Chesterfield Village Research Center

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Givnish T.J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Bean G.J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Bean G.J.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Ames M.,Promega North America | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Previous studies based on DNA restriction-site and sequence variation have shown that the Hawaiian lobeliads are monophyletic and that the two largest genera, Cyanea and Clermontia, diverged from each other ca. 9.7 Mya. Sequence divergence among species of Clermontia is quite limited, however, and extensive hybridization is suspected, which has interfered with production of a well-resolved molecular phylogeny for the genus. Clermontia is of considerable interest because several species posses petal-like sepals, raising the question of whether such a homeotic mutation has arisen once or several times. In addition, morphological and molecular studies have implied different patterns of inter-island dispersal within the genus. Here we use nuclear ISSRs (inter-simple sequence repeat polymorphisms) and five plastid non-coding sequences to derive biparental and maternal phylogenies for Clermontia. Our findings imply that (1) Clermontia is not monophyletic, with Cl. pyrularia nested within Cyanea and apparently an intergeneric hybrid; (2) the earliest divergent clades within Clermontia are native to Kauài, then Òahu, then Maui, supporting the progression rule of dispersal down the chain toward progressively younger islands, although that rule is violated in later-evolving taxa in the ISSR tree; (3) almost no sequence divergence among several Clermontia species in 4.5 kb of rapidly evolving plastid DNA; (4) several apparent cases of hybridization/introgression or incomplete lineage sorting (i.e., Cl. oblongifolia, peleana, persicifolia, pyrularia, samuelii, tuberculata), based on extensive conflict between the ISSR and plastid phylogenies; and (5) two origins and two losses of petaloid sepals, or-perhaps more plausibly-a single origin and two losses of this homeotic mutation, with its introgression into Cl. persicifolia. Our phylogenies are better resolved and geographically more informative than others based on ITS and 5S-NTS sequences and nuclear SNPs, but agree with them in supporting Clermontia's origin on Kauài or some older island and dispersal down the chain subsequently. © 2013 Givnish et al.


De La Rosa Santamaria R.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Shao M.-R.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Wang G.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Nino-Liu D.O.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

MutS Homolog 1 (MSH1) encodes a plant-specific protein that functions in mitochondria and chloroplasts. We showed previously that disruption or suppression of the MSH1 gene results in a process of developmental reprogramming that is heritable and non-genetic in subsequent generations. In Arabidopsis, this developmental reprogramming process is accompanied by striking changes in gene expression of organellar and stress response genes. This developmentally reprogrammed state, when used in crossing, results in a range of variation for plant growth potential. Here we investigate the implications of MSH1 modulation in a crop species. We found that MSH1-mediated phenotypic variation in Sorghum bicolor is heritable and potentially valuable for crop breeding. We observed phenotypic variation for grain yield, plant height, flowering time, panicle architecture, and above-ground biomass. Focusing on grain yield and plant height, we found some lines that appeared to respond to selection. Based on amenability of this system to implementation in a range of crops, and the scope of phenotypic variation that is derived, our results suggest that MSH1 suppression provides a novel approach for breeding in crops. © 2014 de la Rosa Santamaria et al.


Zhang Y.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Wiggins B.E.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Lawrence C.,Monsanto Corporation | Petrick J.,Monsanto Corporation | And 2 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2012

Background: Plants contain significant quantities of small RNAs (sRNAs) derived from various sRNA biogenesis pathways. Many of these sRNAs play regulatory roles in plants. Previous analysis revealed that numerous sRNAs in corn, rice and soybean seeds have high sequence similarity to animal genes. However, exogenous RNA is considered to be unstable within the gastrointestinal tract of many animals, thus limiting potential for any adverse effects from consumption of dietary RNA. A recent paper reported that putative plant miRNAs were detected in animal plasma and serum, presumably acquired through ingestion, and may have a functional impact in the consuming organisms.Results: To address the question of how common this phenomenon could be, we searched for plant miRNAs sequences in public sRNA datasets from various tissues of mammals, chicken and insects. Our analyses revealed that plant miRNAs were present in the animal sRNA datasets, and significantly miR168 was extremely over-represented. Furthermore, all or nearly all (>96%) miR168 sequences were monocot derived for most datasets, including datasets for two insects reared on dicot plants in their respective experiments. To investigate if plant-derived miRNAs, including miR168, could accumulate and move systemically in insects, we conducted insect feeding studies for three insects including corn rootworm, which has been shown to be responsive to plant-produced long double-stranded RNAs.Conclusions: Our analyses suggest that the observed plant miRNAs in animal sRNA datasets can originate in the process of sequencing, and that accumulation of plant miRNAs via dietary exposure is not universal in animals. © 2012 Zhang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Ivashuta S.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Zhang Y.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Wiggins B.E.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Ramaseshadri P.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | And 7 more authors.
RNA | Year: 2015

Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism. © 2015 Ivashuta et al.


Costa-Nunes P.,Washington University in St. Louis | Pontes O.,Washington University in St. Louis | Preuss S.B.,Washington University in St. Louis | Preuss S.B.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Pikaard C.S.,Indiana University Bloomington
Nucleus | Year: 2010

Nucleolar dominance is a widespread epigenetic phenomenon, describing the preferential silencing of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes inherited from one progenitor of an interspecific hybrid, independent of maternal or paternal effects. In the allotetraploid hybrid plant species Arabidopsis suecica, A. thaliana-derived rRNA genes are silenced whereas the A. arenosa-derived rRNA genes are transcribed. We reported previously on an RNAi-based screen of DNA methyltransferases, methylcytosine binding proteins and RNA-dependent DNA methylation pathway proteins that identified specific activities required for the establishment or enforcement of nucleolar dominance. Here we present additional molecular and cell biological evidence that siRNA-directed cytosine methylation and the methylcytosine binding protein MBD6 bring about large-scale chromosomal effects on rRNA gene loci subjected to nucleolar dominance in A. suecica. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


PubMed | Procter and Gamble, Urbana University and Chesterfield Village Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of experimental botany | Year: 2014

Miscanthus giganteus is exceptional among C4 plants in its ability to acclimate to chilling (14 C) and maintain a high photosynthetic capacity, in sharp contrast to maize, leading to very high productivity even in cool temperate climates. To identify the mechanisms that underlie this acclimation, RNA was isolated from M giganteus leaves in chilling and nonchilling conditions and hybridized to microarrays developed for its close relative Zea mays. Among 21 000 array probes that yielded robust signals, 723 showed significant expression change under chilling. Approximately half of these were for annotated genes. Thirty genes associated with chloroplast membrane function were all upregulated. Increases in transcripts for the lhcb5 (chlorophyll a/b-binding protein CP26), ndhF (NADH dehydrogenase F, chloroplast), atpA (ATP synthase alpha subunit), psbA (D1), petA (cytochrome f), and lhcb4 (chlorophyll a/b-binding protein CP29), relative to housekeeping genes in M. giganteus, were confirmed by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR. In contrast, psbo1, lhcb5, psbA, and lhcb4 were all significantly decreased in Z. mays after 14 days of chilling. Western blot analysis of the D1 protein and LHCII type II chlorophyll a/b-binding protein also showed significant increases in M. giganteus during chilling and significant decreases in Z. mays. Compared to other C4 species, M. giganteus grown in chilling conditions appears to counteract the loss of photosynthetic proteins and proteins protecting photosystem II typically observed in other species by increasing mRNA levels for their synthesis.


PubMed | Chesterfield Village Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: RNA (New York, N.Y.) | Year: 2015

Environmental RNAi (eRNAi) is a sequence-specific regulation of endogenous gene expression in a receptive organism by exogenous double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). Although demonstrated under artificial dietary conditions and via transgenic plant presentations in several herbivorous insects, the magnitude and consequence of exogenous dsRNA uptake and the role of eRNAi remains unknown under natural insect living conditions. Our analysis of coleopteran insects sensitive to eRNAi fed on wild-type plants revealed uptake of plant endogenous long dsRNAs, but not small RNAs. Subsequently, the dsRNAs were processed into 21 nt siRNAs by insects and accumulated in high quantities in insect cells. No accumulation of host plant-derived siRNAs was observed in lepidopteran larvae that are recalcitrant to eRNAi. Stability of ingested dsRNA in coleopteran larval gut followed by uptake and transport from the gut to distal tissues appeared to be enabling factors for eRNAi. Although a relatively large number of distinct coleopteran insect-processed plant-derived siRNAs had sequence complementarity to insect transcripts, the vast majority of the siRNAs were present in relatively low abundance, and RNA-seq analysis did not detect a significant effect of plant-derived siRNAs on insect transcriptome. In summary, we observed a broad genome-wide uptake of plant endogenous dsRNA and subsequent processing of ingested dsRNA into 21 nt siRNAs in eRNAi-sensitive insects under natural feeding conditions. In addition to dsRNA stability in gut lumen and uptake, dosage of siRNAs targeting a given insect transcript is likely an important factor in order to achieve measurable eRNAi-based regulation in eRNAi-competent insects that lack an apparent silencing amplification mechanism.


PubMed | University of Nebraska - Lincoln and Chesterfield Village Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

MutS Homolog 1 (MSH1) encodes a plant-specific protein that functions in mitochondria and chloroplasts. We showed previously that disruption or suppression of the MSH1 gene results in a process of developmental reprogramming that is heritable and non-genetic in subsequent generations. In Arabidopsis, this developmental reprogramming process is accompanied by striking changes in gene expression of organellar and stress response genes. This developmentally reprogrammed state, when used in crossing, results in a range of variation for plant growth potential. Here we investigate the implications of MSH1 modulation in a crop species. We found that MSH1-mediated phenotypic variation in Sorghum bicolor is heritable and potentially valuable for crop breeding. We observed phenotypic variation for grain yield, plant height, flowering time, panicle architecture, and above-ground biomass. Focusing on grain yield and plant height, we found some lines that appeared to respond to selection. Based on amenability of this system to implementation in a range of crops, and the scope of phenotypic variation that is derived, our results suggest that MSH1 suppression provides a novel approach for breeding in crops.


Ellis S.,Mott MacDonald Ltd. | Goodwin A.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Goodwin A.,Mott MacDonald Ltd. | Laycock E.,Sheffield Hallam University | Hurst C.,Mott MacDonald Ltd.
Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Construction Materials | Year: 2016

The Bermondsey Dive-Under (BDU) scheme is a fundamental part of UK’s Thameslink Programme. The scheme involves extensive demolition of 900m of masonry viaduct followed by the construction of 900m of new structures, 200m of reinforced-earth structures and 200m of embankment modifications. Crushed brick is typically not used as a structural fill material in the UK due to concerns over its friability and associated long-term performance. This paper describes a study undertaken in 2012 that examined the viability of recycling the demolished brickwork material into a crushed engineered fill material for use in the BDU permanent works. The overarching objective of the study was to seek to reduce the scheme’s significant volumes of both imported fill and exported demolition material, with associated sustainability advantages in addition to the environmental and safety benefits resulting from the significantly reduced lorry movements from London’s streets. The paper details the sampling and testing of brickwork that was undertaken and presents the findings from the study. The paper also discusses some of the issues associated with introducing innovation within major work programmes. The BDU scheme is currently under construction and is scheduled for completion in 2017. © ICE Publishing: All rights reserved.

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