Plant and Seed Biology
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Transcriptomic analysis reveals somatic embryogenesis-associated signaling pathways and gene expression regulation in maize (Zea mays L.) 

Transcriptomic analysis reveals somatic embryogenesis-associated signaling pathways and gene expression regulation in maize (Zea mays L.)  | Plant and Seed Biology | Scoop.it

Authors: Meiqi Ding, Haixiao Dong, Yingjie Xue, Shengzhong Su, Ying Wu, Shipeng Li, Hongkui Liu, He Li, Junyou Han, Xiaohui Shan and Yaping Yuan.


Plant Molecular Biology (2020)


Abstract: "Transcriptome analysis of maize embryogenic callus and somatic embryos reveals associated genes reprogramming, hormone signaling pathways and transcriptional regulation involved in somatic embryogenesis in maize. Somatic embryos are widely utilized in propagation and genetic engineering of crop plants. In our laboratory, an elite maize inbred line Y423 that could generate intact somatic embryos was obtained and applied to genetic transformation. To enhance our understanding of regulatory mechanisms during maize somatic embryogenesis, we used RNA-based sequencing (RNA-seq) to characterize the transcriptome of immature embryo (IE), embryogenic callus (EC) and somatic embryo (SE) from maize inbred line Y423. The number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in three pairwise comparisons (IE-vs-EC, IE-vs-SE and EC-vs-SE) was 5767, 7084 and 1065, respectively. The expression patterns of DEGs were separated into eight major clusters. Somatic embryogenesis associated genes were mainly grouped into cluster A or B with an expression trend toward up-regulation during dedifferentiation. GO annotation and KEGG pathway analysis revealed that DEGs were implicated in plant hormone signal transduction, stress response and metabolic process. Among the differentially expressed transcription factors, the most frequently represented families were associated with the common stress response or related to cell differentiation, embryogenic patterning and embryonic maturation processes. Genes include hormone response/transduction and stress response, as well as several transcription factors were discussed in this study, which may be potential candidates for further analyses regarding their roles in somatic embryogenesis. Furthermore, the temporal expression patterns of candidate genes were analyzed to reveal their roles in somatic embryogenesis. This transcriptomic data provide insights into future functional studies, which will facilitate further dissections of the molecular mechanisms that control maize somatic embryogenesis."

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Overexpression of zmm28 increases maize grain yield in the field 

Overexpression of zmm28 increases maize grain yield in the field  | Plant and Seed Biology | Scoop.it
Authors: Jingrui Wu, Shai J. Lawit, Ben Weers, Jindong Sun, Nick Mongar, John Van Hemert, Rosana Melo, Xin Meng, Mary Rupe, Joshua Clapp, Kristin Haug Collet, Libby Trecker, Keith Roesler, Layton Peddicord, Jill Thomas, Joanne Hunt, Wengang Zhou, Zhenglin Hou, Matthew Wimmer, Justin Jantes, Hua Mo, Lu Liu, Yiwei Wang, Carl Walker, Olga Danilevskaya, Renee H. Lafitte, Jeffrey R. Schussler, Bo Shen and Jeffrey E. Habben.

PNAS (2019)

Significance: In the approaching decades, food security will likely be more of an issue as there will be an increased demand for grain which will need to be met in an environmentally sustainable manner. To date, commercial transgenic maize has primarily targeted resistance to insects and herbicides. Here we describe a transgenic approach to improve the yield and yield stability of maize. We have demonstrated that increasing and extending the expression of a maize gene, zmm28, alters vegetative and reproductive growth parameters and significantly enhances yield in large-scale field trials conducted over multiple years. We conclude that alteration in expression of a native maize gene in maize can create a substantially positive change in a complex trait like grain yield.

Abstract: "Increasing maize grain yield has been a major focus of both plant breeding and genetic engineering to meet the global demand for food, feed, and industrial uses. We report that increasing and extending expression of a maize MADS-box transcription factor gene, zmm28, under the control of a moderate-constitutive maize promoter, results in maize plants with increased plant growth, photosynthesis capacity, and nitrogen utilization. Molecular and biochemical characterization of zmm28 transgenic plants demonstrated that their enhanced agronomic traits are associated with elevated plant carbon assimilation, nitrogen utilization, and plant growth. Overall, these positive attributes are associated with a significant increase in grain yield relative to wild-type controls that is consistent across years, environments, and elite germplasm backgrounds."
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Initiation and regulation of vascular tissue identity in the Arabidopsis embryo - Preprint

Initiation and regulation of vascular tissue identity in the Arabidopsis embryo - Preprint | Plant and Seed Biology | Scoop.it

Authors: Margot Smit, Cristina Llavata-Peris, Mark Roosjen, Henriette van Beijnum, Daria Novikova, Victor Levitsky, Daniel Slane, Gerd Jurgens, Victoria Mironova, Siobhan Brady and Dolf Weijers.


bioRxiv (2019)


Abstract: "Development of plant vascular tissues involves tissue specification, growth, pattern formation and cell type differentiation. While later steps are understood in some detail, it is still largely unknown how the tissue is initially specified. We have used the early Arabidopsis embryo as a simple model to study this process. Using a large collection of marker genes, we find that vascular identity is established in the 16-cell embryo. After a transient precursor state however, there is no persistent uniform tissue identity. Auxin is intimately connected to vascular tissue development. We find that while AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR5/MONOPTEROS/ (ARF5/MP)-dependent auxin response is required, it is not sufficient for tissue establishment. We therefore used a large-scale enhanced Yeast One Hybrid assay to identify potential regulators of vascular identity. Network and functional analysis of suggest that vascular identity is under robust, complex control. We found that one candidate regulator, the G-class bZIP transcription factor GBF2, modulates vascular gene expression, along with its homolog GBF1. Furthermore, GBFs bind to MP and modulate its activity. Our work uncovers components of a gene regulatory network that controls the initiation of vascular tissue identity, one of which involves the interaction of MP and GBF2 proteins."