- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Grain size is an important trait that affects rice yield. Although many genes that contribute to grain size have been cloned from mutants or by quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis based on bi-parental mapping, the molecular mechanisms underlying grain-size determination remain poorly understood. In this study, we identified the lines with the largest grain size and detected novel QTLs affecting the grain size. Results: We screened the National Institute for Agrobiological Sciences Genebank database and identified two rice lines, BG23 with the widest grain and LG10 with the longest grain. Using these two lines, we performed QTL analysis for grain size. Eight QTLs were detected during the QTL analyses using F2 populations derived from crosses between the large-grain lines BG23 or LG10 and the middle-size grain cultivars Nipponbare and Kasalath. Both BG23 and LG10 possessed large-grain alleles of four major QTLs: GW2, GS3, qSW5/GW5, and GW8. Other three minor QTLs were derived from BG23. However, these QTLs did not explain the differences in grain size between these two lines. Additionally, four QTLs for grain length or width were detected in an F2 population derived from a cross between BG23 and LG10; this population lacked the strong effects of the four major QTLs shared by both parent plants. Of these newly detected QTLs, the effects of two QTLs, GL3b and GL6, were confirmed by progeny testing. Comparison of the length of inner epidermal cells in plants homozygous for BG23 and LG10 alleles indicated that GL3b and GL6 genes regulate cell elongation and cell division, respectively. Conclusions: In this study, we detected 12 loci including 14 QTLs regulating grain size from two lines with largest grains available in Japanese stock. Of these loci, we confirmed the effect of two gene loci and mapped their candidate region. Identification of novel genes regulating grain size will contribute to our understanding of the molecular mechanisms controlling grain size.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Carbon-based materials are commonly used as anodes in microbial fuel cells (MFCs), whereas metal and metal-oxide-based materials are not used frequently because of low electrical output. Stainless steel is a low-cost material with high conductivity and physical strength. In this study, we investigated the power generation using flame-oxidized (FO) stainless steel anodes (SSAs) in single-chambered air-cathode MFCs. The FO-SSA performance was compared to the performance of untreated SSA and carbon cloth anode (CCA), a common carbonaceous electrode. The difference in the anodic community structures was analyzed using high-throughput sequencing of the V4 region in 16S rRNA gene. Results: Flame oxidation of SSA produced raised node-like sites, predominantly consisting of hematite (Fe2O3), on the surface, as determined by X-ray diffraction spectroscopy. The flame oxidation enhanced the maximum power density (1063 mW/m(2)) in MFCs, which was 184 and 24 % higher than those for untreated SSA and CCA, respectively. The FO-SSA exhibited 8.75 and 2.71 times higher current production than SSA and CCA, respectively, under potentiostatic testing conditions. Bacteria from the genus Geobacter were detected at a remarkably higher frequency in the biofilm formed on the FO-SSA (8.8-9.2 %) than in the biofilms formed on the SSA and CCA (0.7-1.4 %). Bacterial species closely related to Geobacter metallireducens (>99 % identity in the gene sequence) were predominant (93-96 %) among the genus Geobacter in the FO-SSA biofilm, whereas bacteria with a 100 % identity to G. anodireducens were abundant (>55 %) in the SSA and CCA biofilms. Conclusions: This is the first demonstration of power generation using an FO-SSA in MFCs. Flame oxidation of the SSA enhances electricity production in MFCs, which is higher than that with the common carbonaceous electrode, CCA. The FO-SSA is not only inexpensive but also can be prepared using a simple method. To our knowledge, this study reveals, for the first time, that the predominant Geobacter species in the biofilm depends on the anode material. The high performance of the FO-SSA could result from the particularly high population of bacteria closely related to G. metallireducens in the biofilm.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Determining the molecular mechanism of fruit tree architecture is important for tree management and fruit production. An apple mutant ‘McIntosh Wijcik’, which was discovered as a bud mutation from ‘McIntosh’, exhibits a columnar growth phenotype that is controlled by a single dominant gene, Co. In this study, the mutation and the Co gene were analyzed. Fine mapping narrowed the Co region to a 101 kb region. Sequence analysis of the Co region and the original wild-type co region identi ed an insertion mutation of an 8202 bp long terminal repeat (LTR) retroposon in the Co region. Segregation analysis using a DNA marker based on the insertion polymorphism showed that the LTR retroposon was closely associated with the columnar growth phenotype. RNA-seq and RT-PCR analysis identied a promising Co candidate gene (91071-gene) within the Co region that is specically expressed in ‘McIntosh Wijcik’ but not in ‘McIntosh’. The 91071-gene was located approximately 16 kb downstream of the insertion mutation and is predicted to encode a 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase involved in an unknown reaction. Overexpression of the 91071-gene in transgenic tobaccos and apples resulted in phenotypes with short internodes, like columnar apples. These data suggested that the 8202 bp retroposon insertion in ‘McIntosh Wijcik’ is associated with the short internodes of the columnar growth phenotype via upregulated expression of the adjacent 91071-gene. Furthermore, the DNA marker based on the insertion polymorphism could be useful for the marker-assisted selection of columnar apples.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dormancy allows wild barley grains to survive dry summers in the Near East. After domestication, barley was selected for shorter dormancy periods. Here we isolate the major seed dormancy gene qsd1 from wild barley, which encodes an alanine aminotransferase (AlaAT). The seed dormancy gene is expressed specifically in the embryo. The AlaAT isoenzymes encoded by the long and short dormancy alleles differ in a single amino acid residue. The reduced dormancy allele Qsd1 evolved from barleys that were first domesticated in the southern Levant and had the long dormancy qsd1 allele that can be traced back to wild barleys. The reduced dormancy mutation likely contributed to the enhanced performance of barley in industrial applications such as beer and whisky production, which involve controlled germination. In contrast, the long dormancy allele might be used to control pre-harvest sprouting in higher rainfall areas to enhance global adaptation of barley.
Dataset: Supplementary Data Set 1[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Origin and name of accessions of 27 wild and 210 cultivated barleys.
Dataset: Supplementary Information[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Supplementary Figures 1 - 10 and Supplementary Tables 1 - 8
Dataset: Peer Review File
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A core collection of Japanese wheat varieties (JWC) consisting of 96 accessions was established based on their passport data and breeding pedigrees. To clarify the molecular basis of the JWC collection, genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping was performed using the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) approach. Phylogenetic tree and population structure analyses using these SNP data revealed the genetic diversity and relationships among the JWC accessions, classifying them into four groups; “varieties in the Hokkaido area”, “modern varieties in the northeast part of Japan”, “modern varieties in the southwest part of Japan” and “classical varieties including landraces”. This clustering closely reflected the history of wheat breeding in Japan. Furthermore, to demonstrate the utility of the JWC collection, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for three traits, namely, “days to heading in autumn sowing”, “days to heading in spring sowing” and “culm length”. We found significantly associated SNP markers with each trait, and some of these were closely linked to known major genes for heading date or culm length on the genetic map. Our study indicates that this JWC collection is a useful set of germplasm for basic and applied research aimed at understanding and utilizing the genetic diversity among Japanese wheat varieties.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Upon wounding or pathogen invasion, leaves of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) plants with the P gene turn purple, whereas leaves with the recessive allele turn brown or tan. This purple phenotype is determined by the production of two 3-deoxyanthocyanidins, apigeninidin and luteolinidin, which are not produced by the tan-phenotype plants. Using map-based cloning in progeny from a cross between purple Nakei-MS3B (PP) and tan Greenleaf (pp) cultivars, we isolated this gene, which was located in a 27-kb genomic region around the 58.1 Mb position on chromosome 6. Four candidate genes identified in this region were similar to the maize leucoanthocyanidin reductase gene. None of them was expressed before wounding, and only the Sb06g029550 gene was induced in both cultivars after wounding. The Sb06g029550 protein was detected in Nakei-MS3B but only slightly in Greenleaf, in which it may be unstable because of a Cys252Tyr substitution. A recombinant Sb06g029550 protein had a specific flavanone 4-reductase activity and converted flavanones (naringenin or eriodictyol) to flavan-4-ols (apiforol or luteoforol) in vitro. Our data indicate that the Sb06g029550 gene is involved in a in the 3-deoxyanthocyanidin synthesis pathway.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seed dormancy has fundamental importance in plant survival and crop production; however, the mechanisms regulating dormancy remain unclear [1-3]. Seed dormancy levels generally decrease during domestication to ensure that crops successfully germinate in the field. However, reduction of seed dormancy can cause devastating losses in cereals like wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) due to pre-harvest sprouting, the germination of mature seed (grain) on the mother plant when rain occurs before harvest. Understanding the mechanisms of dormancy can facilitate breeding of crop varieties with the appropriate levels of seed dormancy [4-8]. Barley is a model crop [9, 10] and has two major seed dormancy quantitative trait loci (QTLs), SD1 and SD2, on chromosome 5H [11-19]. We detected a QTL designated Qsd2-AK at SD2 as the single major determinant explaining the difference in seed dormancy between the dormant cultivar "Azumamugi" (Az) and the non-dormant cultivar "Kanto Nakate Gold" (KNG). Using map-based cloning, we identified the causal gene for Qsd2-AK as Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Kinase 3 (MKK3). The dormant Az allele of MKK3 is recessive; the N260T substitution in this allele decreases MKK3 kinase activity and appears to be causal for Qsd2-AK. The N260T substitution occurred in the immediate ancestor allele of the dormant allele, and the established dormant allele became prevalent in barley cultivars grown in East Asia, where the rainy season and harvest season often overlap. Our findings show fine-tuning of seed dormancy during domestication and provide key information for improving pre-harvest sprouting tolerance in barley and wheat.
Dataset: Supplementary Material 1
Dataset: Supplementary Material 2
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rice growth is severely affected by toxic concentrations of the nonessential heavy metal cadmium (Cd). To elucidate the molecular basis of the response to Cd stress, we performed mRNA sequencing of rice following our previous study on exposure to high concentrations of Cd (Oono et al., 2014). In this study, rice plants were hydroponically treated with low concentrations of Cd and approximately 211 million sequence reads were mapped onto the IRGSP-1.0 reference rice genome sequence. Many genes, including some identified under high Cd concentration exposure in our previous study, were found to be responsive to low Cd exposure, with an average of about 11,000 transcripts from each condition. However, genes expressed constitutively across the developmental course responded only slightly to low Cd concentrations, in contrast to their clear response to high Cd concentration, which causes fatal damage to rice seedlings according to phenotypic changes. The expression of metal ion transporter genes tended to correlate with Cd concentration, suggesting the potential of the RNA-Seq strategy to reveal novel Cd-responsive transporters by analyzing gene expression under different Cd concentrations. This study could help to develop novel strategies for improving tolerance to Cd exposure in rice and other cereal crops.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To find the abundant and characteristic fibrolytic enzyme-coding gene expressed in fiber-associating microbiota, a metatranscriptomic data set was obtained from fiber-associating microbiota, and it was compared with that of rumen fluid-floating microbiota and two metagenomic data sets. Fibrolytic rumen bacteria associate with plant polysaccharide and hydrolyze it in the rumen. We obtained a metatranscriptomic assembly from fiber-associating microbiota in three ruminally fistulated Holstein cows fed timothy (Phleum pratense) hay. Each metatranscriptomic data set involved over a thousand of the glycoside hydrolase (GH) gene transcripts that accounted for about 1% of total protein coding gene transcripts. Three-quarters of the total GH gene transcripts were dominated by non-structural oligosaccharide-acting hydrolase gene transcripts. In the fiber-associating microbiota, endo-cellulase coding gene families, especially GHs 9 and 5, were abundantly detected, and GHs 9, 11, 30 and 43, carbohydrate esterase 8 and carbohydrate-binding module 6 were characteristically detected. Most fibrolytic gene transcripts assigned to Fibrobacter succinogenes were detected in fiber-associating sections, and GHs 45, 44, 74, 11, 30 and 16 were Fibrobacter-characteristically detected. The metatranscriptomic assembly highlighted the characteristic fibrolytic enzymes expressed in the fiber-associated rumen microbiota and offered access to the fibrolytic activities in each fibrolytic bacteria.
Dataset: Supplementary Material[Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mapping of RNA-seq reads obtained from root and shoot samples to the reference IRGSP-1.0 genome sequence.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ‘Fuji’ is one of the most popular and highly-produced apple cultivars worldwide, and has been frequently used in breeding programs. The development of genotypic markers for the preferable phenotypes of ‘Fuji’ is required. Here, we aimed to define the haplotypes of ‘Fuji’ and find associations between haplotypes and phenotypes of five traits (harvest day, fruit weight, acidity, degree of watercore, and flesh mealiness) by using 115 accessions related to ‘Fuji’. Through the re-sequencing of ‘Fuji’ genome, total of 2,820,759 variants, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertions or deletions (indels) were detected between ‘Fuji’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ reference genome. We selected mapping-validated 1,014 SNPs, most of which were heterozygous in ‘Fuji’ and capable of distinguishing alleles inherited from the parents of ‘Fuji’ (i.e., ‘Ralls Janet’ and ‘Delicious’). We used these SNPs to define the haplotypes of ‘Fuji’ and trace their inheritance in relatives, which were shown to have an average of 27% of ‘Fuji’ genome. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) based on ‘Fuji’ haplotypes identified one quantitative trait loci (QTL) each for harvest time, acidity, degree of watercore, and mealiness. A haplotype from ‘Delicious’ chr14 was considered to dominantly cause watercore, and one from ‘Ralls Janet’ chr1 was related to low-mealiness.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A complete genome sequence is an essential tool for the genetic improvement of wheat. Because the wheat genome is large, highly repetitive and complex due to its allohexaploid nature, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) chose a strategy that involves constructing bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-based physical maps of individual chromosomes and performing BAC-by-BAC sequencing. Here, we report the construction of a physical map of chromosome 6B with the goal of revealing the structural features of the third largest chromosome in wheat. We assembled 689 informative BAC contigs (hereafter reffered to as contigs) representing 91 % of the entire physical length of wheat chromosome 6B. The contigs were integrated into a radiation hybrid (RH) map of chromosome 6B, with one linkage group consisting of 448 loci with 653 markers. The order and direction of 480 contigs, corresponding to 87 % of the total length of 6B, were determined. We also characterized the contigs that contained a part of the nucleolus organizer region or centromere based on their positions on the RH map and the assembled BAC clone sequences. Analysis of the virtual gene order along 6B using the information collected for the integrated map revealed the presence of several chromosomal rearrangements, indicating evolutionary events that occurred on chromosome 6B. We constructed a reliable physical map of chromosome 6B, enabling us to analyze its genomic structure and evolutionary progression. More importantly, the physical map should provide a high-quality and map-based reference sequence that will serve as a resource for wheat chromosome 6B.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here we present TENOR (Transcriptome ENcyclopedia Of Rice, http://tenor.dna.affrc.go.jp), a database that encompasses large-scale mRNA sequencing (mRNA-Seq) data obtained from rice under a wide variety of conditions. Since the elucidation of the ability of plants to adapt to various growing conditions is a key issue in plant sciences, it is of great interest to understand the regulatory networks of genes responsible for environmental changes. We used mRNA-Seq and performed a time-course transcriptome analysis of rice, Oryza sativa L. (cv. Nipponbare), under 10 abiotic stress conditions (high salinity; high and low phosphate; high, low and extremely low cadmium; drought; osmotic; cold; and flood) and two plant hormone treatment conditions (ABA and jasmonic acid). A large number of genes that were responsive to abiotic stresses and plant hormones were detected by differential expression analysis. Furthermore, several responsive genes were found to encode transcription factors that could control the transcriptional network of stress responses, but the timing of the induction of these genes was not uniform across conditions. A significant number of cis-regulatory elements were enriched in the promoter regions of the responsive genes and were shared among conditions. These data suggest that some key components of gene regulation networks are shared between different stress signaling pathways. All the resources (novel genes identified from mRNA-Seq data, expression profiles, co-expressed genes and cis-regulatory elements) can be searched for and are available in TENOR.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Functions of most genes predicted in the soybean genome have not been clarified. A mutant library with a high mutation density would be helpful for functional studies and for identification of novel alleles useful for breeding. Development of cost-effective and high-throughput protocols using next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies is expected to simplify the retrieval of mutants with mutations in genes of interest. Results: To increase the mutation density, seeds of the Japanese elite soybean cultivar Enrei were treated with the chemical mutagen ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS); M2 seeds produced by M1 plants were treated with EMS once again. The resultant library, which consisted of DNA and seeds from 1536 plants, revealed large morphological and physiological variations. Based on whole-genome re-sequencing analysis of 12 mutant lines, the average number of base changes was 12,796 per line. On average, 691 and 35 per line were missense and nonsense mutations, respectively. Two screening strategies for high resolution melting (HRM) analysis and indexed amplicon sequencing were designed to retrieve the mutants; the mutations were confirmed by Sanger sequencing as the final step. In comparison with HRM screening of several genes, indexed amplicon sequencing allows one to scan a longer sequence range and skip screening steps and to know the sequence information of mutation because it uses systematic DNA pooling and the index of NGS reads, which simplifies the discovery of mutants with amino acid substitutions. Conclusions: A soybean mutant library with a high mutation density was developed. A high mutation density (1 mutation/74 kb) was achieved by repeating the EMS treatment. The mutation density of our library is sufficiently high to obtain a plant in which a gene is nonsense mutated. Thus, our mutant library and the indexed amplicon sequencing will be useful for functional studies of soybean genes and have a potential to yield useful mutant alleles for soybean breeding.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mother of FT and TFL1 (MFT) participates in the regulation of seed dormancy in wheat. A single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter of MFT on chromosome 3A (MFT-3A) can explain the difference in the levels of MFT-3A expression, and the difference in seed dormancy, between Chinese Spring (CS) and the CS line with a substituted chromosome 3A from Zenkoujikomugi (Zen) (CS(Zen3A)). Using a cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) marker for this SNP, we analyzed the distribution of the SNP in 694 cultivars, including 117 Japanese cultivars and 551 cultivars from a wheat core collection. The Zen-type SNP predominantly occurs in cultivars used in Japan, where the rainy season overlaps with the wheat harvest season. We also sequenced the ~800 bp genomic fragment amplified by the CAPS marker and categorized the sequences into 16 groups, G1–G16. Only G11 has the Zen-type SNP; all the others have the CS-type SNP. This indicates that the CS-type allele (T) is ancestral, and during cultivation, nucleotide substitution occurred to give the Zen-type allele (C), which has been adopted to improve pre-harvest sprouting tolerance. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that G11 is derived from G3, which occurs worldwide. Our results suggest that the CAPS marker provides a valuable tool to select the Zen-type MFT-3A allele in wheat breeding programs for improving pre-harvest sprouting tolerance.