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

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nerves control the body’s bacterial community
26.09.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Ageless ears? Elderly barn owls do not become hard of hearing
26.09.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>