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Aflitos S.,Wageningen University | Schijlen E.,Plant Research International Business Unit of Bioscience Cluster Applied Bioinformatics Plant Research International Droevendaalsesteeg 1 6708 PB Wageningen The Netherlands | de Jong H.,Wageningen University | de Ridder D.,Wageningen University | And 51 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2014

We explored genetic variation by sequencing a selection of 84 tomato accessions and related wild species representative of the Lycopersicon, Arcanum, Eriopersicon and Neolycopersicon groups, which has yielded a huge amount of precious data on sequence diversity in the tomato clade. Three new reference genomes were reconstructed to support our comparative genome analyses. Comparative sequence alignment revealed group-, species- and accession-specific polymorphisms, explaining characteristic fruit traits and growth habits in the various cultivars. Using gene models from the annotated Heinz 1706 reference genome, we observed differences in the ratio between non-synonymous and synonymous SNPs (dN/dS) in fruit diversification and plant growth genes compared to a random set of genes, indicating positive selection and differences in selection pressure between crop accessions and wild species. In wild species, the number of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) exceeds 10 million, i.e. 20-fold higher than found in most of the crop accessions, indicating dramatic genetic erosion of crop and heirloom tomatoes. In addition, the highest levels of heterozygosity were found for allogamous self-incompatible wild species, while facultative and autogamous self-compatible species display a lower heterozygosity level. Using whole-genome SNP information for maximum-likelihood analysis, we achieved complete tree resolution, whereas maximum-likelihood trees based on SNPs from ten fruit and growth genes show incomplete resolution for the crop accessions, partly due to the effect of heterozygous SNPs. Finally, results suggest that phylogenetic relationships are correlated with habitat, indicating the occurrence of geographical races within these groups, which is of practical importance for Solanum genome evolution studies. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Davila Olivas N.H.,Wageningen University | Coolen S.,University Utrecht | Huang P.,Wageningen University | Severing E.,Wageningen University | And 10 more authors.
New Phytologist | Year: 2016

In nature, plants are exposed to biotic and abiotic stresses that often occur simultaneously. Therefore, plant responses to combinations of stresses are most representative of how plants respond to stresses. We used RNAseq to assess temporal changes in the transcriptome of Arabidopsis thaliana to herbivory by Pieris rapae caterpillars, either alone or in combination with prior exposure to drought or infection with the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea. Pre-exposure to drought stress or Botrytis infection resulted in a significantly different timing of the caterpillar-induced transcriptional changes. Additionally, the combination of drought and P. rapae induced an extensive downregulation of A. thaliana genes involved in defence against pathogens. Despite a more substantial growth reduction observed for plants exposed to drought plus P. rapae feeding compared with P. rapae feeding alone, this did not affect weight increase of this specialist caterpillar. Plants respond to combined stresses with phenotypic and transcriptional changes that differ from the single stress situation. The effect of a previous exposure to drought or B. cinerea infection on transcriptional changes to caterpillars is largely overridden by the stress imposed by caterpillars, indicating that plants shift their response to the most recent stress applied. © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

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