Genome-wide analysis and expression profiling suggest diverse roles of GH3 genes during development and abiotic stress responses in legumes.
ABSTRACT: Growth hormone auxin regulates various cellular processes by altering the expression of diverse genes in plants. Among various auxin-responsive genes, GH3 genes maintain endogenous auxin homeostasis by conjugating excess of auxin with amino acids. GH3 genes have been characterized in many plant species, but not in legumes. In the present work, we identified members of GH3 gene family and analyzed their chromosomal distribution, gene structure, gene duplication and phylogenetic analysis in different legumes, including chickpea, soybean, Medicago, and Lotus. A comprehensive expression analysis in different vegetative and reproductive tissues/stages revealed that many of GH3 genes were expressed in a tissue-specific manner. Notably, chickpea CaGH3-3, soybean GmGH3-8 and -25, and Lotus LjGH3-4, -5, -9 and -18 genes were up-regulated in root, indicating their putative role in root development. In addition, chickpea CaGH3-1 and -7, and Medicago MtGH3-7, -8, and -9 were found to be highly induced under drought and/or salt stresses, suggesting their role in abiotic stress responses. We also observed the examples of differential expression pattern of duplicated GH3 genes in soybean, indicating their functional diversification. Furthermore, analyses of three-dimensional structures, active site residues and ligand preferences provided molecular insights into function of GH3 genes in legumes. The analysis presented here would help in investigation of precise function of GH3 genes in legumes during development and stress conditions.
Project description:Homeobox genes encode transcription factors that are known to play a major role in different aspects of plant growth and development. In the present study, we identified homeobox genes belonging to 14 different classes in five legume species, including chickpea, soybean, Medicago, Lotus and pigeonpea. The characteristic differences within homeodomain sequences among various classes of homeobox gene family were quite evident. Genome-wide expression analysis using publicly available datasets (RNA-seq and microarray) indicated that homeobox genes are differentially expressed in various tissues/developmental stages and under stress conditions in different legumes. We validated the differential expression of selected chickpea homeobox genes via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Genome duplication analysis in soybean indicated that segmental duplication has significantly contributed in the expansion of homeobox gene family. The Ka/Ks ratio of duplicated homeobox genes in soybean showed that several members of this family have undergone purifying selection. Moreover, expression profiling indicated that duplicated genes might have been retained due to sub-functionalization. The genome-wide identification and comprehensive gene expression profiling of homeobox gene family members in legumes will provide opportunities for functional analysis to unravel their exact role in plant growth and development.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The nematode Pratylenchus neglectus has a wide host range and is able to feed on the root systems of cereals, oilseeds, grain and pasture legumes. Under the Mediterranean low rainfall environments of Australia, annual Medicago pasture legumes are used in rotation with cereals to fix atmospheric nitrogen and improve soil parameters. Considerable efforts are being made in breeding programs to improve resistance and tolerance to Pratylenchus neglectus in the major crops wheat and barley, which makes it vital to develop appropriate selection tools in medics. RESULTS: A strong source of tolerance to root damage by the root lesion nematode (RLN) Pratylenchus neglectus had previously been identified in line RH-1 (strand medic, M. littoralis). Using RH-1, we have developed a single seed descent (SSD) population of 138 lines by crossing it to the intolerant cultivar Herald. After inoculation, RLN-associated root damage clearly segregated in the population. Genetic analysis was performed by constructing a genetic map using simple sequence repeat (SSR) and gene-based SNP markers. A highly significant quantitative trait locus (QTL), QPnTolMl.1, was identified explaining 49% of the phenotypic variation in the SSD population. All SSRs and gene-based markers in the QTL region were derived from chromosome 1 of the sequenced genome of the closely related species M. truncatula. Gene-based markers were validated in advanced breeding lines derived from the RH-1 parent and also a second RLN tolerance source, RH-2 (M. truncatula ssp. tricycla). Comparative analysis to sequenced legume genomes showed that the physical QTL interval exists as a synteny block in Lotus japonicus, common bean, soybean and chickpea. Furthermore, using the sequenced genome information of M. truncatula, the QTL interval contains 55 genes out of which five are discussed as potential candidate genes responsible for the mapped tolerance. CONCLUSION: The closely linked set of SNP-based PCR markers is directly applicable to select for two different sources of RLN tolerance in breeding programs. Moreover, genome sequence information has allowed proposing candidate genes for further functional analysis and nominates QPnTolMl.1 as a target locus for RLN tolerance in economically important grain legumes, e.g. chickpea.
Project description:Legume root nodules develop as a result of a symbiotic relationship between the plant and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia bacteria in soil. Auxin activity is detected in different cell types at different stages of nodule development; as well as an enhanced sensitivity to auxin inhibits, which could affect nodule development. While some transport and signaling mechanisms that achieve precise spatiotemporal auxin output are known, the role of auxin metabolism during nodule development is unclear. Using a soybean root lateral organ transcriptome data set, we identified distinct nodule enrichment of three genes encoding auxin-deactivating GRETCHEN HAGEN 3 (GH3) indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) amido transferase enzymes: GmGH3-11/12, GmGH3-14 and GmGH3-15. In vitro enzymatic assays showed that each of these GH3 proteins preferred IAA and aspartate as acyl and amino acid substrates, respectively. GmGH3-15 showed a broad substrate preference, especially with different forms of auxin. Promoter:GUS expression analysis indicated that GmGH3-14 acts primarily in the root epidermis and the nodule primordium where as GmGH3-15 might act in the vasculature. Silencing the expression of these GH3 genes in soybean composite plants led to altered nodule numbers, maturity, and size. Our results indicate that these GH3s are needed for proper nodule maturation in soybean, but the precise mechanism by which they regulate nodule development remains to be explained.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.), an important grain legume crop of the world is seriously challenged by terminal drought and salinity stresses. However, very limited number of molecular markers and candidate genes are available for undertaking molecular breeding in chickpea to tackle these stresses. This study reports generation and analysis of comprehensive resource of drought- and salinity-responsive expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and gene-based markers. RESULTS: A total of 20,162 (18,435 high quality) drought- and salinity- responsive ESTs were generated from ten different root tissue cDNA libraries of chickpea. Sequence editing, clustering and assembly analysis resulted in 6,404 unigenes (1,590 contigs and 4,814 singletons). Functional annotation of unigenes based on BLASTX analysis showed that 46.3% (2,965) had significant similarity (< or =1E-05) to sequences in the non-redundant UniProt database. BLASTN analysis of unique sequences with ESTs of four legume species (Medicago, Lotus, soybean and groundnut) and three model plant species (rice, Arabidopsis and poplar) provided insights on conserved genes across legumes as well as novel transcripts for chickpea. Of 2,965 (46.3%) significant unigenes, only 2,071 (32.3%) unigenes could be functionally categorised according to Gene Ontology (GO) descriptions. A total of 2,029 sequences containing 3,728 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified and 177 new EST-SSR markers were developed. Experimental validation of a set of 77 SSR markers on 24 genotypes revealed 230 alleles with an average of 4.6 alleles per marker and average polymorphism information content (PIC) value of 0.43. Besides SSR markers, 21,405 high confidence single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 742 contigs (with > or = 5 ESTs) were also identified. Recognition sites for restriction enzymes were identified for 7,884 SNPs in 240 contigs. Hierarchical clustering of 105 selected contigs provided clues about stress- responsive candidate genes and their expression profile showed predominance in specific stress-challenged libraries. CONCLUSION: Generated set of chickpea ESTs serves as a resource of high quality transcripts for gene discovery and development of functional markers associated with abiotic stress tolerance that will be helpful to facilitate chickpea breeding. Mapping of gene-based markers in chickpea will also add more anchoring points to align genomes of chickpea and other legume species.
Project description:Most agriculturally important legumes fall within two sub-clades of the Papilionoid legumes: the Phaseoloids and Galegoids, which diverged about 50 Mya. The Phaseoloids are mostly tropical and include crops such as common bean and soybean. The Galegoids are mostly temperate and include clover, fava bean and the model legumes Lotus and Medicago (both with substantially sequenced genomes). In contrast, peanut (Arachis hypogaea) falls in the Dalbergioid clade which is more basal in its divergence within the Papilionoids. The aim of this work was to integrate the genetic map of Arachis with Lotus and Medicago and improve our understanding of the Arachis genome and legume genomes in general. To do this we placed on the Arachis map, comparative anchor markers defined using a previously described bioinformatics pipeline. Also we investigated the possible role of transposons in the patterns of synteny that were observed.The Arachis genetic map was substantially aligned with Lotus and Medicago with most synteny blocks presenting a single main affinity to each genome. This indicates that the last common whole genome duplication within the Papilionoid legumes predated the divergence of Arachis from the Galegoids and Phaseoloids sufficiently that the common ancestral genome was substantially diploidized. The Arachis and model legume genomes comparison made here, together with a previously published comparison of Lotus and Medicago allowed all possible Arachis-Lotus-Medicago species by species comparisons to be made and genome syntenies observed. Distinct conserved synteny blocks and non-conserved regions were present in all genome comparisons, implying that certain legume genomic regions are consistently more stable during evolution than others. We found that in Medicago and possibly also in Lotus, retrotransposons tend to be more frequent in the variable regions. Furthermore, while these variable regions generally have lower densities of single copy genes than the more conserved regions, some harbor high densities of the fast evolving disease resistance genes.We suggest that gene space in Papilionoids may be divided into two broadly defined components: more conserved regions which tend to have low retrotransposon densities and are relatively stable during evolution; and variable regions that tend to have high retrotransposon densities, and whose frequent restructuring may fuel the evolution of some gene families.
Project description:A comprehensive transcriptome assembly of chickpea has been developed using 134.95 million Illumina single-end reads, 7.12 million single-end FLX/454 reads and 139,214 Sanger expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from >17 genotypes. This hybrid transcriptome assembly, referred to as Cicer arietinumTranscriptome Assembly version 2 (CaTA v2, available at http://data.comparative-legumes.org/transcriptomes/cicar/lista_cicar-201201), comprising 46,369 transcript assembly contigs (TACs) has an N50 length of 1,726 bp and a maximum contig size of 15,644 bp. Putative functions were determined for 32,869 (70.8%) of the TACs and gene ontology assignments were determined for 21,471 (46.3%). The new transcriptome assembly was compared with the previously available chickpea transcriptome assemblies as well as to the chickpea genome. Comparative analysis of CaTA v2 against transcriptomes of three legumes - Medicago, soybean and common bean, resulted in 27,771 TACs common to all three legumes indicating strong conservation of genes across legumes. CaTA v2 was also used for identification of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and intron spanning regions (ISRs) for developing molecular markers. ISRs were identified by aligning TACs to the Medicago genome, and their putative mapping positions at chromosomal level were identified using transcript map of chickpea. Primer pairs were designed for 4,990 ISRs, each representing a single contig for which predicted positions are inferred and distributed across eight linkage groups. A subset of randomly selected ISRs representing all eight chickpea linkage groups were validated on five chickpea genotypes and showed 20% polymorphism with average polymorphic information content (PIC) of 0.27. In summary, the hybrid transcriptome assembly developed and novel markers identified can be used for a variety of applications such as gene discovery, marker-trait association, diversity analysis etc., to advance genetics research and breeding applications in chickpea and other related legumes.
Project description:The crop legumes such as chickpea, common bean, cowpea, peanut, pigeonpea, soybean, etc. are important sources of nutrition and contribute to a significant amount of biological nitrogen fixation (>20 million tons of fixed nitrogen) in agriculture. However, the production of legumes is constrained due to abiotic and biotic stresses. It is therefore imperative to understand the molecular mechanisms of plant response to different stresses and identify key candidate genes regulating tolerance which can be deployed in breeding programs. The information obtained from transcriptomics has facilitated the identification of candidate genes for the given trait of interest and utilizing them in crop breeding programs to improve stress tolerance. However, the mechanisms of stress tolerance are complex due to the influence of multi-genes and post-transcriptional regulations. Furthermore, stress conditions greatly affect gene expression which in turn causes modifications in the composition of plant proteomes and metabolomes. Therefore, functional genomics involving various proteomics and metabolomics approaches have been obligatory for understanding plant stress tolerance. These approaches have also been found useful to unravel different pathways related to plant and seed development as well as symbiosis. Proteome and metabolome profiling using high-throughput based systems have been extensively applied in the model legume species, Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus, as well as in the model crop legume, soybean, to examine stress signaling pathways, cellular and developmental processes and nodule symbiosis. Moreover, the availability of protein reference maps as well as proteomics and metabolomics databases greatly support research and understanding of various biological processes in legumes. Protein-protein interaction techniques, particularly the yeast two-hybrid system have been advantageous for studying symbiosis and stress signaling in legumes. In this review, several studies on proteomics and metabolomics in model and crop legumes have been discussed. Additionally, applications of advanced proteomics and metabolomics approaches have also been included in this review for future applications in legume research. The integration of these "omics" approaches will greatly support the identification of accurate biomarkers in legume smart breeding programs.
Project description:The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-mediated phosphorylation cascade is a vital component of plant cellular signalling. Despite this, MAPK signalling cascade is less characterized in crop legumes. To fill this void, we present here a comprehensive phylogeny of MAPK kinases (MKKs) and MAPKs identified from 16 legume species belonging to genistoid (Lupinus angustifolius), dalbergioid (Arachis spp.), phaseoloid (Glycine max, Cajanus cajan, Phaseolus vulgaris, and Vigna spp.), and galegoid (Cicer arietinum, Lotus japonicus, Medicago truncatula, Pisum sativum, Trifolium spp., and Vicia faba) clades. Using the genes of the diploid crop chickpea (C. arietinum), an exhaustive interaction analysis was performed between MKKs and MAPKs by split-ubiquitin based yeast two-hybrid (Y2H). Twenty seven interactions of varying strengths were identified between chickpea MKKs and MAPKs. These interactions were verified in planta by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC). As a first report in plants, four intra-molecular interactions of weak strength were identified within chickpea MKKs. Additionally; two TEOSINTE-BRANCHED1/CYCLOIDEA/PCF (TCP) transcription factors of class I were identified as novel down-stream interacting partners of seven MAPKs. We propose that this highly reliable MAPK interaction network, presented here for chickpea, can be utilized as a reference for legumes and thus will help in deciphering their role in legume-specific events.
Project description:Calcium ion (Ca2+) is a ubiquitous second messenger that transmits various internal and external signals including stresses and, therefore, is important for plants' response process. Calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs) are one of the plant calcium sensors, which sense and convey the changes in cytosolic Ca2+-concentration for response process. A search in four leguminous plant (soybean, Medicago truncatula, common bean and chickpea) genomes identified 9 to 15 genes in each species that encode CBL proteins. Sequence analyses of CBL peptides and coding sequences (CDS) suggested that there are nine original CBL genes in these legumes and some of them were multiplied during whole genome or local gene duplication. Coding sequences of chickpea CBL genes (CaCBL) were cloned from their cDNAs and sequenced, and their annotations in the genome assemblies were corrected accordingly. Analyses of protein sequences and gene structures of CBL family in plant kingdom indicated its diverse origin but showed a remarkable conservation in overall protein structure with appearance of complex gene structure in the course of evolution. Expression of CaCBL genes in different tissues and in response to different stress and hormone treatment were studied. Most of the CaCBL genes exhibited high expression in flowers. Expression profile of CaCBL genes in response to different abiotic stresses and hormones related to development and stresses (ABA, auxin, cytokinin, SA and JA) at different time intervals suggests their diverse roles in development and plant defence in addition to abiotic stress tolerance. These data not only contribute to a better understanding of the complex regulation of chickpea CBL gene family, but also provide valuable information for further research in chickpea functional genomics.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Auxin plays important roles in hormone crosstalk and the plant's stress response. The auxin-responsive Gretchen Hagen3 (GH3) gene family maintains hormonal homeostasis by conjugating excess indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), salicylic acid (SA), and jasmonic acids (JAs) to amino acids during hormone- and stress-related signaling pathways. With the sequencing of the apple (Malus × domestica) genome completed, it is possible to carry out genomic studies on GH3 genes to indentify candidates with roles in abiotic/biotic stress responses. RESULTS: Malus sieversii Roem., an apple rootstock with strong drought tolerance and the ancestral species of cultivated apple species, was used as the experimental material. Following genome-wide computational and experimental identification of MdGH3 genes, we showed that MdGH3s were differentially expressed in the leaves and roots of M. sieversii and that some of these genes were significantly induced after various phytohormone and abiotic stress treatments. Given the role of GH3 in the negative feedback regulation of free IAA concentration, we examined whether phytohormones and abiotic stresses could alter the endogenous auxin level. By analyzing the GUS activity of DR5::GUS-transformed Arabidopsis seedlings, we showed that ABA, SA, salt, and cold treatments suppressed the auxin response. These findings suggest that other phytohormones and abiotic stress factors might alter endogenous auxin levels. CONCLUSION: Previous studies showed that GH3 genes regulate hormonal homeostasis. Our study indicated that some GH3 genes were significantly induced in M. sieversii after various phytohormone and abiotic stress treatments, and that ABA, SA, salt, and cold treatments reduce the endogenous level of axuin. Taken together, this study provides evidence that GH3 genes play important roles in the crosstalk between auxin, other phytohormones, and the abiotic stress response by maintaining auxin homeostasis.