ABSTRACT: This study was designed to identify changes in gene expression when corn was placed under various related stresses including being grown with a competing weed (canola) to the V4 or V8 stage, or when 40% shade cloth was present to the V4 or V8 stage, or under low nitrogen (no added nitrogen fertilizer), or under weed/shade free fertilized control conditions. In all 5 treatments and the control, samples were harvested at V8. Mechanisms underlying early season weed stress on crop growth are not well described. Corn vegetative growth and development, yield, and gene expression response to nitrogen (N), light (40% shade), and weed stresses were compared with the response of nonstressed plants. Vegetative parameters, including leaf area and biomass, were measured from V2 toV12 corn stages. Transcriptome (2008) or quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (q PCR) (2008/09) analyses examined differential gene expression in stressed versus nonstressed corn at V8. Vegetative parameters were impacted minimally by N stress although grain yield was 40% lower. Shade, present until V2, reduced biomass and leaf area > 50% at V2 and, at V12, recovering plants remained smaller than nonstressed plants. Grain yields of shade-stressed plants were similar to nonstressed controls, unless shade remained until V8. Growth and yield reductions due to weed stress in 2008 were observed when weeds remained until V6. In 2009, weed stress at V2 reduced vegetative growth, and weed stress until V4 or later reduced yield. Principle component analysis of differentially expressed genes indicated that shade and weed stress had more similar gene expression patterns to each other than to nonstressed or low N stressed tissues. Weed-stressed corn had 630 differentially expressed genes compared with the nonstressed control. Of these genes, 259 differed and 82 were shared with shade-stressed plants. Corn grown in N-stressed conditions shared 252 differentially expressed genes with weed-stressed plants. Ontologies associated with light/photosynthesis, energy conversion, and signaling were down-regulated in response to all three stresses. Although shade and weed stress clustered most tightly together, only three ontologies were shared by these stresses, O-methyltransferase activity (lignification processes), Poly U binding activity (post-transcriptional gene regulation), and stomatal movement. Based on both morphologic and genomic observations, results suggest that shade, N, and weed stresses to corn are regulated by both different and overlapping mechanisms. three biological replicates for each treatment and the control were collected and the resulting labeled cDNA was hybridized to the 46,000-element maize microarray chip developed by the University of Arizona using their protocol (International Microarray Workshop Handbook, 2009Gardiner et al. 2005). The hybridization scheme was a dual hybridization using a rolling circle balanced dye swap design. Thus we had thre biological replicates for each growth condition amd two technical replicates for each biological sample.
Project description:Weed presence early in the life cycle of maize (typically, from emergence through the 8 to 12 leaf growth stage) can reduce crop growth and yield and is known as the critical weed-free period (CWFP). Even if weeds are removed during or just after the CWFP, crop growth and yield often are not recoverable. We compared transcriptome responses of field-grown hybrid maize at V8 in two consecutive years among plants grown under weed-free and two weed-stressed conditions (weeds removed at V4 or present through V8) using RNAseq analysis techniques. Compared with weed-free plant responses, physiological differences at V8 were identified in all weed-stressed plants and were most often associated with altered photosynthetic processes, hormone signaling, nitrogen use and transport, and biotic stress responses. Even when weeds were removed at V4 and tissues sampled at V8, carbon: nitrogen supply imbalance, salicylic acid signals, and growth responses differed between the weed-stressed and weed-free plants. These underlying processes and a small number of developmentally important genes are potential targets for decreasing the maize response to weed pressure. Expression differences of several novel, long noncoding RNAs resulting from exposure of maize to weeds during the CWFP were also observed and could open new avenues for investigation into the function of these transcription units.
Project description:Purpose: This study is designed to identify genes and processes that are differentially regulated in corn when it is grown with or without weeds through the entire critical weed free period (to V8) or when weeds were removed early in the critical weed free period (at V4) and the plants were allowed to recover until V8. Methods: Corn was grown as described above in field plots near Brookings SD in 2007 and 2008 and RNA was extracted from the top-most leaf tips from four plants per treatment plot. Unidirectional cDNA illumina sequencing libraries were constructed for each sample (pooled leaf tips from the given plot), and were sequenced (some samples were paired end sequenced and some were single end sequenced - all 100 bases for PE and SE reads), quality trimmed, and analyzed using the Tuxedo suite of programs for SE reads of the forward read libraries for each sample. Results: We identified a small number of genes that were differentially expressed in both years. More importantly, gene set enrichment analysis of the data determined that weeds, when present through the critical weed free period impacted phytochrome signaling, defense responses, photosynthetic processes, oxidative stress responses, and various hormone signaling processes. When weeds were removed at V4 and the plants allowed to recover until V8, the weeds still imprinted impacts on phytochrome signaling, oxidative stress, and defense responses. Thus, it appears that weeds presence through the early portion of the critical weed free period, even after removal, induced processes that reduce corn growth and yield that lasted at least through V8. Conclusions: This study represents the first investigation of the impact of the lasting effects of weeds during the early critical weed free period on the transcriptome of corn, and provides additional data on the impact of weeds through the critical weed free period that augments and confirms much of what was observed in similar microarray studies. Overall design: Experimental Design: Samples all collected at the same developmental stage (V8) from three treatments (control, weedy, and weeds removed followed by recovery), in each of two years (2007 and 2008), with two to three biological replicates of each treatment in each year.
Project description:Research conducted, including the rationale: Weeds reduce yield in soybeans through incompletely defined mechanisms. The effects of weeds on the soybean transcriptome were evaluated in field conditions during four separate gR1.fastqing seasons. Methods: RNASeq data were collected from 6 biological samples of soybeans gR1.fastqing with or without weeds. Weed species and the methods to maintain weed free controls varied between years to mitigate treatment effects and to allow detection of general soybeans weed responses. Key results: Soybean plants were not visibly nutrient or water stressed. We identified 55 consistently down-regulated genes in weedy plots. Many of the down-regulated genes were heat shock genes. Fourteen genes were consistently up-regulated. Several transcription factors including a PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR 3-like gene (PIF3) were included among the up-regulated genes. Gene set enrichment analysis indicated roles for increased oxidative stress and jasmonic acid signaling responses during weed stress. Main conclusion: The relationship of this weed-induced PIF3 gene to genes involved in shade avoidance responses in arabidopsis provide evidence that this gene may be important in the response of soybean to weeds. These results suggest the weed-induced PIF3 gene will be a target for manipulating weed tolerance in soybean. Samples were collected from two treatments ("Control" and "Weedy") with six biological replicates (2008, 2009, and twop each for 2010 and 2011) for each treatment.
Project description:Transcriptomic responses of plants to weed presence gives insight on the physiological and molecular mechanisms involved in the stress response. This study evaluated transcriptomic and morphological responses of two teosinte (Zea mays ssp parviglumis) (an ancestor of domesticated maize) lines (Ames 21812 and Ames 21789) to weed presence and absence during two growing seasons. Responses were compared after 6 weeks of growth in Aurora, South Dakota, USA. Plant heights between treatments were similar in Ames 21812, whereas branch number decreased when weeds were present. Ames 21789 was 45% shorter in weedy vs weed-free plots, but branch numbers were similar between treatments. Season-long biomass was reduced in response to weed stress in both lines. Common down-regulated subnetworks in weed-stressed plants were related to light, photosynthesis, and carbon cycles. Several unique response networks (e.g. aging, response to chitin) and gene sets were present in each line. Comparing transcriptomic responses of maize (determined in an adjacent study) and teosinte lines indicated three common gene ontologies up-regulated when weed-stressed: jasmonic acid response/signaling, UDP-glucosyl and glucuronyltransferases, and quercetin glucosyltransferase (3-O and 7-O). Overall, morphologic and transcriptomic differences suggest a greater varietal (rather than a conserved) response to weed stress, and implies multiple responses are possible. These findings offer insights into opportunities to define and manipulate gene expression of several different pathways of modern maize varieties to improve performance under weedy conditions.
Project description:Plants that store nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) may rely on carbon reserves to survive carbon-limiting stress, assuming that reserves can be mobilized. We asked whether carbon reserves decrease in resource stressed seedlings, and if NSC allocation is related to species' relative stress tolerances. We tested the effects of stress (shade, drought, and defoliation) on NSC in seedlings of five temperate tree species (Acer rubrum Marsh., Betula papyrifera Marsh., Fraxinus americana L ., Quercus rubra L., and Quercus velutina Lam.). In a greenhouse experiment, seedlings were subjected to combinations of shade, drought, and defoliation. We harvested seedlings over 32-97 days and measured biomass and NSC concentrations in stems and roots to estimate depletion rates. For all species and treatments, except for defoliation, seedling growth and NSC accumulation ceased. Shade and drought combined caused total NSC decreases in all species. For shade or drought alone, only some species experienced decreases. Starch followed similar patterns as total NSC, but soluble sugars increased under drought for drought-tolerant species. These results provide evidence that species deplete stored carbon in response to carbon limiting stress and that species differences in NSC response may be important for understanding carbon depletion as a buffer against shade- and drought-induced mortality.
Project description:This study was designed to identify changes in gene expression that occur when corn was grown on different landscape features. Specifically on the backslope or summit/shoulder of a hill. In rolling landscapes, plant available water varies drastically by location and soil type. Almost simultaneously, plants may be flooded out in footslope locations whereas plants in summit locations may be suffering from severe drought. The objective of this study was to determine the influence of landscape position on corn (Zea mays) productivity and gene regulation. Corn was sampled at V12 for plant growth characteristics and transcriptome analysis at summit/shoulder and lower backslope positions. Plants at the summit had 16% less leaf area and biomass compared with plants at the toeslope. Gene expression analysis using microarray chips, transcriptome analysis, and qPCR indicated that plants at the summit had 708 genes down-regulated and 399 genes up-regulated compared to control plants at the lower back slope. GSEA (Gene Set Enrichment Analysis) indicated tolerance to cold, salt, and drying were increased in summit/should plants compared to control toeslope plants. However, nutrient uptake, recovery from wounding, pest and fungal disease resistance, along with photosynthetic capacity were all down-regulated in moderate water stresses plants. These responses suggest that corn preferentially responses to water stress as the expense of its ability to respond to other stresses. Three biological replicates for the control (backslope) and six biological replicate of summit/shoulder-grown plants were collected. The resulting labeled cDNA was hybridized to the 46,000-element maize microarray chip developed by the University of Arizona using their protocol (International Microarray Workshop Handbook, 2009Gardiner et al. 2005). The hybridization scheme was a dual hybridization using a rolling circle balanced dye swap design. Thus we had three to six biological replicates for each growth condition and two technical replicates for each biological sample.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely known for their broad-spectrum control of arthropod pests. Recently, their effects on plant physiological mechanisms have been characterized as producing a stress shield, which is predicted to enhance tolerance to adverse conditions. Here we investigate the molecular underpinnings of the stress shield concept using the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam in two separate experiments that compare gene expression. We hypothesized that the application of a thiamethoxam seed treatment to soybean would alter the expression of genes involved in plant defensive pathways and general stress response in later vegetative growth. First, we used next-generation sequencing to examine the broad scale transcriptional effects of the thiamethoxam seed treatment at three vegetative stages in soybean. Second, we selected ten target genes associated with plant defense pathways in soybean and examined the interactive effects of thiamethoxam seed treatment and drought stress on expression using qRT-PCR. RESULTS: Direct comparison of thiamethoxam-treated and untreated soybeans revealed minor transcriptional differences. However, when examined across vegetative stages, the thiamethoxam seed treatment induced substantial transcriptional changes that were not observed in untreated plants. Genes associated with photosynthesis, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, development of the cell wall and membrane organization were uniquely upregulated between vegetative stages in thiamethoxam-treated plants. In addition, several genes associated with phytohormone and oxidative stress responses were downregulated between vegetative stages. When we examined the expression of a subset of ten genes associated with plant defense and stress response, the application of thiamethoxam was found to interact with drought stress by enhancing or repressing expression. In drought stressed plants, thiamethoxam induced (upregulated) expression of a thiamine biosynthetic enzyme (THIZ2) and gibberellin regulated protein (GRP), but repressed (downregulated) the expression of an apetala 2 (GmDREB2A;2), lipoxygenase (LIP), and SAM dependent carboxyl methyltransferase (SAM). CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence that a thiamethoxam seed treatment alters the expression soybean genes related to plant defense and stress response both in the presence and absence of drought stress. Consistent with the thiamethoxam stress shield concept, several genes associated with phytohormones showed enhanced expression in drought stressed plants.
Project description:Reproductive processes of chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) are particularly sensitive to salinity. We tested whether limited photoassimilate availability contributes to reproductive failure in salt-stressed chickpea. Rupali, a salt-sensitive genotype, was grown in aerated nutrient solution, either with non-saline (control) or 30mM NaCl treatment. At flowering, stems were either infused with sucrose solution (0.44M), water only or maintained without any infusion, for 75 d. The sucrose and water infusion treatments of non-saline plants had no effect on growth or yield, but photosynthesis declined in response to sucrose infusion. Salt stress reduced photosynthesis, decreased tissue sugars by 22-47%, and vegetative and reproductive growth were severely impaired. Sucrose infusion of salt-treated plants increased total sugars in stems, leaves and developing pods, to levels similar to those of non-saline plants. In salt-stressed plants, sucrose infusion increased dry mass (2.6-fold), pod numbers (3.8-fold), seed numbers (6.5-fold) and seed yield (10.4-fold), yet vegetative growth and reproductive failure were not rescued completely by sucrose infusion. Sucrose infusion partly rescued reproductive failure in chickpea by increasing vegetative growth enabling more flower production and by providing sucrose for pod and seed growth. We conclude that insufficient assimilate availability limits yield in salt-stressed chickpea.
Project description:Plants exposed to environmental stresses draw upon many genetic and epigenetic strategies, with the former sometimes modulated by the latter. This can help the plant, and its immediate progeny, at least, to better endure the stress. Some evidence has led to proposals that (epi) genetic changes can be both selective and sustainably heritable, while other evidence suggests that changes are effectively stochastic, and important only because they induce genetic variation. One type of stress with an arguably high level of stochasticity in its effects is temperature stress. Studies of how heat and cold affect the rates of meiotic recombination (MR) and somatic mutations (SMs, which are potentially heritable in plants) report increases, decreases, or no effect. Collectively, they do not point to any consistent patterns. Some of this variability, however, might arise from the stress being applied for such an extended time, typically days or weeks. Here, we adopted a targeted approach by (1) limiting exposure to one hour; and (2) timing it to coincide with (a) gamete, and early gametophyte, development, a period of high stress sensitivity; and (b) a late stage of vegetative development.For plants (Arabidopsis thaliana) otherwise grown at 22 °C, we measured the effects of a 1 h exposure to cold (12 °C) or heat (32 °C) on the rates of MR, and four types of SMs (frameshift mutations; intrachromosomal recombination; base substitutions; transpositions) in the F1 progeny. One parent (wild type) was stressed, the other (unstressed) carried a genetic event detector. When rates were compared to those in progeny of control (both parents unstressed) two patterns emerged. In the progeny of younger plants (stressed at 36 days; pollinated at 40 days) heat and cold either had no effect (on MR) or (for SMs) had effects that were rare and stochastic. In the progeny of older plants (stressed at 41 days; pollinated at 45 days), while effects were also infrequent, those that were seen followed a consistent pattern: rates of all five genetic events were lowest at 12 °C and highest at 32 °C, i.e. they varied in a "dose-response" manner. This pattern was strongest (or, in the case of MR, only apparent) in progeny whose stressed parent was female.While the infrequency of effects suggests the need for cautious inference, the consistency of responses in the progeny of older plants, indicate that in some circumstances the level of stochasticity in inherited genetic responses to heat or cold stress can be context-dependent, possibly reflecting life-cycle stages in the parental generation that are variably stress sensitive.
Project description:In field conditions, plants are concurrently exposed to multiple stresses, where one stressor impacts the plant's response to another stressor, and the resultant net effect of these stresses differs from individual stress response. The present study investigated the effect of drought stress on interaction of chickpea with Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola (Psp; foliar pathogen) and Ralstonia solanacearum (Rs; xylem inhabiting wilt causing pathogen), respectively, and the net-effect of combined stress on chlorophyll content and cell death. Two type of stress treatments were used to study the influence of each stress factor during combined stress, viz., imposition of drought stress followed by pathogen challenge (DP), and pathogen inoculated plants imposed with drought in course of pathogen infection (PD). Drought stress was imposed at different levels with pathogen inoculum to understand the influence of different stress intensities on stress interaction and their net impact. Drought stressed chickpea plants challenged with Psp infection (DPsp) showed reduced in planta bacterial number compared to Psp infection alone. Similarly, Rs infection of chickpea plants showed reduced in planta bacterial number under severe drought stress. Combined drought and Psp (DPsp) infected plants showed decreased cell death compared to plants infected only with Psp but the extent of cell death was similar to drought stressed plants. Similarly, chlorophyll content in plants under combined stress was similar to the individual drought stressed plants; however, the chlorophyll content was more compared to pathogen only infected plants. Under combined drought and Rs infection (DRs), cell death was similar to individual drought stress but significantly less compared to only Rs infected plants. Altogether, the study proposes that both stress interaction and net effect of combined stress could be majorly influenced by first occurring stress, for example, drought stress in DP treatment. In addition, our results indicate that the outcome of the two stress interaction in plant depends on timing of stress occurrence and nature of infecting pathogen.