Early responses to dehydration in contrasting wild Arachis species.
ABSTRACT: Wild peanut relatives (Arachis spp.) are genetically diverse and were selected throughout evolution to a range of environments constituting, therefore, an important source of allelic diversity for abiotic stress tolerance. In particular, A. duranensis and A. stenosperma, the parents of the reference Arachis A-genome genetic map, show contrasting transpiration behavior under limited water conditions. This study aimed to build a comprehensive gene expression profile of these two wild species under dehydration stress caused by the withdrawal of hydroponic nutrient solution. For this purpose, roots of both genotypes were collected at seven time-points during the early stages of dehydration and used to construct cDNA paired-end libraries. Physiological analyses indicated initial differences in gas exchange parameters between the drought-tolerant genotype of A. duranensis and the drought-sensitive genotype of A. stenosperma. High-quality Illumina reads were mapped against the A. duranensis reference genome and resulted in the identification of 1,235 and 799 Differentially Expressed Genes (DEGs) that responded to the stress treatment in roots of A. duranensis and A. stenosperma, respectively. Further analysis, including functional annotation and identification of biological pathways represented by these DEGs confirmed the distinct gene expression behavior of the two contrasting Arachis species genotypes under dehydration stress. Some species-exclusive and common DEGs were then selected for qRT-PCR analysis, which corroborated the in silico expression profiling. These included genes coding for regulators and effectors involved in drought tolerance responses, such as activation of osmosensing molecular cascades, control of hormone and osmolyte content, and protection of macromolecules. This dataset of transcripts induced during the dehydration process in two wild Arachis genotypes constitute new tools for the understanding of the distinct gene regulation processes in these closely related species but with contrasting drought responsiveness. In addition, our findings provide insights into the nature of drought tolerance in wild germoplasm, which might be explored as novel sources of diversity and useful wild alleles to develop climate-resilient crop varieties.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Root-Knot Nematode (RKN), Meloidogyne arenaria, significantly reduces peanut grain quality and yield worldwide. Whilst the cultivated species has low levels of resistance to RKN and other pests and diseases, peanut wild relatives (Arachis spp.) show rich genetic diversity and harbor high levels of resistance to many pathogens and environmental constraints. Comparative transcriptome analysis can be applied to identify candidate resistance genes. RESULTS:Transcriptome analysis during the early stages of RKN infection of two peanut wild relatives, the highly RKN resistant Arachis stenosperma and the moderately susceptible A. duranensis, revealed genes related to plant immunity with contrasting expression profiles. These included genes involved in hormone signaling and secondary metabolites production and also members of the NBS-LRR class of plant disease resistance (R) genes. From 345 NBS-LRRs identified in A.duranensis reference genome, 52 were differentially expressed between inoculated and control samples, with the majority occurring in physical clusters unevenly distributed on eight chromosomes with preferential tandem duplication. The majority of these NBS-LRR genes showed contrasting expression behaviour between A. duranensis and A. stenosperma, particularly at 6 days after nematode inoculation, coinciding with the onset of the Hypersensitive Response in the resistant species. The physical clustering of some of these NBS-LRR genes correlated with their expression patterns in the contrasting genotypes. Four NBS-LRR genes exclusively expressed in A. stenosperma are located within clusters on chromosome Aradu. A09, which harbors a QTL for RKN resistance, suggesting a functional role for their physical arrangement and their potential involvement in this defense response. CONCLUSION:The identification of functional novel R genes in wild Arachis species responsible for triggering effective defense cascades can contribute to the crop genetic improvement and enhance peanut resilience to RKN.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is one of the most widely grown grain legumes in the world, being valued for its high protein and unsaturated oil contents. Worldwide, the major constraints to peanut production are drought and fungal diseases. Wild Arachis species, which are exclusively South American in origin, have high genetic diversity and have been selected during evolution in a range of environments and biotic stresses, constituting a rich source of allele diversity. Arachis stenosperma harbors resistances to a number of pests, including fungal diseases, whilst A. duranensis has shown improved tolerance to water limited stress. In this study, these species were used for the creation of an extensive databank of wild Arachis transcripts under stress which will constitute a rich source for gene discovery and molecular markers development. RESULTS: Transcriptome analysis of cDNA collections from A. stenosperma challenged with Cercosporidium personatum (Berk. and M.A. Curtis) Deighton, and A. duranensis submitted to gradual water limited stress was conducted using 454 GS FLX Titanium generating a total of 7.4 x 10(5) raw sequence reads covering 211 Mbp of both genomes. High quality reads were assembled to 7,723 contigs for A. stenosperma and 12,792 for A. duranensis and functional annotation indicated that 95% of the contigs in both species could be appointed to GO annotation categories. A number of transcription factors families and defense related genes were identified in both species. Additionally, the expression of five A. stenosperma Resistance Gene Analogs (RGAs) and four retrotransposon (FIDEL-related) sequences were analyzed by qRT-PCR. This data set was used to design a total of 2,325 EST-SSRs, of which a subset of 584 amplified in both species and 214 were shown to be polymorphic using ePCR. CONCLUSIONS: This study comprises one of the largest unigene dataset for wild Arachis species and will help to elucidate genes involved in responses to biological processes such as fungal diseases and water limited stress. Moreover, it will also facilitate basic and applied research on the genetics of peanut through the development of new molecular markers and the study of adaptive variation across the genus.
Project description:Root-knot nematodes (RKN; Meloidogyne sp.) are a major threat to crops in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. The use of resistant crop varieties is the preferred method of control because nematicides are expensive, and hazardous to humans and the environment. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is infected by four species of RKN, the most damaging being M. arenaria, and commercial cultivars rely on a single source of resistance. In this study, we genetically characterize RKN resistance of the wild Arachis species A. stenosperma using a population of 93 recombinant inbred lines developed from a cross between A. duranensis and A. stenosperma. Four quantitative trait loci (QTL) located on linkage groups 02, 04, and 09 strongly influenced nematode root galling and egg production. Drought-related, domestication and agronomically relevant traits were also evaluated, revealing several QTL. Using the newly available Arachis genome sequence, easy-to-use KASP (kompetitive allele specific PCR) markers linked to the newly identified RKN resistance loci were developed and validated in a tetraploid context. Therefore, we consider that A. stenosperma has high potential as a new source of RKN resistance in peanut breeding programs.
Project description:Nematodes and drought are major constraints in tropical agriculture and often occur simultaneously. Plant responses to these stresses are complex and require crosstalk between biotic and abiotic signaling pathways. In this study, we explored the transcriptome data of wild Arachis species subjected to drought (A-metaDEG) and the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne arenaria (B-metaDEG) via meta-analysis, to identify core-stress responsive genes to each individual and concurrent stresses in these species. Transcriptome analysis of a nematode/drought bioassay (cross-stress) showed that the set of stress responsive DEGs to concurrent stress is distinct from those resulting from overlapping A- and B-metaDEGs, indicating a specialized and unique response to combined stresses in wild Arachis. Whilst individual biotic and abiotic stresses elicit hormone-responsive genes, most notably in the jasmonic and abscisic acid pathways, combined stresses seem to trigger mainly the ethylene hormone pathway. The overexpression of a cross-stress tolerance candidate gene identified here, an endochitinase-encoding gene (AsECHI) from Arachis stenosperma, reduced up to 30% of M. incognita infection and increased post-drought recovery in Arabidopsis plants submitted to both stresses. The elucidation of the network of cross-stress responsive genes in Arachis contributes to better understanding the complex regulation of biotic and abiotic responses in plants facilitating more adequate crop breeding for combined stress tolerance.
Project description:Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is an important legume cultivated mostly in drought-prone areas where its productivity can be limited by water scarcity. The development of more drought-tolerant varieties is, therefore, a priority for peanut breeding programs worldwide. In contrast to cultivated peanut, wild relatives have a broader genetic diversity and constitute a rich source of resistance/tolerance alleles to biotic and abiotic stresses. The present study takes advantage of this diversity to identify drought-responsive genes by analyzing the expression profile of two wild species, Arachis duranensis and Arachis magna (AA and BB genomes, respectively), in response to progressive water deficit in soil. Data analysis from leaves and roots of A. duranensis (454 sequencing) and A. magna (suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH)) stressed and control complementary DNA (cDNA) libraries revealed several differentially expressed genes in silico, and 44 of them were selected for further validation by quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). This allowed the identification of drought-responsive candidate genes, such as Expansin, Nitrilase, NAC, and bZIP transcription factors, displaying significant levels of differential expression during stress imposition in both species. This is the first report on identification of differentially expressed genes under drought stress and recovery in wild Arachis species. The generated transcriptome data, besides being a valuable resource for gene discovery, will allow the characterization of new alleles and development of molecular markers associated with drought responses in peanut. These together constitute important tools for the peanut breeding program and also contribute to a better comprehension of gene modulation in response to water deficit and rehydration.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Wild peanut species (Arachis spp.) are a rich source of new alleles for peanut improvement. Plant transcriptome analysis under specific experimental conditions helps the understanding of cellular processes related, for instance, to development, stress response, and crop yield. The validation of these studies has been generally accomplished by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) which requires normalization of mRNA levels among samples. This can be achieved by comparing the expression ratio between a gene of interest and a reference gene which is constitutively expressed. Nowadays there is a lack of appropriate reference genes for both wild and cultivated Arachis. The identification of such genes would allow a consistent analysis of qRT-PCR data and speed up candidate gene validation in peanut. RESULTS: A set of ten reference genes were analyzed in four Arachis species (A. magna; A. duranensis; A. stenosperma and A. hypogaea) subjected to biotic (root-knot nematode and leaf spot fungus) and abiotic (drought) stresses, in two distinct plant organs (roots and leaves). By the use of three programs (GeNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper) and taking into account the entire dataset, five of these ten genes, ACT1 (actin depolymerizing factor-like protein), UBI1 (polyubiquitin), GAPDH (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase), 60S (60S ribosomal protein L10) and UBI2 (ubiquitin/ribosomal protein S27a) emerged as top reference genes, with their stability varying in eight subsets. The former three genes were the most stable across all species, organs and treatments studied. CONCLUSIONS: This first in-depth study of reference genes validation in wild Arachis species will allow the use of specific combinations of secure and stable reference genes in qRT-PCR assays. The use of these appropriate references characterized here should improve the accuracy and reliability of gene expression analysis in both wild and cultivated Arachis and contribute for the better understanding of gene expression in, for instance, stress tolerance/resistance mechanisms in plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Peanut is one of the most important oil crop species worldwide. NAC transcription factor (TF) genes play important roles in the salt and drought stress responses of plants by activating or repressing target gene expression. However, little is known about NAC genes in peanut. RESULTS:We performed a genome-wide characterization of NAC genes from the diploid wild peanut species Arachis duranensis and Arachis ipaensis, which included analyses of chromosomal locations, gene structures, conserved motifs, expression patterns, and cis-acting elements within their promoter regions. In total, 81 and 79 NAC genes were identified from A. duranensis and A. ipaensis genomes. Phylogenetic analysis of peanut NACs along with their Arabidopsis and rice counterparts categorized these proteins into 18 distinct subgroups. Fifty-one orthologous gene pairs were identified, and 46 orthologues were found to be highly syntenic on the chromosomes of both A. duranensis and A. ipaensis. Comparative RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)-based analysis revealed that the expression of 43 NAC genes was up- or downregulated under salt stress and under drought stress. Among these genes, the expression of 17 genes in cultivated peanut (Arachis hypogaea) was up- or downregulated under both stresses. Moreover, quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT-qPCR)-based analysis revealed that the expression of most of the randomly selected NAC genes tended to be consistent with the comparative RNA-seq results. CONCLUSION:Our results facilitated the functional characterization of peanut NAC genes, and the genes involved in salt and drought stress responses identified in this study could be potential genes for peanut improvement.
Project description:Water deficit is one of the major limitations to soybean production worldwide, yet the genetic basis of drought-responsive mechanisms in crops remains poorly understood. In order to study the gene expression patterns in leaves and roots of soybean, two contrasting genotypes, Embrapa 48 (drought-tolerant) and BR 16 (drought-sensitive), were evaluated under moderate and severe water deficit. Transcription factors from the AP2/EREBP and WRKY families were investigated. Embrapa 48 showed 770 more up-regulated genes than BR 16, in eight categories. In general, leaves presented more differentially expressed genes (DEGs) than roots. Embrapa 48 responded to water deficit faster than BR 16, presenting a greater number of DEGs since the first signs of drought. Embrapa 48 exhibited initial modulation of genes associated with stress, while maintaining the level of the ones related to basic functions. The genes expressed exclusively in the drought-tolerant cultivar, belonging to the category of dehydration responsive genes, and the ones with a contrasting expression pattern between the genotypes are examples of important candidates to confer tolerance to plants. Finally, this study identified genes of the AP2/EREBP and WRKY families related to drought tolerance.
Project description:Wild peanut relatives (Arachis spp.) are genetically diverse and were adapted to a range of environments during the evolution course, constituting an important source of allele diversity for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. The wild diploid A. stenosperma harbors high levels of resistance to a variety of pathogens, including the root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne arenaria, through the onset of the Hypersensitive Response (HR). In order to identify genes and regulators triggering this defense response, a comprehensive root transcriptome analysis during the first stages of this incompatible interaction was conducted using Illumina Hi-Seq. Overall, eight cDNA libraries were produced generating 28.2 GB, which were de novo assembled into 44,132 contigs and 37,882 loci. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified and clustered according to their expression profile, with the majority being downregulated at 6 DAI, which coincides with the onset of the HR. Amongst these DEGs, 27 were selected for further qRT-PCR validation allowing the identification of nematode-responsive candidate genes that are putatively related to the resistance response. Those candidates are engaged in the salycilic (NBS-LRR, lipocalins, resveratrol synthase) and jasmonic (patatin, allene oxidase cyclase) acids pathways, and also related to hormonal balance (auxin responsive protein, GH3) and cellular plasticity and signaling (tetraspanin, integrin, expansin), with some of them showing contrasting expression behavior between Arachis RKN-resistant and susceptible genotypes. As these candidate genes activate different defensive signaling systems, the genetic (HR) and the induced resistance (IR), their pyramidding in one genotype via molecular breeding or transgenic strategy might contribute to a more durable resistance, thus improving the long-term control of RKN in peanut.
Project description:The complex, tetraploid genome structure of peanut (Arachis hypogaea) has obstructed advances in genetics and genomics in the species. The aim of this study is to understand the genome structure of Arachis by developing a high-density integrated consensus map. Three recombinant inbred line populations derived from crosses between the A genome diploid species, Arachis duranensis and Arachis stenosperma; the B genome diploid species, Arachis ipaënsis and Arachis magna; and between the AB genome tetraploids, A. hypogaea and an artificial amphidiploid (A. ipaënsis × A. duranensis)(4×), were used to construct genetic linkage maps: 10 linkage groups (LGs) of 544 cM with 597 loci for the A genome; 10 LGs of 461 cM with 798 loci for the B genome; and 20 LGs of 1442 cM with 1469 loci for the AB genome. The resultant maps plus 13 published maps were integrated into a consensus map covering 2651 cM with 3693 marker loci which was anchored to 20 consensus LGs corresponding to the A and B genomes. The comparative genomics with genome sequences of Cajanus cajan, Glycine max, Lotus japonicus, and Medicago truncatula revealed that the Arachis genome has segmented synteny relationship to the other legumes. The comparative maps in legumes, integrated tetraploid consensus maps, and genome-specific diploid maps will increase the genetic and genomic understanding of Arachis and should facilitate molecular breeding.