April 21, 2020  |  

Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Accumulation Mechanism of Anthocyanins in Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) Cotyledons and Flowers.

Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a valuable crop which can produce multiple human beneficial secondary metabolites, for example, the anthocyanins in sprouts and flowers. However, as the predominant group of visible polyphenols in pigmentation, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the anthocyanin biosynthesis within buckwheat. In this study, a comparative transcriptome analysis of green and red common buckwheat cultivars was carried out through RNA sequencing. Overall, 3727 and 5323 differently expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in flowers and cotyledons, respectively. Through GO and KEGG analysis, we revealed that DEGs in flowers and cotyledons are predominately involved in biosynthesis of anthocyanin. A total of 42 unigenes encoding 11 structural enzymes of the anthocyanin biosynthesis were identified as DEGs. We also identified some transcription factor families involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis. Real-time qPCR validation of candidate genes was performed in flowers and cotyledons, and the results suggested that the high expression level of structural genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway promotes anthocyanin accumulation. Our results provide the insight understanding for coloration of red common buckwheat.


April 21, 2020  |  

The genomes of pecan and Chinese hickory provide insights into Carya evolution and nut nutrition.

Pecan (Carya illinoinensis) and Chinese hickory (C. cathayensis) are important commercially cultivated nut trees in the genus Carya (Juglandaceae), with high nutritional value and substantial health benefits.We obtained >187.22 and 178.87 gigabases of sequence, and ~288× and 248× genome coverage, to a pecan cultivar (“Pawnee”) and a domesticated Chinese hickory landrace (ZAFU-1), respectively. The total assembly size is 651.31 megabases (Mb) for pecan and 706.43 Mb for Chinese hickory. Two genome duplication events before the divergence from walnut were found in these species. Gene family analysis highlighted key genes in biotic and abiotic tolerance, oil, polyphenols, essential amino acids, and B vitamins. Further analyses of reduced-coverage genome sequences of 16 Carya and 2 Juglans species provide additional phylogenetic perspective on crop wild relatives.Cooperative characterization of these valuable resources provides a window to their evolutionary development and a valuable foundation for future crop improvement. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genomic and transcriptomic insights into the survival of the subaerial cyanobacterium Nostoc flagelliforme in arid and exposed habitats.

The cyanobacterium Nostoc flagelliforme is an extremophile that thrives under extraordinary desiccation and ultraviolet (UV) radiation conditions. To investigate its survival strategies, we performed whole-genome sequencing of N. flagelliforme CCNUN1 and transcriptional profiling of its field populations upon rehydration in BG11 medium. The genome of N. flagelliforme is 10.23 Mb in size and contains 10 825 predicted protein-encoding genes, making it one of the largest complete genomes of cyanobacteria reported to date. Comparative genomics analysis among 20 cyanobacterial strains revealed that genes related to DNA replication, recombination and repair had disproportionately high contributions to the genome expansion. The ability of N. flagelliforme to thrive under extreme abiotic stresses is supported by the acquisition of genes involved in the protection of photosynthetic apparatus, the formation of monounsaturated fatty acids, responses to UV radiation, and a peculiar role of ornithine metabolism. Transcriptome analysis revealed a distinct acclimation strategy to rehydration, including the strong constitutive expression of genes encoding photosystem I assembly factors and the involvement of post-transcriptional control mechanisms of photosynthetic resuscitation. Our results provide insights into the adaptive mechanisms of subaerial cyanobacteria in their harsh habitats and have important implications to understand the evolutionary transition of cyanobacteria from aquatic environments to terrestrial ecosystems. © 2019 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


April 21, 2020  |  

Full-length transcriptome analysis of Litopenaeus vannamei reveals transcript variants involved in the innate immune system.

To better understand the immune system of shrimp, this study combined PacBio isoform sequencing (Iso-Seq) and Illumina paired-end short reads sequencing methods to discover full-length immune-related molecules of the Pacific white shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei. A total of 72,648 nonredundant full-length transcripts (unigenes) were generated with an average length of 2545 bp from five main tissues, including the hepatopancreas, cardiac stomach, heart, muscle, and pyloric stomach. These unigenes exhibited a high annotation rate (62,164, 85.57%) when compared against NR, NT, Swiss-Prot, Pfam, GO, KEGG and COG databases. A total of 7544 putative long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) were detected and 1164 nonredundant full-length transcripts (449 UniTransModels) participated in the alternative splicing (AS) events. Importantly, a total of 5279 nonredundant full-length unigenes were successfully identified, which were involved in the innate immune system, including 9 immune-related processes, 19 immune-related pathways and 10 other immune-related systems. We also found wide transcript variants, which increased the number and function complexity of immune molecules; for example, toll-like receptors (TLRs) and interferon regulatory factors (IRFs). The 480 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly higher or tissue-specific expression patterns in the hepatopancreas compared with that in other four tested tissues (FDR <0.05). Furthermore, the expression levels of six selected immune-related DEGs and putative IRFs were validated using real-time PCR technology, substantiating the reliability of the PacBio Iso-seq results. In conclusion, our results provide new genetic resources of long-read full-length transcripts data and information for identifying immune-related genes, which are an invaluable transcriptomic resource as genomic reference, especially for further exploration of the innate immune and defense mechanisms of shrimp. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


April 21, 2020  |  

Highly flexible infection programs in a specialized wheat pathogen.

Many filamentous plant pathogens exhibit high levels of genomic variability, yet the impact of this variation on host-pathogen interactions is largely unknown. We have addressed host specialization in the wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. Our study builds on comparative analyses of infection and gene expression phenotypes of three isolates and reveals the extent to which genomic variation translates into phenotypic variation. The isolates exhibit genetic and genomic variation but are similarly virulent. By combining confocal microscopy, disease monitoring, staining of ROS, and comparative transcriptome analyses, we conducted a detailed comparison of the infection processes of these isolates in a susceptible wheat cultivar. We characterized four core infection stages: establishment, biotrophic growth, lifestyle transition, and necrotrophic growth and asexual reproduction that are shared by the three isolates. However, we demonstrate differentiated temporal and spatial infection development and significant differences in the expression profiles of the three isolates during the infection stages. More than 20% of the genes were differentially expressed and these genes were located significantly closer to transposable elements, suggesting an impact of epigenetic regulation. Further, differentially expressed genes were enriched in effector candidates suggesting that isolate-specific strategies for manipulating host defenses are present in Z. tritici. We demonstrate that individuals of a host-specialized pathogen have highly differentiated infection programs characterized by flexible infection development and functional redundancy. This illustrates how high genetic diversity in pathogen populations results in highly differentiated infection phenotypes, which fact needs to be acknowledged to understand host-pathogen interactions and pathogen evolution.


April 21, 2020  |  

Full-length transcriptome sequences obtained by a combination of sequencing platforms applied to heat shock proteins and polyunsaturated fatty acids biosynthesis in Pyropia haitanensis

Pyropia haitanensis is a high-yield commercial seaweed in China. Pyropia haitanensis farms often suffer from problems such as severe germplasm degeneration, while the mechanisms underlying resistance to abiotic stresses remain unknown because of lacking genomic information. Although many previous studies focused on using next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, the short-read sequences generated by NGS generally prevent the assembly of full-length transcripts, and then limit screening functional genes. In the present study, which was based on hybrid sequencing (NGS and single-molecular real-time sequencing) of the P. haitanensis thallus transcriptome, we obtained high-quality full-length transcripts with a mean length of 2998 bp and an N50 value of 3366 bp. A total of 14,773 unigenes (93.52%) were annotated in at least one database, while approximately 60% of all unigenes were assembled by short Illumina reads. Moreover, we herein suggested that the genes involved in the biosynthesis of polyunsaturated fatty acids and heat shock proteins play an important role in the process of development and resistance to abiotic stresses in P. haitanensis. The present study, together with previously published ones, may facilitate seaweed transcriptome research.


April 21, 2020  |  

The Single-molecule long-read sequencing of Scylla paramamosain.

Scylla paramamosain is an important aquaculture crab, which has great economical and nutritional value. To the best of our knowledge, few full-length crab transcriptomes are available. In this study, a library composed of 12 different tissues including gill, hepatopancreas, muscle, cerebral ganglion, eyestalk, thoracic ganglia, intestine, heart, testis, ovary, sperm reservoir, and hemocyte was constructed and sequenced using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule real-time (SMRT) long-read sequencing technology. A total of 284803 full-length non-chimeric reads were obtained, from which 79005 high-quality unique transcripts were obtained after error correction and sequence clustering and redundant. Additionally, a total of 52544 transcripts were annotated against protein database (NCBI nonredundant, Swiss-Prot, KOG, and KEGG database). A total of 23644 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) and 131561 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified. Meanwhile, the isoforms of many genes were also identified in this study. Our study provides a rich set of full-length cDNA sequences for S. paramamosain, which will greatly facilitate S. paramamosain research.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comprehensive identification of the full-length transcripts and alternative splicing related to the secondary metabolism pathways in the tea plant (Camellia sinensis).

Flavonoids, theanine and caffeine are the main secondary metabolites of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis), which account for the tea’s unique flavor quality and health benefits. The biosynthesis pathways of these metabolites have been extensively studied at the transcriptional level, but the regulatory mechanisms are still unclear. In this study, to explore the transcriptome diversity and complexity of tea plant, PacBio Iso-Seq and RNA-seq analysis were combined to obtain full-length transcripts and to profile the changes in gene expression during the leaf development. A total of 1,388,066 reads of insert (ROI) were generated with an average length of 1,762?bp, and more than 54% (755,716) of the ROIs were full-length non-chimeric (FLNC) reads. The Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologue (BUSCO) completeness was 92.7%. A total of 93,883 non-redundant transcripts were obtained, and 87,395 (93.1%) were new alternatively spliced isoforms. Meanwhile, 7,650 differential expression transcripts (DETs) were identified. A total of 28,980 alternative splicing (AS) events were predicted, including 1,297 differential AS (DAS) events. The transcript isoforms of the key genes involved in the flavonoid, theanine and caffeine biosynthesis pathways were characterized. Additionally, 5,777 fusion transcripts and 9,052 long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) were also predicted. Our results revealed that AS potentially plays a crucial role in the regulation of the secondary metabolism of the tea plant. These findings enhanced our understanding of the complexity of the secondary metabolic regulation of tea plants and provided a basis for the subsequent exploration of the regulatory mechanisms of flavonoid, theanine and caffeine biosynthesis in tea plants.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative transcriptome analyses of genes involved in sulforaphane metabolism at different treatment in Chinese kale using full-length transcriptome sequencing.

Sulforaphane is a natural isothiocyanate available from cruciferous vegetables with multiple characteristics including antioxidant, antitumor and anti-inflammatory effect. Single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing has been used for long-read de novo assembly of plant genome. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism related to glucosinolates biosynthesis in Chinese kale using combined NGS and SMRT sequencing.SMRT sequencing produced 185,134 unigenes, higher than 129,325 in next-generation sequencing (NGS). NaCl (75?mM), methyl jasmonate (MeJA, 40?µM), selenate (Se, sodium selenite 100?µM), and brassinolide (BR, 1.5?µM) treatment induced 6893, 13,287, 13,659 and 11,041 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in Chinese kale seedlings comparing with control. These genes were associated with pathways of glucosinolates biosynthesis, including phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan biosynthesis, cysteine and methionine metabolism, and glucosinolate biosynthesis. We found NaCl decreased sulforaphane and glucosinolates (indolic and aliphatic) contents and downregulated expression of cytochrome P45083b1 (CYP83b1), S-alkyl-thiohydroximatelyase or carbon-sulfur lyase (SUR1) and UDP-glycosyltransferase 74B1 (UGT74b1). MeJA increased sulforaphane and glucosinolates contents and upregulated the expression of CYP83b1, SUR1 and UGT74b1; Se increased sulforaphane; BR increased expression of CYP83b1, SUR1 and UGT74b1, and increased glucosinolates contents. The desulfoglucosinolate sulfotransferases ST5a_b_c were decreased by all treatments.We confirmed that NaCl inhibited the biosynthesis of both indolic and aliphatic glucosinolates, while MeJA and BR increased them. MeJA and BR treatments, conferred the biosynthesis of glucosinolates, and Se and MeJA contributed to sulforaphane in Chinese kale via regulating the expression of CYP83b1, SUR1 and UGT74b1.


April 21, 2020  |  

Comparative transcriptome analysis identified candidate genes involved in mycelium browning in Lentinula edodes.

Lentinula edodes is one of the most popular edible mushroom species in the world and contains useful medicinal components, such as lentinan. The light-induced formation of brown film on the vegetative mycelial tissues of L. edodes is an important process for ensuring the quantity and quality of this edible mushroom. To understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this critical developmental process in L. edodes, we characterized the morphological phenotypic changes in a strain, Chamaram, associated with abnormal brown film formation and compared its genome-wide transcriptional features.In the present study, we performed genome-wide transcriptome analyses of different vegetative mycelium growth phenotypes, namely, early white, normal brown, and defective dark yellow partial brown films phenotypes which were exposed to different light conditions. The analysis revealed the identification of clusters of genes specific to the light-induced brown film phenotypes. These genes were significantly associated with light sensing via photoreceptors such as FMN- and FAD-bindings, signal transduction by kinases and GPCRs, melanogenesis via activation of tyrosinases, and cell wall degradation by glucanases, chitinases, and laccases, which suggests these processes are involved in the formation of mycelial browning in L. edodes. Interestingly, hydrophobin genes such as SC1 and SC3 exhibited divergent expression levels in the normal and abnormal brown mycelial films, indicating the ability of these genes to act in fruiting body initiation and formation of dikaryotic mycelia. Furthermore, we identified the up-regulation of glycoside hydrolase domain-containing genes in the normal brown film but not in the abnormal film phenotype, suggesting that cell wall degradation in the normal brown film phenotype is crucial in the developmental processes related to the initiation and formation of fruiting bodies.This study systematically analysed the expression patterns of light-induced browning-related genes in L. edodes. Our findings provide information for further investigations of browning formation mechanisms in L. edodes and a foundation for future L. edodes breeding.


April 21, 2020  |  

Full-length transcript sequencing and comparative transcriptomic analysis to evaluate the contribution of osmotic and ionic stress components towards salinity tolerance in the roots of cultivated alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.).

Alfalfa is the most extensively cultivated forage legume. Salinity is a major environmental factor that impacts on alfalfa’s productivity. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying alfalfa responses to salinity, especially the relative contribution of the two important components of osmotic and ionic stress.In this study, we constructed the first full-length transcriptome database for alfalfa root tips under continuous NaCl and mannitol treatments for 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24?h (three biological replicates for each time points, including the control group) via PacBio Iso-Seq. This resulted in the identification of 52,787 full-length transcripts, with an average length of 2551?bp. Global transcriptional changes in the same 33 stressed samples were then analyzed via BGISEQ-500 RNA-Seq. Totals of 8861 NaCl-regulated and 8016 mannitol-regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Metabolic analyses revealed that these DEGs overlapped or diverged in the cascades of molecular networks involved in signal perception, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation, and antioxidative defense. Notably, several well characterized signalling pathways, such as CDPK, MAPK, CIPK, and PYL-PP2C-SnRK2, were shown to be involved in osmotic stress, while the SOS core pathway was activated by ionic stress. Moreover, the physiological shifts of catalase and peroxidase activity, glutathione and proline content were in accordance with dynamic transcript profiles of the relevant genes, indicating that antioxidative defense system plays critical roles in response to salinity stress.Overall, our study provides evidence that the response to salinity stress in alfalfa includes both osmotic and ionic components. The key osmotic and ionic stress-related genes are candidates for future studies as potential targets to improve resistance to salinity stress via genetic engineering.


July 19, 2019  |  

Complete genome sequence of Sporisorium scitamineum and biotrophic interaction transcriptome with sugarcane.

Sporisorium scitamineum is a biotrophic fungus responsible for the sugarcane smut, a worldwide spread disease. This study provides the complete sequence of individual chromosomes of S. scitamineum from telomere to telomere achieved by a combination of PacBio long reads and Illumina short reads sequence data, as well as a draft sequence of a second fungal strain. Comparative analysis to previous available sequences of another strain detected few polymorphisms among the three genomes. The novel complete sequence described herein allowed us to identify and annotate extended subtelomeric regions, repetitive elements and the mitochondrial DNA sequence. The genome comprises 19,979,571 bases, 6,677 genes encoding proteins, 111 tRNAs and 3 assembled copies of rDNA, out of our estimated number of copies as 130. Chromosomal reorganizations were detected when comparing to sequences of S. reilianum, the closest smut relative, potentially influenced by repeats of transposable elements. Repetitive elements may have also directed the linkage of the two mating-type loci. The fungal transcriptome profiling from in vitro and from interaction with sugarcane at two time points (early infection and whip emergence) revealed that 13.5% of the genes were differentially expressed in planta and particular to each developmental stage. Among them are plant cell wall degrading enzymes, proteases, lipases, chitin modification and lignin degradation enzymes, sugar transporters and transcriptional factors. The fungus also modulates transcription of genes related to surviving against reactive oxygen species and other toxic metabolites produced by the plant. Previously described effectors in smut/plant interactions were detected but some new candidates are proposed. Ten genomic islands harboring some of the candidate genes unique to S. scitamineum were expressed only in planta. RNAseq data was also used to reassure gene predictions.


July 19, 2019  |  

Aquaculture genomics, genetics and breeding in the United States: current status, challenges, and priorities for future research.

Advancing the production efficiency and profitability of aquaculture is dependent upon the ability to utilize a diverse array of genetic resources. The ultimate goals of aquaculture genomics, genetics and breeding research are to enhance aquaculture production efficiency, sustainability, product quality, and profitability in support of the commercial sector and for the benefit of consumers. In order to achieve these goals, it is important to understand the genomic structure and organization of aquaculture species, and their genomic and phenomic variations, as well as the genetic basis of traits and their interrelationships. In addition, it is also important to understand the mechanisms of regulation and evolutionary conservation at the levels of genome, transcriptome, proteome, epigenome, and systems biology. With genomic information and information between the genomes and phenomes, technologies for marker/causal mutation-assisted selection, genome selection, and genome editing can be developed for applications in aquaculture. A set of genomic tools and resources must be made available including reference genome sequences and their annotations (including coding and non-coding regulatory elements), genome-wide polymorphic markers, efficient genotyping platforms, high-density and high-resolution linkage maps, and transcriptome resources including non-coding transcripts. Genomic and genetic control of important performance and production traits, such as disease resistance, feed conversion efficiency, growth rate, processing yield, behaviour, reproductive characteristics, and tolerance to environmental stressors like low dissolved oxygen, high or low water temperature and salinity, must be understood. QTL need to be identified, validated across strains, lines and populations, and their mechanisms of control understood. Causal gene(s) need to be identified. Genetic and epigenetic regulation of important aquaculture traits need to be determined, and technologies for marker-assisted selection, causal gene/mutation-assisted selection, genome selection, and genome editing using CRISPR and other technologies must be developed, demonstrated with applicability, and application to aquaculture industries.Major progress has been made in aquaculture genomics for dozens of fish and shellfish species including the development of genetic linkage maps, physical maps, microarrays, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays, transcriptome databases and various stages of genome reference sequences. This paper provides a general review of the current status, challenges and future research needs of aquaculture genomics, genetics, and breeding, with a focus on major aquaculture species in the United States: catfish, rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon, tilapia, striped bass, oysters, and shrimp. While the overall research priorities and the practical goals are similar across various aquaculture species, the current status in each species should dictate the next priority areas within the species. This paper is an output of the USDA Workshop for Aquaculture Genomics, Genetics, and Breeding held in late March 2016 in Auburn, Alabama, with participants from all parts of the United States.


July 19, 2019  |  

Genomic analyses of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus provide insights into asexual reproduction.

The emergence of apomixis-the transition from sexual to asexual reproduction-is a prominent feature of modern citrus. Here we de novo sequenced and comprehensively studied the genomes of four representative citrus species. Additionally, we sequenced 100 accessions of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus. Comparative population analysis suggested that genomic regions harboring energy- and reproduction-associated genes are probably under selection in cultivated citrus. We also narrowed the genetic locus responsible for citrus polyembryony, a form of apomixis, to an 80-kb region containing 11 candidate genes. One of these, CitRWP, is expressed at higher levels in ovules of polyembryonic cultivars. We found a miniature inverted-repeat transposable element insertion in the promoter region of CitRWP that cosegregated with polyembryony. This study provides new insights into citrus apomixis and constitutes a promising resource for the mining of agriculturally important genes.


July 19, 2019  |  

Long-read sequencing and de novo genome assembly of Ammopiptanthus nanus, a desert shrub.

Ammopiptanthus nanus is a rare broad-leaved shrub that is found in the desert and arid regions of Central Asia. This plant species exhibits extremely high tolerance to drought and freezing and has been used in abiotic tolerance research in plants. As a relic of the tertiary period, A. nanus is of great significance to plant biogeographic research in the ancient Mediterranean region. Here, we report a draft genome assembly using the Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) platform and gene annotation for A. nanus.A total of 64.72 Gb of raw PacBio sequel reads were generated from four 20-kb libraries. After filtering, 64.53 Gb of clean reads were obtained, giving 72.59× coverage depth. Assembly using Canu gave an assembly length of 823.74 Mb, with a contig N50 of 2.76 Mb. The final size of the assembled A. nanus genome was close to the 889 Mb estimated by k-mer analysis. The gene annotation completeness was evaluated using Benchmarking Universal Single-Copy Orthologs; 1,327 of the 1,440 conserved genes (92.15%) could be found in the A. nanus assembly. Genome annotation revealed that 74.08% of the A. nanus genome is composed of repetitive elements and 53.44% is composed of long terminal repeat elements. We predicted ?37,188 protein-coding genes, of which 96.53% were functionally annotated.The genomic sequences of A. nanus could be a valuable source for comparative genomic analysis in the legume family and will be useful for understanding the phylogenetic relationships of the Thermopsideae and the evolutionary response of plant species to the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau uplift.


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