Alison Roberts

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, United States

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Publications (3)10.12 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Spike mosses are among the most basal vascular plants, and one species, Selaginella moellendorffii, was recently selected for full genome sequencing by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI). Glycosyltransferases (GTs) are involved in many aspects of a plant life, including cell wall biosynthesis, protein glycosylation, primary and secondary metabolism. Here, we present a comparative study of the S. moellendorffii genome across 92 GT families and an additional family (DUF266) likely to include GTs. The study encompasses the moss Physcomitrella patens, a non-vascular land plant, while rice and Arabidopsis represent commelinid and non-commelinid seed plants. Analysis of the subset of GT-families particularly relevant to cell wall polysaccharide biosynthesis was complemented by a detailed analysis of S. moellendorffii cell walls. The S. moellendorffii cell wall contains many of the same components as seed plant cell walls, but appears to differ somewhat in its detailed architecture. The S. moellendorffii genome encodes fewer GTs (287 GTs including DUF266s) than the reference genomes. In a few families, notably GT51 and GT78, S. moellendorffii GTs have no higher plant orthologs, but in most families S. moellendorffii GTs have clear orthologies with Arabidopsis and rice. A gene naming convention of GTs is proposed which takes orthologies and GT-family membership into account. The evolutionary significance of apparently modern and ancient traits in S. moellendorffii is discussed, as is its use as a reference organism for functional annotation of GTs.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e35846. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe here a methodology that enables the occurrence of cell-wall glycans to be systematically mapped throughout plants in a semi-quantitative high-throughput fashion. The technique (comprehensive microarray polymer profiling, or CoMPP) integrates the sequential extraction of glycans from multiple organs or tissues with the generation of microarrays, which are probed with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) or carbohydrate-binding modules (CBMs) with specificities for cell-wall components. The profiles generated provide a global snapshot of cell-wall composition, and also allow comparative analysis of mutant and wild-type plants, as demonstrated here for the Arabidopsis thaliana mutants fra8, mur1 and mur3. CoMPP was also applied to Physcomitrella patens cell walls and was validated by carbohydrate linkage analysis. These data provide new insights into the structure and functions of plant cell walls, and demonstrate the potential of CoMPP as a component of systems-based approaches to cell-wall biology.
    The Plant Journal 07/2007; 50(6):1118-28. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    Alison Roberts