Genomic Study and Molecular Genetic Regulation of Apomixis

A special issue of Plants (ISSN 2223-7747). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics, Genomics and Biotechnology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 November 2022) | Viewed by 3573

Special Issue Editor

1. Plant Genomics Group, ITMO University, Lomonosova, 9, 191002 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
2. Department of Plant Embryology & Reproductive Biology, Komarov Botanical Institute RAS, 2 Professor Popov Street, 197376 Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Interests: development; sexual and asexual reproduction; genomics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Plants focuses on a fascinating phenomenon in plant propagation called apomixis. It involves the natural cloning of plants through asexual seeds. Due to the absence of meiosis and fertilization during the development of an asexual egg into an embryo, the genome of the initial sporophyte remains practically unchanged in an indefinite series of subsequent generations. Apomixis is an important feature of some angiosperms for the spread and expansion of ranges, as well as their evolutionary transformation, fixing polyploidy and preventing the flow of genes within populations. It is also attractive to use the properties of apomixis in agriculture to fix the heterosis of elite varieties propagated by seeds. The development of molecular genetics in recent decades has significantly advanced our understanding of the genetic regulation of sexual and asexual reproduction, but the so-called "universal apomixis genes" have not been discovered. Research has shown that it involves a change in the combination of gene expression and interaction over time and space. Thus, there is a need for research in the field of genomics and epigenetics for a more complete understanding of this phenomenon. At present, the rapid development of system biology and omics methods and technologies allows for the study of apomixis, processing large data sets associated with this phenomenon, which will undoubtedly give a new impetus to the study of the problem. We invite you to contribute to this Special Issue entitled Genomic Study and Molecular Genetic Regulation of Apomixis by informing the scientific community of your latest research on the topic or by summarizing current results with comprehensive reviews.

Dr. Vladimir Brukhin
Guest Editor

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  • apomixis
  • sexual and asexual plant reproduction
  • development
  • genomics
  • fixation of hybrid vigour

Published Papers (1 paper)

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17 pages, 2830 KiB  
Phylogenetic and Expression Analysis of CENH3 and APOLLO Genes in Sexual and Apomictic Boechera Species
Plants 2022, 11(3), 387; - 30 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 3089
Apomictic plants (reproducing via asexual seeds), unlike sexual individuals, avoid meiosis and egg cell fertilization. Consequently, apomixis is very important for fixing maternal genotypes in the next plant generations. Despite the progress in the study of apomixis, molecular and genetic regulation of the [...] Read more.
Apomictic plants (reproducing via asexual seeds), unlike sexual individuals, avoid meiosis and egg cell fertilization. Consequently, apomixis is very important for fixing maternal genotypes in the next plant generations. Despite the progress in the study of apomixis, molecular and genetic regulation of the latter remains poorly understood. So far APOLLO gene encoding aspartate glutamate aspartate aspartate histidine exonuclease is one of the very few described genes associated with apomixis in Boechera species. The centromere-specific histone H3 variant encoded by CENH3 gene is essential for cell division. Mutations in CENH3 disrupt chromosome segregation during mitosis and meiosis since the attachment of spindle microtubules to a mutated form of the CENH3 histone fails. This paper presents in silico characteristic of APOLLO and CENH3 genes, which may affect apomixis. Furthermore, we characterize the structure of CENH3 by bioinformatic tools, study expression levels of APOLLO and CENH3 transcripts by Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction RT-PCR in gynoecium/siliques of the natural diploid apomictic and sexual Boechera species at the stages of meiosis and before and after fertilization. While CENH3 was a single copy gene in all Boechera species, the APOLLO gene have several polymorphic alleles associated with sexual and apomictic reproduction in the Boechera genera. Expression of the APOLLO apo-allele during meiosis was upregulated in gynoecium of apomict B. divaricarpa downregulating after meiosis until the 4th day after pollination (DAP). On the 5th DAP, expression in apomictic siliques increased again. In sexual B. stricta gynoecium and siliques APOLLO apo-allele did not express. Expression of the APOLLO sex-allele during and after meiosis in gynoecium of sexual plants was several times higher than that in apomictic gynoecium. However, after pollination the sex-allele was downregulated in sexual siliques to the level of apomicts and increased sharply on the 5th DAP, while in apomictic siliques it almost did not express. At the meiotic stage, the expression level of CENH3 in the gynoecium of apomicts was two times lower than that of the sexual Boechera, decreasing in both species after meiosis and keep remaining very low in siliques of both species for several days after artificial pollination until the 4th DAP, when the expression level raised in sexual B. stricta siliques exceeding 5 times the level in apomictic B. divaricarpa siliques. We also discuss polymorphism and phylogeny of the APOLLO and CENH3 genes. The results obtained may indicate to a role of the CENH3 and APOLLO genes in the development of apomixis in species of the genus Boechera. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomic Study and Molecular Genetic Regulation of Apomixis)
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