bims-plasge Biomed News
on Plastid genes
Issue of 2022‒04‒10
four papers selected by
Vera S. Bogdanova
Institute of Cytology and Genetics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

  1. Mol Biol Evol. 2022 Apr 06. pii: msac074. [Epub ahead of print]
      Whole-genome duplications (WGDs) are a prominent process of diversification in eukaryotes. The genetic and evolutionary forces that WGD imposes upon cytoplasmic genomes are not well understood, despite the central role that cytonuclear interactions play in eukaryotic function and fitness. Cellular respiration and photosynthesis depend upon successful interaction between the 3000+ nuclear-encoded proteins destined for the mitochondria or plastids and the gene products of cytoplasmic genomes in multi-subunit complexes such as OXPHOS, organellar ribosomes, Photosystems I and II, and Rubisco. Allopolyploids are thus faced with the critical task of coordinating interactions between nuclear and cytoplasmic genes that were inherited from different species. Because cytoplasmic genomes share a more recent history of common descent with the maternal nuclear subgenome than the paternal subgenome, evolutionary "mismatches" between the paternal subgenome and the cytoplasmic genomes in allopolyploids might lead to accelerated rates of evolution in the paternal homoeologs of allopolyploids, either through relaxed purifying selection or strong directional selection to rectify these mismatches. We report evidence from six independently formed allotetraploids that subgenomes exhibit unequal rates of protein-sequence evolution, but we found no evidence that cytonuclear incompatibilities result in altered evolutionary trajectories of paternal homoeologs of organelle-targeted genes. Analyses of gene content revealed mixed evidence for whether organelle-targeted genes are lost more rapidly than non-organelle-targeted genes. Together, these global analyses provide insights into the complex evolutionary dynamics of allopolyploids, showing that allopolyploid subgenomes have separate evolutionary trajectories despite sharing the same nucleus, generation time, and ecological context.
    Keywords:  Allopolyploidy; Brachypodium hybridum; Chenopodium quinoa; Coffea arabica; CyMIRA; Gossypium hirsutum; Nicotiana tabacum; Triticum dicoccoides; chloroplast; cytonuclear incompatibility; mitochondrion
  2. J Exp Bot. 2022 Apr 06. pii: erac132. [Epub ahead of print]
      Change in phenology has been an important component in crop evolution, and selection for earlier flowering through a reduction in environmental sensitivity has helped broaden adaptation in many species. Natural variation for flowering in domesticated pea (Pisum sativum L.) has been noted and studied for decades, but there has been no clear account of change relative to its wild progenitor. Here we examined the genetic control of differences in flowering time between wild P. sativum ssp. humile and a typical late-flowering photoperiodic P. s. sativum accession in a recombinant inbred population under long and short photoperiods. Our results confirm the importance of the major photoperiod sensitivity locus Hr/PsELF3a and identify two other loci on chromosomes 1 (DTF1) and 3 (DTF3) that contribute to earlier flowering in the domesticated line under both photoperiods. The domesticated allele at a fourth locus on chromosome 6 (DTF6) delays flowering under long days only. Map positions, inheritance patterns, and expression analyses in near-isogenic comparisons imply that DTF1, DTF3 and DTF6 represent gain-of-function alleles of the florigen/antiflorigen genes FTa3, FTa1 and TFL1c/LF, respectively. This echoes similar variation in chickpea and lentil, and suggests a conserved route to reduced photoperiod sensitivity and early phenology in temperate pulses.
    Keywords:   FT genes; Pisum; QTL analysis; adaptation; florigen; flowering time; genetic; legume; pea; phenology; photoperiod
  3. NAR Genom Bioinform. 2022 Jun;4(2): lqac027
      Plant mitochondrial genomes display an enormous structural complexity, as recombining repeat-pairs lead to the generation of various sub-genomic molecules, rendering these genomes extremely challenging to assemble. We present a novel bioinformatic data-processing pipeline called SAGBAC (Semi-Automated Graph-Based Assembly Curator) that identifies recombinogenic repeat-pairs and reconstructs plant mitochondrial genomes. SAGBAC processes assembly outputs and applies our novel ISEIS (Iterative Sequence Ends Identity Search) algorithm to obtain a graph-based visualization. We applied this approach to three mitochondrial genomes of evening primrose (Oenothera), a plant genus used for cytoplasmic genetics studies. All identified repeat pairs were found to be flanked by two alternative and unique sequence-contigs defining so-called 'double forks', resulting in four possible contig-repeat-contig combinations for each repeat pair. Based on the inferred structural models, the stoichiometry of the different contig-repeat-contig combinations was analyzed using Illumina mate-pair and PacBio RSII data. This uncovered a remarkable structural diversity of the three closely related mitochondrial genomes, as well as substantial phylogenetic variation of the underlying repeats. Our model allows predicting all recombination events and, thus, all possible sub-genomes. In future work, the proposed methodology may prove useful for the investigation of the sub-genome organization and dynamics in different tissues and at various developmental stages.
  4. BMC Plant Biol. 2022 Apr 02. 22(1): 165
      BACKGROUND: Sesame is a great reservoir of bioactive constituents and unique antioxidant components. It is widely used for its nutritional and medicinal value. The expanding demand for sesame seeds is putting pressure on sesame breeders to develop high-yielding varieties. A hybrid breeding strategy based on male sterility is one of the most effective ways to increase the crop yield. To date, little is known about the genes and mechanism underlying sesame male fertility. Therefore, studies are being conducted to identify and functionally characterize key candidate genes involved in sesame pollen development. Polyketide synthases (PKSs) are critical enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of sporopollenin, the primary component of pollen exine. Their in planta functions are being investigated for applications in crop breeding.RESULTS: In this study, we cloned the sesame POLYKETIDE SYNTHASE A (SiPKSA) and examined its function in male sterility. SiPKSA was specifically expressed in sesame flower buds, and its expression was significantly higher in sterile sesame anthers than in fertile anthers during the tetrad and microspore development stages. Furthermore, overexpression of SiPKSA in Arabidopsis caused male sterility in transgenic plants. Ultrastructural observation showed that the pollen grains of SiPKSA-overexpressing plants contained few cytoplasmic inclusions and exhibited an abnormal pollen wall structure, with a thicker exine layer compared to the wild type. In agreement with this, the expression of a set of sporopollenin biosynthesis-related genes and the contents of their fatty acids and phenolics were significantly altered in anthers of SiPKSA-overexpressing plants compared with wild type during anther development.
    CONCLUSION: These findings highlighted that overexpression of SiPKSA in Arabidopsis might cause male sterility through defective pollen wall formation. Moreover, they suggested that SiPKSA modulates vibrant pollen development via sporopollenin biosynthesis, and a defect in its regulation may induce male sterility. Therefore, genetic manipulation of SiPKSA might promote hybrid breeding in sesame and other crop species.
    Keywords:  Exine; Male sterility; Sesame; SiPKSA; Sporopollenin