Project description:Sense transgene-induced post-transcriptional gene silencing (S-PTGS) is thought to be a type of RNA silencing in which ARGONAUTE1 directs the small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated cleavage of a target mRNA in the cytoplasm. Here, we report that the altered splicing of endogenous counterpart genes is a main cause for the reduction of their mature mRNA levels. After the S-PTGS of a tobacco endoplasmic reticulum ?-3 fatty acid desaturase (NtFAD3) gene, 3'-truncated, polyadenylated endo-NtFAD3 transcripts and 5'-truncated, intron-containing endo-NtFAD3 transcripts were detected in the total RNA fraction. Although transcription proceeded until the last exon of the endogenous NtFAD3 gene, intron-containing NtFAD3 transcripts accumulated in the nucleus of the S-PTGS plants. Several intron-containing NtFAD3 transcripts harboring most of the exon sequences were generated when an endogenous silencing suppressor gene, rgs-CaM, was overexpressed in the S-PTGS plants. These intron-containing NtFAD3 splice variants were generated in the presence of NtFAD3 siRNAs that are homologous to the nucleotide sequences of these splice variants. The results of this study indicate that the inhibition of endo-NtFAD3 gene expression is primarily directed via the alteration of splicing and not by cytoplasmic slicer activity. Our results suggest that the transgene and intron-containing endogenous counterpart genes are differentially suppressed in S-PTGS plants.
Project description:Nornicotine is a secondary tobacco alkaloid that is produced by the N-demethylation of nicotine. Nornicotine production and accumulation in tobacco are undesirable because nornicotine serves as the precursor in the synthesis of the well characterized carcinogen N'-nitrosonornicotine during the curing and processing of tobacco. Although nornicotine is typically a minor alkaloid in tobacco plants, in many tobacco populations a high percentage of individuals can be found that convert a substantial proportion of the nicotine to nornicotine during leaf senescence and curing. We used a microarray-based strategy to identify genes that are differentially regulated between closely related tobacco lines that accumulate either nicotine (nonconverters) or nornicotine (converters) as the predominant alkaloid in the cured leaf. These experiments led to the identification of a small number of closely related cytochrome P450 genes, designated the CYP82E2 family, whose collective transcript levels were consistently higher in converter versus nonconverter tobacco lines. RNA interference-induced silencing of the CYP82E2 gene family suppressed the synthesis of nornicotine in strong converter plants to levels similar to that observed in nonconverter individuals. Although each of the six identified members of the P450 family share >90% nucleotide sequence identity, sense expression of three selected isoforms revealed that only one (CYP82E4v1) was involved in the conversion of nicotine to nornicotine. Yeast expression analysis revealed that CYP82E4v1 functions as a nicotine demethylase. Identification of the gene(s) responsible for nicotine demethylation provides a potentially powerful tool toward efforts to minimize nornicotine levels, and thereby N'-nitrosonornicotine formation, in tobacco products.
Project description:To provide a detailed insight into the early biological process of tobacco mosaic disease, transcriptomic changes in tobacco leaves were surveyed at 1, 3 and 5 days after mono-infected by Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and co-infected by Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) and TMV. At the three different stages, there were 2372, 3168 and 2045 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in mono-infected leaves, and 2388, 3281 and 3417 DEGs were identified in co-infected leaves. There were 836, 1538 and 1185 common DEGs between the mono-infection and co-infection at the three time points, respectively. These common DEGs were enriched in the pathways, such as photosynthesis, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, plant-pathogen interaction, porphyrin and chlorophyll metabolism, phenylalanine metabolism and phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. Photosynthesis pathway was observably down-regulated, and defense response pathways were markedly up-regulated. These pathways have been found to be related to tobacco mosaic disease. Of these common DEGs, the changes in expression of argonaute proteins, thioredoxins and peroxidases showed that the activation of RNA silencing and the destruction of redox balance can be induced by tobacco mosaic virus infection, resulting in the reset of biology process and damage in tobacco plants. Additionally, the occurrence of symptoms in co-infected tobacco plants was more early and serious than mono-infection, indicating that there is synergy between TMV and CMV in co-infected tobacco plants. The timely usage of antiviral agents and plant resistance inducers can decrease the incidence of tobacco mosaic disease through changing the expression of some DEGs, indicating that these genes can be used to screen novel plant resistance inducers and antiviral agents. Overall, our results were helpful in clarifying the mechanism of tobacco mosaic disease and provided novel strategies for the prevention of tobacco mosaic disease.
Project description:<h4>Key message</h4>The HbCAld5H1 gene cloned from Hevea brasiliensis regulates the cambial activity, xylem differentiation, syringyl-guaiacyl ratio, secondary wall structure, lignification pattern and xylan distribution in xylem fibres of transgenic tobacco plants. Molecular characterization of lignin biosynthesis gene coniferaldehyde-5-hydroxylase (CAld5H) from Hevea brasiliensis and its functional validation was performed. Both sense and antisense constructs of HbCAld5H1 gene were introduced into tobacco through Agrobacterium-mediated genetic transformation for over expression and down-regulation of this key enzyme to understand its role affecting structural and cell wall chemistry. The anatomical studies of transgenic tobacco plants revealed the increase of cambial activity leading to xylogenesis in sense lines and considerable reduction in antisense lines. The ultra-structural studies showed that the thickness of secondary wall (S2 layer) of fibre had been decreased with non-homogenous lignin distribution in antisense lines, while sense lines showed an increase in S2 layer thickness. Maule color reaction revealed that syringyl lignin distribution in the xylem elements was increased in sense and decreased in antisense lines. The immunoelectron microscopy revealed a reduction in LM 10 and LM 11 labelling in the secondary wall of antisense tobacco lines. Biochemical studies showed a radical increase in syringyl lignin in sense lines without any significant change in total lignin content, while S/G ratio decreased considerably in antisense lines. Our results suggest that CAld5H gene plays an important role in xylogenesis stages such as cambial cell division, secondary wall thickness, xylan and syringyl lignin distribution in tobacco. Therefore, CAld5H gene could be considered as a promising target for lignin modification essential for timber quality improvement in rubber.
Project description:Virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) is a recently developed technique for characterizing the function of plant genes by gene transcript suppression and is increasingly used to generate transient loss-of-function assays. Here we report that the 2mDNA1, a geminivirus satellite vector, can induce efficient gene silencing in Nicotiana tabacum with Tobacco curly shoot virus. We have successfully silenced the ?-glucuronidase (GUS) gene in GUS transgenic N. tabacum plants and the sulphur desaturase (Su) gene in five different N. tabacum cultivars. These pronounced and severe silencing phenotypes are persistent and ubiquitous. Once initiated in seedlings, the silencing phenotype lasted for the entire life span of the plants and silencing could be induced in a variety of tissues and organs including leaf, shoot, stem, root, and flower, and achieved at any growth stage. This system works well between 18-32 °C. We also silenced the NtEDS1 gene and demonstrated that NtEDS1 is essential for N gene mediated resistance against Tobacco mosaic virus in N. tabacum. The above results indicate that this system has great potential as a versatile VIGS system for routine functional analysis of genes in N. tabacum.
Project description:The potential impact of transgene escape on the environment and food safety is a major concern to the scientists and public. This work aimed to assess the effect of intein-mediated gene splitting on containment of transgene flow. Two fusion genes, EPSPSn-In and Ic-EPSPSc, were constructed and integrated into N. tabacum, using Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated transformation. EPSPSn-In encodes the first 295 aa of the herbicide resistance gene 5-enolpyruvyl shikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS) fused with the first 123 aa of the Ssp DnaE intein (In), whereas Ic-EPSPSc encodes the 36 C-terminal aa of the Ssp DnaE intein (Ic) fused to the rest of EPSPS C terminus peptide sequences. Both EPSPSn-In and Ic-EPSPSc constructs were introduced into the same N. tabacum genome by genetic crossing. Hybrids displayed resistance to the herbicide N-(phosphonomethyl)-glycine (glyphosate). Western blot analysis of protein extracts from hybrid plants identified full-length EPSPS. Furthermore, all hybrid seeds germinated and grew normally on glyphosate selective medium. The 6-8 leaf hybrid plants showed tolerance of 2000 ppm glyphosate in field spraying. These results indicated that functional EPSPS protein was reassembled in vivo by intein-mediated trans-splicing in 100% of plants. In order to evaluate the effect of the gene splitting technique for containment of transgene flow, backcrossing experiments were carried out between hybrids, in which the foreign genes EPSPSn-In and Ic-EPSPSc were inserted into different chromosomes, and non-transgenic plants NC89. Among the 2812 backcrossing progeny, about 25% (664 plantlets) displayed glyphosate resistance. These data indicated that transgene flow could be reduced by 75%. Overall, our findings provide a new and highly effective approach for biological containment of transgene flow.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Expression of exogenous sequences in plants is often suppressed through one of the earliest described RNA silencing pathways, sense post-transcriptional gene silencing (S-PTGS). This type of suppression has made significant contributions to our knowledge of the biology of RNA silencing pathways and has important consequences in plant transgenesis applications. Although significant progress has been made in recent years, factors affecting the stability of transgene expression are still not well understood. It has been shown before that the efficiency of RNA silencing in plants is influenced by various environmental factors. RESULTS: Here we report that a major environmental factor, light intensity, significantly affects the induction and systemic spread of S-PTGS. Moreover, we show that photoadaptation to high or low light intensity conditions differentially affects mRNA levels of major components of the RNA silencing machinery. CONCLUSIONS: Light intensity is one of the previously unknown factors that affect transgene stability at the post-transcriptional level. Our findings demonstrate an example of how environmental conditions could affect RNA silencing.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is major cause of liver cirrhosis in humans. HCV capsid (core) protein (HCVcp) is a highly demanded antigen for various diagnostic, immunization and pathogenesis studies. Plants are considered as an expression system for producing safe and inexpensive biopharmaceutical proteins. Although invention of transgenic (stable) tobacco plants expressing HCVcp with proper antigenic properties was recently reported, no data for "transient-expression" that is currently the method of choice for rapid, simple and lower-priced protein expression in plants is available for HCVcp. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to design a highly codon-optimized HCVcp gene for construction of an efficient transient-plant expression system for production of HCVcp with proper antigenic properties in a regional tobacco plant (Iranian Jafarabadi-cultivar) by evaluation of different classes of vectors and suppression of gene-silencing in tobacco. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A codon-optimized gene encoding the Kozak sequence, 6xHis-tag, HCVcp (1-122) and KDEL peptide in tandem (from N- to C-terminal) was designed and inserted into potato virus-X (PVX) and classic pBI121 binary vectors in separate cloning reactions. The resulted recombinant plasmids were transferred into Agrobacterium tumefaciens and vacuum infiltrated into tobacco leaves. The effect of gene silencing suppressor P19 protein derived from tomato bushy stunt virus on the expression yield of HCVcp by each construct was also evaluated by co-infiltration in separate groups. The expressed HCVcp was evaluated by dot and western blotting and ELISA assays. RESULTS: The codon-optimized gene had an increased adaptation index value (from 0.65 to 0.85) and reduced GC content (from 62.62 to 51.05) in tobacco and removed the possible deleterious effect of "GGTAAG" splice site in native HCVcp. Blotting assays via specific antibodies confirmed the expression of the 15 kDa HCVcp. The expression level of HCVcp was enhanced by 4-5 times in P19 co-agroinfiltrated plants with better outcomes for PVX, compared to pBI121 vector (0.022% versus 0.019% of the total soluble protein). The plant-derived HCVcp (pHCVcp) could properly identify the HCVcp antibody in HCV-infected human sera compared to Escherichia coli-derived HCVcp (eHCVcp), indicating its potential for diagnostic/immunization applications. CONCLUSIONS: By employment of gene optimization strategies, use of viral-based vectors and suppression of plant-derived gene silencing effect, efficient transient expression of HCVcp in tobacco with proper antigenic properties could be possible.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>'Regal Splendour' (Hosta variety) is famous for its multi-color leaves, which are useful resources for exploring chloroplast development and color changes. The expressions of chlorophyll biosynthesis-related genes (HrHEMA, HrPOR and HrCAO) in Hosta have been demonstrated to be associated with leaf color. Herein, we isolated, sequenced, and analyzed HrHEMA, HrPOR and HrCAO genes. Subcellular localization was also performed to determine the location of the corresponding enzymes. After plasmid construction, virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) was carried out to reduce the expressions of those genes. In addition, HrHEMA-, HrPOR- and HrCAO-overexpressing tobacco plants were made to verify the genes function. Changes of transgenic tobacco were recorded under 2000?lx, 6000?lx and 10,000?lx light intensity. Additionally, the contents of enzyme 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA), porphobilinogen (PBG), chlorophyll a and b (Chla and Chlb), carotenoid (Cxc), superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), malondialdehyde (MDA), proline (Pro) and catalase (CAT) under different light intensities were evaluated.<h4>Results</h4>The silencing of HrHEMA, HrPOR and HrCAO genes can induce leaf yellowing and chloroplast structure changes in Hosta. Specifically, leaves of Hosta with HrCAO silencing were the most affected, while those with HrPOR silencing were the least affected. Moreover, all three genes in tobacco were highly expressed, whereas no expression was detected in wild-type (WT). However, the sensitivities of the three genes to different light intensities were different. The highest expression level of HrHEMA and HrPOR was detected under 10,000?lx of illumination, while HrCAO showed the highest expression level under 6000?lx. Lastly, the 5-ALA, Chla, Cxc, SOD, POD, MDA, Pro and CAT contents in different transgenic tobaccos changed significantly under different light intensities.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The overexpression of these three genes in tobacco enhanced photosynthesis by accumulating chlorophyll content, but the influential level varied under different light intensities. Furthermore, HrHEMA-, HrPOR- and HrCAO- overexpressing in tobacco can enhance the antioxidant capacity of plants to cope with stress under higher light intensity. However, under lower light intensity, the antioxidant capacity was declined in HrHEMA-, HrPOR- and HrCAO- overexpressing tobaccos.