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1.  Detrimental and Neutral Effects of a Wild Grass-Fungal Endophyte Symbiotum on Insect Preference and Performance 
Seed-borne Epichloë/Neotyphodium Glenn, Bacon, Hanlin (Ascomycota: Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae) fungal endophytes in temperate grasses can provide protection against insect attack with the degree of host resistance related to the grass—endophyte symbiotum and the insect species involved in an interaction. Few experimental studies with wild grass—endophyte symbiota, compared to endophyte-infected agricultural grasses, have tested for anti-insect benefits, let alone for resistance against more than one insect species. This study quantified the preference and performance of the bird cherry oat-aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and the cereal leaf beetle, Oulema melanopus (L.) (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae), two important pests of forage and cereal grasses, on Neotyphodium-infected (E+) and uninfected (E-) plants of the wild grass Alpine timothy, Phleum alpinum L. (Poales: Poaceae). The experiments tested for both constitutive and wound-induced resistance in E+ plants to characterize possible plasticity of defense responses by a wild E+ grass. The aphid, R. padi preferred E- over E+ test plants in choice experiments and E+ undamaged test plants constitutively expressed antibiosis resistance to this aphid by suppressing population growth. Prior damage of E+ test plants did not induce higher levels of resistance to R. padi. By contrast, the beetle, O. melanopus showed no preference for E+ or E- test plants and endophyte infection did not adversely affect the survival and development of larvae. These results extend the phenomenon of variable effects of E+ wild grasses on the preference and performance of phytophagous insects. The wild grass— Neotyphodium symbiotum in this study broadens the number of wild E+ grasses available for expanded explorations into the effects of endophyte metabolites on insect herbivory.
PMCID: PMC3281469  PMID: 21867443
Aphididae; Chrysomelidae; grass endophyte; insect herbivory; host-plant resistance; Oulema melanopus; Rhopalosiphum padi; wild grass Phleum alpinum
2.  Expression profiling and integrative analysis of the CESA/CSL superfamily in rice 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:282.
The cellulose synthase and cellulose synthase-like gene superfamily (CESA/CSL) is proposed to encode enzymes for cellulose and non-cellulosic matrix polysaccharide synthesis in plants. Although the rice (Oryza sativa L.) genome has been sequenced for a few years, the global expression profiling patterns and functions of the OsCESA/CSL superfamily remain largely unknown.
A total of 45 identified members of OsCESA/CSL were classified into two clusters based on phylogeny and motif constitution. Duplication events contributed largely to the expansion of this superfamily, with Cluster I and II mainly attributed to tandem and segmental duplication, respectively. With microarray data of 33 tissue samples covering the entire life cycle of rice, fairly high OsCESA gene expression and rather variable OsCSL expression were observed. While some members from each CSL family (A1, C9, D2, E1, F6 and H1) were expressed in all tissues examined, many of OsCSL genes were expressed in specific tissues (stamen and radicles). The expression pattern of OsCESA/CSL and OsBC1L which extensively co-expressed with OsCESA/CSL can be divided into three major groups with ten subgroups, each showing a distinct co-expression in tissues representing typically distinct cell wall constitutions. In particular, OsCESA1, -3 & -8 and OsCESA4, -7 & -9 were strongly co-expressed in tissues typical of primary and secondary cell walls, suggesting that they form as a cellulose synthase complex; these results are similar to the findings in Arabidopsis. OsCESA5/OsCESA6 is likely partially redundant with OsCESA3 for OsCESA complex organization in the specific tissues (plumule and radicle). Moreover, the phylogenetic comparison in rice, Arabidopsis and other species can provide clues for the prediction of orthologous gene expression patterns.
The study characterized the CESA/CSL of rice using an integrated approach comprised of phylogeny, transcriptional profiling and co-expression analyses. These investigations revealed very useful clues on the major roles of CESA/CSL, their potentially functional complement and their associations for appropriate cell wall synthesis in higher plants.
PMCID: PMC3022907  PMID: 21167079

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