National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing

Beijing, China

National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing

Beijing, China
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Li Q.,Peking University | Jin X.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing
Journal of Genetics and Genomics | Year: 2012

The plant genome possesses a large number of microRNAs (miRNAs) mainly 21-24 nucleotides in length. They play a vital role in regulation of target gene expression at various stages throughout the whole plant life cycle. Here we sequenced and analyzed ~10million non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) derived from fiber tissue of the allotetraploid cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) 7 days post-anthesis using ncRNA-seq technology. In terms of distinct reads, 24 nt ncRNA is by far the dominant species, followed by 21 nt and 23 nt ncRNAs. Using ab initio prediction, we identified and characterized a total of 562 candidate miRNA gene loci on the recently assembled D5 genome of the diploid cotton G. raimondii. Of all the 562 predicted miRNAs, 22 were previously discovered in cotton species and 187 had sequence conservation and homology to homologous miRNAs of other plant species. Nucleotide bias analysis showed that the 9th and 1st positions were significantly conserved among different types of miRNA genes. Among the 463 putative miRNA target genes, most significant up/down-regulation occurred in 10-20 days post-anthesis, indicating that miRNAs played an important role during the elongation and secondary cell wall synthesis stages of cotton fiber development. The discovery of new miRNA genes will help understand the mechanisms of miRNA generation and regulation in cotton. © 2012.


Li Q.,Peking University | Xiao G.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing
Molecular Plant | Year: 2014

Alternative splicing (AS) is a vital genetic mechanism that enhances the diversity of eukaryotic transcriptomes. Here, we generated 8.3 Gb high-quality RNA-sequencing data from cotton (Gossypium raimondii) and performed a systematic, comparative analysis of AS events. We mapped 85% of the RNA-sequencing data onto the reference genome and identified 154368 splice junctions with 16437 as events in 10197 genes. Intron retention constituted the majority (40%) of all AS events in G. raimondii. Comparison across 11 eukaryote species showed that intron retention is the most common AS type in higher plants. Although transposable elements (TEs) were found in only 2.9% of all G. raimondii introns, they are present in 43% of the retained introns, suggesting that TE-insertion may be an important mechanism for intron retention during AS. The majority of the TE insertions are concentrated 0-40 nt upstream of the 3′-splice site, substantially altering the distribution of branch points from preferred positions and reducing the efficiency of intron splicing by decreasing RNA secondary structure flexibility. Our data suggest that TE-insertion-induced changes in branch point-site distribution are important for intron retention-type AS. Our findings may help explain the vast differences in intron-retention frequencies between vertebrates and higher plants. © The Author 2014.


Zhang Y.,Peking University | Jiao Y.,Peking University | Liu Z.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing
Nature Communications | Year: 2015

The quiescent centre (QC) in the Arabidopsis root apical meristem is essential for stem cell organization. Here we show that the loss of REPRESSOR OF WUSCHEL1 (ROW1), a PHD domain-containing protein, leads to QC failure, defects in cell differentiation and ectopic expression of WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 5 (WOX5) in cells that normally express ROW1. The wox5-1/row1-3 double mutants show similar phenotypes to wox5-1 indicating that WOX5 is epistatic to ROW1. ROW1 specifically binds trimethylated histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) in the WOX5 promoter region to repress its transcription. QC expression of ROW1 results in a wox5-1-like phenotype with undetectable WOX5 transcripts. We propose that ROW1 is essential for QC maintenance and for stem cell niche development through the repression of WOX5 in the proximal meristem. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Jin X.,Peking University | Li Q.,Peking University | Xiao G.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,Peking University | Zhu Y.-X.,National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology | Year: 2013

We assembled a total of 297,239 Gossypium hirsutum (Gh, a tetraploid cotton, AADD) expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences that were available in the National Center for Biotechnology Information database, with reference to the recently published G. raimondii (Gr, a diploid cotton, DD) genome, and obtained 49,125 UniGenes. The average lengths of the UniGenes were increased from 804 and 791 bp in two previous EST assemblies to 1,019 bp in the current analysis. The number of putative cotton UniGenes with lengths of 3kb or more increased from 25 or 34 to 1,223. As a result, thousands of originally independent G. hirsutum ESTs were aligned to produce large contigs encoding transcripts with very long open reading frames, indicating that the G. raimondii genome sequence provided remarkable advantages to assemble the tetraploid cotton transcriptome. Significant different distribution patterns within several GO terms, including transcription factor activity, were observed between D- and A-derived assemblies. Transcriptome analysis showed that, in a tetraploid cotton cell, 29,547 UniGenes were possibly derived from the D subgenome while another 19,578 may come from the A subgenome. Finally, some of the in silico data were confirmed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction experiments to show the changes in transcript levels for several gene families known to play key role in cotton fiber development. We believe that our work provides a useful platform for functional and evolutionary genomic studies in cotton.© 2013 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.


Liu X.-L.,China Agricultural University | Liu L.,CAS Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology | Niu Q.-K.,China Agricultural University | Xia C.,China Agricultural University | And 7 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2011

In flowering plants, the growth of pollen tubes is essential for the delivery of sperm to the egg cells. Although many factors (including cell-wall properties) are involved in this process, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate the growth of pollen tubes. We report here the characterization of an Arabidopsis mutant male gametophyte defective 4 (mgp4) that is severely defective in pollen tube growth. The mgp4 mutation also impairs root growth of pollen-rescued mgp4 mutant plants generated by expressing MGP4 cDNA under the control of a pollen grain/tube-specific promoter. The MGP4 gene encodes a putative xylosyltransferase and is expressed in many organs/tissues, including pollen tubes and roots. MGP4 protein expressed in Pichia pastoris exhibited xylosyltransferase activity and transferred d-xylose onto l-fucose. The pectic polysaccharide rhamnogalacturonan II (RG-II), isolated from 7-day-old pollen-rescued mutant seedlings, exhibited a 30% reduction in 2-O-methyl d-xylose residues. Furthermore, an exogenous supply of boric acid enhanced RG-II dimer formation and partially restored the root growth of the pollen-rescued mutant seedlings. Taken together, these results suggest that MGP4 plays important roles in pollen tube and root growth by acting as a xylosyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of pectic RG-II. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Liu H.,CAS Institute of Botany | Guo S.,CAS Institute of Botany | Xu Y.,CAS Institute of Botany | Li C.,CAS Institute of Botany | And 6 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2014

Inflorescence and spikelet development determine grain yields in cereals. Although multiple genes are known to be involved in the regulation of floral organogenesis, the underlying molecular network remains unclear in cereals. Here, we report that the rice (Oryza sativa) microRNA396d (OsmiR396d) and its Os Growth Regulating Factor (OsGRF) targets, together with Os Growth Regulating Factor-Interacting Factor1 (OsGIF1), are involved in the regulation of floral organ development through the rice JMJD2 family jmjC gene 706 (OsJMJ706) and crinkly4 receptor-like kinase (OsCR4). Transgenic knockdown lines of OsGRF6, a predicted target of OsmiR396d, and overexpression lines of OsmiR396d showed similar defects in floral organ development, including open husks, long sterile lemmas, and altered floral organ morphology. These defects were almost completely rescued by overexpression of OsGRF6. OsGRF6 and its ortholog OsGRF10 were the most highly expressed OsGRF family members in young inflorescences, and the grf6/grf10 double mutant displayed abnormal florets. OsGRF6/OsGRF10 localized to the nucleus, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that both OsGRF6 and OsGRF10 bind the GA response element in the promoters of OsJMJ706 and OsCR4, which were reported to participate in the regulation of floral organ development. In addition, OsGRF6 and OsGRF10 could transactivate OsJMJ706 and OsCR4, an activity that was enhanced in the presence of OsGIF1, which can bind both OsGRF6 and OsGRF10. Together, our results suggest that OsmiR396d regulates the expression of OsGRF genes, which function with OsGIF1 in floret development through targeting of JMJ706 and OsCR4. This work thus reveals a microRNA-mediated regulation module for controlling spikelet development in rice. © 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.


Niu Q.-K.,China Agricultural University | Liang Y.,China Agricultural University | Zhou J.-J.,China Agricultural University | Dou X.-Y.,China Agricultural University | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Plant | Year: 2013

Pollen germination and embryogenesis are important to sexual plant reproduction. The processes require a large number of genes to be expressed. Transcription of eukaryotic nuclear genes is accomplished by three conserved RNA polymerases acting in association with a set of auxiliary general transcription factors (GTFs), including B-type GTFs. The roles of B-type GTFs in plant reproduction remain poorly understood. Here we report functional characterization of a novel plant-specific TFIIB-related gene PTF2 in Arabidopsis. Mutation in PTF2 caused failure of pollen germination. Pollen-rescue revealed that the mutation also disrupted embryogenesis and resulted in seed abortion. PTF2 is expressed prolifically in developing pollen and the other tissues with active cell division and differentiation, including embryo and shoot apical meristem. The PTF2 protein shares a lower amino acid sequence similarity with other known TFIIB and TFIIB-related proteins in Arabidopsis. It can interact with TATA-box binding protein 2 (TBP2) and bind to the double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) as the other known TFIIB and TFIIB-related proteins do. In addition, PTF2 can form a homodimer and interact with the subunits of RNA polymerases (RNAPs), implying that it may be involved in the RNAPs transcription. These results suggest that PTF2 plays crucial roles in pollen germination and embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, possibly by regulating gene expression through interaction with TBP2 and the subunits of RNAPs. © 2013 The Author.


Zhou J.-J.,China Agricultural University | Liang Y.,China Agricultural University | Niu Q.-K.,China Agricultural University | Chen L.-Q.,China Agricultural University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2013

Pollen tube growth and endosperm development are important for fertilization and seed formation. The genetic mechanism of the processes remains poorly understood. This study reports the functional characterization of AtTFIIB1 in pollen tube growth and endosperm development. AtTFIIB1 shares 86% and 44% similarity with AtTFIIB2 and AtTFIIB3/AtpBRP2, respectively. It is expressed in many tissues including vegetative nuclei and generative cells of pollen grains and pollen tubes, endosperm, and embryos. It is thus different from AtTFIIB2, whose expression is not found in the endosperm and vegetative nucleus of mature pollen, and AtTFIIB3/AtpBRP2, which is expressed mostly in male gametophytes and weakly in seeds. Mutations in AtTFIIB1 caused a drastic retardation of pollen tube growth and endosperm development, as well as impaired pollen tube guidance and reception, leading to disruption of fertilization and seed development. Expression of AtTFIIB2 driven by the AtTFIIB1 promoter could restore the defective pollen tube growth, guidance, and reception completely, but only partially recovered the seed development in attfiib1, whilst expression of AtTFIIB3/AtpBRP2 driven by the AtTFIIB1 promoter could rescue only the defective attfiib1 seeds. All these results suggest that AtTFIIB1 plays important roles in pollen tube growth, guidance, and reception as well as endosperm development and is partially functionally different from AtTFIIB2 and AtTFIIB3/AtpBRP2. © 2013 © The Author(2) [2013].


Xia C.,China Agricultural University | Wang Y.-J.,China Agricultural University | Li W.-Q.,China Agricultural University | Chen Y.-R.,China Agricultural University | And 5 more authors.
Plant Journal | Year: 2010

Previous studies have shown that subunits E (eIF3e), F (eIF3f) and H (elF3h) of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 3 play important roles in cell development in humans and yeast. eIF3e and eIF3h have also been reported to be important for normal cell growth in Arabidopsis. However, the functions of subunit eIF3f remain largely unknown in plant species. Here we report characterization of mutants for the Arabidopsis eIF3f (AteIF3f) gene. AteIF3f encodes a protein that is highly expressed in pollen grains, developing embryos and root tips, and interacts with Arabidopsis eIF3e and eIF3h proteins. A Ds insertional mutation in AteIF3f disrupted pollen germination and embryo development. Expression of some of the genes that are essential for pollen tube growth and embryogenesis is down-regulated in ateif3f-1 homozygous seedlings obtained by pollen rescue. These results suggested that AteIF3f might play important roles in Arabidopsis cell growth and differentiation in combination with eIF3e and eIF3h. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


Zhang Z.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Zhang Z.,National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing | Huang R.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Huang R.,National Center for Plant Gene Research Beijing
Plant Molecular Biology | Year: 2010

Increasing numbers of investigations indicate that ethylene response factor (ERF) proteins play important roles in plant stress responses via interacting with GCC box and/dehydration-responsive element/C-repeat to modulate expression of downstream genes, but the detailed regulatory mechanism is not well elucidated. Revealing the modulation pathway of ERF proteins in response to stresses is vital. Previously, we showed that tomato ERF protein TERF2/LeERF2 is ethylene inducible, and ethylene production is suppressed in antisense TERF2/LeERF2 tomatoes, suggesting that TERF2/LeERF2 functions as a positive regulator in ethylene biosynthesis. In this paper, we report that regulation of TERF2/LeERF2 in ethylene biosynthesis is associated with enhanced freezing tolerance of tobacco and tomato. Analysis of gene expression showed that cold slowly induces expression of TERF2/LeERF2 in tomato, implying that TERF2/LeERF2 may be involved in cold response through ethylene modulation. To test the hypothesis, we first observed that overexpressing TERF2/LeERF2 tobaccos not only enhances freezing tolerance via activating expression of cold-related genes, but also significantly reduces electrolyte leakage. In addition, with treatment of ethylene biosynthesis inhibitor or ethylene receptor antagonist, we then showed that blockage of ethylene biosynthesis or the ethylene signaling pathway decreases freezing tolerance of overexpressing TERF2/LeERF2 tobaccos. Moreover, the results from tomatoes showed that overexpressing TERF2/LeERF2 tomatoes enhances while antisense TERF2/LeERF2 transgenic lines decreases freezing tolerance, and application of ethylene precursor 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid restored freezing tolerance of antisense lines. Therefore our results establish that TERF2/LeERF2 enhances freezing tolerance of plants through ethylene biosynthesis and the ethylene signaling pathway. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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