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Clepet C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | Joobeur T.,Ohio State University | Zheng Y.,Cornell University | Jublot D.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 17 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Melon (Cucumis melo), an economically important vegetable crop, belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family which includes several other important crops such as watermelon, cucumber, and pumpkin. It has served as a model system for sex determination and vascular biology studies. However, genomic resources currently available for melon are limited.Result: We constructed eleven full-length enriched and four standard cDNA libraries from fruits, flowers, leaves, roots, cotyledons, and calluses of four different melon genotypes, and generated 71,577 and 22,179 ESTs from full-length enriched and standard cDNA libraries, respectively. These ESTs, together with ~35,000 ESTs available in public domains, were assembled into 24,444 unigenes, which were extensively annotated by comparing their sequences to different protein and functional domain databases, assigning them Gene Ontology (GO) terms, and mapping them onto metabolic pathways. Comparative analysis of melon unigenes and other plant genomes revealed that 75% to 85% of melon unigenes had homologs in other dicot plants, while approximately 70% had homologs in monocot plants. The analysis also identified 6,972 gene families that were conserved across dicot and monocot plants, and 181, 1,192, and 220 gene families specific to fleshy fruit-bearing plants, the Cucurbitaceae family, and melon, respectively. Digital expression analysis identified a total of 175 tissue-specific genes, which provides a valuable gene sequence resource for future genomics and functional studies. Furthermore, we identified 4,068 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and 3,073 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the melon EST collection. Finally, we obtained a total of 1,382 melon full-length transcripts through the analysis of full-length enriched cDNA clones that were sequenced from both ends. Analysis of these full-length transcripts indicated that sizes of melon 5' and 3' UTRs were similar to those of tomato, but longer than many other dicot plants. Codon usages of melon full-length transcripts were largely similar to those of Arabidopsis coding sequences.Conclusion: The collection of melon ESTs generated from full-length enriched and standard cDNA libraries is expected to play significant roles in annotating the melon genome. The ESTs and associated analysis results will be useful resources for gene discovery, functional analysis, marker-assisted breeding of melon and closely related species, comparative genomic studies and for gaining insights into gene expression patterns. © 2011 Clepet et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Gonzalez-Ibeas D.,CSIC - Center of Edafology and Applied Biology of the Segura | Blanca J.,Institute Conservacion Y Mejora Of La Agrodiversidad Valenciana Comav Upv | Donaire L.,CSIC - Biological Research Center | Saladie M.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | And 5 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is a commercially important fruit crop that is cultivated worldwide. The melon research community has recently benefited from the determination of a complete draft genome sequence and the development of associated genomic tools, which have allowed us to focus on small RNAs (sRNAs). These are short, non-coding RNAs 21-24 nucleotides in length with diverse physiological roles. In plants, they regulate gene expression and heterochromatin assembly, and control protection against virus infection. Much remains to be learned about the role of sRNAs in melon.Results: We constructed 10 sRNA libraries from two stages of developing ovaries, fruits and photosynthetic cotyledons infected with viruses, and carried out high-throughput pyrosequencing. We catalogued and analysed the melon sRNAs, resulting in the identification of 26 known miRNA families (many conserved with other species), the prediction of 84 melon-specific miRNA candidates, the identification of trans-acting siRNAs, and the identification of chloroplast, mitochondrion and transposon-derived sRNAs. In silico analysis revealed more than 400 potential targets for the conserved and novel miRNAs.Conclusion: We have discovered and analysed a large number of conserved and melon-specific sRNAs, including miRNAs and their potential target genes. This provides insight into the composition and function of the melon small RNAome, and paves the way towards an understanding of sRNA-mediated processes that regulate melon fruit development and melon-virus interactions. © 2011 Gonzalez-Ibeas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Rodriguez-Moreno L.,CSIC - Center of Edafology and Applied Biology of the Segura | Gonzalez V.M.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Benjak A.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Marti M.C.,CSIC - Center of Edafology and Applied Biology of the Segura | And 3 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: The melon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, whose economic importance among vegetable crops is second only to Solanaceae. The melon has a small genome size (454 Mb), which makes it suitable for molecular and genetic studies. Despite similar nuclear and chloroplast genome sizes, cucurbits show great variation when their mitochondrial genomes are compared. The melon possesses the largest plant mitochondrial genome, as much as eight times larger than that of other cucurbits.Results: The nucleotide sequences of the melon chloroplast and mitochondrial genomes were determined. The chloroplast genome (156,017 bp) included 132 genes, with 98 single-copy genes dispersed between the small (SSC) and large (LSC) single-copy regions and 17 duplicated genes in the inverted repeat regions (IRa and IRb). A comparison of the cucumber and melon chloroplast genomes showed differences in only approximately 5% of nucleotides, mainly due to short indels and SNPs. Additionally, 2.74 Mb of mitochondrial sequence, accounting for 95% of the estimated mitochondrial genome size, were assembled into five scaffolds and four additional unscaffolded contigs. An 84% of the mitochondrial genome is contained in a single scaffold. The gene-coding region accounted for 1.7% (45,926 bp) of the total sequence, including 51 protein-coding genes, 4 conserved ORFs, 3 rRNA genes and 24 tRNA genes. Despite the differences observed in the mitochondrial genome sizes of cucurbit species, Citrullus lanatus (379 kb), Cucurbita pepo (983 kb) and Cucumis melo (2,740 kb) share 120 kb of sequence, including the predicted protein-coding regions. Nevertheless, melon contained a high number of repetitive sequences and a high content of DNA of nuclear origin, which represented 42% and 47% of the total sequence, respectively.Conclusions: Whereas the size and gene organisation of chloroplast genomes are similar among the cucurbit species, mitochondrial genomes show a wide variety of sizes, with a non-conserved structure both in gene number and organisation, as well as in the features of the noncoding DNA. The transfer of nuclear DNA to the melon mitochondrial genome and the high proportion of repetitive DNA appear to explain the size of the largest mitochondrial genome reported so far. © 2011 Rodríguez-Moreno et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Roy A.,Punjab Agricultural University | Bal S.S.,Punjab Agricultural University | Fergany M.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Kaur S.,Punjab Agricultural University | And 7 more authors.
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2012

We present here the first comprehensive genetic characterization of wild melon accessions from northern India. The genetic diversity among 43 wild melon accessions collected from the six agro-ecological regions of the Punjab State of India was assessed by measuring variation at 16 Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) loci, morphological traits of plant habit and fruit morphological traits, two yield-associated traits, root nematode resistance and biochemical composition (ascorbic acid, carotenoids, titrable acidity). Variation among accessions was observed in plant habit and fruit traits and wild melon germplasm with high acidity and elevated carotenoid content and possessing resistance to Meloidogyne incognita was identified in the collection. A high level of genetic variability in wild melon germplasm was suggested by SSR analysis. Comparative analysis using SSRs of the genetic variability between wild melons from the north and other melons from the south and east regions of India and also reference accessions of cultivated melon from Spain, Japan, Korea, Maldives, Iraq and Israel, showed regional differentiation among Indian melon accessions and that Indian germplasm was not closely related to melon accessions from other parts of the world. A highly drought tolerant accession belonging to var. agrestis Naud. was also identified. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Gonzalez-Garcia M.-P.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Vilarrasa-Blasi J.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Zhiponova M.,Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology | Zhiponova M.,Ghent University | And 6 more authors.
Development | Year: 2011

Brassinosteroids (BRs) play crucial roles in plant growth and development. Previous studies have shown that BRs promote cell elongation in vegetative organs in several plant species, but their contribution to meristem homeostasis remains unexplored. Our analyses report that both loss- and gain-of-function BR-related mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana have reduced meristem size, indicating that balanced BR signalling is needed for the optimal root growth. In the BR-insensitive bri1-116 mutant, the expression pattern of the cell division markers CYCB1;1, ICK2/KRP2 and KNOLLE revealed that a decreased mitotic activity accounts for the reduced meristem size; accordingly, this defect could be overcome by the overexpression of CYCD3;1. The activity of the quiescent centre (QC) was low in the short roots of bri1-116, as reported by cell type-specific markers and differentiation phenotypes of distal stem cells. Conversely, plants treated with the most active BR, brassinolide, or mutants with enhanced BR signalling, such as bes1-D, show a premature cell cycle exit that results in early differentiation of meristematic cells, which also negatively influence meristem size and overall root growth. In the stem cell niche, BRs promote the QC renewal and differentiation of distal stem cells. Together, our results provide evidence that BRs play a regulatory role in the control of cell-cycle progression and differentiation in the Arabidopsis root meristem.

Li D.,Northwest University, China | Li D.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Cuevas H.E.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Cuevas H.E.,USDA ARS Tropical Agriculture Research Station | And 12 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2011

Background: Cucumber, Cucumis sativus L. (2n = 2 × = 14) and melon, C. melo L. (2n = 2 × = 24) are two important vegetable species in the genus Cucumis (family Cucurbitaceae). Both species have an Asian origin that diverged approximately nine million years ago. Cucumber is believed to have evolved from melon through chromosome fusion, but the details of this process are largely unknown. In this study, comparative genetic mapping between cucumber and melon was conducted to examine syntenic relationships of their chromosomes.Results: Using two melon mapping populations, 154 and 127 cucumber SSR markers were added onto previously reported F2- and RIL-based genetic maps, respectively. A consensus melon linkage map was developed through map integration, which contained 401 co-dominant markers in 12 linkage groups including 199 markers derived from the cucumber genome. Syntenic relationships between melon and cucumber chromosomes were inferred based on associations between markers on the consensus melon map and cucumber draft genome scaffolds. It was determined that cucumber Chromosome 7 was syntenic to melon Chromosome I. Cucumber Chromosomes 2 and 6 each contained genomic regions that were syntenic with melon chromosomes III+V+XI and III+VIII+XI, respectively. Likewise, cucumber Chromosomes 1, 3, 4, and 5 each was syntenic with genomic regions of two melon chromosomes previously designated as II+XII, IV+VI, VII+VIII, and IX+X, respectively. However, the marker orders in several syntenic blocks on these consensus linkage maps were not co-linear suggesting that more complicated structural changes beyond simple chromosome fusion events have occurred during the evolution of cucumber.Conclusions: Comparative mapping conducted herein supported the hypothesis that cucumber chromosomes may be the result of chromosome fusion from a 24-chromosome progenitor species. Except for a possible inversion, cucumber Chromosome 7 has largely remained intact in the past nine million years since its divergence from melon. Meanwhile, many structural changes may have occurred during the evolution of the remaining six cucumber chromosomes. Further characterization of the genomic nature of Cucumis species closely related to cucumber and melon might provide a better understanding of the evolutionary history leading to modern cucumber. © 2011 Li et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Fabregas N.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Ibanes M.,University of Barcelona | Cano-Delgado A.I.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB
Plant Signaling and Behavior | Year: 2010

Systems biology can foster our understanding of hormonal regulation of plant vasculature. One such example is our recent study on the role of plant hormones brassinosteroids (BRs) and auxin in vascular patterning of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) shoots. By using a combined approach of mathematical modelling and molecular genetics, we have reported that auxin and BRs have complementary effects in the formation of the shoot vascular pattern. We proposed that auxin maxima, driven by auxin polar transport, position vascular bundles in the stem. BRs in turn modulate the number of vascular bundles, potentially by controlling cell division dynamics that enhance the number of provascular cells. Future interdisciplinary studies connecting vascular initiation at the shoot apex with the established vascular pattern in the basal part of the plant stem are now required to understand how and when the shoot vascular pattern emerges in the plant. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.

Gonzalo M.J.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Gonzalo M.J.,CSIC - Aula Dei Experimental Station | Claveria E.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | Monforte A.J.,Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science | Year: 2011

Melon (Cucumis melo) is one of the principal vegetable crops for fresh market, for which a large number of breeding programs, oriented to generate inbred pure lines and hybrids, is established worldwide. The process to obtain and select these lines has been highly accelerated by the use of biotechnological techniques such as the generation of doubled haploid line (DHL) populations andmolecular markers.Moreover, the use of DHLs in genetic studies is a useful tool because of their complete homozygosity and the permanent availability of plant material perpetuated by seed. In this work, the parthenogenetic response of 17 melon genotypes and the F1 hybrid PI 161375 × Spanish cultivar Piel de Sapo (PS) was studied considering three stages along the in vitro DHL generation process. The response of the analyzed melon cultivars was heterogeneous through the DHL generation with different limiting steps for each genotype. The response of the PI 161375 × PS hybrid was more similar to the male (PS) than the female parent (PI 161375), although the response of the maternal genotype was higher for some stages. This points to the important role of alleles from both parents in the different steps of the DHL generation process, and it could explain the identification of six genomic regions with distorted allelic segregation skewed toward PS or PI 161375. This hybrid was used to generate a population of 109 DHLs, the gametophytic origin of which was confirmed by flow cytometry and molecular markers.

PubMed | Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Current opinion in biotechnology | Year: 2011

Arabidopsis genomic and network analyses have facilitated crop research towards the understanding of many biological processes of fundamental importance for agriculture. Genes that were identified through genomic analyses in Arabidopsis have been used to manipulate crop traits such as pathogen resistance, yield, water-use efficiency, and drought tolerance, with the effects being tested in field conditions. The integration of diverse Arabidopsis genome-wide datasets in probabilistic functional networks has been demonstrated as a feasible strategy to associate novel genes with traits of interest, and novel genomic methods continue to be developed. The combination of genome-wide location studies, using ChIP-Seq, with gene expression profiling data is affording a genome-wide view of regulatory networks previously delineated through genetic and molecular analyses, leading to the identification of novel components and of new connections within these networks.

PubMed | Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics UAB
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Biochemical journal | Year: 2011

Protein modification by SUMO (small ubiquitin-related modifier) has emerged as an essential regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes. Even though the molecular mechanisms of SUMO conjugation/deconjugation are conserved, the number of SUMO machinery components and their degree of conservation are specific to each organism. In the present paper, we show data contributing to the notion that the four expressed Arabidopsis SUMO paralogues, AtSUMO1, 2, 3 and 5, have functionally diverged to a higher extent than their human orthologues. We have explored the degree of conservation of these paralogues and found that the surfaces involved in E1-activating enzyme recognition, and E2-conjugating enzyme and SIM (SUMO-interacting motif) non-covalent interactions are well conserved in AtSUMO1/2 isoforms, whereas AtSUMO3 shows a lower degree of conservation, and AtSUMO5 is the most divergent isoform. These differences are functionally relevant, since AtSUMO3 and 5 are deficient in establishing E2 non-covalent interactions, which has not been reported for any naturally occurring SUMO orthologue. In addition, AtSUMO3 is less efficiently conjugated than AtSUMO1/2, and AtSUMO5 shows the lowest conjugation level. A mutagenesis analysis revealed that decreases in conjugation rate and thioester-bond formation are the result of the non-conserved residues involved in E1-activating enzyme recognition that are present in AtSUMO3 and 5. The results of the present study support a role for the E1-activating enzyme in SUMO paralogue discrimination, providing a new mechanism to favour conjugation of the essential AtSUMO1/2 paralogues.

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