Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Assembling the transcriptome of a noxious weed: New resources for studying how plants invade

06.03.2013
Scientists from Oregon State University and Portland State University develop the transcriptome and other genetic resources of an invasive plant, Brachypodium sylvaticum, for extensive research on plant adaptation

In order to build and maintain cells, DNA is copied into ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, also called transcripts. Transcripts are often like a recipe for making proteins, and a collection of all the transcripts in a cell is called a transcriptome.

Pankaj Jaiswal, Assistant Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University, Samuel Fox, a Postdoctoral Associate in Jaiswal's laboratory, and colleagues assembled transcriptomes of a noxious weed, Brachypodium sylvaticum, or slender false brome. The transcriptome provides an extensive genetic tool for studying how invasive species, like slender false brome, successfully spread into novel ranges. In addition, the genome is available for a closely related species, Brachypodium distachyon. Together, the transcriptome and genome can be used as a reference for pinpointing differences in slender false brome genes and gene activity that may contribute to its invasive capabilities.

Slender false brome is an invasive grass that is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It was introduced into the United States about 100 years ago and is listed as a noxious weed along the West Coast of the United States. "It is aggressively invasive within its current range—near monocultures of this grass occupy thousands of hectares of mixed coniferous understory and grassland habitats in Oregon," says Mitch Cruzan, coauthor and Associate Professor of Biology at Portland State University.

Slender false brome is ideal as a model for invasive plant evolution. "False brome is in the process of active range expansion and is wildly successful despite experiencing colder, wet winters and drier summers than plants in the native range," explains Cruzan, "so it is a great system for studying ecological and evolutionary aspects of invasion."

Fox and colleagues have assembled the transcriptomes for two slender false brome populations from its native range (Greece, Spain) and one population from its invasive range (Oregon). Comparing transcriptomes across ranges will reveal new changes in gene expression in the highly successful invasive population. "This system has great potential as a comparative framework for studying adaptation to new environments and invasion," comments Jaiswal.

To allow future studies to identify the functions of slender false brome genes, the authors also compared the false brome transcriptome to those of well-studied agricultural species, including rice and sorghum. If false brome possesses a gene that has already been studied in an agricultural species, it will be easier to identify the gene's supposed function. The teams from Jaiswal's and Cruzan's laboratories are exploring these newly developed genetic resources, which may provide insights into how slender false brome has adapted to Oregon's different environmental conditions.

The authors published their results, including details on data retrieval, in the March issue of Applications in Plant Sciences (available for free viewing at http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.3732/apps.1200011). Fox and Cruzan note, "The seed and genomic resources are publicly available, so it would be relatively easy for any research group to establish a research program focused on slender false brome."

Applications in Plant Sciences (APPS) is a monthly, online-only, peer-reviewed, open access journal focusing on new tools, technologies, and protocols in all areas of the plant sciences. It is published by the Botanical Society of America (http://www.botany.org), a non-profit membership society with a mission to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, development, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere. The first issue of APPS published in January 2013; APPS is available as part of BioOne's Open Access collection (http://www.bioone.org/loi/apps).

For further information, please contact the APPS staff at apps@botany.org.

Beth Parada | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.botany.org

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>