Development of full-length cDNAs from Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa Subsp. pekinensis) and identification of marker genes for defence response.
ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis belongs to the Brassicaceae family and plays an important role as a model plant for which researchers have developed fine-tuned genome resources. Genome sequencing projects have been initiated for other members of the Brassicaceae family. Among these projects, research on Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis) started early because of strong interest in this species. Here, we report the development of a library of Chinese cabbage full-length cDNA clones, the RIKEN BRC B. rapa full-length cDNA (BBRAF) resource, to accelerate research on Brassica species. We sequenced 10 000 BBRAF clones and confirmed 5476 independent clones. Most of these cDNAs showed high homology to Arabidopsis genes, but we also obtained more than 200 cDNA clones that lacked any sequence homology to Arabidopsis genes. We also successfully identified several possible candidate marker genes for plant defence responses from our analysis of the expression of the Brassica counterparts of Arabidopsis marker genes in response to salicylic acid and jasmonic acid. We compared gene expression of these markers in several Chinese cabbage cultivars. Our BBRAF cDNA resource will be publicly available from the RIKEN Bioresource Center and will help researchers to transfer Arabidopsis-related knowledge to Brassica crops.
Project description:Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) is a widely cultivated and economically important vegetable crop with typical leaf curvature. The TCP (Teosinte branched1, Cycloidea, Proliferating cell factor) family proteins are plant-specific transcription factors (TFs) and play important roles in many plant biological processes, especially in the regulation of leaf curvature. In this study, 39 genes encoding TCP TFs are detected on the whole genome of B. rapa. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of TCPs between Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica rapa, TCP genes of Chinese cabbage are named from BrTCP1a to BrTCP24b. Moreover, the chromosomal location; phylogenetic relationships among B. rapa, A. thaliana, and rice; gene structures and protein conserved sequence alignment; and conserved domains are analyzed. The expression profiles of BrTCPs are analyzed in different tissues. To understand the role of Chinese cabbage TCP members in regulating the curvature of leaves, the expression patterns of all BrTCP genes are detected at three development stages essential for leafy head formation. Our results provide information on the classification and details of BrTCPs and allow us to better understand the function of TCPs involved in leaf curvature of Chinese cabbage.
Project description:HYL1 (HYPONASTIC LEAVES 1) in Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a double-stranded RNA-binding protein needed for proper miRNA maturation, and its null mutant hyl1 shows a typical leaf-incurvature phenotype. In Chinese cabbage, BcpLH (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis LEAFY HEADS), a close homolog of HYL1, is differentially expressed in juvenile leaves, which are flat, and in adult leaves, which display extreme incurvature. BcpLH lacks protein-protein interaction domains and is much shorter than HYL1. To test whether BcpLH is associated with defects in microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis and leaf flatness, we enhanced and repressed the activity of BcpLH by transgenics and investigated BcpLH-dependent miRNAs and plant morphology. BcpLH promoted miRNA biogenesis by the proper processing of primary miRNAs. BcpLH downregulation via antisense decreased a specific subset of miRNAs and increased the activities of their target genes, causing upward curvature of rosette leaves and early leaf incurvature, concurrent with the enlargement, earliness, and round-to-oval shape transition of leafy heads. Moreover, BcpLH-dependent miRNAs in Chinese cabbage are not the same as HYL1-dependent miRNAs in Arabidopsis. We suggest that BcpLH controls a specific subset of miRNAs in Chinese cabbage and coordinates the direction, extent, and timing of leaf curvature during head formation in Brassica rapa.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) is a member of one of the most important leaf vegetables grown worldwide, which has experienced thousands of years in cultivation and artificial selection. The entire Chinese cabbage genome sequence, and more than forty thousand proteins have been obtained to date. The genome has undergone triplication events since its divergence from Arabidopsis thaliana (13 to 17 Mya), however a high degree of sequence similarity and conserved genome structure remain between the two species. Arabidopsis is therefore a viable reference species for comparative genomics studies. Variation in the number of members in gene families due to genome triplication may contribute to the broad range of phenotypic plasticity, and increased tolerance to environmental extremes observed in Brassica species. Transcription factors are important regulators involved in plant developmental and physiological processes. The AP2/ERF proteins, one of the most important families of transcriptional regulators, play a crucial role in plant growth, and in response to biotic and abiotic stressors. Our analysis will provide resources for understanding the tolerance mechanisms in Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis. RESULTS: In the present study, 291 putative AP2/ERF transcription factor proteins were identified from the Chinese cabbage genome database, and compared with proteins from 15 additional species. The Chinese cabbage AP2/ERF superfamily was classified into four families, including AP2, ERF, RAV, and Soloist. The ERF family was further divided into DREB and ERF subfamilies. The AP2/ERF superfamily was subsequently divided into 15 groups. The identification, classification, phylogenetic reconstruction, conserved motifs, chromosome distribution, functional annotation, expression patterns, and interaction networks of the AP2/ERF transcription factor superfamily were predicted and analyzed. Distribution mapping results showed AP2/ERF superfamily genes were localized on the 10 Chinese cabbage chromosomes. AP2/ERF transcription factor expression levels exhibited differences among six tissue types based on expressed sequence tags (ESTs). In the AP2/ERF superfamily, 214 orthologous genes were identified between Chinese cabbage and Arabidopsis. Orthologous gene interaction networks were constructed, and included seven CBF and four AP2 genes, primarily involved in cold regulatory pathways and ovule development, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The evolution of the AP2/ERF transcription factor superfamily in Chinese cabbage resulted from genome triplication and tandem duplications. A comprehensive analysis of the physiological functions and biological roles of AP2/ERF superfamily genes in Chinese cabbage is required to fully elucidate AP2/ERF, which provides us with rich resources and opportunities to understand crop stress tolerance mechanisms.
Project description:Calmodulin-like (CML) proteins are a primary family of plant-specific Ca2+ sensors that specifically bind to Ca2+ and deliver a Ca2+ signal. CML proteins have been identified and characterized in many plant species, such as the model plant Arabidopsis and rice. Based on considerable evidence, the roles of CML proteins are crucial in plant growth and development and in the response to various external stimuli. Nevertheless, the characterization and expression profiling of CML genes in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) remain limited.In this study, a genome-wide search and comprehensive analysis were performed, and a total of 79 BrCML genes were identified in Chinese cabbage. Gene structure analysis revealed that these BrCML genes contained two to four conserved EF-hand motifs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CML homologs between Chinese cabbage and Arabidopsis shared close relationships. The identified BrCML genes were located across ten chromosomes and three different subgenomes of Chinese cabbage. Moreover, 126 pairs of orthologous CML genes were found among Chinese cabbage, Arabidopsis and Brassica oleracea. Expression analysis revealed that the expression of some BrCML genes was tissue-specific and that of some was susceptible to temperature stress. A putative interaction network of BrCML proteins was proposed, which suggested that BrCML2, BrCML6, BrCML15 and BrCML25 were co-expressed and might play roles in flower development and other relevant biological processes of Chinese cabbage.The results of this study increased the understanding and characterization of BrCML genes in Chinese cabbage, and will be a rich resource for further studies to investigate BrCML protein function in various developmental processes of Chinese cabbage.
Project description:bZIP (basic leucine zipper) transcription factors coordinate plant growth and development and control responses to environmental stimuli. The genome of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa) encodes 136 putative bZIP transcription factors. The bZIP transcription factors in Brassica rapa (BrbZIP) are classified into 10 subfamilies. Phylogenetic relationship analysis reveals that subfamily A consists of 23 BrbZIPs. Two BrbZIPs within subfamily A, Bra005287 and Bra017251, display high similarity to ABI5 (ABA Insensitive 5). Expression of subfamily A BrbZIPs, like BrABI5a (Bra005287/BrbZIP14) and BrABI5b (Bra017251/BrbZIP13), are significantly induced by the plant hormone ABA. Subcellular localization assay reveal that both BrABI5a and BrABI5b have a nuclear localization. BrABI5a and BrABI5b could directly stimulate ABA Responsive Element-driven HIS (a HIS3 reporter gene, which confers His prototrophy) or LUC (LUCIFERASE) expression in yeast and Arabidopsis protoplast. Deletion of the bZIP motif abolished BrABI5a and BrABI5b transcriptional activity. The ABA insensitive phenotype of Arabidopsis abi5-1 is completely suppressed in transgenic lines expressing BrABI5a or BrABI5b. Overall, these results suggest that ABI5 orthologs, BrABI5a and BrABI5b, have key roles in ABA signalling in Chinese cabbage.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The genomes of non-heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis), heading Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) and their close relative Arabidopsis thaliana have provided important resources for studying the evolution and genetic improvement of cruciferous plants. Natural growing conditions present these plants with a variety of physiological challenges for which they have a repertoire of genes that ensure adaptability and normal growth. We investigated the differential expressions of genes that control adaptability and development in plants growing in the natural environment to study underlying mechanisms of their expression. RESULTS: Using digital gene expression tag profiling, we constructed an expression profile to identify genes related to important agronomic traits under natural growing conditions. Among three non-heading Chinese cabbage cultivars, we found thousands of genes that exhibited significant differences in expression levels at five developmental stages. Through comparative analysis and previous reports, we identified several candidate genes associated with late flowering, cold tolerance, self-incompatibility, and leaf color. Two genes related to cold tolerance were verified using quantitative real-time PCR. CONCLUSIONS: We identified a large number of genes associated with important agronomic traits of non-heading Chinese cabbage. This analysis will provide a wealth of resources for molecular-assisted breeding of cabbage. The raw data and detailed results of this analysis are available at the website http://nhccdata.njau.edu.cn.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Brassica rapa is an economically important crop species. During its long breeding history, a large number of morphotypes have been generated, including leafy vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and pakchoi, turnip tuber crops and oil crops. RESULTS: To investigate the genetic variation underlying this morphological variation, we re-sequenced, assembled and annotated the genomes of two B. rapa subspecies, turnip crops (turnip) and a rapid cycling. We then analysed the two resulting genomes together with the Chinese cabbage Chiifu reference genome to obtain an impression of the B. rapa pan-genome. The number of genes with protein-coding changes between the three genotypes was lower than that among different accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana, which can be explained by the smaller effective population size of B. rapa due to its domestication. Based on orthology to a number of non-brassica species, we estimated the date of divergence among the three B. rapa morphotypes at approximately 250,000 YA, far predating Brassica domestication (5,000-10,000 YA). CONCLUSIONS: By analysing genes unique to turnip we found evidence for copy number differences in peroxidases, pointing to a role for the phenylpropanoid biosynthesis pathway in the generation of morphological variation. The estimated date of divergence among three B. rapa morphotypes implies that prior to domestication there was already considerably divergence among B. rapa genotypes. Our study thus provides two new B. rapa reference genomes, delivers a set of computer tools to analyse the resulting pan-genome and uses these to shed light on genetic drivers behind the rich morphological variation found in B. rapa.
Project description:Self-incompatibility (SI) is a genetic mechanism flowering plants adopted to reject self-pollen and promote outcrossing. In the Brassicaceae family plants, the stigma tissue plays a key role in self-pollen recognition and rejection. We reported earlier in Chinese cabbage (<i>Brassica rapa</i>) that stigma tissue showed upregulated ethylene responses and programmed cell death (PCD) upon compatible pollination, but not in SI responses. Here, we show that SI is significantly compromised or completely lost in senescent flowers and young flowers of senescent plants. Senescence upregulates senescence-associated genes in <i>B. rapa</i>. Suppressing their expression in young stigmas by antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotide abolishes compatible pollination-triggered PCD and inhibits the growth of compatible pollen tubes. Furthermore, ethylene biosynthesis genes and response genes are upregulated in senescent stigmas, and increasing the level of ethylene or inhibiting its response increases or decreases the expression of senescence-associated genes, respectively. Our results show that senescence causes PCD in stigmatic papilla cells and is associated with the breakdown of SI in Chinese cabbage and in radish.
Project description:Salinity is a major abiotic stress negatively affecting plant growth and consequently crop production. The effects of short-term salt stress were evaluated on seedlings of three globally important Brassica crops-Chinese cabbage (<i>Brassica rapa</i> ssp. <i>pekinensis</i>), white cabbage (<i>B</i><i>rassica</i> <i>oleracea</i> var. <i>capitata</i>), and kale (<i>B</i><i>rassica</i> <i>oleracea</i> var. <i>acephala</i>)-with particular focus on phenolic acids. The physiological and biochemical stress parameters in the seedlings and the levels of three main groups of metabolites (total glucosinolates, carotenoids, and phenolics) and individual phenolic acids were determined. The salt treatments caused a dose-dependent reduction in root growth and biomass and an increase in stress parameters (Na<sup>+</sup>/K<sup>+</sup> ratio, reactive oxygen species (ROS) and glutathione (GSH)) in all seedlings but most prominently in Chinese cabbage. Based on PCA, specific metabolites grouped close to the more tolerant species, white cabbage and kale. The highest levels of phenolic acids, particularly hydroxycinnamic acids, were determined in the more tolerant kale and white cabbage. A reduction in caffeic, salicylic, and 4-coumaric acid was found in Chinese cabbage and kale, and an increase in ferulic acid levels was found in kale upon salinity treatments. Phenolic acids are species-specific among Brassicaceae, and some may participate in stress tolerance. Salt-tolerant varieties have higher levels of some phenolic acids and suffer less from metabolic stress disorders under salinity stress.
Project description:Aquaporins (AQPs) are essential channel proteins that regulate plant water homeostasis and the uptake and distribution of uncharged solutes such as metalloids, urea, ammonia, and carbon dioxide. Despite their importance as crop plants, little is known about AQP gene and protein function in cabbage (Brassica oleracea) and other Brassica species. The recent releases of the genome sequences of B. oleracea and Brassica rapa allow comparative genomic studies in these species to investigate the evolution and features of Brassica genes and proteins. In this study, we identified all AQP genes in B. oleracea by a genome-wide survey. In total, 67 genes of four plant AQP subfamilies were identified. Their full-length gene sequences and locations on chromosomes and scaffolds were manually curated. The identification of six additional full-length AQP sequences in the B. rapa genome added to the recently published AQP protein family of this species. A phylogenetic analysis of AQPs of Arabidopsis thaliana, B. oleracea, B. rapa allowed us to follow AQP evolution in closely related species and to systematically classify and (re-) name these isoforms. Thirty-three groups of AQP-orthologous genes were identified between B. oleracea and Arabidopsis and their expression was analyzed in different organs. The two selectivity filters, gene structure and coding sequences were highly conserved within each AQP subfamily while sequence variations in some introns and untranslated regions were frequent. These data suggest a similar substrate selectivity and function of Brassica AQPs compared to Arabidopsis orthologs. The comparative analyses of all AQP subfamilies in three Brassicaceae species give initial insights into AQP evolution in these taxa. Based on the genome-wide AQP identification in B. oleracea and the sequence analysis and reprocessing of Brassica AQP information, our dataset provides a sequence resource for further investigations of the physiological and molecular functions of Brassica crop AQPs.