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Journal: Functional & integrative genomics

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Since the first two complete bacterial genome sequences were published in 1995, the science of bacteria has dramatically changed. Using third-generation DNA sequencing, it is possible to completely sequence a bacterial genome in a few hours and identify some types of methylation sites along the genome as well. Sequencing of bacterial genome sequences is now a standard procedure, and the information from tens of thousands of bacterial genomes has had a major impact on our views of the bacterial world. In this review, we explore a series of questions to highlight some insights that comparative genomics has produced. To date, there are genome sequences available from 50 different bacterial phyla and 11 different archaeal phyla. However, the distribution is quite skewed towards a few phyla that contain model organisms. But the breadth is continuing to improve, with projects dedicated to filling in less characterized taxonomic groups. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas system provides bacteria with immunity against viruses, which outnumber bacteria by tenfold. How fast can we go? Second-generation sequencing has produced a large number of draft genomes (close to 90 % of bacterial genomes in GenBank are currently not complete); third-generation sequencing can potentially produce a finished genome in a few hours, and at the same time provide methlylation sites along the entire chromosome. The diversity of bacterial communities is extensive as is evident from the genome sequences available from 50 different bacterial phyla and 11 different archaeal phyla. Genome sequencing can help in classifying an organism, and in the case where multiple genomes of the same species are available, it is possible to calculate the pan- and core genomes; comparison of more than 2000 Escherichia coli genomes finds an E. coli core genome of about 3100 gene families and a total of about 89,000 different gene families. Why do we care about bacterial genome sequencing? There are many practical applications, such as genome-scale metabolic modeling, biosurveillance, bioforensics, and infectious disease epidemiology. In the near future, high-throughput sequencing of patient metagenomic samples could revolutionize medicine in terms of speed and accuracy of finding pathogens and knowing how to treat them.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Bacteria, Organism, Virus, Genome, Escherichia coli

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Coffea arabica L. is an important agricultural commodity, accounting for 60% of traded coffee worldwide. Nitrogen (N) is a macronutrient that is usually limiting to plant yield; however, molecular mechanisms of plant acclimation to N limitation remain largely unknown in tropical woody crops. In this study, we investigated the transcriptome of coffee roots under N starvation, analyzing poly-A+ libraries and small RNAs. We also evaluated the concentration of selected amino acids and N-source preferences in roots. Ammonium was preferentially taken up over nitrate, and asparagine and glutamate were the most abundant amino acids observed in coffee roots. We obtained 34,654 assembled contigs by mRNA sequencing, and validated the transcriptional profile of 12 genes by RT-qPCR. Illumina small RNA sequencing yielded 8,524,332 non-redundant reads, resulting in the identification of 86 microRNA families targeting 253 genes. The transcriptional pattern of eight miRNA families was also validated. To our knowledge, this is the first catalog of differentially regulated amino acids, N sources, mRNAs, and sRNAs in Arabica coffee roots.

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Ubiquitous nature of prolamin proteins dubbed gluten from wheat and allied cereals imposes a major challenge in the treatment of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder with no known treatment other than abstinence diet. Administration of hydrolytic glutenases as food supplement is an alternative to deliver the therapeutic agents directly to the small intestine, where sensitization of immune system and downstream reactions take place. The aim of the present research was to evaluate the capacity of wheat grain to express and store hydrolytic enzymes capable of gluten detoxification. For this purpose, wheat scutellar calli were biolistically transformed to generate plants expressing a combination of glutenase genes for prolamin detoxification. Digestion of prolamins with barley endoprotease B2 (EP-HvB2) combined with Flavobacterium meningosepticum prolyl endopeptidase (PE-FmPep) or Pyrococcus furiosus prolyl endopeptidase (PE-PfuPep) significantly reduced (up to 67%) the amount of the indigestible gluten peptides of all prolamin families tested. Seven of the 168 generated lines showed inheritance of transgene to the T2 generation. Reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography of gluten extracts under simulated gastrointestinal conditions allowed the identification of five T2 lines that contained significantly reduced amounts of immunogenic, celiac disease-provoking gliadin peptides. These findings were complemented by the R5 ELISA test results where up to 72% reduction was observed in the content of immunogenic peptides. The developed wheat genotypes open new horizons for treating celiac disease by an intraluminal enzyme therapy without compromising their agronomical performance.

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Two hundred one hexaploid wheat accessions, representing 200 years of selection and breeding history, were sampled from the National Small Grains Collection in Aberdeen, ID, and evaluated for five root traits at the seedling stage. A paper roll-supported hydroponic system was used for seedling growth. Replicated roots samples were analyzed by WinRHIZO. We observed accessions with nearly no branching and accessions with up to 132 cm of branching. Total seminal root length ranged from 70 to 248 cm, a 3.5-fold difference. Next-generation sequencing was used to produce single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and genomic libraries that were aligned to the wheat reference genome IWGSCv1 and were called single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. After filtering and imputation, a total of 20,881 polymorphic sites were used to perform association mapping in TASSEL. Gene annotations were conducted for identified marker-trait associations (MTAs) with - log10P > 3.5 (p value < 0.003). In total, we identified 63 MTAs with seven for seminal axis root length (SAR), 24 for branching (BR), four for total seminal root length (TSR), eight for root dry matter (RDM), and 20 for root diameter (RD). Putative proteins of interest that we identified include chalcone synthase, aquaporin, and chymotrypsin inhibitor for SAR, MYB transcription factor and peroxidase for BR, zinc fingers and amino acid transporters for RDM, and cinnamoyl-CoA reductase for RD. We evaluated the effects of height-reducing Rht alleles and the 1B/1R translocation event on root traits and found presence of the Rht-B1b allele decreased RDM, while presence of the Rht-D1b allele increased TSR and decreased RD.

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Recently, accumulating evidence has demonstrated that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) play a vital role in oncogenicity. Nevertheless, the regulatory mechanisms and functions remain poorly understood, especially for lncRNAs and circRNAs. In this study, we simultaneously detected, for the first time, the expression profiles of the whole transcriptome, including miRNA, circRNA and lncRNA + mRNA, in five pairs of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) and matched non-carcinoma tissues by microarrays. Five miRNAs, four circRNAs, three lncRNAs and five mRNAs that were dysregulated were selected to confirm the verification of the microarray data by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) in 20 pairs of LSCC samples. We constructed LSCC-related competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks of lncRNAs and circRNAs (circRNA or lncRNA-miRNA-mRNA) respectively. Functional annotation revealed the lncRNA-mediated ceRNA network were enriched for genes involved in the tumor-associated pathways. Hsa_circ_0033988 with the highest degree in the circRNA-mediated ceRNA network was associated with fatty acid degradation, which was responsible for the depletion of fat in tumor-associated cachexia. Finally, to clarify the ncRNA co-regulation mechanism, we constructed a circRNA-lncRNA co-regulated network by integrating the above two networks and identified 9 modules for further study. A subnetwork of module 2 with the most dysregulated microRNAs was extracted to establish the ncRNA-involved TGF-β-associated pathway. In conclusion, our findings provide a high-throughput microarray data of the coding and non-coding RNAs and establish the foundation for further functional research on the ceRNA regulatory mechanism of non-coding RNAs in LSCC.

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Oligopeptide transporters (OPT) are integral cell membrane proteins that play a critical role in the transport of small peptides, secondary amino acids, glutathione conjugates, and mineral uptake. In the present study, 67 putative wheat yellow stripe-like transporter (YSL) proteins belonging to the subfamily of OPT transporters were identified. Phylogeny analysis resulted in the distribution of wheat YSLs into four discrete clades. The highest number of YSLs was present on the A genome and the chromosome 2 of hexaploid wheat. The identified wheat YSL genes showed differential expression in different tissues and during grain development suggesting the importance of this subfamily. Gene expression pattern of TaYSLs during iron starvation experiments suggested an early high transcript accumulation of TaYS1A, TaYS1B, TaYSL3, TaYSL5, and TaYSL6 in roots. In contrast, delayed expression was observed in shoots for TaYS1A, TaYS1B, TaYSL5, TaYSL12, and TaYSL19 as compared to control. Further, their expression under biotic and abiotic response emphasized their alternative functions during the plant growth and development. In conclusion, this work is the first comprehensive study of wheat YSL transporters and would be an important resource for prioritizing genes towards wheat biofortification.

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The negative effects of soil salinity towards grape yield depend upon salt concentration, cultivar type, developmental stage, and rootstock. Thompson Seedless variety of grape plant is considered moderately sensitive to salinity when grown upon its own root stock. In recent epoch, identification of key genes responsive to salinity offers hope to generate salinity-tolerant crop plants by their overexpression through genetic manipulation. In the present report, salt responsive transcriptome analysis of Thompson Seedless grape variety was done to identify vital genes involved in salinity tolerance which could be used further to generate salt liberal grape plant or other crop plants. Transcriptome libraries for control and 150-mM-NaCl-treated grape leaves were sequenced on Illumina platform where 714 genes were found to be differentially expressed. Gene ontology analysis indicated that under salinity conditions, the genes involved in metabolic process were highly enriched. Keto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis revealed that, among the top 22 enriched pathways for the salt stress upregulated genes, the carbohydrate metabolism, signal transduction, energy metabolism, amino acid metabolism, biosynthesis of secondary metabolite, and lipid metabolism pathways possessed the largest number of transcripts. Key salinity-induced genes were selected and validated through qRT-PCR analysis which was comparable to RNA-seq results. Real-time PCR analysis also revealed that after 24 days of salinity, the expression of most of the selected key genes was highest. These salinity-induced genes will be characterized further in a model plant and also in Vitis vinifera through transgenic approach to disclose their role towards salt tolerance.

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The original version of this article contained a mistake. The word “RefSeq v.1” was incorrectly inserted on page 7. The correct sentence should be: To identify the differentially regulated transcripts, clean RNA-Seq reads were mapped onto the T. aestivum Chinese Spring chromosome 3B pseudomolecule.

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Particularly PIN1, PIN protein-mediated rate-limiting auxin distribution plays a critical role in plant differentiation. Although well-characterized in Arabidopsis, little is known about the structural and functional relationship of the PIN1 gene among other plants. Here, we report that the gene structure remained conserved among bryophytes and angiosperms while the gene size varied by ~ 17%. Although the positions were conserved, highly variable intron phase suggests preference for specific regions in the gene sequence for independent events of intron insertion. Significant variation was observed across gene length for insertions and deletions that were mainly localized to the exonic regions flanking intron 1, possibly demarcating the sequences prone to deletions/duplications. The N and C-terminals showed a higher protein sequence similarity (~ 80%) compared to the central hydrophilic loop (~ 26%). In addition to the signature domains and motifs, we identified four novel uncharacterized motifs in the central divergent loop of PIN1 protein. Three different homo-loci, one each on chromosome groups 4, 6, and 7, were identified in wheat each showing dramatically different expression patterns during different plant developmental stages. Virus-induced gene silencing of the TaPIN1 gene resulted up to 26% reduction in plant height. Because of its direct role in controlling plant height along with a higher expression during stem elongation, the TaPIN1 gene can be manipulated to regulate plant height.

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SOC1, a MADS-box type II transcription factor, integrates environmental and endogenous cues to promote flowering in angiosperms. Recent reports implicating SOC1 in roles beyond floral transition prompted functional characterization of SOC1 in polyploid rapeseed mustard genomes. Gene characterization in Brassicas necessitates analysis of composite homeolog function. While insertional mutagenesis is untenable in Brassicas owing to gene redundancy, gain-of-function approach entails serial characterization of individual homeologs. Herein, we demonstrate modulated floral promotive effects in natural variants of Brassica SOC1 and provide lateral branching as a probable outcome of polyploidy-induced gene diversification. Ectopic expression of two B genome specific SOC1 variants in Arabidopsis thaliana resulted in differential floral acceleration and manifestation of multiple vegetative rosettes. Characterization of composite homeolog function in B. juncea via introgression of Brassica SOC1 specific artificial miRNA, designed to target homeologs, also exhibited modifications in floral transition and lateral branching. Comprehensive analysis of field performance of B. juncea transgenics displayed altered fitness across 11 agronomic traits. Crucially, reduced SOC1 levels directly impacted two developmental traits, namely, flowering time and number of lateral branches which in turn influenced several dependent agronomic traits. While delayed flowering and crop maturity resulted in altered fatty acid composition with higher SFA and lower PUFA in transgenics relative to controls, reduction in overall count of lateral branches caused a concomitant decrease in silique count which ultimately impacted total seed yield in transgenics. Statistical analysis revealed number of secondary branches as the most critical trait influencing seed yield. Based on our findings, we propose enhancing levels Brassica SOC1, a key target, for achieving earliness in flowering, improved seed yield and oil quality, and studying trait trade-offs.