ResearchPad - plant-genomics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Comparative analysis of plastid genomes within the Campanulaceae and phylogenetic implications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14639 The conflicts exist between the phylogeny of Campanulaceae based on nuclear ITS sequence and plastid markers, particularly in the subdivision of Cyanantheae (Campanulaceae). Besides, various and complicated plastid genome structures can be found in species of the Campanulaceae. However, limited availability of genomic information largely hinders the studies of molecular evolution and phylogeny of Campanulaceae. We reported the complete plastid genomes of three Cyanantheae species, compared them to eight published Campanulaceae plastomes, and shed light on a deeper understanding of the applicability of plastomes. We found that there were obvious differences among gene order, GC content, gene compositions and IR junctions of LSC/IRa. Almost all protein-coding genes and amino acid sequences showed obvious codon preferences. We identified 14 genes with highly positively selected sites and branch-site model displayed 96 sites under potentially positive selection on the three lineages of phylogenetic tree. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Cyananthus was more closely related to Codonopsis compared with Cyclocodon and also clearly illustrated the relationship among the Cyanantheae species. We also found six coding regions having high nucleotide divergence value. Hotpot regions were considered to be useful molecular markers for resolving phylogenetic relationships and species authentication of Campanulaceae.

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<![CDATA[Chloroplast genomes of Rubiaceae: Comparative genomics and molecular phylogeny in subfamily Ixoroideae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11231 In Rubiaceae phylogenetics, the number of markers often proved a limitation with authors failing to provide well-supported trees at tribal and generic levels. A robust phylogeny is a prerequisite to study the evolutionary patterns of traits at different taxonomic levels. Advances in next-generation sequencing technologies have revolutionized biology by providing, at reduced cost, huge amounts of data for an increased number of species. Due to their highly conserved structure, generally recombination-free, and mostly uniparental inheritance, chloroplast DNA sequences have long been used as choice markers for plant phylogeny reconstruction. The main objectives of this study are: 1) to gain insight in chloroplast genome evolution in the Rubiaceae (Ixoroideae) through efficient methodology for de novo assembly of plastid genomes; and, 2) to test the efficiency of mining SNPs in the nuclear genome of Ixoroideae based on the use of a coffee reference genome to produce well-supported nuclear trees. We assembled whole chloroplast genome sequences for 27 species of the Rubiaceae subfamily Ixoroideae using next-generation sequences. Analysis of the plastid genome structure reveals a relatively good conservation of gene content and order. Generally, low variation was observed between taxa in the boundary regions with the exception of the inverted repeat at both the large and short single copy junctions for some taxa. An average of 79% of the SNP determined in the Coffea genus are transferable to Ixoroideae, with variation ranging from 35% to 96%. In general, the plastid and the nuclear genome phylogenies are congruent with each other. They are well-resolved with well-supported branches. Generally, the tribes form well-identified clades but the tribe Sherbournieae is shown to be polyphyletic. The results are discussed relative to the methodology used and the chloroplast genome features in Rubiaceae and compared to previous Rubiaceae phylogenies.

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<![CDATA[The draft mitochondrial genome of Magnolia biondii and mitochondrial phylogenomics of angiosperms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N1f661d3e-d0c0-407e-92c0-bb72cd78029d

The mitochondrial genomes of flowering plants are well known for their large size, variable coding-gene set and fluid genome structure. The available mitochondrial genomes of the early angiosperms show extreme genetic diversity in genome size, structure, and sequences, such as rampant HGTs in Amborella mt genome, numerous repeated sequences in Nymphaea mt genome, and conserved gene evolution in Liriodendron mt genome. However, currently available early angiosperm mt genomes are still limited, hampering us from obtaining an overall picture of the mitogenomic evolution in angiosperms. Here we sequenced and assembled the draft mitochondrial genome of Magnolia biondii Pamp. from Magnoliaceae (magnoliids) using Oxford Nanopore sequencing technology. We recovered a single linear mitochondrial contig of 967,100 bp with an average read coverage of 122 × and a GC content of 46.6%. This draft mitochondrial genome contains a rich 64-gene set, similar to those of Liriodendron and Nymphaea, including 41 protein-coding genes, 20 tRNAs, and 3 rRNAs. Twenty cis-spliced and five trans-spliced introns break ten protein-coding genes in the Magnolia mt genome. Repeated sequences account for 27% of the draft genome, with 17 out of the 1,145 repeats showing recombination evidence. Although partially assembled, the approximately 1-Mb mt genome of Magnolia is still among the largest in angiosperms, which is possibly due to the expansion of repeated sequences, retention of ancestral mtDNAs, and the incorporation of nuclear genome sequences. Mitochondrial phylogenomic analysis of the concatenated datasets of 38 conserved protein-coding genes from 91 representatives of angiosperm species supports the sister relationship of magnoliids with monocots and eudicots, which is congruent with plastid evidence.

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<![CDATA[Identification of early fruit development reference genes in plum]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N34728444-bb7f-4d99-8469-dd5c2a1110fc

An RNAseq study of early fruit development and stone development in plum, Prunus domestica, was mined to identify sets of genes that could be used to normalize expression studies in early fruit development. The expression values of genes previously identified from Prunus as reference genes were first extracted and found to vary considerably in endocarp tissue relative to whole fruit tissue. Nine other genes were chosen that varied less than 2-fold amongst the 20 RNAseq libraries of early fruit development and endocarp tissues. These gene were tested on a series of developmental plum fruit samples to determine if any could be used as a reference gene in the analyses of fruit-based tissues in plum. The three most stable genes as determined using RefFinder were IPGD (imidazole glycerol-phosphate dehydratase), HAM1 (histone acetyltransferase) and SNX1 (sorting nexin 1). These were further tested to analyze genes expressed differentially in endocarp tissue between normal and minimal endocarp cultivars. To determine the universality of those nine genes as fruit development reference genes, three other data sets of RNAseq from peach and apple were analyzed to determine the reference gene expression. Multiple genes exhibited tissue specific patterns of expression while one gene, the SNX1, emerged as possessing a universal pattern between the Rosaceae species, at all developmental stages, and tissue types tested. The results suggest that the use of existing RNAseq data to identify standard genes can provide stable reference genes for a specific tissues or experimental conditions under exploration.

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<![CDATA[Split green fluorescent protein as a tool to study infection with a plant pathogen, Cauliflower mosaic virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897773d5eed0c4847d2d2c

The split GFP technique is based on the auto-assembly of GFP when two polypeptides–GFP1-10 (residues 1–214; the detector) and GFP11 (residues 215–230; the tag)–both non-fluorescing on their own, associate spontaneously to form a fluorescent molecule. We evaluated this technique for its efficacy in contributing to the characterization of Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) infection. A recombinant CaMV with GFP11 fused to the viral protein P6 (a key player in CaMV infection and major constituent of viral factory inclusions that arise during infection) was constructed and used to inoculate transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana expressing GFP1-10. The mutant virus (CaMV11P6) was infectious, aphid-transmissible and the insertion was stable over many passages. Symptoms on infected plants were delayed and milder. Viral protein accumulation, especially of recombinant 11P6, was greatly decreased, impeding its detection early in infection. Nonetheless, spread of infection from the inoculated leaf to other leaves was followed by whole plant imaging. Infected cells displayed in real time confocal laser scanning microscopy fluorescence in wild type-looking virus factories. Thus, it allowed for the first time to track a CaMV protein in vivo in the context of an authentic infection. 11P6 was immunoprecipitated with anti-GFP nanobodies, presenting a new application for the split GFP system in protein-protein interaction assays and proteomics. Taken together, split GFP can be an attractive alternative to using the entire GFP for protein tagging.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide haplotype-based association analysis of key traits of plant lodging and architecture of maize identifies major determinants for leaf angle: hapLA4]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89773ed5eed0c4847d27e7

Traits related to plant lodging and architecture are important determinants of plant productivity in intensive maize cultivation systems. Motivated by the identification of genomic associations with the leaf angle, plant height (PH), ear height (EH) and the EH/PH ratio, we characterized approximately 7,800 haplotypes from a set of high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), in an association panel consisting of tropical maize inbred lines. The proportion of the phenotypic variations explained by the individual SNPs varied between 7%, for the SNP S1_285330124 (located on chromosome 9 and associated with the EH/PH ratio), and 22%, for the SNP S1_317085830 (located on chromosome 6 and associated with the leaf angle). A total of 40 haplotype blocks were significantly associated with the traits of interest, explaining up to 29% of the phenotypic variation for the leaf angle, corresponding to the haplotype hapLA4.04, which was stable over two growing seasons. Overall, the associations for PH, EH and the EH/PH ratio were environment-specific, which was confirmed by performing a model comparison analysis using the information criteria of Akaike and Schwarz. In addition, five stable haplotypes (83%) and 15 SNPs (75%) were identified for the leaf angle. Finally, approximately 62% of the associated haplotypes (25/40) did not contain SNPs detected in the association study using individual SNP markers. This result confirms the advantage of haplotype-based genome-wide association studies for examining genomic regions that control the determining traits for architecture and lodging in maize plants.

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<![CDATA[Transcription-driven chromatin repression of Intragenic transcription start sites]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df308d5eed0c484580b95

Progression of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) transcription relies on the appropriately positioned activities of elongation factors. The resulting profile of factors and chromatin signatures along transcription units provides a “positional information system” for transcribing RNAPII. Here, we investigate a chromatin-based mechanism that suppresses intragenic initiation of RNAPII transcription. We demonstrate that RNAPII transcription across gene promoters represses their function in plants. This repression is characterized by reduced promoter-specific molecular signatures and increased molecular signatures associated with RNAPII elongation. The conserved FACT histone chaperone complex is required for this repression mechanism. Genome-wide Transcription Start Site (TSS) mapping reveals thousands of discrete intragenic TSS positions in fact mutants, including downstream promoters that initiate alternative transcript isoforms. We find that histone H3 lysine 4 mono-methylation (H3K4me1), an Arabidopsis RNAPII elongation signature, is enriched at FACT-repressed intragenic TSSs. Our analyses suggest that FACT is required to repress intragenic TSSs at positions that are in part characterized by elevated H3K4me1 levels. In sum, conserved and plant-specific chromatin features correlate with the co-transcriptional repression of intragenic TSSs. Our insights into TSS repression by RNAPII transcription promise to inform the regulation of alternative transcript isoforms and the characterization of gene regulation through the act of pervasive transcription across eukaryotic genomes.

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<![CDATA[Training set optimization of genomic prediction by means of EthAcc]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c75ac8dd5eed0c484d08a24

Genomic prediction is a useful tool for plant and animal breeding programs and is starting to be used to predict human diseases as well. A shortcoming that slows down the genomic selection deployment is that the accuracy of the prediction is not known a priori. We propose EthAcc (Estimated THeoretical ACCuracy) as a method for estimating the accuracy given a training set that is genotyped and phenotyped. EthAcc is based on a causal quantitative trait loci model estimated by a genome-wide association study. This estimated causal model is crucial; therefore, we compared different methods to find the one yielding the best EthAcc. The multilocus mixed model was found to perform the best. We compared EthAcc to accuracy estimators that can be derived via a mixed marker model. We showed that EthAcc is the only approach to correctly estimate the accuracy. Moreover, in case of a structured population, in accordance with the achieved accuracy, EthAcc showed that the biggest training set is not always better than a smaller and closer training set. We then performed training set optimization with EthAcc and compared it to CDmean. EthAcc outperformed CDmean on real datasets from sugar beet, maize, and wheat. Nonetheless, its performance was mainly due to the use of an optimal but inaccessible set as a start of the optimization algorithm. EthAcc’s precision and algorithm issues prevent it from reaching a good training set with a random start. Despite this drawback, we demonstrated that a substantial gain in accuracy can be obtained by performing training set optimization.

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<![CDATA[Detecting useful genetic markers and reconstructing the phylogeny of an important medicinal resource plant, Artemisia selengensis, based on chloroplast genomics]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e90ed5eed0c48496f746

Artemisia selengenesis is not only a health food, but also a well-known traditional Chinese medicine. Only a fraction of the chloroplast (cp) genome data of Artemisia has been reported and chloroplast genomic materials have been widely used in genomic evolution studies, molecular marker development, and phylogenetic analysis of the genus Artemisia, which makes evolutionary studies, genetic improvement, and phylogenetic identification very difficult. In this study, the complete chloroplast genome of A. selengensis was compared with that of other species within Artemisia and phylogenetic analyses was conducted with other genera in the Asteraceae family. The results showed that A. selengensis is an AT-rich species and has a typical quadripartite structure that is 151,215 bp in length. Comparative genome analyses demonstrated that the available chloroplast genomes of species of Artemisia were well conserved in terms of genomic length, GC contents, and gene organization and order. However, some differences, which may indicate evolutionary events, were found, such as a re-inversion event within the Artemisia genus, an unequal duplicate phenomenon of the ycf1 gene because of the expansion and contraction of the IR region, and the fast-evolving regions. Repeated sequences analysis showed that Artemisia chloroplast genomes presented a highly similar pattern of SSR or LDR distribution. A total of 257 SSRs and 42 LDRs were identified in the A. selengensis chloroplast genome. The phylogenetic analysis showed that A. selengensis was sister to A. gmelinii. The findings of this study will be valuable in further studies to understand the genetic diversity and evolutionary history of Asteraceae.

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<![CDATA[Good to the last drop: The emergence of coffee ringspot virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f80ad5eed0c484386ecd ]]> <![CDATA[Phenotypic, cytogenetic, and molecular marker analysis of Brassica napus introgressants derived from an intergeneric hybridization with Orychophragmus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f78cd5eed0c48438636c

Aneuploids of a single species that have lost or gained different chromosomes are useful for genomic analysis. The polyploid nature of many crops including oilseed rape (Brassica napus) allows these plants to tolerate the loss of individual chromosomes from homologous pairs, thus facilitating the development of aneuploid lines. Here, we selected 39 lines from advanced generations of an intergeneric hybridization between Brassica rapa and Orychophragmus violaceus with accidental pollination by B. napus. The lines showed a wide spectrum of phenotypic variations, with some traits specific to O. violaceus. Most lines had the same chromosome number (2n = 38) as B. napus. However, we also identified B. napus nulli-tetrasomics with 22 A-genome and 16 C-genome chromosomes and lines with the typical B. napus complement of 20 A-genome and 18 C-genome chromosomes, as revealed by FISH analysis using a C-genome specific probe. Other lines had 2n = 37 or 39 chromosomes, with variable numbers of A- or C-genome chromosomes. The formation of quadrivalents by four A-genome chromosomes with similar shapes suggests that they were derived from the same chromosome. The frequent homoeologous pairing between chromosomes of the A and C genomes points to their non-diploidized meiotic behavior. Sequence-related amplified polymorphism (SRAP) analysis revealed substantial genomic changes of the lines compared to B. rapa associated with O. violaceus specific DNA bands, but only a few genes were identified in these bands by DNA sequencing. These novel B. napus aneuploids and introgressants represent unique tools for studies of Brassica genetics and for Brassica breeding projects.

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<![CDATA[Imputation accuracy of wheat genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data using barley and wheat genome references]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d0126d5eed0c484038b91

Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) provides high SNP coverage and has recently emerged as a popular technology for genetic and breeding applications in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and many other plant species. Although GBS can discover millions of SNPs, a high rate of missing data is a major concern for many applications. Accurate imputation of those missing data can significantly improve the utility of GBS data. This study compared imputation accuracies among four genome references including three wheat references (Chinese Spring survey sequence, W7984, and IWGSC RefSeq v1.0) and one barley reference genome by comparing imputed data derived from low-depth sequencing to actual data from high-depth sequencing. After imputation, the average number of imputed data points was the highest in the B genome (~48.99%). The D genome had the lowest imputed data points (~15.02%) but the highest imputation accuracy. Among the four reference genomes, IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 reference provided the most imputed data points, but the lowest imputation accuracy for the SNPs with < 10% minor allele frequency (MAF). The W7984 reference, however, provided the highest imputation accuracy for the SNPs with < 10% MAF.

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<![CDATA[Water stress in Musa spp.: A systematic review]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0ed780d5eed0c484f14289

Background

The cultivation of bananas and other plants is limited by environmental stresses caused by climate change. In order to recognize physiological, biochemical and molecular components indicated to confer tolerance to water stress in Musa spp. we present the first systematic review on the topic.

Methods

A systematic literature review was conducted using four databases for academic research (Google Academic, Springer, CAPES Journal Portal and PubMed Central). In order to avoid publication bias, a previously established protocol and inclusion and exclusion criteria were used.

Results

The drought tolerance response is genotype-dependent, therefore the most studied varieties are constituted by the “B” genome. Tolerant plants are capable of super-expressing genes related to reisistance and defense response, maintaining the osmotic equilibrium and elimination of free radicals. Furthermore, they have higher amounts of water content, chlorophyll levels, stomatic conductance and dry root matter, when compared to susceptible plants.

Conclusions

In recent years, few integrated studies on the effects of water stress on bananas have been carried out and none related to flood stress. Therefore, we highlight the need for new studies on the mechanisms of differentially expressed proteins in response to stress regulation, post-translational mechanisms and epigenetic inheritance in bananas.

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<![CDATA[Quillworts from the Amazon: A multidisciplinary populational study on Isoetes serracarajensis and Isoetes cangae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b87837240307c3c45097671

Isoetes are ancient quillworts members of the only genus of the order Isoetales. The genus is slow evolving but is resilient, and widespread worldwide. Two recently described species occur in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon, Isoetes serracarajensis and Isoetes cangae. They are found in the ironstone grasslands known as Canga. While I. serracarajensis is present mostly in seasonal water bodies, I. cangae is known to occur in a single permanent lake at the South mountain range. In this work, we undertake an extensive morphological, physiological and genetic characterization of both species to establish species boundaries and better understand the morphological and genetic features of these two species. Our results indicate that the morphological differentiation of the species is subtle and requires a quantitative assessment of morphological elements of the megaspore for diagnosis. We did not detect differences in microspore output, but morphological peculiarities may establish a reproductive barrier. Additionally, genetic analysis using DNA barcodes and whole chloroplast genomes indicate that although the plants are genetically very similar both approaches provide diagnostic characters. There was no indication of population structuring I. serracarajensis. These results set the basis for a deeper understanding of the evolution of the Isoetes genus.

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<![CDATA[Genome-wide analysis of ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters in tomato]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b694664463d7e3867f4ad09

ATP binding cassette (ABC) transporters are proteins that actively mediate the transport of a wide range of molecules, such as organic acids, metal ions, phytohormones and secondary metabolites. Therefore, ABC transporters must play indispensable roles in growth and development of tomato, including fruit development. Most ABC transporters have transmembrane domains (TMDs) and belong to the ABC protein family, which includes not only ABC transporters but also soluble ABC proteins lacking TMDs. In this study, we performed a genome-wide identification and expression analysis of genes encoding ABC proteins in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), which is a valuable horticultural crop and a model plant for studying fleshy fruits. In the tomato genome, a total of 154 genes putatively encoding ABC transporters, including 9 ABCAs, 29 ABCBs, 26 ABCCs, 2 ABCDs, 2 ABCEs, 6 ABCFs, 70 ABCGs and 10 ABCIs, were identified. Gene expression data from the eFP Browser and reverse transcription-semi-quantitative PCR analysis revealed their tissue-specific and development-specific expression profiles. This work suggests physiological roles of ABC transporters in tomato and provides fundamental information for future studies of ABC transporters not only in tomato but also in other Solanaceae species.

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<![CDATA[Evidence for plant-derived xenomiRs based on a large-scale analysis of public small RNA sequencing data from human samples]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b49f0b8463d7e3adec7b981

In recent years, an increasing number of studies have reported the presence of plant miRNAs in human samples, which resulted in a hypothesis asserting the existence of plant-derived exogenous microRNA (xenomiR). However, this hypothesis is not widely accepted in the scientific community due to possible sample contamination and the small sample size with lack of rigorous statistical analysis. This study provides a systematic statistical test that can validate (or invalidate) the plant-derived xenomiR hypothesis by analyzing 388 small RNA sequencing data from human samples in 11 types of body fluids/tissues. A total of 166 types of plant miRNAs were found in at least one human sample, of which 14 plant miRNAs represented more than 80% of the total plant miRNAs abundance in human samples. Plant miRNA profiles were characterized to be tissue-specific in different human samples. Meanwhile, the plant miRNAs identified from microbiome have an insignificant abundance compared to those from humans, while plant miRNA profiles in human samples were significantly different from those in plants, suggesting that sample contamination is an unlikely reason for all the plant miRNAs detected in human samples. This study also provides a set of testable synthetic miRNAs with isotopes that can be detected in situ after being fed to animals.

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<![CDATA[Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 Controls the Embryo-to-Seedling Phase Transition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac6ab0ee8fa60bb29e4

Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is a key regulator of epigenetic states catalyzing histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3), a repressive chromatin mark. PRC2 composition is conserved from humans to plants, but the function of PRC2 during the early stage of plant life is unclear beyond the fact that it is required for the development of endosperm, a nutritive tissue that supports embryo growth. Circumventing the requirement of PRC2 in endosperm allowed us to generate viable homozygous null mutants for FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM (FIE), which is the single Arabidopsis homolog of Extra Sex Combs, an indispensable component of Drosophila and mammalian PRC2. Here we show that H3K27me3 deposition is abolished genome-wide in fie mutants demonstrating the essential function of PRC2 in placing this mark in plants as in animals. In contrast to animals, we find that PRC2 function is not required for initial body plan formation in Arabidopsis. Rather, our results show that fie mutant seeds exhibit enhanced dormancy and germination defects, indicating a deficiency in terminating the embryonic phase. After germination, fie mutant seedlings switch to generative development that is not sustained, giving rise to neoplastic, callus-like structures. Further genome-wide studies showed that only a fraction of PRC2 targets are transcriptionally activated in fie seedlings and that this activation is accompanied in only a few cases with deposition of H3K4me3, a mark associated with gene activity and considered to act antagonistically to H3K27me3. Up-regulated PRC2 target genes were found to act at different hierarchical levels from transcriptional master regulators to a wide range of downstream targets. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that PRC2-mediated regulation represents a robust system controlling developmental phase transitions, not only from vegetative phase to flowering but also especially from embryonic phase to the seedling stage.

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<![CDATA[Apomictic and Sexual Germline Development Differ with Respect to Cell Cycle, Transcriptional, Hormonal and Epigenetic Regulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d4ab0ee8fa60b6534b

Seeds of flowering plants can be formed sexually or asexually through apomixis. Apomixis occurs in about 400 species and is of great interest for agriculture as it produces clonal offspring. It differs from sexual reproduction in three major aspects: (1) While the sexual megaspore mother cell (MMC) undergoes meiosis, the apomictic initial cell (AIC) omits or aborts meiosis (apomeiosis); (2) the unreduced egg cell of apomicts forms an embryo without fertilization (parthenogenesis); and (3) the formation of functional endosperm requires specific developmental adaptations. Currently, our knowledge about the gene regulatory programs underlying apomixis is scarce. We used the apomict Boechera gunnisoniana, a close relative of Arabidopsis thaliana, to investigate the transcriptional basis underlying apomeiosis and parthenogenesis. Here, we present the first comprehensive reference transcriptome for reproductive development in an apomict. To compare sexual and apomictic development at the cellular level, we used laser-assisted microdissection combined with microarray and RNA-Seq analyses. Conservation of enriched gene ontologies between the AIC and the MMC likely reflects functions of importance to germline initiation, illustrating the close developmental relationship of sexuality and apomixis. However, several regulatory pathways differ between sexual and apomictic germlines, including cell cycle control, hormonal pathways, epigenetic and transcriptional regulation. Enrichment of specific signal transduction pathways are a feature of the apomictic germline, as is spermidine metabolism, which is associated with somatic embryogenesis in various plants. Our study provides a comprehensive reference dataset for apomictic development and yields important new insights into the transcriptional basis underlying apomixis in relation to sexual reproduction.

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<![CDATA[Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db49ab0ee8fa60bd981e

Mutualistic symbioses between eukaryotes and beneficial microorganisms of their microbiome play an essential role in nutrition, protection against disease, and development of the host. However, the impact of beneficial symbionts on the evolution of host genomes remains poorly characterized. Here we used the independent loss of the most widespread plant–microbe symbiosis, arbuscular mycorrhization (AM), as a model to address this question. Using a large phenotypic approach and phylogenetic analyses, we present evidence that loss of AM symbiosis correlates with the loss of many symbiotic genes in the Arabidopsis lineage (Brassicales). Then, by analyzing the genome and/or transcriptomes of nine other phylogenetically divergent non-host plants, we show that this correlation occurred in a convergent manner in four additional plant lineages, demonstrating the existence of an evolutionary pattern specific to symbiotic genes. Finally, we use a global comparative phylogenomic approach to track this evolutionary pattern among land plants. Based on this approach, we identify a set of 174 highly conserved genes and demonstrate enrichment in symbiosis-related genes. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that beneficial symbionts maintain purifying selection on host gene networks during the evolution of entire lineages.

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<![CDATA[Chilling-Dependent Release of Seed and Bud Dormancy in Peach Associates to Common Changes in Gene Expression]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da98ab0ee8fa60ba28b3

Reproductive meristems and embryos display dormancy mechanisms in specialized structures named respectively buds and seeds that arrest the growth of perennial plants until environmental conditions are optimal for survival. Dormancy shows common physiological features in buds and seeds. A genotype-specific period of chilling is usually required to release dormancy by molecular mechanisms that are still poorly understood. In order to find common transcriptional pathways associated to dormancy release, we analyzed the chilling-dependent expression in embryos of certain genes that were previously found related to dormancy in flower buds of peach. We propose the presence of short and long-term dormancy events affecting respectively the germination rate and seedling development by independent mechanisms. Short periods of chilling seem to improve germination in an abscisic acid-dependent manner, whereas the positive effect of longer cold treatments on physiological dwarfing coincides with the accumulation of phenylpropanoids in the seed.

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