April 21, 2020  |  

BjuWRR1, a CC-NB-LRR gene identified in Brassica juncea, confers resistance to white rust caused by Albugo candida.

BjuWRR1, a CNL-type R gene, was identified from an east European gene pool line of Brassica juncea and validated for conferring resistance to white rust by genetic transformation. White rust caused by the oomycete pathogen Albugo candida is a significant disease of crucifer crops including Brassica juncea (mustard), a major oilseed crop of the Indian subcontinent. Earlier, a resistance-conferring locus named AcB1-A5.1 was mapped in an east European gene pool line of B. juncea-Donskaja-IV. This line was tested along with some other lines of B. juncea (AABB), B. rapa (AA) and B. nigra (BB) for resistance to six isolates of A. candida collected from different mustard growing regions of India. Donskaja-IV was found to be completely resistant to all the tested isolates. Sequencing of a BAC spanning the locus AcB1-A5.1 showed the presence of a single CC-NB-LRR protein encoding R gene. The genomic sequence of the putative R gene with its native promoter and terminator was used for the genetic transformation of a susceptible Indian gene pool line Varuna and was found to confer complete resistance to all the isolates. This is the first white rust resistance-conferring gene described from Brassica species and has been named BjuWRR1. Allelic variants of the gene in B. juncea germplasm and orthologues in the Brassicaceae genomes were studied to understand the evolutionary dynamics of the BjuWRR1 gene.


April 21, 2020  |  

High Quality Draft Genome of Arogyapacha (Trichopus zeylanicus), an Important Medicinal Plant Endemic to Western Ghats of India.

Arogyapacha, the local name of Trichopus zeylanicus, is a rare, indigenous medicinal plant of India. This plant is famous for its traditional use as an instant energy stimulant. So far, no genomic resource is available for this important plant and hence its metabolic pathways are poorly understood. Here, we report on a high-quality draft assembly of approximately 713.4 Mb genome of T. zeylanicus, first draft genome from the genus Trichopus The assembly was generated in a hybrid approach using Illumina short-reads and Pacbio longer-reads. The total assembly comprised of 22601 scaffolds with an N50 value of 433.3 Kb. We predicted 34452 protein coding genes in T. zeylanicus genome and found that a significant portion of these predicted genes were associated with various secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways. Comparative genome analysis revealed extensive gene collinearity between T. zeylanicus and its closely related plant species. The present genome and annotation data provide an essential resource to speed-up the research on secondary metabolism, breeding and molecular evolution of T. zeylanicus. Copyright © 2019 Chellappan et al.


April 21, 2020  |  

A Species-Wide Inventory of NLR Genes and Alleles in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Infectious disease is both a major force of selection in nature and a prime cause of yield loss in agriculture. In plants, disease resistance is often conferred by nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins, intracellular immune receptors that recognize pathogen proteins and their effects on the host. Consistent with extensive balancing and positive selection, NLRs are encoded by one of the most variable gene families in plants, but the true extent of intraspecific NLR diversity has been unclear. Here, we define a nearly complete species-wide pan-NLRome in Arabidopsis thaliana based on sequence enrichment and long-read sequencing. The pan-NLRome largely saturates with approximately 40 well-chosen wild strains, with half of the pan-NLRome being present in most accessions. We chart NLR architectural diversity, identify new architectures, and quantify selective forces that act on specific NLRs and NLR domains. Our study provides a blueprint for defining pan-NLRomes.Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

An improved assembly and annotation of the allohexaploid wheat genome identifies complete families of agronomic genes and provides genomic evidence for chromosomal translocations.

Advances in genome sequencing and assembly technologies are generating many high-quality genome sequences, but assemblies of large, repeat-rich polyploid genomes, such as that of bread wheat, remain fragmented and incomplete. We have generated a new wheat whole-genome shotgun sequence assembly using a combination of optimized data types and an assembly algorithm designed to deal with large and complex genomes. The new assembly represents >78% of the genome with a scaffold N50 of 88.8 kb that has a high fidelity to the input data. Our new annotation combines strand-specific Illumina RNA-seq and Pacific Biosciences (PacBio) full-length cDNAs to identify 104,091 high-confidence protein-coding genes and 10,156 noncoding RNA genes. We confirmed three known and identified one novel genome rearrangements. Our approach enables the rapid and scalable assembly of wheat genomes, the identification of structural variants, and the definition of complete gene models, all powerful resources for trait analysis and breeding of this key global crop. © 2017 Clavijo et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

Computational analysis of alternative splicing in plant genomes.

Computational analyses play crucial roles in characterizing splicing isoforms in plant genomes. In this review, we provide a survey of computational tools used in recently published, genome-scale splicing analyses in plants. We summarize the commonly used software and pipelines for read mapping, isoform reconstruction, isoform quantification, and differential expression analysis. We also discuss methods for analyzing long reads and the strategies to combine long and short reads in identifying splicing isoforms. We review several tools for characterizing local splicing events, splicing graphs, coding potential, and visualizing splicing isoforms. We further discuss the procedures for identifying conserved splicing isoforms across plant species. Finally, we discuss the outlook of integrating other genomic data with splicing analyses to identify regulatory mechanisms of AS on genome-wide scale. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

PHASIS: A computational suite for de novo discovery and characterization of phased, siRNA-generating loci and their miRNA triggers

Phased, secondary siRNAs (phasiRNAs) are found widely in plants, from protein-coding transcripts and long, non-coding RNAs; animal piRNAs are also phased. Integrated methods characterizing textquotedblleftPHAStextquotedblright loci are unavailable, and existing methods are quite limited and inefficient in handling large volumes of sequencing data. The PHASIS suite described here provides complete tools for the computational characterization of PHAS loci, with an emphasis on plants, in which these loci are numerous. Benchmarked comparisons demonstrate that PHASIS is sensitive, highly scalable and fast. Importantly, PHASIS eliminates the requirement of a sequenced genome and PARE/degradome data for discovery of phasiRNAs and their miRNA triggers.


September 22, 2019  |  

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 of gene expression at the post-transcriptional level.© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


September 22, 2019  |  

Assessing the gene content of the megagenome: sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana).

Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Douglas) is within the subgenus Strobus with an estimated genome size of 31 Gbp. Transcriptomic resources are of particular interest in conifers due to the challenges presented in their megagenomes for gene identification. In this study, we present the first comprehensive survey of the P. lambertiana transcriptome through deep sequencing of a variety of tissue types to generate more than 2.5 billion short reads. Third generation, long reads generated through PacBio Iso-Seq has been included for the first time in conifers to combat the challenges associated with de novo transcriptome assembly. A technology comparison is provided here contribute to the otherwise scarce comparisons of 2nd and 3rd generation transcriptome sequencing approaches in plant species. In addition, the transcriptome reference was essential for gene model identification and quality assessment in the parallel project responsible for sequencing and assembly of the entire genome. In this study, the transcriptomic data was also used to address some of the questions surrounding lineage-specific Dicer-like proteins in conifers. These proteins play a role in the control of transposable element proliferation and the related genome expansion in conifers. Copyright © 2016 Author et al.


September 22, 2019  |  

Plant 24-nt reproductive phasiRNAs from intramolecular duplex mRNAs in diverse monocots.

In grasses, two pathways that generate diverse and numerous 21-nt (premeiotic) and 24-nt (meiotic) phased siRNAs are highly enriched in anthers, the male reproductive organs. These “phasiRNAs” are analogous to mammalian piRNAs, yet their functions and evolutionary origins remain largely unknown. The 24-nt meiotic phasiRNAs have only been described in grasses, wherein their biogenesis is dependent on a specialized Dicer (DCL5). To assess how evolution gave rise to this pathway, we examined reproductive phasiRNA pathways in nongrass monocots: garden asparagus, daylily, and lily. The common ancestors of these species diverged approximately 115-117 million years ago (MYA). We found that premeiotic 21-nt and meiotic 24-nt phasiRNAs were abundant in all three species and displayed spatial localization and temporal dynamics similar to grasses. The miR2275-triggered pathway was also present, yielding 24-nt reproductive phasiRNAs, and thus originated more than 117 MYA. In asparagus, unlike in grasses, these siRNAs are largely derived from inverted repeats (IRs); analyses in lily identified thousands of precursor loci, and many were also predicted to form foldback substrates for Dicer processing. Additionally, reproductive phasiRNAs were present in female reproductive organs and thus may function in both male and female germinal development. These data describe several distinct mechanisms of production for 24-nt meiotic phasiRNAs and provide new insights into the evolution of reproductive phasiRNA pathways in monocots.© 2018 Kakrana et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.


September 22, 2019  |  

An ancient integration in a plant NLR is maintained as a trans-species polymorphism

Plant immune receptors are under constant selective pressure to maintain resistance to plant pathogens. Nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR) proteins are one class of cytoplasmic immune receptors whose genes commonly show signatures of adaptive evolution. While it is known that balancing selection contributes to maintaining high intraspecific allelic diversity, the evolutionary mechanism that influences the transmission of alleles during speciation remains unclear. The barley Mla locus has over 30 described alleles conferring isolate-specific resistance to barley powdery mildew and contains three NLR families (RGH1, RGH2, and RGH3). We discovered (using sequence capture and RNAseq) the presence of a novel integrated Exo70 domain in RGH2 in the Mla3 haplotype. Allelic variation across barley accessions includes presence/absence of the integrated domain in RGH2. Expanding our search to several Poaceae species, we found shared interspecific conservation in the RGH2-Exo70 integration. We hypothesise that balancing selection has maintained allelic variation at Mla as a trans-species polymorphism over 24 My, thus contributing to and preserving interspecific allelic diversity during speciation.


September 22, 2019  |  

Molecular characterization of NBS-LRR genes in the soybean Rsv3 locus reveals several divergent alleles that likely confer resistance to the soybean mosaic virus.

The divergence patterns of NBS – LRR genes in soybean Rsv3 locus were deciphered and several divergent alleles ( NBS_C, NBS_D and Columbia NBS_E ) were identified as the likely functional candidates of Rsv3. The soybean Rsv3 locus, which confers resistance to the soybean mosaic virus (SMV), has been previously mapped to a region containing five nucleotide binding site-leucine-rich repeats (NBS-LRR) genes (referred to as nbs_A-E) in Williams 82. In resistant cultivars, however, the number of NBS-LRR genes in this region and their divergence from susceptible alleles remain unclear. In the present study, we constructed and screened a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library for an Rsv3-possessing cultivar, Zaoshu 18. Sequencing two positive BAC inserts on the Rsv3 locus revealed that Zaoshu 18 possesses the same gene content and order as Williams 82, but two of the NBS-LRR genes, NBS_C and NBS_D, exhibit distinct features that were not observed in the Williams 82 alleles. Obtaining these NBS-LRR genes from eight additional cultivars demonstrated that the NBS_A-D genes diverged into two different alleles: the nbs_A-D alleles were associated with the rsv3-type cultivars, whereas the NBS_A-D alleles were associated with the Rsv3-possessing cultivars. For the NBS_E gene, the cultivar Columbia possesses an allele (NBS_E) that differed from that in Zaoshu 18 and rsv3-type cultivars (nbs_E). Exchanged fragments were further detected on alleles of the NBS_C-E genes, suggesting that recombination is a major force responsible for allele divergence. Also, the LRR domains of the NBS_C-E genes exhibited extremely strong signals of positive selection. Overall, the divergence patterns of the NBS-LRR genes in Rsv3 locus elucidated by this study indicate that not only NBS_C but also NBS_D and Columbia NBS_E are likely functional alleles that confer resistance to SMV.


September 22, 2019  |  

Nucleotide-binding resistance gene signatures in sugar beet, insights from a new reference genome.

Nucleotide-binding (NB-ARC), leucine-rich-repeat genes (NLRs) account for 60.8% of resistance (R) genes molecularly characterized from plants. NLRs exist as large gene families prone to tandem duplication and transposition, with high sequence diversity among crops and their wild relatives. This diversity can be a source of new disease resistance, but difficulty in distinguishing specific sequences from homologous gene family members hinders characterization of resistance for improving crop varieties. Current genome sequencing and assembly technologies, especially those using long-read sequencing, are improving resolution of repeat-rich genomic regions and clarifying locations of duplicated genes, such as NLRs. Using the conserved NB-ARC domain as a model, 231 tentative NB-ARC loci were identified in a highly contiguous genome assembly of sugar beet, revealing diverged and truncated NB-ARC signatures as well as full-length sequences. The NB-ARC-associated proteins contained NLR resistance gene domains, including TIR, CC, and LRR, as well as other integrated domains. Phylogenetic relationships of partial and complete domains were determined, and patterns of physical clustering in the genome were evaluated. Comparison of sugar beet NB-ARC domains to validated R genes from monocots and eudicots suggested extensive B. vulgaris-specific subfamily expansions. The NLR landscape in the rhizomania resistance conferring Rz region of Chromosome 3 was characterized, identifying 26 NLR-like sequences spanning 20 MB. This work presents the first detailed view of NLR family composition in a member of the Caryophyllales, builds a foundation for additional disease resistance work in B. vulgaris, and demonstrates an additional nucleic-acid-based method for NLR prediction in non-model plant species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


September 22, 2019  |  

Genomic approaches for studying crop evolution.

Understanding how crop plants evolved from their wild relatives and spread around the world can inform about the origins of agriculture. Here, we review how the rapid development of genomic resources and tools has made it possible to conduct genetic mapping and population genetic studies to unravel the molecular underpinnings of domestication and crop evolution in diverse crop species. We propose three future avenues for the study of crop evolution: establishment of high-quality reference genomes for crops and their wild relatives; genomic characterization of germplasm collections; and the adoption of novel methodologies such as archaeogenetics, epigenomics, and genome editing.


September 21, 2019  |  

Potato late blight field resistance from QTL dPI09c is conferred by the NB-LRR gene R8.

Following the often short-lived protection that major nucleotide binding, leucine-rich-repeat (NB-LRR) resistance genes offer against the potato pathogen Phytophthora infestans, field resistance was thought to provide a more durable alternative to prevent late blight disease. We previously identified the QTL dPI09c on potato chromosome 9 as a more durable field resistance source against late blight. Here, the resistance QTL was fine-mapped to a 186 kb region. The interval corresponds to a larger, 389 kb, genomic region in the potato reference genome of Solanum tuberosum Group Phureja doubled monoploid clone DM1-3 (DM) and from which functional NB-LRRs R8, R9a, Rpi-moc1, and Rpi_vnt1 have arisen independently in wild species. dRenSeq analysis of parental clones alongside resistant and susceptible bulks of the segregating population B3C1HP showed full sequence representation of R8. This was independently validated using long-range PCR and screening of a bespoke bacterial artificial chromosome library. The latter enabled a comparative analysis of the sequence variation in this locus in diverse Solanaceae. We reveal for the first time that broad spectrum and durable field resistance against P. infestans is conferred by the NB-LRR gene R8, which is thought to provide narrow spectrum race-specific resistance.


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