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author:("Murat, floret")
1.  The oak gene expression atlas: insights into Fagaceae genome evolution and the discovery of genes regulated during bud dormancy release 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):112.
Many northern-hemisphere forests are dominated by oaks. These species extend over diverse environmental conditions and are thus interesting models for studies of plant adaptation and speciation. The genomic toolbox is an important asset for exploring the functional variation associated with natural selection.
The assembly of previously available and newly developed long and short sequence reads for two sympatric oak species, Quercus robur and Quercus petraea, generated a comprehensive catalog of transcripts for oak. The functional annotation of 91 k contigs demonstrated the presence of a large proportion of plant genes in this unigene set. Comparisons with SwissProt accessions and five plant gene models revealed orthologous relationships, making it possible to decipher the evolution of the oak genome. In particular, it was possible to align 9.5 thousand oak coding sequences with the equivalent sequences on peach chromosomes. Finally, RNA-seq data shed new light on the gene networks underlying vegetative bud dormancy release, a key stage in development allowing plants to adapt their phenology to the environment.
In addition to providing a vast array of expressed genes, this study generated essential information about oak genome evolution and the regulation of genes associated with vegetative bud phenology, an important adaptive traits in trees. This resource contributes to the annotation of the oak genome sequence and will provide support for forward genetics approaches aiming to link genotypes with adaptive phenotypes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1331-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4350297  PMID: 25765701
Oak; Transcriptome; de novo assembly; Comparative genomics; RNA-seq; Bud phenology
2.  GenomicusPlants: A Web Resource to Study Genome Evolution in Flowering Plants 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2014;56(1):e4.
Comparative genomics combined with phylogenetic reconstructions are powerful approaches to study the evolution of genes and genomes. However, the current rapid expansion of the volume of genomic information makes it increasingly difficult to interrogate, integrate and synthesize comparative genome data while taking into account the maximum breadth of information available. GenomicusPlants ( is an extension of the Genomicus webserver that addresses this issue by allowing users to explore flowering plant genomes in an intuitive way, across the broadest evolutionary scales. Extant genomes of 26 flowering plants can be analyzed, as well as 23 ancestral reconstructed genomes. Ancestral gene order provides a long-term chronological view of gene order evolution, greatly facilitating comparative genomics and evolutionary studies. Four main interfaces (‘views’) are available where: (i) PhyloView combines phylogenetic trees with comparisons of genomic loci across any number of genomes; (ii) AlignView projects loci of interest against all other genomes to visualize its topological conservation; (iii) MatrixView compares two genomes in a classical dotplot representation; and (iv) Karyoview visualizes chromosome karyotypes ‘painted’ with colours of another genome of interest. All four views are interconnected and benefit from many customizable features.
PMCID: PMC4301744  PMID: 25432975
Ancestral reconstruction; Evolution; Flowering plants; Genomics; Synteny
3.  Decoding Plant and Animal Genome Plasticity from Differential Paleo-Evolutionary Patterns and Processes 
Genome Biology and Evolution  2012;4(9):917-928.
Continuing advances in genome sequencing technologies and computational methods for comparative genomics currently allow inferring the evolutionary history of entire plant and animal genomes. Based on the comparison of the plant and animal genome paleohistory, major differences are unveiled in 1) evolutionary mechanisms (i.e., polyploidization versus diploidization processes), 2) genome conservation (i.e., coding versus noncoding sequence maintenance), and 3) modern genome architecture (i.e., genome organization including repeats expansion versus contraction phenomena). This article discusses how extant animal and plant genomes are the result of inherently different rates and modes of genome evolution resulting in relatively stable animal and much more dynamic and plastic plant genomes.
PMCID: PMC3516226  PMID: 22833223
synteny; duplication; evolution; genome; rearrangement; plasticity
4.  Deciphering the genomic structure, function and evolution of carotenogenesis related phytoene synthases in grasses 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:221.
Carotenoids are isoprenoid pigments, essential for photosynthesis and photoprotection in plants. The enzyme phytoene synthase (PSY) plays an essential role in mediating condensation of two geranylgeranyl diphosphate molecules, the first committed step in carotenogenesis. PSY are nuclear enzymes encoded by a small gene family consisting of three paralogous genes (PSY1-3) that have been widely characterized in rice, maize and sorghum.
In wheat, for which yellow pigment content is extremely important for flour colour, only PSY1 has been extensively studied because of its association with QTLs reported for yellow pigment whereas PSY2 has been partially characterized. Here, we report the isolation of bread wheat PSY3 genes from a Renan BAC library using Brachypodium as a model genome for the Triticeae to develop Conserved Orthologous Set markers prior to gene cloning and sequencing. Wheat PSY3 homoeologous genes were sequenced and annotated, unravelling their novel structure associated with intron-loss events and consequent exonic fusions. A wheat PSY3 promoter region was also investigated for the presence of cis-acting elements involved in the response to abscisic acid (ABA), since carotenoids also play an important role as precursors of signalling molecules devoted to plant development and biotic/abiotic stress responses. Expression of wheat PSYs in leaves and roots was investigated during ABA treatment to confirm the up-regulation of PSY3 during abiotic stress.
We investigated the structural and functional determinisms of PSY genes in wheat. More generally, among eudicots and monocots, the PSY gene family was found to be associated with differences in gene copy numbers, allowing us to propose an evolutionary model for the entire PSY gene family in Grasses.
PMCID: PMC3413518  PMID: 22672222
Carotenoids; Phytoene synthase; Wheat; Intron loss; Abiotic stress; Evolution
5.  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
6.  Bioinformatic analysis of ESTs collected by Sanger and pyrosequencing methods for a keystone forest tree species: oak 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:650.
The Fagaceae family comprises about 1,000 woody species worldwide. About half belong to the Quercus family. These oaks are often a source of raw material for biomass wood and fiber. Pedunculate and sessile oaks, are among the most important deciduous forest tree species in Europe. Despite their ecological and economical importance, very few genomic resources have yet been generated for these species. Here, we describe the development of an EST catalogue that will support ecosystem genomics studies, where geneticists, ecophysiologists, molecular biologists and ecologists join their efforts for understanding, monitoring and predicting functional genetic diversity.
We generated 145,827 sequence reads from 20 cDNA libraries using the Sanger method. Unexploitable chromatograms and quality checking lead us to eliminate 19,941 sequences. Finally a total of 125,925 ESTs were retained from 111,361 cDNA clones. Pyrosequencing was also conducted for 14 libraries, generating 1,948,579 reads, from which 370,566 sequences (19.0%) were eliminated, resulting in 1,578,192 sequences. Following clustering and assembly using TGICL pipeline, 1,704,117 EST sequences collapsed into 69,154 tentative contigs and 153,517 singletons, providing 222,671 non-redundant sequences (including alternative transcripts). We also assembled the sequences using MIRA and PartiGene software and compared the three unigene sets. Gene ontology annotation was then assigned to 29,303 unigene elements. Blast search against the SWISS-PROT database revealed putative homologs for 32,810 (14.7%) unigene elements, but more extensive search with Pfam, Refseq_protein, Refseq_RNA and eight gene indices revealed homology for 67.4% of them. The EST catalogue was examined for putative homologs of candidate genes involved in bud phenology, cuticle formation, phenylpropanoids biosynthesis and cell wall formation. Our results suggest a good coverage of genes involved in these traits. Comparative orthologous sequences (COS) with other plant gene models were identified and allow to unravel the oak paleo-history. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were searched, resulting in 52,834 SSRs and 36,411 SNPs. All of these are available through the Oak Contig Browser
This genomic resource provides a unique tool to discover genes of interest, study the oak transcriptome, and develop new markers to investigate functional diversity in natural populations.
PMCID: PMC3017864  PMID: 21092232

Results 1-6 (6)