Transcriptomics and Alternative Splicing Analyses Reveal Large Differences between Maize Lines B73 and Mo17 in Response to Aphid Rhopalosiphum padi Infestation.
ABSTRACT: Maize (Zea mays L.) is a staple crop worldwide with extensive genetic variations. Various insects attack maize plants causing large yield loss. Here, we investigated the responses of maize B73, a susceptible line, and Mo17, a resistant line, to the aphid Rhopalosiphum padi on metabolite and transcriptome levels. R. padi feeding had no effect on the levels of the defensive metabolites benzoxazinoids (Bxs) in either line, and Mo17 contained substantially greater levels of Bxs than did B73. Profiling of the differentially expressed genes revealed that B73 and Mo17 responded to R. padi infestation specifically, and importantly, these two lines showed large gene expression differences even without R. padi herbivory. Correlation analysis identified four transcription factors (TFs) that might account for the high Bx levels in Mo17. Similarly, genome-wide alternative splicing (AS) analyses indicated that both B73 and Mo17 had temporally specific responses to R. padi infestation, and these two lines also exhibited large differences of AS regulation under normal condition, and 340 genes, including 10 TFs, were constantly differentially spliced. This study provides large-scale resource datasets for further studies on the mechanisms underlying maize-aphid interactions, and highlights the phenotypic divergence in defense against aphids among maize varieties.
Project description:Calcium (Ca) is an essential plant nutrient, required for signaling, cell wall fortification and growth and development. Calcium deficiency (Ca-deficiency) in maize causes leaf tip rot and a so-called "bull-whipping" or "buggy-whipping" phenotype. Seedlings of the maize line B73 displayed these Ca-deficiency-like symptoms when grown in the greenhouse with excess fertilizer during the winter months, while seedlings of the Mo17 maize line did not display these symptoms under the same conditions. These differential phenotypes could be recapitulated in 'mini-hydroponic' systems in the laboratory in which high ammonium, but not nitrate, levels induced the symptoms in B73 but not Mo17 seedlings. Consistent with this phenotype being caused by Ca-deficiency, addition of Ca2+ completely relieved the symptoms. These data suggest that ammonium reduces the seedling's ability to absorb calcium, which causes the Ca-deficiency phenotype, and that this trait varies among genotypes. A recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a B73 x Mo17 cross was used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with the Ca-deficiency phenotype. QTL associated with variation in susceptibility to Ca-deficiency were detected on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 6 which explained between 3.30-9.94% of the observed variation. Several genes predicted to bind or be activated by calcium map to these QTL on chromosome 1, 2, 6. These results describe for the first time the genetics of Ca-deficiency symptoms in maize and in plants in general.
Project description:The purpose of this report was to evaluate the expression patterns of selected glutathione transferase genes (gst1, gst18, gst23 and gst24) in the tissues of two maize (Zea mays L.) varieties (relatively resistant Ambrozja and susceptible Tasty Sweet) that were colonized with oligophagous bird cherry-oat aphid (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) or monophagous grain aphid (Sitobion avenae L.). Simultaneously, insect-triggered generation of superoxide anion radicals (O2•-) in infested Z. mays plants was monitored. Quantified parameters were measured at 1, 2, 4, 8, 24, 48 and 72 h post-initial aphid infestation (hpi) in relation to the non-infested control seedlings. Significant increases in gst transcript amounts were recorded in aphid-stressed plants in comparison to the control seedlings. Maximal enhancement in the expression of the gst genes in aphid-attacked maize plants was found at 8 hpi (gst23) or 24 hpi (gst1, gst18 and gst24) compared to the control. Investigated Z. mays cultivars formed excessive superoxide anion radicals in response to insect treatments, and the highest overproduction of O2•- was noted 4 or 8 h after infestation, depending on the aphid treatment and maize genotype. Importantly, the Ambrozja variety could be characterized as having more profound increments in the levels of gst transcript abundance and O2•- generation in comparison with the Tasty Sweet genotype.
Project description:The contribution of epigenetic alterations to natural variation for gene transcription levels remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the functional targets of the maize chromomethylase ZMET2 in multiple inbred lines to determine whether epigenetic changes conditioned by this chromomethylase are conserved or variable within the species. Gene expression microarrays were hybridized with RNA samples from the inbred lines B73 and Mo17 and from near-isogenic derivatives containing the loss-of-function allele zmet2-m1. A set of 126 genes that displayed statistically significant differential expression in zmet2 mutants relative to wild-type plants in at least one of the two genetic backgrounds was identified. Analysis of the transcript levels in both wild-type and mutant individuals revealed that only 10% of these genes were affected in zmet2 mutants in both B73 and Mo17 genetic backgrounds. Over 80% of the genes with expression patterns affected by zmet2 mutations display variation for gene expression between wild-type B73 and Mo17 plants. Further analysis was performed for 7 genes that were transcriptionally silent in wild-type B73, but expressed in B73 zmet2-m1, wild-type Mo17, and Mo17 zmet2-m1 lines. Mapping experiments confirmed that the expression differences in wild-type B73 relative to Mo17 inbreds for these genes were caused by cis-acting regulatory variation. Methylation-sensitive PCR and bisulfite sequencing demonstrated that for 5 of these genes the CpNpG methylation in the wild-type B73 genetic background was substantially decreased in the B73 zmet2-m1 mutant and in wild-type Mo17. A survey of eight maize inbreds reveals that each of these 5 genes exhibit transcriptionally silent and methylated states in some inbred lines and unmethylated, expressed states in other inbreds, providing evidence for natural variation in epigenetic states for some maize genes.
Project description:Antagonistic interactions of phosphorus (P) hamper iron (Fe) acquisition by plants and can cause Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis. To determine the physiological processes underlying adverse Fe-P interactions, the maize lines B73 and Mo17, which differ in chlorosis susceptibility, were grown hydroponically at different Fe:P ratios. In the presence of P, Mo17 became more chlorotic than B73. The higher sensitivity of Mo17 to Fe deficiency was not related to Fe-P interactions in leaves but to lower Fe translocation to shoots, which coincided with a larger pool of Fe being fixed in the root apoplast of P-supplied Mo17 plants. Fractionating cell wall components from roots showed that most of the cell wall-contained P accumulated in pectin, whereas most of the Fe was bound to root hemicelluloses, revealing that co-precipitation of Fe and P in the apoplast was not responsible for Fe inactivation in roots. A negative correlation between chlorophyll index and hemicellulose-bound Fe in 85 inbred lines of the intermated maize B73 × Mo17 (IBM) population indicated that apoplastic Fe retention contributes to genotypic differences in chlorosis susceptibility of maize grown under low Fe supplies. Our study indicates that Fe retention in the hemicellulose fraction of roots is an important determinant in the tolerance to Fe deficiency-induced chlorosis of graminaceous plant species with low phytosiderophore release, like maize.
Project description:Prior experiments illustrated reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction in maize plants infested with bird-cherry-oat (Rhopalosiphum padi L.) aphids. However, there is no available data unveiling the impact of aphids feeding on oxidative damages of crucial macromolecules in maize tissues. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to evaluate the scale of oxidative damages of genomic DNA, total RNA and mRNA, proteins, and lipids in seedling leaves of two maize genotypes (Złota Karłowa and Waza cvs-susceptible and relatively resistant to the aphids, respectively). The content of oxidized guanosine residues (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine; 8-OHdG) in genomic DNA, 8-hydroxyguanosine (8-OHG) in RNA molecules, protein carbonyl groups, total thiols (T-SH), protein-bound thiols (PB-SH), non-protein thiols (NP-SH), malondialdehyde (MDA) and electrolyte leakage (EL) levels in maze plants were determined. In addition, the electrical penetration graphs (EPG) technique was used to monitor and the aphid stylet positioning and feeding modes in the hosts. Maize seedlings were infested with 0 (control), 30 or 60 R. padi adult apterae per plant. Substantial increases in the levels of RNA, protein and lipid oxidation markers in response to aphid herbivory, but no significant oxidative damages of genomic DNA, were found. Alterations in the studied parameters were dependent on maize genotype, insect abundance and infestation time.
Project description:In angiosperms, the endosperm nurtures the embryo and provides nutrients for seed germination. To identify the expression pattern of small interfering RNA in the developing maize endosperm, we have performed high-throughput small RNA transcriptome sequencing of kernels at 0, 3, and 5 days after pollination (DAP) and endosperms at 7, 10, and 15 DAP using B73 and Mo17 reciprocal crosses in previous study. Here, we further explored these small RNA-seq data to investigate the potential roles of miRNAs in regulating the gene expression process. In total, 57 conserved miRNAs and 18 novel miRNAs were observed highly expressed in maize endosperm. Temporal expression profiling indicated that these miRNAs exhibited dynamic and partitioned expression patterns at different developmental stages between maize reciprocal crosses, and quantitative RT-PCR results further confirmed our observation. In addition, we found a subset of distinct tandem miRNAs are generated from a single stem-loop structure in maize that might be conserved in monocots. Furthermore, a SNP variation of Zma-miR408-5p at 11th base position was characterized between B73 and Mo17 which might lead to completely different functions in repressing targets. More interestingly, Zma-miR408-5p exhibited B73-biased expression pattern in the B73 and Mo17 reciprocal hybrid endosperms at 7, 10, and 15 DAP according to the reads abundance with SNPs and CAPS experiment. Together, this study suggests that miRNA plays a crucial role in regulating endosperm development, and exhibited distinct expression patterns in developing endosperm between maize reciprocal crosses.
Project description:The aim of this study was to compare the expression patterns of superoxide dismutase genes (sod2, sod3.4, sod9 and sodB) in seedling leaves of the Zea mays L. Tasty Sweet (susceptible) and Ambrozja (relatively resistant) cultivars infested with one of two hemipteran species, namely monophagous Sitobion avenae F. (grain aphid) or oligophagous Rhopalosiphum padi L. (bird cherry-oat aphid). Secondarily, aphid-elicited alternations in the antioxidative capacity towards DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) radical in insect-stressed plants were evaluated. Comprehensive comparison of expression profiles of the four sod genes showed that both insect species evoked significant upregulation of three genes sod2, sod3.4 and sod9). However, aphid infestation affected non-significant fluctuations in expression of sodB gene in seedlings of both maize genotypes. The highest levels of transcript accumulation occurred at 8 h (sod2 and sod3.4) or 24 h (sod9) post-infestation, and aphid-induced changes in the expression of sod genes were more dramatic in the Ambrozja cultivar than in the Tasty Sweet variety. Furthermore, bird cherry-oat aphid colonization had a more substantial impact on levels of DPPH radical scavenging activity in infested host seedlings than grain aphid colonization. Additionally, Ambrozja plants infested by either hemipteran species showed markedly lower antioxidative capacity compared with attacked Tasty Sweet plants.
Project description:Positional cloning in maize (Zea mays) requires development of markers in the region of interest. We found that primers designed to amplify annotated insertion-deletion polymorphisms of seven base pairs or greater between B73 and Mo17 produce polymorphic markers at a 97% frequency with 49% of the products showing co-dominant fragment length polymorphisms. When the same polymorphisms are used to develop markers for B73 and W22 or Mo17 and W22 mapping populations, 22% and 31% of markers are co-dominant, respectively. There are 38,223 Indel polymorphisms that can be converted to markers providing high-density coverage throughout the maize genome. This strategy significantly increases the efficiency of marker development for fine-mapping in maize.
Project description:The major component of complex genomes is repetitive elements, which remain recalcitrant to characterization. Using maize as a model system, we analyzed whole genome shotgun (WGS) sequences for the two maize inbred lines B73 and Mo17 using k-mer analysis to quantify the differences between the two genomes. Significant differences were identified in highly repetitive sequences, including centromere, 45S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), knob, and telomere repeats. Genotype specific 45S rDNA sequences were discovered. The B73 and Mo17 polymorphic k-mers were used to examine allele-specific expression of 45S rDNA in the hybrids. Although Mo17 contains higher copy number than B73, equivalent levels of overall 45S rDNA expression indicates that transcriptional or post-transcriptional regulation mechanisms operate for the 45S rDNA in the hybrids. Using WGS sequences of B73xMo17 doubled haploids, genomic locations showing differential repetitive contents were genetically mapped, which displayed different organization of highly repetitive sequences in the two genomes. In an analysis of WGS sequences of HapMap2 lines, including maize wild progenitor, landraces, and improved lines, decreases and increases in abundance of additional sets of k-mers associated with centromere, 45S rDNA, knob, and retrotransposons were found among groups, revealing global evolutionary trends of genomic repeats during maize domestication and improvement.
Project description:SNP genotyping arrays have been useful for many applications that require a large number of molecular markers such as high-density genetic mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic selection. We report the establishment of a large maize SNP array and its use for diversity analysis and high density linkage mapping. The markers, taken from more than 800,000 SNPs, were selected to be preferentially located in genes and evenly distributed across the genome. The array was tested with a set of maize germplasm including North American and European inbred lines, parent/F1 combinations, and distantly related teosinte material. A total of 49,585 markers, including 33,417 within 17,520 different genes and 16,168 outside genes, were of good quality for genotyping, with an average failure rate of 4% and rates up to 8% in specific germplasm. To demonstrate this array's use in genetic mapping and for the independent validation of the B73 sequence assembly, two intermated maize recombinant inbred line populations - IBM (B73×Mo17) and LHRF (F2×F252) - were genotyped to establish two high density linkage maps with 20,913 and 14,524 markers respectively. 172 mapped markers were absent in the current B73 assembly and their placement can be used for future improvements of the B73 reference sequence. Colinearity of the genetic and physical maps was mostly conserved with some exceptions that suggest errors in the B73 assembly. Five major regions containing non-colinearities were identified on chromosomes 2, 3, 6, 7 and 9, and are supported by both independent genetic maps. Four additional non-colinear regions were found on the LHRF map only; they may be due to a lower density of IBM markers in those regions or to true structural rearrangements between lines. Given the array's high quality, it will be a valuable resource for maize genetics and many aspects of maize breeding.