Association of microRNAs with Types of Leaf Curvature in Brassica rapa.
ABSTRACT: Many vegetable crops of Brassica rapa are characterized by their typical types of leaf curvature. Leaf curvature in the right direction and to the proper degree is important for the yield and quality of green vegetable products, when cultivated under stress conditions. Recent research has unveiled some of the roles of miRNAs in Brassica crops such as how they regulate the timing of leafy head initiation and shape of the leafy head. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the variability in leaf curvature in B. rapa remains unclear. We tested the hypothesis that the leaf curvature of B. rapa is affected by miRNA levels. On the basis of leaf phenotyping, 56 B. rapa accessions were classified into five leaf curvature types, some of which were comparable to miRNA mutants of Arabidopsis thaliana in phenotype. Higher levels of miR166 and miR319a expression were associated with downward curvature and wavy margins, respectively. Overexpression of the Brp-MIR166g-1 gene caused rosette leaves to change from flat to downward curving and folding leaves to change from upward curving to flat, leading to the decrease in the number of incurved leaves and size of the leafy head. Our results reveal that miRNAs affect the types of leaf curvature in B. rapa. These findings provide insight into the relationship between miRNAs and variation in leaf curvature.
Project description:HYL1 (HYPONASTIC LEAVES 1) in Arabidopsis thaliana encodes a double-stranded RNA-binding protein needed for proper miRNA maturation, and its null mutant hyl1 shows a typical leaf-incurvature phenotype. In Chinese cabbage, BcpLH (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis LEAFY HEADS), a close homolog of HYL1, is differentially expressed in juvenile leaves, which are flat, and in adult leaves, which display extreme incurvature. BcpLH lacks protein-protein interaction domains and is much shorter than HYL1. To test whether BcpLH is associated with defects in microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis and leaf flatness, we enhanced and repressed the activity of BcpLH by transgenics and investigated BcpLH-dependent miRNAs and plant morphology. BcpLH promoted miRNA biogenesis by the proper processing of primary miRNAs. BcpLH downregulation via antisense decreased a specific subset of miRNAs and increased the activities of their target genes, causing upward curvature of rosette leaves and early leaf incurvature, concurrent with the enlargement, earliness, and round-to-oval shape transition of leafy heads. Moreover, BcpLH-dependent miRNAs in Chinese cabbage are not the same as HYL1-dependent miRNAs in Arabidopsis. We suggest that BcpLH controls a specific subset of miRNAs in Chinese cabbage and coordinates the direction, extent, and timing of leaf curvature during head formation in Brassica rapa.
Project description:Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) is a widely cultivated and economically important vegetable crop with typical leaf curvature. The TCP (Teosinte branched1, Cycloidea, Proliferating cell factor) family proteins are plant-specific transcription factors (TFs) and play important roles in many plant biological processes, especially in the regulation of leaf curvature. In this study, 39 genes encoding TCP TFs are detected on the whole genome of B. rapa. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of TCPs between Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica rapa, TCP genes of Chinese cabbage are named from BrTCP1a to BrTCP24b. Moreover, the chromosomal location; phylogenetic relationships among B. rapa, A. thaliana, and rice; gene structures and protein conserved sequence alignment; and conserved domains are analyzed. The expression profiles of BrTCPs are analyzed in different tissues. To understand the role of Chinese cabbage TCP members in regulating the curvature of leaves, the expression patterns of all BrTCP genes are detected at three development stages essential for leafy head formation. Our results provide information on the classification and details of BrTCPs and allow us to better understand the function of TCPs involved in leaf curvature of Chinese cabbage.
Project description:Alterations in leaf adaxial-abaxial (ad-ab) polarity are one of the main factors that influence leaf curvature. In Chinese cabbage, leaf incurvature is an essential prerequisite to the formation of a leafy head. Identifying ad-ab patterning genes and investigating their genetic variation may facilitate elucidation of the mechanisms underlying leaf incurvature during head formation. Comparative genomic analysis of 45 leaf ad-ab patterning genes in Brassica rapa based on 26 homologs of Arabidopsis thaliana indicated that these genes underwent expansion and were retained after whole genome triplication (WGT). We also assessed the nucleotide diversity and selection footprints of these 45 genes in a collection of 94 Brassica rapa accessions that were composed of heading and non-heading morphotypes. Six of the 45 genes showed significant negative Tajima's D indices and nucleotide diversity reduction in heading accessions compared to those in non-heading accessions, indicating that they underwent purifying selection. Further testing of the BrARF3.1 gene, which was one of the selection signals from a larger collection, confirmed that purifying selection did occur. Our results provide genetic evidence that ad-ab patterning genes are involved in leaf incurvature, which is associated with formation of a leafy head, as well as promote an understanding of the genetic mechanism underlying leafy head formation in Chinese cabbage.
Project description:To understand the genetic regulation of the domestication trait leafy-head formation of Chinese cabbages, we exploit the diversity within Brassica rapa. To improve our understanding of the relationship between variation in rosette-leaves and leafy heads, we phenotyped a diversity set of 152 Chinese cabbages. This showed correlation between rosette-leaf traits and both head traits and heading capacity. Interestingly, the leaf number of the mature head is not correlated to heading degree nor head shape. We then chose a non-heading pak choi genotype to cross to a Chinese cabbage to generate populations segregating for the leafy head traits. Both a large F2 (485 plants) and a smaller Doubled Haploid (88 lines) mapping population were generated. A high density DH-88 genetic map using the Brassica SNP array and an F2 map with a subset of these SNPs and InDel markers was used for quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Thirty-one quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for phenotypes of rosette-leaves in time and both heading degree and several heading traits. On chromosome A06 in both DH-88 and F2-485 QTLs for rosette leaf length and petiole length at different developmental days and an F2 QTL for head height co-located. Variation in head height, width and weight all correlate with variation in heading degree with co-locating QTLs, respectively, on chromosome A03, A05, and A08 in F2-485. The correlation between rosette-leaf and heading traits provides not only insight in the leaf requirements to form a head, but also can be used for selection by Chinese cabbage breeders.
Project description:Leafy head formation in Chinese cabbage (B. rapa ssp. pekinensis cv. Bre) results from leaf curvature, which is under the tight control of genes involved in the adaxial-abaxial patterning during leaf development. The transcriptional coactivator ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3) binds to the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complexes formed around ATPases such as BRAHMA (BRM) in order to regulate transcription in various aspects of leaf development such as cell proliferation, leaf primordia expansion, and leaf adaxial/abaxial patterning in Arabidopsis. However, its regulatory function in Chinese cabbage remains poorly understood. Here, we analyzed the expression patterns of the Chinese cabbage AN3 gene (BrAN3) before and after leafy head formation, and produced BrAN3 gene silencing plants by using the turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV)-derived vector in order to explore its potential function in leafy head formation in Chinese cabbage. We found that BrAN3 had distinct expression patterns in the leaves of Chinese cabbage at the rosette and heading stages. We also found silencing of BrAN3 stimulated leafy head formation at the early stage. Transcriptome analysis indicated that silencing of BrAN3 modulated the hormone signaling pathways of auxin, ethylene, GA, JA, ABA, BR, CK, and SA in Chinese cabbage. Our study offers unique insights into the function of BrAN3 in leafy head formation in Chinese cabbage.
Project description:Leafy vegetable Brassica crops are an important source of dietary calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) and represent potential targets for increasing leaf Ca and Mg concentrations through agronomy or breeding. Although the internal distribution of Ca and Mg within leaves affects the accumulation of these elements, such data are not available for Brassica. The aim of this study was to characterize the internal distribution of Ca and Mg in the leaves of a vegetable Brassica and to determine the effects of altered exogenous Ca and Mg supply on this distribution.Brassica rapa ssp. trilocularis 'R-o-18' was grown at four different Ca:Mg treatments for 21 d in a controlled environment. Concentrations of Ca and Mg were determined in fully expanded leaves using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Internal distributions of Ca and Mg were determined in transverse leaf sections at the base and apex of leaves using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) with cryo-scanning electron microscopy (cryo-SEM).Leaf Ca and Mg concentrations were greatest in palisade and spongy mesophyll cells, respectively, although this was dependent on exogenous supply. Calcium accumulation in palisade mesophyll cells was enhanced slightly under high Mg supply; in contrast, Mg accumulation in spongy mesophyll cells was not affected by Ca supply.The results are consistent with Arabidopsis thaliana and other Brassicaceae, providing phenotypic evidence that conserved mechanisms regulate leaf Ca and Mg distribution at a cellular scale. The future study of Arabidopsis gene orthologues in mutants of this reference B. rapa genotype will improve our understanding of Ca and Mg homeostasis in plants and may provide a model-to-crop translation pathway for targeted breeding.
Project description:Leaf heads of cabbage (Brassica oleracea), Chinese cabbage (B. rapa), and lettuce (Lactuca sativa) are important vegetables that supply mineral nutrients, crude fiber and vitamins in the human diet. Head size, head shape, head weight, and heading time contribute to yield and quality. In an attempt to investigate genetic basis of leafy head in Chinese cabbage (B. rapa), we took advantage of recent technical advances of genome resequencing to perform quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping using 150 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from the cross between heading and non-heading Chinese cabbage. The resequenced genomes of the parents uncovered more than 1 million SNPs. Genotyping of RILs using the high-quality SNPs assisted by Hidden Markov Model (HMM) generated a recombination map. The raw genetic map revealed some physical assembly error and missing fragments in the reference genome that reduced the quality of SNP genotyping. By deletion of the genetic markers in which recombination rates higher than 20%, we have obtained a high-quality genetic map with 2209 markers and detected 18 QTLs for 6 head traits, from which 3 candidate genes were selected. These QTLs provide the foundation for study of genetic basis of leafy heads and the other complex traits.
Project description:More and more RING finger genes were found to be implicated in various important biological processes. In the present study, a total of 731 RING domains in 715 predicted proteins were identified in Brassica rapa genome (AA, 2n?=?20), which were further divided into eight types: RING-H2 (371), RING-HCa (215), RING-HCb (47), RING-v (44), RING-C2 (38), RING-D (10), RING-S/T (5) and RING-G (1). The 715 RING finger proteins were further classified into 51 groups according to the presence of additional domains. 700 RING finger protein genes were mapped to the 10 chromosomes of B. rapa with a range of 47 to 111 genes for each chromosome. 667 RING finger protein genes were expressed in at least one of the six tissues examined, indicating their involvement in various physiological and developmental processes in B. rapa. Hierarchical clustering analysis of RNA-seq data divided them into seven major groups, one of which includes 231 members preferentially expressed in leaf, and constitutes then a panel of gene candidates for studying the genetic and molecular mechanisms of leafy head traits in Brassica crops. Our results lay the foundation for further studies on the classification, evolution and putative functions of RING finger protein genes in Brassica species.
Project description:In Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis), leaf adaxial-abaxial (ad-ab) polarity is tightly related to leaf incurvature, an essential factor for the formation of leafy heads. Therefore, identification of the genes responsible for leaf ad-ab polarity and studying their genetic variation may clarify the mechanism of leafy head formation. By comparing the sequences of the genes regulating leaf ad-ab polarity development in Arabidopsis thaliana (A. thaliana), 41 candidate genes distributed on 10 chromosomes were found to be responsible for the establishment of ad-ab polarity in Chinese cabbage. Orthologous genes, including 10 single copies, 14 double copies, and one triple copies, were detected in the Chinese cabbage. The gene structure and conserved domain analyses showed that the number of exons of the 41 candidate genes range from one to 25, and that most genes share the conserved motifs 1, 6, and 10. Based on the 41 candidate genes, 341 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were detected, including five replicated types: single, double, triple, quintuple, and sextuple nucleotide replications. Among these sequence repeat (SSR) loci, 323 loci were used to design 969 specific primers, and 362 primer pairs were selected randomly and evaluated using 12 Chinese cabbage accessions with different heading types. 23 primer pairs resulting with clear, polymorphic bands, combined with other 127 markers, was used to construct a linkage map by using an F2 population containing 214 lines derived from the hybrid of the overlapping heading Chinese cabbage "14Q-141" and the outward curling heading Chinese cabbage "14Q-279." The result showed that the sequences of markers in the genetic linkage map and the physical map was consistent in general. Our study could help to accelerate the breeding process of leafy head quality in Chinese cabbage.
Project description:HYPONASTIC LEAVES1 (HYL1) is an important regulator of microRNA (miRNA) biogenesis. Incurvature of rosette leaves in loss-of-function mutants of HYL1 implicates the regulation of leaf flatness by HYL1 via miRNA pathways. Recent studies have identified jba-1D, jaw-1D, and oe-160c, the dominant mutants of MIR166g, MIR319a, and MIR160c genes, respectively, which display three types of leaf curvature. However, it remains unclear whether or how HYL1 controls leaf flatness through the pathways mediated by these miRNAs. To define which miRNAs and target genes are relevant to the hyl1 phenotype in terms of leaf incurvature, the effects of three mutated MIRNA genes and their targets on the direction and extent of leaf curvature in hyl1 mutants were examined. The genetic analysis shows that the hyl1 phenotype is strongly rescued by jba-1D, but not by jaw-1D or oe-160c, whereas the mutant phenotypes of jba-1D, jaw-1D, or oe-160c leaves are compromised by the hyl1 allele. Expression analysis indicates that reduced accumulation of miR166, rather than of miR319a or miR160, causes incurvature of hyl1 leaves, and that miR319a-targeted TCP3 positively regulates the adaxial identity gene PHABULOSA while miR160-targeted ARF16 negatively regulates the abaxial identity gene FILAMENTOUS FLOWER. In these cases, the direction and extent of leaf incurvature are associated with the expression ratio of adaxial to abaxial genes (adaxial to abaxial ratio). HYL1 regulates the balance between adaxial and abaxial identity and modulates leaf flatness by preventing leaf incurvature, wavy margins, and downward curvature. It is concluded that HYL1 monitors the roles of miR165/166, miR319a, and miR160 in leaf flattening through the relative activities of adaxial and abaxial identity genes, thus playing an essential role in leaf development.