Project description:The cereal endosperm consists of starchy endosperm (ST) cells, which accumulate storage proteins and starch, the peripheral aleurone (AL) cells, which mobilize these storage compounds during germination, and transfer cells in contact with the maternal vascular tissues, and the embryo-surrounding region. We conducted RNA-sequencing and analyzed transcript profiles of AL and ST tissues at 18 and 22 days after pollination (DAP), when storage compounds such as proteins, starch, triacylglycerols, specialized metabolites, and minerals are actively synthesized in the maize endosperm. We combined published RNA-seq datasets from other kernel tissues at different developmental stages to analyze gene expression connected to synthesis and accumulation of storage compounds and metabolites. Using weighted correlation network analysis (WGCNA), we identified gene modules associated with metabolic pathways related to nutritional properties of the maize endosperm. We also provide information of novel marker genes specifically expressed in AL and ST, at either early or late developmental stages. This study is important for understanding maize endosperm development and for developing strategies to improve nutritional quality of maize kernels. Overall design: We examined B73 maize aleurone and starchy endosperm at 18 and 22 day after pollination,respectively. We collected 2 biological replicates for each tissue sample for RNA-sequencing.
Project description:The nuclear content of the plant endosperm is the result of the contribution two maternal genomes and a single paternal genome. This 2:1 dosage relationship provides a unique system for studying the additivity of gene expression levels in reciprocal hybrids. A combination of microarray profiling and allele-specific expression analysis was performed using RNA isolated from endosperm tissues of maize inbred lines B73 and Mo17 and their reciprocal hybrids at two developmental stages, 13 and 19 days after pollination. By assessing the relative levels of expression in the reciprocal hybrids it was possible to determine the prevalence of additive and non-additive expression patterns. While the majority of differentially expressed genes displayed additive expression patterns in the endosperm, approximately 10% of the genes displayed non-additive expression patterns including maternal-like, paternal-like, dominant high-parent, dominant low-parent and expression patterns outside the range of the inbreds. The frequency of hybrid expression patterns outside of the parental range in maize endosperm tissue is much higher than that observed for vegetative tissues. For a set of 90 genes allele-specific expression assays were employed to monitor allelic bias and regulatory variation. Eight of these genes exhibited evidence for maternally or paternally biased expression at multiple stages of endosperm development and are potential examples of differential imprinting. Collectively, our data indicate that parental effects on gene expression are much stronger in endosperm than in vegetative tissues, and that endosperm imprinting may be far more common than previously estimated. Keywords: genotype comparison Overall design: Gene expression levels were profiled in 19 day after pollination endosperm tissue from four maize genotypes; B73, Mo17, Mo17xB73 and B73xMo17.
Project description:The nuclear content of the plant endosperm is the result of the contribution two maternal genomes and a single paternal genome. This 2:1 dosage relationship provides a unique system for studying the additivity of gene expression levels in reciprocal hybrids. A combination of microarray profiling and allele-specific expression analysis was performed using RNA isolated from endosperm tissues of maize inbred lines B73 and Mo17 and their reciprocal hybrids at two developmental stages, 13 and 19 days after pollination. By assessing the relative levels of expression in the reciprocal hybrids it was possible to determine the prevalence of additive and non-additive expression patterns. While the majority of differentially expressed genes displayed additive expression patterns in the endosperm, approximately 10% of the genes displayed non-additive expression patterns including maternal-like, paternal-like, dominant high-parent, dominant low-parent and expression patterns outside the range of the inbreds. The frequency of hybrid expression patterns outside of the parental range in maize endosperm tissue is much higher than that observed for vegetative tissues. For a set of 90 genes allele-specific expression assays were employed to monitor allelic bias and regulatory variation. Eight of these genes exhibited evidence for maternally or paternally biased expression at multiple stages of endosperm development and are potential examples of differential imprinting. Collectively, our data indicate that parental effects on gene expression are much stronger in endosperm than in vegetative tissues, and that endosperm imprinting may be far more common than previously estimated. Keywords: genotype comparison Overall design: Affymetrix microarrays were used to perform expression profiling on 13 day after pollination endosperm tissue of four different genotypes; B73; Mo17, B73xMo17 and Mo17xB73. There are three biological replicates for each of the tissues. Each biological sample represents a pool containing 5 endosperms each, from 6 different ears.
Project description:Endosperm is an absorptive structure that supports embryo development or seedling germination in angiosperms. The endosperm of cereals is a main source of food, feed, and industrial raw materials worldwide. However, the gene regulatory networks that control endosperm cell differentiation remain largely unclear. As a first step toward characterizing these networks, we profiled the mRNAs in five major cell types of the differentiating endosperm and in the embryo and four maternal compartments of the kernel. Comparisons of these mRNA populations revealed the diverged gene expression programs between filial and maternal compartments, and an unexpected close correlation between embryo and the aleurone layer of endosperm. Gene co-expression network analysis identified co-expression modules associated with single or multiple kernel compartments including modules for the endosperm cell types, some of which showed enrichment of previously identified temporally activated and/or imprinted genes. Detailed analyses of a co-expression module highly correlated with the basal endosperm transfer layer (BETL) identified a regulatory module activated by MRP-1, a regulator of BETL differentiation and function. These results provide a high-resolution atlas of gene activity in the compartments of the maize kernel and help to uncover the regulatory modules associated with the differentiation of the major endosperm cell types. Overall design: RNAs from ten compartments of the maize kernel including the central starchy endosperm (CSE), conducting zone (CZ), aleurone (AL), basal endosperm transfer layer (BETL), embryo-surrounding region (ESR), nucellus (NU), pericarp (PE), placenta-chalazal region (PC), the vascular region of the pedicel (PED), and the embryo (EMB) were isolated at 8 days after pollination (DAP) using laser-capture microdissection and sequenced using an Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform.
Project description:In angiosperms, the endosperm nurtures the embryo and provides nutrients for seed germination. To identify the expression pattern of small interfering RNA in the developing maize endosperm, we have performed high-throughput small RNA transcriptome sequencing of kernels at 0, 3, and 5 days after pollination (DAP) and endosperms at 7, 10, and 15 DAP using B73 and Mo17 reciprocal crosses in previous study. Here, we further explored these small RNA-seq data to investigate the potential roles of miRNAs in regulating the gene expression process. In total, 57 conserved miRNAs and 18 novel miRNAs were observed highly expressed in maize endosperm. Temporal expression profiling indicated that these miRNAs exhibited dynamic and partitioned expression patterns at different developmental stages between maize reciprocal crosses, and quantitative RT-PCR results further confirmed our observation. In addition, we found a subset of distinct tandem miRNAs are generated from a single stem-loop structure in maize that might be conserved in monocots. Furthermore, a SNP variation of Zma-miR408-5p at 11th base position was characterized between B73 and Mo17 which might lead to completely different functions in repressing targets. More interestingly, Zma-miR408-5p exhibited B73-biased expression pattern in the B73 and Mo17 reciprocal hybrid endosperms at 7, 10, and 15 DAP according to the reads abundance with SNPs and CAPS experiment. Together, this study suggests that miRNA plays a crucial role in regulating endosperm development, and exhibited distinct expression patterns in developing endosperm between maize reciprocal crosses.
Project description:In maize, opaque2 (o2) and opaque16 (o16) alleles can increase lysine content, while the waxy (wx) gene can enhance the amylopectin content of grains. In our study, o2 and o16 alleles were backcrossed into waxy maize line (wxwx). The o2o2o16o16wxwx lines had amylopectin contents similar to those of waxy line. Their nutritional value was better than waxy line, but the mechanism by which the o2 and o16 alleles increased the lysine content of waxy maize remained unclear. The o2o2o16o16wxwx lines and their parents on kernels (18th day after pollination) were subjected to RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). The RNA-Seq analysis revealed 272 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Functional analyses revealed that these DEGs were mainly related to biomass metabolism. Among them, in o2o2o16o16wxwx lines, 15 genes encoding α-zein were down-regulated, which resulted in the reduction of α-zein synthesis and increased lysine content; lkr/sdh1 and Zm00001d020984.1 genes involved in the lysine degradation pathway were down-regulated, thereby inhibited lysine degradation; sh2, bt2 and ae1 genes involved in starch metabolism were upregulated, leaded to wrinkling kernel and farinaceous endosperm. Our transcriptional-level identification of key genes responsible for increased grain lysine content and farinaceous endosperm formation following introgression of o2 and o16 alleles should promote molecular breeding for maize quality.
Project description:We report the characterization of a maize Wee1 homologue and its expression in developing endosperm. Using a 0.8-kb cDNA from an expressed sequence tag project, we isolated a 1.6-kb cDNA (ZmWee1), which encodes a protein of 403 aa with a calculated molecular size of 45.6 kDa. The deduced amino acid sequence shows 50% identity to the protein kinase domain of human Wee1. Overexpression of ZmWee1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe inhibited cell division and caused the cells to enlarge significantly. Recombinant ZmWee1 obtained from Escherichia coli is able to inhibit the activity of p13(suc1)-adsorbed cyclin-dependent kinase from maize. ZmWee1 is encoded by a single gene at a locus on the long arm of chromosome 4. RNA gel blots showed the ZmWee1 transcript is about 2.4 kb in length and that its abundance reaches a maximum 15 days after pollination in endosperm tissue. High levels of expression of ZmWee1 at this stage of endosperm development imply that ZmWee1 plays a role in endoreduplication. Our results show that control of cyclin-dependent kinase activity by Wee1 is conserved among eukaryotes, from fungi to animals and plants.
Project description:Peroxidases (PODs) have many biological functions during the plant life cycle. In maize kernels, endosperm PODs have been identified as biochemical contributors to resistance against Sitophilus zeamais, but their identities have not been determined. In this study, we identified these PODs and determined whether their contributions are basal or inducible. Semi-purification and LC-MS/MS analyses showed that the protein ZmPrx35 is the predominant soluble endosperm POD from kernels of Pob84-C3R. Subsequent time-course analyses after mechanical damage showed that POD activity was regulated in a fluctuating kinetics pattern and that zmprx35 mRNA expression levels reflected this pattern. After 48 h of infestation with S. zeamais or Prostephanus truncatus, soluble endosperm POD activities were 1.38- or 0.85-fold, respectively. Under the same conditions, zmprx35 expression was induced 1.61-fold (S. zeamais infestation) and 1.17-fold (P. truncatus infestation). These findings suggest that ZmPrx35 contributes to the protective responses of aleurone cells against wounding and pest attacks, which could be enhanced/repressed by insect factors. Our data also provide evidence that the mechanisms of resistance of maize Pob84-C3R kernels toward the insect pests S. zeamais and P. truncatus are independent.
Project description:Major nutritional and agronomical issues relating to maize (Zea mays) grains depend on the vitreousness/hardness of its endosperm. To identify the corresponding molecular and cellular mechanisms, most studies have been conducted on opaque/floury mutants, and recently on Quality Protein Maize, a reversion of an opaque2 mutation by modifier genes. These mutant lines are far from conventional maize crops. Therefore, a dent and a flint inbred line were chosen for analysis of the transcriptome, amino acid, and sugar metabolites of developing central and peripheral endosperm that is, the forthcoming floury and vitreous regions of mature seeds, respectively. The results suggested that the formation of endosperm vitreousness is clearly associated with significant differences in the responses of the endosperm to hypoxia and endoplasmic reticulum stress. This occurs through a coordinated regulation of energy metabolism and storage protein (i.e., zein) biosynthesis during the grain-filling period. Indeed, genes involved in the glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid cycle are up-regulated in the periphery, while genes involved in alanine, sorbitol, and fermentative metabolisms are up-regulated in the endosperm center. This spatial metabolic regulation allows the production of ATP needed for the significant zein synthesis that occurs at the endosperm periphery; this finding agrees with the zein-decreasing gradient previously observed from the sub-aleurone layer to the endosperm center. The massive synthesis of proteins transiting through endoplasmic reticulum elicits the unfolded protein responses, as indicated by the splicing of bZip60 transcription factor. This splicing is relatively higher at the center of the endosperm than at its periphery. The biological responses associated with this developmental stress, which control the starch/protein balance, leading ultimately to the formation of the vitreous and floury regions of mature endosperm, are discussed.
Project description:The assignment of functions to genes in the carotenoid biosynthesis pathway is necessary to understand how the pathway is regulated and to obtain the basic information required for metabolic engineering. Few carotenoid ε-hydroxylases have been functionally characterized in plants although this would provide insight into the hydroxylation steps in the pathway. We therefore isolated mRNA from the endosperm of maize (Zea mays L., inbred line B73) and cloned a full-length cDNA encoding CYP97C19, a putative heme-containing carotenoid ε hydroxylase and member of the cytochrome P450 family. The corresponding CYP97C19 genomic locus on chromosome 1 was found to comprise a single-copy gene with nine introns. We expressed CYP97C19 cDNA under the control of the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter in the Arabidopsis thaliana lut1 knockout mutant, which lacks a functional CYP97C1 (LUT1) gene. The analysis of carotenoid levels and composition showed that lutein accumulated to high levels in the rosette leaves of the transgenic lines but not in the untransformed lut1 mutants. These results allowed the unambiguous functional annotation of maize CYP97C19 as an enzyme with strong zeinoxanthin ε-ring hydroxylation activity.