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All SNPs Are Not Created Equal: Genome-Wide Association Studies Reveal a Consistent Pattern of Enrichment among Functionally Annotated SNPs

All SNPs Are Not Created Equal: Genome-Wide Association Studies Reveal a Consistent Pattern of Enrichment among Functionally Annotated SNPs | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS Genetics is an open-access
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract

Recent results indicate that genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have the potential to explain much of the heritability of common complex phenotypes, but methods are lacking to reliably identify the remaining associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We applied stratified False Discovery Rate (sFDR) methods to leverage genic enrichment in GWAS summary statistics data to uncover new loci likely to replicate in independent samples. Specifically, we use linkage disequilibrium-weighted annotations for each SNP in combination with nominal p-values to estimate the True Discovery Rate (TDR = 1−FDR) for strata determined by different genic categories. We show a consistent pattern of enrichment of polygenic effects in specific annotation categories across diverse phenotypes, with the greatest enrichment for SNPs tagging regulatory and coding genic elements, little enrichment in introns, and negative enrichment for intergenic SNPs. Stratified enrichment directly leads to increased TDR for a given p-value, mirrored by increased replication rates in independent samples. We show this in independent Crohn's disease GWAS, where we find a hundredfold variation in replication rate across genic categories. Applying a well-established sFDR methodology we demonstrate the utility of stratification for improving power of GWAS in complex phenotypes, with increased rejection rates from 20% in height to 300% in schizophrenia with traditional FDR and sFDR both fixed at 0.05. Our analyses demonstrate an inherent stratification among GWAS SNPs with important conceptual implications that can be leveraged by statistical methods to improve the discovery of loci.

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A Neutral Model of Transcriptome Evolution

A Neutral Model of Transcriptome Evolution | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS Biology is an open-access, peer-reviewed journal that features works of exceptional significance in all areas of biological science, from molecules to ecosystems, including works at the interface with other disciplines.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract

Microarray technologies allow the identification of large numbers of expression differences within and between species. Although environmental and physiological stimuli are clearly responsible for changes in the expression levels of many genes, it is not known whether the majority of changes of gene expression fixed during evolution between species and between various tissues within a species are caused by Darwinian selection or by stochastic processes. We find the following: (1) expression differences between species accumulate approximately linearly with time; (2) gene expression variation among individuals within a species correlates positively with expression divergence between species; (3) rates of expression divergence between species do not differ significantly between intact genes and expressed pseudogenes; (4) expression differences between brain regions within a species have accumulated approximately linearly with time since these regions emerged during evolution. These results suggest that the majority of expression differences observed between species are selectively neutral or nearly neutral and likely to be of little or no functional significance. Therefore, the identification of gene expression differences between species fixed by selection should be based on null hypotheses assuming functional neutrality. Furthermore, it may be possible to apply a molecular clock based on expression differences to infer the evolutionary history of tissues.

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Comprehensive annotation of secondary metabolite biosynthetic genes and gene clusters of Aspergillus nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae

Secondary metabolite production, a hallmark of filamentous fungi, is an expanding area of research for the Aspergilli. These compounds are potent chemicals, ranging from deadly toxins to therapeutic antibiotics to potential anti-cancer drugs.
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Abstract (provisional) Background Secondary metabolite production, a hallmark of filamentous fungi, is an expanding area of research for the Aspergilli. These compounds are potent chemicals, ranging from deadly toxins to therapeutic antibiotics to potential anti-cancer drugs. The genome sequences for multiple Aspergilli have been determined, and provide a wealth of predictive information about secondary metabolite production. Sequence analysis and gene overexpression strategies have enabled the discovery of novel secondary metabolites and the genes involved in their biosynthesis. The Aspergillus Genome Database (AspGD) provides a central repository for gene annotation and protein information for Aspergillus species. These annotations include Gene Ontology (GO) terms, phenotype data, gene names and descriptions and they are crucial for interpreting both small- and large-scale data and for aiding in the design of new experiments that further Aspergillus research. Results We have manually curated Biological Process GO annotations for all genes in AspGD with recorded functions in secondary metabolite production, adding new GO terms that specifically describe each secondary metabolite. We then leveraged these new annotations to predict roles in secondary metabolism for genes lacking experimental characterization. As a starting point for manually annotating Aspergillus secondary metabolite gene clusters, we used antiSMASH (antibiotics and Secondary Metabolite Analysis SHell) and SMURF (Secondary Metabolite Unknown Regions Finder) algorithms to identify potential clusters in A. nidulans, A. fumigatus, A. niger and A. oryzae, which we subsequently refined through manual curation. Conclusions This set of 266 manually curated secondary metabolite gene clusters will facilitate the investigation of novel Aspergillus secondary metabolites.
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Rapid Mitochondrial Genome Evolution through Invasion of Mobile Elements in Two Closely Related Species of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi

Rapid Mitochondrial Genome Evolution through Invasion of Mobile Elements in Two Closely Related Species of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Abstract

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are common and important plant symbionts. They have coenocytic hyphae and form multinucleated spores. The nuclear genome of AMF is polymorphic and its organization is not well understood, which makes the development of reliable molecular markers challenging. In stark contrast, their mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) is homogeneous. To assess the intra- and inter-specific mitochondrial variability in closely related Glomus species, we performed 454 sequencing on total genomic DNA of Glomus sp. isolate DAOM-229456 and we compared its mtDNA with two G. irregulare isolates. We found that the mtDNA of Glomus sp. is homogeneous, identical in gene order and, with respect to the sequences of coding regions, almost identical to G. irregulare. However, certain genomic regions vary substantially, due to insertions/deletions of elements such as introns, mitochondrial plasmid-like DNA polymerase genes and mobile open reading frames. We found no evidence of mitochondrial or cytoplasmic plasmids in Glomus species, and mobile ORFs in Glomus are responsible for the formation of four gene hybrids in atp6, atp9, cox2, and nad3, which are most probably the result of horizontal gene transfer and are expressed at the mRNA level. We found evidence for substantial sequence variation in defined regions of mtDNA, even among closely related isolates with otherwise identical coding gene sequences. This variation makes it possible to design reliable intra- and inter-specific markers

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Glycyrrhiza uralensis transcriptome landscape and study of phytochemicals

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Abstract

Medicinal and industrial properties of phytochemicals (eq., glycyrrhizin) from the root of Glycyrrhiza uralensis (licorice plant) made it an attractive, multimillion-dollar trade item. Bioengineering of plants is one of the solutions to answer such high market demand and to prevent plants from the extinction. Unfortunately limited genomic information on medicinal plants restricts their research and thus biosynthetic mechanisms of many important phytochemicals are still poorly understood. In this work we leveraged the power of de-novo (no reference genome sequence available) assembly of Illumina RNA-seq data to study the transcriptome of the licorice plant. Our analysis is based on sequencing results of libraries made from samples that belonged to different tissues (root an leaf) and were collected at different seasons and from two slightly distinct strains (glycyrrhizin low and high producing strain). We provide functional annotations and the expression profile of 43,882 assembled unigenes, which are suitable for various further studies. Here, we searched for Glycyrrhiza uralensis specific enzymes involved in isoflavonoid biosynthesis as well as elucidated putative cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes and putative vacuolar saponin transporters involved in glycyrrhizin production in the licorice root. To disseminate the data and the analysis results we constructed publicly available the Glycyrrhiza uralensis database. This work will contribute to a better understanding of the secondary metabolites biosynthetic pathways in licorice plants, and possibly in other medicinal plants, and will provide an important resource to further advance transcriptomics studies in legumes.

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Trancriptional landscape of Aspergillus niger at breaking of conidial dormancy revealed by RNA-sequencing

Genome-wide analysis was performed to assess the transcriptional landscape of germinating A. niger conidia using both next generation RNA-sequencing and GeneChips.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract Background Genome-wide analysis was performed to assess the transcriptional landscape of germinating A. niger conidia using both next generation RNA-sequencing and GeneChips. The metabolism of storage compounds during conidial germination was also examined and compared to the transcript levels from associated genes. Results The transcriptome of dormant conidia was shown to be highly differentiated from that of germinating conidia and major changes in response to environmental shift occurred within the first hour of germination. The breaking of dormancy was associated with increased transcript levels of genes involved in the biosynthesis of proteins, RNA turnover and respiratory metabolism. Increased transcript levels of genes involved in metabolism of nitrate at the onset of germination implies its use as a source of nitrogen. The transcriptome of dormant conidia contained a significant component of antisense transcripts that changed during germination. Conclusion Dormant conidia contained transcripts of genes involved in fermentation, gluconeogenesis and the glyoxylate cycle. The presence of such transcripts in dormant conidia may indicate the generation of energy from non-carbohydrate substrates during starvation-induced conidiation or for maintenance purposes during dormancy. The immediate onset of metabolism of internal storage compounds after the onset of germination, and the presence of transcripts of relevant genes, suggest that conidia are primed for the onset of germination. For some genes, antisense transcription is regulated in the transition from resting conidia to fully active germinants.
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Dynamic transcriptomic profiles between tomato and a wild relative reflect distinct developmental architectures

Dynamic transcriptomic profiles between tomato and a wild relative reflect distinct developmental architectures | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
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Abstract

Developmental differences between species commonly result from changes in the tissue-specific expression of genes. Clustering algorithms are a powerful means to detect co-expression across tissues in single species, but are not often applied to multi-dimensional datasets, such as gene expression across tissues in multiple species. As next-generation sequencing approaches enable interspecific analyses, methods to visualize and explore such datasets will be required. Here, we analyze a dataset comprising gene expression profiles across six different tissue types in domesticated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) and a wild relative (S. pennellii). We find that Self-Organizing Maps (SOMs) are a useful means to analyze interspecies data, as orthologs can be assigned to independent levels of a “super SOM.” We compare various clustering approaches using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in which the expression of orthologous pairs is indicated by two points. We leverage the expression profile differences between orthologs to look at tissue-specific changes in gene expression between species. Clustering based on expression differences between species (rather than absolute expression profiles) yields groups of genes with large tissue by species interactions. The changes in expression profiles of genes we observe reflect differences in developmental architecture, such as changes in meristematic activity between domesticated tomato and S. pennellii. Together, our results offer a suite of data exploration methods that will be important to visualize and make biological sense of next-generation sequencing experiments designed explicitly to discover tissue by species interactions in gene expression data.

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High-throughput sequencing of Arabidopsis thaliana pollen cDNA uncovers novel transcription and alternative splicing

High-throughput sequencing of Arabidopsis thaliana pollen cDNA uncovers novel transcription and alternative splicing | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
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Pollen grains of Arabidopsis thaliana contain two haploid sperm cells enclosed in a haploid vegetative cell. Upon germination, the vegetative cell extrudes a pollen tube that carries the sperm to an ovule for fertilization. Knowing the identity, relative abundance, and splicing patterns of pollen transcripts will improve understanding of pollen and allow investigation of tissue-specific splicing in plants. Most Arabidopsis pollen transcriptome studies have used the ATH1 microarray, which does not assay splice variants and lacks specific probe sets for many genes. To investigate the pollen transcriptome, we performed high-throughput sequencing (RNA-Seq) of Arabidopsis pollen and seedlings for comparison. Gene expression was more diverse in seedling, and genes involved in cell wall biogenesis were highly expressed in pollen. RNA-Seq detected at least 4,172 protein coding genes expressed in pollen, including 289 assayed only by non-specific probe sets. Additional exons and previously unannotated 5’ and 3’ UTRs for pollen-expressed genes were revealed. We detected regions in the genome not previously annotated as expressed; 14 were tested and 12 confirmed by PCR. Gapped read alignments revealed 1,908 high-confidence new splicing events supported by 10 or more spliced read alignments. Alternative splicing patterns in pollen and seedling were highly correlated. For most alternatively spliced genes, the ratio of variants in pollen and seedling was similar, except for some encoding proteins involved in RNA splicing. This study highlights the robustness of splicing patterns in plants and the importance of on-going annotation and visualization of RNA-Seq data using interactive tools such as Integrated Genome Browser.

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Comparative genomic analysis of four representative plant growth-promoting ... - 7thSpace Interactive (press release)

Comparative genomic analysis of four representative plant growth-promoting ...
7thSpace Interactive (press release)
Some Pseudomonas strains function as predominant plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR).
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Prediction and identification of natural antisense transcripts and their small RNAs in soybean (Glycine max)

Natural antisense transcripts (NATs) are a class of RNAs that contain a sequence complementary to other transcripts. NATs occur widely in eukaryotes and play critical roles in post-transcriptional regulation.
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Abstract (provisional)Background

Natural antisense transcripts (NATs) are a class of RNAs that contain a sequence complementary to other transcripts. NATs occur widely in eukaryotes and play critical roles in post-transcriptional regulation. Soybean NAT sequences are predicted in the PlantNATsDB, but detailed analyses of these NATs remain to be performed.

Results

A total of 26,216 NATs, including 994 cis-NATs and 25,222 trans-NATs, were predicted in soybean. Each sense transcript had 1--177 antisense transcripts. We identified 21 trans-NATs using RT-PCR amplification. Additionally, we identified 179 cis-NATs and 6,629 trans-NATs that gave rise to small RNAs; these were enriched in the NAT overlapping region. The most abundant small RNAs were 21, 22, and 24 nt in length. The generation of small RNAs was biased to one stand of the NATs, and the degradation of NATs was biased. High-throughput sequencing of the degradome allowed for the global identification of NAT small interfering RNAs (nat-siRNAs) targets. 446 target genes for 165 of these nat-siRNAs were identified. The nat-siRNA target could be one transcript of a given NAT, or from other gene transcripts. We identified five NAT transcripts containing a hairpin structure that is characteristic of pre-miRNA. We identified a total of 86 microRNA (miRNA) targets that had antisense transcripts in soybean.

Conclusions

We globally identified nat-siRNAs, and the targets of nat-siRNAs in soybean. It is likely that the cis-NATs, trans-NATs, nat-siRNAs, miRNAs, and miRNA targets form complex regulatory networks.

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

Fungi produce a variety of carbohydrate activity enzymes (CAZymes) for the degradation of plant polysaccharide materials to facilitate infection and/or gain nutrition.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)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 103 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 analyses of the wheat yellow (stripe) rust pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici reveal polymorphic and haustorial expressed secreted proteins as candidate e...

Wheat yellow (stripe) rust caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST) is one of the most devastating diseases of wheat worldwide.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Wheat yellow (stripe) rust caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (PST) is one of the most devastating diseases of wheat worldwide. To design effective breeding strategies that maximize the potential for durable disease resistance it is important to understand the molecular basis of PST pathogenicity. In particular, the characterisation of the structure, function and evolutionary dynamics of secreted effector proteins that are detected by host immune receptors can help guide and prioritize breeding efforts. However, to date, our knowledge of the effector repertoire of cereal rust pathogens is limited.

Results

We re-sequenced genomes of four PST isolates from the US and UK to identify effector candidates and relate them to their distinct virulence profiles. First, we assessed SNP frequencies between all isolates, with heterokaryotic SNPs being over tenfold more frequent (5.29 +/- 2.23 SNPs/kb) than homokaryotic SNPs (0.41 +/- 0.28 SNPs/kb). Next, we implemented a bioinformatics pipeline to integrate genomics, transcriptomics, and effector-focused annotations to identify and classify effector candidates in PST. RNAseq analysis highlighted transcripts encoding secreted proteins that were significantly enriched in haustoria compared to infected tissue. The expression of 22 candidate effector genes was characterised using qRT-PCR, revealing distinct temporal expression patterns during infection in wheat. Lastly, we identified proteins that displayed non-synonymous substitutions specifically between the two UK isolates PST-87/7 and PST-08/21, which differ in virulence to two wheat varieties. By focusing on polymorphic variants enriched in haustoria, we identified five polymorphic effector candidates between PST-87/7 and PST-08/21 among 2,999 secreted proteins. These allelic variants are now a priority for functional validation as virulence/avirulence effectors in the corresponding wheat varieties.

Conclusions

Integration of genomics, transcriptomics, and effector-directed annotation of PST isolates has enabled us to move beyond the single isolate-directed catalogues of effector proteins and develop a framework for mining effector proteins in closely related isolates and relate these back to their defined virulence profiles. This should ultimately lead to more comprehensive understanding of the PST pathogenesis system, an important first step towards developing more effective surveillance and management strategies for one of the most devastating pathogens of wheat.

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Comparative Analysis Reveals Dynamic Changes in miRNAs and Their Targets and Expression during Somatic Embryogenesis in Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.)

Comparative Analysis Reveals Dynamic Changes in miRNAs and Their Targets and Expression during Somatic Embryogenesis in Longan (Dimocarpus longan Lour.) | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Abstract

Somatic embryogenesis (SE), which resembles zygotic embryogenesis, is an essential component of the process of plant cell differentiation and embryo development. Although microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of many plant develop- mental processes, their roles in SE have not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, we used deep-sequencing, computational, and qPCR methods to identify, profile, and describe conserved and novel miRNAs involved in longan (Dimocarpus longan) SE. A total of 643 conserved and 29 novel miRNAs (including star strands) from more than 169 miRNA families were identified in longan embryogenic tissue using Solexa sequencing. By combining computational and degradome sequencing approaches, we were able to predict 2063 targets of 272 miRNAs and verify 862 targets of 181 miRNAs. Target annotation revealed that the putative targets were involved in a broad variety of biological processes, including plant metabolism, signal transduction, and stimulus response. Analysis of stage- and tissue-specific expressions of 20 conserved and 4 novel miRNAs indicated their possible roles in longan SE. These miRNAs were dlo-miR156 family members and dlo-miR166c* associated with early embryonic culture developmental stages; dlo-miR26, dlo-miR160a, and families dlo-miR159, dlo-miR390, and dlo-miR398b related to heart-shaped and torpedo- shaped embryo formation; dlo-miR4a, dlo-miR24, dlo-miR167a, dlo-miR168a*, dlo-miR397a, dlo-miR398b.1, dlo-miR398b.2, dlo-miR808 and dlo-miR5077 involved in cotyledonary embryonic development; and dlo-miR17 and dlo-miR2089*-1 that have regulatory roles during longan SE. In addition, dlo-miR167a, dlo-miR808, and dlo-miR5077 may be required for mature embryo formation. This study is the first reported investigation of longan SE involving large-scale cloning, characterization, and expression profiling of miRNAs and their targets. The reported results contribute to our knowledge of somatic embryo miRNAs and provide insights into miRNA biogenesis and expression in plant somatic embryo development.

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Transcriptome analysis of embryo maturation in maize

Maize is one of the most important crops in the world.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Maize is one of the most important crops in the world. With the exponentially increasing population and the need for ever increased food and feed production, an increased yield of maize grain (as well as rice, wheat and other grains) will be critical. Maize grain development is understood from the perspective of morphology, hormone responses, and storage reserve accumulation. This includes various studies on gene expression during embryo development and maturation but a global study of gene expression of the embryo has not been possible until recently. Transcriptome analysis is a powerful new tool that can be used to understand the genetic basis of embryo maturation.

Results

We undertook a transcriptomic analysis of normal maturing embryos at 15, 21 and 27 days after pollination (DAP), of one elite maize germplasm line that was utilized in crosses to transgenic plants. More than 19,000 genes were analyzed by this method and the challenge was to select subsets of genes that are vitally important to embryo development and maturation for the initial analysis. We describe the changes in expression for genes relating to primary metabolic pathways, DNA synthesis, late embryogenesis proteins and embryo storage proteins, shown through transcriptome analysis and confirmed levels of transcription for some genes in the transcriptome using qRT-PCR.

Conclusions

Numerous genes involved in embryo maturation have been identified, many of which show changes in expression level during the progression from 15 to 27 DAP. An expected array of genes involved in primary metabolism was identified. Moreover, more than 30% of transcripts represented un-annotated genes, leaving many functions to be discovered. Of particular interest are the storage protein genes, globulin-1, globulin-2 and an unidentified cupin family gene. When expressing foreign proteins in maize, the globulin-1 promoter is most often used, but this cupin family gene has much higher expression and may be a better candidate for foreign gene expression in maize embryos. Results such as these allow identification of candidate genes and promoters that may not otherwise be available for use. mRNA seq data archived in NCBI SRA; Accession number: ACC=SRA060791 subid=108584.

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Transcriptome divergence between introduced and native populations of Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense

Transcriptome divergence between introduced and native populations of Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
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SummaryIntroduced plants may quickly evolve new adaptive traits upon their introduction. Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense – Cardueae, Asteraceae) is one of the worst invasive weeds worldwide. The goal of this study is to compare gene expression profiles of native (European) and introduced (North American) populations of this species, to elucidate the genetic mechanisms that may underlie such rapid adaptation.We explored the transcriptome of ten populations (five per range) of C. arvense in response to three treatments (control, nutrient deficiency and shading) using a customized microarray chip containing 63 690 expressed sequence tags (ESTs), and verified the expression level of 13 loci through real-time quantitative PCR.Only 2116 ESTs (3.5%) were found to be differentially expressed between the ranges, and 4458 ESTs (7.1%) exhibited a significant treatment-by-range effect. Among them was an overrepresentation of loci involved in stimulus and stress responses.Cirsium arvense has evolved different life history strategies on each continent. The two ranges notably differ with regard to R-protein mediated defence, sensitivity to abiotic stresses, and developmental timing. The fact that genotypes from the Midwest exhibit different expression kinetics than remaining North American samples further corroborates the hypothesis that the New World has been colonized twice, independently.
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Temporal Dynamics of Abiotic and Biotic Factors on Leaf Litter of Three Plant Species in Relation to Decomposition Rate along a Subalpine Elevation Gradient

Temporal Dynamics of Abiotic and Biotic Factors on Leaf Litter of Three Plant Species in Relation to Decomposition Rate along a Subalpine Elevation Gradient | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
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Abstract

Relationships between abiotic (soil temperature and number of freeze-thaw cycles) or biotic factors (chemical elements, microbial biomass, extracellular enzymes, and decomposer communities in litter) and litter decomposition rates were investigated over two years in subalpine forests close to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. Litterbags with senescent birch, fir, and spruce leaves were placed on the forest floor at 2,704 m, 3,023 m, 3,298 m, and 3,582 m elevation. Results showed that the decomposition rate positively correlated with soil mean temperature during the plant growing season, and with the number of soil freeze-thaw cycles during the winter. Concentrations of soluble nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) had positive effects but C:N and lignin:N ratios had negative effects on the decomposition rate (k), especially during the winter. Meanwhile, microbial biomass carbon (MBC), N (MBN), and P (MBP) were positively correlated with k values during the first growing season. These biotic factors accounted for 60.0% and 56.4% of the variation in decomposition rate during the winter and the growing season in the first year, respectively. Specifically, litter chemistry (C, N, P, K, lignin, C:N and lignin:N ratio) independently explained 29.6% and 13.3%, and the microbe-related factors (MBC, MBN, MBP, bacterial and fungal biomass, sucrase and ACP activity) explained 22.9% and 34.9% during the first winter and the first growing season, respectively. We conclude that frequent freeze-thaw cycles and litter chemical properties determine the winter decomposition while microbe-related factors play more important roles in determining decomposition in the subsequent growing season.

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From plant genomics to plant biotechnology

From plant genomics to plant biotechnology | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
From plant genomics to plant biotechnology, published by Woodhead Publishing. ISBN 978 1 907568 29 9. E-ISBN 978 1 908818 47 8. Book. Poltronieri, Burbulis, Fogher.
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From plant genomics to plant biotechnology reviews the recent advancements in the post-genomic era, discussing how different varieties respond to abiotic and biotic stresses, understanding the epigenetic control and epigenetic memory (RNAs, DNA methylation, histone modifications and polycomb complexes), the roles of non-coding RNAs, applicative uses of RNA silencing and RNA interference in plant physiology and in experimental transgenics and plants modified to specific aims (biofuels, production of high-value pharmaceutical proteins in plants, abiotic stress resistant wood trees and ornamental plants). In the forthcoming years these advancements will support the production of plant varieties better suited to resist biotic and abiotic stresses, for food and non-food applications.

 

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Candidatus Liberibacter americanus induces significant reprogramming of the transcriptome of the susceptible citrus genotype

Citrus huanglongbing (HLB) disease is caused by endogenous, phloem-restricted, Gram negative, uncultured bacteria named Candidatus Liberibacter africanus (CaLaf), Ca. L. asiaticus (CaLas), and Ca. L.
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Transcriptome analysis of WIPK/SIPK-suppressed plants reveals induction by wounding of disease resistance-related genes prior to the accumulation of salicylic acid

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Abstract

Salicylic acid (SA) plays a key role in plant resistance to pathogens. Accumulation of SA is induced by wounding in tobacco plants in which the expression of WIPK and SIPK, two mitogen-activated protein kinases, is suppressed. Here, the mechanisms underlying the abnormal accumulation of SA in WIPK/SIPK-suppressed plants have been characterized. SA accumulation started around 12 h after wounding and was inhibited by cycloheximide (CHX), a protein synthesis inhibitor. SA accumulation, however, was enhanced several-fold when leaf discs were transferred onto CHX after floating on water for 6 h or more. Temporal and spatial analyses of wound-induced and CHX-enhanced SA accumulation suggested that wounding induces activators for SA accumulation followed by the generation of repressors, and late CHX treatment inhibits the production of repressors more efficiently than that of activators. Microarray analysis revealed that the expression of many disease resistance-related genes including N, a Resistance (R) gene for Tobacco mosaic virus and R gene-like genes was up-regulated in wounded WIPK/SIPK-suppressed plants. Expression of the N gene and R gene-like genes peaked earlier than that of most other genes as well as SA accumulation, and was mainly induced in those parts of leaf discs where SA was highly accumulated. Moreover, wound-induced SA accumulation was decreased by the treatments which compromise function of R proteins. These results indicate that signaling leading to the expression of disease resistance-related genes is activated by wounding in WIPK/SIPK-suppressed plants, and induction of R gene and R gene-like genes might lead to the biosynthesis of SA.

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The "fossilized" mitochondrial genome of Liriodendron tulipifera: Ancestral gene content and order, ancestral editing sites, and extraordinarily low mutation rate

The mitochondrial genomes of flowering plants vary greatly in size, gene content, gene order, mutation rate, and level of RNA editing.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

The mitochondrial genomes of flowering plants vary greatly in size, gene content, gene order, mutation rate, and level of RNA editing. However, the narrow phylogenetic breadth of available genomic data has limited our ability to reconstruct these traits in the ancestral flowering plant and, therefore, to infer subsequent patterns of evolution across angiosperms.

Results

We sequenced the mitochondrial genome of Liriodendron tulipifera, the first from outside the monocots or eudicots. This 553,721 bp mitochondrial genome has evolved remarkably slowly in virtually all respects, with an extraordinarily low genome-wide silent substitution rate, retention of genes frequently lost in other angiosperm lineages, and conservation of ancestral gene clusters. The mitochondrial protein genes in Liriodendron are the most heavily edited of any angiosperm characterized to date. Most of these sites are also edited in various other lineages, which allowed us to polarize losses of editing sites in other parts of the angiosperm phylogeny. Finally, we added comprehensive gene sequence data for two other magnoliids, Magnolia stellata and the more distantly related Calycanthus floridus, to measure rates of sequence evolution in Liriodendron with greater accuracy. The Magnolia genome has evolved at an even lower rate, revealing a roughly 5,000-fold range of synonymous-site divergence among angiosperms whose mitochondrial gene space has been comprehensively sequenced.

Conclusions

Using Liriodendron as a guide, we estimate that the ancestral flowering plant mitochondrial genome contained 41 protein genes, 14 tRNA genes of mitochondrial origin, as many as seven tRNA genes of chloroplast origin, >700 sites of RNA editing, and some 14 colinear gene clusters. Many of these gene clusters, genes, and RNA editing sites have been variously lost in different lineages over the course of the ensuing ~200 million years of angiosperm evolution.

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High-density linkage mapping in a pine tree reveals a genomic region ... - 7thSpace Interactive (press release)

High-density linkage mapping in a pine tree reveals a genomic region ...
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Transcriptome analysis of Cymbidium sinense and its application to the identification of genes associated with floral development

Cymbidium sinense belongs to the Orchidaceae, which is one of the most abundant angiosperm families. C. sinense, a high-grade traditional potted flower, is most prevalent in China and some Southeast Asian countries.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Cymbidium sinense belongs to the Orchidaceae, which is one of the most abundant angiosperm families. C. sinense, a high-grade traditional potted flower, is most prevalent in China and some Southeast Asian countries. The control of flowering time is a major bottleneck in the industrialized development of C. sinense. Little is known about the mechanisms responsible for floral development in this orchid. Moreover, genome references for entire transcriptome sequences do not currently exist for C. sinense. Thus, transcriptome and expression profiling data for this species are needed as an important resource to identify genes and to better understand the biological mechanisms of floral development in C. sinense.

Results

In this study, de novo transcriptome assembly and gene expression analysis using Illumina sequencing technology were performed. Transcriptome analysis assembles gene-related information related to vegetative and reproductive growth of C. sinense. Illumina sequencing generated 54,248,006 high quality reads that were assembled into 83,580 unigenes with an average sequence length of 612 base pairs, including 13,315 clusters and 70,265 singletons. A total of 41,687 (49.88%) unique sequences were annotated, 23,092 of which were assigned to specific metabolic pathways by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Gene Ontology (GO) analysis of the annotated unigenes revealed that the majority of sequenced genes were associated with metabolic and cellular processes, cell and cell parts, catalytic activity and binding. Furthermore, 120 flowering-associated unigenes, 73 MADS-box unigenes and 28 CONSTANS-LIKE (COL) unigenes were identified from our collection. In addition, three digital gene expression (DGE) libraries were constructed for the vegetative phase (VP), floral differentiation phase (FDP) and reproductive phase (RP). The specific expression of many genes in the three development phases was also identified. 32 genes among three sub-libraries with high differential expression were selected as candidates connected with flower development.

Conclusion

RNA-seq and DGE profiling data provided comprehensive gene expression information at the transcriptional level that could facilitate our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of floral development at three development phases of C. sinense. This data could be used as an important resource for investigating the genetics of the flowering pathway and various biological mechanisms in this orchid.

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A consensus map of rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) based on diversity array technology markers: applications in genetic dissection of qualitative and quantitative traits

Dense consensus genetic maps based on high-throughput genotyping platforms are valuable for making genetic gains in Brassica napus through quantitative trait locus identification, efficient predictive molecular breeding, and map-based gene cloning.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Dense consensus genetic maps based on high-throughput genotyping platforms are valuable for making genetic gains in Brassica napus through quantitative trait locus identification, efficient predictive molecular breeding, and map-based gene cloning. This report describes the construction of the first B. napus consensus map consisting of a 1,359 anchored array based genotyping platform; Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT), and non-DArT markers from six populations originating from Australia, Canada, China and Europe. We aligned the B. napus DArT sequences with genomic scaffolds from Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea, and identified DArT loci that showed linkage with qualitative and quantitative loci associated with agronomic traits.

Results

The integrated consensus map covered a total of 1,987.2 cM and represented all 19 chromosomes of the A and C genomes, with an average map density of one marker per 1.46 cM, corresponding to approximately 0.88 Mbp of the haploid genome. Through in silico physical mapping 2,457 out of 3,072 (80%) DArT clones were assigned to the genomic scaffolds of B. rapa (A genome) and B. oleracea (C genome). These were used to orientate the genetic consensus map with the chromosomal sequences. The DArT markers showed linkage with previously identified non-DArT markers associated with qualitative and quantitative trait loci for plant architecture, phenological components, seed and oil quality attributes, boron efficiency, sucrose transport, male sterility, and race-specific resistance to blackleg disease.

Conclusions

The DArT markers provide increased marker density across the B. napus genome. Most of the DArT markers represented on the current array were sequenced and aligned with the B. rapa and B. oleracea genomes, providing insight into the Brassica A and C genomes. This information can be utilised for comparative genomics and genomic evolution studies. In summary, this consensus map can be used to (i) integrate new generation markers such as SNP arrays and next generation sequencing data; (ii) anchor physical maps to facilitate assembly of B. napus genome sequences; and (iii) identify candidate genes underlying natural genetic variation for traits of interest.

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Comparative genomic analysis of four representative plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria in Pseudomonas

Some Pseudomonas strains function as predominant plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR).
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
Abstract (provisional)Background

Some Pseudomonas strains function as predominant plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). Within this group, Pseudomonas chlororaphis and Pseudomonas fluorescens are non-pathogenic biocontrol agents, and some Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas stutzeri strains are PGPR. P. chlororaphis GP72 is a plant growth-promoting rhizobacterium with a fully sequenced genome. We conducted a genomic analysis comparing GP72 with three other pseudomonad PGPR: P. fluorescens Pf-5, P. aeruginosa M18, and the nitrogen-fixing strain P. stutzeri A1501. Our aim was to identify the similarities and differences among these strains using a comparative genomic approach to clarify the mechanisms of plant growth-promoting activity.

Results

The genome sizes of GP72, Pf-5, M18, and A1501 ranged from 4.6 to 7.1 M, and the number of protein-coding genes varied among the four species. Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COGs) analysis assigned functions to predicted proteins. The COGs distributions were similar among the four species. However, the percentage of genes encoding transposases and their inactivated derivatives (COG L) was 1.33% of the total genes with COGs classifications in A1501, 0.21% in GP72, 0.02% in Pf-5, and 0.11% in M18. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that GP72 and Pf-5 were the most closely related strains, consistent with the genome alignment results. Comparisons of predicted coding sequences (CDSs) between GP72 and Pf-5 revealed 3544 conserved genes. There were fewer conserved genes when GP72 CDSs were compared with those of A1501 and M18. Comparisons among the four Pseudomonas species revealed 603 conserved genes in GP72, illustrating common plant growth-promoting traits shared among these PGPR. Conserved genes were related to catabolism, transport of plant-derived compounds, stress resistance, and rhizosphere colonization. Some strain-specific CDSs were related to different kinds of biocontrol activities or plant growth promotion. The GP72 genome contained the cus operon (related to heavy metal resistance) and a gene cluster involved in type IV pilus biosynthesis, which confers adhesion ability.

Conclusions

Comparative genomic analysis of four representative PGPR revealed some conserved regions, indicating common characteristics (metabolism of plant-derived compounds, heavy metal resistance, and rhizosphere colonization) among these pseudomonad PGPR. Genomic regions specific to each strain provide clues to its lifestyle, ecological adaptation, and physiological role in the rhizosphere.

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Exploiting the Transcriptome of Euphrates Poplar, Populus euphratica (Salicaceae) to Develop and Characterize New EST-SSR Markers and Construct an EST-SSR Database

Exploiting the Transcriptome of Euphrates Poplar, Populus euphratica (Salicaceae) to Develop and Characterize New EST-SSR Markers and Construct an EST-SSR Database | Plant Genomics | Scoop.it
PLOS ONE: an inclusive, peer-reviewed, open-access resource from the PUBLIC LIBRARY OF SCIENCE. Reports of well-performed scientific studies from all disciplines freely available to the whole world.
Biswapriya Biswavas Misra's insight:
AbstractBackground

Microsatellite markers or Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) are the most popular markers in population/conservation genetics. However, the development of novel microsatellite markers has been impeded by high costs, a lack of available sequence data and technical difficulties. New species-specific microsatellite markers were required to investigate the evolutionary history of the Euphratica tree, Populus euphratica, the only tree species found in the desert regions of Western China and adjacent Central Asian countries.

Methodology/Principal Findings

A total of 94,090 non-redundant Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) from P. euphratica comprising around 63 Mb of sequence data were searched for SSRs. 4,202 SSRs were found in 3,839 ESTs, with 311 ESTs containing multiple SSRs. The most common motif types were trinucleotides (37%) and hexanucleotides (33%) repeats. We developed primer pairs for all of the identified EST-SSRs (eSSRs) and selected 673 of these pairs at random for further validation. 575 pairs (85%) gave successful amplification, of which, 464 (80.7%) were polymorphic in six to 24 individuals from natural populations across Northern China. We also tested the transferability of the polymorphic eSSRs to nine other Populus species. In addition, to facilitate the use of these new eSSR markers by other researchers, we mapped them onto Populus trichocarpa scaffolds in silico and compiled our data into a web-based database (http://202.205.131.253:8080/poplar/resources/static_page/index.html).

Conclusions

The large set of validated eSSRs identified in this work will have many potential applications in studies on P. euphratica and other poplar species, in fields such as population genetics, comparative genomics, linkage mapping, QTL, and marker-assisted breeding. Their use will be facilitated by their incorporation into a user-friendly web-based database.

 

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