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Special Issue "Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Plant Sciences".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Anna M. Mastrangelo
Website
Collection Editor
Research Centre for Cereal and Industrial Crops, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics, Foggia, Italy
Interests: plant diseases; cereal genomics; QTL/association mapping; gene function
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

The dissection of the genetic and molecular basis of traits of agronomic importance, in the last few years, has revealed a web of regulatory mechanisms which fine-tune trait expression and integrate both environmental and developmental signals. This regulation can occur at different levels, from regulation of steady-state amount and exon/intron or domain composition of transcripts and proteins, respectively, to control of covalent modifications and sub-cellular localization of proteins. Cross-talk across these regulation layers can ensure a temporally- and spatially-coordinated plant response, through proper tuning of the expression of down-stream genes. Moreover, dynamics of co-evolution have been observed for large families of regulators of gene expression and of regulated genes.

The purpose of this Special Issue (which should report information or viewpoints of outstanding novelty) is to explore the mechanisms regulating gene expression for traits of interest in crops and model species, at all levels, from transcripts to proteins. Studies focusing on the natural genetic diversity that exists among genotypes in a particular species for key components of the regulatory networks will also be appreciated.

Dr. Anna M. Mastrangelo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Regulation of gene expression
  • Alternative splicing
  • mRNA/protein stability
  • small/microRNA
  • Post-translational modification

Published Papers (29 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Pollen Allergens in Lily by Transcriptome and Proteome Data
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 5892; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20235892 - 24 Nov 2019
Abstract
The lily (Lilium spp.) anther contains a lot of pollen. It is not known if lily pollen contains allergens, and therefore screening pollen allergy-related proteins and genes is necessary. The pollen development period of lily ‘Siberia’ was determined by microscope observation. Early [...] Read more.
The lily (Lilium spp.) anther contains a lot of pollen. It is not known if lily pollen contains allergens, and therefore screening pollen allergy-related proteins and genes is necessary. The pollen development period of lily ‘Siberia’ was determined by microscope observation. Early mononuclear microspores and mature pollens were used as sequencing materials. The analysis of the pollen transcriptome identified differentially expressed genes (DEGs), e.g., Profilin, Phl p 7 (Polcalcin), Ole e 1, and Phl p 11, which are associated with pollen allergens. The proteome analysis positively verified a significant increase in pollen allergenic protein content. The expression levels of LoProfiilin and LoPolcalcin, annotated as allergen proteins, gradually increased in mature pollen. LoProfiilin and LoPolcalcin were cloned and their open reading frame lengths were 396 bp and 246 bp, which encoded 131 and 81 amino acids, respectively. Amino acid sequence and structure alignment indicated that the protein sequences of LoProfilin and LoPolcalcin were highly conserved. Subcellular localization analysis showed that LoProfilin protein was localized in the cell cytoplasm and nucleus. LoProfilin and LoPolcalcin were highly expressed in mature pollen at the transcriptional and protein levels. A tertiary structure prediction analysis identified LoProfilin and LoPolcalcin as potential allergens in lily pollen. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Profiling Unravels a Vital Role of Pectin and Pectinase in Anther Dehiscence in Chrysanthemum
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(23), 5865; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20235865 - 22 Nov 2019
Abstract
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat.) Kitamura) plants have great ornamental value, but their flowers can also be a source of pollen contamination. Previously, morphological and cytological studies have shown that anthers of some chrysanthemum cultivars such as ‘Qx-115′ fail to dehisce, although the [...] Read more.
Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat.) Kitamura) plants have great ornamental value, but their flowers can also be a source of pollen contamination. Previously, morphological and cytological studies have shown that anthers of some chrysanthemum cultivars such as ‘Qx-115′ fail to dehisce, although the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. In this study, we investigated the molecular basis of anther indehiscence in chrysanthemum via transcriptome analysis of a dehiscent cultivar (‘Qx-097′) and an indehiscent cultivar (‘Qx-115′). We also measured related physiological indicators during and preceding the period of anther dehiscence. Our results showed a difference in pectinase accumulation and activity between the two cultivars during dehiscence. Detection of de-esterified pectin and highly esterified pectin in anthers during the period preceding anther dehiscence using LM19 and LM20 monoclonal antibodies showed that both forms of pectin were absent in the stomium region of ‘Qx-097′ anthers but were abundant in that of ‘Qx-115′ anthers. Analysis of transcriptome data revealed a significant difference in the expression levels of two transcription factor-encoding genes, CmLOB27 and CmERF72, between ‘Qx-097′ and ‘Qx-115′ during anther development. Transient overexpression of CmLOB27 and CmERF72 separately in tobacco leaves promoted pectinase biosynthesis. We conclude that CmLOB27 and CmERF72 are involved in the synthesis of pectinase, which promotes the degradation of pectin. Our results lay a foundation for further investigation of the role of CmLOB27 and CmERF72 transcription factors in the process of anther dehiscence in chrysanthemum. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
A Novel ‘Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’-Encoded Sec-Dependent Secretory Protein Suppresses Programmed Cell Death in Nicotiana benthamiana
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(22), 5802; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20225802 - 18 Nov 2019
Abstract
Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) is one of the causal agents of citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), a bacterial disease of citrus trees that greatly reduces fruit yield and quality. CLas strains produce an array of currently uncharacterized Sec-dependent secretory proteins. In this study, the [...] Read more.
Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus’ (CLas) is one of the causal agents of citrus Huanglongbing (HLB), a bacterial disease of citrus trees that greatly reduces fruit yield and quality. CLas strains produce an array of currently uncharacterized Sec-dependent secretory proteins. In this study, the conserved chromosomally encoded protein CLIBASIA_03875 was identified as a novel Sec-dependent secreted protein. We show that CLIBASIA_03875 contains a putative Sec- secretion signal peptide (SP), a 29 amino acid residue located at the N-terminus, with a mature protein (m3875) of 22 amino acids found to localize in multiple subcellular components of the leaf epidermal cells of Nicotiana benthamiana. When overexpressed via a Potato virus X (PVX)-based expression vector in N. benthamiana, m3875 suppressed programmed cell death (PCD) and the H2O2 accumulation triggered by the pro-apoptotic mouse protein BAX and the Phytophthora infestans elicitin INF1. Overexpression also resulted in a phenotype of dwarfing, leaf deformation and mosaics, suggesting that m3875 has roles in plant immune response, growth, and development. Substitution mutagenesis of the charged amino acid (D7, R9, R11, and K22) with alanine within m3875 did not recover the phenotypes for PCD and normal growth. In addition, the transiently overexpressed m3875 regulated the transcriptional levels of N. benthamiana orthologs of CNGCs (cyclic nucleotide-gated channels), BI-1 (Bax-inhibitor 1), and WRKY33 that are involved in plant defense mechanisms. To our knowledge, m3875 is the first PCD suppressor identified from CLas. Studying the function of this protein provides insight as to how CLas attenuates the host immune responses to proliferate and cause Huanglongbing disease in citrus plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
The miR396–GRF Regulatory Module Controls the Embryogenic Response in Arabidopsis via an Auxin-Related Pathway
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205221 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
In plants, microRNAs have been indicated to control various developmental processes, including somatic embryogenesis (SE), which is triggered in the in vitro cultured somatic cells of plants. Although a transcriptomic analysis has indicated that numerous MIRNAs are differentially expressed in the SE [...] Read more.
In plants, microRNAs have been indicated to control various developmental processes, including somatic embryogenesis (SE), which is triggered in the in vitro cultured somatic cells of plants. Although a transcriptomic analysis has indicated that numerous MIRNAs are differentially expressed in the SE of different plants, the role of specific miRNAs in the embryogenic reprogramming of the somatic cell transcriptome is still poorly understood. In this study, we focused on performing a functional analysis of miR396 in SE given that the transcripts of MIR396 genes and the mature molecules of miR396 were found to be increased during an SE culture of Arabidopsis. In terms of miR396 in embryogenic induction, we observed the SE-associated expression pattern of MIR396b in explants of the β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter line. In order to gain insight into the miR396-controlled mechanism that is involved in SE induction, the embryogenic response of mir396 mutants and the 35S:MIR396b overexpressor line to media with different 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) concentrations was evaluated. The results suggested that miR396 might contribute to SE induction by controlling the sensitivity of tissues to auxin treatment. Within the targets of miR396 that are associated with SE induction, we identified genes encoding the GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR (GRF) transcription factors, including GRF1, GRF4, GRF7, GRF8, and GRF9. Moreover, the study suggested a regulatory relationship between miR396, GRF, and the PLETHORA (PLT1 and PLT2) genes during SE induction. A complex regulatory relationship within the miR396–GRF1/4/8/9–PLT1/2 module that involves the negative and positive control of GRFs and PLT (respectively) by miR396 might be assumed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Genome-Wide Identification, Gene Structure and Expression Analysis of the MADS-Box Gene Family Indicate Their Function in the Development of Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(20), 5043; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20205043 - 11 Oct 2019
Abstract
MADS-box genes play a pivotal role in various processes, including floral and seed development, controlling flowering time, regulation of fruits ripening, and respond to abiotic and biotic stressors in planta. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) has been widely used as a model plant [...] Read more.
MADS-box genes play a pivotal role in various processes, including floral and seed development, controlling flowering time, regulation of fruits ripening, and respond to abiotic and biotic stressors in planta. Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) has been widely used as a model plant for analyzing the gene function, however, there has been less information on the regulation of flowering, and the associated genes. In the present study, a total of 168 NtMADS-box genes were identified from tobacco, and their phylogenetic relationship, chromosome locations, and gene structures were further analyzed. NtMADS-box genes can be clustered into four sub-families of Mα, Mγ, MIKC*, and MIKCC. A total of 111 NtMADS-box genes were distributed on 20 chromosomes, and 57 NtMADS-box genes were located on the unanchored scaffolds due to the complex and incomplete assembly of the tobacco genome. Expression profiles of NtMADS-box genes by microarray from 23 different tissues indicated that members in different NtMADS-box gene subfamilies might play specific roles in the growth and flower development, and the transcript levels of 24 NtMADS-box genes were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Importantly, overexpressed NtSOC1/NtMADS133 could promote early flowering and dwarfism in transgenic tobacco plants. Therefore, our findings provide insights on the characterization of NtMADS-box genes to further study their functions in plant development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Activation of the Transcription of BrGA20ox3 by a BrTCP21 Transcription Factor Is Associated with Gibberellin-Delayed Leaf Senescence in Chinese Flowering Cabbage during Storage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3860; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20163860 - 08 Aug 2019
Abstract
Several lines of evidence have implicated the involvement of the phytohormone gibberellin (GA) in modulating leaf senescence in plants. However, upstream transcription factors (TFs) that regulate GA biosynthesis in association with GA-mediated leaf senescence remain elusive. In the current study, we report the [...] Read more.
Several lines of evidence have implicated the involvement of the phytohormone gibberellin (GA) in modulating leaf senescence in plants. However, upstream transcription factors (TFs) that regulate GA biosynthesis in association with GA-mediated leaf senescence remain elusive. In the current study, we report the possible involvement of a TEOSINTE BRANCHED1/CYCLOIDEA/PCF (TCP) TF BrTCP21 in GA-delayed leaf senescence in Chinese flowering cabbage. Exogenous GA3 treatment maintained a higher value of maximum PSII quantum yield (Fv/Fm) and total chlorophyll content, accompanied by the repression of the expression of senescence-associated genes and chlorophyll catabolic genes, which led to the delay of leaf senescence. A class I member of TCP TFs BrTCP21, was further isolated and characterized. The transcript level of BrTCP21 was low in senescing leaves, and decreased following leaf senescence, while GA3 could keep a higher expression level of BrTCP21. BrTCP21 was further found to be a nuclear protein and exhibit trans-activation ability through transient-expression analysis in tobacco leaves. Intriguingly, the electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and transient expression assay illustrated that BrTCP21 bound to the promoter region of a GA biosynthetic gene BrGA20ox3, and activated its transcription. Collectively, these observations reveal that BrTCP21 is associated with GA-delayed leaf senescence, at least partly through the activation of the GA biosynthetic pathway. These findings expand our knowledge on the transcriptional mechanism of GA-mediated leaf senescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Disease Severity and Global Transcriptome Response Induced by Citrus bark cracking viroid, Hop latent viroid, and Their Co-Infection in Hop (Humulus lupulus L.)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(13), 3154; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20133154 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Viroids are small non-capsidated, single-stranded, covalently-closed circular noncoding RNA replicons of 239–401 nucleotides that exploit host factors for their replication, and some cause disease in several economically important crop plants, while others appear to be benign. The proposed mechanisms of viroid pathogenesis include [...] Read more.
Viroids are small non-capsidated, single-stranded, covalently-closed circular noncoding RNA replicons of 239–401 nucleotides that exploit host factors for their replication, and some cause disease in several economically important crop plants, while others appear to be benign. The proposed mechanisms of viroid pathogenesis include direct interaction of the genomic viroid RNA with host factors and post-transcriptional or transcriptional gene silencing via viroid-derived small RNAs (vd-sRNAs) generated by the host defensive machinery. Humulus lupulus (hop) plants are hosts to several viroids among which Hop latent viroid (HLVd) and Citrus bark cracking viroid (CBCVd) are attractive model systems for the study of viroid-host interactions due to the symptomless infection of the former and severe symptoms induced by the latter in this indicator host. To better understand their interactions with hop plant, a comparative transcriptomic analysis based on RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed to reveal the transcriptional alterations induced as a result of single HLVd and CBCVd infection in hop. Additionally, the effect of HLVd on the aggressiveness of CBCVd that underlies severe stunting in hop in a mixed infection was studied by transcriptomic analysis. Our analysis revealed that CBCVd infection resulted in dynamic changes in the activity of genes as compared to single HLVd infection and their mixed infection. The differentially expressed genes that are involved in defense, phytohormone signaling, photosynthesis and chloroplasts, RNA regulation, processing and binding; protein metabolism and modification; and other mechanisms were more modulated in the CBCVd infection of hop. Nevertheless, Gene Ontology (GO) classification and pathway enrichment analysis showed that the expression of genes involved in the proteolysis mechanism is more active in a mixed infection as compared to a single one, suggesting co-infecting viroids may result in interference with host factors more prominently. Collectively, our results provide a deep transcriptome of hop and insight into complex single HLVd, CBCVd, and their coinfection in hop-plant interactions Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of Maize miRNAs in Response to Synergistic Infection of Maize Chlorotic Mottle Virus and Sugarcane Mosaic Virus
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(13), 3146; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20133146 - 27 Jun 2019
Abstract
The synergistic infection of maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) causes maize lethal necrosis, with considerable losses to global maize production. microRNAs (miRNAs) are conserved non-coding small RNAs that play essential regulatory roles in plant development and environmental stress [...] Read more.
The synergistic infection of maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) causes maize lethal necrosis, with considerable losses to global maize production. microRNAs (miRNAs) are conserved non-coding small RNAs that play essential regulatory roles in plant development and environmental stress responses, including virus infection. However, the characterization of maize miRNAs in response to synergistic infection of MCMV and SCMV remains largely unknown. In this study, the profiles of small RNAs from MCMV and SCMV single- and co-infected (S + M) maize plants were obtained by high-throughput sequencing. A total of 173 known miRNAs, belonging to 26 miRNA families, and 49 novel miRNAs were profiled. The expression patterns of most miRNAs in S + M-infected maize plants were similar to that in SCMV-infected maize plants, probably due to the existence of RNA silencing suppressor HC-Pro. Northern blotting and quantitative real-time PCR were performed to validate the accumulation of miRNAs and their targets in different experimental treatments, respectively. The down-regulation of miR159, miR393, and miR394 might be involved in antiviral defense to synergistic infection. These results provide novel insights into the regulatory networks of miRNAs in maize plants in response to the synergistic infection of MCMV and SCMV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
MtBZR1 Plays an Important Role in Nodule Development in Medicago truncatula
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 2941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20122941 - 16 Jun 2019
Abstract
Brassinosteroid (BR) is an essential hormone in plant growth and development. The BR signaling pathway was extensively studied, in which BRASSINAZOLE RESISTANT 1 (BZR1) functions as a key regulator. Here, we carried out a functional study of the homolog of BZR1 [...] Read more.
Brassinosteroid (BR) is an essential hormone in plant growth and development. The BR signaling pathway was extensively studied, in which BRASSINAZOLE RESISTANT 1 (BZR1) functions as a key regulator. Here, we carried out a functional study of the homolog of BZR1 in Medicago truncatula R108, whose expression was induced in nodules upon Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021 inoculation. We identified a loss-of-function mutant mtbzr1-1 and generated 35S:MtBZR1 transgenic lines for further analysis at the genetic level. Both the mutant and the overexpression lines of MtBZR1 showed no obvious phenotypic changes under normal growth conditions. After S. meliloti 1021 inoculation, however, the shoot and root dry mass was reduced in mtbzr1-1 compared with the wild type, caused by partially impaired nodule development. The transcriptomic analysis identified 1319 differentially expressed genes in mtbzr1-1 compared with wild type, many of which are involved in nodule development and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Our results demonstrate the role of MtBZR1 in nodule development in M. truncatula, shedding light on the potential role of BR in legume–rhizobium symbiosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptional Regulatory Network of GA Floral Induction Pathway in LA Hybrid Lily
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2694; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112694 - 31 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: The LA hybrid lily ‘Aladdin’ has both excellent traits of Longiflorum hybrids and Asiatic hybrids—such as big and vivid flower, strong stem, high self-propagation coefficient, and shorter low temperature time required to release bulb dormancy in contrast to Oriental hybrids. A genome-wide [...] Read more.
Background: The LA hybrid lily ‘Aladdin’ has both excellent traits of Longiflorum hybrids and Asiatic hybrids—such as big and vivid flower, strong stem, high self-propagation coefficient, and shorter low temperature time required to release bulb dormancy in contrast to Oriental hybrids. A genome-wide transcriptional analysis using transcriptome RNA-Seq was performed in order to explore whether there is a gibberellin floral induction pathway in the LA hybrid lily. Subsequently, gene co-expression network analysis was used to analyze the possible interactions of key candidate genes screened from transcriptome data. At the same time, a series of physiological, biochemical, and cultivation tests were carried out. Results: The content of five endogenous hormones changed sharply in the shoot apex during the treatment of 200 mg/L exogenous gibberellin and the ratio of ABA/GA3 dropped and stayed at a lower level after 4 hours’ treatment from the higher levels initially, reaching a dynamic balance. In addition, the metabolism of carbohydrates in the bulbs increase during exogenous gibberellin treatment. A total of 124,041 unigenes were obtained by RNA-seq. With the transcriptome analysis, 48,927 unigenes and 48,725 unigenes respectively aligned to the NR database and the Uniprot database. 114,138 unigenes, 25,369 unigenes, and 19,704 unigenes respectively aligned to the COG, GO, and KEGG databases. 2148 differentially expression genes (DEGs) were selected with the indicators RPKM ≥ 0, FDR ≤ 0.05 and |log2(ratio)| ≥ 2. The number of the upregulated unigenes was significantly more than the number of the downregulated unigenes. Some MADS-box genes related to flowering transformation—such as AGL20, SOC1, and CO—were found to be upregulated. A large number of gibberellin biosynthesis related genes such as GA2ox, GA3ox, GA20ox, Cytochrome P450, CYP81, and gibberellin signal transduction genes such as DELLA, GASA, and GID1 were significantly differentially expressed. The plant hormones related genes such as NCED3 and sugar metabolism related genes such as α-amylase, sucrose synthase hexokinase, and so on were also found expressing differentially. In addition, stress resistance related genes such as LEA1, LEA2, LEA4, serine/threonine protein kinase, LRR receptor-like serine/threonine protein kinase, P34 kinase, histidine kinase 3 and epigenetic related genes in DNA methylation, histone methylation, acetylation, ubiquitination of ribose were also found. Particularly, a large number of transcription factors responsive to the exogenous gibberellin signal including WRKY40, WRKY33, WRKY27, WRKY21, WRKY7, MYB, AP2/EREBP, bHLH, NAC1, NAC2, and NAC11 were found to be specially expressing. 30 gene sequences were selected from a large number of differentially expressed candidate genes for qRT-PCR expression verification (0, 2, 4, 8, and 16 h) and compared with the transcriptome expression levels. Conclusions: 200mg/L exogenous GA3 can successfully break the bulb’s dormancy of the LA hybrid lily and significantly accelerated the flowering process, indicating that gibberellin floral induction pathway is present in the LA lily ‘Aladdin’. With the GCNs analysis, two second messenger G protein-coupled receptor related genes that respond to gibberellin signals in the cell were discovered. The downstream transport proteins such as AMT, calcium transport ATPase, and plasma membrane ATPase were also discovered participating in GA signal transduction. Transcription factors including WRKY7, NAC2, NAC11, and CBF specially regulated phosphorylation and glycosylation during the ubiquitination degradation process of DELLA proteins. These transcription factors also activated in abscisic acid metabolism. A large number of transcription factors such as WRKY21, WRKY22, NAC1, AP2, EREB1, P450, and CYP81 that both regulate gibberellin signaling and low-temperature signals have also been found. Finally, the molecular mechanism of GA floral induction pathway in the LA hybrid lily ‘Aladdin’ was constructed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Profile Analysis Reveals that CsTCP14 Induces Susceptibility to Foliage Diseases in Cucumber
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(10), 2582; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20102582 - 26 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Foliage diseases are prevalent in cucumber production and cause serious yield reduction across the world. Identifying resistance or susceptible genes under foliage-disease stress is essential for breeding resistant varieties, of which leaf-specific expressed susceptible genes are extremely important but rarely studied in crops. [...] Read more.
Foliage diseases are prevalent in cucumber production and cause serious yield reduction across the world. Identifying resistance or susceptible genes under foliage-disease stress is essential for breeding resistant varieties, of which leaf-specific expressed susceptible genes are extremely important but rarely studied in crops. This study performed an in-depth mining of public transcriptome data both in different cucumber tissues and under downy mildew (DM) inoculation, and found that the expression of leaf-specific expressed transcription factor CsTCP14 was significantly increased after treatment with DM, as well as being upregulated under stress from another foliage disease, watermelon mosaic virus (WMV), in susceptible cucumbers. Furthermore, the Pearson correlation analysis identified genome-wide co-expressed defense genes with CsTCP14. A potential target CsNBS-LRR gene, Csa6M344280.1, was obtained as obviously reduced and was negatively correlated with the expression of the susceptible gene CsTCP14. Moreover, the interaction experiments of electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and yeast one-hybrid assay (Y1H) were successfully executed to prove that CsTCP14 could transcriptionally repress the expression of the CsNBS-LRR gene, Csa6M344280.1, which resulted in inducing susceptibility to foliage diseases in cucumber. As such, we constructed a draft model showing that the leaf-specific expressed gene CsTCP14 was negatively regulating the defense gene Csa6M344280.1 to induce susceptibility to foliage diseases in cucumber. Therefore, this study explored key susceptible genes in response to foliage diseases based on a comprehensive analysis of public transcriptome data and provided an opportunity to breed new varieties that can resist foliage diseases in cucumber, as well as in other crops. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Pitaya HpWRKY3 Is Associated with Fruit Sugar Accumulation by Transcriptionally Modulating Sucrose Metabolic Genes HpINV2 and HpSuSy1
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(8), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20081890 - 17 Apr 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Sugar level is an important determinant of fruit taste and consumer preferences. However, upstream regulators that control sugar accumulation during fruit maturation are poorly understood. In the present work, we found that glucose is the main sugar in mature pitaya (Hylocereus) [...] Read more.
Sugar level is an important determinant of fruit taste and consumer preferences. However, upstream regulators that control sugar accumulation during fruit maturation are poorly understood. In the present work, we found that glucose is the main sugar in mature pitaya (Hylocereus) fruit, followed by fructose and sucrose. Expression levels of two sucrose-hydrolyzing enzyme genes HpINV2 and HpSuSy1 obviously increased during fruit maturation, which were correlated well with the elevated accumulation of glucose and fructose. A WRKY transcription factor HpWRKY3 was further identified as the putative binding protein of the HpINV2 and HpSuSy1 promoters by yeast one-hybrid and gel mobility shift assays. HpWRKY3 was localized exclusively in the nucleus and possessed trans-activation ability. HpWRKY3 exhibited the similar expression pattern with HpINV2 and HpSuSy1. Finally, transient expression assays in tobacco leaves showed that HpWRKY3 activated the expressions of HpINV2 and HpSuSy1. Taken together, we propose that HpWRKY3 is associated with pitaya fruit sugar accumulation by activating the transcriptions of sucrose metabolic genes. Our findings thus shed light on the transcriptional mechanism that regulates the sugar accumulation during pitaya fruit quality formation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
The miRNA-Mediated Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Maize in Response to High Temperature
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1754; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071754 - 09 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
High temperature (HT) has recently become one of the most important abiotic stresses restricting crop production worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators in plant development and stress responses. However, knowledge of miRNAs of maize in response to HT is limited. In this study, [...] Read more.
High temperature (HT) has recently become one of the most important abiotic stresses restricting crop production worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators in plant development and stress responses. However, knowledge of miRNAs of maize in response to HT is limited. In this study, we simultaneously adopted miRNA sequencing and transcriptome profiling to analyze the differential expression of miRNAs and mRNAs in maize during exposure to HT stress. Our analysis revealed 61 known miRNAs belonging to 26 miRNA families and 42 novel miRNAs showing significant differential expression, with the majority being downregulated. Meanwhile, the expression of 5450 mRNAs was significantly altered in the same stressed tissues. Differentially expressed transcripts were most significantly associated with response to stress, photosynthesis, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and signal transduction pathways. In addition, we discovered 129 miRNA–mRNA pairs that were regulated antagonistically, and further depiction of the targeted mRNAs indicated that several transcription factors, protein kinases, and receptor-like-protein-related transmembrane transport and signaling transduction were profoundly affected. This study has identified potential key regulators of HT-stress response in maize and the subset of genes that are likely to be post-transcriptionally regulated by miRNAs under HT stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Analysis of Rice Proteins with DLN Repressor Motif/S
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1600; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071600 - 30 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Transcriptional regulation includes both activation and repression of downstream genes. In plants, a well-established class of repressors are proteins with an ERF-associated amphiphilic repression/EAR domain. They contain either DLNxxP or LxLxL as the identifying hexapeptide motif. In rice (Oryza sativa), we [...] Read more.
Transcriptional regulation includes both activation and repression of downstream genes. In plants, a well-established class of repressors are proteins with an ERF-associated amphiphilic repression/EAR domain. They contain either DLNxxP or LxLxL as the identifying hexapeptide motif. In rice (Oryza sativa), we have identified a total of 266 DLN repressor proteins, with the former motif and its modifications thereof comprising 227 transcription factors and 39 transcriptional regulators. Apart from DLNxxP motif conservation, DLNxP and DLNxxxP motifs with variable numbers/positions of proline and those without any proline conservation have been identified. Most of the DLN repressome proteins have a single DLN motif, with higher relative percentage in the C-terminal region. We have designed a simple yeast-based experiment wherein a DLN motif can successfully cause strong repression of downstream reporter genes, when fused to a transcriptional activator of rice or yeast. The DLN hexapeptide motif is essential for repression, and at least two “DLN” residues cause maximal repression. Comparatively, rice has more DLN repressor encoding genes than Arabidopsis, and DLNSPP motif from rice is 40% stronger than the known Arabidopsis SRDX motif. The study reports a straightforward assay to analyze repressor activity, along with the identification of a strong DLN repressor from rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Induction of Transgene Suppression in Plants via External Application of Synthetic dsRNA
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(7), 1585; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20071585 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Recent investigations show that exogenously applied small interfering RNAs (siRNA) and long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) precursors can be taken up and translocated in plants to induce RNA interference (RNAi) in the plant or in its fungal pathogen. The question of whether genes in [...] Read more.
Recent investigations show that exogenously applied small interfering RNAs (siRNA) and long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) precursors can be taken up and translocated in plants to induce RNA interference (RNAi) in the plant or in its fungal pathogen. The question of whether genes in the plant genome can undergo suppression as a result of exogenous RNA application on plant surface is almost unexplored. This study analyzed whether it is possible to influence transcript levels of transgenes, as more prone sequences to silencing, in Arabidopsis genome by direct exogenous application of target long dsRNAs. The data revealed that in vitro synthesized dsRNAs designed to target the gene coding regions of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) or neomycin phosphotransferase II (NPTII) suppressed their transcript levels in Arabidopsis. The fact that, simple exogenous application of polynucleotides can affect mRNA levels of plant transgenes, opens new opportunities for the development of new scientific techniques and crop improvement strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis Reveals the Accumulation Mechanism of Anthocyanins in Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) Cotyledons and Flowers
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1493; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061493 - 25 Mar 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a valuable crop which can produce multiple human beneficial secondary metabolites, for example, the anthocyanins in sprouts and flowers. However, as the predominant group of visible polyphenols in pigmentation, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying [...] Read more.
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a valuable crop which can produce multiple human beneficial secondary metabolites, for example, the anthocyanins in sprouts and flowers. However, as the predominant group of visible polyphenols in pigmentation, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying the anthocyanin biosynthesis within buckwheat. In this study, a comparative transcriptome analysis of green and red common buckwheat cultivars was carried out through RNA sequencing. Overall, 3727 and 5323 differently expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in flowers and cotyledons, respectively. Through GO and KEGG analysis, we revealed that DEGs in flowers and cotyledons are predominately involved in biosynthesis of anthocyanin. A total of 42 unigenes encoding 11 structural enzymes of the anthocyanin biosynthesis were identified as DEGs. We also identified some transcription factor families involved in the regulation of anthocyanin biosynthesis. Real-time qPCR validation of candidate genes was performed in flowers and cotyledons, and the results suggested that the high expression level of structural genes involved in anthocyanin biosynthetic pathway promotes anthocyanin accumulation. Our results provide the insight understanding for coloration of red common buckwheat. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Bioinformatic Exploration of the Targets of Xylem Sap miRNAs in Maize under Cadmium Stress
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1474; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061474 - 23 Mar 2019
Cited by 7
Abstract
Cadmium (Cd) has the potential to be chronically toxic to humans through contaminated crop products. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can move systemically in plants. To investigate the roles of long-distance moving xylem miRNAs in regulating maize response to Cd stress, three xylem sap small RNA [...] Read more.
Cadmium (Cd) has the potential to be chronically toxic to humans through contaminated crop products. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can move systemically in plants. To investigate the roles of long-distance moving xylem miRNAs in regulating maize response to Cd stress, three xylem sap small RNA (sRNA) libraries were constructed for high-throughput sequencing to identify potential mobile miRNAs in Cd-stressed maize seedlings and their putative targets in maize transcriptomes. In total, about 199 miRNAs (20–22 nucleotides) were identified in xylem sap from maize seedlings, including 97 newly discovered miRNAs and 102 known miRNAs. Among them, 10 miRNAs showed differential expression in xylem sap after 1 h of Cd treatment. Two miRNAs target prediction tools, psRNAtarget (reporting the inhibition pattern of cleavage) and DPMIND (discovering Plant MiRNA-Target Interaction with degradome evidence), were used in combination to identify, via bioinformatics, the targets of 199 significantly expressed miRNAs in maize xylem sap. The integrative results of these two bioinformatic tools suggested that 27 xylem sap miRNAs inhibit 34 genes through cleavage with degradome evidence. Moreover, nearly 300 other genes were also the potential miRNAs cleavable targets without available degradome data support, and the majority of them were enriched in abiotic stress response, cell signaling, transcription regulation, as well as metal handling. These approaches and results not only enhanced our understanding of the Cd-responsive long-distance transported miRNAs from the view of xylem sap, but also provided novel insights for predicting the molecular genetic mechanisms mediated by miRNAs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Comprehensive Genomic Analysis and Expression Profiling of Diacylglycerol Kinase (DGK) Gene Family in Soybean (Glycine max) under Abiotic Stresses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(6), 1361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20061361 - 18 Mar 2019
Abstract
Diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) is an enzyme that plays a pivotal role in abiotic and biotic stress responses in plants by transforming the diacylglycerol into phosphatidic acid. However, there is no report on the characterization of soybean DGK genes in spite of the availability [...] Read more.
Diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) is an enzyme that plays a pivotal role in abiotic and biotic stress responses in plants by transforming the diacylglycerol into phosphatidic acid. However, there is no report on the characterization of soybean DGK genes in spite of the availability of the soybean genome sequence. In this study, we performed genome-wide analysis and expression profiling of the DGK gene family in the soybean genome. We identified 12 DGK genes (namely GmDGK1-12) which all contained conserved catalytic domains with protein lengths and molecular weights ranging from 436 to 727 amino acids (aa) and 48.62 to 80.93 kDa, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses grouped GmDGK genes into three clusters—cluster I, cluster II, and cluster III—which had three, four, and five genes, respectively. The qRT-PCR analysis revealed significant GmDGK gene expression levels in both leaves and roots coping with polyethylene glycol (PEG), salt, alkali, and salt/alkali treatments. This work provides the first characterization of the DGK gene family in soybean and suggests their importance in soybean response to abiotic stress. These results can serve as a guide for future studies on the understanding and functional characterization of this gene family. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Physiological and Transcriptome Analyses of Early Leaf Senescence for ospls1 Mutant Rice (Oryza sativa L.) during the Grain-Filling Stage
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(5), 1098; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20051098 - 04 Mar 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Early leaf senescence is an important agronomic trait that affects crop yield and quality. To understand the molecular mechanism of early leaf senescence, Oryza sativa premature leaf senescence 1 (ospls1) mutant rice with a deletion of OsVHA-A and its wild type [...] Read more.
Early leaf senescence is an important agronomic trait that affects crop yield and quality. To understand the molecular mechanism of early leaf senescence, Oryza sativa premature leaf senescence 1 (ospls1) mutant rice with a deletion of OsVHA-A and its wild type were employed in this study. The genotype-dependent differences in photosynthetic indexes, senescence-related physiological parameters, and yield characters were investigated during the grain-filling stage. Moreover, RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed to determine the genotype differences in transcriptome during the grain-filling stage. Results showed that the ospls1 mutant underwent significant decreases in the maximal quantum yield of photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry (Fv/Fm), net photosynthesis rate (Pn), and soluble sugar and protein, followed by the decreases in OsVHA-A transcript and vacuolar H+-ATPase activity. Finally, yield traits were severely suppressed in the ospls1 mutant. RNA-seq results showed that 4827 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in ospls1 mutant between 0 day and 14 days, and the pathways of biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, carbon fixation in photosynthetic organisms, and photosynthesis were downregulated in the senescing leaves of ospls1 mutant during the grain-filling stage. In addition, 81 differentially expressed TFs were identified to be involved in leaf senescence. Eleven DEGs related to hormone signaling pathways were significantly enriched in auxin, cytokinins, brassinosteroids, and abscisic acid pathways, indicating that hormone signaling pathways participated in leaf senescence. Some antioxidative and carbohydrate metabolism-related genes were detected to be differentially expressed in the senescing leaves of ospls1 mutant, suggesting that these genes probably play response and regulatory roles in leaf senescence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analyses Provide Novel Insights into Heat Stress Responses in Chieh-Qua (Benincasa hispida Cogn. var. Chieh-Qua How)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(4), 883; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20040883 - 18 Feb 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Temperature rising caused by global warming has imposed significant negative effects on crop qualities and yields. To get the well-known molecular mechanism upon the higher temperature, we carefully analyzed the RNA sequencing-based transcriptomic responses of two contrasting chieh-qua genotypes: A39 (heat-tolerant) and H5 [...] Read more.
Temperature rising caused by global warming has imposed significant negative effects on crop qualities and yields. To get the well-known molecular mechanism upon the higher temperature, we carefully analyzed the RNA sequencing-based transcriptomic responses of two contrasting chieh-qua genotypes: A39 (heat-tolerant) and H5 (heat-sensitive). In this study, twelve cDNA libraries generated from A39 and H5 were performed with a transcriptome assay under normal and heat stress conditions, respectively. A total of 8705 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected under normal conditions (3676 up-regulated and 5029 down-regulated) and 1505 genes under heat stress (914 up-regulated and 591 down-regulated), respectively. A significant positive correlation between RNA-Seq data and qRT-PCR results was identified. DEGs related to heat shock proteins (HSPs), ubiquitin-protein ligase, transcriptional factors, and pentatricopeptide repeat-containing proteins were significantly changed after heat stress. Several genes, which encoded HSPs (CL2311.Contig3 and CL6612.Contig2), cytochrome P450 (CL4517.Contig4 and CL683.Contig7), and bHLH TFs (CL914.Contig2 and CL8321.Contig1) were specifically induced after four days of heat stress. DEGs detected in our study between these two contrasting cultivars would provide a novel basis for isolating useful candidate genes of heat stress responses in chieh-qua. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
An Altered Circadian Clock Coupled with a Higher Photosynthesis Efficiency Could Explain the Better Agronomic Performance of a New Coffee Clone When Compared with a Standard Variety
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 736; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030736 - 10 Feb 2019
Abstract
In a context where climate change is threatening coffee productivity, the management of coffee leaf rust is a challenging issue. Major resistant genes, which have been used for many years, are systematically being overcome by pathogens. Developing healthy plants, able to defend themselves [...] Read more.
In a context where climate change is threatening coffee productivity, the management of coffee leaf rust is a challenging issue. Major resistant genes, which have been used for many years, are systematically being overcome by pathogens. Developing healthy plants, able to defend themselves and be productive even when attacked by the pathogen, should be part of a more sustainable alternative approach. We compared one hybrid (GPFA124), selected for its good health in various environments including a reduced rust incidence, and the cv. ‘Caturra’, considered as a standard in terms of productivity and quality but highly susceptible to rust, for phenotypic variables and for the expression of genes involved in the circadian clock and in primary photosynthetic metabolism. The GPFA124 hybrid showed increased photosynthetic electron transport efficiency, better carbon partitioning, and higher chlorophyll content. A strong relationship exists between chlorophyll a fluorescence and the expression of genes related to the photosynthetic electron transport chain. We also showed an alteration of the amplitude of circadian clock genes in the clone. Our work also indicated that increased photosynthetic electron transport efficiency is related to the clone’s better performance. Chlorophyll a fluorescence measurement is a good indicator of the coffee tree’s physiological status for the breeder. We suggest a connection between the circadian clock and carbon metabolism in coffee tree. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Increase in Lysine Content of Waxy Maize through the Introgression of the opaque2 Allele
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030684 - 05 Feb 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The opaque2 (o2) mutation in maize is associated with high lysine content in endosperm and good nutritional value. To improve the nutritional quality of waxy maize, the o2 allele was introgressed into the wxwx line using marker-assisted backcrossing selection technology. The [...] Read more.
The opaque2 (o2) mutation in maize is associated with high lysine content in endosperm and good nutritional value. To improve the nutritional quality of waxy maize, the o2 allele was introgressed into the wxwx line using marker-assisted backcrossing selection technology. The lysine content of o2o2wxwx lines was higher than that of the wxwx line. To reveal the mechanism of increasing lysine content through introgression of the o2 in waxy maize, the transcriptome on kernels (18th day after pollination) of the o2o2wxwx and parent lines was analyzed using RNA-sequencing (RNA-Seq). The RNA-Seq analysis revealed 49 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Functional analysis showed that these DEGs were mostly related to the catalytic activity and metabolic processes. The O2 gene regulated multiple metabolic pathways related to biological processes (BP) and molecular function (MP) during waxy maize endosperm development. In particular, in the o2o2wxwx lines, the two genes that encode the EF-1α and LHT1 were up-regulated, but the gene that encodes sulfur-rich proteins was down-regulated, raising the grain lysine content. These findings are of great importance for understanding the molecular mechanism underlying the lysine content increase due to o2 allele introgression into waxy maize. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Transcriptome Analysis of Watermelon Leaves Reveals Candidate Genes Responsive to Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 610; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20030610 - 31 Jan 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) is a member of the genus Tobamovirus, which cause diseases in cucurbits, especially watermelon. In watermelon, symptoms develop on the whole plant, including leaves, stems, peduncles, and fruit. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of watermelon [...] Read more.
Cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) is a member of the genus Tobamovirus, which cause diseases in cucurbits, especially watermelon. In watermelon, symptoms develop on the whole plant, including leaves, stems, peduncles, and fruit. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of watermelon early responses to CGMMV infection, a comparative transcriptome analysis of 24 h CGMMV-infected and mock-inoculated watermelon leaves was performed. A total of 1641 differently expressed genes (DEGs) were identified, with 886 DEGs upregulated and 755 DEGs downregulated after CGMMV infection. A functional analysis indicated that the DEGs were involved in photosynthesis, plant–pathogen interactions, secondary metabolism, and plant hormone signal transduction. In addition, a few transcription factor families, including WRKY, MYB, HLH, bZIP and NAC, were responsive to the CGMMV-induced stress. To confirm the high-throughput sequencing results, 15 DEGs were validated by qRT-PCR analysis. The results provide insights into the identification of candidate genes or pathways involved in the responses of watermelon leaves to CGMMV infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Comparative Transcriptome Analysis between a Resistant and a Susceptible Wild Tomato Accession in Response to Phytophthora parasitica
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(12), 3735; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19123735 - 23 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Phytophthora parasitica is one of the most widespread Phytophthora species, which is known to cause multiple diseases in tomato and is capable of infecting almost all plant parts. Our current understanding of tomato-Phytophthora parasitica interaction is very limited and currently nothing is [...] Read more.
Phytophthora parasitica is one of the most widespread Phytophthora species, which is known to cause multiple diseases in tomato and is capable of infecting almost all plant parts. Our current understanding of tomato-Phytophthora parasitica interaction is very limited and currently nothing is known at the whole genome or transcriptome level. In this study, we have analyzed and compared the transcriptome of a resistant and a susceptible wild tomato accession in response to P. parasitica infection using the RNA-seq technology. We have identified 2657 and 3079 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in treatment vs control comparison of resistant (Sp-R) and susceptible (Sp-S) samples respectively. Functional annotation of DEGs revealed substantial transcriptional reprogramming of diverse physiological and cellular processes, particularly the biotic stress responses in both Sp-R and Sp-S upon P. parasitica treatment. However, subtle expression differences among some core plant defense related genes were identified and their possible role in resistance development against P. parasitica is discussed. Our results revealed 1173 genes that were differentially expressed only in Sp-R accession upon P. parasitica inoculation. These exclusively found DEGs in Sp-R accession included some core plant defense genes, for example, several protease inhibitors, chitinases, defensin, PR-1, a downy mildew susceptibility factor, and so on, were all highly induced. Whereas, several R genes, WRKY transcriptions factors and a powdery mildew susceptibility gene (Mlo) were highly repressed during the resistance outcome. Analysis reported here lays out a strong foundation for future studies aimed at improving genetic resistance of tomato cultivars against to Phytopphthora species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessArticle
Identification of Arbuscular Mycorrhiza Fungi Responsive microRNAs and Their Regulatory Network in Maize
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103201 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Maize can form symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungus to increase productivity and resistance, but the miRNAs in maize responsible for this process have not been discovered. In this study, 155 known and 28 novel miRNAs were identified by performing high-throughput sequencing [...] Read more.
Maize can form symbiotic relationships with arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) fungus to increase productivity and resistance, but the miRNAs in maize responsible for this process have not been discovered. In this study, 155 known and 28 novel miRNAs were identified by performing high-throughput sequencing of sRNA in maize roots colonized by AM fungi. Similar to the profiles in other AM-capable plants, a large proportion of identified maize miRNAs were 24 nt in length. Fourteen and two miRNAs were significantly down- and up-regulated in response to AM fungus Glomus intraradices inoculation, respectively, suggesting potential roles of these miRNAs in AM symbiosis. Interestingly, 12 of 14 significantly down-regulated known maize miRNAs belong to the miR399 family, which was previously reported to be involved in the interaction between Medicago truncatula and AM fungi. This result indicated that the miR399 family should regulate AM symbiosis conservatively across different plant lineages. Pathway and network analyses showed that the differentially expressed miRNAs might regulate lipid metabolism and phosphate starvation response in maize during the symbiosis process via their target genes. Several members of the miR399 family and the miR397 family should be involved in controlling the fatty acid metabolism and promoting lipid delivering from plants to AM fungi. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on miRNAs mediating fatty acids from plant to AM fungi. This study provides insight into the regulatory roles of miRNAs in the symbiosis between plants and AM fungi. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Epigenetic Regulation of Plant Gametophyte Development
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(12), 3051; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20123051 - 22 Jun 2019
Abstract
Unlike in animals, the reproductive lineage cells in plants differentiate from within somatic tissues late in development to produce a specific haploid generation of the life cycle—male and female gametophytes. In flowering plants, the male gametophyte develops within the anthers and the female [...] Read more.
Unlike in animals, the reproductive lineage cells in plants differentiate from within somatic tissues late in development to produce a specific haploid generation of the life cycle—male and female gametophytes. In flowering plants, the male gametophyte develops within the anthers and the female gametophyte—within the ovule. Both gametophytes consist of only a few cells. There are two major stages of gametophyte development—meiotic and post-meiotic. In the first stage, sporocyte mother cells differentiate within the anther (pollen mother cell) and the ovule (megaspore mother cell). These sporocyte mother cells undergo two meiotic divisions to produce four haploid daughter cells—male spores (microspores) and female spores (megaspores). In the second stage, the haploid spore cells undergo few asymmetric haploid mitotic divisions to produce the 3-cell male or 7-cell female gametophyte. Both stages of gametophyte development involve extensive epigenetic reprogramming, including siRNA dependent changes in DNA methylation and chromatin restructuring. This intricate mosaic of epigenetic changes determines, to a great extent, embryo and endosperm development in the future sporophyte generation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Post-Translational Modifications of Proteins Have Versatile Roles in Regulating Plant Immune Responses
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(11), 2807; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20112807 - 08 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
To protect themselves from pathogens, plants have developed an effective innate immune system. Plants recognize pathogens and then rapidly alter signaling pathways within individual cells in order to achieve an appropriate immune response, including the generation of reactive oxygen species, callose deposition, and [...] Read more.
To protect themselves from pathogens, plants have developed an effective innate immune system. Plants recognize pathogens and then rapidly alter signaling pathways within individual cells in order to achieve an appropriate immune response, including the generation of reactive oxygen species, callose deposition, and transcriptional reprogramming. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are versatile regulatory changes critical for plant immune response processes. Significantly, PTMs are involved in the crosstalk that serves as a fine-tuning mechanism to adjust cellular responses to pathogen infection. Here, we provide an overview of PTMs that mediate defense signaling perception, signal transduction in host cells, and downstream signal activation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
Exogenous RNAs for Gene Regulation and Plant Resistance
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20092282 - 08 May 2019
Cited by 8
Abstract
Recent investigations documented that plants can uptake and process externally applied double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), hairpin RNAs (hpRNAs), and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) designed to silence important genes of plant pathogenic viruses, fungi, or insects. The exogenously applied RNAs spread locally and systemically, move [...] Read more.
Recent investigations documented that plants can uptake and process externally applied double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), hairpin RNAs (hpRNAs), and small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) designed to silence important genes of plant pathogenic viruses, fungi, or insects. The exogenously applied RNAs spread locally and systemically, move into the pathogens, and induce RNA interference-mediated plant pathogen resistance. Recent findings also provided examples of plant transgene and endogene post-transcriptional down-regulation by complementary dsRNAs or siRNAs applied onto the plant surfaces. Understanding the plant perception and processing of exogenous RNAs could result in the development of novel biotechnological approaches for crop protection. This review summarizes and discusses the emerging studies reporting on exogenous RNA applications for down-regulation of essential fungal and insect genes, targeting of plant viruses, or suppression of plant transgenes and endogenes for increased resistance and changed phenotypes. We also analyze the current understanding of dsRNA uptake mechanisms and dsRNA stability in plant environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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Open AccessReview
5-Azacytidine: A Promoter of Epigenetic Changes in the Quest to Improve Plant Somatic Embryogenesis
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(10), 3182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19103182 - 16 Oct 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is a widely studied process due to its biotechnological potential to generate large quantities of plants in short time frames and from different sources of explants. The success of SE depends on many factors, such as the nature of the [...] Read more.
Somatic embryogenesis (SE) is a widely studied process due to its biotechnological potential to generate large quantities of plants in short time frames and from different sources of explants. The success of SE depends on many factors, such as the nature of the explant, the microenvironment generated by in vitro culture conditions, and the regulation of gene expression, among others. Epigenetics has recently been identified as an important factor influencing SE outcome. DNA methylation is one of the most studied epigenetic mechanisms due to its essential role in gene expression, and its participation in SE is crucial. DNA methylation levels can be modified through the use of drugs such as 5-Azacytidine (5-AzaC), an inhibitor of DNA methylation, which has been used during SE protocols. The balance between hypomethylation and hypermethylation seems to be the key to SE success. Here, we discuss the most prominent recent research on the role of 5-AzaC in the regulation of DNA methylation, highlighting its importance during the SE process. Also, the molecular implications that this inhibitor might have for the increase or decrease in the embryogenic potential of various explants are reviewed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transcriptional and Post-transcriptional Gene Regulation in Plants)
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