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1.  Evaluation of Genome Sequencing Quality in Selected Plant Species Using Expressed Sequence Tags 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e69890.
With the completion of genome sequencing projects for more than 30 plant species, large volumes of genome sequences have been produced and stored in online databases. Advancements in sequencing technologies have reduced the cost and time of whole genome sequencing enabling more and more plants to be subjected to genome sequencing. Despite this, genome sequence qualities of multiple plants have not been evaluated.
Methodology/Principal Finding
Integrity and accuracy were calculated to evaluate the genome sequence quality of 32 plants. The integrity of a genome sequence is presented by the ratio of chromosome size and genome size (or between scaffold size and genome size), which ranged from 55.31% to nearly 100%. The accuracy of genome sequence was presented by the ratio between matched EST and selected ESTs where 52.93% ∼ 98.28% and 89.02% ∼ 98.85% of the randomly selected clean ESTs could be mapped to chromosome and scaffold sequences, respectively. According to the integrity, accuracy and other analysis of each plant species, thirteen plant species were divided into four levels. Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa and Zea mays had the highest quality, followed by Brachypodium distachyon, Populus trichocarpa, Vitis vinifera and Glycine max, Sorghum bicolor, Solanum lycopersicum and Fragaria vesca, and Lotus japonicus, Medicago truncatula and Malus × domestica in that order. Assembling the scaffold sequences into chromosome sequences should be the primary task for the remaining nineteen species. Low GC content and repeat DNA influences genome sequence assembly.
The quality of plant genome sequences was found to be lower than envisaged and thus the rapid development of genome sequencing projects as well as research on bioinformatics tools and the algorithms of genome sequence assembly should provide increased processing and correction of genome sequences that have already been published.
PMCID: PMC3726750  PMID: 23922843
2.  Identification of microRNAs from Amur grape (vitis amurensis Rupr.) by deep sequencing and analysis of microRNA variations with bioinformatics 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:122.
MicroRNA (miRNA) is a class of functional non-coding small RNA with 19-25 nucleotides in length while Amur grape (Vitis amurensis Rupr.) is an important wild fruit crop with the strongest cold resistance among the Vitis species, is used as an excellent breeding parent for grapevine, and has elicited growing interest in wine production. To date, there is a relatively large number of grapevine miRNAs (vv-miRNAs) from cultivated grapevine varieties such as Vitis vinifera L. and hybrids of V. vinifera and V. labrusca, but there is no report on miRNAs from Vitis amurensis Rupr, a wild grapevine species.
A small RNA library from Amur grape was constructed and Solexa technology used to perform deep sequencing of the library followed by subsequent bioinformatics analysis to identify new miRNAs. In total, 126 conserved miRNAs belonging to 27 miRNA families were identified, and 34 known but non-conserved miRNAs were also found. Significantly, 72 new potential Amur grape-specific miRNAs were discovered. The sequences of these new potential va-miRNAs were further validated through miR-RACE, and accumulation of 18 new va-miRNAs in seven tissues of grapevines confirmed by real time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis. The expression levels of va-miRNAs in flowers and berries were found to be basically consistent in identity to those from deep sequenced sRNAs libraries of combined corresponding tissues. We also describe the conservation and variation of va-miRNAs using miR-SNPs and miR-LDs during plant evolution based on comparison of orthologous sequences, and further reveal that the number and sites of miR-SNP in diverse miRNA families exhibit distinct divergence. Finally, 346 target genes for the new miRNAs were predicted and they include a number of Amur grape stress tolerance genes and many genes regulating anthocyanin synthesis and sugar metabolism.
Deep sequencing of short RNAs from Amur grape flowers and berries identified 72 new potential miRNAs and 34 known but non-conserved miRNAs, indicating that specific miRNAs exist in Amur grape. These results show that a number of regulatory miRNAs exist in Amur grape and play an important role in Amur grape growth, development, and response to abiotic or biotic stress.
PMCID: PMC3353164  PMID: 22455456
Amur grape; microRNA; Sequences evolution; Solexa sequencing; miR-RACE; qRT-PCR
3.  Characterization of microRNAs Identified in a Table Grapevine Cultivar with Validation of Computationally Predicted Grapevine miRNAs by miR-RACE 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21259.
Alignment analysis of the Vv-miRNAs identified from various grapevine cultivars indicates that over 30% orthologous Vv-miRNAs exhibit a 1–3 nucleotide discrepancy only at their ends, suggesting that this sequence discrepancy is not a random event, but might mainly derive from divergence of cultivars. With advantages of miR-RACE technology in determining precise sequences of potential miRNAs from bioinformatics prediction, the precise sequences of vv-miRNAs predicted computationally can be verified with miR-RACE in a different grapevine cultivar. This presents itself as a new approach for large scale discovery of precise miRNAs in different grapevine varieties.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Among 88 unique sequences of Vv-miRNAs from bioinformatics prediction, 83 (96.3%) were successfully validated with MiR-RACE in grapevine cv. ‘Summer Black’. All the validated sequences were identical to their corresponding ones obtained from deep sequencing of the small RNA library of ‘Summer Black’. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of the expressions levels of 10 Vv-miRNA/target gene pairs in grapevine tissues showed some negative correlation trends. Finally, comparison of Vv-miRNA sequences with their orthologs in Arabidopsis and study on the influence of divergent bases of the orthologous miRNAs on their targeting patterns in grapevine were also done.
The validation of precise sequences of potential Vv-miRNAs from computational prediction in a different grapevine cultivar can be a new way to identify the orthologous Vv-miRNAs. Nucleotide discrepancy of orthologous Vv-miRNAs from different grapevine cultivars normally does not change their target genes. However, sequence variations of some orthologous miRNAs in grapevine and Arabidopsis can change their targeting patterns. These precise Vv-miRNAs sequences validated in our study could benefit some further study on grapevine functional genomics.
PMCID: PMC3145640  PMID: 21829435
4.  Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Prunus mume flower and fruit and development of simple sequence repeat markers 
BMC Genetics  2010;11:66.
Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) has been a cost-effective tool in molecular biology and represents an abundant valuable resource for genome annotation, gene expression, and comparative genomics in plants.
In this study, we constructed a cDNA library of Prunus mume flower and fruit, sequenced 10,123 clones of the library, and obtained 8,656 expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences with high quality. The ESTs were assembled into 4,473 unigenes composed of 1,492 contigs and 2,981 singletons and that have been deposited in NCBI (accession IDs: GW868575 - GW873047), among which 1,294 unique ESTs were with known or putative functions. Furthermore, we found 1,233 putative simple sequence repeats (SSRs) in the P. mume unigene dataset. We randomly tested 42 pairs of PCR primers flanking potential SSRs, and 14 pairs were identified as true-to-type SSR loci and could amplify polymorphic bands from 20 individual plants of P. mume. We further used the 14 EST-SSR primer pairs to test the transferability on peach and plum. The result showed that nearly 89% of the primer pairs produced target PCR bands in the two species. A high level of marker polymorphism was observed in the plum species (65%) and low in the peach (46%), and the clustering analysis of the three species indicated that these SSR markers were useful in the evaluation of genetic relationships and diversity between and within the Prunus species.
We have constructed the first cDNA library of P. mume flower and fruit, and our data provide sets of molecular biology resources for P. mume and other Prunus species. These resources will be useful for further study such as genome annotation, new gene discovery, gene functional analysis, molecular breeding, evolution and comparative genomics between Prunus species.
PMCID: PMC2920227  PMID: 20626882

Results 1-4 (4)