Alexandro Cagliari

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Pôrto de São Francisco dos Casaes, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

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Publications (11)21.52 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: NF-Y is a conserved oligomeric transcription factor found in all eukaryotes. In plants, this regulator evolved with a broad diversification of the genes coding for its three subunits (NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC). The NF-YB members can be divided into Leafy Cotyledon1 (LEC1) and non-LEC1 types. Here we presented a comparative genomic study using phylogenetic analyses to validate an evolutionary model for the origin of LEC-type genes in plants and their emergence from non-LEC1-type genes. We identified LEC1-type members in all vascular plant genomes, but not in amoebozoa, algae, fungi, metazoa and non-vascular plant representatives, which present exclusively non-LEC1-type genes as constituents of their NF-YB subunits. The non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution rates (Ka/Ks) between LEC1 and non-LEC1-type genes indicates the presence of positive selection acting on LEC1-type members to the fixation of LEC1-specific amino acid residues. The phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that plant LEC1-type genes are evolutionary divergent from the non-LEC1-type genes of plants, fungi, amoebozoa, algae and animals. Our results point to a scenario in which LEC1-type genes have originated in vascular plants after gene expansion in plants. We suggest that processes of neofunctionalization and/or subfunctionalization were responsible for the emergence of a versatile role for LEC1-type genes in vascular plants, especially in seed plants. LEC1-type genes besides being phylogenetic divergent also present different expression profile when compared with non-LEC1-type genes. Altogether, our data provide new insights about the LEC1 and non-LEC1 evolutionary relationship during the vascular plant evolution.
    Genomics 04/2014; · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: NF-Y is a conserved oligomeric transcription factor found in all eukaryotes. In plants, this regulator evolved with a broad diversification of the genes coding for its three subunits (NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC). The NF-YB members can be divided into Leafy Cotyledon1 (LEC1) and non-LEC1 types. Here we presented a comparative genomic study using phylogenetic analyses to validate an evolutionary model for the origin of LEC-type genes in plants and their emergence from non-LEC1-type genes. We identified LEC1-type members in all vascular plant genomes, but not in amoebozoa, algae, fungi, metazoa and non-vascular plant representatives, which present exclusively non-LEC1-type genes as constituents of their NF-YB subunits. The non-synonymous to synonymous nucleotide substitution rates (Ka/Ks) between LEC1 and non-LEC1-type genes indicates the presence of positive selection acting on LEC1-type members to the fixation of LEC1-specific amino acid residues. The phylogenetic analyses demonstrated that plant LEC1-type genes are evolutionary divergent from the non-LEC1-type genes of plants, fungi, amoebozoa, algae and animals. Our results point to a scenario in which LEC1-type genes have originated in vascular plants after gene expansion in plants. We suggest that processes of neofunctionalization and/or subfunctionalization were responsible for the emergence of a versatile role for LEC1-type genes in vascular plants, especially in seed plants. LEC1-type genes besides being phylogenetic divergent also present different expression profile when compared with non-LEC1-type genes. Altogether, our data provide new insights about the LEC1 and non-LEC1 evolutionary relationship during the vascular plant evolution.
    Genomics 01/2014; · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Lesion Simulating Disease (LSD) genes encode a family of zinc finger proteins that are reported to play an important role in the hypersensitive response and programmed cell death (PCD) that are caused by biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present study, 117 putative LSD family members were identified in Viridiplantae. Genes with one, two, or three conserved LSD domains were identified. Proteins with three LSD domains were highly represented in the species analyzed and were present in basal organisms. Proteins with two LSD domains were identified only in the Embryophyte clade, and proteins possessing one LSD domain were highly represented in grass species. Expression analyses of Glycine max LSD (GmLSD) genes were performed by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results indicated that GmLSD genes are not ubiquitously expressed in soybean organs and that their expression patterns are instead organ-dependent. The expression of the majority of GmLSD genes is modulated in soybean during Phakopsora pachyrhizi infection. In addition, the expression of some GmLSD genes is modulated in plants under dehydration stress. These results suggest the involvement of GmLSD genes in the response of soybean to both biotic and abiotic stresses.
    Functional & Integrative Genomics 06/2013; · 3.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are enzymes that inhibit protein synthesis after depurination of a specific adenine in rRNA. The RIP family members are classified as type I RIPs that contain an RNA-N-glycosidase domain and type II RIPs that contain a lectin domain (B chain) in addition to the glycosidase domain (A chain). In this work, we identified 30 new plant RIPs and characterized 18 Ricinus communis RIPs. Phylogenetic and functional divergence analyses indicated that the emergence of type I and II RIPs probably occurred before the monocot/eudicot split. We also report the expression profiles of 18 castor bean genes, including those for ricin and agglutinin, in five seed stages as assessed by quantitative PCR. Ricin and agglutinin were the most expressed RIPs in developing seeds although eight other RIPs were also expressed. All of the RIP genes were most highly expressed in the stages in which the endosperm was fully expanded. Although the reason for the large expansion of RIP genes in castor beans remains to be established, the differential expression patterns of the type I and type II members reinforce the existence of biological functions other than defense against predators and herbivory.
    Genetics and Molecular Biology 03/2013; 36(1):74-86. · 0.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important post-transcriptional regulators of plant development and seed formation. In Brassica napus, an important edible oil crop, valuable lipids are synthesized and stored in specific seed tissues during embryogenesis. The miRNA transcriptome of B. napus is currently poorly characterized, especially at different seed developmental stages. This work aims to describe the miRNAome of developing seeds of B. napus by identifying plant-conserved and novel miRNAs and comparing miRNA abundance in mature versus developing seeds. Members of 59 miRNA families were detected through a computational analysis of a large number of reads obtained from deep sequencing two small RNA and two RNA-seq libraries of (i) pooled immature developing stages and (ii) mature B. napus seeds. Among these miRNA families, 17 families are currently known to exist in B. napus; additionally 29 families not reported in B. napus but conserved in other plant species were identified by alignment with known plant mature miRNAs. Assembled mRNA-seq contigs allowed for a search of putative new precursors and led to the identification of 13 novel miRNA families. Analysis of miRNA population between libraries reveals that several miRNAs and isomiRNAs have different abundance in developing stages compared to mature seeds. The predicted miRNA target genes encode a broad range of proteins related to seed development and energy storage. This work presents a comparative study of the miRNA transcriptome of mature and developing B. napus seeds and provides a basis for future research on individual miRNAs and their functions in embryogenesis, seed maturation and lipid accumulation in B. napus.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e50663. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Gene Duplication, 10/2011; , ISBN: 978-953-307-387-3
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    ABSTRACT: Triacylglycerols (TAGs), which consist of three fatty acids bound to a glycerol backbone, are major storage lipids that accumulate in developing seeds, flower petals, pollen grains, and fruits of innumerous plant species. These storage lipids are of great nutritional and nutraceutical value and, thus, are a common source of edible oils for human consumption and industrial purposes. Two metabolic path-ways for the production of TAGs have been clarified: an acyl CoA-dependent pathway and an acyl-CoA-independent pathway. Lipid metabolism, specially the pathways to fatty acids and TAG biosynthesis, is relatively well understood in plants, but poorly known in algae. It is generally accepted that the basic pathways of fatty acid and TAG biosynthesis in algae are analogous to those of higher plants. However, unlike higher plants where individ-ual classes of lipids may be synthesized and localized in a specific cell, tissue or organ, the complete pathway, from carbon dioxide fixa-tion to TAG synthesis and sequestration, takes place within a single algal cell. Another distin-guishing feature of some algae is the large amounts of very long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs) as major fatty acid components. Nowadays, the focus of attention in biotechnology is the isolation of novel fatty acid metabolizing genes, especially elongases and desaturases that are responsible for PUFAs synthesis, from different species of algae, and its transfer to plants. The aim is to boost the seed oil content and to generate desirable fatty acids in oilseed crops through genetic engineering approaches. This paper presents the current knowledge of the neutral storage lipids in plants and algae from fatty acid biosynthesis to TAG accumulation.
    International Journal of Plant Biology. 10/2011;
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    ABSTRACT: Triacylglycerides (TAGs) are a class of neutral lipids that represent the most important storage form of energy for eukaryotic cells. DGAT (acyl-CoA: diacylglycerol acyltransferase; EC 2.3.1.20) is a transmembrane enzyme that acts in the final and committed step of TAG synthesis, and it has been proposed to be the rate-limiting enzyme in plant storage lipid accumulation. In fact, two different enzymes identified in several eukaryotic species, DGAT1 and DGAT2, are the main enzymes responsible for TAG synthesis. These enzymes do not share high DNA or protein sequence similarities, and it has been suggested that they play non-redundant roles in different tissues and in some species in TAG synthesis. Despite a number of previous studies on the DGAT1 and DGAT2 genes, which have emphasized their importance as potential obesity treatment targets to increase triacylglycerol accumulation, little is known about their evolutionary timeline in eukaryotes. The goal of this study was to examine the evolutionary relationship of the DGAT1 and DGAT2 genes across eukaryotic organisms in order to infer their origin. We have conducted a broad survey of fully sequenced genomes, including representatives of Amoebozoa, yeasts, fungi, algae, musses, plants, vertebrate and invertebrate species, for the presence of DGAT1 and DGAT2 gene homologs. We found that the DGAT1 and DGAT2 genes are nearly ubiquitous in eukaryotes and are readily identifiable in all the major eukaryotic groups and genomes examined. Phylogenetic analyses of the DGAT1 and DGAT2 amino acid sequences revealed evolutionary partitioning of the DGAT protein family into two major DGAT1 and DGAT2 clades. Protein secondary structure and hydrophobic-transmembrane analysis also showed differences between these enzymes. The analysis also revealed that the MGAT2 and AWAT genes may have arisen from DGAT2 duplication events. In this study, we identified several DGAT1 and DGAT2 homologs in eukaryote taxa. Overall, the data show that DGAT1 and DGAT2 are present in most eukaryotic organisms and belong to two different gene families. The phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses revealed that DGAT1 and DGAT2 evolved separately, with functional convergence, despite their wide molecular and structural divergence.
    BMC Evolutionary Biology 09/2011; 11:263. · 3.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Castor bean (Ricinus communis) oil contains ricinoleic acid-rich triacylglycerols (TAGs). As a result of its physical and chemical properties, castor oil and its derivatives are used for numerous bio-based products. In this study, we survey the Castor Bean Genome Database to report the identification of TAG biosynthesis genes. A set of 26 genes encoding six distinct classes of enzymes involved in TAGs biosynthesis were identified. In silico characterization and sequence analysis allowed the identification of plastidic isoforms of glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase and lysophosphatidate acyltransferase enzyme families, involved in the prokaryotic lipid biosynthesis pathway, that form a cluster apart from the cytoplasmic isoforms, involved in the eukaryotic pathway. In addition, two distinct membrane bound diacylglycerol acyltransferase enzymes were identified. Quantitative expression pattern analyses demonstrated variations in gene expressions during castor seed development. A tendency of maximum expression level at the middle of seed development was observed. Our results represent snapshots of global transcriptional activities of genes encompassing six enzyme families involved in castor bean TAG biosynthesis that are present during seed development. These genes represent potential targets for biotechnological approaches to produce nutritionally and industrially desirable oils.
    Plant Science 11/2010; 179(5):499-509. · 4.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed the establishment of the relation between karyotipic asymmetry values obtained for different accessions of both wild and cultivated species of Pennisetum from Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Gado de Leite/Juiz de Fora-Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Conventional cell cycle synchronization protocols and Feulgen staining method were used to obtain metaphases plates. The wild-type accessions corresponded to the species P. setosum (2n=6x=54), P. nervosum (2n=4x=36), and P. orientale (2n=4x=36), and the cultivated to P. purpureum (2n=4x=28) and P. glaucum (2n=2x=14). No significant difference was found for the total length of chromosomes (p>0.05) among the species. The analysis of intra-chromosomal asymmetry (A1) and inter-chromosomal asymmetry (A2) has shown that P. setosum has a tendency to chromosome asymmetry. P. nervosum, P. orientale, and P. purpureum have presented an intermediary level of asymmetry and P. glaucum, low asymmetry. Considering Stebbins criteria, the karyotype of P. glaucum and those from the three wild species fitted into the category 1A-symmetrical. With regard to P. purpureum, karyotypes of the accessions BAGs 54, 65 and 91 fitted into the category 2B and the other two genotypes (BAGs 63 and 75) fitted into the 1A. Comparison between the karyotype classification according to the inter- and intra-chromosomal asymmetry and Stebbins methodologies revealed that this last one alone was not able to detect small variations between karyotypes of the taxa closely related.
    Bragantia 12/2009; 69(2):273-279.
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    ABSTRACT: The present research aimed to evaluate the foliar morphology (morphometry and leaf venation) of origins of maté collected in southern Brazil and Argentina. For the study of the morphometry, thirty leaves/plant were analyzed, and five measurements (leaf total length, maximum width, length from the base until maximum width, area and petiole length) and two indices were obtained (total leaf length on maximum width and length from basis until maximum width on total leaf length). The leaves were clarified by the clarification technique and examined in stereomicroscope. The highest and lowest values of leaf morphometry were, respectively, 118 and 67 mm for total leaf length, 51 and 34 mm for maximum width, 78 and 42 mm for length from the base until the maximum width, 16 and 10 mm for petiole length, 2.3 and 2 mm for total length on maximum width, and 0.65 and 0.6 for length from the base until the maximum width on total leaf length. In regards to leaf venation, differences between leaves of different origins were not observed, which presented pinnate primary venation; semicraspedodromous secondary venation, alternate percurrent and sinuous tertiary venation, regular polygonal reticulate quaternary venation and dichotomizing 5tha vein category.
    Acta Scientiarum Biological Sciences 01/2009; 31(4):433-437.