Project description:Protein-coding genes are considered to be a dominant component of the eukaryotic transcriptome; however, many studies have shown that intergenic, non-coding transcripts also play an important role. Long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) were found to play a vital role in human and Arabidopsis. However, lincRNAs and their regulatory roles remain poorly characterized in woody plants, especially Populus trichocarpa (P. trichocarpa). A large set of Populus RNA-Seq data were examined with high sequencing depth under control and drought conditions and a total of 2542 lincRNA candidates were identified. In total, 51 lincRNAs and 20 lincRNAs were identified as putative targets and target mimics of known Populus miRNAs, respectively. A total of 504 lincRNAs were found to be drought responsive, eight of which were confirmed by RT-qPCR. These findings provide a comprehensive view of Populus lincRNAs, which will enable in-depth functional analysis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Alternative splicing (AS) of genes is an efficient means of generating variation in protein structure and function. AS variation has been observed between tissues, cell types, and different treatments in non-woody plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) and rice. However, little is known about AS patterns in wood-forming tissues and how much AS variation exists within plant populations. RESULTS: Here we used high-throughput RNA sequencing to analyze the Populus trichocarpa (P. trichocarpa) xylem transcriptome in 20 individuals from different populations across much of its range in western North America. Deep transcriptome sequencing and mapping of reads to the P. trichocarpa reference genome identified a suite of xylem-expressed genes common to all accessions. Our analysis suggests that at least 36% of the xylem-expressed genes in P. trichocarpa are alternatively spliced. Extensive AS was observed in cell-wall biosynthesis related genes such as glycosyl transferases and C2H2 transcription factors. 27902 AS events were documented and most of these events were not conserved across individuals. Differences in isoform-specific read densities indicated that 7% and 13% of AS events showed significant differences between individuals within geographically separated southern and northern populations, a level that is in general agreement with AS variation in human populations. CONCLUSIONS: This genome-wide analysis of alternative splicing reveals high levels of AS in P. trichocarpa and extensive inter-individual AS variation. We provide the most comprehensive analysis of AS in P. trichocarpa to date, which will serve as a valuable resource for the plant community to study transcriptome complexity and AS regulation during wood formation.
Project description:Populus trichocarpa is an important woody model organism whose entire genome has been sequenced. This resource has facilitated the annotation of microRNAs (miRNAs), which are short non-coding RNAs with critical regulatory functions. However, despite their developmental importance, P. trichocarpa miRNAs have yet to be annotated from numerous important tissues. Here we significantly expand the breadth of tissue sampling and sequencing depth for miRNA annotation in P. trichocarpa using high-throughput smallRNA (sRNA) sequencing. miRNA annotation was performed using three individual next-generation sRNA sequencing runs from separate leaves, xylem, and mechanically treated xylem, as well as a fourth run using a pooled sample containing vegetative apices, male flowers, female flowers, female apical buds, and male apical and lateral buds. A total of 276 miRNAs were identified from these datasets, including 155 previously unannotated miRNAs, most of which are P. trichocarpa specific. Importantly, we identified several xylem-enriched miRNAs predicted to target genes known to be important in secondary growth, including the critical reaction wood enzyme xyloglucan endo-transglycosylase/hydrolase and vascular-related transcription factors. This study provides a thorough genome-wide annotation of miRNAs in P. trichocarpa through deep sRNA sequencing from diverse tissue sets. Our data significantly expands the P. trichocarpa miRNA repertoire, which will facilitate a broad range of research in this major model system.
Project description:Our analysis provides a comprehensive picture of how P. trichocarpa responds to drought stress at physiological and transcriptome levels which may help to understand molecular mechanisms associated with drought response and could be useful for genetic engineering of woody plants. Drought stress treatment was performed dividing P. trichocarpa plants into the well-watered (WW) group (soil volumetric water content of 40â??45 %) and the water-limited group (soil volumetric water content of 10â??15 %). Two cDNA libraries constructed separately from the WW and WL groups were subjected to high-throughput Illumina sequencing.
Project description:Understanding how cellular metabolism works and is regulated requires that the underlying biochemical pathways be adequately represented and integrated with large metabolomic data sets to establish a robust network model. Genetically engineering energy crops to be less recalcitrant to saccharification requires detailed knowledge of plant polysaccharide structures and a thorough understanding of the metabolic pathways involved in forming and regulating cell-wall synthesis. Nucleotide-sugars are building blocks for synthesis of cell wall polysaccharides. The biosynthesis of nucleotide-sugars is catalyzed by a multitude of enzymes that reside in different subcellular organelles, and precise representation of these pathways requires accurate capture of this biological compartmentalization. The lack of simple localization cues in genomic sequence data and annotations however leads to missing compartmentalization information for eukaryotes in automatically generated databases, such as the Pathway-Genome Databases (PGDBs) of the SRI Pathway Tools software that drives much biochemical knowledge representation on the internet. In this report, we provide an informal mechanism using the existing Pathway Tools framework to integrate protein and metabolite sub-cellular localization data with the existing representation of the nucleotide-sugar metabolic pathways in a prototype PGDB for Populus trichocarpa. The enhanced pathway representations have been successfully used to map SNP abundance data to individual nucleotide-sugar biosynthetic genes in the PGDB. The manually curated pathway representations are more conducive to the construction of a computational platform that will allow the simulation of natural and engineered nucleotide-sugar precursor fluxes into specific recalcitrant polysaccharide(s). Database URL: The curated Populus PGDB is available in the BESC public portal at http://cricket.ornl.gov/cgi-bin/beocyc_home.cgi and the nucleotide-sugar biosynthetic pathways can be directly accessed at http://cricket.ornl.gov:1555/PTR/new-image?object=SUGAR-NUCLEOTIDES.
Project description:The ages and sizes of a sex-determination region (SDR) are difficult to determine in non-model species. Due to the lack of recombination and enrichment of repetitive elements in SDRs, the quality of assembly with short sequencing reads is universally low. Unique features present in the SDRs help provide clues about how SDRs are established and how they evolve in the absence of recombination. Several Populus species have been reported with a male heterogametic configuration of sex (XX/XY system) mapped on chromosome 19, but the exact location of the SDR has been inconsistent among species, and thus far, none of these SDRs has been fully assembled in a genomic context. Here we identify the Y-SDR from a Y-linked contig directly from a long-read PacBio assembly of a Populus trichocarpa male individual. We also identified homologous gene sequences in the SDR of P. trichocarpa and the SDR of the W chromosome in Salix purpurea. We show that inverted repeats (IRs) found in the Y-SDR and the W-SDR are lineage-specific. We hypothesize that, although the two IRs are derived from the same orthologous gene within each species, they likely have independent evolutionary histories. Furthermore, the truncated inverted repeats in P. trichocarpa may code for small RNAs that target the homologous gene for RNA-directed DNA methylation. These findings support the hypothesis that diverse sex-determining systems may be achieved through similar evolutionary pathways, thereby providing a possible mechanism to explain the lability of sex-determination systems in plants in general.
Project description:The DNA-binding One Zinc Finger (Dof) genes are ubiquitous in many plant species and are especial transcription regulators that participate in plant growth, development and various procedures, including biotic and abiotic stress reactions. In this study, we identified 41 PtrDof members from Populus trichocarpa genomes and classified them into four groups. The conserved motifs and gene structures of some PtrDof genes belonging to the same subgroup were almost the same. The 41 PtrDof genes were dispersed on 18 of the 19 Populus chromosomes. Many key stress- or phytohormone-related cis-elements were discovered in the PtrDof gene promoter regions. Consequently, we undertook expression profiling of the PtrDof genes in leaves and roots in response to osmotic stress and abscisic acid. A total of seven genes (PtrDof14, 16, 25, 27, 28, 37 and 39) in the Populus Dof gene family were consistently upregulated at point in all time in the leaves and roots under osmotic and abscisic acid (ABA) stress. We observed that 12 PtrDof genes could be targeted by 15 miRNAs. Moreover, we mapped the cleavage site in PtrDof30 using the 5'RLM-RACE. The results showed that PtrDofs may have a role in resistance to abiotic stress in Populus trichocarpa.
Project description:BACKGROUND: SPLs, a family of transcription factors specific to plants, play vital roles in plant growth and development through regulation of various physiological and biochemical processes. Although Populus trichocarpa is a model forest tree, the PtSPL gene family has not been systematically studied. RESULTS: Here we report the identification of 28 full-length PtSPLs, which distribute on 14 P. trichocarpa chromosomes. Based on the phylogenetic relationships of SPLs in P. trichocarpa and Arabidopsis, plant SPLs can be classified into 6 groups. Each group contains at least a PtSPL and an AtSPL. The N-terminal zinc finger 1 (Zn1) of SBP domain in group 6 SPLs has four cysteine residues (CCCC-type), while Zn1 of SPLs in the other groups mainly contains three cysteine and one histidine residues (C2HC-type). Comparative analyses of gene structures, conserved motifs and expression patterns of PtSPLs and AtSPLs revealed the conservation of plant SPLs within a group, whereas among groups, the P. trichocarpa and Arabidopsis SPLs were significantly different. Various conserved motifs were identified in PtSPLs but not found in AtSPLs, suggesting the diversity of plant SPLs. A total of 11 pairs of intrachromosome-duplicated PtSPLs were identified, suggesting the importance of gene duplication in SPL gene expansion in P. trichocarpa. In addition, 18 of the 28 PtSPLs, belonging to G1, G2 and G5, were found to be targets of miR156. Consistently, all of the AtSPLs in these groups are regulated by miR156. It suggests the conservation of miR156-mediated posttranscriptional regulation in plants. CONCLUSIONS: A total of 28 full-length SPLs were identified from the whole genome sequence of P. trichocarpa. Through comprehensive analyses of gene structures, phylogenetic relationships, chromosomal locations, conserved motifs, expression patterns and miR156-mediated posttranscriptional regulation, the PtSPL gene family was characterized. Our results provide useful information for evolution and biological function of plant SPLs.
Project description:The calmodulin-binding transcription activators (CAMTAs) transcription factor family plays an important role in normal plant growth and development, as well as in biotic and abiotic stress resistance. In this study, we identified seven CAMTA genes across the whole genome of Populus trichocarpa and analyzed the expression patterns of PtCAMTAs in the root and leaf tissues. Promoter cis-element analysis indicated that most CAMTA genes contained stress- or phytohormone-related cis-elements. Quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) indicated indicated that PtCAMTAs were induced by mannitol, NaCl, cold stress, pathogenic infection with A. alternata, and phytohormone treatments with abscisic acid, salicylic acid, and methyl jasmonate. We analyzed the expression of homologous genes between P. trichocarpa and P. ussuriensis and alternative splicing forms of PtCAMTA genes under cold stress. We also performed a network interaction analysis for PtCAMTA proteins to predict their interactions and associations. The results of the present study serve as a basis for future functional studies on the Populus CAMTA family.
Project description:Forest trees generally show high levels of local adaptation and efforts focusing on understanding adaptation to climate will be crucial for species survival and management. Here, we address fundamental questions regarding the molecular basis of adaptation in undomesticated forest tree populations to past climatic environments by employing an integrative quantitative genetics and landscape genomics approach. Using this comprehensive approach, we studied the molecular basis of climate adaptation in 433 Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood) genotypes originating across western North America. Variation in 74 field-assessed traits (growth, ecophysiology, phenology, leaf stomata, wood, and disease resistance) was investigated for signatures of selection (comparing QST-FST) using clustering of individuals by climate of origin (temperature and precipitation). 29,354 SNPs were investigated employing three different outlier detection methods and marker-inferred relatedness was estimated to obtain the narrow-sense estimate of population differentiation in wild populations. In addition, we compared our results with previously assessed selection of candidate SNPs using the 25 topographical units (drainages) across the P. trichocarpa sampling range as population groupings. Narrow-sense QST for 53% of distinct field traits was significantly divergent from expectations of neutrality (indicating adaptive trait variation); 2,855 SNPs showed signals of diversifying selection and of these, 118 SNPs (within 81 genes) were associated with adaptive traits (based on significant QST). Many SNPs were putatively pleiotropic for functionally uncorrelated adaptive traits, such as autumn phenology, height, and disease resistance. Evolutionary quantitative genomics in P. trichocarpa provides an enhanced understanding regarding the molecular basis of climate-driven selection in forest trees and we highlight that important loci underlying adaptive trait variation also show relationship to climate of origin. We consider our approach the most comprehensive, as it uncovers the molecular mechanisms of adaptation using multiple methods and tests. We also provide a detailed outline of the required analyses for studying adaptation to the environment in a population genomics context to better understand the species' potential adaptive capacity to future climatic scenarios.