Plant Genomics
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Generation, functional annotation and comparative analysis of black spruce ESTs: an important conifer genomic resource

EST (expressed sequence tag) sequences and their annotation provide a highly valuable resource for gene discovery, genome sequence annotation, and other genomics studies that can be applied in genetics, breeding and conservation programs for...
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Abstract (provisional)Background

EST (expressed sequence tag) sequences and their annotation provide a highly valuable resource for gene discovery, genome sequence annotation, and other genomics studies that can be applied in genetics, breeding and conservation programs for non-model organisms. Conifers are long-lived plants that are ecologically and economically important globally, and have a large genome size. Black spruce (Picea mariana), is a transcontinental species of the North American boreal and temperate forests. However, there are limited transcriptomic and genomic resources for this species. The primary objective of our study was to develop a black spruce transcriptomic resource to facilitate on-going functional genomics projects related to growth and adaptation to climate change.

Results

We conducted bidirectional sequencing of cDNA clones from a standard cDNA library constructed from black spruce needle tissues. We obtained 4,594 high quality (2,455 5[prime] end and 2,139 3[prime] end) sequence reads, with an average read-length of 532 bp. Clustering and assembly of ESTs resulted in 2,731 unique sequences, consisting of 2,234 singletons and 497 contigs. Approximately two-thirds (63%) of unique sequences were functionally annotated. Genes involved in 36 molecular functions and 90 biological processes were discovered, including 24 putative transcription factors and 232 genes involved in photosynthesis. Most abundantly expressed transcripts were associated with photosynthesis, growth factors, stress and disease response, and transcription factors. A total of 216 full-length genes were identified. About 18% (493) of the transcripts were novel, representing an important addition to the Genbank EST database (dbEST). Fifty-seven di-, tri-, tetra- and penta-nucleotide simple sequence repeats were identified.

Conclusions

We have developed the first high quality EST resource for black spruce and identified 493 novel transcripts, which may be species-specific related to life history and ecological traits. We have also identified full-length genes and microsatellite-containing ESTs. Based on EST sequence similarities, black spruce showed close evolutionary relationships with conspecific Picea glauca and Picea sitchensis compared to other Pinaceae members and angiosperms. The EST sequences reported here provide an important resource for genome annotation, functional and comparative genomics, molecular breeding, conservation and management studies and applications in black spruce and related conifer species.

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Fungal Small RNAs Suppress Plant Immunity by Hijacking Host RNA Interference Pathways

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Botrytis cinerea, the causative agent of gray mold disease, is an aggressive fungal pathogen that infects more than 200 plant species. Here, we show that some B. cinerea small RNAs (Bc-sRNAs) can silence Arabidopsis and tomato genes involved in immunity. These Bc-sRNAs hijack the host RNA interference (RNAi) machinery by binding to Arabidopsis Argonaute 1 (AGO1) and selectively silencing host immunity genes. The Arabidopsis ago1 mutant exhibits reduced susceptibility to B. cinerea, and the B. cinerea dcl1 dcl2 double mutant that can no longer produce these Bc-sRNAs displays reduced pathogenicity on Arabidopsis and tomato. Thus, this fungal pathogen transfers “virulent” sRNA effectors into host plant cells to suppress host immunity and achieve infection, which demonstrates a naturally occurring cross-kingdom RNAi as an advanced virulence mechanism.

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Comprehensive transcriptomic study on horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum): De novo assembly, functional characterization and comparative analysis in relation to drought stress

Drought tolerance is an attribute maintained in plants by cross-talk between multiple and cascading metabolic pathways.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Drought tolerance is an attribute maintained in plants by cross-talk between multiple and cascading metabolic pathways. Without a sequenced genome available for horse gram, it is difficult to comprehend such complex networks and intercalated genes associated with drought tolerance of horse gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum). Therefore, de novo transcriptome discovery and associated analyses was done for this highly drought tolerant yet under exploited legume to decipher its genetic makeup.

Results

Eight samples comprising of shoot and root tissues of two horse gram genotypes (drought-sensitive; M-191 and drought-tolerant; M-249) were used for comparison under control and polyethylene glycol-induced drought stress conditions. Using Illumina sequencing technology, a total of 229,297,896 paired end read pairs were generated and utilized for de novo assembly of horse gram. Significant BLAST hits were obtained for 26,045 transcripts while, 3,558 transcripts had no hits but contained important conserved domains. A total of 21,887 unigenes were identified. SSRs containing sequences covered 16.25% of the transcriptome with predominant tri- and mono-nucleotides (43%). The total GC content of the transcriptome was found to be 43.44%. Under Gene Ontology response to stimulus, DNA binding and catalytic activity was highly expressed during drought stress conditions. Serine/threonine protein kinase was found to dominate in Enzyme Classification while pathways belonging to ribosome metabolism followed by plant pathogen interaction and plant hormone signal transduction were predominant in Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis. Independent search on plant metabolic network pathways suggested valine degradation, gluconeogenesis and purine nucleotide degradation to be highly influenced under drought stress in horse gram. Transcription factors belonging to NAC, MYB-related, and WRKY families were found highly represented under drought stress. qRT-PCR validated the expression profile for 9 out of 10 genes analyzed in response to drought stress.

Conclusions

De novo transcriptome discovery and analysis has generated enormous information over horse gram genomics. The genes and pathways identified suggest efficient regulation leading to active adaptation as a basal defense response against drought stress by horse gram. The knowledge generated can be further utilized for exploring other underexploited plants for stress responsive genes and improving plant tolerance.

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Genome-wide copy number variations in Oryza sativa L.

Copy number variation (CNV) can lead to intra-specific genome variations. It is not only part of normal genetic variation, but also is the source of phenotypic differences.
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AbstractBackground

Copy number variation (CNV) can lead to intra-specific genome variations. It is not only part of normal genetic variation, but also is the source of phenotypic differences. Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is a model organism with a well-annotated genome, but investigation of CNVs in rice lags behind its mammalian counterparts.

Results

We comprehensively assayed CNVs using high-density array comparative genomic hybridization in a panel of 20 Asian cultivated rice comprising six indica, three aus, two rayada, two aromatic, three tropical japonica, and four temperate japonica varieties. We used a stringent criterion to identify a total of 2886 high-confidence copy number variable regions (CNVRs), which span 10.28 Mb (or 2.69%) of the rice genome, overlapping 1321 genes. These genes were significantly enriched for specific biological functions involved in cell death, protein phosphorylation, and defense response. Transposable elements (TEs) and other repetitive sequences were identified in the majority of CNVRs. Chromosome 11 showed the greatest enrichment for CNVs. Of subspecies-specific CNVRs, 55.75% and 61.96% were observed in only one cultivar of ssp. indica and ssp. japonica, respectively. Some CNVs with high frequency differences among groups resided in genes underlying rice adaptation.

Conclusions

Higher recombination rates and the presence of homologous gene clusters are probably predispositions for generation of the higher number of CNVs on chromosome 11 by non-allelic homologous recombination events. The subspecies-specific variants are enriched for rare alleles, which suggests that CNVs are relatively recent events that have arisen within breeding populations. A number of the CNVs identified in this study are candidates for generation of group-specific phenotypes.

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Targets of light signalling in Trichoderma reesei

The tropical ascomycete Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina) represents one of the most efficient plant cell wall degraders.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

The tropical ascomycete Trichoderma reesei (Hypocrea jecorina) represents one of the most efficient plant cell wall degraders. Regulation of the enzymes required for this process is affected by nutritional signals as well as other environmental signals including light.

Results

Our transcriptome analysis of strains lacking the photoreceptors BLR1 and BLR2 as well as ENV1 revealed a considerable increase in the number of genes showing significantly different transcript levels in light and darkness compared to wild-type. We show that members of all glycoside hydrolase families can be subject to light dependent regulation, hence confirming nutrient utilization including plant cell wall degradation as a major output pathway of light signalling. In contrast to N. crassa, photoreceptor mediated regulation of carbon metabolism in T. reesei occurs primarily by BLR1 and BLR2 via their positive effect on induction of env1 transcription, rather than by a presumed negative effect of ENV1 on the function of the BLR complex. Nevertheless, genes consistently regulated by photoreceptors in N. crassa and T. reesei are significantly enriched in carbon metabolic functions. Hence, different regulatory mechanisms are operative in these two fungi, while the light dependent regulation of plant cell wall degradation appears to be conserved.

Analysis of growth on different carbon sources revealed that the oxidoreductive D-galactose and pentose catabolism is influenced by light and ENV1. Transcriptional regulation of the target enzymes in these pathways is enhanced by light and influenced by ENV1, BLR1 and/or BLR2. Additionally we detected an ENV1-regulated genomic cluster of 9 genes including the D-mannitol dehydrogenase gene lxr1, with two genes of this cluster showing consistent regulation in N. crassa.

Conclusions

We show that one major output pathway of light signalling in Trichoderma reesei is regulation of glycoside hydrolase genes and the degradation of hemicellulose building blocks. Targets of ENV1 and BLR1/BLR2 are for the most part distinct and indicate individual functions for ENV1 and the BLR complex besides their postulated regulatory interrelationship.

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Transcriptome sequencing and whole genome expression profiling of chrysanthemum under dehydration stress

Chrysanthemum is one of the most important ornamental crops in the world and drought stress seriously limits its production and distribution.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Chrysanthemum is one of the most important ornamental crops in the world and drought stress seriously limits its production and distribution. In order to generate a functional genomics resource and obtain a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms regarding chrysanthemum responses to dehydration stress, we performed large-scale transcriptome sequencing of chrysanthemum plants under dehydration stress using the Illumina sequencing technology.

Results

Two cDNA libraries constructed from mRNAs of control and dehydration-treated seedlings were sequenced by Illumina technology. A total of more than 100 million reads were generated and de novo assembled into 98,180 unique transcripts which were further extensively annotated by comparing their sequencing to different protein databases. Biochemical pathways were predicted from these transcript sequences. Furthermore, we performed gene expression profiling analysis upon dehydration treatment in chrysanthemum and identified 8,558 dehydration-responsive unique transcripts, including 307 transcription factors and 229 protein kinases and many well-known stress responsive genes. Gene ontology (GO) term enrichment and biochemical pathway analyses showed that dehydration stress caused changes in hormone response, secondary and amino acid metabolism, and light and photoperiod response. These findings suggest that drought tolerance of chrysanthemum plants may be related to the regulation of hormone biosynthesis and signaling, reduction of oxidative damage, stabilization of cell proteins and structures, and maintenance of energy and carbon supply.

Conclusions

Our transcriptome sequences can provide a valuable resource for chrysanthemum breeding and research and novel insights into chrysanthemum responses to dehydration stress and offer candidate genes or markers that can be used to guide future studies attempting to breed drought tolerant chrysanthemum cultivars.

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An evaluation of the PacBio RS platform for sequencing and de novo assembly of a chloroplast genome

Second generation sequencing has permitted detailed sequence characterisation at the whole genome level of a growing number of non-model organisms, but the data produced have short read-lengths and biased genome coverage leading to fragmented...
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Second generation sequencing has permitted detailed sequence characterisation at the whole genome level of a growing number of non-model organisms, but the data produced have short read-lengths and biased genome coverage leading to fragmented genome assemblies. The PacBio RS long-read sequencing platform offers the promise of increased read length and unbiased genome coverage and thus the potential to produce genome sequence data of a finished quality containing fewer gaps and longer contigs. However, these advantages come at a much greater cost per nucleotide and with a perceived increase in error-rate. In this investigation, we evaluated the performance of the PacBio RS sequencing platform through the sequencing and de novo assembly of the Potentilla micrantha chloroplast genome.

Results

Following error-correction, a total of 28,638 PacBio RS reads were recovered with a mean read length of 1,902bp totalling 54,492,250 nucleotides and representing an average depth of coverage of 320x the chloroplast genome. The dataset covered the entire 154,959bp of the chloroplast genome in a single contig (100% coverage) compared to seven contigs (90.59% coverage) recovered from an Illumina data, and revealed no bias in coverage of GC rich regions. Post-assembly the data were largely concordant with the Illumina data generated and allowed 187 ambiguities in the Illumina data to be resolved. The additional read length also permitted small differences in the two inverted repeat regions to be assigned unambiguously.

Conclusions

This is the first report to our knowledge of a chloroplast genome assembled de novo using PacBio sequence data. The PacBio RS data generated here were assembled into a single large contig spanning the P. micrantha chloroplast genome, with a higher degree of accuracy than an Illumina dataset generated at a much greater depth of coverage, due to longer read lengths and lower GC bias in the data. The results we present suggest PacBio data will be of immense utility for the development of genome sequence assemblies containing fewer unresolved gaps and ambiguities and a significantly smaller number of contigs than could be produced using short-read sequence data alone.

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Development of a next-generation NIL library in Arabidopsis thaliana for dissecting complex traits

The identification of the loci and specific alleles underlying variation in quantitative traits is an important goal for evolutionary biologists and breeders.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

The identification of the loci and specific alleles underlying variation in quantitative traits is an important goal for evolutionary biologists and breeders. Despite major advancements in genomics technology, moving from QTL to causal alleles remains a major challenge in genetics research. Near-isogenic lines are the ideal raw material for QTL validation, refinement of QTL location and, ultimately, gene discovery.

Results

In this study, a population of 75 Arabidopsis thaliana near-isogenic lines was developed from an existing recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between physiologically divergent accessions Kas-1 and Tsu-1. First, a novel algorithm was developed to utilize genome-wide marker data in selecting RILs fully isogenic to Kas-1 for a single chromosome. Seven such RILs were used in 2 generations of crossing to Tsu-1 to create BC1 seed. BC1 plants were genotyped with SSR markers so that lines could be selected that carried Kas-1 introgressions, resulting in a population carrying chromosomal introgressions spanning the genome. BC1 lines were genotyped with 48 genome-wide SSRs to identify lines with a targeted Kas-1 introgression and the fewest genomic introgressions elsewhere. 75 such lines were selected and genotyped at an additional 41 SNP loci and another 930 tags using 2b-RAD genotyping by sequencing. The final population carried an average of 1.35 homozygous and 2.49 heterozygous introgressions per line with average introgression sizes of 5.32 and 5.16 Mb, respectively. In a simple case study, we demonstrate the advantage of maintaining heterozygotes in our library whereby fine-mapping efforts are conducted simply by self-pollination. Crossovers in the heterozygous interval during this single selfing generation break the introgression into smaller, homozygous fragments (sub-NILs). Additionally, we utilize a homozygous NIL for validation of a QTL underlying stomatal conductance, a low heritability trait.

Conclusions

The present results introduce a new and valuable resource to the Brassicaceae research community that enables rapid fine-mapping of candidate loci in parallel with QTL validation. These attributes along with dense marker coverage and genome-wide chromosomal introgressions make this population an ideal starting point for discovery of genes underlying important complex traits of agricultural and ecological significance.

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Transcriptome profiling of Gossypium barbadense inoculated with Verticillium dahliae provides a resource for cotton improvement

Verticillium wilt, caused by the fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, is the most severe disease in cotton (Gossypium spp.), causing great lint losses worldwide.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:

AbstractBackground

Verticillium wilt, caused by the fungal pathogen Verticillium dahliae, is the most severe disease in cotton (Gossypium spp.), causing great lint losses worldwide. Disease management could be achieved in the field if genetically improved, resistant plants were used. However, the interaction between V. dahliae and cotton is a complicated process, and its molecular mechanism remains obscure. To understand better the defense response to this pathogen as a means for obtaining more tolerant cultivars, we monitored the transcriptome profiles of roots from resistant plants of G. barbadense cv. Pima90-53 that were challenged with V. dahliae.

Results

In all, 46,192 high-quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were generated from a full-length cDNA library of G. barbadense. They were clustered and assembled into 23126 unigenes that comprised 2661 contigs and 20465 singletons. Those unigenes were assigned Gene Ontology terms and mapped to 289 KEGG pathways. A total of 3027 unigenes were found to be homologous to known defense-related genes in other plants. They were assigned to the functional classification of plant–pathogen interactions, including disease defenses and signal transduction. The branch of "SA→NPR1→TGA→PR-1→Disease resistance" was first discovered in the interaction of cotton–V. dahliae, indicating that this wilt process includes both biotrophic and necrotrophic stages. In all, 4936 genes coding for putative transcription factors (TF) were identified in our library. The most abundant TF family was the NAC group (527), followed by G2-like (440), MYB (372), BHLH (331), bZIP (271) ERF, C3H, and WRKY. We also analyzed the expression of genes involved in pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) recognition, the activation of effector-triggered immunity, TFs, and hormone biosynthesis, as well as genes that are pathogenesis-related, or have roles in signaling/regulatory functions and cell wall modification. Their differential expression patterns were compared among mock-/inoculated- and resistant/susceptible cotton. Our results suggest that the cotton defense response has significant transcriptional complexity and that large accumulations of defense-related transcripts may contribute to V. dahliae resistance in cotton. Therefore, these data provide a resource for cotton improvement through molecular breeding approaches.

Conclusions

This study generated a substantial amount of cotton transcript sequences that are related to defense responses against V. dahliae. These genomics resources and knowledge of important related genes contribute to our understanding of host–pathogen interactions and the defense mechanisms utilized by G. barbadense, a non-model plant system. These tools can be applied in establishing a modern breeding program that uses marker-assisted selections and oligonucleotide arrays to identify candidate genes that can be linked to valuable agronomic traits in cotton, including disease resistance.

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Genome-wide analysis of small RNAs reveals eight fiber elongation-related and 257 novel microRNAs in elongating cotton fiber cells

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and other types of small regulatory RNAs play critical roles in the regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in plants.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) and other types of small regulatory RNAs play critical roles in the regulation of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in plants. Cotton is one of the most economically important crops, but little is known about the roles of miRNAs during cotton fiber elongation.

Results

Here, we combined high-throughput sequencing with computational analysis to identify small RNAs (sRNAs) related to cotton fiber elongation in Gossypium hirsutum L. (G. hirsutum). The sequence analysis confirmed the expression of 79 known miRNA families in elongating fiber cells and identified 257 novel miRNAs, primarily derived from corresponding specific loci in the Gossypium raimondii Ulbr. (G. raimondii) genome. Furthermore, a comparison of the miRNAomes revealed that 46 miRNA families were differentially expressed throughout the elongation period. Importantly, the predicted and experimentally validated targets of eight miRNAs were associated with fiber elongation, with obvious functional relationships with calcium and auxin signal transduction, fatty acid metabolism, anthocyanin synthesis and the xylem tissue differentiation. Moreover, one tasiRNA was also identified, and its target, ARF4, was experimentally validated in vivo.

Conclusion

This study not only facilitated the discovery of 257 novel low-abundance miRNAs in elongating cotton fiber cells but also revealed a potential regulatory network of nine sRNAs important for fiber elongation. The identification and characterization of miRNAs in elongating cotton fiber cells might promote the further study of fiber miRNA regulation mechanisms and provide insight into the importance of miRNAs in cotton.

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Comparative genomics of emerging pathogens in the Candida glabrata clade

Candida glabrata follows C. albicans as the second or third most prevalent cause of candidemia worldwide. These two pathogenic yeasts are distantly related, C.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Candida glabrata follows C. albicans as the second or third most prevalent cause of candidemia worldwide. These two pathogenic yeasts are distantly related, C. glabrata being part of the Nakaseomyces, a group more closely related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Although C. glabrata was thought to be the only pathogenic Nakaseomyces, two new pathogens have recently been described within this group: C. nivariensis and C. bracarensis. To gain insight into the genomic changes underlying the emergence of virulence, we sequenced the genomes of these two, and three other non-pathogenic Nakaseomyces, and compared them to other sequenced yeasts.

Results

Our results indicate that the two new pathogens are more closely related to the non-pathogenic N. delphensis than to C. glabrata. We uncover duplications and accelerated evolution that specifically affected genes in the lineage preceding the group containing N. delphensis and the three pathogens, which may provide clues to the higher propensity of this group to infect humans. Finally, the number of Epa-like adhesins is specifically enriched in the pathogens, particularly in C. glabrata.

Conclusions

Remarkably, some features thought to be the result of adaptation of C. glabrata to a pathogenic lifestyle, are present throughout the Nakaseomyces, indicating these are rather ancient adaptations to other environments. Phylogeny suggests that human pathogenesis evolved several times, independently within the clade. The expansion of the EPA gene family in pathogens establishes an evolutionary link between adhesion and virulence phenotypes. Our analyses thus shed light onto the relationships between virulence and the recent genomic changes that occurred within the Nakaseomyces.

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Comparative genomics of actinomycetes with a focus on natural product biosynthetic genes

Actinomycetes are a diverse group of medically, industrially and ecologically important bacteria, studied as much for the diseases they cause as for the cures they hold.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Actinomycetes are a diverse group of medically, industrially and ecologically important bacteria, studied as much for the diseases they cause as for the cures they hold. The genomes of actinomycetes revealed that these bacteria have a large number of natural product gene clusters, although many of these are difficult to tie to products in the laboratory. Large scale comparisons of these clusters are difficult to perform due to the presence of highly similar repeated domains in the most common biosynthetic machinery: polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs).

Results

We have used comparative genomics to provide an overview of the genomic features of a set of 102 closed genomes from this important group of bacteria with a focus on natural product biosynthetic genes. We have focused on well-represented genera and determine the occurrence of gene cluster families therein. Conservation of natural product gene clusters within Mycobacterium, Streptomyces and Frankia suggest crucial roles for natural products in the biology of each genus. The abundance of natural product classes is also found to vary greatly between genera, revealing underlying patterns that are not yet understood.

Conclusions

A large-scale analysis of natural product gene clusters presents a useful foundation for hypothesis formulation that is currently underutilized in the field. Such studies will be increasingly necessary to study the diversity and ecology of natural products as the number of genome sequences available continues to grow.

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Analysis of Phakopsora pachyrhizi transcript abundance in critical pathways at four time-points during infection of a susceptible soybean cultivar using deep sequencing

Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent responsible for soybean rust, is among the top hundred most virulent plant pathogens and can cause soybean yield losses of up to 80% when appropriate conditions are met.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Phakopsora pachyrhizi, the causal agent responsible for soybean rust, is among the top hundred most virulent plant pathogens and can cause soybean yield losses of up to 80% when appropriate conditions are met. We used mRNA-Seq by Illumina to analyze pathogen transcript abundance at 15 seconds (s), 7 hours (h), 48 h, and 10 days (d) after inoculation (ai) of susceptible soybean leaves with P. pachyrhizi to gain new insights into transcript abundance in soybean and the pathogen at specific time-points during the infection including the uredinial stage.

Results

Over three million five hundred thousand sequences were obtained for each time-point. Energy, nucleotide metabolism, and protein synthesis are major priorities for the fungus during infection and development as indicated by our transcript abundance studies. At all time-points, energy production is a necessity for P. pachyrhizi, as indicated by expression of many transcripts encoding enzymes involved in oxidative phosphorylation and carbohydrate metabolism (glycolysis, glyoxylate and dicarboxylate, pentose phosphate, pyruvate). However, at 15 sai, transcripts encoding enzymes involved in ATP production were highly abundant in order to provide enough energy for the spore to germinate, as observed by the expression of many transcripts encoding proteins involved in electron transport. At this early time-point, transcripts encoding proteins involved in RNA synthesis were also highly abundant, more so than transcripts encoding genes involved in DNA and protein synthesis. At 7 hai, shortly after germination during tube elongation and penetration, transcripts encoding enzymes involved in deoxyribonucleotide and DNA synthesis were highly abundant. At 48 hai, transcripts encoding enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism were highly abundant to provide for increased protein synthesis during haustoria maturation. During sporulation at 10 dai, the fungus still required carbohydrate metabolism, but there also was increased expression of transcripts encoding enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism.

Conclusion

This information provides insight into molecular events and their timing throughout the life cycle of the P. pachyrhizi, and it may be useful in the development of new methods of broadening resistance of soybean to soybean rust.

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Reticulate Evolution of the Rye Genome

Reticulate Evolution of the Rye Genome | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
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Abstract

Rye (Secale cereale) is closely related to wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare). Due to its large genome (∼8 Gb) and its regional importance, genome analysis of rye has lagged behind other cereals. Here, we established a virtual linear gene order model (genome zipper) comprising 22,426 or 72% of the detected set of 31,008 rye genes. This was achieved by high-throughput transcript mapping, chromosome survey sequencing, and integration of conserved synteny information of three sequenced model grass genomes (Brachypodium distachyon, rice [Oryza sativa], and sorghum [Sorghum bicolor]). This enabled a genome-wide high-density comparative analysis of rye/barley/model grass genome synteny. Seventeen conserved syntenic linkage blocks making up the rye and barley genomes were defined in comparison to model grass genomes. Six major translocations shaped the modern rye genome in comparison to a putative Triticeae ancestral genome. Strikingly dissimilar conserved syntenic gene content, gene sequence diversity signatures, and phylogenetic networks were found for individual rye syntenic blocks. This indicates that introgressive hybridizations (diploid or polyploidy hybrid speciation) and/or a series of whole-genome or chromosome duplications played a role in rye speciation and genome evolution.

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DeNovoGear: de novo indel and point mutation discovery and phasing

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We present DeNovoGear software for analyzing de novo mutations from familial and somatic tissue sequencing data. DeNovoGear uses likelihood-based error modeling to reduce the false positive rate of mutation discovery in exome analysis and fragment information to identify the parental origin of germ-line mutations. We used DeNovoGear on human whole-genome sequencing data to produce a set of predicted de novo insertion and/or deletion (indel) mutations with a 95% validation rate.

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Combining in silico prediction and ribosome profiling in a genome-wide search for novel putatively coding sORFs

It was long assumed that proteins are at least 100 amino acids (AAs) long. Moreover, the detection of short translation products (e.g.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

It was long assumed that proteins are at least 100 amino acids (AAs) long. Moreover, the detection of short translation products (e.g. coded from small Open Reading Frames, sORFs) is very difficult as the short length makes it hard to distinguish true coding ORFs from ORFs occurring by chance. Nevertheless, over the past few years many such non-canonical genes (with ORFs < 100 AAs) have been discovered in different organisms like Arabidopsis thaliana , Saccharomyces cerevisiae , and Drosophila melanogaster . Thanks to advances in sequencing, bioinformatics and computing power, it is now possible to scan the genome in unprecedented scrutiny, for example in a search of this type of small ORFs.

Results

Using bioinformatics methods, we performed a systematic search for putatively functional sORFs in the Mus musculus genome. A genome-wide scan detected all sORFs which were subsequently analyzed for their coding potential, based on evolutionary conservation at the AA level, and ranked using a Support Vector Machine (SVM) learning model. The ranked sORFs are finally overlapped with ribosome profiling data, hinting to sORF translation. All candidates are visually inspected using an in-house developed genome browser. In this way dozens of highly conserved sORFs, targeted by ribosomes were identified in the mouse genome, putatively encoding micropeptides.

Conclusion

Our combined genome-wide approach leads to the prediction of a comprehensive but manageable set of putatively coding sORFs, a very important first step towards the identification of a new class of bioactive peptides, called micropeptides.

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Different patterns of gene structure divergence following gene duplication in Arabidopsis

Divergence in gene structure following gene duplication is not well understood. Gene duplication can occur via whole-genome duplication (WGD) and single-gene duplications including tandem, proximal and transposed duplications.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Divergence in gene structure following gene duplication is not well understood. Gene duplication can occur via whole-genome duplication (WGD) and single-gene duplications including tandem, proximal and transposed duplications. Different modes of gene duplication may be associated with different types, levels, and patterns of structural divergence.

Results

In Arabidopsis thaliana, we denote levels of structural divergence between duplicated genes by differences in coding-region lengths and average exon lengths, and the number of insertions/deletions (indels) and maximum indel length in their protein sequence alignment. Among recent duplicates of different modes, transposed duplicates diverge most dramatically in gene structure. In transposed duplications, parental loci tend to have longer coding-regions and exons, and smaller numbers of indels and maximum indel lengths than transposed loci, reflecting biased structural changes in transposed duplications. Structural divergence increases with evolutionary time for WGDs, but not transposed duplications, possibly because of biased gene losses following transposed duplications. Structural divergence has heterogeneous relationships with nucleotide substitution rates, but is consistently positively correlated with gene expression divergence. The NBS-LRR gene family shows higher-than-average levels of structural divergence.

Conclusions

Our study suggests that structural divergence between duplicated genes is greatly affected by the mechanisms of gene duplication and may be not proportional to evolutionary time, and that certain gene families are under selection on rapid evolution of gene structure.

 
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Genome mining reveals the genus Xanthomonas to be a promising reservoir for new bioactive non-ribosomally synthesized peptides

Various bacteria can use non-ribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) to produce peptides or other small molecules.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Various bacteria can use non-ribosomal peptide synthesis (NRPS) to produce peptides or other small molecules. Conserved features within the NRPS machinery allow the type, and sometimes even the structure, of the synthesized polypeptide to be predicted. Thus, bacterial genome mining via in silico analyses of NRPS genes offers an attractive opportunity to uncover new bioactive non-ribosomally synthesized peptides. Xanthomonas is a large genus of Gram-negative bacteria that cause disease in hundreds of plant species. To date, the only known small molecule synthesized by NRPS in this genus is albicidin produced by Xanthomonas albilineans. This study aims to estimate the biosynthetic potential of Xanthomonas spp. by in silico analyses of NRPS genes with unknown function recently identified in the sequenced genomes of X. albilineans and related species of Xanthomonas.

Results

We performed in silico analyses of NRPS genes present in all published genome sequences of Xanthomonas spp., as well as in unpublished draft genome sequences of Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae strain BAI3 and Xanthomonas spp. strain XaS3. These two latter strains, together with X. albilineans strain GPE PC73 and X. oryzae pv. oryzae strains X8-1A and X11-5A, possess novel NRPS gene clusters and share related NRPS-associated genes such as those required for the biosynthesis of non-proteinogenic amino acids or the secretion of peptides. In silico prediction of peptide structures according to NRPS architecture suggests eight different peptides, each specific to its producing strain. Interestingly, these eight peptides cannot be assigned to any known gene cluster or related to known compounds from natural product databases. PCR screening of a collection of 94 plant pathogenic bacteria indicates that these novel NRPS gene clusters are specific to the genus Xanthomonas and are also present in Xanthomonas translucens and X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. Further genome mining revealed other novel NRPS genes specific to X. oryzae pv. oryzicola or Xanthomonas sacchari.

Conclusions

This study revealed the significant potential of the genus Xanthomonas to produce new non-ribosomally synthesized peptides. Interestingly, this biosynthetic potential seems to be specific to strains of Xanthomonas associated with monocotyledonous plants, suggesting a putative involvement of non-ribosomally synthesized peptides in plant-bacteria interactions.

 
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Carbohydrate utilization and metabolism is highly differentiated in Agaricus bisporus

Agaricus bisporus is commercially grown on compost, in which the available carbon sources consist mainly of plant-derived polysaccharides that are built out of various different constituent monosaccharides.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Agaricus bisporus is commercially grown on compost, in which the available carbon sources consist mainly of plant-derived polysaccharides that are built out of various different constituent monosaccharides. The major constituent monosaccharides of these polysaccharides are glucose, xylose, and arabinose, while smaller amounts of galactose, glucuronic acid, rhamnose and mannose are also present.

Results

In this study, genes encoding putative enzymes from carbon metabolism were identified and their expression was studied in different growth stages of A. bisporus. We correlated the expression of genes encoding plant and fungal polysaccharide modifying enzymes identified in the A. bisporus genome to the soluble carbohydrates and the composition of mycelium grown compost, casing layer and fruiting bodies.

Conclusions

The compost grown vegetative mycelium of A. bisporus consumes a wide variety of monosaccharides. However, in fruiting bodies only hexose catabolism occurs, and no accumulation of other sugars was observed. This suggests that only hexoses or their conversion products are transported from the vegetative mycelium to the fruiting body, while the other sugars likely provide energy for growth and maintenance of the vegetative mycelium. Clear correlations were found between expression of the genes and composition of carbohydrates. Genes encoding plant cell wall polysaccharide degrading enzymes were mainly expressed in compost-grown mycelium, and largely absent in fruiting bodies. In contrast, genes encoding fungal cell wall polysaccharide modifying enzymes were expressed in both fruiting bodies and vegetative mycelium, but different gene sets were expressed in these samples.

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HANDS: a tool for genome-wide discovery of subgenome-specific base-identity in polyploids

The analysis of polyploid genomes is problematic because homeologous subgenome sequences are closely related.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

The analysis of polyploid genomes is problematic because homeologous subgenome sequences are closely related. This relatedness makes it difficult to assign individual sequences to the specific subgenome from which they are derived, and hinders the development of polyploid whole genome assemblies.

Results

We here present a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based approach for assignment of subgenome-specific base-identity at sites containing homeolog-specific polymorphisms (HSPs): ‘HSP base Assignment using NGS data through Diploid Similarity’ (HANDS). We show that HANDS correctly predicts subgenome-specific base-identity at >90% of assayed HSPs in the hexaploid bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) transcriptome, thus providing a substantial increase in accuracy versus previous methods for homeolog-specific base assignment.

Conclusion

We conclude that HANDS enables rapid and accurate genome-wide discovery of homeolog-specific base-identity, a capability having multiple applications in polyploid genomics.

 
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Bolbase: a comprehensive genomics database for Brassica oleracea

Brassica oleracea is a morphologically diverse species in the family Brassicaceae and contains a group of nutrition-rich vegetable crops, including common heading cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Brassica oleracea is a morphologically diverse species in the family Brassicaceae and contains a group of nutrition-rich vegetable crops, including common heading cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts. This diversity along with its phylogenetic membership in a group of three diploid and three tetraploid species, and the recent availability of genome sequences within Brassica provide an unprecedented opportunity to study intra- and inter-species divergence and evolution in this species and its close relatives.

Description

We have developed a comprehensive database, Bolbase, which provides access to the B. oleracea genome data and comparative genomics information. The whole genome of B. oleracea is available, including nine fully assembled chromosomes and 1,848 scaffolds, with 45,758 predicted genes, 13,382 transposable elements, and 3,581 non-coding RNAs. Comparative genomics information is available, including syntenic regions among B. oleracea, Brassica rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana, synonymous (Ks) and non-synonymous (Ka) substitution rates between orthologous gene pairs, gene families or clusters, and differences in quantity, category, and distribution of transposable elements on chromosomes. Bolbase provides useful search and data mining tools, including a keyword search, a local BLAST server, and a customized GBrowse tool, which can be used to extract annotations of genome components, identify similar sequences and visualize syntenic regions among species. Users can download all genomic data and explore comparative genomics in a highly visual setting.

Conclusions

Bolbase is the first resource platform for the B. oleracea genome and for genomic comparisons with its relatives, and thus it will help the research community to better study the function and evolution of Brassica genomes as well as enhance molecular breeding research. This database will be updated regularly with new features, improvements to genome annotation, and new genomic sequences as they become available. Bolbase is freely available at http://ocri-genomics.org/bolbase webcite.

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The Genome and Development-Dependent Transcriptomes of Pyronema confluens: A Window into Fungal Evolution

The Genome and Development-Dependent Transcriptomes of Pyronema confluens: A Window into Fungal Evolution | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract

Fungi are a large group of eukaryotes found in nearly all ecosystems. More than 250 fungal genomes have already been sequenced, greatly improving our understanding of fungal evolution, physiology, and development. However, for the Pezizomycetes, an early-diverging lineage of filamentous ascomycetes, there is so far only one genome available, namely that of the black truffle, Tuber melanosporum, a mycorrhizal species with unusual subterranean fruiting bodies. To help close the sequence gap among basal filamentous ascomycetes, and to allow conclusions about the evolution of fungal development, we sequenced the genome and assayed transcriptomes during development of Pyronema confluens, a saprobic Pezizomycete with a typical apothecium as fruiting body. With a size of 50 Mb and ~13,400 protein-coding genes, the genome is more characteristic of higher filamentous ascomycetes than the large, repeat-rich truffle genome; however, some typical features are different in the P. confluens lineage, e.g. the genomic environment of the mating type genes that is conserved in higher filamentous ascomycetes, but only partly conserved in P. confluens. On the other hand, P. confluens has a full complement of fungal photoreceptors, and expression studies indicate that light perception might be similar to distantly related ascomycetes and, thus, represent a basic feature of filamentous ascomycetes. Analysis of spliced RNA-seq sequence reads allowed the detection of natural antisense transcripts for 281 genes. The P. confluens genome contains an unusually high number of predicted orphan genes, many of which are upregulated during sexual development, consistent with the idea of rapid evolution of sex-associated genes. Comparative transcriptomics identified the transcription factor gene pro44 that is upregulated during development in P. confluens and the Sordariomycete Sordaria macrospora. The P. confluens pro44 gene (PCON_06721) was used to complement the S. macrospora pro44 deletion mutant, showing functional conservation of this developmental regulator.

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BSTA: a targeted approach combines bulked segregant analysis with next- generation sequencing and de novo transcriptome assembly for SNP discovery in sunflower

Sunflower belongs to the largest plant family on earth, the genomically poorly explored Compositae. Downy mildew Plasmopara halstedii (Farlow) Berlese & de Toni is one of the major diseases of cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.).
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Sunflower belongs to the largest plant family on earth, the genomically poorly explored Compositae. Downy mildew Plasmopara halstedii (Farlow) Berlese & de Toni is one of the major diseases of cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). In the search for new sources of downy mildew resistance, the locus PlARG on linkage group 1 (LG1) originating from H. argophyllus is promising since it confers resistance against all known races of the pathogen. However, the mapping resolution in the PlARG region is hampered by significantly suppressed recombination and by limited availability of polymorphic markers. Here we examined a strategy developed for the enrichment of molecular markers linked to this specific genomic region. We combined bulked segregant analysis (BSA) with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and de novo assembly of the sunflower transcriptome for single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) discovery in a sequence resource combining reads originating from two sunflower species, H. annuus and H. argophyllus.

Results

A computational pipeline developed for SNP calling and pattern detection identified 219 candidate genes. For a proof of concept, 42 resistance gene-like sequences were subjected to experimental SNP validation. Using a high-resolution mapping population, 12 SNP markers were mapped to LG1. We successfully verified candidate sequences either co-segregating with or closely flanking PlARG.

Conclusions

This study is the first successful example to improve bulked segregant analysis with de novo transcriptome assembly using next generation sequencing. The BSTA pipeline we developed provides a useful guide for similar studies in other non-model organisms. Our results demonstrate this method is an efficient way to enrich molecular markers and to identify candidate genes in a specific mapping interval.

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Leaf cDNA-AFLP analysis of two citrus species differing in manganese tolerance in response to long-term manganese-toxicity

Very little is known about manganese (Mn)-toxicity-responsive genes in citrus plants.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Very little is known about manganese (Mn)-toxicity-responsive genes in citrus plants. Seedlings of 'Xuegan' (Citrus sinensis) and 'Sour pummelo' (Citrus grandis) were irrigated for 17 weeks with nutrient solution containing 2 muM (control) or 600 muM (Mn-toxicity) MnSO4. The objectives of this study were to understand the mechanisms of citrus Mn-tolerance and to identify differentially expressed genes, which might be involved in Mn-tolerance.

Results

Under Mn-toxicity, the majority of Mn in seedlings was retained in the roots; C. sinensis seedlings accumulated more Mn in roots and less Mn in shoots (leaves) than C. grandis ones and Mn concentration was lower in Mn-toxicity C. sinensis leaves compared to Mn-toxicity C. grandis ones. Mn-toxicity affected C. grandis seedling growth, leaf CO2 assimilation, total soluble concentration, phosphorus (P) and magenisum (Mg) more than C. sinensis. Using cDNA-AFLP, we isolated 42 up-regulated and 80 down-regulated genes in Mn-toxicity C. grandis leaves. They were grouped into the following functional categories: biological regulation and signal transduction, carbohydrate and energy metabolism, nucleic acid metabolism, protein metabolism, lipid metabolism, cell wall metabolism, stress responses and cell transport. However, only 7 up-regulated and 8 down-regulated genes were identified in Mn-toxicity C. sinensis ones. The responses of C. grandis leaves to Mn-toxicity might include following several aspects: (1) accelerating leaf senescence; (2) activating the metabolic pathway related to ATPase synthesis and reducing power production; (3) decreasing cell transport; (4) inhibiting protein and nucleic acid metabolisms; (5) impairing the formation of cell wall; and (6) triggering multiple signal transduction pathways. We also identified many new Mn-toxicity-responsive genes involved in biological and signal transduction, carbohydrate and protein metabolisms, stress responses and cell transport.

Conclusions

Our results demonstrated that C. sinensis was more tolerant to Mn-toxicity than C. grandis, and that Mn-toxicity affected gene expression far less in C. sinensis leaves. This might be associated with more Mn accumulation in roots and less Mn accumulation in leaves of Mn-toxicity C. sinensis seedlings than those of C. grandis seedlings. Our findings increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in the responses of plants to Mn-toxicity.

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Transcriptome analysis of two buffalograss cultivars

Buffalograss [Buchloë dactyloides (Nutt.) Engel. syn. Bouteloua dactyloides (Nutt.) Columbus] is a United States native turfgrass species that requires less irrigation, fungicides and pesticides compared to more commonly used turfgrass species.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Buffalograss [Buchlo? dactyloides (Nutt.) Engel. syn. Bouteloua dactyloides (Nutt.) Columbus] is a United States native turfgrass species that requires less irrigation, fungicides and pesticides compared to more commonly used turfgrass species. In areas where water is limited, interest in this grass species for lawns is increasing. While several buffalograss cultivars have been developed through buffalograss breeding, the timeframe for new cultivar development is long and is limited by a lack of useful genetic resources. Two high throughput next-generation sequencing techniques were used to increase the genomic resources available for buffalograss.

Results

Total RNA was extracted and purified from leaf samples of two buffalograss cultivars. `378? and `Prestige? cDNA libraries were subjected to high throughput sequencing on the Illumina GA and Roche 454 Titanium FLX sequencing platforms. The 454 platform (3 samples) produced 1,300,885 reads and the Illumina platform (12 samples) generated approximately 332 million reads. The multiple k-mer technique for de novo assembly using Velvet and Oases was applied. A total of 121,288 contigs were assembled that were similar to previously reported Ensembl commelinid sequences. Original Illumina reads were also mapped to the high quality assembly to estimate expression levels of buffalograss transcripts. There were a total of 325 differentially expressed genes between the two buffalograss cultivars. A glycosyl transferase, serine threonine kinase, and nb-arc domain containing transcripts were among those differentially expressed between the two cultivars. These genes have been previously implicated in defense response pathways and may in part explain some of the performance differences between `Prestige? and `378?.

Conclusions

To date, this is the first high throughput sequencing experiment conducted on buffalograss. In total, 121,288 high quality transcripts were assembled, significantly expanding the limited genetic resources available for buffalograss genetic studies. Additionally, 325 differentially expressed sequences were identified which may contribute to performance or morphological differences between `Prestige? and `378? buffalograss cultivars.

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