Low temperature injury is one of the most significant causes of crop damage worldwide. Cold acclimatization processes improve the freezing tolerance of plants. To identify genes of potential importance for acclimatzation to the cold and to elucidate the pathways that regulate this process, global transcriptome expression of the chickpea (Cicer arietinum L), a species of legume, was analyzed using the cDNA-AFLP technique. In total, we generated 4800 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) using cDNA-AFLP in conjunction with 256 primer combinations. We only considered those cDNA fragments that seemed to be up-regulated during cold acclimatization. Of these, 102 TDFs with differential expression patterns were excised from gels and re-amplified by PCR. Fifty-four fragments were then cloned and sequenced. BLAST search of the GenBank non-redundant (nr) sequence database demonstrated that 77 percent of the TDFs belonged to known sequences with putative functions related to metabolism (31), transport (10), signal transduction pathways (15) and transcription factors (21). The last group of expressed transcripts showed homology to genes of unknown function (22). To further analyze and validate our cDNA-AFLP experiments, the expression of 9 TDFs during cold acclimatzatiion was confirmed using real time RT-PCR. The results of this research show that cDNA-AFLP is a powerful technique for investigating the expression pattern of chickpea genes under low-temperature stress. Moreover, our findings will help both to elucidate the molecular basis of low-temperature effects on the chickpea genome and to identify those genes that could increase the cold tolerance of the chickpea plant.
Gene expression profiles of Digitaria sanguinalis infected by Curvularia eragrostidis strain QZ-2000 at two concentrations of conidia and two dew durations were analyzed by cDNA amplified fragment length polymorphisms (cDNA-AFLP). Inoculum strength was more determinant of gene expression than dew duration. A total of 256 primer combinations were used for selective amplification and 1214 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were selected for their differential expression. Of these, 518 up-regulated differentially expressed TDFs were identified. Forty-six differential cDNA fragments were chosen to be cloned and 35 of them were successfully cloned and sequenced, of which 25 were homologous to genes of known function according to the GenBank database. Only 6 genes were up-regulated in Curvularia eragrostidis-inoculated D. sanguinalis, with functions involved in signal transduction, energy metabolism, cell growth and development, stress responses, abscisic acid biosynthesis and response. It appears that a few pathways may be important parts of the pathogenic strategy of C.
eragrostidis strain QZ-2000 on D. sanguinalis. Our study provides the fundamentals to further study the pathogenic mechanism, screen for optimal C. eragrostidis strains as potential mycoherbicide and apply this product to control D.
The oomycete Plasmopara viticola (Berk. and Curt.) Berl. and de Toni causes downy mildew in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). This pathogen is strictly biotrophic, thus completely dependent on living host cells for its survival. The molecular basis of compatibility and disease development in this system is poorly understood. We have carried out a large-scale cDNA-AFLP analysis to identify grapevine and P. viticola genes associated with the infection process.
We carried out cDNA-AFLP analysis on artificially infected leaves of the susceptible cultivar Riesling at the oil spot stage, on water-treated leaves and on a sample of pure sporangia as controls. Selective amplifications with 128 primer combinations allowed the visualization of about 7000 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) in infected leaves, 1196 of which (17%) were differentially expressed. We sequenced 984 fragments, 804 of which were identified as grapevine transcripts after homology searching, while 96 were homologous to sequences in Phytophthora spp. databases and were attributed to P. viticola. There were 82 orphan TDFs. Many grapevine genes spanning almost all functional categories were downregulated during infection, especially genes involved in photosynthesis. Grapevine genes homologous to known resistance genes also tended to be repressed, as were several resistance gene analogs and carbonic anhydrase (recently implicated in pathogen resistance). In contrast, genes encoding cytoskeletal components, enzymes of the phenylpropanoid and beta-oxidation pathways, and pathogenesis related proteins were primarily upregulated during infection. The majority of P. viticola transcripts expressed in planta showed homology to genes of unknown function or to genomic Phytophthora sequences, but genes related to metabolism, energy production, transport and signal transduction were also identified.
This study provides the first global catalogue of grapevine and P. viticola genes expressed during infection, together with their functional annotations. This will help to elucidate the molecular basis of the infection process and identify genes and chemicals that could help to inhibit the pathogen.
Differential gene expression in sugarcane during sugarcane-Ustilago scitaminea interaction was conducted in a smut-resistant genotype. Using cDNA-AFLP along with silver staining, a total of 136 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were found to be differentially expressed in response to challenge by U. scitaminea. Forty TDFs, 34 newly induced plus six with obvious upregulated expression after infection, were sequenced and validated by RT-PCR analysis. These results demonstrated that the expression of 37 out of these TDFs in RT-PCR analysis was consistent with that in cDNA-AFLP analysis. Based on BlastX in NCBI, 28 TDFs were assumed to function in sugarcane under U. scitaminea stress. Analysis of expression profile of three TDFs revealed that they responded differently after infection with U. scitaminea, and the transcription was significantly enhanced. The response of two TDFs, SUC06 and SUC09, occurred before that of SUC10. This study enriches our knowledge of the molecular basis for sugarcane response to U. scitaminea infection.
A Populus euphratica DNA microarray was constructed and used to analyze gene expression in trees growing in the desert. P. euphratica is shown to express a set of genes that is different from other Populus trees and these genes contribute to adaptation to saline growth conditions.
Plants growing in their natural habitat represent a valuable resource for elucidating mechanisms of acclimation to environmental constraints. Populus euphratica is a salt-tolerant tree species growing in saline semi-arid areas. To identify genes involved in abiotic stress responses under natural conditions we constructed several normalized and subtracted cDNA libraries from control, stress-exposed and desert-grown P. euphratica trees. In addition, we identified several metabolites in desert-grown P. euphratica trees.
About 14,000 expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences were obtained with a good representation of genes putatively involved in resistance and tolerance to salt and other abiotic stresses. A P. euphratica DNA microarray with a uni-gene set of ESTs representing approximately 6,340 different genes was constructed. The microarray was used to study gene expression in adult P. euphratica trees growing in the desert canyon of Ein Avdat in Israel. In parallel, 22 selected metabolites were profiled in the same trees.
Of the obtained ESTs, 98% were found in the sequenced P. trichocarpa genome and 74% in other Populus EST collections. This implies that the P. euphratica genome does not contain different genes per se, but that regulation of gene expression might be different and that P. euphratica expresses a different set of genes that contribute to adaptation to saline growth conditions. Also, all of the five measured amino acids show increased levels in trees growing in the more saline soil.
Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is one of the most important crops in the world. Drought stress is a major abiotic stress factor that significantly reduces sugarcane yields. However the gene network that mediates plant responses to water stress remains largely unknown in several crop species. Although several microRNAs that mediate post-transcriptional regulation during water stress have been described in other species, the role of the sugarcane microRNAs during drought stress has not been studied. The objective of this work was to identify sugarcane miRNAs that are differentially expressed under drought stress and to correlate this expression with the behavior of two sugarcane cultivars with different drought tolerances. The sugarcane cultivars RB867515 (higher drought tolerance) and RB855536 (lower drought tolerance) were cultivated in a greenhouse for three months and then subjected to drought for 2, 4, 6 or 8 days. By deep sequencing of small RNAs, we were able to identify 18 miRNA families. Among all of the miRNAs thus identified, seven were differentially expressed during drought. Six of these miRNAs were differentially expressed at two days of stress, and five miRNAs were differentially expressed at four days. The expression levels of five miRNAs (ssp-miR164, ssp-miR394, ssp-miR397, ssp-miR399-seq 1 and miR528) were validated by RT-qPCR (quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR). Six precursors and the targets of the differentially expressed miRNA were predicted using an in silico approach and validated by RT-qPCR; many of these targets may play important roles in drought tolerance. These findings constitute a significant increase in the number of identified miRNAs in sugarcane and contribute to the elucidation of the complex regulatory network that is activated by drought stress.
One-dimensional (1-D) electrophoretic data obtained using the cDNA-AFLP method have attracted great interest for the identification of differentially expressed transcript-derived fragments (TDFs). However, high-throughput analysis of the cDNA-AFLP data is currently limited by the need for labor-intensive visual evaluation of multiple electropherograms. We would like to have high-throughput ways of identifying such TDFs.
We describe a method, GOGOT, which automatically detects the differentially expressed TDFs in a set of time-course electropherograms. Analysis by GOGOT is conducted as follows: correction of fragment lengths of TDFs, alignment of identical TDFs across different electropherograms, normalization of peak heights, and identification of differentially expressed TDFs using a special statistic. The output of the analysis is a highly reduced list of differentially expressed TDFs. Visual evaluation confirmed that the peak alignment was performed perfectly for the TDFs by virtue of the correction of peak fragment lengths before alignment in step 1. The validity of the automated ranking of TDFs by the special statistic was confirmed by the visual evaluation of a third party.
GOGOT is useful for the automated detection of differentially expressed TDFs from cDNA-AFLP temporal electrophoretic data. The current algorithm may be applied to other electrophoretic data and temporal microarray data.
Global transcriptional analysis of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is challenging due to limited molecular tools. PtGen2, a 26,496 feature cDNA microarray, was fabricated and used to assess drought-induced gene expression in loblolly pine propagule roots. Statistical analysis of differential expression and weighted gene correlation network analysis were used to identify drought-responsive genes and further characterize the molecular basis of drought tolerance in loblolly pine.
Microarrays were used to interrogate root cDNA populations obtained from 12 genotype × treatment combinations (four genotypes, three watering regimes). Comparison of drought-stressed roots with roots from the control treatment identified 2445 genes displaying at least a 1.5-fold expression difference (false discovery rate = 0.01). Genes commonly associated with drought response in pine and other plant species, as well as a number of abiotic and biotic stress-related genes, were up-regulated in drought-stressed roots. Only 76 genes were identified as differentially expressed in drought-recovered roots, indicating that the transcript population can return to the pre-drought state within 48 hours. Gene correlation analysis predicts a scale-free network topology and identifies eleven co-expression modules that ranged in size from 34 to 938 members. Network topological parameters identified a number of central nodes (hubs) including those with significant homology (E-values ≤ 2 × 10-30) to 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, zeatin O-glucosyltransferase, and ABA-responsive protein. Identified hubs also include genes that have been associated previously with osmotic stress, phytohormones, enzymes that detoxify reactive oxygen species, and several genes of unknown function.
PtGen2 was used to evaluate transcriptome responses in loblolly pine and was leveraged to identify 2445 differentially expressed genes responding to severe drought stress in roots. Many of the genes identified are known to be up-regulated in response to osmotic stress in pine and other plant species and encode proteins involved in both signal transduction and stress tolerance. Gene expression levels returned to control values within a 48-hour recovery period in all but 76 transcripts. Correlation network analysis indicates a scale-free network topology for the pine root transcriptome and identifies central nodes that may serve as drivers of drought-responsive transcriptome dynamics in the roots of loblolly pine.
Ganoderma lucidum is a mushroom with traditional medicinal properties that has been widely used in China and other countries in Eastern Asia. Ganoderic acids (GA) produced by G. lucidum exhibit important pharmacological activities. Previous studies have demonstrated that methyl jasmonate (MeJA) is a potent inducer of GA biosynthesis and the expression of genes involved in the GA biosynthesis pathway in G. lucidum. To further explore the mechanism of GA biosynthesis, cDNA-Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) was used to identify genes that are differentially expressed in response to MeJA. Using 64 primer combinations, over 3910 transcriptionally derived fragments (TDFs) were obtained. Reliable sequence data were obtained for 390 of 458 selected TDFs. Ninety of these TDFs were annotated with known functions through BLASTX searching the GenBank database, and 12 annotated TDFs were assigned into secondary metabolic pathways by searching the KEGGPATHWAY database. Twenty-five TDFs were selected for qRT-PCR analysis to confirm the expression patterns observed with cDNA-AFLP. The qRT-PCR results were consistent with the altered patterns of gene expression revealed by the cDNA-AFLP technique. Additionally, the transcript levels of 10 genes were measured at the mycelium, primordia, and fruiting body developmental stages of G. lucidum. The greatest expression levels were reached during primordia for all of the genes except cytochrome b2 reached its highest expression level in the mycelium stage. This study not only identifies new candidate genes involved in the regulation of GA biosynthesis but also provides further insight into MeJA-induced gene expression and secondary metabolic response in G. lucidum.
Buckwheat, consisting of two cultivated species Fagopyrum tataricum and F. esculentum, is the richest source of flavonoid rutin. Vegetative tissues of both the Fagopyrum species contain almost similar amount of rutin; however, rutin content in seed of F. tataricum are ~50 folds of that in seed of F. esculentum. In order to understand the molecular basis of high rutin content in F. tataricum, differential transcript profiling through cDNA-AFLP has been utilized to decipher what genetic factors in addition to flavonoid structural genes contribute to high rutin content of F. tataricum compared to F. esculentum.
Differential transcript profiling through cDNA-AFLP in seed maturing stages (inflorescence to seed maturation) with 32 primer combinations generated total of 509 transcript fragments (TDFs). 167 TDFs were then eluted, cloned and sequenced from F. tataricum and F. esculentum. Categorization of TDFs on the basis of their presence/absence (qualitative variation) or differences in the amount of expression (quantitative variation) between both the Fagopyrum species showed that majority of variants are quantitative (64%). The TDFs represented genes controlling different biological processes such as basic and secondary metabolism (33%), regulation (18%), signal transduction (14%), transportation (13%), cellular organization (10%), and photosynthesis & energy (4%). Most of the TDFs except belonging to cellular metabolism showed relatively higher transcript abundance in F. tataricum over F. esculentum. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of nine TDFs representing genes involved in regulation, metabolism, signaling and transport of secondary metabolites showed that all the tested nine TDFs (Ubiquitin protein ligase, ABC transporter, sugar transporter) except MYB 118 showed significantly higher expression in early seed formation stage (S7) of F. tataricum compared to F. esculentum. qRT-PCR results were found to be consistent with the cDNA-AFLP results.
The present study concludes that in addition to structural genes, other classes of genes such as regulators, modifiers and transporters are also important in biosynthesis and accumulation of flavonoid content in plants. cDNA-AFLP technology was successfully utilized to capture genes that are contributing to differences in rutin content in seed maturing stages of Fagopyrum species. Increased transcript abundance of TDFs during transition from flowers to seed maturation suggests their involvement not only in the higher rutin content of F. tataricum over F. esculentum but also in nutritional superiority of the former.
Rutin; cDNA-AFLP; Transcript derived fragments; qRT-PCR
Analysis of cDNA-AFLP was used to study the genes expressed in zygotic and somatic embryogenesis of Musa acuminata Colla ssp. malaccensis, and a comparison was made between their differential transcribed fragments (TDFs) and the sequenced genome of the double haploid- (DH-) Pahang of the malaccensis subspecies that is available in the network. A total of 253 transcript-derived fragments (TDFs) were detected with apparent size of 100–4000 bp using 5 pairs of AFLP primers, of which 21 were differentially expressed during the different stages of banana embryogenesis; 15 of the sequences have matched DH-Pahang chromosomes, with 7 of them being homologous to gene sequences encoding either known or putative protein domains of higher plants. Four TDF sequences were located in all Musa chromosomes, while the rest were located in one or two chromosomes. Their putative individual function is briefly reviewed based on published information, and the potential roles of these genes in embryo development are discussed. Thus the availability of the genome of Musa and the information of TDFs sequences presented here opens new possibilities for an in-depth study of the molecular and biochemical research of zygotic and somatic embryogenesis of Musa.
Comparative genomics has emerged as a promising means of unravelling the molecular networks underlying complex traits such as drought tolerance. Here we assess the genotype-dependent component of the drought-induced transcriptome response in two poplar genotypes differing in drought tolerance. Drought-induced responses were analysed in leaves and root apices and were compared with available transcriptome data from other Populus species.
Using a multi-species designed microarray, a genomic DNA-based selection of probesets provided an unambiguous between-genotype comparison. Analyses of functional group enrichment enabled the extraction of processes physiologically relevant to drought response. The drought-driven changes in gene expression occurring in root apices were consistent across treatments and genotypes. For mature leaves, the transcriptome response varied weakly but in accordance with the duration of water deficit. A differential clustering algorithm revealed similar and divergent gene co-expression patterns among the two genotypes. Since moderate stress levels induced similar physiological responses in both genotypes, the genotype-dependent transcriptional responses could be considered as intrinsic divergences in genome functioning. Our meta-analysis detected several candidate genes and processes that are differentially regulated in root and leaf, potentially under developmental control, and preferentially involved in early and long-term responses to drought.
In poplar, the well-known drought-induced activation of sensing and signalling cascades was specific to the early response in leaves but was found to be general in root apices. Comparing our results to what is known in arabidopsis, we found that transcriptional remodelling included signalling and a response to energy deficit in roots in parallel with transcriptional indices of hampered assimilation in leaves, particularly in the drought-sensitive poplar genotype.
Peanut, found to be relatively drought tolerant crop, has been the choice of study to characterize the genes expressed under gradual water deficit stress. Nearly 700 genes were identified to be enriched in subtractive cDNA library from gradual process of drought stress adaptation. Further, expression of the drought inducible genes related to various signaling components and gene sets involved in protecting cellular function has been described based on dot blot experiments. Fifty genes (25 regulators and 25 functional related genes) selected based on dot blot experiments were tested for their stress responsiveness using northern blot analysis and confirmed their nature of differential regulation under different field capacity of drought stress treatments. ESTs generated from this subtracted cDNA library offered a rich source of stress-related genes including signaling components. Additional 50% uncharacterized sequences are noteworthy. Insights gained from this study would provide the foundation for further studies to understand the question of how peanut plants are able to adapt to naturally occurring harsh drought conditions. At present functional validation cannot be deemed in peanut, hence as a proof of concept seven orthologues of drought induced genes of peanut have been silenced in heterologous N. benthamiana system, using virus induced gene silencing method. These results point out the functional importance for HSP70 gene and key regulators such as Jumonji in drought stress response.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00438-009-0432-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Peanut; Drought tolerance; Functional genomics; EST; VIGS
Cotton is the world’s primary fiber crop and is a major agricultural commodity in over 30 countries. Like many other global commodities, sustainable cotton production is challenged by restricted natural resources. In response to the anticipated increase of agricultural water demand, a major research direction involves developing crops that use less water or that use water more efficiently. In this study, our objective was to identify differentially expressed genes in response to water deficit stress in cotton. A global expression analysis using cDNA-Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism was conducted to compare root and leaf gene expression profiles from a putative drought resistant cotton cultivar grown under water deficit stressed and well watered field conditions.
We identified a total of 519 differentially expressed transcript derived fragments. Of these, 147 transcript derived fragment sequences were functionally annotated according to their gene ontology. Nearly 70 percent of transcript derived fragments belonged to four major categories: 1) unclassified, 2) stress/defense, 3) metabolism, and 4) gene regulation. We found heat shock protein-related and reactive oxygen species-related transcript derived fragments to be among the major parts of functional pathways induced by water deficit stress. Also, twelve novel transcripts were identified as both water deficit responsive and cotton specific. A subset of differentially expressed transcript derived fragments was verified using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Differential expression analysis also identified five pairs of duplicated transcript derived fragments in which four pairs responded differentially between each of their two homologues under water deficit stress.
In this study, we detected differentially expressed transcript derived fragments from water deficit stressed root and leaf tissues in tetraploid cotton and provided their gene ontology, functional/biological distribution, and possible roles of gene duplication. This discovery demonstrates complex mechanisms involved with polyploid cotton’s transcriptome response to naturally occurring field water deficit stress. The genes identified in this study will provide candidate targets to manipulate the water use characteristics of cotton at the molecular level.
A better understanding of virus resistance mechanisms can offer more effective strategies to control virus diseases. Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV), Potyviridae, causes severe economical losses in papaya and cucurbit production worldwide. However, no resistance gene against PRSV has been identified to date. This study aimed to identify candidate PRSV resistance genes using cDNA-AFLP analysis and offered an open architecture and transcriptomic method to study those transcripts differentially expressed after virus inoculation. The whole genome expression profile of Cucumis metuliferus inoculated with PRSV was generated using cDNA-amplified fragment length polymorphism (cDNA-AFLP) method. Transcript derived fragments (TDFs) identified from the resistant line PI 292190 may represent genes involved in the mechanism of PRSV resistance. C. metuliferus susceptible Acc. 2459 and resistant PI 292190 lines were inoculated with PRSV and subsequently total RNA was isolated for cDNA-AFLP analysis. More than 400 TDFs were expressed specifically in resistant line PI 292190. A total of 116 TDFs were cloned and their expression patterns and putative functions in the PRSV-resistance mechanism were further characterized. Subsequently, 28 out of 116 candidates which showed two-fold higher expression levels in resistant PI 292190 than those in susceptible Acc. 2459 after virus inoculation were selected from the reverse northern blot and bioinformatic analysis. Furthermore, the time point expression profiles of these candidates by northern blot analysis suggested that they might play roles in resistance against PRSV and could potentially provide valuable information for controlling PRSV disease in the future.
Drought is one of the most important environmental factors causing water stress for cotton, and it greatly limits cotton growth and crop productivity. So far only a few drought-tolerance genes have been functionally characterized in details, and most efforts on this topic have been made in model organisms. Therefore, to identify more drought-related genes in cotton plays a crucial role in elucidating the underlying mechanisms of drought tolerance as well as utilizing bioengineering techniques to improve the tolerance in this organism.
Here we constructed a subtractive drought-tolerance cDNA library using suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH). Through differential screening and bioinformatics analysis, we identified 392 positive clones with differential expression, corresponding 265 unique genes. By BLAST search against Genbank, we found that more than half of these EST sequences were homologous to those previously known drought-related genes and that there were 57 sequences with unknown functions, suggesting that many more genes are involved in this complex trait. Moreover, using RT-PCR, we examined the expression of nine representative candidate genes and confirmed that their expression levels were increased at different levels under drought stress.
Our results show that drought tolerance is a complex trait in cotton, which involves the coordination of many genes and multiple metabolism pathways. The candidate EST sequences we identified here would facilitate further functional studies of drought-related genes and provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms of drought-stress tolerance and genetic breeding in cotton.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) germplasm represents an extraordinary source of genes that control traits of agronomic importance such as drought tolerance. This diversity is the basis for the development of new cultivars better adapted to water restriction conditions, in particular for upland rice, which is grown under rainfall. The analyses of subtractive cDNA libraries and differential protein expression of drought tolerant and susceptible genotypes can contribute to the understanding of the genetic control of water use efficiency in rice.
Two subtractive libraries were constructed using cDNA of drought susceptible and tolerant genotypes submitted to stress against cDNA of well-watered plants. In silico analysis revealed 463 reads, which were grouped into 282 clusters. Several genes expressed exclusively in the tolerant or susceptible genotypes were identified. Additionally, proteome analysis of roots from stressed plants was performed and 22 proteins putatively associated to drought tolerance were identified by mass spectrometry.
Several genes and proteins involved in drought-response, as well as genes with no described homologs were identified. Genes exclusively expressed in the tolerant genotype were, in general, related to maintenance of turgor and cell integrity. In contrast, in the susceptible genotype, expression of genes involved in protection against cell damage was not detected. Several protein families identified in the proteomic analysis were not detected in the cDNA analysis. There is an indication that the mechanisms of susceptibility to drought in upland rice are similar to those of lowland varieties.
A Populus EST dataset was used for in silico transcript profiling of the programmed death of the xylem fibres in woody tissues of Populus stem. The analysis suggests the involvement of two novel extracellular serine proteases, nodulin-like proteins and an AtOST1 (Arabidopsis thaliana OPEN STOMATA 1) homolog in signaling fiber-cell death.
Poplar (Populus sp.) has emerged as the main model system for molecular and genetic studies of forest trees. A Populus expressed sequence tag (EST) database (POPULUSDB) was previously created from 19 cDNA libraries each originating from different Populus tree tissues, and opened to the public in September 2004. We used this dataset for in silico transcript profiling of a particular process in the woody tissues of the Populus stem: the programmed death of xylem fibers.
One EST library in POPULUSDB originates from woody tissues of the Populus stem where xylem fibers undergo cell death. Analysis of EST abundances and library distribution within the POPULUSDB revealed a large number of previously uncharacterized transcripts that were unique in this library and possibly related to the death of xylem fibers. The in silico analysis was complemented by a microarray analysis utilizing a novel Populus cDNA array with a unigene set of 25,000 sequences.
In silico analysis, combined with the microarray analysis, revealed the usefulness of non-normalized EST libraries in elucidating transcriptional regulation of previously uncharacterized physiological processes. The data suggested the involvement of two novel extracellular serine proteases, nodulin-like proteins and an Arabidopsis thaliana OPEN STOMATA 1 (AtOST1) homolog in signaling fiber-cell death, as well as mechanisms responsible for hormonal control, nutrient remobilization, regulation of vacuolar integrity and autolysis of the dying fibers.
The Populus sucrose (Suc) transporter 4 (PtaSUT4), like its orthologs in other plant taxa, is tonoplast localized and thought to mediate Suc export from the vacuole into the cytosol. In source leaves of Populus, SUT4 is the predominantly expressed gene family member, with transcript levels several times higher than those of plasma membrane SUTs. A hypothesis is advanced that SUT4-mediated tonoplast sucrose fluxes contribute to the regulation of osmotic gradients between cellular compartments, with the potential to mediate both sink provisioning and drought tolerance in Populus. Here, we describe the effects of PtaSUT4-RNA interference (RNAi) on sucrose levels and raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFO) induction, photosynthesis, and water uptake, retention and loss during acute and chronic drought stresses. Under normal water-replete growing conditions, SUT4-RNAi plants had generally higher shoot water contents than wild-type plants. In response to soil drying during a short-term, acute drought, RNAi plants exhibited reduced rates of water uptake and delayed wilting relative to wild-type plants. SUT4-RNAi plants had larger leaf areas and lower photosynthesis rates than wild-type plants under well-watered, but not under chronic water-limiting conditions. Moreover, the magnitude of shoot water content, height growth, and photosynthesis responses to contrasting soil moisture regimes was greater in RNAi than wild-type plants. The concentrations of stress-responsive RFOs increased in wild-type plants but were unaffected in SUT4-RNAi plants under chronically dry conditions. We discuss a model in which the subcellular compartmentalization of sucrose mediated by PtaSUT4 is regulated in response to both sink demand and plant water status in Populus.
Drought is a significant constraint to yield increase in soybean. The early perception of water deprivation is critical for recruitment of genes that promote plant tolerance. DeepSuperSAGE libraries, including one control and a bulk of six stress times imposed (from 25 to 150 min of root dehydration) for drought-tolerant and sensitive soybean accessions, allowed to identify new molecular targets for drought tolerance. The survey uncovered 120,770 unique transcripts expressed by the contrasting accessions. Of these, 57,610 aligned with known cDNA sequences, allowing the annotation of 32,373 unitags. A total of 1,127 unitags were up-regulated only in the tolerant accession, whereas 1,557 were up-regulated in both as compared to their controls. An expression profile concerning the most representative Gene Ontology (GO) categories for the tolerant accession revealed the expression “protein binding” as the most represented for “Molecular Function”, whereas CDPK and CBL were the most up-regulated protein families in this category. Furthermore, particular genes expressed different isoforms according to the accession, showing the potential to operate in the distinction of physiological behaviors. Besides, heat maps comprising GO categories related to abiotic stress response and the unitags regulation observed in the expression contrasts covering tolerant and sensitive accessions, revealed the unitags potential for plant breeding. Candidate genes related to “hormone response” (LOX, ERF1b, XET), “water response” (PUB, BMY), “salt stress response” (WRKY, MYB) and “oxidative stress response” (PER) figured among the most promising molecular targets. Additionally, nine transcripts (HMGR, XET, WRKY20, RAP2-4, EREBP, NAC3, PER, GPX5 and BMY) validated by RT-qPCR (four different time points) confirmed their differential expression and pointed that already after 25 minutes a transcriptional reorganization started in response to the new condition, with important differences between both accessions.
"Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia", is the causative agent of witches' broom disease in Mexican lime trees (Citrus aurantifolia L.), and is responsible for major losses of Mexican lime trees in Southern Iran and Oman. The pathogen is strictly biotrophic, and thus is completely dependent on living host cells for its survival. The molecular basis of compatibility and disease development in this system is poorly understood. Therefore, we have applied a cDNA- amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) approach to analyze gene expression in Mexican lime trees infected by "Ca. Phytoplasma aurantifolia".
We carried out cDNA-AFLP analysis on grafted infected Mexican lime trees of the susceptible cultivar at the representative symptoms stage. Selective amplifications with 43 primer combinations allowed the visualisation of 55 transcript-derived fragments that were expressed differentially between infected and non-infected leaves. We sequenced 51 fragments, 36 of which were identified as lime tree transcripts after homology searching. Of the 36 genes, 70.5% were down-regulated during infection and could be classified into various functional groups. We showed that Mexican lime tree genes that were homologous to known resistance genes tended to be repressed in response to infection. These included the genes for modifier of snc1 and autophagy protein 5. Furthermore, down-regulation of genes involved in metabolism, transcription, transport and cytoskeleton was observed, which included the genes for formin, importin β 3, transducin, L-asparaginase, glycerophosphoryl diester phosphodiesterase, and RNA polymerase β. In contrast, genes that encoded a proline-rich protein, ubiquitin-protein ligase, phosphatidyl glycerol specific phospholipase C-like, and serine/threonine-protein kinase were up-regulated during the infection.
The present study identifies a number of candidate genes that might be involved in the interaction of Mexican lime trees with "Candidatus Phytoplasma aurantifolia". These results should help to elucidate the molecular basis of the infection process and to identify genes that could be targeted to increase plant resistance and inhibit the growth and reproduction of the pathogen.
After 10-year-use of AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism) technology for DNA fingerprinting and mRNA profiling, large repertories of genome- and transcriptome-derived sequences are available in public databases for model, crop and tree species. AFLP marker systems have been and are being extensively exploited for genome scanning and gene mapping, as well as cDNA-AFLP for transcriptome profiling and differentially expressed gene cloning. The evaluation, annotation and classification of genomic markers and expressed transcripts would be of great utility for both functional genomics and systems biology research in plants. This may be achieved by means of the Gene Ontology (GO), consisting in three structured vocabularies (i.e. ontologies) describing genes, transcripts and proteins of any organism in terms of their associated cellular component, biological process and molecular function in a species-independent manner. In this paper, the functional annotation of about 8,000 AFLP-derived ESTs retrieved in the NCBI databases was carried out by using GO terminology.
Descriptive statistics on the type, size and nature of gene sequences obtained by means of AFLP technology were calculated. The gene products associated with mRNA transcripts were then classified according to the three main GO vocabularies. A comparison of the functional content of cDNA-AFLP records was also performed by splitting the sequence dataset into monocots and dicots and by comparing them to all annotated ESTs of Arabidopsis and rice, respectively. On the whole, the statistical parameters adopted for the in silico AFLP-derived transcriptome-anchored sequence analysis proved to be critical for obtaining reliable GO results. Such an exhaustive annotation may offer a suitable platform for functional genomics, particularly useful in non-model species.
Reliable GO annotations of AFLP-derived sequences can be gathered through the optimization of the experimental steps and the statistical parameters adopted. The Blast2GO software was shown to represent a comprehensive bioinformatics solution for an annotation-based functional analysis. According to the whole set of GO annotations, the AFLP technology generates thorough information for angiosperm gene products and shares common features across angiosperm species and families. The utility of this technology for structural and functional genomics in plants can be implemented by serial annotation analyses of genome-anchored fragments and organ/tissue-specific repertories of transcriptome-derived fragments.
PIP aquaporin responses to drought stress can vary considerably depending on the isoform, tissue, species or level of stress; however, a general down-regulation of these genes is thought to help reduce water loss and prevent backflow of water to the drying soil. It has been suggested therefore, that it may be necessary for the plant to limit aquaporin production during drought stress, but it is unknown whether aquaporin down-regulation is gradual or triggered by a particular intensity of the stress. In this study, ten Fragaria PIP genes were identified from the woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca L.) genome sequence and characterised at the sequence level. The water relations of F. vesca were investigated and the effect of different intensities of drought stress on the expression of four PIP genes, as well as how drought stress influences their diurnal transcription was determined. PIP down-regulation in the root corresponded to the level of drought stress. Moreover, transcript abundance of two genes highly expressed in the root (FvPIP1;1 and FvPIP2;1) was strongly correlated to the decline in substrate moisture content. The amplitude of diurnal aquaporin expression in the leaves was down-regulated by drought without altering the pattern, but showing an intensity-dependent effect. The results show that transcription of PIP aquaporins can be fine-tuned with the environment in response to declining water availability.
Environmentally inflicted stresses such as salinity and drought limit the plant productivity both in natural and agricultural system. Increasing emphasis has been directed to molecular breeding strategies to enhance the intrinsic ability of plant to survive stress conditions. Functional screens in microorganisms with heterologous genes are a rapid, effective and powerful tool to identify stress tolerant genes in plants. Jatropha curcas (Physic nut) has been identified as a potential source of biodiesel plant. In order to improve its productivity under stress conditions to benefit commercial plantations, we initiated prospecting of novel genes expressed during stress in J. curcas that can be utilized to enhance stress tolerance ability of plant.
To identify genes expressed during salt tolerance, cDNA expression libraries were constructed from salt-stressed roots of J. curcas, regulated under the control of the yeast GAL1 system. Using a replica based screening, twenty thousand yeast transformants were screened to identify transformants expressing heterologous gene sequences from J. curcas with enhanced ability to tolerate stress. From the screen we obtained 32 full length genes from J. curcas [GenBank accession numbers FJ489601-FJ489611, FJ619041-FJ619057 and FJ623457-FJ623460] that can confer abiotic stress tolerance. As a part of this screen, we optimized conditions for salt stress in J. curcas, defined parameters for salt stress in yeast, as well as isolated three salt hypersensitive yeast strains shs-2, shs-6 and shs-8 generated through a process of random mutagenesis, and exhibited growth retardation beyond 750 mM NaCl. Further, we demonstrated complementation of the salt sensitive phenotypes in the shs mutants, and analyzed the expression patterns for selected J. curcas genes obtained from the screen in both leaf and root tissues after salt stress treatments.
The approach described in this report provides a rapid and universal assay system for large scale screening of genes for varied abiotic stress tolerance within a short span of time. Using this screening strategy we could isolate both genes with previously known function in stress tolerance as well as novel sequences with yet unknown function in salt stress tolerance from J. curcas. The isolated genes could be over-expressed using plant expression system to generate and evaluate transgenic plants for stress tolerance as well as be used as markers for breeding salt stress tolerance in plants.
A seasonal period of water deficit characterizes tropical dry forests (TDFs). There, sympatric tree species exhibit a diversity of growth rates, functional traits, and responses to drought, suggesting that each species may possess different strategies to grow under different conditions of water availability. The evaluation of the long-term growth responses to changes in the soil water balance should provide an understanding of how and when coexisting tree species respond to water deficit in TDFs. Furthermore, such differential growth responses may be linked to functional traits related to water storage and conductance. We used dendrochronology and climate data to retrospectively assess how the radial growth of seven coexisting deciduous tree species responded to the seasonal soil water balance in a Bolivian TDF. Linear mixed-effects models were used to quantify the relationships between basal area increment and seasonal water balance. We related these relationships with wood density and sapwood production to assess if they affect the growth responses to climate. The growth of all species responded positively to water balance during the wet season, but such responses differed among species as a function of their wood density. For instance, species with a strong growth response to water availability averaged a low wood density which may facilitate the storage of water in the stem. By contrast, species with very dense wood were those whose growth was less sensitive to water availability. Coexisting tree species thus show differential growth responses to changes in soil water balance during the wet season. Our findings also provide a link between wood density, a trait related to the ability of trees to store water in the stem, and wood formation in response to water availability.