The dynamics of soybean leaf and shoot apical meristem transcriptome undergoing floral initiation process.
ABSTRACT: Flowering process governs seed set and thus affects agricultural productivity. Soybean, a major legume crop, requires short-day photoperiod conditions for flowering. While leaf-derived signal(s) are essential for the photoperiod-induced floral initiation process at the shoot apical meristem, molecular events associated with early floral transition stages in either leaves or shoot apical meristems are not well understood. To provide novel insights into the molecular basis of floral initiation, RNA-Seq was used to characterize the soybean transcriptome of leaf and micro-dissected shoot apical meristem at different time points after short-day treatment. Shoot apical meristem expressed a higher number of transcripts in comparison to that of leaf highlighting greater diversity and abundance of transcripts expressed in the shoot apical meristem. A total of 2951 shoot apical meristem and 13,609 leaf sequences with significant profile changes during the time course examined were identified. Most changes in mRNA level occurred after 1short-day treatment. Transcripts involved in mediating responses to stimulus including hormones or in various metabolic processes represent the top enriched GO functional category for the SAM and leaf dataset, respectively. Transcripts associated with protein degradation were also significantly changing in leaf and SAM implicating their involvement in triggering the developmental switch. RNA-Seq analysis of shoot apical meristem and leaf from soybean undergoing floral transition reveal major reprogramming events in leaves and the SAM that point toward hormones gibberellins (GA) and cytokinin as key regulators in the production of systemic flowering signal(s) in leaves. These hormones may form part of the systemic signals in addition to the established florigen, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). Further, evidence is emerging that the conversion of shoot apical meristem to inflorescence meristem is linked with the interplay of auxin, cytokinin and GA creating a low cytokinin and high GA environment.
Project description:The transition to flowering is characterized by a shift of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) from leaf production to the initiation of a floral meristem. The flowering process is of vital importance for agriculture, but the associated events or regulatory pathways in the SAM are not well understood, especially at a system level. To address this issue, we have used a GeneChip containing 37 744 probe sets to generate a temporal profile of gene expression during the floral initiation process in the SAM of the crop legume, soybean (Glycine max). A total of 331 transcripts displayed significant changes in their expression profiles. The in silico and RT-PCR analysis on differentially regulated transcripts implies the intriguing involvement of sugar, auxin or abscisic acid (ABA) in events prior to the induction of floral homeotic transcripts. The novel involvement of ABA in the floral transition is further implicated by immunoassay, suggesting an increase in ABA levels in the SAM during this developmental transition. Furthermore, in situ localization, together with in silico data demonstrating a marked enhancement of abiotic stress-related transcripts, such as trehalose metabolism genes in SAMs, points to an overlap of abiotic stress and floral signalling pathways.
Project description:Epigenetics has been recognised to play vital roles in many plant developmental processes, including floral initiation through the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The histone modifying proteins that mediate these modifications involve the SET domain-containing histone methyltransferases, JmjC domain-containing demethylase, acetylases and deacetylases. In addition, RNA interference (RNAi)-associated genes are also involved in epigenetic regulation via RNA-directed DNA methylation and post-transcriptional gene silencing. Soybean, a major crop legume, requires a short day to induce flowering. How histone modifications regulate the plant response to external cues that initiate flowering is still largely unknown. Here, we used RNA-seq to address the dynamics of transcripts that are potentially involved in the epigenetic programming and RNAi mediated gene silencing during the floral initiation of soybean. Soybean is a paleopolyploid that has been subjected to at least two rounds of whole genome duplication events. We report that the expanded genomic repertoire of histone modifiers and RNA silencing genes in soybean includes 14 histone acetyltransferases, 24 histone deacetylases, 47 histone methyltransferases, 15 protein arginine methyltransferases, 24 JmjC domain-containing demethylases and 47 RNAi-associated genes. To investigate the role of these histone modifiers and RNA silencing genes during floral initiation, we compared the transcriptional dynamics of the leaf and shoot apical meristem at different time points after a short-day treatment. Our data reveal that the extensive activation of genes that are usually involved in the epigenetic programming and RNAi gene silencing in the soybean shoot apical meristem are reprogrammed for floral development following an exposure to inductive conditions.
Project description:The transition to flowering is characterized by a shift of the shoot apical meristem (SAM) from leaf production to the initiation of a floral meristem. In this study, we addressed the nature of SAM gene networks involved in the early floral initiation process in the crop legume soybean. Unique aspects (such as pod development and nitrogen fixation) of legume development make them appealing for plant development studies. Soybean, a major oilseed crop, possesses varied maturity groups; hence, understanding and unravelling initial transition control has implications in manipulating crop yield. To this end, we performed global gene expression analysis using Affymetrix® soybean GeneChip® with RNA isolated from micro-dissected soybean SAMs at various time points after plants were shifted from long-day to short-day growth conditions. Analysis of the resulting microarray data revealed a total of 331 transcripts that have differential expression profiles. Intriguingly, about 20% of the transcripts affected by the switch in the development program have orthologs reported to be responsive to abscisic acid (ABA), suggesting an increase in ABA levels in the SAM during this developmental change. A subsequent immunoassay verified this, thereby implicating its possible function as an endogenous signal during the floral evocation process. The striking occurrence of abiotic stress-related transcripts, including trehalose metabolism genes, in SAMs during the early transition to floral meristems points to an overlap of abiotic stress and floral signalling pathways in soybean. In addition, other hormones - auxin, jasmonic acid and brassinosteroids - and a number of candidate protein kinases may also act in the signalling process prior to or concurrently with the induction of the putative floral homeiotic transcripts. This indicates that molecular events mediated by multiple hormonal pathways are part of the mechanism employed by soybean to regulate the floral transition process. Keywords: transcript profiling floral transition soybean shoot apical meristem Overall design: SAMs were micro-dissected from soybean plants under the dissecting microscope at 40x magnification. Any leaf primordia were excluded in order to create a meristem-enriched tissue collection. Approximately 70 SAMs were dissected for each time point (0 SD, 1 SD, 2 SD, 4 SD and 6 SD). Two independent biological replicates were incorporated.
Project description:CLAVATA3 (CLV3), a stem cell marker in Arabidopsis thaliana, encodes a secreted peptide that maintains the stem cell population within the shoot apical meristem. This work investigated the CLV3 orthologue in a major legume crop, soybean (GmCLV3). Instead of being expressed in the three outermost layers of the meristem as in Arabidopsis, GmCLV3 was expressed deeper in the central zone beneath the fourth layer (L4) of the meristem, overlapping with the expression of soybean WUSCHEL. Subsequent investigation using an alternative stem cell marker (GmLOG1) revealed its expression within layers L2-L4, indicating that GmCLV3 is not a stem cell marker. Overexpression studies of GmCLV3 in Arabidopsis and complementation of clv3-2 mutant suggest similar functional capacity to that of Arabidopsis CLV3. The expression of soybean CLV1, which encodes a receptor for CLV3 in Arabidopsis, was not detectable in the central zone of the meristem via reverse-transcription PCR analysis of amplified RNA from laser-microdissected samples or in situ, implicating a diverged pathway in soybean. This study also reports the novel expression of GmLOG1 in initials of axillary meristem in the boundary region between the SAM and developing leaf primordia, before the expression of GmWUS or GmCLV3, indicating cytokinin as one of the earliest signals in initiating and specifying the stem cell population.
Project description:In inducing photoperiodic conditions, plants produce a signal dubbed "florigen" in leaves. Florigen moves through the phloem to the shoot apical meristem (SAM) where it induces flowering. In Arabidopsis, the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) protein acts as a component of this phloem-mobile signal. However whether the transportable FT mRNA also contributes to systemic florigen signalling remains to be elucidated. Using non-conventional approaches that exploit virus-induced RNA silencing and meristem exclusion of virus infection, we demonstrated that the ArabidopsisFT mRNA, independent of the FT protein, can move into the SAM. Viral ectopic expression of a non-translatable FT mRNA promoted earlier flowering in the short-day (SD) Nicotiana tabacum Maryland Mammoth tobacco in SD. These data suggest a possible role for FT mRNA in systemic floral signalling, and also demonstrate that cis-transportation of cellular mRNA into SAM and meristem exclusion of pathogenic RNAs are two mechanistically distinct processes.
Project description:Plants can produce organs throughout their entire life from pluripotent stem cells located at their growing tip, the shoot apical meristem (SAM). At the time of flowering, the SAM of Arabidopsis thaliana switches fate and starts producing flowers instead of leaves. Correct timing of flowering in part determines reproductive success, and is therefore under environmental and endogenous control. How epigenetic regulation contributes to the floral transition has eluded analysis so far, mostly because of the poor accessibility of the SAM. Here we report the temporal dynamics of the chromatin modifications H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 and their correlation with transcriptional changes at the SAM in response to photoperiod-induced flowering. Emphasizing the importance of tissue-specific epigenomic analyses we detect enrichments of chromatin states in the SAM that were not apparent in whole seedlings. Furthermore, our results suggest that regulation of translation might be involved in adjusting meristem function during the induction of flowering.
Project description:The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is essential for continuous organogenesis in higher plants, while the leaf is the primary source organ and the leaf shape directly affects the efficiency of photosynthesis. HANABA TARANU (HAN) encodes a GATA3-type transcription factor that functions in floral organ development, SAM organization, and embryo development in Arabidopsis, but is involved in suppressing bract outgrowth and promoting branching in grass species. Here the function of the HAN homologue CsHAN1 was characterized in cucumber, an important vegetable with great agricultural and economic value. CsHAN1 is predominantly expressed at the junction of the SAM and the stem, and can partially rescue the han-2 floral organ phenotype in Arabidopsis. Overexpression and RNAi of CsHAN1 transgenic cucumber resulted in retarded growth early after embryogenesis and produced highly lobed leaves. Further, it was found that CsHAN1 may regulate SAM development through regulating the WUSCHEL (WUS) and SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) pathways, and mediate leaf development through a complicated gene regulatory network in cucumber.
Project description:The shoot apical meristem (SAM) undergoes developmental transitions that include a shift from vegetative to reproductive growth. This transition is triggered by flowering time genes, which up-regulate floral meristem (FM) identity genes that, in turn, control flower development by activating floral organ identity genes. This cascade of transcriptional activation is refined by repression mechanisms that temporally and spatially restrict gene expression to ensure proper development. Here, we demonstrate that HISTONE DEACETYLASE 19 (HDA19) maintains the identity of the reproductive SAM, or inflorescence meristem (IM), late in Arabidopsis thaliana development. At late stages of growth, hda19 IMs display a striking patterning defect characterized by ectopic expression of floral organ identity genes and the replacement of flowers with individual stamenoid organs. We further show that the flowering time gene FD has a specific function in this regulatory process, as fd hastens the emergence of these patterning defects in hda19 growth. Our work therefore identifies a new role for FD in reproductive patterning, as FD regulates IM function together with HDA19 in an age-dependent fashion. To effect these abnormalities, hda19 and fd may accentuate the weakening of transcriptional repression that occurs naturally with reproductive meristem proliferation.
Project description:A central unanswered question in stem cell biology, both in plants and in animals, is how the spatial organization of stem cell niches are maintained as cells move through them. We address this question for the shoot apical meristem (SAM) which harbors pluripotent stem cells responsible for growth of above-ground tissues in flowering plants. We find that localized perception of the plant hormone cytokinin establishes a spatial domain in which cell fate is respecified through induction of the master regulator WUSCHEL as cells are displaced during growth. Cytokinin-induced WUSCHEL expression occurs through both CLAVATA-dependent and CLAVATA-independent pathways. Computational analysis shows that feedback between cytokinin response and genetic regulators predicts their relative patterning, which we confirm experimentally. Our results also may explain how increasing cytokinin concentration leads to the first steps in reestablishing the shoot stem cell niche in vitro.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Floral transition initiates reproductive development of plants and occurs in response to environmental and endogenous signals. In Arabidopsis thaliana, this process is accelerated by several environmental cues, including exposure to long days. The photoperiod-dependent promotion of flowering involves the transcriptional induction of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in the phloem of the leaf. FT encodes a mobile protein that is transported from the leaves to the shoot apical meristem, where it forms part of a regulatory complex that induces flowering. Whether FT also has biological functions in leaves of wild-type plants remains unclear. RESULTS:In order to address this issue, we first studied the leaf transcriptomic changes associated with FT overexpression in the companion cells of the phloem. We found that FT induces the transcription of SWEET10, which encodes a bidirectional sucrose transporter, specifically in the leaf veins. Moreover, SWEET10 is transcriptionally activated by long photoperiods, and this activation depends on FT and one of its earliest target genes SUPPRESSOR OF CONSTANS OVEREXPRESSION 1 (SOC1). The ectopic expression of SWEET10 causes early flowering and leads to higher levels of transcription of flowering-time related genes in the shoot apex. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, our results suggest that the FT-signaling pathway activates the transcription of a sucrose uptake/efflux carrier during floral transition, indicating that it alters the metabolism of flowering plants as well as reprogramming the transcription of floral regulators in the shoot meristem.