September 22, 2019  |  

Differential expression analysis of olfactory genes based on a combination of sequencing platforms and behavioral investigations in Aphidius gifuensis.

Aphidius gifuensis Ashmead is a dominant endoparasitoid of aphids, such as Myzus persicae and Sitobion avenae, and plays an important role in controlling aphids in various habitats, including tobacco plants and wheat in China. A. gifuensis has been successfully applied for the biological control of aphids, especially M. persicae, in green houses and fields in China. The corresponding parasites, as well as its mate-searching behaviors, are subjects of considerable interest. Previous A. gifuensis transcriptome studies have relied on short-read next-generation sequencing (NGS), and the vast majority of the resulting isotigs do not represent full-length cDNA. Here, we employed a combination of NGS and single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing of virgin females (VFs), mated females (MFs), virgin males (VMs), and mated males (MMs) to comprehensively study the A. gifuensis transcriptome. Behavioral responses to the aphid alarm pheromone (E-ß-farnesene, EBF) as well as to A. gifuensis of the opposite sex were also studied. VMs were found to be attracted by female wasps and MFs were repelled by male wasps, whereas MMs and VFs did not respond to the opposite sex. In addition, VFs, MFs, and MMs were attracted by EBF, while VMs did not respond. According to these results, we performed a personalized differential gene expression analysis of olfactory gene sets (66 odorant receptors, 25 inotropic receptors, 16 odorant-binding proteins, and 12 chemosensory proteins) in virgin and mated A. gifuensis of both sexes, and identified 13 candidate genes whose expression levels were highly consistent with behavioral test results, suggesting potential functions for these genes in pheromone perception.


September 22, 2019  |  

Fine mapping and candidate gene identification of the genic male-sterile gene ms3 in cabbage 51S.

The ms3 gene responsible for a male-sterile phenotype in cabbage was mapped to a 187.4-kb genomic fragment. The gene BoTPD1, a homolog of Arabidopsis TPD1, was identified as a strong candidate gene. Cabbage 51S is a spontaneous male-sterile mutant. Phenotypic investigation revealed defects in anther cell differentiation, with failure to form the tapetum layer and complete abortion of microsporocytes before the tetrad stage. Genetic analysis indicated that this male sterility was controlled by a single recessive gene, ms3. Using an F2 population, we mapped ms3 to a 187.4-kb interval. BoTPD1 was identified as a candidate from this interval. Sequence analysis revealed an intronic 182-bp insertion in 51S that interrupted the conserved motif at the 5′ splicing site of the third intron, possibly resulting in a truncated transcript. Analyses of BoTPD1 homologous proteins revealed evolutionarily conserved roles in anther cell fate determination during reproductive development. RT-PCR showed that BoTPD1 was expressed in various tissues, excluding the root, and high expression levels were detected in anthers and buds. A BoTPD1-specific marker based on the 182-bp insertion cosegregated with male sterility and can be used for marker-assisted selection.


September 22, 2019  |  

Effects of antibiotic on microflora in ileum and cecum for broilers by 16S rRNA sequence analysis.

An experiment was conducted to analyze and compare the microbial composition, abundance, dynamic distribution, and functions without and with antibiotic fed to broilers. A 16S rRNA-sequencing approach was used to evaluate the bacterial composition of the gut of male broilers under different groups. A total of 240 1-day old AA male broilers were randomly assigned to two groups, with 120 broilers per group. The treatment group was administered an antibiotic with their feed, while the control group was not administered antibiotic (control group). A total of 10 replicates were assessed per treatment. The control group was fed a basal diet containing corn, soybean meal, and cottonseed meal and met the nutritional requirement. The antibiotic group was fed 100 mg/kg aureomycin (based on the basal diet). The trial lasted 42 days. Operational taxonomic unit partition and classification, alpha diversity, taxonomic composition, beta diversity, and microflora comparative analyses along with key species screening were performed for all of the treatment groups. Our data indicate that aureomycin treatment in broilers is directly correlated with variations of the gut content of specific bacterial taxa, and herein provide insights into the impact of antibiotic on microbial communities in cecum and ileum of broiler chickens.© 2018 Japanese Society of Animal Science.


September 22, 2019  |  

Transcriptome-referenced association study of clove shape traits in garlic.

Genome-wide association studies are a powerful approach for identifying genes related to complex traits in organisms, but are limited by the requirement for a reference genome sequence of the species under study. To circumvent this problem, we propose a transcriptome-referenced association study (TRAS) that utilizes a transcriptome generated by single-molecule long-read sequencing as a reference sequence to score population variation at both transcript sequence and expression levels. Candidate transcripts are identified when both scores are associated with a trait and their potential interactions are ascertained by expression quantitative trait loci analysis. Applying this method to characterize garlic clove shape traits in 102 landraces, we identified 22 candidate transcripts, most of which showed extensive interactions. Eight transcripts were long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and the others were proteins involved mainly in carbohydrate metabolism, protein degradation, etc. TRAS, as an efficient tool for association study independent of a reference genome, extends the applicability of association studies to a broad range of species.


September 22, 2019  |  

Full-length transcriptome sequencing and modular organization analysis of naringin/neoeriocitrin related gene expression pattern in Drynaria roosii.

Drynaria roosii (Nakaike) is a traditional Chinese medicinal fern, known as ‘GuSuiBu’. The effective components, naringin and neoeriocitrin, share a highly similar chemical structure and medicinal function. Our HPLC-tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) results showed that the accumulation of naringin/neoeriocitrin depended on specific tissues or ages. However, little was known about the expression patterns of naringin/neoeriocitrin-related genes involved in their regulatory pathways. Due to a lack of basic genetic information, we applied a combination of single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing and second-generation sequencing (SGS) to generate the complete and full-length transcriptome of D. roosii. According to the SGS data, the differentially expressed gene (DEG)-based heat map analysis revealed that naringin/neoeriocitrin-related gene expression exhibited obvious tissue- and time-specific transcriptomic differences. Using the systems biology method of modular organization analysis, we clustered 16,472 DEGs into 17 gene modules and studied the relationships between modules and tissue/time point samples, as well as modules and naringin/neoeriocitrin contents. We found that naringin/neoeriocitrin-related DEGs distributed in nine distinct modules, and DEGs in these modules showed significantly different patterns of transcript abundance to be linked to specific tissues or ages. Moreover, weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) results further identified that PAL, 4CL and C4H, and C3H and HCT acted as the major hub genes involved in naringin and neoeriocitrin synthesis, respectively, and exhibited high co-expression with MYB- and basic helix-leucine-helix (bHLH)-regulated genes. In this work, modular organization and co-expression networks elucidated the tissue and time specificity of the gene expression pattern, as well as hub genes associated with naringin/neoeriocitrin synthesis in D. roosii. Simultaneously, the comprehensive transcriptome data set provided important genetic information for further research on D. roosii.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative transcriptomic and physiological analyses of Medicago sativa L. indicates that multiple regulatory networks are activated during continuous ABA treatment.

Alfalfa is the most extensively cultivated forage legume worldwide. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying alfalfa responses to exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) are still unknown. In this study, the first global transcriptome profiles of alfalfa roots under ABA treatments for 1, 3 and 12 h (three biological replicates for each time point, including the control group) were constructed using a BGISEQ-500 sequencing platform. A total of 50,742 isoforms with a mean length of 2541 bp were generated, and 4944 differentially expressed isoforms (DEIs) were identified after ABA deposition. Metabolic analyses revealed that these DEIs were involved in plant hormone signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, antioxidative defense and pathogen immunity. Notably, several well characterized hormone signaling pathways, for example, the core ABA signaling pathway, was activated, while salicylic acid, jasmonate and ethylene signaling pathways were mainly suppressed by exogenous ABA. Moreover, the physiological work showed that catalase and peroxidase activity and glutathione and proline content were increased after ABA deposition, which is in accordance with the dynamic transcript profiles of the relevant genes in antioxidative defense system. These results indicate that ABA has the potential to improve abiotic stress tolerance, but that it may negatively regulate pathogen resistance in alfalfa.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome-wide analysis of complex wheat gliadins, the dominant carriers of celiac disease epitopes.

Gliadins, specified by six compound chromosomal loci (Gli-A1/B1/D1 and Gli-A2/B2/D2) in hexaploid bread wheat, are the dominant carriers of celiac disease (CD) epitopes. Because of their complexity, genome-wide characterization of gliadins is a strong challenge. Here, we approached this challenge by combining transcriptomic, proteomic and bioinformatic investigations. Through third-generation RNA sequencing, full-length transcripts were identified for 52 gliadin genes in the bread wheat cultivar Xiaoyan 81. Of them, 42 were active and predicted to encode 25 a-, 11 ?-, one d- and five ?-gliadins. Comparative proteomic analysis between Xiaoyan 81 and six newly-developed mutants each lacking one Gli locus indicated the accumulation of 38 gliadins in the mature grains. A novel group of a-gliadins (the CSTT group) was recognized to contain very few or no CD epitopes. The d-gliadins identified here or previously did not carry CD epitopes. Finally, the mutant lacking Gli-D2 showed significant reductions in the most celiac-toxic a-gliadins and derivative CD epitopes. The insights and resources generated here should aid further studies on gliadin functions in CD and the breeding of healthier wheat.


September 22, 2019  |  

Multiple regulatory networks are activated during cold stress in Medicago sativa L.

Cultivated alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important perennial legume forages in the world, and it has considerable potential as a valuable forage crop for livestock. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying alfalfa responses to cold stress are largely unknown. In this study, the transcriptome changes in alfalfa under cold stress at 4 °C for 2, 6, 24, and 48 h (three replicates for each time point) were analyzed using the high-throughput sequencing platform, BGISEQ-500, resulting in the identification of 50,809 annotated unigenes and 5283 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Metabolic pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated that the DEGs were involved in carbohydrate metabolism, photosynthesis, plant hormone signal transduction, and the biosynthesis of amino acids. Moreover, the physiological changes of glutathione and proline content, catalase, and peroxidase activity were in accordance with dynamic transcript profiles of the relevant genes. Additionally, some transcription factors might play important roles in the alfalfa response to cold stress, as determined by the expression pattern of the related genes during 48 h of cold stress treatment. These findings provide valuable information for identifying and characterizing important components in the cold signaling network in alfalfa and enhancing the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying alfalfa responses to cold stress.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome analysis of Taraxacum kok-saghyz Rodin provides new insights into rubber biosynthesis

The Russian dandelion Taraxacum kok-saghyz Rodin (TKS), a member of the Composite family and a potential alternative source of natural rubber (NR) and inulin, is an ideal model system for studying rubber biosynthesis. Here we present the draft genome of TKS, the first assembled NR-producing weed plant. The draft TKS genome assembly has a length of 1.29 Gb, containing 46,731 predicted protein-coding genes and 68.56% repeats, in which the LTR-RT elements predominantly contribute to the genome enlargement. We analyzed the heterozygous regions/genes, suggesting its possible involvement in inbreeding depression. Through comparative studies between rubber-producing and non-rubber-producing plants, we found that enzymes of the mevalonate (MVA) pathway and rubber elongation might be critical for rubber biosynthesis, and several key isoforms have been isolated showing predominantly expressed in the latex, indicating their crucial functions in rubber biosynthesis. Moreover, for two important families in rubber elongation, the CPT/CPTL and REF/SRPP families, diverse evolutionary tracks have been revealed. These results provide valuable resources and new insights into the mechanism of NR biosynthesis, and facilitate the development of alternative NR producing crops.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genome and secretome analysis of Pochonia chlamydosporia provide new insight into egg-parasitic mechanisms.

Pochonia chlamydosporia infects eggs and females of economically important plant-parasitic nematodes. The fungal isolates parasitizing different nematodes are genetically distinct. To understand their intraspecific genetic differentiation, parasitic mechanisms, and adaptive evolution, we assembled seven putative chromosomes of P. chlamydosporia strain 170 isolated from root-knot nematode eggs (~44?Mb, including 7.19% of transposable elements) and compared them with the genome of the strain 123 (~41?Mb) isolated from cereal cyst nematode. We focus on secretomes of the fungus, which play important roles in pathogenicity and fungus-host/environment interactions, and identified 1,750 secreted proteins, with a high proportion of carboxypeptidases, subtilisins, and chitinases. We analyzed the phylogenies of these genes and predicted new pathogenic molecules. By comparative transcriptome analysis, we found that secreted proteins involved in responses to nutrient stress are mainly comprised of proteases and glycoside hydrolases. Moreover, 32 secreted proteins undergoing positive selection and 71 duplicated gene pairs encoding secreted proteins are identified. Two duplicated pairs encoding secreted glycosyl hydrolases (GH30), which may be related to fungal endophytic process and lost in many insect-pathogenic fungi but exist in nematophagous fungi, are putatively acquired from bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. The results help understanding genetic origins and evolution of parasitism-related genes.


September 22, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics reveals cotton-specific virulence factors in flexible genomic regions in Verticillium dahliae and evidence of horizontal gene transfer from Fusarium.

Verticillium dahliae isolates are most virulent on the host from which they were originally isolated. Mechanisms underlying these dominant host adaptations are currently unknown. We sequenced the genome of V. dahliae Vd991, which is highly virulent on its original host, cotton, and performed comparisons with the reference genomes of JR2 (from tomato) and VdLs.17 (from lettuce). Pathogenicity-related factor prediction, orthology and multigene family classification, transcriptome analyses, phylogenetic analyses, and pathogenicity experiments were performed. The Vd991 genome harbored several exclusive, lineage-specific (LS) genes within LS regions (LSRs). Deletion mutants of the seven genes within one LSR (G-LSR2) in Vd991 were less virulent only on cotton. Integration of G-LSR2 genes individually into JR2 and VdLs.17 resulted in significantly enhanced virulence on cotton but did not affect virulence on tomato or lettuce. Transcription levels of the seven LS genes in Vd991 were higher during the early stages of cotton infection, as compared with other hosts. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that G-LSR2 was acquired from Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum through horizontal gene transfer. Our results provide evidence that horizontal gene transfer from Fusarium to Vd991 contributed significantly to its adaptation to cotton and may represent a significant mechanism in the evolution of an asexual plant pathogen.© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust.


September 22, 2019  |  

Assembly and analysis of a qingke reference genome demonstrate its close genetic relation to modern cultivated barley.

Qingke, the local name of hulless barley in the Tibetan Plateau, is a staple food for Tibetans. The availability of its reference genome sequences could be useful for studies on breeding and molecular evolution. Taking advantage of the third-generation sequencer (PacBio), we de novo assembled a 4.84-Gb genome sequence of qingke, cv. Zangqing320 and anchored a 4.59-Gb sequence to seven chromosomes. Of the 46,787 annotated ‘high-confidence’ genes, 31 564 were validated by RNA-sequencing data of 39 wild and cultivated barley genotypes with wide genetic diversity, and the results were also confirmed by nonredundant protein database from NCBI. As some gaps in the reference genome of Morex were covered in the reference genome of Zangqing320 by PacBio reads, we believe that the Zangqing320 genome provides the useful supplements for the Morex genome. Using the qingke genome as a reference, we conducted a genome comparison, revealing a close genetic relationship between a hulled barley (cv. Morex) and a hulless barley (cv. Zangqing320), which is strongly supported by the low-diversity regions in the two genomes. Considering the origin of Morex from its breeding pedigree, we then demonstrated a close genomic relationship between modern cultivated barley and qingke. Given this genomic relationship and the large genetic diversity between qingke and modern cultivated barley, we propose that qingke could provide elite genes for barley improvement.© 2017 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Deciphering lignocellulose deconstruction by the white rot fungus Irpex lacteus based on genomic and transcriptomic analyses.

Irpex lacteus is one of the most potent white rot fungi for biological pretreatment of lignocellulose for second biofuel production. To elucidate the underlying molecular mechanism involved in lignocellulose deconstruction, genomic and transcriptomic analyses were carried out for I. lacteus CD2 grown in submerged fermentation using ball-milled corn stover as the carbon source.Irpex lacteus CD2 efficiently decomposed 74.9% lignin, 86.3% cellulose, and 83.5% hemicellulose in corn stover within 9 days. Manganese peroxidases were rapidly induced, followed by accumulation of cellulase and hemicellulase. Genomic analysis revealed that I. lacteus CD2 possessed a complete set of lignocellulose-degrading enzyme system composed mainly of class II peroxidases, dye-decolorizing peroxidases, auxiliary enzymes, and 182 glycoside hydrolases. Comparative transcriptomic analysis substantiated the notion of a selection mode of degradation. These analyses also suggested that free radicals, derived either from MnP-organic acid interplay or from Fenton reaction involving Fe2+ and H2O2, could play an important role in lignocellulose degradation.The selective strategy employed by I. lacteus CD2, in combination with low extracellular glycosidases cleaving plant cell wall polysaccharides into fermentable sugars, may account for high pretreatment efficiency of I. lacteus. Our study also hints the importance of free radicals for future designing of novel, robust lignocellulose-degrading enzyme cocktails.


September 22, 2019  |  

A large-scale comparative metagenomic study reveals the functional interactions in six bloom-forming Microcystis-epibiont communities.

Cyanobacterial blooms are worldwide issues of societal concern and scientific interest. Lake Taihu and Lake Dianchi, two of the largest lakes in China, have been suffering from annual Microcystis-based blooms over the past two decades. These two eutrophic lakes differ in both nutrient load and environmental parameters, where Microcystis microbiota consisting of different Microcystis morphospecies and associated bacteria (epibionts) have dominated. We conducted a comprehensive metagenomic study that analyzed species diversity, community structure, functional components, metabolic pathways and networks to investigate functional interactions among the members of six Microcystis-epibiont communities in these two lakes. Our integrated metagenomic pipeline consisted of efficient assembly, binning, annotation, and quality assurance methods that ensured high-quality genome reconstruction. This study provides a total of 68 reconstructed genomes including six complete Microcystis genomes and 28 high quality bacterial genomes of epibionts belonging to 14 distinct taxa. This metagenomic dataset constitutes the largest reference genome catalog available for genome-centric studies of the Microcystis microbiome. Epibiont community composition appears to be dynamic rather than fixed, and the functional profiles of communities were related to the environment of origin. This study demonstrates mutualistic interactions between Microcystis and epibionts at genetic and metabolic levels. Metabolic pathway reconstruction provided evidence for functional complementation in nitrogen and sulfur cycles, fatty acid catabolism, vitamin synthesis, and aromatic compound degradation among community members. Thus, bacterial social interactions within Microcystis-epibiont communities not only shape species composition, but also stabilize the communities functional profiles. These interactions appear to play an important role in environmental adaptation of Microcystis colonies.


September 22, 2019  |  

The N6-adenine methylation in yeast genome profiled by single-molecule technology.

The most common and abundant DNA modification is 5-meth- ylcytosine (5mC), which has been well-established as an epigenetic mark regulating gene expression in eukaryotes (Jones, 2012). Another DNA modification N6-methyldeoxyadenosine (6mA), pre- viously reported as a widespread DNA methylation in prokaryotes, plays an important role in gene expression, DNA replication, DNA repair, cell cycle progression and host-pathogen interaction (Messer and Noyer-Weidner, 1988; Lu et al., 1994; Collier et al., 2007). The knowledge of 6mA in eukaryotes has been very limited until the recent development of high-throughput sequencing and high-sensitive mass spectrometry technologies, which have greatly contributed to the investigation of 6mA in fungi, animals and plants (Fu et al., 2015; Greer et al., 2015; Zhang et al., 2015; Koziol et al., 2016; Liu et al., 2016; Wu et al., 2016; Liang et al., 2017; Mondo et al., 2017). Recent studies revealed that 6mA abundance is vari- able, and it is relative higher in Chlamydomonas and early- diverging fungi species than other eukaryotes. The distribution pat- terns of 6mA and their functions are not quite conserved among or- ganisms. 6mA was found enriched near the transcription start sites (TSS) in Chlamydomonas (Fu et al., 2015) and at the repeats in Drosophila, Mus musculus and Danio rerio (Zhang et al., 2015; Liu et al., 2016; Wu et al., 2016), and commonly depleted from gene exons in Xenopus laevis and M. musculus (Koziol et al., 2016). In several species, 6mA was associated with transcriptionally active genes (Fu et al., 2015; Mondo et al., 2017), and it was also found correlated with gene silencing in mammalian embryonic stem cells (Wu et al., 2016).


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