Transcriptome profiling of Elymus sibiricus, an important forage grass in Qinghai-Tibet plateau, reveals novel insights into candidate genes that potentially connected to seed shattering.
ABSTRACT: Elymus sibiricus is an important forage grass in semi-arid regions, but it is difficult to grow for commercial seed production due to high seed shattering. To better understand the underlying mechanism and explore the putative genes related to seed shattering, we conducted a combination of morphological, histological, physiochemical and transcriptome analysis on two E. sibiricus genotypes (XH09 and ZhN03) that have contrasting seed shattering.The results show that seed shattering is generally caused by a degradation of the abscission layer. Early degradation of abscission layers was associated with the increased seed shattering in high seed shattering genotype XH09. Two cell wall degrading enzymes, cellulase (CE) and polygalacturonase (PG), had different activity in the abscission zone, indicating their roles in differentiation of abscission layer. cDNA libraries from abscission zone tissue of XH09 and ZhN03 at 7 days, 21 days and 28 days after heading were constructed and sequenced. A total of 86,634 unigenes were annotated and 7110 differentially expressed transcripts (DETs) were predicted from "XH09-7 vs ZhN03-7", "XH09-21 vs ZhN03-21" and "XH09-28 vs ZhN03-28", corresponding to 2058 up-regulated and 5052 down-regulated unigenes. The expression profiles of 10 candidate transcripts involved in cell wall-degrading enzymes, lignin biosynthesis and phytohormone activity were validated using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), 8 of which were up-regulated in low seed shattering genotype ZhN03, suggesting these genes may be associated with reduction of seed shattering.The expression data generated in this study provides an important resource for future molecular biological research in E. sibiricus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Elymus nutans and E. sibiricus are two important forage grasses of the genus Elymus. But they are difficult to grow for commercial seed production due to serious seed shattering. We conducted a comparative transcriptome analysis of abscission zone to find possible transcription changes associated with seed shattering, explore candidate genes involved in seed shattering and identify candidate gene-based EST-SSR markers for germplasm evaluation. RESULTS:cDNA libraries from abscission zone (AZ) and non-abscission zone (NAZ) tissues of E. nutans were constructed and sequenced. A total of 111,667 unigenes were annotated and 7644 differentially expressed transcripts (DETs) were predicted, corresponding to 6936 up-regulated in AZ and 708 down-regulated in NAZ. We identified 489 candidate genes related to transcription factor, cell wall hydrolysis or modification, hydrolase activity, phytohormone signaling and response, lignin biosynthesis, and signal transduction or protein turnover. Eleven similar candidate genes involved in polygalacturonase activity, hydrolase activity, and mitogen-activated protein kinase were up-regulated in the abscission zone of the two Elymus species, suggesting these genes may have specific function for abscission zone development and seed shattering. A total of 67 polymorphic EST-SSR markers were developed and characterized based on the sequences of these candidate genes. Fourteen polymorphic EST-SSR primers were finally used to study genetic diversity in 48 E. nutans genotypes with contrasting seed shattering habit. The dendrogram based on molecular data showed that most accessions with similar seed shattering degree tended to group together. CONCLUSIONS:The expression data generated from this study provides an important resource for future molecular biological research. Many DETs were associated with abscission zone development, and EST-SSR loci related to candidate genes may have potential application in identifying trait-associated markers in E. nutans in the future.
Project description:Elymus sibiricus (siberian wildrye) is a perennial, cool-season, self-pollinating, and allotetraploid grass. As an economically important species, it has been widely grown and used for pasture and hay in northern China. Because of serious seed shattering (SS), however, E. sibiricus is difficult to grow for commercial seed production. To better understand the underlying mechanism of SS, we investigated the differences in SS of cultivars and wild accessions in relation to morphological and genetic diversity, histological characteristics, lignin staining, cell wall hydrolytic enzymes activity and candidate genes expressions. We found high level of morphological and genetic diversity among E. sibiricus accessions. In general, cultivars had higher average pedicel breaking tensile strength (BTS) value than wild accessions, of which PI655199 had the highest average BTS value (144.51 gf) and LQ04 had the lowest average BTS value (47.17 gf) during seed development. SS showed a significant correlation with seed length, awn length and 1000-seed weight. SS was caused by degradation of abscission layers that formed at early heading stage, and degradation of abscission layers occurred at 14 days after heading. Histological analysis of abscission zone (AZ) showed a smooth fracture surface on the rachilla in high SS genotype, suggesting higher degradation degree of abscission layers. This may resulted from the increased cellulase and polygalacturonase activity found in AZ at seed physiological maturity. Staining of pedicels of two contrasting genotypes suggested more lignin deposition in low SS genotype may play a role in resistance of SS. Furthermore, candidate genes that involved in cell wall-degrading enzyme and lignin biosynthesis were differentially expressed in AZ, indicating the involvement and role in SS. This study provided novel insights into the mechanism of SS in E. sibiricus.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Elymus sibiricus is an ecologically and economically important perennial, self-pollinated, and allotetraploid (StStHH) grass, widely used for forage production and animal husbandry in Western and Northern China. However, it has low seed yield mainly caused by seed shattering, which makes seed production difficult for this species. The goals of this study were to construct the high-density genetic linkage map, and to identify QTLs and candidate genes for seed-yield related traits. RESULTS:An F2 mapping population of 200 individuals was developed from a cross between single genotype from "Y1005" and "ZhN06". Specific-locus amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) was applied to construct the first genetic linkage map. The final genetic map included 1971 markers on the 14 linkage groups (LGs) and was 1866.35?cM in total. The length of each linkage group varied from 87.67?cM (LG7) to 183.45?cM (LG1), with an average distance of 1.66?cM between adjacent markers. The marker sequences of E. sibiricus were compared to two grass genomes and showed 1556 (79%) markers mapped to wheat, 1380 (70%) to barley. Phenotypic data of eight seed-related traits (2016-2018) were used for QTL identification. A total of 29 QTLs were detected for eight seed-related traits on 14 linkage groups, of which 16 QTLs could be consistently detected for two or three years. A total of 6 QTLs were associated with seed shattering. Based on annotation with wheat and barley genome and transcriptome data of abscission zone in E. sibiricus, we identified 30 candidate genes for seed shattering, of which 15, 7, 6 and 2 genes were involved in plant hormone signal transcription, transcription factor, hydrolase activity and lignin biosynthetic pathway, respectively. CONCLUSION:This study constructed the first high-density genetic linkage map and identified QTLs and candidate genes for seed-related traits in E. sibiricus. Results of this study will not only serve as genome-wide resources for gene/QTL fine mapping, but also provide a genetic framework for anchoring sequence scaffolds on chromosomes in future genome sequence assembly of E. sibiricus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Seed shattering, or shedding, is an important fitness trait for wild and weedy grasses. U.S. weedy rice (Oryza sativa) is a highly shattering weed, thought to have evolved from non-shattering cultivated ancestors. All U.S. weedy rice individuals examined to date contain a mutation in the sh4 locus associated with loss of shattering during rice domestication. Weedy individuals also share the shattering trait with wild rice, but not the ancestral shattering mutation at sh4; thus, how weedy rice reacquired the shattering phenotype is unknown. To establish the morphological basis of the parallel evolution of seed shattering in weedy rice and wild, we examined the abscission layer at the flower-pedicel junction in weedy individuals in comparison with wild and cultivated relatives. RESULTS: Consistent with previous work, shattering wild rice individuals possess clear, defined abscission layers at flowering, whereas non-shattering cultivated rice individuals do not. Shattering weedy rice from two separately evolved populations in the U.S. (SH and BHA) show patterns of abscission layer formation and degradation distinct from wild rice. Prior to flowering, the abscission layer has formed in all weedy individuals and by flowering it is already degrading. In contrast, wild O. rufipogon abscission layers have been shown not to degrade until after flowering has occurred. CONCLUSIONS: Seed shattering in weedy rice involves the formation and degradation of an abscission layer in the flower-pedicel junction, as in wild Oryza, but is a developmentally different process from shattering in wild rice. Weedy rice abscission layers appear to break down earlier than wild abscission layers. The timing of weedy abscission layer degradation suggests that unidentified regulatory genes may play a critical role in the reacquisition of shattering in weedy rice, and sheds light on the morphological basis of parallel evolution for shattering in weedy and wild rice.
Project description:Perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) is one of the most important pasture grasses in the world. However, seed production is negatively impacted by the seed shattering (shedding) nature of this species. Recently, genes involved in the seed shattering process have been isolated and functionally characterized in several crop species. The aim of this study was to identify the genes playing critical roles in the seed shattering process in perennial ryegrass. DNA sequences of genes involved in seed shattering in the Poaceae were used to identify and isolate target genes in perennial ryegrass using a comparative genomics strategy. The candidate seed shattering genes were identified using an 'in-house' perennial ryegrass transcriptome database. The relative expression levels of the candidate ryegrass shattering genes were determined using RT-qPCR during different floret and seed developmental stages. Histological analysis of the abscission layer was also conducted. Homologues of seed shattering genes were identified and isolated from perennial ryegrass, and the relative gene expression results suggested that several genes, including LpqSH1 and LpSH1, might have a role in abscission layer formation during seed development. In addition, lignification of the abscission layer may play an important role in the abscission process. A genetic model for seed shattering in perennial ryegrass is suggested and may be useful for directing gene editing towards the production of a reduced-shattering ryegrass.
Project description:Tissue-specific transcriptional profiling of the abscission layer (AL) at the base of young flower in rice using laser micro-dissection: NIL(qSH1) vs. Nipponbare. Overall design: We used two rice varieties, NIL(qSH1) and Nipponbare. NIL(qSH1) is a nearly isogenic line containing the seed shattering gene qSH1. Seed shattering is easy in NIL(qSH1), but it is not in Nipponbare. So, we used some stages of young flower in NIL(qSH1) and some in Nipponbare. Four regions: 1. abscission layer region of NIL(qSH1), 2. upper abscission region of NIL(qSH1), 3. lower abscission layer region of NIL(qSH1), and 4. abscission layer region of Nipponbare. Sample experiments: NIL(qSH1) AL vs. Nipponbare AL, NIL(qSH1) AL vs. NIL(qSH1) upper region of AL, and NIL(qSH1) AL vs. NIL(qSH1) lower region of AL.
Project description:Tissue-specific transcriptional profiling of the abscission layer (AL) at the base of young flower in rice using laser micro-dissection: NIL(qSH1) vs. Nipponbare. We used two rice varieties, NIL(qSH1) and Nipponbare. NIL(qSH1) is a nearly isogenic line containing the seed shattering gene qSH1. Seed shattering is easy in NIL(qSH1), but it is not in Nipponbare. So, we used some stages of young flower in NIL(qSH1) and some in Nipponbare. Four regions: 1. abscission layer region of NIL(qSH1), 2. upper abscission region of NIL(qSH1), 3. lower abscission layer region of NIL(qSH1), and 4. abscission layer region of Nipponbare. Sample experiments: NIL(qSH1) AL vs. Nipponbare AL, NIL(qSH1) AL vs. NIL(qSH1) upper region of AL, and NIL(qSH1) AL vs. NIL(qSH1) lower region of AL.
Project description:Asian cultivated rice Oryza sativa L. was domesticated from its wild ancestor, O. rufipogon. During domestication, the cultivated rice lost its seed-shattering behaviour. Previous studies have shown that two major quantitative trait loci (QTLs; qSH1 and sh4) are responsible for the seed-shattering degree. Here, we produced introgression lines carrying non-functional alleles from O. sativa 'Nipponbare' at the two major QTLs in the genetic background of wild rice O. rufipogon W630, and examined the effects of the two QTLs on seed shattering and abscission layer formation. The introgression lines, with Nipponbare alleles at either or both loci, showed complete or partial abscission layer formation, respectively, indicating that other unknown loci might be involved in enhancing seed shattering in wild rice. We detected a single QTL named qSH3 regulating seed-shattering degree using an F2 population between Nipponbare and the introgression line carrying Nipponbare alleles at the two QTLs. Although we generated an introgression line for qSH3 alone, no effects on seed shattering were observed. However, a significant effect on seed-shattering degree was observed for the introgression line carrying Nipponbare alleles at qSH3 and the two QTLs, suggesting an important role of qSH3 on seed shattering in coordination with the two QTLs.
Project description:Loss of seed shattering has been regarded as a key step during crop domestication. Mutagenesis contributes to the development of novel crop cultivars with a desired seed-shattering habit in a relatively short period of time, but also to uncovering the genetic architecture of seed shattering. 'Minamiyutaka', a non-shattering indica rice cultivar, was developed from the easy-shattering cultivar 'Moretsu' by mutation breeding via gamma-ray irradiation. In present study, we observed significant differences in shattering habit, breaking tensile strength, and abscission zone structure between 'Moretsu' and 'Minamiyutaka'. Whole-genome mutation analysis of 'Minamiyutaka' newly identified a 13-bp deletion causing defective splicing in exon 3 of the OsSh1 gene which has previously been referred to as a candidate for controlling seed shattering. Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, we demonstrated that loss-of-function mutation in OsSh1 causes non-shattering in rice. Furthermore, gene expression analysis suggests that OsSh1 may function downstream of qSH1, a known key gene involved in abscission zone differentiation. Nucleotide diversity analysis of OsSh1 in wild rice accessions and cultivars revealed that OsSh1 has been under strong selection during rice domestication, and a missense mutation might have contributed to the reduction of seed shattering from the wild progenitors to cultivated rice.
Project description:Siberian wild rye (Elymus sibiricus L.) is an important native grass in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China. It is difficult to grow for commercial seed production, since seed shattering causes yield losses during harvest. Assessing the genetic diversity and relationships among germplasm from its primary distribution area contributes to evaluating the potential for its utilization as a gene pool to improve the desired agronomic traits. In the study, 40 EST-SSR primers were used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of 36 E. sibiricus accessions with variation of seed shattering. A total of 380 bands were generated, with an average of 9.5 bands per primer. The polymorphic information content (PIC) ranged from 0.23 to 0.50. The percentage of polymorphic bands (P) for the species was 87.11%, suggesting a high degree of genetic diversity. Based on population structure analysis, four groups were formed, similar to results of principal coordinate analysis (PCoA). The molecular variance analysis (AMOVA) revealed the majority of genetic variation occurred within geographical regions (83.40%). Two genotypes from Y1005 and ZhN06 were used to generate seven F? hybrids. The molecular and morphological diversity analysis of F? population revealed rich genetic variation and high level of seed shattering variation in F? population, resulting in significant improvement of the genetic base and desired agronomic traits.