RNA sequencing of developing Mimulus seeds reveals conservation of three imprinted genes
ABSTRACT: The seeds of angiosperms are comprised of three main tissues--the seed coat, embryo, and endosperm--whose coordinated development will enable the next generation to disperse with sufficient maternal resources and germinate when conditions are favorable. We use high-throughput RNA sequencing technology to characterize the developmental dynamics of gene expression in whole seeds resulting from a compatible cross between two species of the Mimulus guttatus complex.We find that development in ovules and seeds involves the activation of the majority of annotated genes in M. guttatus (64-67%), and the differential expression over time of 6,691 genes, including 424 transcription factors. Most of the genes we detected (69%) were expressed at all stages, from ovules to heart-stage embryo seeds. We also detected and validated four genes exhibiting paternally-biased expression (MDB13, ATXR5, DnaJ and BGAL11). Intriguingly, three of our validated PEGs are have imprinted homologues in other plant species, suggesting that these proteins perform a shared role in endosperm development among distantly related plant taxa. Additionally, the overlap in gene expression profiles between stages of development suggests that most genes fulfill multiple developmental and biological roles. Future analyses should examine whether different regions of the seed (embryo, endosperm, and seed coat) have unique patterns of gene expression, and the extent to which spatial coordination and regulation of gene expression may play a role in regulating seed development. Overall design: Inbred lines of Mimulus guttatus (CSS4) and the selfing species Mimulus pardalis (SEC39) were grown in a chamber at 18-hour days, 21°C, 30% relative humidity.Total RNA was extracted from ovules and developing hybrid seeds from that had been removed from longitudinal-sectioned fruits. We sequenced a total of 20 samples, including 5 replicates of un-pollinated M. pardalis ovules and 3-5 replicates of M. pardalis x M. guttatus hybrid seeds collected at 2, 4, 6, and 8 DAP. Each replicate contained ~10-20 ovaries or fruits pooled from different plants.
Project description:Background and Aims:Defective hybrid seed development in angiosperms might mediate the rapid establishment of intrinsic post-zygotic isolation between closely related species. Extensive crosses within and among three lineages of wild tomatoes (Solanum section Lycopersicon) were performed to address the incidence, developmental timing and histological manifestations of hybrid seed failure. These lineages encompass different, yet fairly recent, divergence times and both allopatric and partially sympatric pairs. Methods:Mature seeds were scored visually 2 months after hand pollinations, and viable-looking seeds were assessed for germination success. Using histological sections from early-developing seeds from a sub-set of crosses, the growth of three major seed compartments (endosperm, embryo and seed coat) was measured at critical developmental stages up to 21 d after pollination, with a focus on the timing and histological manifestations of endosperm misdevelopment in abortive hybrid seeds. Key Results:For two of three interspecific combinations including the most closely related pair that was also studied histologically, almost all mature seeds appeared 'flat' and proved inviable; histological analyses revealed impaired endosperm proliferation at early globular embryo stages, concomitant with embryo arrest and seed abortion in both cross directions. The third interspecific combination yielded a mixture of flat, inviable and plump, viable seeds; many of the latter germinated and exhibited near-normal juvenile phenotypes or, in some instances, hybrid necrosis and impaired growth. Conclusions:The overall results suggest that near-complete hybrid seed failure can evolve fairly rapidly and without apparent divergence in reproductive phenology/biology. While the evidence accrued here is largely circumstantial, early-acting disruptions of normal endosperm development are most probably the common cause of seed failure regardless of the type of endosperm (nuclear or cellular).
Project description:Seed formation is a pivotal process in plant reproduction and dispersal. It begins with megagametophyte development in the ovule, followed by fertilization and subsequently coordinated development of embryo, endosperm, and maternal seed coat. Two closely related MADS-box genes, SHATTERPROOF 1 and 2 (SHP1 and SHP2) are involved in specifying ovule integument identity in Arabidopsis thaliana. The MADS box gene ARABIDOPSIS BSISTER (ABS or TT16) is required, together with SEEDSTICK (STK) for the formation of endothelium, part of the seed coat and innermost tissue layer formed by the maternal plant. Little is known about the genetic interaction of SHP1 and SHP2 with ABS and the coordination of endosperm and seed coat development. In this work, mutant and expression analysis shed light on this aspect of concerted development. Triple tt16 shp1 shp2 mutants produce malformed seedlings, seed coat formation defects, fewer seeds, and mucilage reduction. While shp1 shp2 mutants fail to coordinate the timely development of ovules, tt16 mutants show less peripheral endosperm after fertilization. Failure in coordinated division of the innermost integument layer in early ovule stages leads to inner seed coat defects in tt16 and tt16 shp1 shp2 triple mutant seeds. An antagonistic action of ABS and SHP1/SHP2 is observed in inner seed coat layer formation. Expression analysis also indicates that ABS represses SHP1, SHP2, and FRUITFUL expression. Our work shows that the evolutionary conserved Bsister genes are required not only for endothelium but also for endosperm development and genetically interact with SHP1 and SHP2 in a partially antagonistic manner.
Project description:The number of integuments found in angiosperm ovules is variable. In orchids, most species show bitegmic ovules, except for some mycoheterotrophic species that show ovules with only one integument. Analysis of ovules and the development of the seed coat provide important information regarding functional aspects such as dispersal and seed germination. This study aimed to analyze the origin and development of the seed coat of the mycoheterotrophic orchid Pogoniopsis schenckii and to compare this development with that of other photosynthetic species of the family. Flowers and fruits at different stages of development were collected, and the usual methodology for performing anatomical studies, scanning microscopy, and transmission microscopy following established protocols. P. schenckii have ategmic ovules, while the other species are bitegmic. No evidence of integument formation at any stage of development was found through anatomical studies. The reduction of integuments found in the ovules could facilitate fertilization in this species. The seeds of P. schenckii, Vanilla planifolia, and V. palmarum have hard seed coats, while the other species have seed coats formed by the testa alone, making them thin and transparent. P. schenckii, in contrast to the other species analyzed, has a seed coat that originates from the nucellar epidermis, while in other species, the seed coat originates from the outer integument.
Project description:Divergence of developmental mechanisms within populations could lead to hybrid developmental failure, and might be a factor driving speciation in angiosperms. We investigate patterns of endosperm and embryo development in Mimulus guttatus and the closely related, serpentine endemic Mimulus nudatus, and compare them to those of reciprocal hybrid seed. We address whether disruption in hybrid seed development is the primary source of reproductive isolation between these sympatric taxa. M. guttatus and M. nudatus differ in the pattern and timing of endosperm and embryo development. Some hybrid seeds exhibit early disruption of endosperm development and are completely inviable, while others develop relatively normally at first, but later exhibit impaired endosperm proliferation and low germination success. These developmental patterns are reflected in mature hybrid seeds, which are either small and flat (indicating little to no endosperm) or shriveled (indicating reduced endosperm volume). Hybrid seed inviability forms a potent reproductive barrier between M. guttatus and M. nudatus. We shed light on the extent of developmental variation between closely related species within the M. guttatus species complex, an important ecological model system, and provide a partial mechanism for the hybrid barrier between M. guttatus and M. nudatus.
Project description:Seed development in plants involves the coordinated growth of the embryo, endosperm, and maternal tissue. Several genes have been identified that influence seed size by acting maternally, such as AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR2, APETALA2, and DA1. However, given the lack of gain-of-function effects of these genes on seed size, it is unclear whether their activity levels are limiting in WT plants and whether they could thus be used to regulate seed size in development or evolution. Also, whether the altered seed sizes reflect local gene activity or global physiological changes is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the cytochrome P450 KLUH (KLU) regulates seed size. KLU acts locally in developing flowers to promote seed growth, and its activity level is limiting for seed growth in WT. KLU is expressed in the inner integument of developing ovules, where it non-cell autonomously stimulates cell proliferation, thus determining the growth potential of the seed coat and seed. A KLU-induced increase in seed size leads to larger seedlings and higher relative oil content of the seeds. Genetic analyses indicate that KLU acts independently of other tested maternal factors that influence integument cell proliferation. Thus, the level of KLU-dependent growth factor signaling determines size in ovules and seeds, suggesting this pathway as a target for crop improvement.
Project description:Background:Obtaining high-quality RNA for gene expression analyses from different seed tissues is challenging due to the presence of various contaminants, such as polyphenols, polysaccharides and lipids which interfere with RNA extraction methods. At present, the available protocols for extracting RNA from seeds require high amounts of tissue and are mainly focused on extracting RNA from whole seeds. However, extracting RNA at the tissue level enables more detailed studies regarding tissue specific transcriptomes during seed development. Results:Seeds from heart stage embryo to mature developmental stages of Brassica napus and B. oleracea were sampled for isolation of the embryo, endosperm and seed coat tissues. Ovules and ovary wall tissue were also collected from pre-fertilized buds. Subsequent to testing several RNA extraction methods, modifications applied to E.Z.N.A. Plant RNA and Picopure RNA Isolation kit extraction methods resulted in RNA with high yield and quality. Furthermore, the use of polyvinylpolypyrrolidone for seed coats and endosperm at green stages resulted in high-quality RNA. As a result of the introduced modifications to established RNA extraction methods, the RNA from all the above-mentioned tissues presented clear 28S and 18S bands and high RIN values, ranging from 7.0 to 10.0. The protocols reported in this study are not only suitable for different and challenging seed tissue types, but also enable the extraction of high-quality RNA using only 2 to 3 mg of starting tissue. Conclusions:Here, we present efficient, reproducible and reliable high-quality RNA extraction methods for diverse oilseed Brassica spp reproductive tissue types including pre-fertilization and developing seed tissues for diploid and polyploid species. The high-quality RNA obtained is suitable for RNA-Sequencing and subsequent gene expression analysis.
Project description:Plant seeds are essential for human beings, constituting 70% of carbohydrate resources worldwide; examples include rice, wheat, and corn. In angiosperms, fertilization of the egg by a sperm cell is required for seed formation; therefore, fertilization failure results in no seed formation, except in the special case of apomixis. Initially, plants produce many pollen grains inside the anthers; once the pollen grain is deposited onto the top of the pistil, the pollen tube elongates until it reaches the ovule. Generally, only one pollen tube is inserted into the ovule; however, we previously found that if fertilization by the first pollen tube fails, a second pollen tube could rescue fertilization via the so-called fertilization recovery system (FRS). Our previous reports also demonstrated that failed fertilization results in pollen tube-dependent ovule enlargement morphology (POEM), enlarged seeds, and partial seed coat formation if the pollen tube releases the pollen tube contents into the ovule. However, we have not determined whether all the ovules enlarge or produce seed coats if an ovule accepts the pollen tube contents. Therefore, we conducted a partial seed coat formation experiment taking into account both the FRS and POEM phenomena. Notably, the ratios of failed fertilization and the ovules with partial seed coats matched, indicating that all ovules initiate seed coat formation if the fertilization fails but the pollen tube contents enter the ovule. In addition, we confirmed that the agl62 mutant , defective in early endosperm formation, showed seed coat initiation with and without fertilization, indicating that for a normal seed coat initiation, fertilization is not required; however, for the completion of normal seed coat formation, both normal fertilization and endosperm formation are required. Further molecular evidence is required to understand these phenomena because very few factors related to FRS and POEM have been identified.
Project description:Seeds are comprised of three major parts of distinct parental origin: the seed coat, embryo, and endosperm. The maternally-derived seed coat is important for nurturing and protecting the seeds during development. By contrast, the embryo and the endosperm are derived from a double fertilization event, where one sperm fertilizes the egg to form the diploid zygote and the other sperm fertilizes the central cell to form the triploid endosperm. Each seed part undergoes distinct developmental programs during seed development. What methylation changes occur in the different seed parts, if any, remains unknown. To uncover the possible role of DNA methylation in different parts of the seed, we characterized the methylome of three major parts of cotyledon stage seeds, the seed coat, embryonic cotyledons, and embryonic axis, using Illumina sequencing. Overall design: Illumina sequencing of bisulfite-converted genomic DNA from three parts of soybean cotyledon stage seeds: seed coat (COT-SC), embryonic cotyledons (COT-COT), and embryonic axis (COT-AX).
Project description:In angiosperms, double fertilization of the egg and central cell of the megagametophyte leads to the development of the embryo and endosperm, respectively. Control of cell cycle progression in the megagametophyte is essential for successful fertilization and development. Central cell-targeted expression of the D-type cyclin CYCD7;1 (end CYCD7;1) using the imprinted FWA promoter overcomes cycle arrest of the central cell in the Arabidopsis female gametophyte in the unfertilized ovule, leading to multinucleate central cells at high frequency. Unlike FERTILIZATION-INDEPENDENT SEED (fis) mutants, but similar to lethal RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED (rbr) mutants, no seed coat development is triggered. Unlike the case with loss of rbr, post-fertilization end CYCD7;1 in the endosperm enhances the number of nuclei during syncytial endosperm development and induces the partial abortion of developing seeds, associated with the enhanced size of the surviving seeds. The frequency of lethality was less than the frequency of multinucleate central cells, indicating that these aspects are not causally linked. These larger seeds contain larger embryos composed of more cells of wild-type size, surrounded by a seed coat composed of more cells. Seedlings arising from these larger seeds displayed faster seedling establishment and early growth. Similarly, two different embryo-lethal mutants also conferred enlarged seed size in surviving siblings, consistent with seed size increase being a general response to sibling lethality, although the cellular mechanisms were found to be distinct. Our data suggest that tight control of CYCD activity in the central cell and in the developing endosperm is required for optimal seed formation.
Project description:Towards the aim of examining the potential function of KORRIGAN (KOR), a highly conserved membrane-bound endoglucanase, in reproductive development, here transgenic evidence is provided that a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) endoglucanase, GhKOR1, plays significant roles in endosperm and embryo development. RNA interference (RNAi)- and co-suppression-mediated down-regulation of GhKOR1 resulted in smaller filial tissue and reduced seed weight, which were characterized by disrupted endosperm cellularization and delayed embryo development, leading to a delayed germination and a weak growth of seedlings early in development. The transgenic seeds exhibited fewer and smaller endosperm cells with irregular and brittle cell walls, and their embryos developed only to the globular stage at 10 days post-anthesis (DPA) when the wild-type endosperm has become highly cellularized and the embryo has progressed to the heart stage. The transgenic seed also displayed a significant reduction of callose in the seed coat transfer cells and reduced cellulose content both in the seed coat and in mature fibres. These findings demonstrate that GhKOR1 is required for the developmental of both seed filial and maternal tissues and the establishment of seedling vigour.