Project description:A detailed and comprehensive understanding of seed reserve accumulation is of great importance for agriculture and crop improvement strategies. This work is part of a research programme aimed at using Brachypodium distachyon as a model plant for cereal grain development and filling. The focus was on the Bd21-3 accession, gathering morphological, cytological, and biochemical data, including protein, lipid, sugars, starch, and cell-wall analyses during grain development. This study highlighted the existence of three main developmental phases in Brachypodium caryopsis and provided an extensive description of Brachypodium grain development. In the first phase, namely morphogenesis, the embryo developed rapidly reaching its final morphology about 18 d after fertilization (DAF). Over the same period the endosperm enlarged, finally to occupy 80% of the grain volume. During the maturation phase, carbohydrates were continuously stored, mainly in the endosperm, switching from sucrose to starch accumulation. Large quantities of ?-glucans accumulated in the endosperm with local variations in the deposition pattern. Interestingly, new ?-glucans were found in Brachypodium compared with other cereals. Proteins (i.e. globulins and prolamins) were found in large quantities from 15 DAF onwards. These proteins were stored in two different sub-cellular structures which are also found in rice, but are unusual for the Pooideae. During the late stage of development, the grain desiccated while the dry matter remained fairly constant. Brachypodium exhibits some significant differences with domesticated cereals. Beta-glucan accumulates during grain development and this cell wall polysaccharide is the main storage carbohydrate at the expense of starch.
Project description:Brachypodium distachyon is an established model for monocotyledonous plants. Numerous markers intended for gene discovery and population genetics have been designed. However to date, very few indel markers with larger and easily scored length polymorphism differences, that distinguish between the two morphologically similar and highly utilized B. distachyon accessions, Bd21, the reference genome accession, and Bd21-3, the transformation-optimal accession, are publically available. In this study, 22 indel markers were designed and utilized to produce length polymorphism differences of 150 bp or more, for easy discrimination between Bd21 and Bd21-3. When tested on four other B. distachyon accessions, one case of multiallelism was observed. It was also shown that the markers could be used to determine homozygosity and heterozygosity at specific loci in a Bd21 x Bd3-1 F2 population. The work done in this study allows researchers to maintain the fidelity of Bd21 and Bd21-3 stocks for both transgenic and nontransgenic studies. It also provides markers that can be utilized in conjunction with others already available for further research on population genetics, gene discovery and gene characterization, all of which are necessary for the relevance of B. distachyon as a model species.
Project description:The genetic transformation of monocot grasses is a resource intensive process, the quality and efficiency of which is dependent in part upon the method of DNA introduction, as well as the ability to effectively separate transformed from wildtype tissue. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of Brachypodium has relied mainly on Agrobacterium tumefaciens strain AGL1. Currently the antibiotic hygromycin B has been the selective agent of choice for robust identification of transgenic calli in Brachypodium distachyon and Brachypodium sylvaticum but few other chemicals have been shown to work as well for selection of transgenic Brachypodium cells in tissue culture. This study demonstrates that Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain 18r12v and paromomycin selection can be successfully used for the efficient generation of transgenic B. distachyon and B. sylvaticum. Additionally we observed that the transformation rates were similar to or higher than those obtained with A. tumefaciens strain AGL1 and hygromycin selection. The A. rhizogenes strain 18r12v harboring the pARS1 binary vector and paromomycin selection is an effective means of generating transgenic Brachypodium plants. This novel approach will facilitate the transgenic complementation of T-DNA knockout mutants of B. distachyon which were created using hygromycin selection, as well as aid the implementation of more complex genome manipulation strategies which require multiple rounds of transformation.
Project description:Grain development and its evolution in grasses remains poorly understood, despite cereals being our most important source of food. The grain, for which many grass species have been domesticated, is a single-seeded fruit with prominent and persistent endosperm. Brachypodium distachyon, a small wild grass, is being posited as a new model system for the temperate small grain cereals, but little is known about its endosperm development and how this compares with that of the domesticated cereals. A cellular and molecular map of domains within the developing Brachypodium endosperm is constructed. This provides the first detailed description of grain development in Brachypodium for the reference strain, Bd21, that will be useful for future genetic and comparative studies. Development of Brachypodium grains is compared with that of wheat. Notably, the aleurone is not regionally differentiated as in wheat, suggesting that the modified aleurone region may be a feature of only a subset of cereals. Also, the central endosperm and the nucellar epidermis contain unusually prominent cell walls that may act as a storage material. The composition of these cell walls is more closely related to those of barley and oats than to those of wheat. Therefore, although endosperm development is broadly similar to that of temperate small grain cereals, there are significant differences that may reflect its phylogenetic position between the Triticeae and rice.
Project description:Brachypodium distachyon (Brachypodium) is a model for the temperate grasses which include important cereals such as barley, wheat and oats. Comparison of the Brachypodium genome (accession Bd21) with those of the model dicot Arabidopsis thaliana and the tropical cereal rice (Oryza sativa) provides an opportunity to compare and contrast genetic pathways controlling important traits. We analysed the homologies of genes controlling the induction of flowering using pathways curated in Arabidopsis Reactome as a starting point. Pathways include those detecting and responding to the environmental cues of day length (photoperiod) and extended periods of low temperature (vernalization). Variation in these responses has been selected during cereal domestication, providing an interesting comparison with the wild genome of Brachypodium. Brachypodium Bd21 has well conserved homologues of circadian clock, photoperiod pathway and autonomous pathway genes defined in Arabidopsis and homologues of vernalization pathway genes defined in cereals with the exception of VRN2 which was absent. Bd21 also lacked a member of the CO family (CO3). In both cases flanking genes were conserved showing that these genes are deleted in at least this accession. Segmental duplication explains the presence of two CO-like genes in temperate cereals, of which one (Hd1) is retained in rice, and explains many differences in gene family structure between grasses and Arabidopsis. The conserved fine structure of duplications shows that they largely evolved to their present structure before the divergence of the rice and Brachypodium. Of four flowering-time genes found in rice but absent in Arabidopsis, two were found in Bd21 (Id1, OsMADS51) and two were absent (Ghd7, Ehd1). Overall, results suggest that an ancient core photoperiod pathway promoting flowering via the induction of FT has been modified by the recruitment of additional lineage specific pathways that promote or repress FT expression.
Project description:Metabolite composition and concentrations in seed grains are important traits of cereals. To identify the variation in the seed metabolotypes of a model grass, namely Brachypodium distachyon, we applied a widely targeted metabolome analysis to forty inbred lines of B. distachyon and examined the accumulation patterns of 183 compounds in the seeds. By comparing the metabolotypes with the population structure of these lines, we found signature metabolites that represent different accumulation patterns for each of the three B. distachyon subpopulations. Moreover, we found that thirty-seven metabolites exhibited significant differences in their accumulation between the lines Bd21 and Bd3-1. Using a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population from a cross between Bd3-1 and Bd21, we identified the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) linked with this variation in the accumulation of thirteen metabolites. Our metabolite QTL analysis illustrated that different genetic factors may presumably regulate the accumulation of 4-pyridoxate and pyridoxamine in vitamin B6 metabolism. Moreover, we found two QTLs on chromosomes 1 and 4 that affect the accumulation of an anthocyanin, chrysanthemin. These QTLs genetically interacted to regulate the accumulation of this compound. This study demonstrates the potential for metabolite QTL mapping in B. distachyon and provides new insights into the genetic dissection of metabolomic traits in temperate grasses.
Project description:The ND18 strain of Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV) infects several lines of Brachypodium distachyon, a recently developed model system for genomics research in cereals. Among the inbred lines tested, Bd3-1 is highly resistant at 20 to 25 °C, whereas Bd21 is susceptible and infection results in an intense mosaic phenotype accompanied by high levels of replicating virus. We generated an F(6:7) recombinant inbred line (RIL) population from a cross between Bd3-1 and Bd21 and used the RILs, and an F(2) population of a second Bd21 × Bd3-1 cross to evaluate the inheritance of resistance. The results indicate that resistance segregates as expected for a single dominant gene, which we have designated Barley stripe mosaic virus resistance 1 (Bsr1). We constructed a genetic linkage map of the RIL population using SNP markers to map this gene to within 705 Kb of the distal end of the top of chromosome 3. Additional CAPS and Indel markers were used to fine map Bsr1 to a 23 Kb interval containing five putative genes. Our study demonstrates the power of using RILs to rapidly map the genetic determinants of BSMV resistance in Brachypodium. Moreover, the RILs and their associated genetic map, when combined with the complete genomic sequence of Brachypodium, provide new resources for genetic analyses of many other traits.
Project description:The Nitrogen Use Efficiency (NUE) of grain cereals depends on nitrate (NO3-) uptake from the soil, translocation to the aerial parts, nitrogen (N) assimilation and remobilization to the grains. Brachypodium distachyon has been proposed as a model species to identify the molecular players and mechanisms that affects these processes, for the improvement of temperate C3 cereals. We report on the developmental, physiological and grain-characteristic responses of the Bd21-3 accession of Brachypodium to variations in NO3- availability. As previously described in wheat and barley, we show that vegetative growth, shoot/root ratio, tiller formation, spike development, tissue NO3- and N contents, grain number per plant, grain yield and grain N content are sensitive to pre- and/or post-anthesis NO3- supply. We subsequently described constitutive and NO3--inducible components of both High and Low Affinity Transport Systems (HATS and LATS) for root NO3- uptake, and BdNRT2/3 candidate genes potentially involved in the HATS. Taken together, our data validate Brachypodium Bd21-3 as a model to decipher cereal N nutrition. Apparent specificities such as high grain N content, strong post-anthesis NO3- uptake and efficient constitutive HATS, further identify Brachypodium as a direct source of knowledge for crop improvement.
Project description:A comprehensive collection of full-length cDNAs is essential for correct structural gene annotation and functional analyses of genes. We constructed a mixed full-length cDNA library from 21 different tissues of Brachypodium distachyon Bd21, and obtained 78,163 high quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from both ends of ca. 40,000 clones (including 16,079 contigs). We updated gene structure annotations of Brachypodium genes based on full-length cDNA sequences in comparison with the latest publicly available annotations. About 10,000 non-redundant gene models were supported by full-length cDNAs; ca. 6,000 showed some transcription unit modifications. We also found ca. 580 novel gene models, including 362 newly identified in Bd21. Using the updated transcription start sites, we searched a total of 580 plant cis-motifs in the -3 kb promoter regions and determined a genome-wide Brachypodium promoter architecture. Furthermore, we integrated the Brachypodium full-length cDNAs and updated gene structures with available sequence resources in wheat and barley in a web-accessible database, the RIKEN Brachypodium FL cDNA database. The database represents a "one-stop" information resource for all genomic information in the Pooideae, facilitating functional analysis of genes in this model grass plant and seamless knowledge transfer to the Triticeae crops.
Project description:Purpose: The goal of this study is to compare the transcriptomes expressed during submergence stress of two Brachypodium distachyon ecotypes with contrasting survival under this stress. Bd21 is a submergence sensitive ecotype with EC50 of 2.5 days and Bd2-3 is a tolerant ecotype with EC50 of 4 days. Methods (Stress): Brachypodium Bd21 and Bd2-3 plants (14-day-old, 6 leaves stage) were submerged in a water column of 30 cm inside opaque-wall plastic tanks. Light still reached the plants at 40 μE m−2 s−1. Ecotypes were submerged side-by-side in a randomized manner; only plants submerged in the same tank were compared. Controls were grown in plastic tanks without a water column. Submergence stress started at ZT14 (2h before night, long-day regime 16h light, 8h dark). Above ground tissue was collected after 48 h submergence stress in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80ºC in an ultra freezer until further processing. Tissue was ground to powder with mortar, pestle and liquid nitrogen avoiding thawing. Control and submerged total RNA was extracted with TRIzol reagent (Invitrogen, 15596018), purified with Direct-zol RNA mini prep columns (Zymo Research, R2050) and digested in-column with DNAse I (ThermoScientific, #EN0521). RNA integrity and concentration was verified in denaturing 1.0% agarose gels, Nanodrop 2000 (ThermoScientific) and in a Bioanalyzer 2100 (Agilent) with the integrated software 2100 Expert, samples had a RNA Integrity Number (RIN) between 6.4-7.2 characteristic of aerial plant tissue (Babu and Gassman, 2011). Total RNA extracted from control and submerged tissue from three independent experiments consisting each of four individuals were used to construct cDNA indexed libraries and sequenced in a HiSeq2500 (Illumina) at 1x50 format, making a total of 12 sequenced libraries (tolerant and intolerant ecotype, control and submerged, all experimental triplicates) in a 2-lane format. RNA integrity, library construction and sequencing was performed as a service at the Unidad Universitaria de Secuenciación Masiva, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IBT-UNAM).Differential Gene Expression (DGE) analysis was performed with edgeR using a generalized linear model and false discovery rate <0.05 (FDR). To group differentially expressed transcripts a logFC value of 1.5 (up-regulated) or -1.5 (down-regulated) and a FDR <0.05x10-5 were selected. GO analysis of differential transcripts was performed at phytozome.org Results: We identified commonly up-regulated genes (317) and exclusively up-regulated in Bd2-3 (466) or Bd21 (706). Regarding down-regulation, 330 transcripts were common, an exclusively 851 and 1026 for Bd2-3 and Bd21, respectively. GO analysis indicated that oxidative stress, pathogen responses and nitric oxide homeostasis were the most differential characteristics of tolerant ecotype Bd2-3. Conclusions: The use of triplicate RNAseq data of transcriptomes expressed in ecotypes with contrasting tolerance to submergence under long-day light regime, allowed us to identify common responsive routes such as SUSY, glycolysis, anaerobic routes (alanine, ethanol, lactate, GABA) and glyoxylate cycle. It also enabled us to discover integrated oxidative stress and NO homeostasis pathways that are differentially expressed in the tolerant ecotype. We expect that this information can be translated to agricultural relevant plants to increase our knowledge and biotechnological possibilities on plant submergence stress. Overall design: Sequenced libraries (triplicates, HiSeq2500 Illumina, 1x50 format) of aerial tissue (control and 24h submergence stress) of Brachypodium distachyon Bd21 (sensitive) and Bd2-3 (tolerant).