constitutive binding sites for a given protein, T-KDE can identify genomic "hot spots" where several different proteins bind and, conversely, cell-type-specific sites bound by a given protein.

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Multiplex genomic structure variation mediated by TALEN and ssODN

Genomic structure variation (GSV) is widely distributed in various organisms and is an important contributor to human diversity and disease susceptibility.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Genomic structure variation (GSV) is widely distributed in various organisms and is an important contributor to human diversity and disease susceptibility. Efficient approaches to induce targeted genomic structure variation are crucial for both analytic and therapeutic studies of GSV. Here, we presented an efficient strategy to induce targeted GSV including chromosomal deletions, duplications and inversions in a precise manner.

Results

Utilizing Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALEN) designed to target two distinct sites, we demonstrated targeted deletions, duplications and inversions of an 8.9 Mb chromosomal segment, which is about one third of the entire chromosome. We developed a novel method by combining TALEN-induced GSV and single stranded oligodeoxynucleotide (ssODN) mediated gene modifications to reduce unwanted mutations occurring during the targeted GSV using TALEN or Zinc finger nuclease (ZFN). Furthermore, we showed that co-introduction of TALEN and ssODN generated unwanted complex structure variation other than the expected chromosomal deletion.

Conclusions

We demonstrated the ability of TALEN to induce targeted GSV and provided an efficient strategy to perform GSV precisely. Furthermore, it is the first time to show that co-introduction of TALEN and ssODN generated unwanted complex structure variation. It is plausible to believe that the strategies developed in this study can be applied to other organisms, and will help understand the biological roles of GSV and therapeutic applications of TALEN and ssODN.

 
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Genomic, regulatory and epigenetic mechanisms underlying duplicated gene evolution in the natural allotetraploid Oryza minuta

Polyploid species contribute to Oryza diversity. However, the mechanisms underlying gene and genome evolution in Oryza polyploids remain largely unknown.
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Background

Polyploid species contribute to Oryza diversity. However, the mechanisms underlying gene and genome evolution in Oryza polyploids remain largely unknown. The allotetraploid Oryza minuta, which is estimated to have formed less than one million years ago, along with its putative diploid progenitors (O. punctata and O. officinalis), are quite suitable for the study of polyploid genome evolution using a comparative genomics approach.

Results

Here, we performed a comparative study of a large genomic region surrounding the Shattering4 locus in O. minuta, as well as in O. punctata and O. officinalis. Duplicated genomes in O. minuta have maintained the diploid genome organization, except for several structural variations mediated by transposon movement. Tandem duplicated gene clusters are prevalent in the Sh4 region, and segmental duplication followed by random deletion is illustrated to explain the gene gain-and-loss process. Both copies of most duplicated genes still persist in O. minuta. Molecular evolution analysis suggested that these duplicated genes are equally evolved and mostly manipulated by purifying selection. However, cDNA-SSCP analysis revealed that the expression patterns were dramatically altered between duplicated genes: nine of 29 duplicated genes exhibited expression divergence in O. minuta. We further detected one gene silencing event that was attributed to gene structural variation, but most gene silencing could not be related to sequence changes. We identified one case in which DNA methylation differences within promoter regions that were associated with the insertion of one hAT element were probably responsible for gene silencing, suggesting a potential epigenetic gene silencing pathway triggered by TE movement.

Conclusions

Our study revealed both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms involved in duplicated gene silencing in the allotetraploid O. minuta.

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Structure and expression of GSL1 and GSL2 genes encoding gibberellin stimulated-like proteins in diploid and highly heterozygous tetraploid potato reveals their highly con...

GSL1 and GSL2, Gibberellin Stimulated-Like proteins (also known as Snakin-1 and Snakin-2), are cysteine-rich peptides from potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) with antimicrobial properties.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Background

GSL1 and GSL2, Gibberellin Stimulated-Like proteins (also known as Snakin-1 and Snakin-2), are cysteine-rich peptides from potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) with antimicrobial properties. Similar peptides in other species have been implicated in diverse biological processes and are hypothesised to play a role in several aspects of plant development, plant responses to biotic or abiotic stress through their participation in hormone crosstalk, and redox homeostasis. To help resolve the biological roles of GSL1 and GSL2 peptides we have undertaken an in depth analysis of the structure and expression of these genes in potato.

Results

We have characterised the full length genes for both GSL1 (chromosome 4) and GSL2 (chromosome 1) from diploid and tetraploid potato using the reference genome sequence of potato, coupled with further next generation sequencing of four highly heterozygous tetraploid cultivars. The frequency of SNPs in GSL1 and GSL2 were very low with only one SNP every 67 and 53 nucleotides in exon regions of GSL1 and GSL2, respectively. Analysis of comprehensive RNA-seq data substantiated the role of specific promoter motifs in transcriptional control of gene expression. Expression analysis based on the frequency of next generation sequence reads established that GSL2 was expressed at a higher level than GSL1 in 30 out of 32 tissue and treatment libraries. Furthermore, both the GSL1 and GSL2 genes exhibited constitutive expression that was not up regulated in response to biotic or abiotic stresses, hormone treatments or wounding. Potato transformation with antisense knock-down expression cassettes failed to recover viable plants.

Conclusions

The potato GSL1 and GSL2 genes are very highly conserved suggesting they contribute to an important biological function. The known antimicrobial activity of the GSL proteins, coupled with the FPKM analysis from RNA-seq data, implies that both genes contribute to the constitutive defence barriers in potatoes. The lethality of antisense knock-down expression of GSL1 and GSL2, coupled with the rare incidence of SNPs in these genes, suggests an essential role for this gene family. These features are consistent with the GSL protein family playing a role in several aspects of plant development in addition to plant defence against biotic stresses.

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Identification and characterisation of non-coding small RNAs in the pathogenic filamentous fungus Trichophyton rubrum

Identification and characterisation of non-coding small RNAs in the pathogenic filamentous fungus Trichophyton rubrum | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are indispensable components of many organisms and play important roles in cellular events, regulation, and development.
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Background

Accumulating evidence demonstrates that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are indispensable components of many organisms and play important roles in cellular events, regulation, and development.

Results

Here, we analysed the small non-coding RNA (ncRNA) transcriptome of Trichophyton rubrum by constructing and sequencing a cDNA library from conidia and mycelia. We identified 352 ncRNAs and their corresponding genomic loci. These ncRNA candidates included 198 entirely novel ncRNAs and 154 known ncRNAs classified as snRNAs, snoRNAs and other known ncRNAs. Further bioinformatic analysis detected 96 snoRNAs, including 56 snoRNAs that had been annotated in other organisms and 40 novel snoRNAs. All snoRNAs belonged to two major classes--C/D box snoRNAs and H/ACA snoRNAs--and their potential target sites in rRNAs and snRNAs were predicted. To analyse the evolutionary conservation of the ncRNAs in T. rubrum, we aligned all 352 ncRNAs to the genomes of six dermatophytes and to the NCBI non-redundant nucleotide database (NT). The results showed that most of the identified snRNAs were conserved in dermatophytes. Of the 352 ncRNAs, 102 also had genomic loci in other dermatophytes, and 27 were dermatophyte-specific.

Conclusions

Our systematic analysis may provide important clues to the function and evolution of ncRNAs in T. rubrum. These results also provide important information to complement the current annotation of the T. rubrum genome, which primarily comprises protein-coding genes.

 
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The fungal symbiont of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants expresses the full spectrum of genes to degrade cellulose and other plant cell wall polysaccharides

The fungal symbiont of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants expresses the full spectrum of genes to degrade cellulose and other plant cell wall polysaccharides | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
The fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants are natural biomass conversion systems that turn fresh plant forage into fungal biomass to feed the farming ants.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

The fungus gardens of leaf-cutting ants are natural biomass conversion systems that turn fresh plant forage into fungal biomass to feed the farming ants. However, the decomposition potential of the symbiont Leucocoprinus gongylophorus for processing polysaccharides has remained controversial. We therefore used quantifiable DeepSAGE technology to obtain mRNA expression patterns of genes coding for secreted enzymes from top, middle, and bottom sections of a laboratory fungus-garden of Acromyrmex echinatior leaf-cutting ants.

Results

A broad spectrum of biomass-conversion-relevant enzyme genes was found to be expressed in situ: cellulases (GH3, GH5, GH6, GH7, AA9 [formerly GH61]), hemicellulases (GH5, GH10, CE1, GH12, GH74), pectinolytic enzymes (CE8, GH28, GH43, PL1, PL3, PL4), glucoamylase (GH15), alpha-galactosidase (GH27), and various cutinases, esterases, and lipases. In general, expression of these genes reached maximal values in the bottom section of the garden, particularly for an AA9 lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase and for a GH5 (endocellulase), a GH7 (reducing end-acting cellobiohydrolase), and a GH10 (xylanase), all containing a carbohydrate binding module that specifically binds cellulose (CBM1). Although we did not directly quantify enzyme abundance, the profile of expressed cellulase genes indicates that both hydrolytic and oxidative degradation is taking place.

Conclusions

The fungal symbiont of Acromyrmex leaf-cutting ants can degrade a large range of plant polymers, but the conversion of cellulose, hemicellulose, and part of the pectin occurs primarily towards the end of the decomposition process, i.e. in the bottom section of the fungus garden. These conversions are likely to provide nutrients for the fungus itself rather than for the ants, whose colony growth and reproductive success are limited by proteins obtained from ingesting fungal gongylidia. These specialized hyphal tips are hardly produced in the bottom section of fungus gardens, consistent with the ants discarding old fungal biomass from this part of the garden. The transcripts that we found suggest that actively growing mycelium in the bottom of gardens helps to maintain an optimal water balance to avoid hyphal disintegration, so the ants can ultimately discard healthy rather than decaying and diseased garden material, and to buffer negative effects of varying availability and quality of substrate across the seasons.

 
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PSP: rapid identification of orthologous coding genes under positive selection across multiple closely related prokaryotic genomes

With genomic sequences of many closely related bacterial strains made available by deep sequencing, it is now possible to investigate trends in prokaryotic microevolution.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

With genomic sequences of many closely related bacterial strains made available by deep sequencing, it is now possible to investigate trends in prokaryotic microevolution. Positive selection is a sub-process of microevolution, in which a particular mutation is favored, causing the allele frequency to continuously shift in one direction. Wide scanning of prokaryotic genomes has shown that positive selection at the molecular level is much more frequent than expected. Genes with significant positive selection may play key roles in bacterial adaption to different environmental pressures. However, selection pressure analyses are computationally intensive and awkward to configure.

Results

Here we describe an open access web server, which is designated as PSP (Positive Selection analysis for Prokaryotic genomes) for performing evolutionary analysis on orthologous coding genes, specially designed for rapid comparison of dozens of closely related prokaryotic genomes. Remarkably, PSP facilitates functional exploration at the multiple levels by assignments and enrichments of KO, GO or COG terms. To illustrate this user-friendly tool, we analyzed Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus genomes and found that several genes, which play key roles in human infection and antibiotic resistance, show significant evidence of positive selection. PSP is freely available to all users without any login requirement at: http://db-mml.sjtu.edu.cn/PSP/.

Conclusions

PSP ultimately allows researchers to do genome-scale analysis for evolutionary selection across multiple prokaryotic genomes rapidly and easily, and identify the genes undergoing positive selection, which may play key roles in the interactions of host-pathogen and/or environmental adaptation.

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Transcriptome-wide profiling and expression analysis of transcription factor families in a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha

Transcriptome-wide profiling and expression analysis of transcription factor families in a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
Transcription factors (TFs) are vital elements that regulate transcription and the spatio-temporal expression of genes, thereby ensuring the accurate development and functioning of an organism.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Background

Transcription factors (TFs) are vital elements that regulate transcription and the spatio-temporal expression of genes, thereby ensuring the accurate development and functioning of an organism. The identification of TF-encoding genes in a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, offers insights into TF organization in the members of the most basal lineages of land plants (embryophytes). Therefore, a comparison of Marchantia TF genes with other land plants (monocots, dicots, bryophytes) and algae (chlorophytes, rhodophytes) provides the most comprehensive view of the rates of expansion or contraction of TF genes in plant evolution.

Results

In this study, we report the identification of TF-encoding transcripts in M. polymorpha for the first time, as evidenced by deep RNA sequencing data. In total, 3,471 putative TF encoding transcripts, distributed in 80 families, were identified, representing 7.4% of the generated Marchantia gametophytic transcriptome dataset. Overall, TF basic functions and distribution across families appear to be conserved when compared to other plant species. However, it is of interest to observe the genesis of novel sequences in 24 TF families and the apparent termination of 2 TF families with the emergence of Marchantia. Out of 24 TF families, 6 are known to be associated with plant reproductive development processes. We also examined the expression pattern of these TF-encoding transcripts in six male and female developmental stages in vegetative and reproductive gametophytic tissues of Marchantia.

Conclusions

The analysis highlighted the importance of Marchantia, a model plant system, in an evolutionary context. The dataset generated here provides a scientific resource for TF gene discovery and other comparative evolutionary studies of land plants.

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VTCdb: a gene co-expression database for the crop species Vitis vinifera (grapevine)

Gene expression datasets in model plants such as Arabidopsis have contributed to our understanding of gene function and how a single underlying biological process can be governed by a diverse network of genes.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Gene expression datasets in model plants such as Arabidopsis have contributed to our understanding of gene function and how a single underlying biological process can be governed by a diverse network of genes. The accumulation of publicly available microarray data encompassing a wide range of biological and environmental conditions has enabled the development of additional capabilities including gene co-expression analysis (GCA). GCA is based on the understanding that genes encoding proteins involved in similar and/or related biological processes may exhibit comparable expression patterns over a range of experimental conditions, developmental stages and tissues. We present an open access database for the investigation of gene co-expression networks within the cultivated grapevine, Vitis vinifera.

Description: The new gene co-expression database, VTCdb (http://vtcdb.adelaide.edu.au/Home.aspx), offers an online platform for transcriptional regulatory inference in the cultivated grapevine. Using condition-independent and condition-dependent approaches, grapevine co-expression networks were constructed using the latest publicly available microarray datasets from diverse experimental series' utilising the Affymetrix Vitis vinifera GeneChip (16 K) and the NimbleGen Grape Whole-genome microarray chip (29 K), thus making it possible to profile approximately 29,000 genes (95% of the predicted grapevine transcriptome). Applications available with the online platform include the use of gene names, probesets, modules or biological processes to query the co-expression networks, with the option to choose between Affymetrix or Nimblegen datasets and between multiple co-expression measures. Alternatively, the user can browse existing network modules using interactive network visualisation and analysis via CytoscapeWeb. To demonstrate the utility of the database, we present examples from three fundamental biological processes (berry development, photosynthesis and flavonoid biosynthesis) whereby the recovered sub-networks reconfirm established plant gene functions and also identify novel associations.

Conclusions

Together, we present valuable insights into grapevine transcriptional regulation by developing network models applicable to researchers in their prioritisation of gene candidates, for on-going study of biological processes related to grapevine development, metabolism and stress responses.

 
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Transcriptome analysis of Pinus monticola primary needles by RNA-seq provides novel insight into host resistance to Cronartium ribicola

Five-needle pines are important forest species that have been devastated by white pine blister rust (WPBR, caused by Cronartium ribicola) across North America.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Five-needle pines are important forest species that have been devastated by white pine blister rust (WPBR, caused by Cronartium ribicola) across North America. Currently little transcriptomic and genomic data are available to understand molecular interactions in the WPBR pathosystem.

Results

We report here RNA-seq analysis results using Illumina deep sequencing of primary needles of western white pine (Pinus monticola) infected with WPBR. De novo gene assembly was used to generate the first P. monticola consensus transcriptome, which contained 39,439 unique transcripts with an average length of 1,303 bp and a total length of 51.4 Mb. About 23,000 P. monticola unigenes produced orthologous hits in the Pinus gene index (PGI) database (BLASTn with E values < e-100) and 6,300 genes were expressed actively (at RPKM >= 10) in the healthy tissues. Comparison of transcriptomes from WPBR-susceptible and -resistant genotypes revealed a total of 979 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) with a significant fold change > 1.5 -during P. monticola- C. ribicola interactions. Three hundred and ten DEGs were regulated similarly in both susceptible and resistant seedlings and 275 DEGs showed regulatory differences between susceptible and resistant seedlings post infection by C. ribicola. The DEGs up-regulated in resistant seedlings included a set of putative signal receptor genes encoding disease resistance protein homologs, calcineurin B-like (CBL)-interacting protein kinases (CIPK), F-box family proteins (FBP), and abscisic acid (ABA) receptor; transcriptional factor (TF) genes of multiple families; genes homologous to apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF), flowering locus T-like protein (FT), and subtilisin-like protease. DEGs up-regulated in resistant seedlings also included a wide diversity of down-stream genes (encoding enzymes involved in different metabolic pathways, pathogenesis-related -PR proteins of multiple families, and anti-microbial proteins). A large proportion of the down-regulated DEGs were related to photosystems, the metabolic pathways of carbon fixation and flavonoid biosynthesis.

Conclusions

The novel P. monticola transcriptome data provide a basis for future studies of genetic resistance in a non-model, coniferous species. Our global gene expression profiling presents a comprehensive view of transcriptomic regulation in the WPBR pathosystem and yields novel insights on molecular and biochemical mechanisms of disease resistance in conifers.

 
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Rapid microsatellite development for tree peony and its implications

Microsatellites are ubiquitous in genomes of various organisms. With the realization that they play roles in developmental and physiological processes, rather than exist as 'junk' DNA, microsatellites are receiving increasing attention.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Background

Microsatellites are ubiquitous in genomes of various organisms. With the realization that they play roles in developmental and physiological processes, rather than exist as 'junk' DNA, microsatellites are receiving increasing attention. Next-generation sequencing allows acquisition of large-scale microsatellite information, and is especially useful for plants without reference genome sequences.

Results

In this study, enriched DNA libraries of tree peony, a well-known ornamental woody shrub, were used for high-throughput microsatellite development by 454 GS-FLX Titanium pyrosequencing. We obtained 675,221 reads with an average length of 356 bp. The total size of examined sequences was 240,672,018 bp, from which 237,134 SSRs were identified. Of these sequences, 164,043 contained SSRs, with 27% featuring more than one SSR. Interestingly, a high proportion of SSRs (43%) were present in compound formation. SSRs with repeat motifs of 1-4 bp (mono-, di-, tri-, and tetra-nucleotide repeats) accounted for 99.8% of SSRs. Di-nucleotide repeats were the most abundant. As in most plants, the predominant motif in tree peony was (A/T)n, with (G/C)n less common. The lengths of SSRs were classified into 11 groups. The shortest SSRs (10 bp) represented 1% of the total number, whereas SSRs 21-30 and 101-110 bp long accounted for 26% and 29%, respectively, of all SSRs. Many sequences (42,111) were mapped to CDS (coding domain sequence) regions using Arabidopsis as a reference. GO annotation analysis predicted that CDSs with SSRs performed various functions associated with cellular components, molecular functions, and biological processes. Of 100 validated primer pairs, 24 were selected for polymorphism analysis among 23 genotypes; cluster analysis of the resulting data grouped genotypes according to known relationships, confirming the usefulness of the developed SSR markers.

Conclusions

The results of our large-scale SSR marker development using tree peony are valuable for investigating plant genomic structural evolution and elucidating phenotypic variation in this species during its evolution and artificial selection. The newly identified SSRs should be useful for genetic linkage map construction, QTL mapping, gene location and cloning, and molecular marker-assisted breeding. In addition, the genome-wide marker resources generated in this study should aid genomic studies of tree peony and related species.

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Identification of two putative reference genes from grapevine suitable for gene expression analysis in berry and related tissues derived from RNA-Seq data

Data normalization is a key step in gene expression analysis by qPCR. Endogenous control genes are used to estimate variations and experimental errors occurring during sample preparation and expression measurements.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Data normalization is a key step in gene expression analysis by qPCR. Endogenous control genes are used to estimate variations and experimental errors occurring during sample preparation and expression measurements. However, the transcription level of the most commonly used reference genes can vary considerably in samples obtained from different individuals, tissues, developmental stages and under variable physiological conditions, resulting in a misinterpretation of the performance of the target gene(s). This issue has been scarcely approached in woody species such as grapevine.

Results

A statistical criterion was applied to select a sub-set of 19 candidate reference genes from a total of 242 non-differentially expressed (NDE) genes derived from a RNA-Seq experiment comprising ca. 500 million reads obtained from 14 table-grape genotypes sampled at four phenological stages. From the 19 candidate reference genes, VvAIG1 (AvrRpt2-induced gene) and VvTCPB (T-complex 1 beta-like protein) were found to be the most stable ones after comparing the complete set of genotypes and phenological stages studied. This result was further validated by qPCR and geNorm analyses.

Conclusions

Based on the evidence presented in this work, we propose to use the grapevine genes VvAIG1 or VvTCPB or both as a reference tool to normalize RNA expression in qPCR assays or other quantitative method intended to measure gene expression in berries and other tissues of this fruit crop, sampled at different developmental stages and physiological conditions.

 
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