bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2020‒03‒29
three papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. G3 (Bethesda). 2020 Mar 24. pii: g3.401119.2020. [Epub ahead of print]
      The molecular interactions between tomato and Cladosporium fulvum have been an important model for molecular plant pathology. Complex genetic loci on tomato chromosomes 1 and 6 harbor genes for resistance to Cladosporium fulvum, encoding receptor like-proteins that perceive distinct Cladosporium fulvum effectors and trigger plant defenses. Here, we report classical mapping strategies for loci in tomato accessions that respond to Cladosporium fulvum effector Ecp5, which is very sequence-monomorphic. We screened 139 wild tomato accessions for an Ecp5-induced hypersensitive response, and in five accessions, the Ecp5-induced hypersensitive response segregated as a monogenic trait, mapping to distinct loci in the tomato genome. We identified at least three loci on chromosomes 1, 7 and 12 that harbor distinct Cf-Ecp5 genes in four different accessions. Our mapping showed that the Cf-Ecp5 in Solanum pimpinellifolium G1.1161 is located at the Milky Way locus. The Cf-Ecp5 in Solanum pimpinellifolium LA0722 was mapped to the bottom arm of chromosome 7, while the Cf-Ecp5 genes in Solanum lycopersicum Ontario 7522 and Solanum pimpinellifolium LA2852 were mapped to the same locus on the top arm of chromosome 12. Bi-parental crosses between accessions carrying distinct Cf-Ecp5 genes revealed putative genetically unlinked suppressors of the Ecp5-induced hypersensitive response. Our mapping also showed that Cf-11 is located on chromosome 11, close to the Cf-3 locus. The Ecp5-induced hypersensitive response is widely distributed within tomato species and is variable in strength. This novel example of convergent evolution could be used for choosing different functional Cf-Ecp5 genes according to individual plant breeding needs.
    Keywords:  Cf-Ecp5; Cladosporium fulvum; convergent evolution; plant disease resistance genes; tomato
  2. Funct Plant Biol. 2020 Mar 25.
      Developing seeds of some higher plants are photosynthetically active and contain chlorophylls (Chl), which are typically destroyed at the late stages of seed maturation. However, in some crop plant cultivars, degradation of embryonic Chl remains incomplete, and mature seeds preserve green colour, as it is known for green-seeded cultivars of pea (Pisum sativum L.). The residual Chl compromise seed quality and represent a severe challenge for farmers. Hence, comprehensive understanding of the molecular mechanisms, underlying incomplete Chl degradation is required for maintaining sustainable agriculture. Therefore, here we address dynamics of plastid conversion and photochemical activity alterations, accompanying degradation of Chl in embryos of yellow- and green-seeded cultivars Frisson and Rondo respectively. The yellow-seeded cultivar demonstrated higher rate of Chl degradation at later maturation stage, accompanied with termination of photochemical activity, seed dehydration and conversion of green plastids into amyloplasts. In agreement with this, expression of genes encoding enzymes of Chl degradation was lower in the green seeded cultivar, with the major differences in the levels of Chl b reductase (NYC1) and pheophytinase (PPH) transcripts. Thus, the difference between yellow and green seeds can be attributed to incomplete Chl degradation in the latter at the end of maturation period.
  3. Plants (Basel). 2020 Mar 25. pii: E408. [Epub ahead of print]9(4):
      Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) that were once considered "dark matter" or "transcriptional noise" in genomes are research hotspots in the field of epigenetics. The most well-known microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short non-coding, small molecular weight RNAs with lengths of 20-24 nucleotides that are highly conserved throughout evolution. Through complementary pairing with the bases of target sites, target gene transcripts are cleaved and degraded, or translation is inhibited, thus regulating the growth and development of organisms. Unlike miRNAs, which have been studied thoroughly, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are a group of poorly conserved RNA molecules with a sequence length of more than 200 nucleotides and no protein encoding capability; they interact with large molecules, such as DNA, RNA, and proteins, and regulate protein modification, chromatin remodeling, protein functional activity, and RNA metabolism in vivo through cis- or trans-activation at the transcriptional, post-transcriptional, and epigenetic levels. Research on plant lncRNAs is just beginning and has gradually emerged in the field of plant molecular biology. Currently, some studies have revealed that lncRNAs are extensively involved in plant growth and development and stress response processes by mediating the transmission and expression of genetic information. This paper systematically introduces lncRNA and its regulatory mechanisms, reviews the current status and progress of lncRNA research in plants, summarizes the main techniques and strategies of lncRNA research in recent years, and discusses existing problems and prospects, in order to provide ideas for further exploration and verification of the specific evolution of plant lncRNAs and their biological functions.
    Keywords:  CRISPR/Cas9 system; Epigenetic modification; Non-coding RNA; Strand-specific library