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author:("Liu, shengli")
1.  ocsESTdb: a database of oil crop seed EST sequences for comparative analysis and investigation of a global metabolic network and oil accumulation metabolism 
BMC Plant Biology  2015;15:19.
Oil crop seeds are important sources of fatty acids (FAs) for human and animal nutrition. Despite their importance, there is a lack of an essential bioinformatics resource on gene transcription of oil crops from a comparative perspective. In this study, we developed ocsESTdb, the first database of expressed sequence tag (EST) information on seeds of four large-scale oil crops with an emphasis on global metabolic networks and oil accumulation metabolism that target the involved unigenes.
A total of 248,522 ESTs and 106,835 unigenes were collected from the cDNA libraries of rapeseed (Brassica napus), soybean (Glycine max), sesame (Sesamum indicum) and peanut (Arachis hypogaea). These unigenes were annotated by a sequence similarity search against databases including TAIR, NR protein database, Gene Ontology, COG, Swiss-Prot, TrEMBL and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). Five genome-scale metabolic networks that contain different numbers of metabolites and gene–enzyme reaction–association entries were analysed and constructed using Cytoscape and yEd programs. Details of unigene entries, deduced amino acid sequences and putative annotation are available from our database to browse, search and download. Intuitive and graphical representations of EST/unigene sequences, functional annotations, metabolic pathways and metabolic networks are also available. ocsESTdb will be updated regularly and can be freely accessed at
ocsESTdb may serve as a valuable and unique resource for comparative analysis of acyl lipid synthesis and metabolism in oilseed plants. It also may provide vital insights into improving oil content in seeds of oil crop species by transcriptional reconstruction of the metabolic network.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12870-014-0399-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4312456  PMID: 25604238
Database; Expressed sequence tag; Metabolic network; Oil crop seeds
2.  BrassicaTED - a public database for utilization of miniature transposable elements in Brassica species 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7:379.
MITE, TRIM and SINEs are miniature form transposable elements (mTEs) that are ubiquitous and dispersed throughout entire plant genomes. Tens of thousands of members cause insertion polymorphism at both the inter- and intra- species level. Therefore, mTEs are valuable targets and resources for development of markers that can be utilized for breeding, genetic diversity and genome evolution studies. Taking advantage of the completely sequenced genomes of Brassica rapa and B. oleracea, characterization of mTEs and building a curated database are prerequisite to extending their utilization for genomics and applied fields in Brassica crops.
We have developed BrassicaTED as a unique web portal containing detailed characterization information for mTEs of Brassica species. At present, BrassicaTED has datasets for 41 mTE families, including 5894 and 6026 members from 20 MITE families, 1393 and 1639 members from 5 TRIM families, 1270 and 2364 members from 16 SINE families in B. rapa and B. oleracea, respectively. BrassicaTED offers different sections to browse structural and positional characteristics for every mTE family. In addition, we have added data on 289 MITE insertion polymorphisms from a survey of seven Brassica relatives. Genes with internal mTE insertions are shown with detailed gene annotation and microarray-based comparative gene expression data in comparison with their paralogs in the triplicated B. rapa genome. This database also includes a novel tool, K BLAST (Karyotype BLAST), for clear visualization of the locations for each member in the B. rapa and B. oleracea pseudo-genome sequences.
BrassicaTED is a newly developed database of information regarding the characteristics and potential utility of mTEs including MITE, TRIM and SINEs in B. rapa and B. oleracea. The database will promote the development of desirable mTE-based markers, which can be utilized for genomics and breeding in Brassica species. BrassicaTED will be a valuable repository for scientists and breeders, promoting efficient research on Brassica species. BrassicaTED can be accessed at
PMCID: PMC4077149  PMID: 24948109
Brassica; Miniature inverted-repeat transposable element (MITE); Terminal-repeat retrotransposon in miniature (TRIM); Miniature form transposable elements (mTEs); Short interspersed elements (SINEs); TE Database
3.  Genome-Wide Comparative Analysis of 20 Miniature Inverted-Repeat Transposable Element Families in Brassica rapa and B. oleracea 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94499.
Miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements (MITEs) are ubiquitous, non-autonomous class II transposable elements. Here, we conducted genome-wide comparative analysis of 20 MITE families in B. rapa, B. oleracea, and Arabidopsis thaliana. A total of 5894 and 6026 MITE members belonging to the 20 families were found in the whole genome pseudo-chromosome sequences of B. rapa and B. oleracea, respectively. Meanwhile, only four of the 20 families, comprising 573 members, were identified in the Arabidopsis genome, indicating that most of the families were activated in the Brassica genus after divergence from Arabidopsis. Copy numbers varied from 4 to 1459 for each MITE family, and there was up to 6-fold variation between B. rapa and B. oleracea. In particular, analysis of intact members showed that whereas eleven families were present in similar copy numbers in B. rapa and B. oleracea, nine families showed copy number variation ranging from 2- to 16-fold. Four of those families (BraSto-3, BraTo-3, 4, 5) were more abundant in B. rapa, and the other five (BraSto-1, BraSto-4, BraTo-1, 7 and BraHAT-1) were more abundant in B. oleracea. Overall, 54% and 51% of the MITEs resided in or within 2 kb of a gene in the B. rapa and B. oleracea genomes, respectively. Notably, 92 MITEs were found within the CDS of annotated genes, suggesting that MITEs might play roles in diversification of genes in the recently triplicated Brassica genome. MITE insertion polymorphism (MIP) analysis of 289 MITE members showed that 52% and 23% were polymorphic at the inter- and intra-species levels, respectively, indicating that there has been recent MITE activity in the Brassica genome. These recently activated MITE families with abundant MIP will provide useful resources for molecular breeding and identification of novel functional genes arising from MITE insertion.
PMCID: PMC3991616  PMID: 24747717
5.  Genome sequencing of the high oil crop sesame provides insight into oil biosynthesis 
Genome Biology  2014;15(2):R39.
Sesame, Sesamum indicum L., is considered the queen of oilseeds for its high oil content and quality, and is grown widely in tropical and subtropical areas as an important source of oil and protein. However, the molecular biology of sesame is largely unexplored.
Here, we report a high-quality genome sequence of sesame assembled de novo with a contig N50 of 52.2 kb and a scaffold N50 of 2.1 Mb, containing an estimated 27,148 genes. The results reveal novel, independent whole genome duplication and the absence of the Toll/interleukin-1 receptor domain in resistance genes. Candidate genes and oil biosynthetic pathways contributing to high oil content were discovered by comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses. These revealed the expansion of type 1 lipid transfer genes by tandem duplication, the contraction of lipid degradation genes, and the differential expression of essential genes in the triacylglycerol biosynthesis pathway, particularly in the early stage of seed development. Resequencing data in 29 sesame accessions from 12 countries suggested that the high genetic diversity of lipid-related genes might be associated with the wide variation in oil content. Additionally, the results shed light on the pivotal stage of seed development, oil accumulation and potential key genes for sesamin production, an important pharmacological constituent of sesame.
As an important species from the order Lamiales and a high oil crop, the sesame genome will facilitate future research on the evolution of eudicots, as well as the study of lipid biosynthesis and potential genetic improvement of sesame.
PMCID: PMC4053841  PMID: 24576357
6.  Genome-Wide Association Study Dissects the Genetic Architecture of Seed Weight and Seed Quality in Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) 
Association mapping can quickly and efficiently dissect complex agronomic traits. Rapeseed is one of the most economically important polyploid oil crops, although its genome sequence is not yet published. In this study, a recently developed 60K Brassica Infinium® SNP array was used to analyse an association panel with 472 accessions. The single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the array were in silico mapped using ‘pseudomolecules’ representative of the genome of rapeseed to establish their hypothetical order and to perform association mapping of seed weight and seed quality. As a result, two significant associations on A8 and C3 of Brassica napus were detected for erucic acid content, and the peak SNPs were found to be only 233 and 128 kb away from the key genes BnaA.FAE1 and BnaC.FAE1. BnaA.FAE1 was also identified to be significantly associated with the oil content. Orthologues of Arabidopsis thaliana HAG1 were identified close to four clusters of SNPs associated with glucosinolate content on A9, C2, C7 and C9. For seed weight, we detected two association signals on A7 and A9, which were consistent with previous studies of quantitative trait loci mapping. The results indicate that our association mapping approach is suitable for fine mapping of the complex traits in rapeseed.
PMCID: PMC4131830  PMID: 24510440
Brassica napus; association mapping; SNP; seed quality; seed weight
7.  Genome-wide comparative analysis of NBS-encoding genes between Brassica species and Arabidopsis thaliana 
BMC Genomics  2014;15:3.
Plant disease resistance (R) genes with the nucleotide binding site (NBS) play an important role in offering resistance to pathogens. The availability of complete genome sequences of Brassica oleracea and Brassica rapa provides an important opportunity for researchers to identify and characterize NBS-encoding R genes in Brassica species and to compare with analogues in Arabidopsis thaliana based on a comparative genomics approach. However, little is known about the evolutionary fate of NBS-encoding genes in the Brassica lineage after split from A. thaliana.
Here we present genome-wide analysis of NBS-encoding genes in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana. Through the employment of HMM search and manual curation, we identified 157, 206 and 167 NBS-encoding genes in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis among 3 species classified NBS-encoding genes into 6 subgroups. Tandem duplication and whole genome triplication (WGT) analyses revealed that after WGT of the Brassica ancestor, NBS-encoding homologous gene pairs on triplicated regions in Brassica ancestor were deleted or lost quickly, but NBS-encoding genes in Brassica species experienced species-specific gene amplification by tandem duplication after divergence of B. rapa and B. oleracea. Expression profiling of NBS-encoding orthologous gene pairs indicated the differential expression pattern of retained orthologous gene copies in B. oleracea and B. rapa. Furthermore, evolutionary analysis of CNL type NBS-encoding orthologous gene pairs among 3 species suggested that orthologous genes in B. rapa species have undergone stronger negative selection than those in B .oleracea species. But for TNL type, there are no significant differences in the orthologous gene pairs between the two species.
This study is first identification and characterization of NBS-encoding genes in B. rapa and B. oleracea based on whole genome sequences. Through tandem duplication and whole genome triplication analysis in B. oleracea, B. rapa and A. thaliana genomes, our study provides insight into the evolutionary history of NBS-encoding genes after divergence of A. thaliana and the Brassica lineage. These results together with expression pattern analysis of NBS-encoding orthologous genes provide useful resource for functional characterization of these genes and genetic improvement of relevant crops.
PMCID: PMC4008172  PMID: 24383931
Brassica species; Disease resistance gene; Nucleotide binding site; Tandem duplication; Whole genome duplication
8.  Identification of genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms in allopolyploid crop Brassica napus 
BMC Genomics  2013;14(1):717.
Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are the most common type of genetic variation. Identification of large numbers of SNPs is helpful for genetic diversity analysis, map-based cloning, genome-wide association analyses and marker-assisted breeding. Recently, identifying genome-wide SNPs in allopolyploid Brassica napus (rapeseed, canola) by resequencing many accessions has become feasible, due to the availability of reference genomes of Brassica rapa (2n = AA) and Brassica oleracea (2n = CC), which are the progenitor species of B. napus (2n = AACC). Although many SNPs in B. napus have been released, the objective in the present study was to produce a larger, more informative set of SNPs for large-scale and efficient genotypic screening. Hence, short-read genome sequencing was conducted on ten elite B. napus accessions for SNP discovery. A subset of these SNPs was randomly selected for sequence validation and for genotyping efficiency testing using the Illumina GoldenGate assay.
A total of 892,536 bi-allelic SNPs were discovered throughout the B. napus genome. A total of 36,458 putative amino acid variants were located in 13,552 protein-coding genes, which were predicted to have enriched binding and catalytic activity as a result. Using the GoldenGate genotyping platform, 94 of 96 SNPs sampled could effectively distinguish genotypes of 130 lines from two mapping populations, with an average call rate of 92%.
Despite the polyploid nature of B. napus, nearly 900,000 simple SNPs were identified by whole genome resequencing. These SNPs were predicted to be effective in high-throughput genotyping assays (51% polymorphic SNPs, 92% average call rate using the GoldenGate assay, leading to an estimated >450 000 useful SNPs). Hence, the development of a much larger genotyping array of informative SNPs is feasible. SNPs identified in this study to cause non-synonymous amino acid substitutions can also be utilized to directly identify causal genes in association studies.
PMCID: PMC4046652  PMID: 24138473
Brassica napus; Allopolyploid; Resequencing; Genotyping; GoldenGate; Non-synonymous SNP
9.  Genome-Wide Microsatellite Characterization and Marker Development in the Sequenced Brassica Crop Species 
Although much research has been conducted, the pattern of microsatellite distribution has remained ambiguous, and the development/utilization of microsatellite markers has still been limited/inefficient in Brassica, due to the lack of genome sequences. In view of this, we conducted genome-wide microsatellite characterization and marker development in three recently sequenced Brassica crops: Brassica rapa, Brassica oleracea and Brassica napus. The analysed microsatellite characteristics of these Brassica species were highly similar or almost identical, which suggests that the pattern of microsatellite distribution is likely conservative in Brassica. The genomic distribution of microsatellites was highly non-uniform and positively or negatively correlated with genes or transposable elements, respectively. Of the total of 115 869, 185 662 and 356 522 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers developed with high frequencies (408.2, 343.8 and 356.2 per Mb or one every 2.45, 2.91 and 2.81 kb, respectively), most represented new SSR markers, the majority had determined physical positions, and a large number were genic or putative single-locus SSR markers. We also constructed a comprehensive database for the newly developed SSR markers, which was integrated with public Brassica SSR markers and annotated genome components. The genome-wide SSR markers developed in this study provide a useful tool to extend the annotated genome resources of sequenced Brassica species to genetic study/breeding in different Brassica species.
PMCID: PMC3925394  PMID: 24130371
brassica; microsatellite; distribution; marker; database
10.  Comprehensive analysis of RNA-seq data reveals the complexity of the transcriptome in Brassica rapa 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:689.
The species Brassica rapa (2n=20, AA) is an important vegetable and oilseed crop, and serves as an excellent model for genomic and evolutionary research in Brassica species. With the availability of whole genome sequence of B. rapa, it is essential to further determine the activity of all functional elements of the B. rapa genome and explore the transcriptome on a genome-wide scale. Here, RNA-seq data was employed to provide a genome-wide transcriptional landscape and characterization of the annotated and novel transcripts and alternative splicing events across tissues.
RNA-seq reads were generated using the Illumina platform from six different tissues (root, stem, leaf, flower, silique and callus) of the B. rapa accession Chiifu-401-42, the same line used for whole genome sequencing. First, these data detected the widespread transcription of the B. rapa genome, leading to the identification of numerous novel transcripts and definition of 5'/3' UTRs of known genes. Second, 78.8% of the total annotated genes were detected as expressed and 45.8% were constitutively expressed across all tissues. We further defined several groups of genes: housekeeping genes, tissue-specific expressed genes and co-expressed genes across tissues, which will serve as a valuable repository for future crop functional genomics research. Third, alternative splicing (AS) is estimated to occur in more than 29.4% of intron-containing B. rapa genes, and 65% of them were commonly detected in more than two tissues. Interestingly, genes with high rate of AS were over-represented in GO categories relating to transcriptional regulation and signal transduction, suggesting potential importance of AS for playing regulatory role in these genes. Further, we observed that intron retention (IR) is predominant in the AS events and seems to preferentially occurred in genes with short introns.
The high-resolution RNA-seq analysis provides a global transcriptional landscape as a complement to the B. rapa genome sequence, which will advance our understanding of the dynamics and complexity of the B. rapa transcriptome. The atlas of gene expression in different tissues will be useful for accelerating research on functional genomics and genome evolution in Brassica species.
PMCID: PMC3853194  PMID: 24098974
Brassica rapa; RNA-seq; Alternative splicing; Transcriptome
11.  Bolbase: a comprehensive genomics database for Brassica oleracea 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:664.
Brassica oleracea is a morphologically diverse species in the family Brassicaceae and contains a group of nutrition-rich vegetable crops, including common heading cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, kale, Brussels sprouts. This diversity along with its phylogenetic membership in a group of three diploid and three tetraploid species, and the recent availability of genome sequences within Brassica provide an unprecedented opportunity to study intra- and inter-species divergence and evolution in this species and its close relatives.
We have developed a comprehensive database, Bolbase, which provides access to the B. oleracea genome data and comparative genomics information. The whole genome of B. oleracea is available, including nine fully assembled chromosomes and 1,848 scaffolds, with 45,758 predicted genes, 13,382 transposable elements, and 3,581 non-coding RNAs. Comparative genomics information is available, including syntenic regions among B. oleracea, Brassica rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana, synonymous (Ks) and non-synonymous (Ka) substitution rates between orthologous gene pairs, gene families or clusters, and differences in quantity, category, and distribution of transposable elements on chromosomes. Bolbase provides useful search and data mining tools, including a keyword search, a local BLAST server, and a customized GBrowse tool, which can be used to extract annotations of genome components, identify similar sequences and visualize syntenic regions among species. Users can download all genomic data and explore comparative genomics in a highly visual setting.
Bolbase is the first resource platform for the B. oleracea genome and for genomic comparisons with its relatives, and thus it will help the research community to better study the function and evolution of Brassica genomes as well as enhance molecular breeding research. This database will be updated regularly with new features, improvements to genome annotation, and new genomic sequences as they become available. Bolbase is freely available at
PMCID: PMC3849793  PMID: 24079801
Brassica oleracea; Database; Genome sequence; Synteny; Comparative genomics
12.  Evolutionary Dynamics of Microsatellite Distribution in Plants: Insight from the Comparison of Sequenced Brassica, Arabidopsis and Other Angiosperm Species 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e59988.
Despite their ubiquity and functional importance, microsatellites have been largely ignored in comparative genomics, mostly due to the lack of genomic information. In the current study, microsatellite distribution was characterized and compared in the whole genomes and both the coding and non-coding DNA sequences of the sequenced Brassica, Arabidopsis and other angiosperm species to investigate their evolutionary dynamics in plants. The variation in the microsatellite frequencies of these angiosperm species was much smaller than those for their microsatellite numbers and genome sizes, suggesting that microsatellite frequency may be relatively stable in plants. The microsatellite frequencies of these angiosperm species were significantly negatively correlated with both their genome sizes and transposable elements contents. The pattern of microsatellite distribution may differ according to the different genomic regions (such as coding and non-coding sequences). The observed differences in many important microsatellite characteristics (especially the distribution with respect to motif length, type and repeat number) of these angiosperm species were generally accordant with their phylogenetic distance, which suggested that the evolutionary dynamics of microsatellite distribution may be generally consistent with plant divergence/evolution. Importantly, by comparing these microsatellite characteristics (especially the distribution with respect to motif type) the angiosperm species (aside from a few species) all clustered into two obviously different groups that were largely represented by monocots and dicots, suggesting a complex and generally dichotomous evolutionary pattern of microsatellite distribution in angiosperms. Polyploidy may lead to a slight increase in microsatellite frequency in the coding sequences and a significant decrease in microsatellite frequency in the whole genome/non-coding sequences, but have little effect on the microsatellite distribution with respect to motif length, type and repeat number. Interestingly, several microsatellite characteristics seemed to be constant in plant evolution, which can be well explained by the general biological rules.
PMCID: PMC3610691  PMID: 23555856
13.  Construction and analysis of a high-density genetic linkage map in cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. var. capitata) 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:523.
Brassica oleracea encompass a family of vegetables and cabbage that are among the most widely cultivated crops. In 2009, the B. oleracea Genome Sequencing Project was launched using next generation sequencing technology. None of the available maps were detailed enough to anchor the sequence scaffolds for the Genome Sequencing Project. This report describes the development of a large number of SSR and SNP markers from the whole genome shotgun sequence data of B. oleracea, and the construction of a high-density genetic linkage map using a double haploid mapping population.
The B. oleracea high-density genetic linkage map that was constructed includes 1,227 markers in nine linkage groups spanning a total of 1197.9 cM with an average of 0.98 cM between adjacent loci. There were 602 SSR markers and 625 SNP markers on the map. The chromosome with the highest number of markers (186) was C03, and the chromosome with smallest number of markers (99) was C09.
This first high-density map allowed the assembled scaffolds to be anchored to pseudochromosomes. The map also provides useful information for positional cloning, molecular breeding, and integration of information of genes and traits in B. oleracea. All the markers on the map will be transferable and could be used for the construction of other genetic maps.
PMCID: PMC3542169  PMID: 23033896
Cabbage; Brassica; Genetic linkage map; SSR; SNP; Genome
14.  An improved allele-specific PCR primer design method for SNP marker analysis and its application 
Plant Methods  2012;8:34.
Although Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) marker is an invaluable tool for positional cloning, association study and evolutionary analysis, low SNP detection efficiency by Allele-Specific PCR (AS-PCR) still restricts its application as molecular marker like other markers such as Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR). To overcome this problem, primers with a single nucleotide artificial mismatch introduced within the three bases closest to the 3’end (SNP site) have been used in AS-PCR. However, for one SNP site, nine possible mismatches can be generated among the three bases and how to select the right one to increase primer specificity is still a challenge.
In this study, different from the previous reports which used a limited quantity of primers randomly (several or dozen pairs), we systematically investigated the effects of mismatch base pairs, mismatch sites and SNP types on primer specificity with 2071 primer pairs, which were designed based on SNPs from Brassica oleracea 01-88 and 02-12. According to the statistical results, we (1) found that the primers designed with SNP (A/T), in which the mismatch (CA) in the 3rd nucleotide from the 3’ end, had the highest allele-specificity (81.9%). This information could be used when designing primers from a large quantity of SNP sites; (2) performed the primer design principle which forms the one and only best primer for every SNP type. This is never reported in previous studies. Additionally, we further identified its availability in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) and sesame (Sesamum indicum). High polymorphism percent (75%) of the designed primers indicated it is a general method and can be applied in other species.
The method provided in this study can generate primers more effectively for every SNP site compared to other AS-PCR primer design methods. The high allele-specific efficiency of the SNP primer allows the feasibility for low- to moderate- throughput SNP analyses and is much suitable for gene mapping, map-based cloning, and marker-assisted selection in crops.
PMCID: PMC3495711  PMID: 22920499
SNP; AS-PCR; Mismatch; Polymorphism; Destabilization
15.  A novel PCR-based method for high throughput prokaryotic expression of antimicrobial peptide genes 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:10.
To facilitate the screening of large quantities of new antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), we describe a cost-effective method for high throughput prokaryotic expression of AMPs. EDDIE, an autoproteolytic mutant of the N-terminal autoprotease, Npro, from classical swine fever virus, was selected as a fusion protein partner. The expression system was used for high-level expression of six antimicrobial peptides with different sizes: Bombinin-like peptide 7, Temporin G, hexapeptide, Combi-1, human Histatin 9, and human Histatin 6. These expressed AMPs were purified and evaluated for antimicrobial activity.
Two or four primers were used to synthesize each AMP gene in a single step PCR. Each synthetic gene was then cloned into the pET30a/His-EDDIE-GFP vector via an in vivo recombination strategy. Each AMP was then expressed as an Npro fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The expressed fusion proteins existed as inclusion bodies in the cytoplasm and the expression levels of the six AMPs reached up to 40% of the total cell protein content. On in vitro refolding, the fusion AMPs was released from the C-terminal end of the autoprotease by self-cleavage, leaving AMPs with an authentic N terminus. The released fusion partner was easily purified by Ni-NTA chromatography. All recombinant AMPs displayed expected antimicrobial activity against E. coli, Micrococcus luteus and S. cerevisia.
The method described in this report allows the fast synthesis of genes that are optimized for over-expression in E. coli and for the production of sufficiently large amounts of peptides for functional and structural characterization. The Npro partner system, without the need for chemical or enzymatic removal of the fusion tag, is a low-cost, efficient way of producing AMPs for characterization. The cloning method, combined with bioinformatic analyses from genome and EST sequence data, will also be useful for screening new AMPs. Plasmid pET30a/His-EDDIE-GFP also provides green/white colony selection for high-throughput recombinant AMP cloning.
PMCID: PMC3350388  PMID: 22439858
antimicrobial peptide; high throughput; Npro; prokaryotic expression
16.  Analysis of expression sequence tags from a full-length-enriched cDNA library of developing sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:180.
Sesame (Sesamum indicum) is one of the most important oilseed crops with high oil contents and rich nutrient value. However, genetic improvement efforts in sesame could not get benefit from molecular biology technology due to poor DNA and RNA sequence resources. In this study, we carried out a large scale of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) sequencing from developing sesame seeds and further conducted analysis on seed storage products-related genes.
A normalized and full-length enriched cDNA library from 5 ~ 30 days old immature seeds was constructed and randomly sequenced, leading to generation of 41,248 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) which then formed 4,713 contigs and 27,708 singletons with 44.9% uniESTs being putative full-length open reading frames. Approximately 26,091 of all these uniESTs have significant matches to the counterparts in Nr database of GenBank, and 21,628 of them were assigned to one or more Gene ontology (GO) terms. Homologous genes involved in oil biosynthesis were identified including some conservative transcription factors regulating oil biosynthesis such as LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (LEC1), PICKLE (PKL), WRINKLED1 (WRI1) and majority of them were found for the first time in sesame seeds. One hundred and 17 ESTs were identified possibly involved in biosynthesis of sesame lignans, sesamin and sesamolin. In total, 9,347 putative functional genes from developing seeds were identified, which accounts for one third of total genes in the sesame genome. Further analysis of the uniESTs identified 1,949 non-redundant simple sequence repeats (SSRs).
This study has provided an overview of genes expressed during sesame seed development. This collection of sesame full-length cDNAs covered a wide variety of genes in seeds, in particular, candidate genes involved in biosynthesis of sesame oils and lignans. These EST sequences enriched with full length will contribute to comparative genomic studies on sesame and other oilseed plants and serve as an abundant information platform for functional marker development and functional gene study.
PMCID: PMC3311628  PMID: 22195973
17.  BRAD, the genetics and genomics database for Brassica plants 
BMC Plant Biology  2011;11:136.
Brassica species include both vegetable and oilseed crops, which are very important to the daily life of common human beings. Meanwhile, the Brassica species represent an excellent system for studying numerous aspects of plant biology, specifically for the analysis of genome evolution following polyploidy, so it is also very important for scientific research. Now, the genome of Brassica rapa has already been assembled, it is the time to do deep mining of the genome data.
BRAD, the Brassica database, is a web-based resource focusing on genome scale genetic and genomic data for important Brassica crops. BRAD was built based on the first whole genome sequence and on further data analysis of the Brassica A genome species, Brassica rapa (Chiifu-401-42). It provides datasets, such as the complete genome sequence of B. rapa, which was de novo assembled from Illumina GA II short reads and from BAC clone sequences, predicted genes and associated annotations, non coding RNAs, transposable elements (TE), B. rapa genes' orthologous to those in A. thaliana, as well as genetic markers and linkage maps. BRAD offers useful searching and data mining tools, including search across annotation datasets, search for syntenic or non-syntenic orthologs, and to search the flanking regions of a certain target, as well as the tools of BLAST and Gbrowse. BRAD allows users to enter almost any kind of information, such as a B. rapa or A. thaliana gene ID, physical position or genetic marker.
BRAD, a new database which focuses on the genetics and genomics of the Brassica plants has been developed, it aims at helping scientists and breeders to fully and efficiently use the information of genome data of Brassica plants. BRAD will be continuously updated and can be accessed through
PMCID: PMC3213011  PMID: 21995777
18.  The Brassica oleracea genome reveals the asymmetrical evolution of polyploid genomes 
Nature Communications  2014;5:3930.
Polyploidization has provided much genetic variation for plant adaptive evolution, but the mechanisms by which the molecular evolution of polyploid genomes establishes genetic architecture underlying species differentiation are unclear. Brassica is an ideal model to increase knowledge of polyploid evolution. Here we describe a draft genome sequence of Brassica oleracea, comparing it with that of its sister species B. rapa to reveal numerous chromosome rearrangements and asymmetrical gene loss in duplicated genomic blocks, asymmetrical amplification of transposable elements, differential gene co-retention for specific pathways and variation in gene expression, including alternative splicing, among a large number of paralogous and orthologous genes. Genes related to the production of anticancer phytochemicals and morphological variations illustrate consequences of genome duplication and gene divergence, imparting biochemical and morphological variation to B. oleracea. This study provides insights into Brassica genome evolution and will underpin research into the many important crops in this genus.
Brassica oleracea is plant species comprising economically important vegetable crops. Here, the authors report the draft genome sequence of B. oleracea and, through a comparative analysis with the closely related B. rapa, reveal insights into Brassica evolution and divergence of interspecific genomes and intraspecific subgenomes.
PMCID: PMC4279128  PMID: 24852848

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