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Genes 2017, 8(11), 291; doi:10.3390/genes8110291

RNA-Seq Analysis of Plant Maturity in Crested Wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.)

1
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan, 51 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A8, Canada
2
Swift Current Research and Development Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Box 1030, Swift Current, SK S9H 3X2, Canada
3
Plant Gene Resources of Canada, Saskatoon Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 107 Science Place, Saskatoon, SK S9H 3X2, Canada
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 August 2017 / Revised: 14 October 2017 / Accepted: 16 October 2017 / Published: 25 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Genetics and Genomics)
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Abstract

Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.) breeding programs aim to develop later maturing cultivars for extending early spring grazing in Western Canada. Plant maturity is a complex genetic trait, and little is known about genes associated with late maturity in this species. An attempt was made using RNA-Seq to profile the transcriptome of crested wheatgrass maturity and to analyze differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between early and late maturing lines. Three cDNA libraries for each line were generated by sampling leaves at the stem elongation stage, spikes at the boot and anthesis stages. A total of 75,218,230 and 74,015,092 clean sequence reads were obtained for early and late maturing lines, respectively. De novo assembly of all sequence reads generated 401,587 transcripts with a mean length of 546 bp and N50 length of 691 bp. Out of 13,133 DEGs detected, 22, 17, and eight flowering related DEGs were identified for the three stages, respectively. Twelve DEGs, including nine flowering related DEGs at the stem elongation stage were further confirmed by qRT-PCR. The analysis of homologous genes of the photoperiod pathway revealed their lower expression in the late maturing line at the stem elongation stage, suggesting that their differential expression contributed to late maturity in crested wheatgrass. View Full-Text
Keywords: crested wheatgrass; Agropyron cristatum; late maturity; de novo assembly; differentially expressed gene; photoperiod pathway crested wheatgrass; Agropyron cristatum; late maturity; de novo assembly; differentially expressed gene; photoperiod pathway
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zeng, F.; Biligetu, B.; Coulman, B.; Schellenberg, M.P.; Fu, Y.-B. RNA-Seq Analysis of Plant Maturity in Crested Wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum L.). Genes 2017, 8, 291.

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