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1.  RNA sequencing-mediated transcriptome analysis of rice plants in endoplasmic reticulum stress conditions 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:101.
The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response is widely known to function in eukaryotes to maintain the homeostasis of the ER when unfolded or misfolded proteins are overloaded in the ER. To understand the molecular mechanisms of the ER stress response in rice (Oryza sativa L.), we previously analyzed the expression profile of stably transformed rice in which an ER stress sensor/transducer OsIRE1 was knocked-down, using the combination of preliminary microarray and quantitative RT-PCR. In this study, to obtain more detailed expression profiles of genes involved in the initial stages of the ER stress response in rice, we performed RNA sequencing of wild-type and transgenic rice plants produced by homologous recombination in which endogenous genomic OsIRE1 was replaced by missense alleles defective in ribonuclease activity.
At least 38,076 transcripts were investigated by RNA sequencing, 380 of which responded to ER stress at a statistically significant level (195 were upregulated and 185 were downregulated). Furthermore, we successfully identified 17 genes from the set of 380 ER stress-responsive genes that were not included in the probe set of the currently available microarray chip in rice. Notably, three of these 17 genes were non-annotated genes, even in the latest version of the Rice Annotation Project Data Base (RAP-DB, version IRGSP-1.0).
Therefore, RNA sequencing-mediated expression profiling provided valuable information about the ER stress response in rice plants and led to the discovery of new genes related to ER stress.
PMCID: PMC4021347  PMID: 24742282
Gene targeting; ER stress response; Microarray; Oryza sativa L; RNA sequencing; Transcriptome
2.  Genome-wide expression analysis of reactive oxygen species gene network in Mizuna plants grown in long-term spaceflight 
BMC Plant Biology  2014;14:4.
Spaceflight environment have been shown to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induce oxidative stress in plants, but little is known about the gene expression of the ROS gene network in plants grown in long-term spaceflight. The molecular response and adaptation to the spaceflight environment of Mizuna plants harvested after 27 days of cultivation onboard the International Space Station (ISS) were measured using genome-wide mRNA expression analysis (mRNA-Seq).
Total reads of transcripts from the Mizuna grown in the ISS as well as on the ground by mRNA-Seq showed 8,258 and 14,170 transcripts up-regulated and down-regulated, respectively, in the space-grown Mizuna when compared with those from the ground-grown Mizuna. A total of 20 in 32 ROS oxidative marker genes were up-regulated, including high expression of four hallmarks, and preferentially expressed genes associated with ROS-scavenging including thioredoxin, glutaredoxin, and alternative oxidase genes. In the transcription factors of the ROS gene network, MEKK1-MKK4-MPK3, OXI1-MKK4-MPK3, and OXI1-MPK3 of MAP cascades, induction of WRKY22 by MEKK1-MKK4-MPK3 cascade, induction of WRKY25 and repression of Zat7 by Zat12 were suggested. RbohD and RbohF genes were up-regulated preferentially in NADPH oxidase genes, which produce ROS.
This large-scale transcriptome analysis revealed that the spaceflight environment induced oxidative stress and the ROS gene network activation in the space-grown Mizuna. Among transcripts altered in expression by space conditions, some were common genes response to abiotic and biotic stress. Furthermore, certain genes were exclusively up-regulated in Mizuna grown on the ISS. Surprisingly, Mizuna grew in space normally, as well as on the ground, demonstrating that plants can acclimate to long-term exposure in the spaceflight environment by reprogramming the expression of the ROS gene network.
PMCID: PMC3927260  PMID: 24393219
mRNA-Seq; Next generation sequencing; Transcriptome; Mizuna; Reactive oxygen species; International Space Station; Spaceflight
3.  Global transcriptome analysis reveals distinct expression among duplicated genes during sorghum-interaction 
BMC Plant Biology  2012;12:121.
Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) is a rich source of natural phytochemicals. We performed massive parallel sequencing of mRNA to identify differentially expressed genes after sorghum BTx623 had been infected with Bipolaris sorghicola, a necrotrophic fungus causing a sorghum disease called target leaf spot.
Seventy-six-base-pair reads from mRNAs of mock- or pathogen-infected leaves were sequenced. Unannotated transcripts were predicted on the basis of the piling-up of mapped short reads. Differentially expressed genes were identified statistically; particular genes in tandemly duplicated putative paralogs were highly upregulated. Pathogen infection activated the glyoxylate shunt in the TCA cycle; this changes the role of the TCA cycle from energy production to synthesis of cell components. The secondary metabolic pathways of phytoalexin synthesis and of sulfur-dependent detoxification were activated by upregulation of the genes encoding amino acid metabolizing enzymes located at the branch point between primary and secondary metabolism. Coordinated gene expression could guide the metabolic pathway for accumulation of the sorghum-specific phytochemicals 3-deoxyanthocyanidin and dhurrin. Key enzymes for synthesizing these sorghum-specific phytochemicals were not found in the corresponding region of the rice genome.
Pathogen infection dramatically changed the expression of particular paralogs that putatively encode enzymes involved in the sorghum-specific metabolic network.
PMCID: PMC3480847  PMID: 22838966
4.  Repetitive part of the banana (Musa acuminata) genome investigated by low-depth 454 sequencing 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:204.
Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.) are grown in more than a hundred tropical and subtropical countries and provide staple food for hundreds of millions of people. They are seed-sterile crops propagated clonally and this makes them vulnerable to a rapid spread of devastating diseases and at the same time hampers breeding improved cultivars. Although the socio-economic importance of bananas and plantains cannot be overestimated, they remain outside the focus of major research programs. This slows down the study of nuclear genome and the development of molecular tools to facilitate banana improvement.
In this work, we report on the first thorough characterization of the repeat component of the banana (M. acuminata cv. 'Calcutta 4') genome. Analysis of almost 100 Mb of sequence data (0.15× genome coverage) permitted partial sequence reconstruction and characterization of repetitive DNA, making up about 30% of the genome. The results showed that the banana repeats are predominantly made of various types of Ty1/copia and Ty3/gypsy retroelements representing 16 and 7% of the genome respectively. On the other hand, DNA transposons were found to be rare. In addition to new families of transposable elements, two new satellite repeats were discovered and found useful as cytogenetic markers. To help in banana sequence annotation, a specific Musa repeat database was created, and its utility was demonstrated by analyzing the repeat composition of 62 genomic BAC clones.
A low-depth 454 sequencing of banana nuclear genome provided the largest amount of DNA sequence data available until now for Musa and permitted reconstruction of most of the major types of DNA repeats. The information obtained in this study improves the knowledge of the long-range organization of banana chromosomes, and provides sequence resources needed for repeat masking and annotation during the Musa genome sequencing project. It also provides sequence data for isolation of DNA markers to be used in genetic diversity studies and in marker-assisted selection.
PMCID: PMC2956553  PMID: 20846365
5.  Mechanisms of haplotype divergence at the RGA08 nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat gene locus in wild banana (Musa balbisiana) 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:149.
Comparative sequence analysis of complex loci such as resistance gene analog clusters allows estimating the degree of sequence conservation and mechanisms of divergence at the intraspecies level. In banana (Musa sp.), two diploid wild species Musa acuminata (A genome) and Musa balbisiana (B genome) contribute to the polyploid genome of many cultivars. The M. balbisiana species is associated with vigour and tolerance to pests and disease and little is known on the genome structure and haplotype diversity within this species. Here, we compare two genomic sequences of 253 and 223 kb corresponding to two haplotypes of the RGA08 resistance gene analog locus in M. balbisiana "Pisang Klutuk Wulung" (PKW).
Sequence comparison revealed two regions of contrasting features. The first is a highly colinear gene-rich region where the two haplotypes diverge only by single nucleotide polymorphisms and two repetitive element insertions. The second corresponds to a large cluster of RGA08 genes, with 13 and 18 predicted RGA genes and pseudogenes spread over 131 and 152 kb respectively on each haplotype. The RGA08 cluster is enriched in repetitive element insertions, in duplicated non-coding intergenic sequences including low complexity regions and shows structural variations between haplotypes. Although some allelic relationships are retained, a large diversity of RGA08 genes occurs in this single M. balbisiana genotype, with several RGA08 paralogs specific to each haplotype. The RGA08 gene family has evolved by mechanisms of unequal recombination, intragenic sequence exchange and diversifying selection. An unequal recombination event taking place between duplicated non-coding intergenic sequences resulted in a different RGA08 gene content between haplotypes pointing out the role of such duplicated regions in the evolution of RGA clusters. Based on the synonymous substitution rate in coding sequences, we estimated a 1 million year divergence time for these M. balbisiana haplotypes.
A large RGA08 gene cluster identified in wild banana corresponds to a highly variable genomic region between haplotypes surrounded by conserved flanking regions. High level of sequence identity (70 to 99%) of the genic and intergenic regions suggests a recent and rapid evolution of this cluster in M. balbisiana.
PMCID: PMC3017797  PMID: 20637079
6.  A saturated SSR/DArT linkage map of Musa acuminata addressing genome rearrangements among bananas 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:65.
The genus Musa is a large species complex which includes cultivars at diploid and triploid levels. These sterile and vegetatively propagated cultivars are based on the A genome from Musa acuminata, exclusively for sweet bananas such as Cavendish, or associated with the B genome (Musa balbisiana) in cooking bananas such as Plantain varieties. In M. acuminata cultivars, structural heterozygosity is thought to be one of the main causes of sterility, which is essential for obtaining seedless fruits but hampers breeding. Only partial genetic maps are presently available due to chromosomal rearrangements within the parents of the mapping populations. This causes large segregation distortions inducing pseudo-linkages and difficulties in ordering markers in the linkage groups. The present study aims at producing a saturated linkage map of M. acuminata, taking into account hypotheses on the structural heterozygosity of the parents.
An F1 progeny of 180 individuals was obtained from a cross between two genetically distant accessions of M. acuminata, 'Borneo' and 'Pisang Lilin' (P. Lilin). Based on the gametic recombination of each parent, two parental maps composed of SSR and DArT markers were established. A significant proportion of the markers (21.7%) deviated (p < 0.05) from the expected Mendelian ratios. These skewed markers were distributed in different linkage groups for each parent. To solve some complex ordering of the markers on linkage groups, we associated tools such as tree-like graphic representations, recombination frequency statistics and cytogenetical studies to identify structural rearrangements and build parsimonious linkage group order. An illustration of such an approach is given for the P. Lilin parent.
We propose a synthetic map with 11 linkage groups containing 489 markers (167 SSRs and 322 DArTs) covering 1197 cM. This first saturated map is proposed as a "reference Musa map" for further analyses. We also propose two complete parental maps with interpretations of structural rearrangements localized on the linkage groups. The structural heterozygosity in P. Lilin is hypothesized to result from a duplication likely accompanied by an inversion on another chromosome. This paper also illustrates a methodological approach, transferable to other species, to investigate the mapping of structural rearrangements and determine their consequences on marker segregation.
PMCID: PMC2923539  PMID: 20388207

Results 1-6 (6)