Analysis of transposable elements in the genome of Asparagus officinalis from high coverage sequence data.
ABSTRACT: Asparagus officinalis is an economically and nutritionally important vegetable crop that is widely cultivated and is used as a model dioecious species to study plant sex determination and sex chromosome evolution. To improve our understanding of its genome composition, especially with respect to transposable elements (TEs), which make up the majority of the genome, we performed Illumina HiSeq2000 sequencing of both male and female asparagus genomes followed by bioinformatics analysis. We generated 17 Gb of sequence (12×coverage) and assembled them into 163,406 scaffolds with a total cumulated length of 400 Mbp, which represent about 30% of asparagus genome. Overall, TEs masked about 53% of the A. officinalis assembly. Majority of the identified TEs belonged to LTR retrotransposons, which constitute about 28% of genomic DNA, with Ty1/copia elements being more diverse and accumulated to higher copy numbers than Ty3/gypsy. Compared with LTR retrotransposons, non-LTR retrotransposons and DNA transposons were relatively rare. In addition, comparison of the abundance of the TE groups between male and female genomes showed that the overall TE composition was highly similar, with only slight differences in the abundance of several TE groups, which is consistent with the relatively recent origin of asparagus sex chromosomes. This study greatly improves our knowledge of the repetitive sequence construction of asparagus, which facilitates the identification of TEs responsible for the early evolution of plant sex chromosomes and is helpful for further studies on this dioecious plant.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Dioecious species with well-established sex chromosomes are rare in the plant kingdom. Most sex chromosomes increase in size but no comprehensive analysis of the kind of sequences that drive this expansion has been presented. Here we analyse sex chromosome structure in common sorrel (Rumex acetosa), a dioecious plant with XY1Y2 sex determination, and we provide the first chromosome-specific repeatome analysis for a plant species possessing sex chromosomes.<h4>Methods</h4>We flow-sorted and separately sequenced sex chromosomes and autosomes in R. acetosa using the two-dimensional fluorescence in situ hybridization in suspension (FISHIS) method and Illumina sequencing. We identified and quantified individual repeats using RepeatExplorer, Tandem Repeat Finder and the Tandem Repeats Analysis Program. We employed fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to analyse the chromosomal localization of satellites and transposons.<h4>Key results</h4>We identified a number of novel satellites, which have, in a fashion similar to previously known satellites, significantly expanded on the Y chromosome but not as much on the X or on autosomes. Additionally, the size increase of Y chromosomes is caused by non-long terminal repeat (LTR) and LTR retrotransposons, while only the latter contribute to the enlargement of the X chromosome. However, the X chromosome is populated by different LTR retrotransposon lineages than those on Y chromosomes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The X and Y chromosomes have significantly diverged in terms of repeat composition. The lack of recombination probably contributed to the expansion of diverse satellites and microsatellites and faster fixation of newly inserted transposable elements (TEs) on the Y chromosomes. In addition, the X and Y chromosomes, despite similar total counts of TEs, differ significantly in the representation of individual TE lineages, which indicates that transposons proliferate preferentially in either the paternal or the maternal lineage.
Project description:Background:Repetitive sequences, including transposable elements (TEs) and satellite DNAs, occupy a considerable portion of plant genomes. Analysis of the repeat fraction benefits the understanding of genome structure and evolution. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.), an important vegetable crop, is also a model dioecious plant species for studying sex determination and sex chromosome evolution. However, the repetitive sequences of the spinach genome have not been fully investigated. Results:We extensively analyzed the repetitive components of draft spinach genome, especially TEs and satellites, by different strategies. A total of 16,002 full-length TEs were identified. Among the most abundant long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons (REs), Copia elements were overrepresented compared with Gypsy ones. Angela was the most dominating Copia lineage; Ogre/Tat was the most abundant Gypsy lineage. The mean insertion age of LTR-REs was 1.42 million years; approximately 83.7% of these elements were retrotransposed during the last two million years. RepeatMasker totally masked about 64.05% of the spinach genome, with LTR-REs, non-LTR-REs, and DNA transposons occupying 49.2, 2.4, and 5.6%, respectively. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis showed that most LTR-REs dispersed all over the chromosomes, by contrast, elements of CRM lineage were distributed at the centromeric region of all chromosomes. In addition, Ogre/Tat lineage mainly accumulated on sex chromosomes, and satellites Spsat2 and Spsat3 were exclusively located at the telomeric region of the short arm of sex chromosomes. Conclusions:We reliably annotated the TE fraction of the draft genome of spinach. FISH analysis indicates that Ogre/Tat lineage and the sex chromosome-specific satellites DNAs might participate in sex chromosome formation and evolution. Based on FISH signals of microsatellites, together with 45S rDNA, a fine karyotype of spinach was established. This study improves our knowledge of repetitive sequence organization in spinach genome and aids in accurate spinach karyotype construction.
Project description:Dioecious plants usually harbor 'young' sex chromosomes, providing an opportunity to study the early stages of sex chromosome evolution. Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile DNA elements frequently found in plants and are suggested to play important roles in plant sex chromosome evolution. The genomes of several dioecious plants have been sequenced, offering an opportunity to annotate and mine the TE data. However, comprehensive and unified annotation of TEs in these dioecious plants is still lacking. In this study, we constructed a dioecious plant transposable element database (DPTEdb). DPTEdb is a specific, comprehensive and unified relational database and web interface. We used a combination of de novo, structure-based and homology-based approaches to identify TEs from the genome assemblies of previously published data, as well as our own. The database currently integrates eight dioecious plant species and a total of 31 340 TEs along with classification information. DPTEdb provides user-friendly web interfaces to browse, search and download the TE sequences in the database. Users can also use tools, including BLAST, GetORF, HMMER, Cut sequence and JBrowse, to analyze TE data. Given the role of TEs in plant sex chromosome evolution, the database will contribute to the investigation of TEs in structural, functional and evolutionary dynamics of the genome of dioecious plants. In addition, the database will supplement the research of sex diversification and sex chromosome evolution of dioecious plants.Database URL: http://genedenovoweb.ticp.net:81/DPTEdb/index.php.
Project description:We analyzed the distribution of 54 families of transposable elements (TEs; transposons, LTR retrotransposons, and non-LTR retrotransposons) in the chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster, using data from the sequenced genome. The density of LTR and non-LTR retrotransposons (RNA-based elements) was high in regions with low recombination rates, but there was no clear tendency to parallel the recombination rate. However, the density of transposons (DNA-based elements) was significantly negatively correlated with recombination rate. The accumulation of TEs in regions of reduced recombination rate is compatible with selection acting against TEs, as selection is expected to be weaker in regions with lower recombination. The differences in the relationship between recombination rate and TE density that exist between chromosome arms suggest that TE distribution depends on specific characteristics of the chromosomes (chromatin structure, distribution of other sequences), the TEs themselves (transposition mechanism), and the species (reproductive system, effective population size, etc.), that have differing influences on the effect of natural selection acting against the TE insertions.
Project description:The availability of the sequenced Drosophila melanogaster genome provides an opportunity to study sequence variation between copies within transposable element families. In this study,we analyzed the 624 copies of 22 transposable element (TE) families (14 LTR retrotransposons, five non-LTR retrotransposons, and three transposons). LTR and non-LTR retrotransposons possessed far fewer divergent elements than the transposons,suggesting that the difference depends on the transposition mechanism. However,there was not a continuous range of divergence of the copies in each class,which were either very similar to the canonical elements,or very divergent from them. This sequence homogeneity among TE family copies matches the theoretical models of the dynamics of these repeated sequences. The sequenced Drosophila genome thus appears to be composed of a mixture of TEs that are still active and of ancient relics that have degenerated and the distribution of which along the chromosomes results from natural selection. This clearly demonstrates that the TEs are highly active within the genome,suggesting that the genetic variability of the Drosophila genome is still being renewed by the action of TEs.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) are ubiquitously present in plant genomes and often account for significant fractions of the nuclear DNA. For example, roughly 40% of the rice genome consists of TEs, many of which are retrotransposons, including 14% LTR- and ?1% non-LTR retrotransposons. Despite their wide distribution and abundance, very few TEs have been found to be transpositional, indicating that TE activities may be tightly controlled by the host genome to minimize the potentially mutagenic effects associated with active transposition. Consistent with this notion, a growing body of evidence suggests that epigenetic silencing pathways such as DNA methylation, RNA interference, and H3K9me2 function collectively to repress TE activity at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. It is not yet clear, however, whether the removal of histone modifications associated with active transcription is also involved in TE silencing. Here, we show that the rice protein JMJ703 is an active H3K4-specific demethylase required for TEs silencing. Impaired JMJ703 activity led to elevated levels of H3K4me3, the misregulation of numerous endogenous genes, and the transpositional reactivation of two families of non-LTR retrotransposons. Interestingly, loss of JMJ703 did not affect TEs (such as Tos17) previously found to be silenced by other epigenetic pathways. These results indicate that the removal of active histone modifications is involved in TE silencing and that different subsets of TEs may be regulated by distinct epigenetic pathways.
Project description:Transposable elements (TEs) are an important source of genetic diversity and can be co-opted for the regulation of host genes. However, to what extent the pervasive TE colonization of plant genomes has contributed to stress adaptation remains controversial. Plants inhabiting harsh environments in nature provide a unique opportunity to answer this question. We compared TE compositions and their evolutionary dynamics in the genomes of two mangrove species: the pioneer Sonneratia alba and its less salt-tolerant relative S. caseolaris. Age distribution, strength of purifying selection and the removal rate of LTR (long terminal repeat) retrotransposons were estimated. Phylogenetic analysis of LTR retrotransposons and their distribution in the genome of S. alba were surveyed. Small RNA sequencing and whole-genome bisulfite sequencing was conducted using leaves of S. alba. Expression pattern of LTR retrotransposons and their nearby genes were examined using RNA-seq data of S. alba under different salt treatments. S. alba possesses more TEs than S. caseolaris. Particularly, many more young Gypsy LTR retrotransposons have accumulated in S. alba than in S. caseolaris despite an increase in purifying selection against TE insertions. The top two most abundant Gypsy families in S. alba preferentially insert in gene-poor regions. They are under relaxed epigenetic repression, probably due to the presence of CHROMO domains in their 3′-ends. Although a considerable number of TEs in S. alba showed differential expression under salt stress, only four copies were significantly correlated with their nearby genes in expression levels. One such TE-gene pair involves Abscisic acid 8'-hydroxylase 3 functioning in abscisic acid catabolism. This study sheds light on the evolutionary dynamics and potential function of TEs in an extremophile. Our results suggest that the conclusion on co-option of TEs should be cautious even though activation of TEs by stress might be prevalent.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of non-coding small RNAs (sRNAs), regulate various biological processes. Although miRNAs have been identified and characterized in several plant species, miRNAs in Asparagus officinalis have not been reported. As a dioecious plant with homomorphic sex chromosomes, asparagus is regarded as an important model system for studying mechanisms of plant sex determination.Two independent sRNA libraries from male and female asparagus plants were sequenced with Illumina sequencing, thereby generating 4.13 and 5.88 million final clean reads, respectively. Both libraries predominantly contained 24-nt sRNAs, followed by 21-nt sRNAs. Further analysis identified 154 conserved miRNAs, which belong to 26 families, and 39 novel miRNA candidates seemed to be specific to asparagus. Comparative profiling revealed that 63 miRNAs exhibited significant differential expression between male and female plants, which was confirmed by real-time quantitative PCR analysis. Among them, 37 miRNAs were significantly up-regulated in the female library, whereas the others were preferentially expressed in the male library. Furthermore, 40 target mRNAs representing 44 conserved and seven novel miRNAs were identified in asparagus through high-throughput degradome sequencing. Functional annotation showed that these target mRNAs were involved in a wide range of developmental and metabolic processes.We identified a large set of conserved and specific miRNAs and compared their expression levels between male and female asparagus plants. Several asparagus miRNAs, which belong to the miR159, miR167, and miR172 families involved in reproductive organ development, were differentially expressed between male and female plants, as well as during flower development. Consistently, several predicted targets of asparagus miRNAs were associated with floral organ development. These findings suggest the potential roles of miRNAs in sex determination and reproductive developmental processes in asparagus.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Although monocotyledonous plants comprise one of the two major groups of angiosperms and include >65 000 species, comprehensive genome analysis has been focused mainly on the Poaceae (grass) family. Due to this bias, most of the conclusions that have been drawn for monocot genome evolution are based on grasses. It is not known whether these conclusions apply to many other monocots. METHODS: To extend our understanding of genome evolution in the monocots, Asparagales genomic sequence data were acquired and the structural properties of asparagus and onion genomes were analysed. Specifically, several available onion and asparagus bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) with contig sizes >35 kb were annotated and analysed, with a particular focus on the characterization of long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons. KEY RESULTS: The results reveal that LTR retrotransposons are the major components of the onion and garden asparagus genomes. These elements are mostly intact (i.e. with two LTRs), have mainly inserted within the past 6 million years and are piled up into nested structures. Analysis of shotgun genomic sequence data and the observation of two copies for some transposable elements (TEs) in annotated BACs indicates that some families have become particularly abundant, as high as 4-5 % (asparagus) or 3-4 % (onion) of the genome for the most abundant families, as also seen in large grass genomes such as wheat and maize. CONCLUSIONS: Although previous annotations of contiguous genomic sequences have suggested that LTR retrotransposons were highly fragmented in these two Asparagales genomes, the results presented here show that this was largely due to the methodology used. In contrast, this current work indicates an ensemble of genomic features similar to those observed in the Poaceae.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The transfer of chloroplast DNA into nuclear genome is a common process in plants. These transfers form nuclear integrants of plastid DNAs (NUPTs), which are thought to be driving forces in genome evolution, including sex chromosome evolution. In this study, NUPTs in the genome of a dioecious plant Asparagus officinalis L. were systematically analyzed, in order to investigate the characteristics of NUPTs in the nuclear genome and the relationship between NUPTs and sex chromosome evolution in this species.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 3155 NUPT insertions were detected, and they represented approximated 0.06% of the nuclear genome. About 45% of the NUPTs were organized in clusters. These clusters were derived from various evolutionary events. The Y chromosome contained the highest number and largest proportion of NUPTs, suggesting more accumulation of NUPTs on sex chromosomes. NUPTs were distributed widely in all of the chromosomes, and some regions preferred these insertions. The highest density of NUPTs was found in a 47?kb region in the Y chromosome; more than 75% of this region was occupied by NUPTs. Further cytogenetic and sequence alignment analysis revealed that this region was likely the centromeric region of the sex chromosomes. On the other hand, the male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY) and the adjacent regions did not have NUPT insertions.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results indicated that NUPTs were involved in shaping the genome of A. officinalis through complicated process. NUPTs may play important roles in the centromere shaping of the sex chromosomes of A. officinalis, but were not implicated in MSY formation.