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Bruggeman A.J.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Bruggeman A.J.,Chesterfield Village Research Center | Kuehler D.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Kuehler D.,University of Nebraska at Omaha | Weeks D.P.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Plant Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2014

Genes conferring resistance to the herbicides glyphosate, oxyfluorfen and norflurazon were developed and tested for use as dominant selectable markers in genetic transformation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and as potential tools for the protection of commercial-scale algal production facilities against contamination by organisms sensitive to these broad-spectrum herbicides. A synthetic glyphosate acetyltransferase (GAT) gene, when fitted with a strong Chlamydomonas promoter, conferred a 2.7×-fold increase in tolerance to the EPSPS inhibitor, glyphosate, in transgenic cells compared with progenitor WT cells. A mutant Chlamydomonas protoporphyrinogen oxidase (protox, PPO) gene previously shown to produce an enzyme insensitive to PPO-inhibiting herbicides, when genetically engineered, generated transgenic cells able to tolerate up to 136× higher levels of the PPO inhibitor, oxyfluorfen, than nontransformed cells. Genetic modification of the Chlamydomonas phytoene desaturase (PDS) gene-based gene sequences found in various norflurazon-resistant organisms allowed production of transgenic cells tolerant to 40× higher levels of norflurazon than nontransgenic cells. The high efficiency of all three herbicide resistance genes in producing transgenic cells demonstrated their suitability as dominant selectable markers for genetic transformation of Chlamydomonas and, potentially, other eukaryotic algae. However, the requirement for high concentrations of glyphosate and its associated negative effects on cell growth rates preclude its consideration for use in large-scale production facilities. In contrast, only low doses of norflurazon and oxyfluorfen (~1.5 μm and ~0.1 μm, respectively) are required for inhibition of cell growth, suggesting that these two herbicides may prove effective in large-scale algal production facilities in suppressing growth of organisms sensitive to these herbicides. © 2014 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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.

Shen Q.J.,University of Nevada, Las Vegas | Yu D.,CAS Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden | Jeon J.-S.,Kyung Hee University | Piffanelli P.,Rice Genomics Unit | And 15 more authors.
Rice | Year: 2012

Background: Since whole genome sequences of rice were made publically accessible, the number of articles on new rice genes has increased remarkably. The Committee on Gene Symbolization, Nomenclature and Linkage (CGSNL) of the Rice Genetics Cooperative published the gene nomenclature system for rice and encouraged researchers to follow the rules before publishing their results. The CGSNL provides an on-line registration system for newly identified rice genes to prevent conflicts and/or duplication of gene name in journal articles. Findings: Recently, the CGSNL surveyed genes in the rice WRKY family in published journal articles and found several duplicated gene names. Conclusions: To discuss and resolve inconsistencies in WRKY gene nomenclature, the rice WRKY working group was established and redefined the nomenclature. This report announces the conclusion. © 2012 Shen 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.

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