Plant Science Research Unit

Raleigh, NC, United States

Plant Science Research Unit

Raleigh, NC, United States

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Zobel R.W.,Plant Science Research Unit
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2016

The Arabidopsis root system is frequently considered to have only three classes of root: primary, lateral, and adventitious. Research with other plant species has suggested up to eight different developmental/functional classes of root for a given plant root system. If Arabidopsis has only three classes of root, it may not be an adequate model for eudicot plant root systems. Recent research, however, can be interpreted to suggest that pre-flowering Arabidopsis does have at least five (5) of these classes of root. This then suggests that Arabidopsis root research can be considered an adequate model for dicot plant root systems. © 2016 Zobel.


Burton A.L.,Plant Science Research Unit | Burkey K.O.,Plant Science Research Unit | Burkey K.O.,North Carolina State University | Carter T.E.,Soybean and Nitrogen Fixation Unit | And 3 more authors.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics | Year: 2016

Key message: Soybean quantitative trait loci for ozone response.Abstract: Ground-level ozone reduces yield in crops such as soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merr.). Phenotypic variation has been observed for this trait in multiple species; however, breeding for ozone tolerance has been limited. A recombinant inbred population was developed from soybean genotypes differing in tolerance to ozone: tolerant Fiskeby III and sensitive Mandarin (Ottawa). Plants were exposed to ozone treatment for 5 days in greenhouse chambers followed by visual scoring for foliar injury. Mean injury score in the mid-canopy was 16 % for Fiskeby III, and 81 % for Mandarin (Ottawa). Injury scores were lower in younger leaves for both parents and progeny, compared to scores in the older leaves. Segregation was consistent with multigenic inheritance. Correlation coefficients for injury between leaf positions ranged from 0.34 to 0.81, with the closer leaf positions showing the greater correlation. Narrow sense heritability within an ozone treatment chamber was 0.59, 0.40, 0.29, 0.30, 0.19, and 0.35 for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and combined 3rd–5th main stem leaf positions (numbered acropetally), respectively, based on genotypic means over three independent replications. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis showed that loci were associated with distinct leaf developmental stages. QTL were identified on Chromosome 17 for the 2nd and 3rd leaf positions, and on Chromosome 4 for the 5th and 6th leaf positions. Additional loci were identified on Chromosomes 6, 18, 19, and 20. Interacting loci were identified on Chromosomes 5 and 15 for injury on trifoliate 4. The ozone sensitive parent contributed one favorable allele for ozone response. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg (outside the USA)


Wisser R.J.,University of Delaware | Balint-Kurti P.J.,North Carolina State University | Balint-Kurti P.J.,Plant Science Research Unit | Holland J.B.,Plant Science Research Unit | Holland J.B.,North Carolina State University
Plant Genetic Resources: Characterisation and Utilisation | Year: 2011

Response to selection is fundamental to plant breeding. To gain insight into the genetic basis of response to selection, we propose a new experimental genetic framework allowing for the identification of trait-specific genomic loci underlying population improvement and the characterization of allelic frequency responses at those loci. This is achieved by employing a sampling scheme for recurrently selected populations that allows for the simultaneous application of genetic association mapping and analysis of allelic frequency change across generations of selection. The combined method unites advantages of the two approaches, permitting the estimation of trait-specific allelic effects by association mapping and the detection of rare favourable alleles by their significant enrichment over generations of selection. Our aim is to develop a framework applicable for many crop species in order to gain a broader and deeper understanding of the genetic architecture of response to artificial selection. © 2011 NIAB.


Wang G.-F.,North Carolina State University | He Y.,North Carolina State University | Strauch R.,North Carolina State University | Olukolu B.A.,North Carolina State University | And 4 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2015

In plants, most disease resistance genes encode nucleotide binding Leu-rich repeat (NLR) proteins that trigger a rapid localized cell death called a hypersensitive response (HR) upon pathogen recognition. The maize (Zea mays) NLR protein Rp1-D21 derives from an intragenic recombination between two NLRs, Rp1-D and Rp1-dp2, and confers an autoactive HR in the absence of pathogen infection. From a previous quantitative trait loci and genome-wide association study, we identified a single-nucleotide polymorphism locus highly associated with variation in the severity of Rp1-D21-induced HR. Two maize genes encoding hydroxycinnamoyltransferase (HCT; a key enzyme involved in lignin biosynthesis) homologs, termed HCT1806 and HCT4918, were adjacent to this single-nucleotide polymorphism. Here, we show that both HCT1806 and HCT4918 physically interact with and suppress the HR conferred by Rp1-D21 but not other autoactive NLRs when transiently coexpressed in Nicotiana benthamiana. Other maize HCT homologs are unable to confer the same level of suppression on Rp1-D21-induced HR. The metabolic activity of HCT1806 and HCT4918 is unlikely to be necessary for their role in suppressing HR. We show that the lignin pathway is activated by Rp1-D21 at both the transcriptional and metabolic levels. We derive a model to explain the roles of HCT1806 and HCT4918 in Rp1-mediated disease resistance. © 2015 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.


Orourke J.A.,Plant Science Research Unit | Orourke J.A.,University of Minnesota | Samuel Yang S.,Plant Science Research Unit | Samuel Yang S.,University of Minnesota | And 14 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2013

Phosphorus, in its orthophosphate form (Pi), is one of the most limiting macronutrients in soils for plant growth and development. However, the whole-genome molecular mechanisms contributing to plant acclimation to Pi deficiency remain largely unknown. White lupin (Lupinus albus) has evolved unique adaptations for growth in Pi-deficient soils, including the development of cluster roots to increase root surface area. In this study, we utilized RNA-Seq technology to assess global gene expression in white lupin cluster roots, normal roots, and leaves in response to Pi supply. We de novo assembled 277,224,180 Illumina reads from 12 complementary DNA libraries to build what is to our knowledge the first white lupin gene index (LAGI 1.0). This index contains 125,821 unique sequences with an average length of 1,155 bp. Of these sequences, 50,734 were transcriptionally active (reads per kilobase per million reads ≥ 3), representing approximately 7.8% of the white lupin genome, using the predicted genome size of Lupinus angustifolius as a reference. We identified a total of 2,128 sequences differentially expressed in response to Pi deficiency with a 2-fold or greater change and P ≤ 0.05. Twelve sequences were consistently differentially expressed due to Pi deficiency stress in three species, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), potato (Solanum tuberosum), and white lupin, making them ideal candidates to monitor the Pi status of plants. Additionally, classic physiological experiments were coupled with RNA-Seq data to examine the role of cytokinin and gibberellic acid in Pi deficiency-induced cluster root development. This global gene expression analysis provides new insights into the biochemical and molecular mechanisms involved in the acclimation to Pi deficiency.


Cheng L.,North Carolina State University | Cheng L.,University of Oklahoma | Booker F.L.,Plant Science Research Unit | Booker F.L.,North Carolina State University | And 9 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

Climate change factors such as elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and ozone (O3) can exert significant impacts on soil microbes and the ecosystem level processes they mediate. However, the underlying mechanisms by which soil microbes respond to these environmental changes remain poorly understood. The prevailing hypothesis, which states that CO2- or O3-induced changes in carbon (C) availability dominate microbial responses, is primarily based on results from nitrogen (N)-limiting forests and grasslands. It remains largely unexplored how soil microbes respond to elevated CO2 and O3 in N-rich or N-aggrading systems, which severely hinders our ability to predict the long-term soil C dynamics in agroecosystems. Using a long-term field study conducted in a no-till wheat-soybean rotation system with open-top chambers, we showed that elevated CO2 but not O3 had a potent influence on soil microbes. Elevated CO2 (1.5×ambient) significantly increased, while O3 (1.4×ambient) reduced, aboveground (and presumably belowground) plant residue C and N inputs to soil. However, only elevated CO2 significantly affected soil microbial biomass, activities (namely heterotrophic respiration) and community composition. The enhancement of microbial biomass and activities by elevated CO2 largely occurred in the third and fourth years of the experiment and coincided with increased soil N availability, likely due to CO2-stimulation of symbiotic N2 fixation in soybean. Fungal biomass and the fungi:bacteria ratio decreased under both ambient and elevated CO2 by the third year and also coincided with increased soil N availability; but they were significantly higher under elevated than ambient CO2. These results suggest that more attention should be directed towards assessing the impact of N availability on microbial activities and decomposition in projections of soil organic C balance in N-rich systems under future CO2 scenarios.


Jiang K.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Frick-Cheng A.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Trusov Y.,University of Queensland | Delgado-Cerezo M.,Technical University of Madrid | And 9 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2012

The heterotrimeric G-protein complex provides signal amplification and target specificity. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) Gb-subunit of this complex (AGB1) interacts with and modulates the activity of target cytoplasmic proteins. This specificity resides in the structure of the interface between AGB1 and its targets. Important surface residues of AGB1, which were deduced from a comparative evolutionary approach, were mutated to dissect AGB1-dependent physiological functions. Analysis of the capacity of these mutants to complement well-established phenotypes of Gβ-null mutants revealed AGB1 residues critical for specific AGB1-mediated biological processes, including growth architecture, pathogen resistance, stomata-mediated leaf-air gas exchange, and possibly photosynthesis. These findings provide promising new avenues to direct the finely tuned engineering of crop yield and traits. © 2012 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.


Clark A.J.,University of Kentucky | Sarti-Dvorjak D.,Syngenta | Brown-Guedira G.,Plant Science Research Unit | Dong Y.,University of Minnesota | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Microbiology | Year: 2016

Fusarium head blight (FHB), caused mainly by Fusarium graminearum Schwabe [telomorph: Gibberella zeae Schwein.(Petch)] in the US, is one of the most destructive diseases of wheat (Triticum aestivum L. and T. durum L.). Infected grain is usually contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON), a serious mycotoxin. The challenge in FHB resistance breeding is combining resistance with superior agronomic and quality characteristics. Exotic QTL are widely used to improve FHB resistance. Success depends on the genetic background into which the QTL are introgressed, whether through backcrossing or forward crossing; QTL expression is impossible to predict. In this study four high-yielding soft red winter wheat breeding lines with little or no scab resistance were each crossed to a donor parent (VA01W-476) with resistance alleles at two QTL: Fhb1 (chromosome 3BS) and QFhs.nau-2DL (chromosome 2DL) to generate backcross and F2 progeny. F2 individuals were genotyped and assigned to 4 groups according to presence/absence of resistance alleles at one or both QTL. The effectiveness of these QTL in reducing FHB rating, incidence, index, severity, Fusarium-damaged kernels (FDK) and DON, in F2-derived lines was assessed over 2 years. Fhb1 showed an average reduction in DON of 17.5%, and conferred significant resistance in 3 of 4 populations. QFhs.nau-2DL reduced DON 6.7% on average and conferred significant resistance in 2 of 4 populations. The combination of Fhb1 and QFhs.nau-2DL resistance reduced DON 25.5% across all populations. Double resistant lines had significantly reduced DON compared to double susceptible lines in 3 populations. Backcross derived progeny were planted in replicated yield trials (2011 and 2012) and in a scab nursery in 2012. Several top yielding lines performed well in the scab nursery, with acceptable DON concentrations, even though the average effect of either QTL in this population was not significant. Population selection is often viewed as an "all or nothing" process: If the average resistance level is insufficient, the population is discarded. These results indicate that it may be possible to find rare segregants which combine scab resistance, superior agronomic performance and acceptable quality even in populations in which the average effect of the QTL is muted or negligible. © 2016 Clark, Sarti-Dvorjak, Brown-Guedira, Dong, Baik and Van Sanford.


PubMed | Plant Science Research Unit
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in plant science | Year: 2016

The Arabidopsis root system is frequently considered to have only three classes of root: primary, lateral, and adventitious. Research with other plant species has suggested up to eight different developmental/functional classes of root for a given plant root system. If Arabidopsis has only three classes of root, it may not be an adequate model for eudicot plant root systems. Recent research, however, can be interpreted to suggest that pre-flowering Arabidopsis does have at least five (5) of these classes of root. This then suggests that Arabidopsis root research can be considered an adequate model for dicot plant root systems.


Bolon Y.-T.,Plant Science Research Unit | Haun W.J.,University of Minnesota | Xu W.W.,University of Minnesota | Grant D.,Corn Insects and Crop Genetics Research Unit | And 11 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2011

Mutagenized populations have become indispensable resources for introducing variation and studying gene function in plant genomics research. In this study, fast neutron (FN) radiation was used to induce deletion mutations in the soybean (Glycine max) genome. Approximately 120,000 soybean seeds were exposed to FN radiation doses of up to 32 Gray units to develop over 23,000 independent M2 lines. Here, we demonstrate the utility of this population for phenotypic screening and associated genomic characterization of striking and agronomically important traits. Plant variation was cataloged for seed composition, maturity, morphology, pigmentation, and nodulation traits. Mutants that showed significant increases or decreases in seed protein and oil content across multiple generations and environments were identified. The application of comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) to lesion-induced mutants for deletion mapping was validated on a midoleate x-ray mutant, M23, with a known FAD2-1A (for fatty acid desaturase) gene deletion. Using CGH, a subset of mutants was characterized, revealing deletion regions and candidate genes associated with phenotypes of interest. Exome resequencing and sequencing of PCR products confirmed FN-induced deletions detected by CGH. Beyond characterization of soybean FN mutants, this study demonstrates the utility of CGH, exome sequence capture, and next-generation sequencing approaches for analyses of mutant plant genomes. We present this FN mutant soybean population as a valuable public resource for future genetic screens and functional genomics research. © 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists.

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