Project description:Grain development, as a vital process in the crop's life cycle, is crucial for determining crop quality and yield. However, the molecular basis and regulatory network of barley grain development is not well understood at present. Here, we investigated the transcriptional dynamics of barley grain development through RNA sequencing at four developmental phases, including early prestorage phase (3 days post anthesis (DPA)), late prestorage or transition phase (8 DPA), early storage phase (13 DPA), and levels off stages (18 DPA). Transcriptome profiling found that pronounced shifts occurred in the abundance of transcripts involved in both primary and secondary metabolism during grain development. The transcripts' activity was decreased during maturation while the largest divergence was observed between the transitions from prestorage phase to storage phase, which coincided with the physiological changes. Furthermore, the transcription factors, hormone signal transduction-related as well as sugar-metabolism-related genes, were found to play a crucial role in barley grain development. Finally, 4771 RNA editing events were identified in these four development stages, and most of the RNA editing genes were preferentially expressed at the prestore stage rather than in the store stage, which was significantly enriched in "essential" genes and plant hormone signal transduction pathway. These results suggested that RNA editing might act as a 'regulator' to control grain development. This study systematically dissected the gene expression atlas of barley grain development through transcriptome analysis, which not only provided the potential targets for further functional studies, but also provided insights into the dynamics of gene regulation underlying grain development in barley and beyond.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hulless barley is attracting increasing attention due to its unique nutritional value and potential health benefits. However, the molecular biology of the barley grain development and nutrient storage are not well understood. Furthermore, the genetic potential of hulless barley has not been fully tapped for breeding.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>In the present study, we investigated the transcriptome features during hulless barley grain development. Using Illumina paired-end RNA-Sequencing, we generated two data sets of the developing grain transcriptomes from two hulless barley landraces. A total of 13.1 and 12.9 million paired-end reads with lengths of 90 bp were generated from the two varieties and were assembled to 48,863 and 45,788 unigenes, respectively. A combined dataset of 46,485 All-Unigenes were generated from two transcriptomes with an average length of 542 bp, and 36,278 among were annotated with gene descriptions, conserved protein domains or gene ontology terms. Furthermore, sequences and expression levels of genes related to the biosynthesis of storage reserve compounds (starch, protein, and ?-glucan) were analyzed, and their temporal and spatial patterns were deduced from the transcriptome data of cultivated barley Morex.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>We established a sequences and functional annotation integrated database and examined the expression profiles of the developing grains of Tibetan hulless barley. The characterization of genes encoding storage proteins and enzymes of starch synthesis and (1-3;1-4)-?-D-glucan synthesis provided an overview of changes in gene expression associated with grain nutrition and health properties. Furthermore, the characterization of these genes provides a gene reservoir, which helps in quality improvement of hulless barley.
Project description:The GRAS (named after first three identified proteins within this family, GAI, RGA, and SCR) family contains plant-specific genes encoding transcriptional regulators that play a key role in gibberellin (GA) signaling, which regulates plant growth and development. Even though GRAS genes have been characterized in some plant species, little research is known about the GRAS genes in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). In this study, we observed 62 GRAS members from barley genome, which were grouped into 12 subgroups by using phylogenomic analysis together with the GRAS genes from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), maize (Zea mays), and rice (Oryza sativa). Chromosome localization and gene structure analysis suggested that duplication events and abundant presence of intronless genes might account for the massive expansion of GRAS gene family in barley. The analysis of RNA-seq data indicates the expression pattern of GRAS genes in various tissues at different stages in barley. Noteworthy, our qRT-PCR analysis showed the expression of 18 candidate GRAS genes abundantly in the developing inflorescence, indicating their potential roles in the barley inflorescence development and reproduction. Collectively, our evolutionary and expression analysis of GRAS family are useful for future functional characterization of GA signaling in barley and agricultural improvement.
Project description:Temperate cereals, such as wheat (Triticum spp.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), respond to prolonged cold by becoming more tolerant of freezing (cold acclimation) and by becoming competent to flower (vernalization). These responses occur concomitantly during winter, but vernalization continues to influence development during spring. Previous studies identified VERNALIZATION1 (VRN1) as a master regulator of the vernalization response in cereals. The extent to which other genes contribute to this process is unclear. In this study the Barley1 Affymetrix chip was used to assay gene expression in barley seedlings during short or prolonged cold treatment. Gene expression was also assayed in the leaves of plants after prolonged cold treatment, in order to identify genes that show lasting responses to prolonged cold, which might contribute to vernalization-induced flowering. Many genes showed altered expression in response to short or prolonged cold treatment, but these responses differed markedly. A limited number of genes showed lasting responses to prolonged cold treatment. These include genes known to be regulated by vernalization, such as VRN1 and ODDSOC2, and also contigs encoding a calcium binding protein, 23-KD jasmonate induced proteins, an RNase S-like protein, a PR17d secretory protein and a serine acetyltransferase. Some contigs that were up-regulated by short term cold also showed lasting changes in expression after prolonged cold treatment. These include COLD REGULATED 14B (COR14B) and the barley homologue of WHEAT COLD SPECIFIC 19 (WSC19), which were expressed at elevated levels after prolonged cold. Conversely, two C-REPEAT BINDING FACTOR (CBF) genes showed reduced expression after prolonged cold. Overall, these data show that a limited number of barley genes exhibit lasting changes in expression after prolonged cold treatment, highlighting the central role of VRN1 in the vernalization response in cereals.
Project description:The plant circadian clock is an internal timekeeper that coordinates biological processes with daily changes in the external environment. The transcript levels of clock genes, which oscillate to control circadian outputs, were examined during early seedling development in barley (Hordeum vulgare), a model for temperate cereal crops. Oscillations of clock gene transcript levels do not occur in barley seedlings grown in darkness or constant light but were observed with day-night cycles. A dark-to-light transition influenced transcript levels of some clock genes but triggered only weak oscillations of gene expression, whereas a light-to-dark transition triggered robust oscillations. Single light pulses of 6, 12 or 18 hours induced robust oscillations. The light-to-dark transition was the primary determinant of the timing of subsequent peaks of clock gene expression. After the light-to-dark transition the timing of peak transcript levels of clock gene also varied depending on the length of the preceding light pulse. Thus, a single photoperiod can trigger initiation of photoperiod-dependent circadian rhythms in barley seedlings. Photoperiod-specific rhythms of clock gene expression were observed in two week old barley plants. Changing the timing of dusk altered clock gene expression patterns within a single day, showing that alteration of circadian oscillator behaviour is amongst the most rapid molecular responses to changing photoperiod in barley. A barley EARLY FLOWERING3 mutant, which exhibits rapid photoperiod-insensitive flowering behaviour, does not establish clock rhythms in response to a single photoperiod. The data presented show that dawn and dusk cues are important signals for setting the state of the circadian oscillator during early development of barley and that the circadian oscillator of barley exhibits photoperiod-dependent oscillation states.
Project description:Aquaporins (AQPs) are major intrinsic proteins (MIPs) that mediate bidirectional flux of water and other substrates across cell membranes, and play critical roles in plant-water relations, dehydration stress responses and crop productivity. However, limited data are available as yet on the contributions of these proteins to the physiology of the major crop barley (Hordeum vulgare). The present work reports the identification and expression analysis of the barley MIP family. A comprehensive search of publicly available leaf mRNA-seq data, draft barley genome data, GenBank transcripts and sixteen new annotations together revealed that the barley MIP family is comprised of at least forty AQPs. Alternative splicing events were likely in two plasma membrane intrinsic protein (PIP) AQPs. Analyses of the AQP signature sequences and specificity determining positions indicated a potential of several putative AQP isoforms to transport non-aqua substrates including physiological important substrates, and respond to abiotic stresses. Analysis of our publicly available leaf mRNA-seq data identified notable differential expression of HvPIP1;2 and HvTIP4;1 under salt stress. Analyses of other gene expression resources also confirmed isoform-specific responses in different tissues and/or in response to salinity, as well as some potentially inter-cultivar differences. The work reports systematic and comprehensive analysis of most, if not all, barley AQP genes, their sequences, expression patterns in different tissues, potential transport and stress response functions, and a strong framework for selection and/or development of stress tolerant barley varieties. In addition, the barley data would be highly valuable for genetic studies of the evolutionarily closely related wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Endogenous phytase plays a crucial role in phytate degradation and is thus closely related to nutrient efficiency in barley products. The understanding of genetic information of phytase in barley can provide a useful tool for breeding new barley varieties with high phytase activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis for phytase activity was conducted using a doubled haploid population. Phytase protein was purified and identified by the LC-ESI MS/MS Shotgun method. Purple acid phosphatase (PAP) gene was sequenced and the position was compared with the QTL controlling phytase activity. A major QTL for phytase activity was mapped to chromosome 5 H in barley. The gene controlling phytase activity in the region was named as mqPhy. The gene HvPAP a was mapped to the same position as mqPhy, supporting the colinearity between HvPAP a and mqPhy. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: It is the first report on QTLs for phytase activity and the results showed that HvPAP a, which shares a same position with the QTL, is a major phytase gene in barley grains.
Project description:Sequencing analysis of mitochondrial genomes is important for understanding the evolution and genome structures of various plant species. Barley is a self-pollinated diploid plant with seven chromosomes comprising a large haploid genome of 5.1 Gbp. Wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) and cultivated barley (H. vulgare ssp. vulgare) have cross compatibility and closely related genomes, although a significant number of nucleotide polymorphisms have been reported between their genomes.We determined the complete nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial genomes of wild and cultivated barley. Two independent circular maps of the 525,599 bp barley mitochondrial genome were constructed by de novo assembly of high-throughput sequencing reads of barley lines H602 and Haruna Nijo, with only three SNPs detected between haplotypes. These mitochondrial genomes contained 33 protein-coding genes, three ribosomal RNAs, 16 transfer RNAs, 188 new ORFs, six major repeat sequences and several types of transposable elements. Of the barley mitochondrial genome-encoded proteins, NAD6, NAD9 and RPS4 had unique structures among grass species.The mitochondrial genome of barley was similar to those of other grass species in terms of gene content, but the configuration of the genes was highly differentiated from that of other grass species. Mitochondrial genome sequencing is essential for annotating the barley nuclear genome; our mitochondrial sequencing identified a significant number of fragmented mitochondrial sequences in the reported nuclear genome sequences. Little polymorphism was detected in the barley mitochondrial genome sequences, which should be explored further to elucidate the evolution of barley.
Project description:Tocochromanols are recognized for nutritional content, plant stress response, and seed longevity. Here we present a systems biological approach to characterize and develop predictive assays for genes affecting tocochromanol variation in barley. Major QTL, detected in three regions of a SNP linkage map, affected multiple tocochromanol forms. Candidate genes were identified through barley/rice orthology and sequenced in genotypes with disparate tocochromanol profiles. Gene-specific markers, designed based on observed polymorphism, mapped to the originating QTL, increasing R2 values at the respective loci. Polymorphism within promoter regions corresponded to motifs known to influence gene expression. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed a trend of increased expression in tissues grown at cold temperatures. These results demonstrate utility of a novel method for rapid gene identification and characterization, and provide a resource for efficient development of barley lines with improved tocochromanol profiles.