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Journal Cover Plant Molecular Biology
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
     ISSN (Print) 1573-5028 - ISSN (Online) 0167-4412
     Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2210 journals]   [SJR: 1.769]   [H-I: 112]
  • Overproduction of stromal ferredoxin:NADPH oxidoreductase in H 2 O 2
           -accumulating Brassica napus leaf protoplasts
    • Abstract: The isolation of Brassica napus leaf protoplasts induces reactive oxygen species generation and accumulation in the chloroplasts. An activated isoform of NADPH oxidase-like protein was detected in the protoplasts and the protoplast chloroplasts. The purpose of this study is to define the NADH oxidase-like activities in the H2O2-accumulating protoplast chloroplasts. Proteomic analysis of this protein revealed an isoform of ferredoxin:NADPH oxidoreductase (FNR1). While leaves highly expressed the LFNR1 transcript, protoplasts decreased the expression significantly. The protoplast chloroplasts predominantly expressed soluble FNR1 proteins. While the albino leaves of white kale (Brassica oleracea var. acephala f. tricolor cv. white pigeon) expressed FNR1 protein at the same level as B. napus leaves, the protoplasts of albino leaves displayed reduced FNR1 expression. The albino leaf protoplasts of white kale generated and accumulated H2O2 in the cytoplasm and on the plasma membrane. Intracellular pH showed that the chloroplasts were acidic, which suggest that excess H+ was generated in chloroplast stroma. NADPH content of the protoplast chloroplasts increased by over sixfold during the isolation of protoplasts. This study reports a possibility of mediating electrons to oxygen by an overproduced soluble FNR, and suggests that the FNR has a function in utilizing any excess reducing power of NADPH.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Methylation of the S f locus in almond is associated with S -RNase loss of
    • Abstract: Self-compatibility in almond (Prunus dulcis) is attributed to the presence of the S f haplotype, allelic to and dominant over the series of S-alleles controlling self-incompatibility. Some forms of the S f haplotype, however, are phenotypically self-incompatible even though their nucleotide sequences are identical. DNA from leaves and styles from genetically diverse almond samples was cloned and sequenced and then analyzed for changes affecting S f -RNase variants. Epigenetic changes in several cytosine residues were detected in a fragment of 4,700 bp of the 5′ upstream region of all self-compatible samples of the S f -RNases, differentiating them from all self-incompatible samples of S f -RNases analyzed. This is the first report of DNA methylation in a Rosaceae species and appears to be strongly associated with inactivation of the S f allele. Results facilitate an understanding of the evolution of self-compatibility/self-incompatibility in almond and other Prunus species, and suggest novel approaches for future crop improvement.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • OsCYCP1;1, a PHO80 homologous protein, negatively regulates phosphate
           starvation signaling in the roots of rice ( Oryza sativa L.)
    • Abstract: Phosphorus is one of the most essential and limiting nutrients in all living organisms, thus the organisms have evolved complicated and precise regulatory mechanisms for phosphorus acquisition, storage and homeostasis. In the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the modification of PHO4 by the PHO80 and PHO85 complex is a core regulation system. However, the existence and possible functions in phosphate signaling of the homologs of the PHO80 and PHO85 components in plants has yet to be determined. Here we describe the identification of a family of seven PHO80 homologous genes in rice named OsCYCPs. Among these, the OsCYCP1;1 gene was able to partially rescue the pho80 mutant strain of yeast. The OsCYCP1;1 protein was predominantly localized in the nucleus, and was ubiquitously expressed throughout the whole plant and during the entire growth period of rice. Consistent with the negative role of PHO80 in phosphate signaling in yeast, OsCYCP1;1 expression was reduced by phosphate starvation in the roots. This reduction was dependent on PHR2, the central regulator of phosphate signaling in rice. Overexpression and suppression of the expression of OsCYCP1;1 influenced the phosphate starvation signaling response. The inducible expression of phosphate starvation inducible and phosphate transporter genes was suppressed in the OsCYCP1;1 overexpression lines and was relatively enhanced in the OsCYCP1;1 RNAi plants by phosphate starvation. Together, these results demonstrate the role of PHO80 homologs in the phosphate starvation signaling pathway in rice.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • DWD HYPERSENSITIVE TO UV-B 1 is negatively involved in UV-B mediated
           cellular responses in Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Among T-DNA insertion mutants of various cullin4-RING ubiquitin E3 ligase (CRL4) substrate receptors, one mutant that exhibits enhanced sensitivity in response to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) illumination has been isolated and its corresponding gene has been named DWD HYPERSENSITIVE TO UV-B 1 (DHU1) in Arabidopsis. dhu1 lines showed much shorter hypocotyls than those in wild type under low doses of UV-B. Other light did not alter hypocotyl growth patterns in dhu1, indicating the hypersensitivity of dhu1 is restricted to UV-B. DHU1 was upregulated by more than two times in response to UV-B application of 1.5 μmol m−2 s−1, implying its possible involvement in UV-B signaling. DHU1 is able to bind to DDB1, an adaptor of CRL4; accordingly, DHU1 is thought to act as a substrate receptor of CRL4. Microarray data generated from wild-type and dhu1 under low doses of UV-B revealed that 209 or 124 genes were upregulated or downregulated by more than two times in dhu1 relative to wild type, respectively. About 23.4 % of the total upregulated genes in dhu1 were upregulated by more than five times in response to UV-B based on the AtGenExpress Visualization Tool data, while only about 1.4 % were downregulated to the same degree by UV-B, indicating that loss of DHU1 led to the overall enhancement of the upregulation of UV-B inducible genes. dhu1 also showed altered responsiveness under high doses of UV-B. Taken together, these findings indicate that DHU1 is a potent CRL4 substrate receptor that may function as a negative regulator of UV-B response in Arabidopsis.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Arabidopsis drought-induced protein Di19-3 participates in plant response
           to drought and high salinity stresses
    • Abstract: Di19 (drought-induced protein19) family is a novel type of Cys2/His2 zinc-finger proteins. In this study, Arabidopsis Di19-3 was functionally characterized. The experimental results revealed that AtDi19-3 is a transcriptional activator, and could bind to the TACA(A/G)T sequence. AtDi19-3 expression in plants was remarkably induced by NaCl, mannitol and abscisic acid (ABA). T-DNA insertion mutation of AtDi19-3 results in an increase in plant tolerance to drought and high salinity stresses and ABA, whereas overexpression of AtDi19-3 leads to a drought-, salt- and ABA-sensitive phenotype of the transgenic plants. In the presence of NaCl, mannitol or ABA, rates of seed germination and cotyledon greening in Atdi19-3 mutant were higher, but in AtDi19-3 overexpression transgenic plants were lower than those in wild type. Roots of Atdi19-3 mutant seedlings were longer, but those of AtDi19-3 overexpression transgenic seedlings were shorter than those of wild type. Chlorophyll and proline contents in Atdi19-3 mutant were higher, but in AtDi19-3 overexpression seedlings were lower than those in wild type. Atdi19-3 mutant showed greater drought-tolerance, whereas AtDi19-3 overexpression transgenic plants exhibited more drought-sensitivity than wild type. Furthermore, expression of the genes related to ABA signaling pathway was altered in Atdi19-3 mutant and AtDi19-3 transgenic plants. These data suggest that AtDi19-3 may participate in plant response to drought and salt stresses in an ABA-dependent manner.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • A Brassica napus PHT1 phosphate transporter, BnPht1;4, promotes phosphate
           uptake and affects roots architecture of transgenic Arabidopsis
    • Abstract: Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential nutrient elements for plant development. In this work, BnPht1;4 gene, encoding a phosphate transporter of PHT1 family, was isolated from Brassica napus. BnPht1;4 possesses the major characteristic of PHT1 high-affinity Pi transporters in plants, such as plasma-membrane localization and 12 transmembrane-spanning domains. Quantitative reverse-transcription PCR analysis and promoter activity assay showed BnPht1;4 was inert in plants under Pi sufficient conditions. However, expression of this gene was remarkably enhanced in roots under Pi deficient conditions. Interestingly, under low Pi conditions, its promoter activity is impaired in tips of elongated roots, suggesting that the high-affinity Pi transporter may be not involved in low Pi response at root tip area. The experimental results also indicated that BnPht1;4 induction by Pi deficiency is dependent on the existence of sugar. In 35S:BnPht1;4 transgenic Arabidopsis, the increase of Pi availability resulted in the change of root architecture under Pi deficient conditions, showing longer primary roots and lower lateral root density than that of wild type. By cis-element analysis, two P1BS and two W-box elements were found in BnPht1;4 promoter. Yeast one-hybrid assay indicated that PHR1 could bind to the BnPht1;4 promoter. P1BS elements in BnPht1;4 promoter are essential for BnPht1;4 induction in Pi starvation response. Furthermore, WRKY75 could bind to the BnPht1;4 promoter, in which W-box elements are important for this binding. These results indicated BnPht1;4 may be dually controlled by two family regulators under low Pi responses. Thus, our data on the regulative mechanism of high-affinity Pi transporter in Pi starvation response will be valuable for B. napus molecular agriculture.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Activation tagging of ATHB13 in Arabidopsis thaliana confers
           broad-spectrum disease resistance
    • Abstract: Powdery mildew species Oidium neolycopersici (On) can cause serious yield losses in tomato production worldwide. Besides on tomato, On is able to grow and reproduce on Arabidopsis. In this study we screened a collection of activation-tagged Arabidopsis mutants and identified one mutant, 3221, which displayed resistance to On, and in addition showed a reduced stature and serrated leaves. Additional disease tests demonstrated that the 3221 mutant exhibited resistance to downy mildew (Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis) and green peach aphid (Myzus persicae), but retained susceptibility to bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato DC3000. The resistance trait and morphological alteration were mutually linked in 3221. Identification of the activation tag insertion site and microarray analysis revealed that ATHB13, a homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) transcription factor, was constitutively overexpressed in 3221. Silencing of ATHB13 in 3221 resulted in the loss of both the morphological alteration and resistance, whereas overexpression of the cloned ATHB13 in Col-0 and Col-eds1-2 backgrounds resulted in morphological alteration and resistance. Microarray analysis further revealed that overexpression of ATHB13 influenced the expression of a large number of genes. Previously, it was reported that ATHB13-overexpressing lines conferred tolerance to abiotic stress. Together with our results, it appears that ATHB13 is involved in the crosstalk between abiotic and biotic stress resistance pathways.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Processing of the 5′-UTR and existence of protein factors that
           regulate translation of tobacco chloroplast psbN mRNA
    • Abstract: The chloroplast psbB operon includes five genes encoding photosystem II and cytochrome b 6 /f complex components. The psbN gene is located on the opposite strand. PsbN is localized in the thylakoid and is present even in the dark, although its level increases upon illumination and then decreases. However, the translation mechanism of the psbN mRNA remains unclear. Using an in vitro translation system from tobacco chloroplasts and a green fluorescent protein as a reporter protein, we show that translation occurs from a tobacco primary psbN 5′-UTR of 47 nucleotides (nt). Unlike many other chloroplast 5′-UTRs, the psbN 5′-UTR has two processing sites, at −39 and −24 upstream from the initiation site. Processing at −39 enhanced the translation rate fivefold. In contrast, processing at −24 did not affect the translation rate. These observations suggest that the two distinct processing events regulate, at least in part, the level of PsbN during development. The psbN 5′-UTR has no Shine–Dalgarno (SD)-like sequence. In vitro translation assays with excess amounts of the psbN 5′-UTR or with deleted psbN 5′-UTR sequences demonstrated that protein factors are required for translation and that their binding site is an 18 nt sequence in the 5′-UTR. Mobility shift assays using 10 other chloroplast 5′-UTRs suggested that common or similar proteins are involved in translation of a set of mRNAs lacking SD-like sequences.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • A Rosa canina WUSCHEL-related homeobox gene, RcWOX1 , is involved in
           auxin-induced rhizoid formation
    • Abstract: Homeobox (HB) proteins are important transcription factors that regulate the developmental decisions of eukaryotes. WUSCHEL-related homeobox (WOX) transcription factors, known as a plant-specific HB family, play a key role in plant developmental processes. Our previous work has indicated that rhizoids are induced by auxin in rose (Rosa spp.), which acts as critical part of an efficient plant regeneration system. However, the function of WOX genes in auxin-induced rhizoid formation remains unclear. Here, we isolated and characterized a WUSCHEL-related homeobox gene from Rosa canina, RcWOX1, containing a typical homeodomain with 65 amino acid residues. Real-time reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis revealed that RcWOX1 was expressed in the whole process of callus formation and in the early stage of rhizoid formation. Moreover, its expression was induced by auxin treatment. In Arabidopsis transgenic lines expressing the RcWOX1pro::GUS and 35S::GFP-RcWOX1, RcWOX1 was specifically expressed in roots and localized to the nucleus. Overexpression of RcWOX1 in Arabidopsis increased lateral root density and induced upregulation of PIN1 and PIN7 genes. Therefore, we postulated that RcWOX1 is a functional transcription factor that plays an essential role in auxin-induced rhizoid formation.
      PubDate: 2014-12-01
  • Effect of cytokinins on delaying petunia flower senescence: a
           transcriptome study approach
    • Abstract: Flower senescence is a fascinating natural process that represents the final developmental stage in the life of a flower. Plant hormones play an important role in regulating the timing of flower senescence. Ethylene is a trigger and usually accelerates the senescence rate, while cytokinins are known to delay it. The aim of this work was to study the effect of 6-benzylaminopurine (BA) on petal senescence by transcript profile comparison after 3 or 6 h using a cross-species method by hybridizing petunia samples to a 4 × 44 K Agilent tomato array. The relative content of ethylene, abscisic acid, anthocyanins, total carotenoids and total phenols that determine the physiological behaviours of the petal tissue were measured. BA treatment prolonged the flower life and increased the concentrations of phenols and anthocyanins, while total carotenoids did not increase and were lower than the control. The ethylene biosynthetic and perception gene expressions were studied immediately after treatment until 24 h and all genes were repressed, while ethylene production was strongly induced after 4 days. The microarray analyses highlighted that BA strongly affected gene regulation after 3 h, but only 14 % of genes remained differentially expressed after 6 h. The most affected pathways and genes were those related to stress, such as heat shock proteins, abscisic acid (ABA) catabolism and its signalling pathway, lipid metabolism and antioxidant defence systems. A gene annotation enrichment analysis using DAVID showed that the most important gene clusters were involved in energy generation and conservation processes. In addition to the ethylene pathway, cytokinins seem to be strongly involved the regulation of the ABA response in flower tissues.
      PubDate: 2014-11-26
  • Comparative assessments of CRISPR-Cas nucleases’ cleavage efficiency
           in planta
    • Abstract: Custom-designed nucleases can enable precise plant genome editing by catalyzing DNA-breakage at specific targets to stimulate targeted mutagenesis or gene replacement. The CRISPR-Cas system, with its target-specifying RNA molecule to direct the Cas9 nuclease, is a recent addition to existing nucleases that bind and cleave the target through linked protein domains (e.g. TALENs and zinc-finger nucleases). We have conducted a comparative study of these different types of custom-designed nucleases and we have assessed various components of the CRISPR-Cas system. For this purpose, we have adapted our previously reported assay for cleavage-dependent luciferase gene correction in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves (Johnson et al. in Plant Mol Biol 82(3):207–221, 2013). We found that cleavage by CRISPR-Cas was more efficient than cleavage of the same target by TALENs. We also compared the cleavage efficiency of the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 protein based on expression using three different Cas9 gene variants. We found significant differences in cleavage efficiency between these variants, with human and Arabidopsis thaliana codon-optimized genes having the highest cleavage efficiencies. We compared the activity of 12 de novo-designed single synthetic guide RNA (sgRNA) constructs, and found their cleavage efficiency varied drastically when using the same Cas9 nuclease. Finally, we show that, for one of the targets tested with our assay, we could induce a germinally-transmitted deletion in a repeat array in A. thaliana. This work emphasizes the efficiency of the CRISPR-Cas system in plants. It also shows that further work is needed to be able to predict the optimal design of sgRNAs or Cas9 variants.
      PubDate: 2014-11-18
  • The B″ regulatory subunit of protein phosphatase 2A mediates the
           dephosphorylation of rice retinoblastoma-related protein-1
    • Abstract: The phosphorylation of plant retinoblastoma-related (RBR) proteins by cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) is well documented, but the counteracting phosphatases have not been identified yet. We report here that rice retinoblastoma-related protein-1 (OsRBR1) interacted with the B″ subunit of rice protein phosphatase 2A (OsPP2A B″) and underwent reversible phosphorylation during the cell division cycle. The OsRBR1-OsPP2A B” association required B domain in OsRBR1 and the C-terminal region of OsPP2A B″. We found by immunoprecipitation that OsPP2A B″, OsPP2A catalytic subunit subtype II, PSTAIRE-type CDK and OsRBR1 were in the same protein complex, indicating a physical association between the phosphatase, the kinase and their common substrate. OsPP2A B″ contains three predicted CDK phosphorylation sites: Ser95, Ser102 and Ser119. The in vitro phosphorylation of Ser95 and Ser119 with PSTAIRE-kinases was verified by mass spectrometry. We generated a series of phosphorylation site mutants to mimic the dephosphorylated or phosphorylated states of OsPP2A B″, and confirmed that all of the three predicted sites can be phosphorylated. Yeast two-hybrid experiments suggested that the phosphorylation of OsPP2A B″ promoted the formation of the OsPP2A holoenzyme. A triple phosphorylation mimicking OsPP2A B″ mutant containing holoenzyme showed higher activity in phosphatase assays. Our data collectively show that the phosphatase activity of OsPP2A against OsRBR1 is regulated by the phosphorylation of its B″ regulatory subunit. However, the analysis of the effect of okadaic acid, a phosphatase inhibitor, in rice cell suspension cultures revealed that the dephosphorylation of OsRBR1 was completely inhibited only by high dose (300 nM) of the okadaic acid during the cell cycle progression. Therefore the role of the protein phosphatase 1 should be considered as an additional post translational regulatory component of RBR protein function in higher plants.
      PubDate: 2014-11-15
  • RNAi-directed downregulation of betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase 1 ( OsBADH1
           ) results in decreased stress tolerance and increased oxidative markers
           without affecting glycine betaine biosynthesis in rice ( Oryza sativa )
    • Abstract: As an important osmoprotectant, glycine betaine (GB) plays an essential role in resistance to abiotic stress in a variety of organisms, including rice (Oryza sativa L.). However, GB content is too low to be detectable in rice, although rice genome possesses several orthologs coding for betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) involved in plant GB biosynthesis. Rice BADH1 (OsBADH1) has been shown to be targeted to peroxisome and its overexpression resulted in increased GB biosynthesis and tolerance to abiotic stress. In this study, we demonstrated a pivotal role of OsBADH1 in stress tolerance without altering GB biosynthesis capacity, using the RNA interference (RNAi) technique. OsBADH1 was ubiquitously expressed in different organs, including roots, stems, leaves and flowers. Transgenic rice lines downregulating OsBADH1 exhibited remarkably reduced tolerance to NaCl, drought and cold stresses. The decrease of stress tolerance occurring in the OsBADH1-RNAi repression lines was associated with an elevated level of malondialdehyde content and hydrogen peroxidation. No GB accumulation was detected in transgene-positive and transgene-negative lines derived from heterozygous transgenic T0 plants. Moreover, transgenic OsBADH1-RNAi repression lines showed significantly reduced seed set and yield. In conclusion, the downregulation of OsBADH1, even though not causing any change of GB content, was accounted for the reduction of ability to dehydrogenate the accumulating metabolism-derived aldehydes and subsequently resulted in decreased stress tolerance and crop productivity. These results suggest that OsBADH1 possesses an enzyme activity to catalyze other aldehydes in addition to betaine aldehyde (the precursor of GB) and thus alleviate their toxic effects under abiotic stresses.
      PubDate: 2014-11-01
  • The pineapple AcMADS1 promoter confers high level expression in tomato and
           Arabidopsis flowering and fruiting tissues, but AcMADS1 does not
           complement the tomato LeMADS-RIN ( rin ) mutant
    • Abstract: A previous EST study identified a MADS box transcription factor coding sequence, AcMADS1, that is strongly induced during non-climacteric pineapple fruit ripening. Phylogenetic analyses place the AcMADS1 protein in the same superclade as LeMADS-RIN, a master regulator of fruit ripening upstream of ethylene in climacteric tomato. LeMADS-RIN has been proposed to be a global ripening regulator shared among climacteric and non-climacteric species, although few functional homologs of LeMADS-RIN have been identified in non-climacteric species. AcMADS1 shares 67 % protein sequence similarity and a similar expression pattern in ripening fruits as LeMADS-RIN. However, in this study AcMADS1 was not able to complement the tomato rin mutant phenotype, indicating AcMADS1 may not be a functionally conserved homolog of LeMADS-RIN or has sufficiently diverged to be unable to act in the context of the tomato network of interacting proteins. The AcMADS1 promoter directed strong expression of the GUS reporter gene to fruits and developing floral organs in tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting AcMADS1 may play a role in flower development as well as fruitlet ripening. The AcMADS1 promoter provides a useful molecular tool for directing transgene expression, particularly where up-regulation in developing flowers and fruits is desirable.
      PubDate: 2014-11-01
  • A nitrogen-dependent switch in the high affinity ammonium transport in
           Medicago truncatula
    • Abstract: Ammonium transporters (AMTs) are crucial for the high affinity primary uptake and translocation of ammonium in plants. In the model legume Medicago truncatula, the genomic set of AMT-type ammonium transporters comprises eight members. Only four genes were abundantly expressed in young seedlings, both in roots and shoots. While the expression of all AMTs in the shoot was not affected by the nitrogen availability, the dominating MtAMT1;1 gene was repressed by nitrogen in roots, despite that cellular nitrogen concentrations were far above deficiency levels. A contrasting de-repression by nitrogen was observed for MtAMT1;4 and MtAMT2;1, which were both expressed at intermediate level. Weak expression was found for MtAMT1;2 and MtAMT2;3, while the other AMTs were not detected in young seedlings. When expressed from their endogenous promoters, translational fusion proteins of MtAMT1;1 and MtAMT2;1 with green fluorescent protein were co-localized in the plasma membrane of rhizodermal cells, but also detected in cortical root layers. Both transporter proteins similarly functionally complemented a yeast strain that is deficient in high affinity ammonium transport, both at acidic and neutral pH. The uptake into yeast mediated by these transporters saturated with Km AMT1;1 = 89 µM and Km AMT2;1 = 123 µM, respectively. When expressed in oocytes, MtAMT1;1 mediated much larger 15N-ammonium uptake than MtAMT2;1, but NH4 + currents were only recorded for MtAMT1;1. These currents saturated with a voltage-dependent Km = 90 µM at −80 mV. The cellular localization and regulation of the AMTs suggests that MtAMT1;1 encodes the major high affinity ammonium transporter gene in low nitrogen grown young M. truncatula roots and despite the similar localization and substrate affinity, MtAMT2;1 appears functionally distinct and more important at higher nitrogen supply.
      PubDate: 2014-11-01
  • Analysis of BAC-end sequences in common bean ( Phaseolus vulgaris L.)
           towards the development and characterization of long motifs SSRs
    • Abstract: The increasing volume of genomic data on the Phaseolus vulgaris species have contributed to its importance as a model genetic species and positively affected the investigation of other legumes of scientific and economic value. To expand and gain a more in-depth knowledge of the common bean genome, the ends of a number of bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) were sequenced, annotated and the presence of repetitive sequences was determined. In total, 52,270 BESs (BAC-end sequences), equivalent to 32 Mbp (~6 %) of the genome, were processed. In total, 3,789 BES-SSRs were identified, with a distribution of one SSR (simple sequence repeat) per 8.36 kbp and 2,000 were suitable for the development of SSRs, of which 194 were evaluated in low-resolution screening. From 40 BES-SSRs based on long motifs SSRs (≥trinucleotides) analyzed in high-resolution genotyping, 34 showed an equally good amplification for the Andean and for the Mesoamerican genepools, exhibiting an average gene diversity (H E) of 0.490 and 5.59 alleles/locus, of which six classified as Class I showed a H E ≥ 0.7. The PCoA and structure analysis allowed to discriminate the gene pools (K = 2, FST = 0.733). From the 52,270 BESs, 2 % corresponded to transcription factors and 3 % to transposable elements. Putative functions for 24,321 BESs were identified and for 19,363 were assigned functional categories (gene ontology). This study identified highly polymorphic BES-SSRs containing tri- to hexanucleotides motifs and bringing together relevant genetic characteristics useful for breeding programs. Additionally, the BESs were incorporated into the international genome-sequencing project for the common bean.
      PubDate: 2014-11-01
  • Seed-specific increased expression of 2S albumin promoter of sesame
           qualifies it as a useful genetic tool for fatty acid metabolic engineering
           and related transgenic intervention in sesame and other oil seed crops
    • Abstract: The sesame 2S albumin (2Salb) promoter was evaluated for its capacity to express the reporter gusA gene encoding β-glucuronidase in transgenic tobacco seeds relative to the soybean fad3C gene promoter element. Results revealed increased expression of gusA gene in tobacco seed tissue when driven by sesame 2S albumin promoter. Prediction based deletion analysis of both the promoter elements confirmed the necessary cis-acting regulatory elements as well as the minimal promoter element for optimal expression in each case. The results also revealed that cis-regulatory elements might have been responsible for high level expression as well as spatio-temporal regulation of the sesame 2S albumin promoter. Transgenic over-expression of a fatty acid desaturase (fad3C) gene of soybean driven by 2S albumin promoter resulted in seed-specific enhanced level of α-linolenic acid in sesame. The present study, for the first time helped to identify that the sesame 2S albumin promoter is a promising endogenous genetic element in genetic engineering approaches requiring spatio-temporal regulation of gene(s) of interest in sesame and can also be useful as a heterologous genetic element in other important oil seed crop plants in general for which seed oil is the harvested product. The study also established the feasibility of fatty acid metabolic engineering strategy undertaken to improve quality of edible seed oil in sesame using the 2S albumin promoter as regulatory element.
      PubDate: 2014-11-01
  • Genome-wide identification of housekeeping genes in maize
    • Abstract: In the wake of recent progress of high throughput transcriptome profiling technologies, extensive housekeeping gene mining has been conducted in humans. However, very few studies have been reported in maize (Zea mays L.), an important crop plant, and none were conducted on a genome -wide level. In this study, we surveyed housekeeping genes throughout the maize transcriptome using RNA-seq and microarray techniques, and validated the housekeeping profile with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) under a series of conditions including different genotypes and nitrogen supplies. Seven microarray datasets and two RNA-seq libraries representing 40 genotypes at more than 20 developmental stages were selected to screen for commonly expressed genes. A total of 1,661 genes showed constitutive expression in both microarray and RNA-seq datasets, serving as our starting housekeeping gene candidates. To determine for stably expressed housekeeping genes, NormFinder was used to select the top 20 % invariable genes to be the more likely candidates, which resulted in 48 and 489 entries from microarray and RNA-seq data, respectively. Among them, nine genes (2OG-Fe, CDK, DPP9, DUF, NAC, RPN, SGT1, UPF1 and a hypothetical protein coding gene) were expressed in all 40 maize diverse genotypes tested covering 16 tissues at more than 20 developmental stages under normal and stress conditions, implying these as being the most reliable reference genes. qPCR analysis confirmed the stable expression of selected reference gene candidates compared to two widely used housekeeping genes. All the reference gene candidates showed higher invariability than ACT and GAPDH. The hypothetical protein coding gene exhibited the most stable expression across 26 maize lines with different nitrogen treatments with qPCR, followed by CDK encoding the cyclin-dependent kinase. As the first study to systematically screen for housekeeping genes in maize, we identified candidates by examining the transcriptome atlas generated from RNA-seq and microarray technologies. The nine top-ranked qPCR-validated novel housekeeping genes provide a valuable resource of reference genes for maize gene expression analysis.
      PubDate: 2014-09-11
  • New target carotenoids for CCD4 enzymes are revealed with the
           characterization of a novel stress-induced carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase
           gene from Crocus
    • Abstract: Apocarotenoid compounds play diverse communication functions in plants, some of them being as hormones, pigments and volatiles. Apocarotenoids are the result of enzymatic cleavage of carotenoids catalyzed by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (CCD). The CCD4 family is the largest family of plant CCDs, only present in flowering plants, suggesting a functional diversification associated to the adaptation for specific physiological capacities unique to them. In saffron, two CCD4 genes have been previously isolated from the stigma tissue and related with the generation of specific volatiles involved in the attraction of pollinators. The aim of this study was to identify additional CCD4 members associated with the generation of other carotenoid-derived volatiles during the development of the stigma. The expression of CsCCD4c appears to be restricted to the stigma tissue in saffron and other Crocus species and was correlated with the generation of megastigma-4,6,8-triene. Further, CsCCD4c was up-regulated by wounding, heat, and osmotic stress, suggesting an involvement of its apocarotenoid products in the adaptation of saffron to environmental stresses. The enzymatic activity of CsCCD4c was determined in vivo in Escherichia coli and subsequently in Nicotiana benthamiana by analyzing carotenoids by HPLC–DAD and the volatile products by GC/MS. β-Carotene was shown to be the preferred substrate, being cleaved at the 9,10 (9′,10′) bonds and generating β-ionone, although β-cyclocitral resulting from a 7,8 (7′,8′) cleavage activity was also detected at lower levels. Lutein, neoxanthin and violaxanthin levels in Nicotiana leaves were markedly reduced when CsCCD4c is over expressed, suggesting that CsCCD4c recognizes these carotenoids as substrates.
      PubDate: 2014-09-10
  • Transcriptome profiling of Vitis
    , an extremely cold-tolerant Chinese wild        class="a-plus-plus">Vitis species, reveals
           candidate genes and events that potentially connected to cold stress
    • Abstract: Vitis amurensis Rupr. is an exceptional wild-growing Vitis (grape) species that can safely survive a wide range of cold conditions, but the underlying cold-adaptive mechanism associated with gene regulation is poorly investigated. We have analyzed the physiochemical and transcriptomic changes caused by cold stress in a cold-tolerant accession, ‘Heilongjiang seedling’, of Chinese wild V. amurensis. We statistically determined that a total of 6,850 cold-regulated transcripts were involved in cold regulation, including 3,676 up-regulated and 3,174 down-regulated transcripts. A global survey of messenger RNA revealed that skipped exon is the most prevalent form of alternative spicing event. Importantly, we found that the total splicing events increased with the prolonged cold stress. We also identified thirty-eight major TF families that were involved in cold regulation, some of which were previously unknown. Moreover, a large number of candidate pathways for the metabolism or biosynthesis of secondary metabolites were found to be regulated by cold, which is of potential importance in coordinating cold tolerance with growth and development. Several heat shock proteins and heat shock factors were also detected to be intensively cold-regulated. Furthermore, we validated the expression profiles of 16 candidates using qRT-PCR to further confirm the accuracy of the RNA-seq data. Our results provide a genome-wide view of the dynamic changes in the transcriptome of V. amurensis, in which it is evident that various structural and regulatory genes are crucial for cold tolerance/adaptation. Moreover, our robust dataset advances our knowledge of the genes involved in the complex regulatory networks of cold stress and leads to a better understanding of cold tolerance mechanisms in this extremely cold-tolerant Vitis species.
      PubDate: 2014-09-05
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