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June 1, 2018

A comparative transcriptional landscape of maize and sorghum obtained by single-molecule sequencing.

Maize and sorghum are both important crops with similar overall plant architectures, but they have key differences, especially in regard to their inflorescences. To better understand these two organisms at the molecular level, we compared expression profiles of both protein-coding and noncoding transcripts in 11 matched tissues using single-molecule, long-read, deep RNA sequencing. This comparative analysis revealed large numbers of novel isoforms in both species. Evolutionarily young genes were likely to be generated in reproductive tissues and usually had fewer isoforms than old genes. We also observed similarities and differences in alternative splicing patterns and activities, both among tissues and…

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May 1, 2018

Increasing sorghum yields by seed treatment with an aqueous extract of the plant Eclipta alba may involve a dual mechanism of hydropriming and suppression of fungal pathogens

Background Soaking of sorghum seeds for six hours in an aqueous extract of Eclipta alba has been shown to increase the yield of sorghum in field experiments. The effect on yield is known to depend on field location and a mechanism involving pathogen suppression has been proposed. However, it has not been clear to which extent the same effect can be obtained by soaking of seeds in pure water (hydropriming). To address this question, fifty eight field tests were conducted comparing no treatment of seeds, hydropriming and treatment with plant extract. Experiments were distributed over three years in Burkina Faso…

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December 8, 2017

The genome sequence of Bipolaris cookei reveals mechanisms of pathogenesis underlying target leaf spot of sorghum.

Bipolaris cookei (=Bipolaris sorghicola) causes target leaf spot, one of the most prevalent foliar diseases of sorghum. Little is known about the molecular basis of pathogenesis in B. cookei, in large part due to a paucity of resources for molecular genetics, such as a reference genome. Here, a draft genome sequence of B. cookei was obtained and analyzed. A hybrid assembly strategy utilizing Illumina and Pacific Biosciences sequencing technologies produced a draft nuclear genome of 36.1?Mb, organized into 321 scaffolds with L50 of 31 and N50 of 378?kb, from which 11,189 genes were predicted. Additionally, a finished mitochondrial genome sequence…

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November 22, 2017

Global analysis of epigenetic regulation of gene expression in response to drought stress in Sorghum.

Abiotic stresses including drought are major limiting factors of crop yields and cause significant crop losses. Acquisition of stress tolerance to abiotic stresses requires coordinated regulation of a multitude of biochemical and physiological changes, and most of these changes depend on alterations in gene expression. The goal of this work is to perform global analysis of differential regulation of gene expression and alternative splicing, and their relationship with chromatin landscape in drought sensitive and tolerant cultivars. our Iso-Seq study revealed transcriptome-wide full-length isoforms at an unprecedented scale with over 11000 novel splice isoforms. Additionally, we uncovered alternative polyadenylation sites of…

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May 10, 2017

A comprehensive analysis of alternative splicing in paleopolyploid maize.

Identifying and characterizing alternative splicing (AS) enables our understanding of the biological role of transcript isoform diversity. This study describes the use of publicly available RNA-Seq data to identify and characterize the global diversity of AS isoforms in maize using the inbred lines B73 and Mo17, and a related species, sorghum. Identification and characterization of AS within maize tissues revealed that genes expressed in seed exhibit the largest differential AS relative to other tissues examined. Additionally, differences in AS between the two genotypes B73 and Mo17 are greatest within genes expressed in seed. We demonstrate that changes in the level…

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December 1, 2016

Meeting report: processing, translation, decay – three ways to keep RNA sizzling.

This meeting report highlights key trends that emerged from a conference entitled Post-Transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants, which was held 14-15 July 2016, as a satellite meeting of the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Austin, Texas. The molecular biology of RNA is emerging as an integral part of the framework for plants' responses to environmental challenges such as drought and heat, hypoxia, nutrient deprivation, light and pathogens. Moreover, the conference illustrated how a multitude of customized and pioneering omics-related technologies are being applied, more and more often in combination, to describe and dissect the complexities…

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June 24, 2016

A survey of the sorghum transcriptome using single-molecule long reads.

Alternative splicing and alternative polyadenylation (APA) of pre-mRNAs greatly contribute to transcriptome diversity, coding capacity of a genome and gene regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotes. Second-generation sequencing technologies have been extensively used to analyse transcriptomes. However, a major limitation of short-read data is that it is difficult to accurately predict full-length splice isoforms. Here we sequenced the sorghum transcriptome using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time long-read isoform sequencing and developed a pipeline called TAPIS (Transcriptome Analysis Pipeline for Isoform Sequencing) to identify full-length splice isoforms and APA sites. Our analysis reveals transcriptome-wide full-length isoforms at an unprecedented scale with over 11,000 novel…

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March 23, 2016

BAC-pool sequencing and assembly of 19 Mb of the complex sugarcane genome.

Sequencing plant genomes are often challenging because of their complex architecture and high content of repetitive sequences. Sugarcane has one of the most complex genomes. It is highly polyploid, preserves intact homeologous chromosomes from its parental species and contains >55% repetitive sequences. Although bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries have emerged as an alternative for accessing the sugarcane genome, sequencing individual clones is laborious and expensive. Here, we present a strategy for sequencing and assembly reads produced from the DNA of pooled BAC clones. A set of 178 BAC clones, randomly sampled from the SP80-3280 sugarcane BAC library, was pooled and…

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October 1, 2014

Association mapping, patterns of linkage disequilibrium and selection in the vicinity of the PHYTOCHROME C gene in pearl millet.

Linkage analysis confirmed the association in the region of PHYC in pearl millet. The comparison of genes found in this region suggests that PHYC is the best candidate. Major efforts are currently underway to dissect the phenotype-genotype relationship in plants and animals using existing populations. This method exploits historical recombinations accumulated in these populations. However, linkage disequilibrium sometimes extends over a relatively long distance, particularly in genomic regions containing polymorphisms that have been targets for selection. In this case, many genes in the region could be statistically associated with the trait shaped by the selected polymorphism. Statistical analyses could help…

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