bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2018‒11‒18
twenty-nine papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Theor Appl Genet. 2018 Nov 16.
      KEY MESSAGE: A major stripe rust resistance QTL was mapped to a 0.4 centimorgan (cM) genetic region on the long arm of chromosome 7B, using combined genome-wide linkage mapping and bulk segregant analysis. The German winter wheat cv. Centrum has displayed high levels of adult plant stripe rust resistance (APR) in field environments for many years. Here, we used the combined genome-wide linkage mapping and pool-extreme genotyping to characterize the APR resistance. One hundred and fifty-one F2:7 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between susceptible landrace Mingxian 169 and Centrum were evaluated for stripe rust resistance in multiple environments and genotyped by the wheat 35K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. Three stable quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified using QTL analysis across five field environments. To saturate the major QTL, the wheat 660K SNP array was also used to genotype bulked extremes. A major QTL named QYrcen.nwafu-7BL from Centrum was mapped in a 0.4 cM genetic interval flanking by AX-94556751 and AX-110366788 across a 2 Mb physical genomic region, explaining 19.39-42.81% of the total phenotypic variation. It is likely a previously uncharacterized QTL based on pedigree analysis, reaction response, genotyping data and map comparison. The SNP markers closely linked with QYrcen.nwafu-7BL were converted to KASP markers and validated in a subset of 120 wheat lines. A 211 F2 breeding population from a cross of an elite cultivar Xinong 979 with Centrum were developed for marker-based selection. Three selected lines with desirable agronomic traits and the positive alleles of both KASP markers showed acceptable resistance which should be used as resistance donors in wheat breeding programs. The other QTL QYrcen.nwafu-1AL and QYrcen.nwafu-4AL with additive effects could enhance the level of resistance conferred by QYrcen.nwafu-7BL.
  2. Front Plant Sci. 2018 ;9 1578
      Productivity of rice, world's most important cereal is threatened by high temperature stress, intensified by climate change. Development of heat stress-tolerant varieties is one of the best strategies to maintain its productivity. However, heat stress tolerance is a multigenic trait and the candidate genes are poorly known. Therefore, we aimed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for vegetative stage tolerance to heat stress in rice and the corresponding candidate genes. We used genotyping-by-sequencing to generate single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers and genotype 150 F8 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) obtained by crossing heat tolerant "N22" and heat susceptible "IR64" varieties. A linkage map was constructed using 4,074 high quality SNP markers that corresponded to 1,638 recombinationally unique events in this mapping population. Six QTL for root length and two for shoot length under control conditions with 2.1-12% effect were identified. One QTL rlht5.1 was identified for "root length under heat stress," with 20.4% effect. Four QTL were identified for "root length under heat stress as percent of control" that explained the total phenotypic variation from 5.2 to 8.6%. Three QTL with 5.3-10.2% effect were identified for "shoot length under heat stress," and seven QTL with 6.6-19% effect were identified for "shoot length under heat stress expressed as percentage of control." Among the QTL identified six were overlapping between those identified using shoot traits and root traits: two were overlapping between QTL identified for "shoot length under heat stress" and "root length expressed as percentage of control" and two QTL for "shoot length as percentage of control" were overlapping a QTL each for "root length as percentage of control" and "shoot length under heat stress." Genes coding 1,037 potential transcripts were identified based on their location in 10 QTL regions for vegetative stage heat stress tolerance. Among these, 213 transcript annotations were reported to be connected to stress tolerance in previous research in the literature. These putative candidate genes included transcription factors, chaperone proteins (e.g., alpha-crystallin family heat shock protein 20 and DNAJ homolog heat shock protein), proteases, protein kinases, phospholipases, and proteins related to disease resistance and defense and several novel proteins currently annotated as expressed and hypothetical proteins.
    Keywords:  Nagina 22; aus; genotyping-by-sequencing; quantitative trait loci; root growth; shoot growth
  3. Theor Appl Genet. 2018 Nov 13.
      KEY MESSAGE: A major QTL and candidate genes controlling capsaicinoid content in the pericarp were identified by QTL-seq and RNA-seq in Capsicum chinense. Capsaicinoid biosynthesis was previously thought to be restricted to the placental tissue; however, the recent discovery of their biosynthesis in the pericarp provides new opportunities to increase the capsaicinoid content in pepper fruits. Currently, the genetic mechanisms regulating capsaicinoid biosynthesis in the pericarp remain unknown. Here, we performed quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) to reveal the genes controlling capsaicinoid biosynthesis in the pericarp. A whole-genome sequencing-based QTL-seq strategy was employed, identifying a major QTL on chromosome 6. To validate the QTL on chromosome 6, we performed traditional QTL mapping using the same population in QTL-seq with an additional biparental population. A total of 15 QTLs for capsaicinoid content distributed on chromosomes 3, 6, and 11 were newly identified. Among these QTLs, the genetic loci on the lower arm of chromosome 6 were commonly detected in the two mapping populations, corresponding to the location of the major QTL detected using whole-genome sequencing-based QTL-seq. Our RNA-seq analysis identified candidate genes within the common QTL that were differentially expressed in the pungent and non-pungent pericarp tissues. Our results are expected to contribute to the elucidation of the regulation of capsaicinoid biosynthesis. We also demonstrated that a combination of QTL mapping and RNA-seq is helpful for refining the candidate genes of a complicated trait of interest.
  4. Genes (Basel). 2018 Nov 15. pii: E555. [Epub ahead of print]9(11):
      The azuki bean weevil (Callosobruchus chinensis L.) is an insect pest responsible for serious postharvest seed loss in leguminous crops. In this study, we performed quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping of seed resistance to C. chinensis in moth bean (Vigna aconitifolia [Jaqc.] Maréchal). An F₂ population of 188 plants developed by crossing resistant accession 'TN67' (wild type from India; male parent) and susceptible accession 'IPCMO056' (cultivated type from India; female parent) was used for mapping. Seeds of the F₂ population from 2014 and F2:₃ populations from 2016 and 2017 were bioassayed with C. chinensis, and the percentage of damaged seeds and progress of infestation severity were measured. Segregation analysis suggested that C. chinensis resistance in TN176 is controlled by a single dominant gene, designated as Rcc. QTL analysis revealed one principal and one modifying QTL for the resistance, named qVacBrc2.1 and qVacBrc5.1, respectively. qVacBrc2.1 was located on linkage group 2 between simple sequence repeat markers CEDG261 and DMB-SSR160 and accounted for 50.41% to 64.23% of resistance-related traits, depending on the trait and population. Comparative genomic analysis suggested that qVacBrc2.1 is the same as QTL Brc2.1 conferring C. chinensis resistance in wild azuki bean (V. nepalensis Tateishi and Maxted). Markers CEDG261 and DMB-SSR160 should be useful for marker-assisted selection for C. chinensis resistance in moth bean.
    Keywords:  Callosobruchus; QTL; bruchid resistance; insect resistance; moth bean; seed weevil
  5. Nat Genet. 2018 Nov 12.
      Genebanks hold comprehensive collections of cultivars, landraces and crop wild relatives of all major food crops, but their detailed characterization has so far been limited to sparse core sets. The analysis of genome-wide genotyping-by-sequencing data for almost all barley accessions of the German ex situ genebank provides insights into the global population structure of domesticated barley and points out redundancies and coverage gaps in one of the world's major genebanks. Our large sample size and dense marker data afford great power for genome-wide association scans. We detect known and novel loci underlying morphological traits differentiating barley genepools, find evidence for convergent selection for barbless awns in barley and rice and show that a major-effect resistance locus conferring resistance to bymovirus infection has been favored by traditional farmers. This study outlines future directions for genomics-assisted genebank management and the utilization of germplasm collections for linking natural variation to human selection during crop evolution.
  6. Theor Appl Genet. 2018 Nov 16.
      The concept of a pan-genome refers to intraspecific diversity in genome content and structure, encompassing both genes and intergenic space. Pan-genomic studies employ a combination of de novo sequence assembly and reference-based alignment to discover and genotype structural variants. The large size and complex structure of Triticeae genomes were for a long time an obstacle for genomic research in barley and its relatives. Now that a reference genome is available, computational pipelines for high-quality sequence assembly are in place, and sequence costs continue to drop, investigations into the structural diversity of the barley genome seem within reach. Here, we review the recent progress on pan-genomics in the model grass Brachypodium distachyon, and the cereal crops rice and maize, and devise a multi-tiered strategy for a pan-genome project in barley. Our design involves: (1) the construction of high-quality de novo sequence assemblies for a small core set of representative genotypes, (2) short-read sequencing of a large diversity panel of genebank accessions to medium coverage and (3) the use of complementary methods such as chromosome-conformation capture sequencing and k-mer-based association genetics. The in silico representation of the barley pan-genome may inform about the mechanisms of structural genome evolution in the Triticeae and supplement quantitative genetics models of crop performance for better accuracy and predictive ability.
  7. PLoS One. 2018 ;13(11): e0207271
      Wild cotton species have significant agronomic traits that can be introgressed into elite cultivated varieties. The use of a genetic map is important in exploring, identification and mining genes which carry significant traits. In this study, 188 F2mapping individuals were developed from Gossypium thurberi (female) and Gossypium trilobum (male), and were genotyped by using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. A total of 12,560 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, developed by Southwest University, thus coded SWU were screened out of which only 994 were found to be polymorphic, and 849 markers were linked in all the 13 chromosomes. The map had a length of 1,012.458 cM with an average marker distance of 1.193 cM. Segregation distortion regions (SDRs) were observed on Chr01, Chr02, Chr06, Chr07 Chr09, Chr10 and Chr11 with a large proportion of the SDR regions segregating towards the heterozygous allele. There was good syntenic block formation that revealed good collinearity between the genetic and physical map of G. raimondii, compared to the Dt_sub genome of the G. hirsutum and G. barbadense. A total of 2,496 genes were mined within the SSR related regions. The proteins encoding the mined genes within the SDR had varied physiochemical properties; their molecular weights ranged from 6.586 to 252.737 kDa, charge range of -39.5 to 52, grand hydropathy value (GRAVY) of -1.177 to 0.936 and isoelectric (pI) value of 4.087 to 12.206. The low GRAVY values detected showed that the proteins encoding these genes were hydrophilic in nature, a property common among the stress responsive genes. The RNA sequence analysis revealed more of the genes were highly upregulated in various stages of fiber development for instance; Gorai.002G241300 was highly up regulated at 5, 10, 20 and 25 day post anthesis (DPA). Validation through RT-qPCR further revealed that these genes mined within the SDR regions might be playing a significant role under fiber development stages, therefore we infer that Gorai.007G347600 (TFCA), Gorai.012G141600 (FOLB1), Gorai.006G024500 (NMD3), Gorai.002G229900 (LST8) and Gorai.002G235200 (NSA2) are significantly important in fiber development and in turn the quality, and further researches needed to be done to elucidate their exact roles in the fiber development process. The construction of the genetic map between the two wild species paves away for the mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) since the average distance between the markers is small, and mining of genes on the SSR regions will provide an insight in identifying key genes that can be introgressed into the cultivated cotton cultivars.
  8. Genome Biol. 2018 Nov 12. 19(1): 195
      BACKGROUND: Interspecific hybridization and whole genome duplication are driving forces of genomic and organism diversification. But the effect of interspecific hybridization and whole genome duplication on the non-coding portion of the genome in particular remains largely unknown. In this study, we examine the profile of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), comparing them with that of coding genes in allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum), its putative diploid ancestors (G. arboreum; G. raimondii), and an F1 hybrid (G. arboreum × G. raimondii, AD).RESULTS: We find that most lncRNAs (80%) that were allelic expressed in the allotetraploid genome. Moreover, the genome shock of hybridization reprograms the non-coding transcriptome in the F1 hybrid. Interestingly, the activated lncRNAs are predominantly transcribed from demethylated TE regions, especially from long interspersed nuclear elements (LINEs). The DNA methylation dynamics in the interspecies hybridization are predominantly associated with the drastic expression variation of lncRNAs. Similar trends of lncRNA bursting are also observed in the progress of polyploidization. Additionally, we find that a representative novel lncRNA XLOC_409583 activated after polyploidization from a LINE in the A subgenome of allotetraploid cotton was involved in control of cotton seedling height.
    CONCLUSION: Our results reveal that the processes of hybridization and polyploidization enable the neofunctionalization of lncRNA transcripts, acting as important sources of increased plasticity for plants.
  9. Theor Appl Genet. 2018 Nov 13.
      KEY MESSAGE: Knocking down GW2 enhances grain size by regulating genes encoding the synthesis of cytokinin, gibberellin, starch and cell wall. Raising crop yield is a priority task in the light of the continuing growth of the world's population and the inexorable loss of arable land to urbanization. Here, the RNAi approach was taken to reduce the abundance of Grain Weight 2 (GW2) transcript in the durum wheat cultivar Svevo. The effect of the knockdown was to increase the grains' starch content by 10-40%, their width by 4-13% and their surface area by 3-5%. Transcriptomic profiling, based on a quantitative real-time PCR platform, revealed that the transcript abundance of genes encoding both cytokinin dehydrogenase 1 and the large subunit of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase was markedly increased in the transgenic lines, whereas that of the genes encoding cytokinin dehydrogenase 2 and gibberellin 3-oxidase was reduced. A proteomic analysis of the non-storage fraction extracted from mature grains detected that eleven proteins were differentially represented in the transgenic compared to wild-type grain: some of these were involved, or at least potentially involved, in cell wall development, suggesting a role of GW2 in the regulation of cell division in the wheat grain.
  10. Plant J. 2018 Nov 13.
      The complete or partial loss of shattering ability occurred independently during the domestication of several crops. Thus, the study of this trait can provide an understanding of the link between phenotypic and molecular convergent evolution. The genetic dissection of 'pod shattering' in Phaseolus vulgaris is achieved here using a population of introgression lines and next-generation sequencing techniques. The 'occurrence' of the indehiscent phenotype (indehiscent vs. dehiscent) depends on a major locus on chromosome 5. Furthermore, at least two additional genes are associated with the 'level' of shattering (number of shattering pods per plant: low vs. high) and the 'mode' of shattering (nontwisting vs. twisting pods), with all of these loci contributing to the phenotype by epistatic interactions. Comparative mapping indicates that the major gene identified on common bean chromosome 5 corresponds to one of the four quantitative trait loci for pod shattering in Vigna unguiculata. None of the loci identified comprised genes that are homologs of the known shattering genes in Glycine max. Thus, although convergent domestication can be determined by mutations at orthologous loci, this was only partially true for P. vulgaris and V. unguiculata, which are two phylogenetically closely related crop species, and it was not the case for the more distant P. vulgaris and G. max. Conversely, comparative mapping suggests that the convergent evolution of the indehiscent phenotype arose through mutations in different genes of the same underlying gene networks that are involved in secondary cell-wall biosynthesis and lignin deposition patterning at the pod level. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:   Phaseolus vulgaris ; convergent evolution; domestication; genotype by sequencing; pod shattering; pool-sequencing
  11. Biochim Biophys Acta Bioenerg. 2018 Nov 08. pii: S0005-2728(18)30672-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Transcription termination by the RNA polymerase (RNAP) is a fundamental step of gene expression that involves the release of the nascent transcript and dissociation of the RNAP from the DNA template. However, the functional importance of termination extends beyond the mere definition of the gene borders. Chloroplasts originate from cyanobacteria and possess their own gene expression system. Plastids have a unique hybrid transcription system consisting of two different types of RNAPs of dissimilar phylogenetic origin together with several additional nuclear encoded components. Although the basic components involved in chloroplast transcription have been identified, little attention has been paid to the chloroplast transcription termination. Recent identification and functional characterization of novel factors in regulating transcription termination in Arabidopsis chloroplasts via genetic and biochemical approaches have provided insights into the mechanisms and significance of transcription termination in chloroplast gene expression. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge of the transcription termination in chloroplasts.
    Keywords:  Chloroplast; MTERF; Rho factor; Transcription; Transcription termination
  12. Mol Plant. 2018 Nov 13. pii: S1674-2052(18)30337-X. [Epub ahead of print]
      Mitochondria and plastids form dynamic, evolving populations physically embedded in the fluctuating environment of the plant cell. Their evolutionary heritage has shaped how the cell controls the genetic structure and the physical behaviour of its organelle populations. While the specific genes involved in these processes are gradually being revealed, the governing principles underlying this controlled behaviour remain poorly understood. As the genetic and physical dynamics of these organelles are central to bioenergetic performance and plant physiology, this challenges both fundamental biology and strategies to engineer better-performing plants. This article will review current knowledge of the physical and genetic behaviour of mitochondria and chloroplasts in plant cells. An overarching hypothesis is proposed, whereby organelles face a tension between genetic robustness and individual control and responsiveness, and different species resolve this tension in different ways. As plants are immobile and therefore subject to fluctuating environments, their organelles are proposed to favour individual responsiveness, sacrificing genetic robustness. Several notable features of plant organelle dynamics including mtDNA recombination and plastid/mitochondrial differences may be explained by this hypothesis. Finally, the article highlights how tools from quantitative and systems biology can help shed light on the plethora of open questions in this field.
  13. Plants (Basel). 2018 Nov 14. pii: E100. [Epub ahead of print]7(4):
      Abiotic stress remains one of the major challenges in managing and preventing crop loss. Photosystem II (PSII), being the most susceptible component of the photosynthetic machinery, has been studied in great detail over many years. However, much of the emphasis has been placed on intrinsic proteins, particularly with respect to their involvement in the repair of PSII-associated damage. PSII extrinsic proteins include PsbO, PsbP, PsbQ, and PsbR in higher plants, and these are required for oxygen evolution under physiological conditions. Changes in extrinsic protein expression have been reported to either drastically change PSII efficiency or change the PSII repair system. This review discusses the functional role of these proteins in plants and indicates potential areas of further study concerning these proteins.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis; abiotic stress; extrinsic proteins; photosynthesis; photosystem ii; tolerance; transgenic
  14. Physiol Mol Biol Plants. 2018 Nov;24(6): 1035-1046
      Water-deficit stress tolerance in rice is important for maintaining stable yield, especially under rain-fed ecosystem. After a thorough drought-tolerance screening of more than 130 rice genotypes from various regions of Koraput in our previous study, six rice landraces were selected for drought tolerance capacity. These six rice landraces were further used for detailed physiological and molecular assessment under control and simulated drought stress conditions. After imposing various levels of drought stress, leaf photosynthetic rate (PN), photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), SPAD chlorophyll index, membrane stability index and relative water content were found comparable with the drought-tolerant check variety (N22). Compared to the drought-susceptible variety IR64, significant positive attributes and varietal differences were observed for all the above physiological parameters in drought-tolerant landraces. Genetic diversity among the studied rice landraces was assessed using 19 previously reported drought tolerance trait linked SSR markers. A total of 50 alleles with an average of 2.6 per locus were detected at the loci of the 19 markers across studied rice genotypes. The Nei's genetic diversity (He) and the polymorphism information content (PIC) ranged from 0.0 to 0.767 and 0.0 to 0.718, respectively. Seven SSR loci, such as RM324, RM19367, RM72, RM246, RM3549, RM566 and RM515, showed the highest PIC values and are thus, useful in assessing the genetic diversity of studied rice lines for drought tolerance. Based on the result, two rice landraces (Pandkagura and Mugudi) showed the highest similarity index with tolerant check variety. However, three rice landraces (Kalajeera, Machhakanta and Haldichudi) are more diverse and showed highest genetic distance with N22. These landraces can be considered as the potential genetic resources for drought breeding program.
    Keywords:  Drought tolerance; Landraces; Photosynthetic rate; Relative water content; Simple sequence repeat
  15. RNA Biol. 2018 Nov 13.
      Plant pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins are mostly involved in chloroplast or mitochondrial RNA metabolism. However, direct evidence that correction of the molecular defects in the organelles can restore the plant phenotypes has yet to be demonstrated in a ppr mutant. Arabidopsis slow growth3 (slo3), a ppr mutant, is impaired in the splicing of mitochondrial nad7 intron 2. Here, we have used slo3 as an example to demonstrate that transformation of correctly spliced nad7 into the nuclear genome and targeting the Nad7 subunit into mitochondria can restore complex I activity and plant phenotypes in the mutant. These results provide direct evidence that the strong growth and developmental phenotypes of the slo3 mutant are caused by defects in mitochondrial nad7.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis; complex I; intron splicing; mitochondrion; nad7; pentatricopeptide repeat protein
  16. Planta. 2018 Nov 16.
      MAIN CONCLUSION: Density and length of leaf pubescence are important factors of diversity in the response to water deficiency among wheat genotypes. Many studies evidence an important protective value of leaf hairiness in plants, especially under the conditions of drought, thermal loads and increased solar radiation. However, the physiological and adaptive roles of such traits in cereals, including cultivated plants, have not been sufficiently studied to date. The aim of this work was to study the association of morphological characteristics of leaves with parameters of gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence in wheat lines carrying a genetically different leaf hairiness. Isogenic and inter-varietal substitution wheat lines were used, carrying various combinations of dominant and recessive alleles of the known genes. A quantitative assessment of the pubescence was carried out in contrasting watering conditions to establish the physiological role of this trait in adaptation to drought. With the help of a portable system for studying the gas exchange and chlorophyll fluorescence, ten parameters of photosynthesis were studied, as well as morphological features of leaves and shoot biomass. It was found that gas exchange parameters are inversely proportional to the density and length of trichomes. In drought conditions, the trichome density increased and the length of trichomes decreased under the observed decrease in the level of gas exchange. A similar dependence was observed for the level of non-photochemical quenching of chlorophyll fluorescence. Under optimal conditions, the poorly haired cultivars exhibited a higher biomass than the densely haired. However, under water deficiency they significantly reduced the biomass and showed a low value of the tolerance index.
    Keywords:  Chlorophyll fluorescence; Genes for leaf pubescence; High-throughput phenotyping; Introgressions; Near-isogenic lines; Photosynthesis
  17. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 14. 8(1): 16813
      Association between seed dormancy (SD) and flowering time (FT) may generate a synergy in plant adaptation. This research aimed to identify patterns and underlying genes of the association in rice (Oryza sativa). Four F2 and two BC1F1 populations from crosses of weedy/cultivated rice, and two families of progeny lines from backcrosses were evaluated for variations in time to flowering and germination ability. The two measurements were correlated negatively in the F2 and BC1F1 populations, but positively in advanced generations of the progeny lines. The negative correlations were resulted from linkage disequilibria between SD and FT loci at 7-40 cM apart. The positive correlations arose from co-located SD and FT loci undetectable in the BC1F1 population. Two independent sets of co-localized loci were isolated as single Mendelian factors, and haplotypes that promote flowering and reduce germination derived from weedy and cultivated rice, respectively. The presence of negative and positive correlations indicates that the rice complex has maintained two contrasting patterns of SD-FT coadaptation, with the positive being "recessive" to the negative pattern. Modeling with isogenic lines suggests that a negative pattern could generate a greater synergy (difference between haplotype variants) than the positive one for seedbank persistence, or enhanced plant adaptation to seasonal changes in temperature or moisture. However, the early-flowering dormant genotype of a positive pattern could also have a selective advantage over its counterpart for weeds to avoid harvesting. The isolated haplotypes could be used to manipulate cultivars simultaneously for germination ability and growth duration.
  18. Plant Cell Environ. 2018 Nov 13.
      Sepals play important roles in protecting inner floral organs from various stresses and in guaranteeing timely flower opening. However, the exact role of sepals coordinating interior and exterior signals remains elusive. In this study, we functionally characterized a heat shock protein gene, Arabidopsis HSP70-16, in flower opening and mild heat stress response, using combined genetics with anatomic, physiological, chemical, and molecular analyses. We show that HSP70-16 is required for flower opening and mild heat response. Mutation of HSP70-16 led to significant reduction in seed setting rate under 22°C, which was more severe at 27°C. Mutation of HSP70-16 also caused postgenital fusion at overlapping tips of two lateral sepals, leading to failed flower opening, abnormal floral organ formation, and impaired fertilization and seed setting. Chemical and anatomic analyses confirmed specific chemical and morphological changes of cuticle property in mutant lateral sepals, and qRT-PCR data indicated that expression levels of different sets of cuticle regulatory and biosynthetic genes were altered in mutants grown at both 22°C and 27°C temperatures. This study provides a link between thermal and developmental perception signals, and expands the understanding of the roles of sepal in plant development and heat response.
    Keywords:  Cuticle; HSP70-16; flower opening; mild heat stress; postgenital fusion; sepal
  19. J Integr Plant Biol. 2018 Nov 12.
      Grain yield is a highly polygenic trait that is influenced by the environment and integrates events throughout the life cycle of a plant. In wheat, the major grain yield components often present compensatory effects among then, which alongside the polyploid nature of wheat, makes their genetic and physiological study challenging. We propose a reductionist and systematic approach as an initial step to understand the gene networks regulating each individual yield component. Here we focus on grain weight and discuss the importance of examining individual sub-components, not only to help in their genetic dissection, but also to inform our mechanistic understanding of how they interrelate. This knowledge should allow the development of novel combinations, across homoeologs and between complementary modes of action, thereby advancing towards a more integrated strategy for yield improvement. We argue that this will break barriers in terms of phenotypic variation, enhance our understanding of the physiology of yield, and potentially deliver improved on-farm yield.
  20. Mol Biol Evol. 2018 Nov 16.
      The diploid D-genome lineage of the Triticum/Aegilops complex has an evolutionary history involving genomic contributions from ancient A- and B/S-genome species. We explored here the possible cytonuclear evolutionary responses to this history of hybridization. Phylogenetic analysis of chloroplast DNAs indicate that the D-genome lineage has a maternal origin of the A-genome or some other closely allied lineage. Analyses of the nuclear genome in the D-genome species Aegilops tauschii indicate that accompanying and/or following this ancient hybridization, there has been biased maintenance of maternal A-genome ancestry in nuclear genes encoding cytonuclear enzyme complexes (CECs). Our study provides insights into mechanisms of cytonuclear coevolution accompanying the evolution and eventual stabilization of homoploid hybrid species. We suggest that this coevolutionary process includes likely rapid fixation of A-genome CEC orthologs as well as biased retention of A-genome nucleotides in CEC homologs following population level recombination during the initial generations.
  21. Front Genet. 2018 ;9 492
      Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) is an important biodiversity hub, which is very sensitive to climate change. Here in this study, we investigated genetic diversity and past population dynamics of Lancea tibetica (Mazaceae), an endemic herb to QTP and adjacent highlands. We sequenced chloroplast and nuclear ribosomal DNA fragments for 429 individuals, collected from 29 localities, covering their major distribution range at the QTP. A total of 19 chloroplast haplotypes and 13 nuclear genotypes in two well-differentiated lineages, corresponding to populations into two groups isolated by Tanggula and Bayangela Mountains. Meanwhile, significant phylogeographical structure was detected among sampling range of L. tibetica, and 61.50% of genetic variations was partitioned between groups. Gene flow across the whole region appears to be restricted by high mountains, suggesting a significant role of geography in the genetic differences between the two groups. Divergence time between the two lineages dated to 8.63 million years ago, which corresponded to the uplifting of QTP during the late Miocene and Pliocene. Ecological differences were found between both the lineages represent species-specific characteristics, sufficient to keep the lineages separated to a high degree. The simulated distribution from the last interglacial period to the current period showed that the distribution of L. tibetica experienced shrinkage and expansion. Climate changes during the Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles had a dramatic effect on L. tibetica distribution ranges. Multiple refugia of L. tibetica might have remained during the species history, to south of the Tanggula and north of Bayangela Mountains, both appeared as topological barrier and contributed to restricting gene flow between the two lineages. Together, geographic isolation and climatic factors have played a fundamental role in promoting diversification and evolution of L. tibetica.
    Keywords:  Lancea tibetica; Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; demography; divergence; genetic structure; phylogeography
  22. PLoS One. 2018 ;13(11): e0207318
      Philodendron s.l. (Araceae) has been recently focus of taxonomic and phylogenetic studies, but karyotypic data are limited to chromosome numbers and a few published genome sizes. In this work, karyotypes of 34 species of Philodendron s.l. (29 species of Philodendron and five of Thaumatophyllum), ranging from 2n = 28 to 36 chromosomes, were analyzed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with rDNA and telomeric probes, aiming to understand the evolution of the karyotype diversity of the group. Philodendron presented a high number variation of 35S rDNA, ranging from two to 16 sites, which were mostly in the terminal region of the short arms, with nine species presenting heteromorphisms. In the case of Thaumatophyllum species, we observed a considerably lower variation, which ranged from two to four terminal sites. The distribution of the 5S rDNA clusters was more conserved, with two sites for most species, being preferably located interstitially in the long chromosome arms. For the telomeric probe, while exclusively terminal sites were observed for P. giganteum (2n = 30) chromosomes, P. callosum (2n = 28) presented an interstitial distribution associated with satellite DNA. rDNA sites of the analyzed species of Philodendron s.l. species were randomly distributed considering the phylogenetic context, probably due to rapid evolution and great diversity of these genomes. The observed heteromorphisms suggest the accumulation of repetitive DNA in the genomes of some species and the occurrence of chromosomal rearrangements along the karyotype evolution of the group.
  23. PLoS One. 2018 ;13(11): e0207412
      Alien chromosome introgression is used for the transfer of beneficial traits in plant breeding. For temperate forage grasses, much of the work in this context has focused on species within the ryegrasses (Lolium spp.) and the closely related fescues (Festuca spp.) particularly with a view to combining high forage quality with reliability and enhanced environmental services. We have analysed a L. perenne (perennial ryegrass) population containing the majority of a F. pratensis (meadow fescue) genome as introgressed chromosome segments to identify a) marker-trait associations for nutrient use and abiotic stress response across the family, and b) to assess the effects of introgression of F. pratensis genomic regions on phenotype. Using container-based assays and a system of flowing solution culture, we looked at phenotype responses, including root growth, to nitrogen and phosphorus status in the growing medium and abiotic stresses within this festulolium family. A number of significant marker/trait associations were identified across the family for root biomass on chromosomes 2, 3 and 5 and for heading date on chromosome 2. Of particular interest was a region on chromosome 2 associated with increased root biomass in phosphorus-limited conditions derived from one of the L. perenne parents. A genotype containing F. pratensis chromosome 4 as a monosomic introgression showed increased tiller number, shoot and root growth and genotypes with F. pratensis chromosome segment introgressions at different ends of chromosome 4 exhibited differential phenotypes across a variety of test conditions. There was also a general negative correlation between the extent of the F. pratensis genome that had been introgressed and root-related trait performances. We conclude that 1) the identification of alleles affecting root growth has potential application in forage grass breeding and, 2) F. pratensis introgressions can enhance quantitative traits, however, introgression can also have more general negative effects.
  24. Plant Cell Physiol. 2018 Nov 09.
      Soybean yield is largely dependent on growth period. We characterized two growth period quantitative trait loci, Gp11 and Gp12, from a recombinant inbred population generated from a cross of wild (W05) and cultivated (C08) soybean. Lines carrying Gp11C08 and Gp12C08 tend to have shorter growth period and higher expression of GmFT2a and GmFT5a. Furthermore, multiple interval mapping suggests that Gp11 and Gp12 maybe genetically interacting with E2 locus. This is consistent with the observation GmFT2a and GmFT5a are activated by Gp11C08 and Gp12C08 at ZT4 in the recessive e2 but not the dominant E2 background. Gp11 and Gp12 are duplicated genomic regions each containing a copy of the soybean orthologue of PSEUDO RESPONSE REGULATOR 3 (GmPRR3A and GmPRR3B). GmPRR3A and GmPRR3B from C08 carry mutations that delete the CCT domain in the encoded proteins. These mutations were selected during soybean improvement and these mutations alter the subcellular localization of GmPRR3A and GmPRR3B. Furthermore, GmPRR3A and GmPRR3B can interact with TOPLESS-Related transcription factors suggesting that they function in a transcription repressor complex. This study addresses previously unexplored components of the genetic network that probably controls growth period of soybean and puts these loci into context with the well-characterized growth period regulating E loci.
  25. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Nov 14. pii: 201807796. [Epub ahead of print]
      Changes in dosage of part of the genome (aneuploidy) have long been known to produce much more severe phenotypic consequences than changes in the number of whole genomes (ploidy). To examine the basis of these differences, global gene expression in mature leaf tissue for all five trisomies and in diploids, triploids, and tetraploids of Arabidopsis thaliana was studied. The trisomies displayed a greater spread of expression modulation than the ploidy series. In general, expression of genes on the varied chromosome ranged from compensation to dosage effect, whereas genes from the remainder of the genome ranged from no effect to reduced expression approaching the inverse level of chromosomal imbalance (2/3). Genome-wide DNA methylation was examined in each genotype and found to shift most prominently with trisomy 4 but otherwise exhibited little change, indicating that genetic imbalance is generally mechanistically unrelated to DNA methylation. Independent analysis of gene functional classes demonstrated that ribosomal, proteasomal, and gene body methylated genes were less modulated compared with all classes of genes, whereas transcription factors, signal transduction components, and organelle-targeted protein genes were more tightly inversely affected. Comparing transcription factors and their targets in the trisomies and in expression networks revealed considerable discordance, illustrating that altered regulatory stoichiometry is a major contributor to genetic imbalance. Reanalysis of published data on gene expression in disomic yeast and trisomic mouse cells detected similar stoichiometric effects across broad phylogenetic taxa, and indicated that these effects reflect normal gene regulatory processes.
    Keywords:  aneuploidy; dosage compensation; gene balance hypothesis; polyploidy; trisomy
  26. Genes (Basel). 2018 Nov 12. pii: E547. [Epub ahead of print]9(11):
      Diversity in structure and organization is one of the main features of angiosperm mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes). The ultra-long reads of Oxford Nanopore Technology (ONT) provide an opportunity to obtain a complete mitogenome and investigate the structural variation in unprecedented detail. In this study, we compared mitogenome assembly methods using Illumina and/or ONT sequencing data and obtained the complete mitogenome (208 kb) of Chrysanthemum nankingense based on the hybrid assembly method. The mitogenome encoded 19 transfer RNA genes, three ribosomal RNA genes, and 34 protein-coding genes with 21 group II introns disrupting eight intron-contained genes. A total of seven medium repeats were related to homologous recombination at different frequencies as supported by the long ONT reads. Subsequently, we investigated the variations in gene content and constitution of 28 near-complete mitogenomes from Asteraceae. A total of six protein-coding genes were missing in all Asteraceae mitogenomes, while four other genes were not detected in some lineages. The core fragments (~88 kb) of the Asteraceae mitogenomes had a higher GC content (~46.7%) than the variable and specific fragments. The phylogenetic topology based on the core fragments of the Asteraceae mitogenomes was highly consistent with the topologies obtained from the corresponding plastid datasets. Our results highlighted the advantages of the complete assembly of the C. nankingense mitogenome and the investigation of its structural variation based on ONT sequencing data. Moreover, the method based on local collinear blocks of the mitogenomes could achieve the alignment of highly rearrangeable and variable plant mitogenomes as well as construct a robust phylogenetic topology.
    Keywords:  Asteraceae; Chrysanthemum nankingense; Oxford Nanopore Technology; genome evolution; mitochondrial genome; recombination
  27. Methods Mol Biol. 2019 ;1864 367-394
      Vegetable oils are important for human and animal nutrition and as renewable resources for chemical feedstocks. We provide an overview of transgenic and genome editing approaches for modifying plant oils, describing useful model and crop systems and different strategies for transgenic modifications. We also describe new genome editing approaches that are beginning to be applied to oilseed plants and crops. These approaches are illustrated with examples for modifying the nutritional quality of vegetable oils by altering fatty acid desaturation, producing non-native fatty acids in oilseeds, and enhancing the overall accumulation of oil in seeds and leaves.
    Keywords:  Acyl transferase; CRISPR; Fatty acid; Fatty acid desaturase; Genome editing; Healthy oils; Industrial oils; Lipid biosynthesis; Metabolic engineering; Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
  28. Front Plant Sci. 2018 ;9 1560
      Until the mid-1950s, it was believed that genetic crossovers did not occur within genes. Crossovers occurred between genes, the "beads on a string" model. Then in 1956, Seymour Benzer published his classic paper describing crossing over within a gene, intragenic recombination. This result from a bacteriophage gene prompted Oliver Nelson to study intragenic recombination in the maize Waxy locus. His studies along with subsequent work by others working with maize and other organisms described the outcomes of intragenic recombination and provided some of the earliest evidence that genes, not intergenic regions, were recombination hotspots. High-throughput genotyping approaches have since replaced single gene intragenic studies for characterizing the outcomes of recombination. These large-scale studies confirm that genes, or more generally genic regions, are the most active recombinogenic regions, and suggested a pattern of crossovers similar to the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In S. cerevisiae recombination is initiated by double-strand breaks (DSBs) near transcription start sites (TSSs) of genes producing a polarity gradient where crossovers preferentially resolve at the 5' end of genes. Intragenic studies in maize yielded less evidence for either polarity or for DSBs near TSSs initiating recombination and in certain respects resembled Schizosaccharomyces pombe or mouse. These different perspectives highlight the need to draw upon the strengths of different approaches and caution against relying on a single model system or approach for understanding recombination.
    Keywords:  double-strand breaks; hotspots; intragenic; maize; polarity; recombination
  29. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 16. 8(1): 16929
      The production of many food items processed from wheat grain relies on the use of high gluten strength flours. As a result, about 80% of the allelic variability in the genes encoding the glutenin proteins has been lost in the shift from landraces to modern cultivars. Here, the allelic variability in the genes encoding the high molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GSs) has been characterized in 152 durum wheat lines developed from a set of landraces. The allelic composition at the two Glu-1 loci (Glu-A1 and -B1) was obtained at both the protein and the DNA level. The former locus was represented by three alleles, of which the null allele Glu-A1c was the most common. The Glu-B1 locus was more variable, with fifteen alleles represented, of which Glu-B1b (HMW-GSs 7 + 8), -B1d (6 + 8) and -B1e (20 + 20) were the most frequently occurring. The composition of HMW-GSs has been used to make inferences regarding the diffusion and diversification of durum wheat. The relationships of these allelic frequencies with their geographical distribution within the Mediterranean basin is discussed in terms of gene-ecology.