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1.  The RNA Helicases AtMTR4 and HEN2 Target Specific Subsets of Nuclear Transcripts for Degradation by the Nuclear Exosome in Arabidopsis thaliana 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(8):e1004564.
The RNA exosome is the major 3′-5′ RNA degradation machine of eukaryotic cells and participates in processing, surveillance and turnover of both nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA. In both yeast and human, all nuclear functions of the exosome require the RNA helicase MTR4. We show that the Arabidopsis core exosome can associate with two related RNA helicases, AtMTR4 and HEN2. Reciprocal co-immunoprecipitation shows that each of the RNA helicases co-purifies with the exosome core complex and with distinct sets of specific proteins. While AtMTR4 is a predominantly nucleolar protein, HEN2 is located in the nucleoplasm and appears to be excluded from nucleoli. We have previously shown that the major role of AtMTR4 is the degradation of rRNA precursors and rRNA maturation by-products. Here, we demonstrate that HEN2 is involved in the degradation of a large number of polyadenylated nuclear exosome substrates such as snoRNA and miRNA precursors, incompletely spliced mRNAs, and spurious transcripts produced from pseudogenes and intergenic regions. Only a weak accumulation of these exosome substrate targets is observed in mtr4 mutants, suggesting that MTR4 can contribute, but plays rather a minor role for the degradation of non-ribosomal RNAs and cryptic transcripts in Arabidopsis. Consistently, transgene post-transcriptional gene silencing (PTGS) is marginally affected in mtr4 mutants, but increased in hen2 mutants, suggesting that it is mostly the nucleoplasmic exosome that degrades aberrant transgene RNAs to limit their entry in the PTGS pathway. Interestingly, HEN2 is conserved throughout green algae, mosses and land plants but absent from metazoans and other eukaryotic lineages. Our data indicate that, in contrast to human and yeast, plants have two functionally specialized RNA helicases that assist the exosome in the degradation of specific nucleolar and nucleoplasmic RNA populations, respectively.
Author Summary
Cells rely on a number of RNA degradation pathways to ensure correct and timely processing and turnover of both coding and non-coding RNAs. Another important function of RNA degradation is the rapid elimination of misprocessed RNA species, maturation by-products, and nonfunctional RNAs that are frequently produced by pervasive transcription. The main 3′-5′ RNA degradation machine in eukaryotic cells is the exosome, which is activated by cofactors such as RNA helicases. In yeast and human, processing, turnover and surveillance of all nuclear exosome targets depend on a single RNA helicase, MTR4. We show here that the Arabidopsis exosome complex can associate with two related RNA helicases, MTR4 and HEN2. MTR4 and HEN2 reside in nucleolar and nucleoplasmic compartments, respectively, and target different subsets of nuclear RNA substrates for degradation by the exosome. The presence of both MTR4 and HEN2 homologues in green algae, mosses and land plants suggest that the functional duality of exosome-associated RNA helicases is evolutionarily conserved in the entire green lineage. The emerging picture is that, despite a high degree of sequence conservation, intracellular distribution, activities and functions of exosome cofactors vary considerably among different eukaryotes.
PMCID: PMC4140647  PMID: 25144737
2.  Differential gene expression and metabolomic analyses of Brachypodium distachyon infected by deoxynivalenol producing and non-producing strains of Fusarium graminearum 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):629.
Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) caused primarily by Fusarium graminearum (Fg) is one of the major diseases of small-grain cereals including bread wheat. This disease both reduces yields and causes quality losses due to the production of deoxynivalenol (DON), the major type B trichothecene mycotoxin. DON has been described as a virulence factor enabling efficient colonization of spikes by the fungus in wheat, but its precise role during the infection process is still elusive. Brachypodium distachyon (Bd) is a model cereal species which has been shown to be susceptible to FHB. Here, a functional genomics approach was performed in order to characterize the responses of Bd to Fg infection using a global transcriptional and metabolomic profiling of B. distachyon plants infected by two strains of F. graminearum: a wild-type strain producing DON (Fgdon+) and a mutant strain impaired in the production of the mycotoxin (Fgdon-).
Histological analysis of the interaction of the Bd21 ecotype with both Fg strains showed extensive fungal tissue colonization with the Fgdon+ strain while the florets infected with the Fgdon- strain exhibited a reduced hyphal extension and cell death on palea and lemma tissues. Fungal biomass was reduced in spikes inoculated with the Fgdon- strain as compared with the wild-type strain. The transcriptional analysis showed that jasmonate and ethylene-signalling pathways are induced upon infection, together with genes encoding putative detoxification and transport proteins, antioxidant functions as well as secondary metabolite pathways. In particular, our metabolite profiling analysis showed that tryptophan-derived metabolites, tryptamine, serotonin, coumaroyl-serotonin and feruloyl-serotonin, are more induced upon infection by the Fgdon+ strain than by the Fgdon- strain. Serotonin was shown to exhibit a slight direct antimicrobial effect against Fg.
Our results show that Bd exhibits defense hallmarks similar to those already identified in cereal crops. While the fungus uses DON as a virulence factor, the host plant preferentially induces detoxification and the phenylpropanoid and phenolamide pathways as resistance mechanisms. Together with its amenability in laboratory conditions, this makes Bd a very good model to study cereal resistance mechanisms towards the major disease FHB.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-629) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4124148  PMID: 25063396
Fusarium Head Blight; Brachypodium distachyon; Transcriptome; Metabolic profiling; Serotonin
3.  Functional analysis of Arabidopsis immune-related MAPKs uncovers a role for MPK3 as negative regulator of inducible defences 
Genome Biology  2014;15(6):R87.
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are key regulators of immune responses in animals and plants. In Arabidopsis, perception of microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) activates the MAPKs MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6. Increasing information depicts the molecular events activated by MAMPs in plants, but the specific and cooperative contributions of the MAPKs in these signalling events are largely unclear.
In this work, we analyse the behaviour of MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 mutants in early and late immune responses triggered by the MAMP flg22 from bacterial flagellin. A genome-wide transcriptome analysis reveals that 36% of the flg22-upregulated genes and 68% of the flg22-downregulated genes are affected in at least one MAPK mutant. So far MPK4 was considered as a negative regulator of immunity, whereas MPK3 and MPK6 were believed to play partially redundant positive functions in defence. Our work reveals that MPK4 is required for the regulation of approximately 50% of flg22-induced genes and we identify a negative role for MPK3 in regulating defence gene expression, flg22-induced salicylic acid accumulation and disease resistance to Pseudomonas syringae. Among the MAPK-dependent genes, 27% of flg22-upregulated genes and 76% of flg22-downregulated genes require two or three MAPKs for their regulation. The flg22-induced MAPK activities are differentially regulated in MPK3 and MPK6 mutants, both in amplitude and duration, revealing a highly interdependent network.
These data reveal a new set of distinct functions for MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 and indicate that the plant immune signalling network is choreographed through the interplay of these three interwoven MAPK pathways.
PMCID: PMC4197828  PMID: 24980080
4.  Unexpectedly low nitrogen acquisition and absence of root architecture adaptation to nitrate supply in a Medicago truncatula highly branched root mutant 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2014;65(9):2365-2380.
Physiological and developmental analyses provide evidence that the highly branched root architecture of a mutant results from systemic regulation by its nitrogen status, possibly involving glutamine or asparagine signals.
To complement N2 fixation through symbiosis, legumes can efficiently acquire soil mineral N through adapted root architecture. However, root architecture adaptation to mineral N availability has been little studied in legumes. Therefore, this study investigated the effect of nitrate availability on root architecture in Medicago truncatula and assessed the N-uptake potential of a new highly branched root mutant, TR185. The effects of varying nitrate supply on both root architecture and N uptake were characterized in the mutant and in the wild type. Surprisingly, the root architecture of the mutant was not modified by variation in nitrate supply. Moreover, despite its highly branched root architecture, TR185 had a permanently N-starved phenotype. A transcriptome analysis was performed to identify genes differentially expressed between the two genotypes. This analysis revealed differential responses related to the nitrate acquisition pathway and confirmed that N starvation occurred in TR185. Changes in amino acid content and expression of genes involved in the phenylpropanoid pathway were associated with differences in root architecture between the mutant and the wild type.
PMCID: PMC4036509  PMID: 24706718
Amino acids; highly branched root mutant; Medicago truncatula; nitrogen acquisition; nitrogen limitation; phenylpropanoid; root architecture.
5.  Is Gene Transcription Involved in Seed Dry After-Ripening? 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86442.
Orthodox seeds are living organisms that survive anhydrobiosis and may display dormancy, an inability to germinate at harvest. Seed germination potential can be acquired during a prolonged period of dry storage called after-ripening. The aim of this work was to determine if gene transcription is an underlying regulatory mechanism for dormancy alleviation during after-ripening. To identify changes in gene transcription strictly associated with the acquisition of germination potential but not with storage, we used seed storage at low relative humidity that maintains dormancy as control. Transcriptome profiling was performed using DNA microarray to compare change in gene transcript abundance between dormant (D), after-ripened non-dormant (ND) and after-ripened dormant seeds (control, C). Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) was used to confirm gene expression. Comparison between D and ND showed the differential expression of 115 probesets at cut-off values of two-fold change (p<0.05). Comparisons between both D and C with ND in transcript abundance showed that only 13 transcripts, among 115, could be specific to dormancy alleviation. qPCR confirms the expression pattern of these transcripts but without significant variation between conditions. Here we show that sunflower seed dormancy alleviation in the dry state is not related to regulated changes in gene expression.
PMCID: PMC3896479  PMID: 24466101
6.  The Arabidopsis DREB2 genetic pathway is constitutively repressed by basal phosphoinositide-dependent phospholipase C coupled to diacylglycerol kinase 
Phosphoinositide-dependent phospholipases C (PI-PLCs) are activated in response to various stimuli. They utilize substrates provided by type III-Phosphatidylinositol-4 kinases (PI4KIII) to produce inositol triphosphate and diacylglycerol (DAG) that is phosphorylated into phosphatidic acid (PA) by DAG-kinases (DGKs). The roles of PI4KIIIs, PI-PLCs, and DGKs in basal signaling are poorly understood. We investigated the control of gene expression by basal PI-PLC pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana suspension cells. A transcriptome-wide analysis allowed the identification of genes whose expression was altered by edelfosine, 30 μM wortmannin, or R59022, inhibitors of PI-PLCs, PI4KIIIs, and DGKs, respectively. We found that a gene responsive to one of these molecules is more likely to be similarly regulated by the other two inhibitors. The common action of these agents is to inhibit PA formation, showing that basal PI-PLCs act, in part, on gene expression through their coupling to DGKs. Amongst the genes up-regulated in presence of the inhibitors, were some DREB2 genes, in suspension cells and in seedlings. The DREB2 genes encode transcription factors with major roles in responses to environmental stresses, including dehydration. They bind to C-repeat motifs, known as Drought-Responsive Elements that are indeed enriched in the promoters of genes up-regulated by PI-PLC pathway inhibitors. PA can also be produced by phospholipases D (PLDs). We show that the DREB2 genes that are up-regulated by PI-PLC inhibitors are positively or negatively regulated, or indifferent, to PLD basal activity. Our data show that the DREB2 genetic pathway is constitutively repressed in resting conditions and that DGK coupled to PI-PLC is active in this process, in suspension cells and seedlings. We discuss how this basal negative regulation of DREB2 genes is compatible with their stress-triggered positive regulation.
PMCID: PMC3737466  PMID: 23964284
phospholipase C; diacylglycerol kinase; phosphatidic acid; phospholipase D; DREB2 transcription factors; abiotic stress; lipid signaling
7.  A Gene-Phenotype Network Based on Genetic Variability for Drought Responses Reveals Key Physiological Processes in Controlled and Natural Environments 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e45249.
Identifying the connections between molecular and physiological processes underlying the diversity of drought stress responses in plants is key for basic and applied science. Drought stress response involves a large number of molecular pathways and subsequent physiological processes. Therefore, it constitutes an archetypical systems biology model. We first inferred a gene-phenotype network exploiting differences in drought responses of eight sunflower (Helianthus annuus) genotypes to two drought stress scenarios. Large transcriptomic data were obtained with the sunflower Affymetrix microarray, comprising 32423 probesets, and were associated to nine morpho-physiological traits (integrated transpired water, leaf transpiration rate, osmotic potential, relative water content, leaf mass per area, carbon isotope discrimination, plant height, number of leaves and collar diameter) using sPLS regression. Overall, we could associate the expression patterns of 1263 probesets to six phenotypic traits and identify if correlations were due to treatment, genotype and/or their interaction. We also identified genes whose expression is affected at moderate and/or intense drought stress together with genes whose expression variation could explain phenotypic and drought tolerance variability among our genetic material. We then used the network model to study phenotypic changes in less tractable agronomical conditions, i.e. sunflower hybrids subjected to different watering regimes in field trials. Mapping this new dataset in the gene-phenotype network allowed us to identify genes whose expression was robustly affected by water deprivation in both controlled and field conditions. The enrichment in genes correlated to relative water content and osmotic potential provides evidence of the importance of these traits in agronomical conditions.
PMCID: PMC3466295  PMID: 23056196
8.  Histone H2B Monoubiquitination Facilitates the Rapid Modulation of Gene Expression during Arabidopsis Photomorphogenesis 
PLoS Genetics  2012;8(7):e1002825.
Profiling of DNA and histone modifications has recently allowed the establishment of reference epigenomes from several model organisms. This identified a major chromatin state for active genes that contains monoubiquitinated H2B (H2Bub), a mark linked to transcription elongation. However, assessment of dynamic chromatin changes during the reprogramming of gene expression in response to extrinsic or developmental signals has been more difficult. Here we used the major developmental switch that Arabidopsis thaliana plants undergo upon their initial perception of light, known as photomorphogenesis, as a paradigm to assess spatial and temporal dynamics of monoubiquitinated H2B (H2Bub) and its impact on transcriptional responses. The process involves rapid and extensive transcriptional reprogramming and represents a developmental window well suited to studying cell division–independent chromatin changes. Genome-wide H2Bub distribution was determined together with transcriptome profiles at three time points during early photomorphogenesis. This revealed de novo marking of 177 genes upon the first hour of illumination, illustrating the dynamic nature of H2Bub enrichment in a genomic context. Gene upregulation was associated with H2Bub enrichment, while H2Bub levels generally remained stable during gene downregulation. We further report that H2Bub influences the modulation of gene expression, as both gene up- and downregulation were globally weaker in hub1 mutant plants that lack H2Bub. H2Bub-dependent regulation notably impacted genes with fast and transient light induction, and several circadian clock components whose mRNA levels are tightly regulated by sharp oscillations. Based on these findings, we propose that H2B monoubiquitination is part of a transcription-coupled, chromatin-based mechanism to rapidly modulate gene expression.
Author Summary
In eukaryotes, chromatin-based mechanisms overlay with DNA sequence information to determine the transcriptional output of the genome. Evaluating the role of chromatin state variations in the regulation of gene expression is therefore key to understanding their contribution to development. Several transcriptional coactivators contribute to the selective regulation of cellular pathways by coordinating histone H2B monoubiquitination (H2Bub) with other histone modifications. Although H2Bub is present on a large number of genes, its loss was shown to affect RNA levels for only a small subset of genes, and therefore its influence on gene expression is not well understood. Here we assessed the impact of H2Bub on expression changes during a rapid developmental transition that initiates upon exposure of plants to light. This revealed that H2Bub marking is highly dynamic in a genomic context. Furthermore, a large repertoire of light-responsive genes was impaired for rapid up- or downregulation, indicating that H2Bub is important for attaining appropriate expression levels. Regulatory factors and circadian clock components are well represented within the set of genes impacted by H2Bub dynamics for rapid changes in RNA levels, indicating that some genes whose mRNAs need tight and rapid control are particularly sensitive to chromatin-based mechanisms linked to H2Bub deposition.
PMCID: PMC3400566  PMID: 22829781
9.  Expression variation in connected recombinant populations of Arabidopsis thaliana highlights distinct transcriptome architectures 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:117.
Expression traits can vary quantitatively between individuals and have a complex inheritance. Identification of the genetics underlying transcript variation can help in the understanding of phenotypic variation due to genetic factors regulating transcript abundance and shed light into divergence patterns. So far, only a limited number of studies have addressed this subject in Arabidopsis, with contrasting results due to dissimilar statistical power. Here, we present the transcriptome architecture in leaf tissue of two RIL sets obtained from a connected-cross design involving 3 commonly used accessions. We also present the transcriptome architecture observed in developing seeds of a third independent cross.
The utilisation of the novel R/eqtl package (which goal is to automatize and extend functions from the R/qtl package) allowed us to map 4,290 and 6,534 eQTLs in the Cvi-0 × Col-0 and Bur-0 × Col-0 recombinant populations respectively. In agreement with previous studies, we observed a larger phenotypic variance explained by eQTLs in linkage with the controlled gene (potentially cis-acting), compared to distant loci (acting necessarily indirectly or in trans). Distant eQTLs hotspots were essentially not conserved between crosses, but instead, cross-specific. Accounting for confounding factors using a probabilistic approach (VBQTL) increased the mapping resolution and the number of significant associations. Moreover, using local eQTLs obtained from this approach, we detected evidence for a directional allelic effect in genes with related function, where significantly more eQTLs than expected by chance were up-regulated from one of the accessions. Primary experimental data, analysis parameters, eQTL results and visualisation of LOD score curves presented here are stored and accessible through the QTLstore service database
Our results demonstrate the extensive diversity and moderately conserved eQTL landscape between crosses and validate the utilisation of expression traits to explore for candidates behind phenotypic variation among accessions. Furthermore, this stresses the need for a wider spectrum of diversity to fully understand expression trait variation within a species.
PMCID: PMC3359214  PMID: 22453064
eQTL; Natural variation; Selection; RILs
10.  Genomic Approach to Study Floral Development Genes in Rosa sp. 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(12):e28455.
Cultivated for centuries, the varieties of rose have been selected based on a number of flower traits. Understanding the genetic and molecular basis that contributes to these traits will impact on future improvements for this economically important ornamental plant. In this study, we used scanning electron microscopy and sections of meristems and flowers to establish a precise morphological calendar from early rose flower development stages to senescing flowers. Global gene expression was investigated from floral meristem initiation up to flower senescence in three rose genotypes exhibiting contrasted floral traits including continuous versus once flowering and simple versus double flower architecture, using a newly developed Affymetrix microarray (Rosa1_Affyarray) tool containing sequences representing 4765 unigenes expressed during flower development. Data analyses permitted the identification of genes associated with floral transition, floral organs initiation up to flower senescence. Quantitative real time PCR analyses validated the mRNA accumulation changes observed in microarray hybridizations for a selection of 24 genes expressed at either high or low levels. Our data describe the early flower development stages in Rosa sp, the production of a rose microarray and demonstrate its usefulness and reliability to study gene expression during extensive development phases, from the vegetative meristem to the senescent flower.
PMCID: PMC3237435  PMID: 22194838
11.  RNA-seq in grain unveils fate of neo- and paleopolyploidization events in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) 
Genome Biology  2011;12(12):R119.
Whole genome duplication is a common evolutionary event in plants. Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is a good model to investigate the impact of paleo- and neoduplications on the organization and function of modern plant genomes.
We performed an RNA sequencing-based inference of the grain filling gene network in bread wheat and identified a set of 37,695 non-redundant sequence clusters, which is an unprecedented resolution corresponding to an estimated half of the wheat genome unigene repertoire. Using the Brachypodium distachyon genome as a reference for the Triticeae, we classified gene clusters into orthologous, paralogous, and homoeologous relationships. Based on this wheat gene evolutionary classification, older duplicated copies (dating back 50 to 70 million years) exhibit more than 80% gene loss and expression divergence while recent duplicates (dating back 1.5 to 3 million years) show only 54% gene loss and 36 to 49% expression divergence.
We suggest that structural shuffling due to duplicated gene loss is a rapid process, whereas functional shuffling due to neo- and/or subfunctionalization of duplicates is a longer process, and that both shuffling mechanisms drive functional redundancy erosion. We conclude that, as a result of these mechanisms, half the gene duplicates in plants are structurally and functionally altered within 10 million years of evolution, and the diploidization process is completed after 45 to 50 million years following polyploidization.
PMCID: PMC3334614  PMID: 22136458
12.  Characterization of a cinnamoyl-CoA reductase 1 (CCR1) mutant in maize: effects on lignification, fibre development, and global gene expression 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2011;62(11):3837-3848.
Cinnamoyl-CoA reductase (CCR), which catalyses the first committed step of the lignin-specific branch of monolignol biosynthesis, has been extensively characterized in dicot species, but few data are available in monocots. By screening a Mu insertional mutant collection in maize, a mutant in the CCR1 gene was isolated named Zmccr1–. In this mutant, CCR1 gene expression is reduced to 31% of the residual wild-type level. Zmccr1– exhibited enhanced digestibility without compromising plant growth and development. Lignin analysis revealed a slight decrease in lignin content and significant changes in lignin structure. p-Hydroxyphenyl units were strongly decreased and the syringyl/guaiacyl ratio was slightly increased. At the cellular level, alterations in lignin deposition were mainly observed in the walls of the sclerenchymatic fibre cells surrounding the vascular bundles. These cell walls showed little to no staining with phloroglucinol. These histochemical changes were accompanied by an increase in sclerenchyma surface area and an alteration in cell shape. In keeping with this cell type-specific phenotype, transcriptomics performed at an early stage of plant development revealed the down-regulation of genes specifically associated with fibre wall formation. To the present authors’ knowledge, this is the first functional characterization of CCR1 in a grass species.
PMCID: PMC3134344  PMID: 21493812
Affymetrix array 18K; CCR; cell wall; digestibility; lignin; sclerenchyma; Zea mays
13.  Comparative transcriptomics of drought responses in Populus: a meta-analysis of genome-wide expression profiling in mature leaves and root apices across two genotypes 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:630.
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.
PMCID: PMC3091765  PMID: 21073700
14.  Brain transcriptional stability upon prion protein-encoding gene invalidation in zygotic or adult mouse 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:448.
The physiological function of the prion protein remains largely elusive while its key role in prion infection has been expansively documented. To potentially assess this conundrum, we performed a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the brain of wild-type mice with that of transgenic mice invalidated at this locus either at the zygotic or at the adult stages.
Only subtle transcriptomic differences resulting from the Prnp knockout could be evidenced, beside Prnp itself, in the analyzed adult brains following microarray analysis of 24 109 mouse genes and QPCR assessment of some of the putatively marginally modulated loci. When performed at the adult stage, neuronal Prnp disruption appeared to sequentially induce a response to an oxidative stress and a remodeling of the nervous system. However, these events involved only a limited number of genes, expression levels of which were only slightly modified and not always confirmed by RT-qPCR. If not, the qPCR obtained data suggested even less pronounced differences.
These results suggest that the physiological function of PrP is redundant at the adult stage or important for only a small subset of the brain cell population under classical breeding conditions. Following its early reported embryonic developmental regulation, this lack of response could also imply that PrP has a more detrimental role during mouse embryogenesis and that potential transient compensatory mechanisms have to be searched for at the time this locus becomes transcriptionally activated.
PMCID: PMC3091645  PMID: 20649983
15.  Search for the genes involved in oocyte maturation and early embryo development in the hen 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:110.
The initial stages of development depend on mRNA and proteins accumulated in the oocyte, and during these stages, certain genes are essential for fertilization, first cleavage and embryonic genome activation. The aim of this study was first to search for avian oocyte-specific genes using an in silico and a microarray approaches, then to investigate the temporal and spatial dynamics of the expression of some of these genes during follicular maturation and early embryogenesis.
The in silico approach allowed us to identify 18 chicken homologs of mouse potential oocyte genes found by digital differential display. Using the chicken Affymetrix microarray, we identified 461 genes overexpressed in granulosa cells (GCs) and 250 genes overexpressed in the germinal disc (GD) of the hen oocyte. Six genes were identified using both in silico and microarray approaches. Based on GO annotations, GC and GD genes were differentially involved in biological processes, reflecting different physiological destinations of these two cell layers. Finally we studied the spatial and temporal dynamics of the expression of 21 chicken genes. According to their expression patterns all these genes are involved in different stages of final follicular maturation and/or early embryogenesis in the chicken. Among them, 8 genes (btg4, chkmos, wee, zpA, dazL, cvh, zar1 and ktfn) were preferentially expressed in the maturing occyte and cvh, zar1 and ktfn were also highly expressed in the early embryo.
We showed that in silico and Affymetrix microarray approaches were relevant and complementary in order to find new avian genes potentially involved in oocyte maturation and/or early embryo development, and allowed the discovery of new potential chicken mature oocyte and chicken granulosa cell markers for future studies. Moreover, detailed study of the expression of some of these genes revealed promising candidates for maternal effect genes in the chicken. Finally, the finding concerning the different state of rRNA compared to that of mRNA during the postovulatory period shed light on some mechanisms through which oocyte to embryo transition occurs in the hen.
PMCID: PMC2322995  PMID: 18312645
16.  Analysis of CATMA transcriptome data identifies hundreds of novel functional genes and improves gene models in the Arabidopsis genome 
BMC Genomics  2007;8:401.
Since the finishing of the sequencing of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, the Arabidopsis community and the annotator centers have been working on the improvement of gene annotation at the structural and functional levels. In this context, we have used the large CATMA resource on the Arabidopsis transcriptome to search for genes missed by different annotation processes. Probes on the CATMA microarrays are specific gene sequence tags (GSTs) based on the CDS models predicted by the Eugene software. Among the 24 576 CATMA v2 GSTs, 677 are in regions considered as intergenic by the TAIR annotation. We analyzed the cognate transcriptome data in the CATMA resource and carried out data-mining to characterize novel genes and improve gene models.
The statistical analysis of the results of more than 500 hybridized samples distributed among 12 organs provides an experimental validation for 465 novel genes. The hybridization evidence was confirmed by RT-PCR approaches for 88% of the 465 novel genes. Comparisons with the current annotation show that these novel genes often encode small proteins, with an average size of 137 aa. Our approach has also led to the improvement of pre-existing gene models through both the extension of 16 CDS and the identification of 13 gene models erroneously constituted of two merged CDS.
This work is a noticeable step forward in the improvement of the Arabidopsis genome annotation. We increased the number of Arabidopsis validated genes by 465 novel transcribed genes to which we associated several functional annotations such as expression profiles, sequence conservation in plants, cognate transcripts and protein motifs.
PMCID: PMC2174955  PMID: 17980019
17.  CATdb: a public access to Arabidopsis transcriptome data from the URGV-CATMA platform 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;36(Database issue):D986-D990.
CATdb is a free resource available at that provides public access to a large collection of transcriptome data for Arabidopsis thaliana produced by a single Complete Arabidopsis Transcriptome Micro Array (CATMA) platform. CATMA probes consist of gene-specific sequence tags (GSTs) of 150–500 bp. The v2 version of CATMA contains 24 576 GST probes representing most of the predicted A. thaliana genes, and 615 probes tiling the chloroplastic and mitochondrial genomes. Data in CATdb are entirely processed with the same standardized protocol, from microarray printing to data analyses. CATdb contains the results of 53 projects including 1724 hybridized samples distributed between 13 different organs, 49 different developmental conditions, 45 mutants and 63 environmental conditions. All the data contained in CATdb can be downloaded from the web site and subsets of data can be sorted out and displayed either by keywords, by experiments, genes or lists of genes up to 100. CATdb gives an easy access to the complete description of experiments with a picture of the experiment design.
PMCID: PMC2238931  PMID: 17940091

Results 1-17 (17)