Vibratome Sectioning and Clearing for Easing Studies of Cassava Embryo Formation.
ABSTRACT: This work describes the application of clearing on vibratome sections to study the embryo formation in cassava. This procedure provides high-resolution images and reduces significantly the number of sections that need to be analyzed per ovule. This methodology was instrumental for the development of the protocol for embryo rescue in cassava. It has been also applied to monitor the embryo formation response when optimizing seed setting from regular and broad crosses for cassava breeding. Broad crosses between cassava and castor bean (incompatible-euphorbiaceae species) were made aiming to induce doubled haploids through the elimination of the incompatible-male parent genome as done in cereals. Castor bean is widely available and provides continues supply of pollen. Our results suggest that this methodology is easy and effective to assess the response of hundreds of cassava ovules pollinated with castor bean pollen, allowing the identification of multicellular structures in the embryo sac without apparent formation of endosperm. The protocol is also useful when developing and optimizing a methodology to induce doubled haploids in cassava via gynogenesis or from ovules pollinated with irradiated cassava pollen.
Project description:Cassava (<i>Manihot esculenta</i> Crantz) is an important crop for subsistence farming in tropical and subtropical regions. There is a need to increase the rate of genetic gain to develop varieties adapted to new environmental conditions affected by climate change, which also influences the patterns of pests and diseases. The rate of cassava genetic improvement is limited by the difficulty in obtaining true-breeding types (inbred/homozygous lines). Cassava inbreeding obtained through conventional sequential self-pollination increases exposure of useful recessive traits and breeding value of progenitors. However, it takes 10-15 years to produce homozygous lines through successive self-pollination. Doubled haploid (DH) technology is a functional alternative to progressive self-pollination, and is already widely used in major crops to accelerate inbreeding. This work aimed at developing a protocol for the culture of isolated ovules and the induction of gynogenesis in cassava. Basic groundbreaking studies on cassava embryo sac development are presented. A protocol using unpollinated ovules collected from ovaries 1 day after anthesis is described. In the unpollinated-cultured ovules, the presence of embryos formed probably from the egg cells and not surrounded by the endosperm, was documented by anatomical analyses. This achievement is an important first step in the development of a reproducible gynogenesis protocol for the generation of doubled haploids in cassava. This protocol can also be useful as a starting point to obtain DHs using alternative methods of induction such as pollination of cassava with pollen of distant species or with cassava pollen irradiated with gamma rays.
Project description:Flowering plant genomes encode multiple cation/H+ exchangers (CHXs) whose functions are largely unknown. AtCHX17, AtCHX18, and AtCHX19 are membrane transporters that modulate K+ and pH homeostasis and are localized in the dynamic endomembrane system. Loss of function reduced seed set, but the particular phase(s) of reproduction affected was not determined. Pollen tube growth and ovule targeting of chx17chx18chx19 mutant pollen appeared normal, but reciprocal cross experiments indicate a largely male defect. Although triple mutant pollen tubes reach ovules of a wild-type pistil and a synergid cell degenerated, half of those ovules were unfertilized or showed fertilization of the egg or central cell, but not both female gametes. Fertility could be partially compromised by impaired pollen tube and/or sperm function as CHX19 and CHX18 are expressed in the pollen tube and sperm cell, respectively. When fertilization was successful in self-pollinated mutants, early embryo formation was retarded compared with embryos from wild-type ovules receiving mutant pollen. Thus CHX17 and CHX18 proteins may promote embryo development possibly through the endosperm where these genes are expressed. The reticulate pattern of the pollen wall was disorganized in triple mutants, indicating perturbation of wall formation during male gametophyte development. As pH and cation homeostasis mediated by AtCHX17 affect membrane trafficking and cargo delivery, these results suggest that male fertility, sperm function, and embryo development are dependent on proper cargo sorting and secretion that remodel cell walls, plasma membranes, and extracellular factors.
Project description:Chrysanthemum is one of important ornamental species in the world. Its highly heterozygous state complicates molecular analysis, so it is of interest to derive haploid forms. A total of 2579 non-fertilized chrysanthemum ovules pollinated by Argyranthemum frutescens were cultured in vitro to isolate haploid progeny. One single regenerant emerged from each of three of the 105 calli produced. Chromosome counts and microsatellite fingerprinting showed that only one of the regenerants was a true haploid. Nine doubled haploid derivatives were subsequently generated by colchicine treatment of 80 in vitro cultured haploid nodal segments. Morphological screening showed that the haploid plant was shorter than the doubled haploids, and developed smaller leaves, flowers, and stomata. An in vitro pollen germination test showed that few of the haploid's pollen were able to germinate and those which did so were abnormal. Both the haploid and the doubled haploids produced yellow flowers, whereas those of the maternal parental cultivar were mauve. Methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) profiling was further used to detect alterations in cytosine methylation caused by the haploidization and/or the chromosome doubling processes. While 52.2% of the resulting amplified fragments were cytosine methylated in the maternal parent's genome, the corresponding proportions for the haploid's and doubled haploids' genomes were, respectively, 47.0 and 51.7%, demonstrating a reduction in global cytosine methylation caused by haploidization and a partial recovery following chromosome doubling.
Project description:Early events occurring at the surface of the female organ are critical for plant reproduction, especially in species with a dry stigma. After landing on the stigmatic papilla cells, the pollen hydrates and germinates a tube, which penetrates the cell wall and grows towards the ovules to convey the male gametes to the embryo sac. In self-incompatible species within the Brassicaceae, these processes are blocked when the stigma encounters an incompatible pollen. Based on the generation of self-incompatible Arabidopsis lines and by setting up a live imaging system, we showed that control of pollen hydration has a central role in pollen selectivity. The faster the pollen pumps water from the papilla during an initial period of 10 min, the faster it germinates. Furthermore, we found that the self-incompatibility barriers act to block the proper hydration of incompatible pollen and, when hydration is promoted by high humidity, an additional control prevents pollen tube penetration into the stigmatic wall. In papilla cells, actin bundles focalize at the contact site with the compatible pollen but not with the incompatible pollen, raising the possibility that stigmatic cells react to the mechanical pressure applied by the invading growing tube.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The allergenicity of Ricinus communis L. (castor bean, Euphorbiaceae) is associated with components of its seeds and pollen. Castor bean allergy has been described not only in laboratory workers, but also in personnel working in oil processing mills, fertilizer retail, the upholstery industry and other industrial fields. In the present study, we describe the critical amino acids in the IgE-binding epitopes in Ric c 1 and Ric c 3, two major allergens of R. communis. In addition, we also investigate the cross-reactivity between castor bean and some air and food allergen extracts commonly used in allergy diagnosis. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The IgE reactivity of human sera from atopic patients was screened by immune-dot blot against castor bean allergens. Allergenic activity was evaluated in vitro using a rat mast cell activation assay and by ELISA. Cross-reactivity was observed between castor bean allergens and extracts from shrimp, fish, gluten, wheat, soybean, peanut, corn, house dust, tobacco and airborne fungal allergens. We observed that treatment of rat and human sera (from atopic patients) with glutamic acid reduced the IgE-epitope interaction. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The identification of glutamic acid residues with critical roles in IgE-binding to Ric c 3 and Ric c 1 support the potential use of free amino acids in allergy treatment.
Project description:Castor bean (Ricinus communis L., Euphorbiaceae) is a critical biodiesel crop and its seed derivatives have important industrial applications. Due to lack of a high-density genetic map, the breeding and genetic improvement of castor bean has been largely restricted. In this study, based on a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population consisting of 200 individuals, we generated 8,896 high-quality genomic SNP markers and constructed a high-resolution genetic map with 10 linkage groups (LGs), spanning 1,852.33 centiMorgan (cM). Based on the genetic map, 996 scaffolds from the draft reference genome were anchored onto 10 pseudo-chromosomes, covering 84.43% of the castor bean genome. Furthermore, the quality of the pseudo-chromosome scale assembly genome was confirmed via genome collinearity analysis within the castor bean genome as well as between castor bean and cassava. Our results provide new evidence that the phylogenetic position of castor bean is relatively solitary from other taxa in the Euphorbiaceae family. Based on the genetic map, we identified 16 QTLs that control seed size and weight (covering 851 candidate genes). The findings will be helpful for further research into potential new mechanisms controlling seed size and weight in castor bean. The genetic map and improved pseudo-chromosome scale genome provide crucial foundations for marker-assisted selection (MAS) of QTL governing important agronomic traits, as well as the accelerated molecular breeding of castor bean in a cost-effective pattern.
Project description:Castor bean (Ricinus communis) is an oilseed crop that belongs to the spurge (Euphorbiaceae) family, which comprises approximately 6,300 species that include cassava (Manihot esculenta), rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) and physic nut (Jatropha curcas). It is primarily of economic interest as a source of castor oil, used for the production of high-quality lubricants because of its high proportion of the unusual fatty acid ricinoleic acid. However, castor bean genomics is also relevant to biosecurity as the seeds contain high levels of ricin, a highly toxic, ribosome-inactivating protein. Here we report the draft genome sequence of castor bean (4.6-fold coverage), the first for a member of the Euphorbiaceae. Whereas most of the key genes involved in oil synthesis and turnover are single copy, the number of members of the ricin gene family is larger than previously thought. Comparative genomics analysis suggests the presence of an ancient hexaploidization event that is conserved across the dicotyledonous lineage.
Project description:Using fluorescence microscopy, deposition of pollen on stigmas and pollen tube growth in the gynoecium of Sagittaria potamogetifolia Merr., a monoecious species with an apocarpous gynoecium, were observed. The maximum rate of pollination averaged 83.9 +/- 4.7 %, and the number of pollen grains per stigma ranged from zero to 30. Pollen tubes grew through one stigma to the base of the ovary at almost the same speed, but generally only one of the pollen tubes then turned towards the ovule and finally entered the nucellus through the micropyle. The other pollen tubes grew through the ovary base and the receptacle tissue into ovules of adjacent carpels whose stigmas were not pollinated or which had been pollinated later. This phenomenon is termed pollen tube 'reallocation' by the authors. To verify the direct effect of the phenomenon on fruit set, artificial pollination experiments were conducted in which two or more pollen grains were placed onto only one stigma in each gynoecium; frequently more than one fruitlet was obtained from each flower treated. The reallocation of pollen tubes among pistils in the gynoecium could effect fertilization of ovules of unpollinated pistils and lead to an increase in sexual reproduction efficiency. It would, to some extent, also increase pollen tube competition among pistils of the whole gynoecium.
Project description:The expression analysis had two goals: (1) look at relative transcription within mature pollen grains (2) compare expression in the stigma during pollination with either compatible or in-compatible pollen. Two pairwise comparisons, (i) unpollinated stigma vs. stigma pollinated with compatible pollen, and (ii) unpollinated stigma vs stigma pollinated with incompatible pollen. The genotype where stigma samples were harvested from is F1-30, and this is also the pollen source during an incompatible pollination reaction. The compatible pollen source is the variety Foxtrot (heterogeneous populations).
Project description:Pollen-stigma interaction is a highly selective process, which leads to compatible or incompatible pollination, in the latter case, affecting quantitative and qualitative aspects of productivity in species of agronomic interest. While the genes and the corresponding protein partners involved in this highly specific pollen-stigma recognition have been studied, providing important insights into pollen-stigma recognition in self-incompatible (SI), many other factors involved in the SI response are not understood yet. This work concerns the study of transglutaminase (TGase), polyamines (PAs) pattern and metabolomic profiles following the pollination of Pyrus communis L. pistils with compatible and SI pollen in order to deepen their possible involvement in the reproduction of plants. Immunolocalization, abundance and activity of TGase as well as the content of free, soluble-conjugated and insoluble-bound PAs have been investigated. 1H NMR-profiling coupled with multivariate data treatment (PCA and PLS-DA) allowed to compare, for the first time, the metabolic patterns of not-pollinated and pollinated styles. Results clearly indicate that during the SI response TGase activity increases, resulting in the accumulation of PAs conjugated to hydroxycinnamic acids and other small molecules. Metabolomic analysis showed a remarkable differences between pollinated and not-pollinated styles, where, except for glucose, all the other metabolites where less concentrated. Moreover, styles pollinated with compatible pollen showed the highest amount of sucrose than SI pollinated ones, which, in turn, contained highest amount of all the other metabolites, including aromatic compounds, such as flavonoids and a cynnamoil derivative.